A golf course usually has eighteen holes. THe “nineteenth hole” ("19th hole") is a jocular nickname for the clubhouse bar or restaurant, or a bar or a restaurant near the golf course.
The term was popularized by William Gilbert Van Tassel Sutphen’s 1901 book’s title: The Nineteenth Hole: Being Tales of the Fair Green. In 1909, a poem was written about the “nineteenth hole.” In 1912, the Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram humorously defined the “nineteenth hole,” along with other golfing terms.
“Nineteenth hole” is still a popular term today.
Wikipedia: Nineteenth hole
The Nineteenth hole is a slang term used in golf, generally referring to a pub, bar, or restaurant on or near the golf course. A standard round of golf has only eighteen holes, so golfers will say they are at the ‘nineteenth hole’, meaning they are enjoying a drink after the game. The concept is similar to Après-ski in skiing. In miniature golf, the 19th hole on most courses is usually the hole that one can putt to win a free game.
The golf stories of author P. G. Wodehouse, which are narrated by his character, the Oldest Member, discuss the nineteenth hole.
Wikipedia: Golf course
A golf course consists of a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and a green with a pin and cup, all designed for the game of golf. A standard round of golf consists of playing 18 holes, thus most golf courses have this number of holes. Some, however, only have nine holes and the course is played twice per round, while others have 27 or 36 and choose two groups of nine holes at a time for novelty and maintenance reasons.
nineteenth hole—Nickname for the bar in the golf clubhouse.
(Historical Dictionary of American Slang)
nineteenth hole n. Golf. a bar locted in a golfers’ clubhouse. Joc.
1901 in OEDS: The nineteenth hole, being tales of the fair green.
1915 in Davies Hist. Dict. Golf.: In the kingdom of the Nineteenth Hole he was “Philosopher Extraordinaire and Authority Unquestioned.”
1920 Ade Hand-Made Fables 11: Golf will make you forget everything except the 19th Hole.
1944 Botkin Treas. Amer. Folklore 212: Cf. the “nineteenth hole” of a golf course.
1960 L. Ellis Kellogg 8: There is...evidence...that he enjoyed the amenities connected with the so-called “nineteenth hole,” despite the limiting factor of the Eighteenth Amendment.
1974 in Davies Hist. Dict. Golf.: Around every nineteenth hole, legends are recalled of astonishing shots.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
humorous slang (orig. U.S.). the nineteenth hole: the bar room in a golf clubhouse, as reached at the end of a standard round of eighteen holes; also in extended use.
1901 W. G. VAN T. SUTPHEN (title) The nineteenth hole, being tales of the fair green.
1921 N.Y. Tribune 14 Apr. 12/5 ‘Tis nice to live in Greenwich, Where they have a 19th hole, And when you’ve finished 18, You slowly toward it stroll.
1928 Daily Express 3 Jan. 9/2 Most courses have been completely unplayable, except at the nineteenth hole.
1935 Mod. Lang. Notes 50 329 Scholars in this country..feel the intellectual life submerged in routine teaching, in committees, and in the nineteenth hole of one kind and another.
1971 Good Food Guide 317 The Golf Tavern Nineteenth Hole.
1993 Fredericton 1993 Vistor Guide 34/1 The ‘19th hole’ is a great favourite. That’s the nickname golfers fondly use for the Mactaquac Lodge.
The Nineteenth Hole: Being Tales of the Fair Green
By William Gilbert Van Tassel Sutphen
New York, NY: Harper & Brothers
Fore! The Call of the Links
By Walter Hastings Webling
Boston, MA: H. M. Caldwell Co.
“THE NINETEENTH HOLE”
Here’s to the easiest hole on the links,
Inspiring, refreshing and free,
Where a man can explain why he loses his game,
Or boast of some proud victory.
2 November 1909, Springfield (MA) Republican, pg. 6:
GAY DINNER OF “OLD MEN.”
COUNTRY CLUB GOLF ANCIENTS.
PLAYING THE 19TH HOLE.
Rollicking Feast of the Elderly 100 in
Celebration of the Annual Tournament.
4 June 1911, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. I3:
Singing “Tee” Songs at 19th Hole, Edgewater Joyously Opens Club.
27 June 1912, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “Definitions for Contestants in July Golf Tourney,” pg. 8:
DRIVER—One who thinks he has the game down to a tee; reckless...one who takes you home after finishing at the nineteenth hole.
NINETEENTH HOLE—(a) The only one where the green is long. (b) A place where bets are paid. (The best scores are usually made after an hour’s practice at this hole.)
4 November 1913, San Jose (CA) Mercury News, pg. 1:
GOLFERS ARE BUSY AT THE 19TH HOLE
The rain of the past few days has stopped the activities of the golfers at the links of the Country club. After a few days it is expected that the rain will have been of great benefit to the fairway. All of the 18 greens are being replanted with grass seed and covered with sand. Two hundred loads of the latter are being hauled to the several greens. A scraper is being used over a portion of the field followed by a huge roller that levels the surface. Although the 18 holes on the course cannot be played, the 19th hole, that is under cover, is receiving much attention.
4 November 1913, Lexington (KY) Herald, “At the 19th Hole” (poem), pg. 5:
Here, bunkered at the Nineteenth Hole,
I tee my dreams up undismayed,
And driving with my pipe and bowl,
I’m dormie six on Jimmy Braid.
April 1925, Soda Fountain, pg. 26, col. 1:
The 19th Hole
A Story of the Country Club in Virginia, of its Unique Soda Fountain, the Nineteenth Hole, and of Manager John Mulcaha and Chief Dispenser Jimmy McDonough Who Are Justly Famous Throughout the State of Virginia.
“I DON’T remember when we began to call it the nineteenth hole. It must have been back in the good old days when the fountain wasn’t a fountain at all but a mighty fine bar, with sawdust littered trough, a shiny brass foot rail and all the rest of the trimmings. In those days that bar used to serve juleps and rickeys and cocktails that simply couldn’t be equalled.
The 19th Hole: A Comedy in Three Acts
By Frank Craven
Published by S. French; [etc.]
New York City • Restaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • (0) Comments • Thursday, March 12, 2009 • Permalink