US research says 9-hole courses are golf’s future

Delegates at the recent European Golf Business Conference were told the three main barriers to golf participation are cost, difficulty and time.
The claim came from keynote speaker Ruffin Beckwith, a director of USA-based stakeholder initiative Golf20/20. Beckwith believes that with time pressures the easiest to address, the nine-hole game may be the way forward. “We should look to promote nine-hole golf as a genuine experience, not as half of a golf experience,” he insisted. “We should make golf less intimidating and encourage new golfers to play.”
Beckwith revealed Golf20/20’s research had discovered that there are many women who want to play six-hole rounds. Already, he said, some golf clubs in the States are reflecting this by building 12-hole courses while some coaching programmes even offer three-hole rounds for beginners and young children.

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