by Jeff Skinner
The announcement of the new “Time for Nine” program by the PGA of America and the USGA got me to thinking about the courses in my area where I enjoy playing nine holes. I’ll get out and play the front or back nine of some local state or municipal courses but for sheer enjoyment and bang for the buck the winner here is a small, nine hole course that sits on the campus of Vassar College.
Vassar Golf Course is a nine hole, public course that caters to all levels of golfers. On any day you’ll find dad’s with their kids, plenty of seniors, a few couples, juniors and just regular guys looking for a quick nine.
I started playing Vassar years ago on those days I needed a quick nine. And when my boys took an interest in the game Vassar was one of the first places I took them to smack it around.
Vassar College is one of the highest rated colleges in the East with alumni like Jackie Kennedy and Meryl Streep. An education at Vassar College is not cheap but learning to play golf on Vassar Golf course certainly is.
For ten bucks on a weekday, twelve on the weekend, you can play nine holes on a fairly decent course. True, it will never be confused with Pebble Beach but you’re not there for a once in a lifetime $500 round . You’re there for those fun moments that make up your life.
Vassar is run by Rhett Myers, a certified PGA Professional and a fixture in the Hudson Valley for decades. He also coaches the Vassar College Women’s Golf Team and promotes Vassar as a family friendly facility. And Vassar reflects the laid back, golf should be fun attitude that the Time for Nine initiative encourages.
I have to be honest, back in the day I was one of those golfers that looked at nine holes as something less than real golf. But I’ve seen the light: nine holes of swinging the club is golf, no matter where you are.
Very often nine holes is perfect for me and my sons. Most of the time we all can’t get free for an all day golf excursion and usually about the sixth hole number one son is asking where we’ll be going for lunch. He’s a true nine hole golfer.
Vassar Golf Course has been around since 1930 and I can’t imagine how many golfers have played a round over those nine holes. But hopefully it will be around for years to come to allow generations of golfers to play the game and have a ton of fun while they’re at it.