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What are the best 9 hole courses that are open for public play around the USA?

The good ones I know of are

Northwood, CA

Peter Hay, CA

Gleneagles, CA

L'il Wick, AZ

Mountain Shadows, AZ

Whitinsville, MA

Marion, MA

Hotchkiss, CT

Pinehurst Cradle, NC

The Sandbox, WI

Top of the Rock, MO

There must be a heap of them in other states.

 

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Sweetens is extremely good.  I can't think of many courses that are more fun to play.  It's not the best course in terms of a "test of the game" but it has a lot of fun shots and slopes that you don't

Sweetens and Sewanee   

Sweetens is awesome, but to say there are only 25 better public courses is INSANE. GolfWeek loves to overrate the "woke" golf courses. Anything langford and morrow, cult courses like sweetens etc. 

I love Highland. Played there last summer for the first time in a long time. I've played Hotchkiss many times. It's good fun but could be amazing if they would just put some more $'s and effort into it. A favorite of mine, also in New England but not open to the public, is Norfolk Country Club in Norfolk, CT. It's an old Tillinghast course that is very quirky but has some fantastic holes. 

 

There's a book that came out a few years ago called The Finest Nines, I can't remember the author, that is a great read for anyone who loves 9-hole courses.

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7 hours ago, pricebbt said:

Sweetens Cove in Tennessee. #26 on GolfWeeks Top 100 Public Courses in the country. 

Sweetens is awesome, but to say there are only 25 better public courses is INSANE. GolfWeek loves to overrate the "woke" golf courses. Anything langford and morrow, cult courses like sweetens etc. 

 

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44 minutes ago, golfandtennisfan said:

One of my favorites though is the 9 hole par three course at treetops up near Gaylord, MI.  Awesome though you probably mean real full length 9 hole courses. 

Yes, there are a lot of par 3 courses around like Bandon Preserve and The Horse Course at Prairie Club which is vg as well as a few of those in the OP like The Sandbox at Sand Valley but basically it was the full length 9 holers I think are more interesting. I guess Sweetens Cove is the one most would think of. In the UK Royal Worlington & Newmarket is the gold standard.

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Sweetens is extremely good.  I can't think of many courses that are more fun to play.  It's not the best course in terms of a "test of the game" but it has a lot of fun shots and slopes that you don't see many places.  It's the best 9 holer I've played.

 

I recently played Northwood and it was a pretty big letdown.  The conditions aren't great and it's far too tight/short for the modern game.  The trees are awesome and it's a fun experience, but there is nothing there that screams "McKenzie".  If you're in SF, play it, but otherwise it's not worth seeking out. 

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Since Golf Magazine recently rated the top 50 9 hole courses in the world you could start with that list:

 

2. Whitinsville GC

3. Culver Academies GC

4. The Dunes Club

7. Sweetens Cove GC

8. Edgartown GC

9. Sunnylands

11. Saratoga Golf & Polo

13. Hooper GC

14. North Haven GC

18. The Course at Sewanee

20. Highland Golf Links

23. Eagle Springs Golf Resort

25. Madison GC

26. Milton-Hoosic Club

27. Hotchkiss GC

28. Weekapaug GC

30. Northwood GC

37. Cohasse CC

38. Quogue Field Club

41. Winter Park GC

46. Castine GC

50. Wawashkamo GC

 

Anthony Pioppi in his two books, To The Nines and The Fines Nines, writes about the following: Highland Links, Marion, Whittinsville, Fenwick, Sweetens, Sewanee, Dunes Club, Midway, Wawona, Gleneagles, Northwoood, Birchwood, Aetna Springs, Hooper, Edgartown, and Winter Park.

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15 hours ago, hollabachgt said:

Since Golf Magazine recently rated the top 50 9 hole courses in the world you could start with that list:

 

2. Whitinsville GC

3. Culver Academies GC

4. The Dunes Club

7. Sweetens Cove GC

8. Edgartown GC

9. Sunnylands

11. Saratoga Golf & Polo

13. Hooper GC

14. North Haven GC

18. The Course at Sewanee

20. Highland Golf Links

23. Eagle Springs Golf Resort

25. Madison GC

26. Milton-Hoosic Club

27. Hotchkiss GC

28. Weekapaug GC

30. Northwood GC

37. Cohasse CC

38. Quogue Field Club

41. Winter Park GC

46. Castine GC

50. Wawashkamo GC

 

Anthony Pioppi in his two books, To The Nines and The Fines Nines, writes about the following: Highland Links, Marion, Whittinsville, Fenwick, Sweetens, Sewanee, Dunes Club, Midway, Wawona, Gleneagles, Northwoood, Birchwood, Aetna Springs, Hooper, Edgartown, and Winter Park.

