Don't have time for 18 holes very often? Neither do we.
Most area 18-hole courses will let you play nine holes, but not during prime time (before 1 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays). Many won't accept tee times for nine.
Rick Jacobson, designer of the award-winning Augustine and Bull Run courses, created this full-length nine-holer at Broad Run Golf and Practice Facility in Bristow, Va. The par-35 layout plays up to 3,000 yards.
(Courtesy Of Broad Run Golf And Practice Facility)
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Some courses permit you to play nine holes, but will charge you for 18 (!). Playing those courses on foot and at twilight rates, usually after 2 p.m., can make nine a decent value. Some facilities will let you sneak off the back nine in the early morning, before the 18-holers make the turn. Public courses are usually better at accommodating niners than private operations.
Happily, the Washington area offers a number courses with only nine holes, making them great choices for beginners, families or those who don't have the time, money or desire for a full round. All are walkable. Most cost around a buck a hole when played on foot. Better still, a handful are as well designed as many 18-holers, and will challenge even very good players. We've marked these with a star (*).
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
East Potomac Park offers two nines: an executive course featuring par-4s and par-3s and a short course made entirely of par-3s. Details, p. 15
Gunpowder Golf Club has a nine-hole chip and putt course, in addition to its regular 18. Promoted as ideal for youngsters and other learners, its holes range from 40 to 80 yards and can be negotiated in less than an hour. If you're 15 and under or 65 and over, you can play free. Otherwise, it's $5 for all day. Details, p. 14
* Needwood Golf Course features an executive nine with two challenging par-4s. One water carry; big and interesting greens. Details, p. 15.
Northwest Park's "inside nine" mixes par-3s and par-4s. Good practice facilities. Details, p. 15