Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Is More Always Better? When It Comes To Course Length, Maybe Not

For most of us, heading out to play a round of disc golf entails a journey across 18 holes. Sometimes, if we have the time and energy, two rounds make it into our day but very rarely do people play fewer than 18. Admit it - if you had the chance to choose between this “standard” length course compared to one that’s only 9 holes, which would you choose?

Although some might look at a 9-hole course and assume it doesn’t have much to offer, there are actually a ton of benefits that this type of layout can bring. However, many players don’t realize this and tend to stick to what they know. For example, whenever we get requests for new courses through Dynamic Course Design, it’s often to explore the possibility of a full 18-hole installation. Even when we take a look at the typical basket order, most of the time people are opting for 18 instead of 9.

If you’re of the opinion that a 9-hole course just doesn’t serve much of a purpose, consider how they can be beneficial for both players and course designers alike:

  • Great for all - An 18-hole course may be the ideal spot for those who have been playing disc golf for years, but this layout can be intimidating and downright difficult for beginners and children. Individuals who are just dipping their toe into the world of disc golf often find that a 9-hole course is far more approachable.

  • Saving money - Installing a disc golf course isn’t overwhelmingly expensive, but it’s not cheap either. Assuming that you’re looking for a cost-effective way to introduce the sport to a new area, consider spending half the money and time that you normally would and bring in a 9-hole layout.

  • Fitting in - Many would argue that a well-designed course needs at least one acre of land per hole and finding tracts of land that are near 20 acres can be a challenge. Instead, a 9-hole course needs far less space and can find a home in many established parks.

  • Staying casual - While children may not have the stamina to complete a full 18-hole course, that doesn’t mean that all adults can handle it with ease. Rather than only having championship-style layouts to choose from, a casual player can change up his or her routine and opt for a shorter set of holes to work on specific shots.

  • Timing is everything - It can be difficult to find several hours of your day to hit the disc golf course, but when 18-hole layouts are all that there is, sometimes you can’t play as often as you’d like. In many instances, a 9-hole course can be completed during a long lunch break or on your way home from the office before it gets dark out.
Don’t get us wrong, we love 18-hole courses as much as anyone else, but keep in mind that they aren’t the only option out there. If we truly want to #growthesport and make disc golf as accessible as possible for all, an influx in shorter layouts is certainly a step in the right direction. Tell us your thoughts on 9-hole courses below - what purpose do they serve in your personal game?

If you are looking into getting a course installed in your area send us an email at to see what is possible.
  1. i hit a 24 hole course but skip around and do about 12. I like a local 9 hole great for putting /approach shots. Any disc golf is good disc golf.

  2. If it wasn't for a smaller course I probably would have quit. I went to a big course on a ski hill for my first time with my starter pack and it sucked. It was confusing as hell with multiple Tees and baskets and it went up and down a damn ski hill with shots straight up the hill. When I got done I was ready to quit. Thankfully I tried one more course. It was still 18 but much smaller, on the side of a lake. It was like a night and day differance and I have been playing ever since. 2 years now. Going to a 9 hole tomorrow.
    Still dont play the course on the ski hill.

  3. Local 9 hole course is now I discovered the joy of disc golf 4 years ago. Due to that beginner friendly—yet still challenging—park golf course my wife and children also play. We’ve since traveled to play 18 and 27 hole courses as our skills have developed.