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Drive under way to promote nine-hole rounds

The clubhouse at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton.

The clubhouse at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton. Credit: Gordon M. Grant, 2011

Let's play nine!

This is, of course, exactly the opposite of the sentiment behind Hall of Famer (and avid golfer) Ernie Banks' famed expression, "Let's play two!" He was saying it was a great day to play a doubleheader, twice as much baseball.

In contrast, the Time for Nine initiative being proposed by Golf Digest and supported by the PGA of America and U.S. Golf Association, is calling for half as much golf -- nine holes instead of 18. But the goal is the same. The idea behind Time for Nine is that if people decide to try nine-hole rounds, they actually will play more frequently.

"Five-hour plus rounds of golf are incompatible with the compressed time that many of us have available for recreational activities," USGA president Glen Nager said in announcing his backing for the plan. He added that people will more easily find two spare hours for golf.

The key is getting golfers to consider nine holes a real round, and getting courses to offer nine-hole fees. To promote this "less is more" plan, will soon begin listing "Nine-hole friendly" courses.


Countdown to Sebonack

Eight weeks to go to the U.S. Women's Open in Southampton. Ticket sales and volunteer registrations have been strong, said Michael Perez, the marketing and promotions manager, but people can still take advantage of both at . . . On tour this week, at the North Texas LPGA Shootout, world No. 2 Stacy Lewis spoke of promotional responsibilities: "As players, too, we realize that this is our tour. We need to take ownership of it and make it our own. So we have to sell our tour" . . . A tip from LPGA pro Lexi Thompson on Twitter: on YouTube, catch the amusing video for Cobra golf by John O'Hurley. You remember O'Hurley as J. Peterman on Seinfeld. He also is a single-digit handicap.


Chip shots

Growing family: Spring Lake GC head pro Cristy Jurgens gave birth to future golfer Keegan Christian between busy seasons. She is back at work . . . There will be a new Long Island Amateur champion this year. Tim Rosenhouse, last year's winner, fresh out of Lehigh, has turned pro and is playing mini-tour events in Florida . . . Yes, the local pros who report and register their members' aces do get holes-in-one of their own. North Hempstead's Greg Hurd made one during the Met PGA spring meeting scramble, and Glen Oaks pro Tim Shifflett scored one during the Pro-Assistants tournament at Mill River. The latter event was won by Mark Brown and Paul Griffin of Tam O'Shanter at 7 under par . . . The deadline is Tuesday to register for the national Drive, Chip and Putt contest ( Regional winners will compete at Augusta National on the Sunday before the 2014 Masters. Local competition will be at Bethpage and Eisenhower Park.

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