For a lot of us, nine holes is just getting warmed up. Nine is half the picture. Nine is nothing but the front side. Nine, just nine, is never enough.
But there are players for whom a full 18 is a long slog. The five hours it gouges out of your day is a couple hours too many. Nine, just nine, is the right size.
For them, there are golf courses for which nine holes isn’t half of anything. It’s the whole thing.
In that spirit, Grey Goatee Golf and Travel is hitting the road, toward the northern coast of the great Pacific Ocean. This region, from Manzanita, Ore, on the south to Ocean Park, Wash., on the north, is a rich vein of nine-holers.
These courses are more downriver than uptown, more country fried than country club. But the golf is real, challenging by turns; the price is right, the vibe is friendly.
And the people who run the courses on our three-day Six Niner Tour need make no apology, and don’t, for being what they are, no more, no less.
Nine holes, of golf, and if that’s not enough for you, play ’em twice.
Day One: Saturday, Aug. 4
The morning round: Manzanita Golf Course, Manzanita, Ore.
The afternoon: Seaside Golf Course, Seaside, Ore.
Day Two: Sunday, Aug. 5
The morning round: Highlands Golf Course, Gearhart, Ore.
The afternoon: Lewis and Clark Golf and RV Park, Astoria, Ore.
Day Three: Monday, Aug. 6
The morning round: Peninsula Golf Course, Long Beach, Wash.
The afternoon: Surfside Golf Course, Ocean Park, Wash.
The Roadies: Steve Mildenberger, who plays golf when it’s placed in front of him; Bart Potter, who plays it and writes about it, for better or worse. There might be some money in play, but more important is the nine-hole experience … and the food and beverages and coastal life as we find it.