A group of 30 amateur men and women golfers participated in a new nine hole championship staged by The R&A at Royal Troon on Saturday.
The group participated in a handicap pairs competition at the historic Ayrshire links just five days before The 145th Open gets underway, playing holes 1-5 on the front nine, before tackling holes 15-18 coming down the home stretch.
Denis Gaffney and John Prendergast from the Island Golf Club, Dublin were the overall winners and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing in a nine hole competition on the eve of golf’s oldest Championship.
“John and I had a wonderful time today, just to come here was the prize, never mind winning the competition”, said Gaffney. “It was brilliant, we really enjoyed ourselves. It was our first time here and this is also the first time we’ve played in a nine hole competition.
“People will find nine hole golf handy in the evenings and the weekends. Not everybody can play eighteen holes at the weekend with family commitments. It’s great for the game."
The R&A is working with national golf bodies in Great Britain and Ireland to promote nine hole golf as a quick and enjoyable way to play golf either socially or competitively.
A new digital campaign, including a video featuring a number of the world’s top golfers, was launched yesterday using the Twitter hashtags #PlayNine and #getintogolf, and can be viewed here.
The players appearing in the video are: Carly Booth, Mel Reid, Charley Hull, Barry Lane, Justin Walters, Christina Kim, Catriona Matthew, Nicolas Colsaerts, Martin Kaymer, Matteo Manassero, Jamie McLeary, Dame Laura Davies, Thomas Levet, Austin Ernst, Thorbjorn Olesen, Padraig Harrington and Romain Bechu.
Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Working for Golf at The R&A, said, “We are delighted to be working closely with the other organisations to promote nine hole golf as a perfectly valid form of the game. We want to remind people that they can enjoy golf in less time whether playing socially or competitively. There are more and more nine hole events throughout the country and we certainly support this format as a great way of playing golf.”