Nine's just fine

The New York Times golf columnist, Bill Pennington, has written a rapturous blog post about the Rip Van Winkle Country Club golf course in Palenville. The gist is that size, when it comes to golf courses, shouldn't matter.

You see, the Rip is a nine-hole golf course, which its owner John Smith says can disappoint some would-be golfers:

Smith, whose grandfather bought the club in 1949, concedes that potential customers call him every day to ask how many holes the Rip has. When they hear 9 instead of 18, “sometimes they hang up without saying a word,” he said. “We know there’s a stigma.”

But not for Pennington, whose prose gets downright purpleish near the end of the story:

I don’t remember what my score was on the fifth hole at the Rip Van Winkle Country Club. I remember the view back up the fairway as the sun put a glow on clouds disappearing behind the mountain ridge. I remember my son making an improbable 30-foot downhill putt, and when he let out a yelp, I remember a fish jumping in a nearby pond. I remembered why I played golf.

The article includes some great photos and old postcards of the Rip's course.