In an effort to encourage more golfers to fit a quick nine holes into their busy schedules, the USGA along with American Express has introduced a new ‘Play 9’ campaign.
The official pitch started on Wednesday with two goals: First, to increase awareness of the advantages of playing ‘9’ and second to legitimize a 9-hole round using the USGA Handicap System.
First introduced at this year’s U.S. Open via a Public Service Announcement, PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler encourages golfers to fit a nine-hole round into their busy schedules, and rallies the golf industry to promote the game’s accessibility.
“I don’t always have enough time to play a full round between practice and spending time with friends and family,” said Fowler. “I’m happy to join the USGA and American Express on ‘Play 9’ to encourage golfers to play a nine-hole round, especially if that’s what’s going to get them out onto the golf course to play more often.”
More than 4,000 courses across America are nine-hole facilities according to the National Golf Foundation and nine-hole rounds can be played at almost every 18-hole public facility. A nine-hole round takes less than two hours to complete and costs an average of $25 per person, making it family friendly.
Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA said, “During our extensive conversations with golfers, we’ve learned that they feel challenged by the time it take to play. By creating awareness of the nine-hole round, and the many ways that one can enjoy the game in less time, we hope this creative program featuring one of the game’s more dynamic and progressive players will energize and remind golfers how they can fit the game into their days.”