The CSGA Links Volume 3 Issue 2 May, 2015 - Page 32

FEATURE Time for Nine Connecticut is famously known for it’s stellar collection of 18-hole championship courses, designed by the likes of Ross, Raynor and McDonald. But it’s collection of hidden 9-hole tracks are tough to beat. A sk any golfer what the standard number of holes for a golf course is, and no doubt they will respond with “18”. However, this was not always the case - in fact, prior to the late 1800’s, golf courses were comprised of any number of holes, ranging from 5 to 23. However, the standard of 18 holes emerged from the Old Course at St. Andrews, which only had 12 holes in 1764. Their holes were laid in a line and played twice, once “out” and once “in”. However, after much deliberation, they decided to eliminate two of the holes, playing eight of the ten holes and leaving the first and last hole unique. Thus, an 18-hole round was born, and although more and more courses followed suit, it wasn’t until 1858 when the R&A issues new rules that the standard for a round of golf was recorded. Which brings us to the topic of nine-hole course 32 | CSGA Links // May, 2015 ~ by Brent Paladino - the less-noticed younger brother of the standard eighteen-hole course. Indeed, all of us love the game of golf and welcome every opportunity to play. We enjoy the camaraderie, the challenge and the exhilaration that comes with being outdoors. Recognizing the pace of our busy lives, there’s an emerging movement that calls for golf to be played in the span of two hours or less, typical of most other outside activities. Lucky for us, Connecticut boasts some of the best nine-hole courses in the country and offers everything from unique par-3 courses on the water, to courses that trace their roots to some of the most famous architects in the country. Located at the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, the Hotchkiss School Golf Course (pictured above) in Hotchkiss, Connecticut is open to the public and is situated on the property of the Hotchkiss School, one of the oldest and most famous preparatory schools in the country. In 1924, prominent golf architect Seth Raynor designed this gem, which winds through the campus of the school and offers some breathtaking views of the scenic countryside. Among Raynor’s many famous course designs include Country Club of Fairfield, Fishers Island Club, Shinnecock Hills, the Course at Yale and Greenwich Country Club. An impressive list to say the least. Even more interesting, however, Raynor’s course