The hole story: Is bigger better?

Could bigger holes be the answer to slow rounds and more enjoyable golf?

wideholeAustralian Golf Digest is featuring a great story in their September issue on an experiment at a course in the United States which saw the golf holes widened to 15-inches in diameter.

The result was faster rounds (foursomes averaged 3 hours 10 minutes) and a far more positive outlook after the round from all players. More humour and less worry about the scores.

“The event was relaxed, fearless, fast and fun. As if emitting a soothing power, the big hole had a liberating effect. From the tee, there was a miss-it-quick, hit-it-and-chase-it mentality. On the green, the difference was most pronounced. No messing around marking your ball, tending the flagstick, reading the break, fidgeting and freezing. It was one look and go, the quick sequence ending with a slightly deeper squat to retrieve the ball.”

It is often suggested that if golf was created today, the holes would be bigger than the 4 and a half inch holes we currently have in place. This story goes some way to show why this would be true in a modern world where people don’t have enough time to play.

It’s a fascinating read and if you haven’t already, I recommend getting your hands on it and checking it out.

8 thoughts on “The hole story: Is bigger better?

  • September 9, 2011 at 00:44
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    Maybe I should get their latest issue this month. Bigger holes? That’s a big no no for me cause it really ruins the competitiveness of the game.

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  • September 9, 2011 at 01:21
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    I like that someone’s thinking laterally to solve the slow play problem, but I don’t believe bigger holes are the answer. Only last week I was subjected to a 5 hour round thanks to a lethargic, apathetic foursome (in carts) in front of us. On this occasion, (and others I have been subjected to), the slow groups are slow all over the course, not just on the greens.

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  • September 9, 2011 at 06:47
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    True Courty, although I’m not sure this was necessarily staged to solve a slow play issue or any other for that matter. Just an experiment to see how much more enjoyable it could be and maybe a way to get people into the game.

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    • October 5, 2012 at 00:19
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      i think people miss the point. golf should be enjoyable. it should be a tee to green game more than a putting game. if the hole was bigger and the pin was then not allowed to be removed with no penalty for hitting it, and when you started putting you had to putt out and it was not considered bad etiquette to step on anothers line (i have never seen a putt missed because a ball deviated where someone stepped. many golfers in the groups in front have stepped all over your line. it is mental)and the last person putting took all of the balls of the hole everyone would be happier as the round would be a lot quicker, and the scoring a lot better and the whips and spurrs punishment of the small hole eradicated. people would love golf more and more would play and stay in the game.

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  • September 9, 2011 at 11:45
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    Lol I thought this was a joke at first. You cannot do this to golf quite simply. It is a game of tradition and challenge. 15 inches!! you couldn’t possibly miss that. That is nearly 4 times as big as the standard 4 and a half inch hole.

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  • September 10, 2011 at 20:06
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    I don’t think this will happen. It is an obvious easy way to speed up play. I believe most slow play happens because of poor tee shots and looking for wayward golf shots. I wouldn’t imagine they will ever change the hole sizes.

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  • September 11, 2011 at 21:53
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    It’s a good idea for a charity event but not good for the game. It would take away any skill on or around the greens and would not reflect your true handicap.

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  • September 12, 2011 at 02:58
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    15-inches in diameter… this is really intriguing. I don’t think this could be the new world for golf holes.

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