The R&A - Working for Golf

9 Hole Challenge

A recent R&A survey revealed that 60% of golfers would enjoy golf more if it took less time.

This led The R&A to run a 9 hole pilot event at Royal Troon in 2016 and has resulted in our annual 9 Hole Challenge.

The 2019 event culminates in a 9 hole final played over the first two and last seven holes at Royal Portrush on the morning of Saturday 13th July.

9 Hole Challenge Overview

2018 Champions

Andrew Sabin & Christopher Cudahy

2016 Amateur Championship  Scott Gregory

The 2018 R&A 9 Hole Challenge winners were  Andrew Sabin and Christopher Cudahy from Tadmarton Heath GC, England.

They won this event over the first four and last five holes at Carnoustie on the eve of the 147th Open Championship.

2019 Final Venue


2019 Final Venue



Royal Portrush

The 9 Hole Challenge Final will be staged at Royal Portrush on Saturday 13 July 2019. Royal Portrush first staged The Open in 1951 and golf’s most international major will return there again in 2019.

It has also hosted the men's and women's Amateur Championships on numerous occasions and the Irish Open four times (1930, 1937, 1947, 2012).

Contact details:

Royal Portrush
Dunluce Road,
BT56 8JQ
Tel: +44 (0) 28 7082 2311



2019 Final Venue





Qualifying is open to amateur golfers who are members of a golf club within GB&I and hold a recognised handicap.

Qualifying competitions will be run by golf clubs in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and conducted over 9 holes by Stableford.

For further details on qualifying competitions, please go to your national website;






The Final will involve 42 amateur golfers and will be played on the morning of Saturday 13 July. Click here for further details.



2019 Final Venue



Ready Golf will be encouraged during play of the 2019 Final and during all qualifying events.

Ready Golf features in The R&A’s Pace of Play manual as a recommended solution for tackling slow play and it enables golfers to play when they are ready to do so rather than strictly adhere to ‘the farthest from the hole plays first’ requirement.

The practice can be used in stroke play and includes a number of actions that can help to improve the flow of golfers around the course.

Examples of Ready Golf in action are:

  • Hitting a shot when safe to do so if a player farther away faces a challenging shot and is taking time to assess their options
  • Shorter hitters playing first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters have to wait
  • Hitting a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play
  • Hitting a shot before helping someone to look for a lost ball
  • Putting out even if it means standing close to someone else’s line
  • Hitting a shot if a person who has just played from a greenside bunker is still farthest from the hole but is delayed due to raking the bunker
  • When a player’s ball has gone over the back of a green, any player closer to the hole should play while the other player is having to walk to their ball and assess their shot
Download our Ready Golf Infographic.

Why 9 holes?

Golf played over 9 holes;

  • takes less time
  • can be social and/or competitive
  • can count for handicapping purposes
  • is still real golf
  • is fast, fun and flexible

Championship News

Image Gallery

Images from the 9 Hole Championship Final at Carnoustie in 2018.

Championship Videos