Where the 12-hole idea falls short
It is important to note that the idea of 12 holes becoming the new standard has been voiced several times. While this would of course help solve the time issue, there are certain flaws associated with the idea. For example, adapting to a new fixed standard will be both costly and complicated for most existing courses. It is fairly unlikely that they will be able to find a chain of 12 holes that both has a start and finish near the clubhouse, without going through possibly expensive alterations. In other words, they will need to spend money they don't have.
They may also get in a situation where some of the most cherished holes would need to be abandoned for a twelve hole layout to function properly.
A good opportunity will be lost if we are to go through this seemingly insurmountable mental hurdle of abandoning the eighteen hole principle by moving straight to a new standard - a new fixed number - instead of simply opening our minds to the fact that a golf course is of no lesser status if it has some other number of holes, based entirely on local conditions.
'Allowing' golf courses to have a non-regulation number of holes will allow golf clubs that are currently struggling to make quick and easy changes and still co-exist with those that prefer to stick to their current model.
Breaking the Mold, by David Gould for Golf Business
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