Golf Empire founder, Ed Battye, has played extensively throughout Great Britain & Ireland and below he gives his personal top nine-hole golf courses. However, we would love to hear your own recommendations so that we can expand the list.
Two courses that we would dearly love to include but obviously, and numerically, can't are the 12-hole layouts at Shiskine and Rye (Jubilee). The 10-hole links at Dunnerholme is another that agonisingly missed out. It was also debated long and hard if the nine-hole relief courses at Castlerock, Cruden Bay and Burnham & Berrow should be included since they play second fiddle to the main championship courses but in the end we gave them the benefit of the doubt. However, the 3rd loops at Prince's and Carne were not included as were other 27-hole venues.
What is for sure is that the below list would be more extensive and even higher quality if a number of previous nine-hole venues hadn't added another, usually mediocre at best, nine holes to their existing layouts.
Royal Worlington & Newmarket at Mildenhall is a golf course that I have wanted to visit for a long time.
Castlerock also has a superb relief 9-hole layout called the Bann Links, designed by Frank Pennick in 1986.
The St. Olaf, a par-32 nine-hole relief course, is well worthy of mention when discussing Cruden Bay.
If there are golf courses in heaven I suspect they will be very much in the spirit of Cruit Island.
They say that life’s all about the journey and not the destination but playing golf at Durness is without doubt both a journey and a destination.
The Hillhouse loop, formerly part of the main course but now a standalone nine hole layout, is an absolute treat.
Designed by an experienced Harry Colt the Old Course at Leckford opened for play in 1929 and the layout has largely been preserved since then. This is a good thing, for the nine-holes at this under-the-radar venue deliver a beguiling round of golf.
Mulranny is simply joyous, a place where you could learn all the lessons of the links.
They say that nice things come in small packages and that is exactly what Reigate Heath is and does.
Flempton is a lovely, tucked away, nine-holer close to the market town of Bury St. Edmunds in the sleepy Suffolk countryside.
The Isle of Harris Golf Club at Scarista is a cracking little nine-hole golf course that delivers a true links experience.
It’s a long time since I have walked off a golf course with as big of a smile on my face as I did at Rosehearty!
The Channel Course is virtually the same as the main course but in miniature.
I was very interested to see Alnmouth Village following a reader’s recommendation after the publication of our article about the best nine-hole golf courses in the United Kingdom.
The Links at Rush Golf Club is a wonderful little golf course played over some terrific terrain and is somewhere I'd strongly advise any links-lover to seek out if in the vicinity.
Not many people know but there is also a third course at Turnberry and this is the nine hole Arran course.
Achill Island is located off the west coast of Ireland in County Mayo and reached by a small bridge. Civilisation doesn’t quite end but it's very remote. Barren and beautiful.
Little known Bushfoot golf course at Portballintrae near Bushmills in County Antrim, Northern Ireland is an interesting 9-hole layout in a picturesque location.
Charnwood Forest is one the most interesting, natural and best nine-holers I have played.
Tucked away on the Moray Firth between Lossiemouth and Hopeman the nine-hole layout at Covesea Golf Links remains a true hidden gem.
Playing at The Machrihanish Golf Club is perhaps not as romantic a prospect as it was several years ago. None-the-less it’s a fabulous golfing experience.
Warkworth is a delightful Old Tom Morris nine-holer with a lovely ‘linksy’ feel to it.
Bradford Moor is a little dazzler of a nine-hole golf course close to the city.
Buncrana is a brilliantly bonkers nine-hole links golf course at the gateway to the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal with superb views overlooking Loch Swilly.
I have been fortunate enough to play golf in many stunning locations throughout Great Britain & Ireland and Connemara Isles is right up there with the best of them.
Silecroft is a springy, nine-hole clifftop links occupying a compact strip of coastal land high above the Irish Sea in the Western Lake District.
The nine-hole golf course as Anstruther has one moment of absolute brilliance, a quirky stretch of three short holes and six others that I could personally take or leave.
Dalmally is a picturesque nine-hole course in a lovely setting just off the A85 Perth to Oban road.
The setting and location for the Isle of Skye Golf Club at Sconser could possibly be the best I have ever seen.
The Strabathie course at Murcar is a little nine-hole relief course that has two sets of tees and plays to 5,364 yards if you are to go round twice, par is 70.
The second course at Trevose very rarely crops in conversation but during a family holiday to the Cornish Resort I made sure to play it.
I concluded a six-day, 14-course trip to Ireland with a round at Warren Municipal. Why?... you might ask. And rightly so.
The Bomore layout at County Sligo is a nine-hole relief course located a short drive away from the main clubhouse.
The Scurmore nine at Enniscrone is a nine-hole relief course located adjacent to the main course but on flatter ground away from the dunes.
Not many golfers will know that the Rosapenna Resort also has a nine hole course in addition to the more famous Sandyhills, Old Tom Morris and now St. Patrick’s.
The third course at Trevose, aptly named the "Short Course" is just 1,360 yards.