Very good list, thanks. Do you know which of those courses are open to the public?

And I thought Aetna Springs had closed.

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Thanks to google I was able to determine the following have public access:

7. Sweetens Cove GC

13. Hooper GC

14. North Haven GC

18. The Course at Sewanee

20. Highland Golf Links

23. Eagle Springs Golf Resort

27. Hotchkiss GC

30. Northwood GC

41. Winter Park GC

50. Wawashkamo GC

 

Aetna Springs is recently closed, but is still discussed in the book.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Big A HG said:

 

 

The only thing I can think of is you meant to say par 3 courses?  Other than that, not catching on.

I am looking at actual full size 9 hole courses. So the best publicly accessible ones mentioned so far are

Sweetens Cove TN

Sewanee TN

Northwood CA

Gleneagles CA

Whitinsville MA

Marion MA

Highland Links MA

Hotchkiss CT

Hooper NH

North Haven ME

Castine ME

Eagle Springs WI

and a couple of other quirky ones might be Foxburg, PA and Old Sconset on Nantucket.

The par 3 courses are different like The Horse, PH Cradle, Sandbox, P Hay, Top of the Rock, Bandon preserve, Lil Wick etc

 

 

 

 

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Winter Park GC is awesome. I grew up in Orlando so played there quite a bit. It's been the same and never changes. You walk up, pay, drop your ball in a piece of PVC mounted on a pole and when your ball gets to the bottom, you tee off.

 

It's not long, its not hard, it's in a beautiful area with huge old oak trees. Great for beginners and fun for the experienced golfer.

 

When I was a kid, my mom would drop us off and we'd pay $8 to play and we were supposed to pay $5 to play again but most of the time they just let us keep going. Would borrow the phone in the club house, call my mom and she'd come pick us up.

 

Honestly it's the kind of golf course in the area it's in I fear gets sold for development into houses. Would love to see public tracks like that get preserved. Can honestly say that course is what really got me into golf

 

But enough about nostalgia, I'm sure those other courses are nice too

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5 hours ago, cn34 said:

Winter Park GC is awesome. I grew up in Orlando so played there quite a bit. It's been the same and never changes. You walk up, pay, drop your ball in a piece of PVC mounted on a pole and when your ball gets to the bottom, you tee off.

 

It's not long, its not hard, it's in a beautiful area with huge old oak trees. Great for beginners and fun for the experienced golfer.

 

When I was a kid, my mom would drop us off and we'd pay $8 to play and we were supposed to pay $5 to play again but most of the time they just let us keep going. Would borrow the phone in the club house, call my mom and she'd come pick us up.

 

Honestly it's the kind of golf course in the area it's in I fear gets sold for development into houses. Would love to see public tracks like that get preserved. Can honestly say that course is what really got me into golf

 

But enough about nostalgia, I'm sure those other courses are nice too

that's a great story. i called WP9 my home course when i lived in orlando. met some really great people from playing there too. Absolutely love getting walk it whenever i'm back down there

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On 9/25/2020 at 9:36 PM, Chanceman said:

I am looking at actual full size 9 hole courses. So the best publicly accessible ones mentioned so far are

Sweetens Cove TN

Sewanee TN

Northwood CA

Gleneagles CA

Whitinsville MA

Marion MA

Highland Links MA

Hotchkiss CT

Hooper NH

North Haven ME

Castine ME

Eagle Springs WI

and a couple of other quirky ones might be Foxburg, PA and Old Sconset on Nantucket.

The par 3 courses are different like The Horse, PH Cradle, Sandbox, P Hay, Top of the Rock, Bandon preserve, Lil Wick etc

 

 

 

 


Whitinsville is a private club - it’s not impossible to get on, but it is not open to the public. 

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