Abbreviated Golf

by John Wroblewski

Jun 10, 2019

I don’t like golfing. I have golfed exactly four times in my life with mixed results but little enjoyment. My friends often invite me, but I politely decline, not wanting to endure 18 (or even nine) holes. I recently heard something that could get me back on a course.

ID 150712 © Andrew Barker |

While the pay-per-hole concept has been around for a few years, it is quickly growing in popularity and acceptance, thanks to some app designers and more lenient golf course managers. Although the pay-per-hole concept is aimed more at time-crunched golfers, others, including the elderly and beginners, are also interested. Of course, it also appeals to people like me, who want to join friends without suffering through 18 holes.

Until recently, golfers were on their own to negotiate pay-per-hole deals with golf course managers. At best, that system was functional but unorganized, unsupervised and inconsistent. Several app designers saw the growing interest and recognized the need to facilitate the process.

Quick Golf and Egull are just two of the apps available to match golfers with courses offering partial play. Golfers can scan area courses for real-time availability. This allows courses to fill in gaps between existing reservations.

The apps also provide an accurate method of billing. Relying on GPS to monitor golfers’ locations, course managers no longer have to supervise players nor rely on the golfers’ honesty in charging them.

As the weather heats up in Chicago, I will present pay-per-hole golf to my friends as a compromise. Playing four to six holes sounds just about right to me.

— John Wroblewski, online writer


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