The Back Nine Is Just Fine For A Partial Round, USGA Central Region Update

Posted on November 1st, 2019

There is nothing quite like playing a round on a nice brisk day in the fall as the leaves are starting to change color. Unfortunately, shorter days mean less time for golfers looking to take advantage of the great weather. Many golfers might only be able to squeeze in nine holes or less after work before it gets dark. While it is great to see golfers making every attempt to play, which hole they start their partial round on has an impact on how cart traffic, divots and ball marks are distributed on the course.

If every partial round begins on the first hole, more play will be experienced on the front nine than the back nine. Dedicating certain times of year, such as the shoulder seasons, for partial rounds to begin on the back nine will help distribute divots, ball marks and wear from cart traffic more evenly.

Every facility is different and implementing a strategy such as this will have to be tailored to fit the schedule and layout of a specific course. However, simple adjustments to things like which hole players start their round on can have a positive impact on turf health. Even with the season winding down for many facilities, this strategy can be implemented now to more evenly distribute cart traffic, divots and ball marks.


Central Region Agronomists:

John Daniels, agronomist –

Zach Nicoludis, agronomist –

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service 

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