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Courses with one Great 9 and one much less so.


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I go on a lot of golf trips where there may only be time for one 9 before moving on. What courses have a really good 9 which is enough to experience that course while the other can be safely left? For example, Hillside in the UK is said to have the best back nine in England. So you might play it during a visit to Royal Birkdale, its neighbour. At Kohler, they say the back 9 at Blackwolf Run Meadow Valley is superb. Makes 27 holes there. Any other suggestions?

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Tot Hill Farms. One very good nine, the front, the back, bleah.

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Pyle and Kenfig in Wales is like the poster child of this one. Front nine is pretty blah. Back nine is spectacular.

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Pebble Beach. Holes 5-10 and 18 are fantastic but, the inland holes are nothing spectacular relative to the rest of the course and for what you pay.

The Ocean Course at Kiawah is better. Just about everyone I've talked to who has played both agrees. Of course, everyone has their own opinion, and yours may be different.

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Ford Plantation. That back 9 is incredible! Front mehh not so much

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Not sure where this idea is coming from, as it's false :-S but they redid the entire course and it's fantastic. It's old news now, but here: https://ncga.org/2014/03/03/catching-poppy-hills-renovation-one-post/

To the actual OP - which it seems a few did read - why not 9 holers as well? As they are a darn sight easier to play by their very nature than 9 of 18. A lot of uneven 9s are not practical and/or impossible to play due to the course routing and/or club itself.

One of the most obvious ones is definitely PG, especially since you can go out early and just play the back 9 and move onto 17 Mile Drive after that. RCD (assuming you're cool paying for 36 and playing 27) is the other real obvious one, as the front returns to the clubhouse.

If you are around London playing heathland courses, Reigate Heath (9 holer) is a must and St. George's Hill has 27 holes, so easy enough to play the Green 9, after the Red and Blue 9s which make up the typical 18. Down on the coast, redoing the front 9 at Rye is worth a shout, 4-7, 9 are rousing stuff... that said, after a quietish start the back 9 has a bunch of awesome par 4s on it. Princes is another 27 hole club.

[url="http://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTOZNxdsDKajrKxaUCRjcU8eB7URcAMpaCWN-67Bt6QG8rmBUPYW3QAQ7k87BlYizIMKJzEhuzqr9OQ/pubhtml?gid=0&single=true"]WITB[/url] | [url="http://tinyurl.com/CoursesPlayedList"]Courses Played list[/url] |  [url="http://tinyurl.com/25GolfingFaves"] 25 Faves [/url]

F.T.

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Good point about some courses having an inaccessible routing. I once played Hesketh in the UK in a rush and the pro suggested I play the first few holes then skip to the last few which were all on the same side of the road - the middle 9 being out on the links. They were the most interesting holes on the property so I appreciated his advice.

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Definitely on those that don't readily divvy up their 9s back to the clubhouse, the 'ol some out-some back in, can be an option :-) For replays I'll take what I can get, but I'd not want to play only some of a course that is new to me.

[url="http://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTOZNxdsDKajrKxaUCRjcU8eB7URcAMpaCWN-67Bt6QG8rmBUPYW3QAQ7k87BlYizIMKJzEhuzqr9OQ/pubhtml?gid=0&single=true"]WITB[/url] | [url="http://tinyurl.com/CoursesPlayedList"]Courses Played list[/url] |  [url="http://tinyurl.com/25GolfingFaves"] 25 Faves [/url]

F.T.

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Although I have never played it and only watched on TV Austin country Club (Dell Match Play) seems to have two very different nines. I don’t think one is better or worse they are just totally different. One weaves it’s way through Texas Hill country style elevation changes and the other is along Lake Austin (Colorado River) with some great flat water holes.

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Two that came to mind immediately were Pacific Grove - already mentioned and then also mentioned Spyglass, the opening 5-6 holes are awesome and then you feel like you are playing Poppy Hills, which is nice, but not at Spy pricing. TPC Scottsdale also comes to mind, they have some really great holes there on the back stretch.

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For me the most drastic example is Portstewart

RCD I wouldn’t put in the same category - while the front is incredible, the back doesn’t feel different (in a way Portstewart does) and definitely has its share of memorable holes - 11, 13-15, 17 - heck that’s 5/9 right there that I’d say are very strong. So yeah the front is nothing short of a magical experience but I didn’t feel a harsh drop off at all.

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Tralee is a great Irish course designed by Arnold Palmer that has an otherworldly Back Nine and a reasonably good front nine. The first 9 meanders around the coastline with some very nice coastal holes and an old castle in view but then you go up into the dunes for the second 9 which is quite sensational. I think Arnie said that he might have designed 1-9 but God had more to do with 10-18.

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