Shady Oaks Little Nine

The little nine at Shady Oaks opened in July 2017 – our first project in the United States.  Made famous as the practice ground where long time member Ben Hogan sought to perfect his swing, the little nine might be the ideal model for how courses should use a spare parcel of land.  As a formal course, 9 holes can be played with a combination of par three’s and short par fours, but the real fun begins when members choose to play cross country.


With no formal tees golfers are encouraged to be creative.  Choose a green and a starting point…use your imagination.  We’ve come up with at least 20 different holes ranging anywhere from a  60 yard pitch to a 400 yard par 4 but doubtless there are others yet to be discovered.  The only rule is that the winner of the previous hole should choose the one to follow.


Holes have been designed where they can be played from practically anywhere so a number of bunkers or sections of green that don’t make sense when played as a formal course will start to when play cross county.  Beyond this the little nine becomes perhaps the ultimate practice facility – with practically every shot up to 350 yards possible.  The only problem is finding a time when its quite enough to empty your shag bag.


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Michael Cocking

Michael Cocking

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