Big Cups Don’t Make The Game Any Easier

Big Golf Hole-1000610

When our little golf league arrived at the course Friday, we were greeted by terrifying heresy.

“We cut the holes a little bigger this week,” the starter/clerk said. “Got a tournament tomorrow.”

There’s been a lot of talk in the golf world recently about making the game faster and easier by enlarging the holes, so I was curious as to how it would work. As it turns out, Hilltop’s version was a larger cut, with a regulation cup inside. That left an edge of about an inch wide and an inch deep around the plastic. As we soon found, with such a configuration, it actually was possible to get the ball in the larger hole, only to have it nestle on the interior lip without falling to the bottom. We also saw quite a few balls dive into the larger hole, hit the edge of the plastic cup and pop right out.

The entire situation seemed … unnatural.

Our group soon began to distinguish between the holes. The bigger size was the kid’s cup; the smaller one, the adult cup. Scores were distinguished by which cup the last putt was judged to have hit. A putt that went right into the middle of the regulation cup was called an “adult four” or an “adult five.” One that took advantage of the bigger size was a “kiddie par” or a “kiddie bogey.”

Following the round, I gathered the scorecards and worked out the math. As it turns out, the larger holes made no difference in our scores. Indeed, they actually were a bit higher this week than last. Our round also was no faster than normal.

While one round by eight players isn’t a scientific conclusion, it does fit my thoughts about this whole big hole nonsense. What makes golf slow and scores high isn’t putting: it’s the fat shots, thin shots, slices, hooks, shanks and mishits of the full swing. It is the lost balls and the duffs that carry only twenty five yards. It is the chips that run from just off the green on one side to just off the green on the other. It’s missed fairways and missed greens in regulation. Putting is the least of the problems.

I’d be a single digit handicapper if I could eliminate the blown second shots.

Hopefully, the course’s mad experiment will be over next week.

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2 thoughts on “Big Cups Don’t Make The Game Any Easier”

  1. “I’d be a single digit handicapper if I could eliminate the blown second shots.”  – so true.

    A month ago, a horror overtook me as my index had reached 18.0.  In May 2010, I had it down into the 12 range, last summer I had it in the 13-14 range, but on 3/15, it reached a 3 year high of 18.0. 

    The lower handicappers in the group told me what I knew that it was my short game, last year, I was making up for poor GIR with a fairly good short game being able to chip it close and putt no more than twice. 

    So I spent time on our short game area, and I have gone back out and played a number of rounds by myself in the past few weeks and BAM – I have dropped my handicap 5 points in 4 weeks.  18.0 to 13.1.  My short game has come back up, but the other thing was that working on my short game has helped with iron approaches too – a comparison (using Golfshot) shows that GIR was about 23% two months ago, and now I am GIR 39%. 

    I still have yet to ever break 80.  I had both an 80 and 81 last week (with an 87 Friday and 84 Saturday) – but 79 is yet to be had.  Sadly, the 84 on Saturday was made up with two triples and a double, and 4 bogeys with the rest pars.  the triples and double were all sevens and happened in places where they shouldn’t have happened.  I am 88% FIR, and all 3 were due to bad tee shots and then trying too much to recover, when all but one could have easily targeted bogey and had a pretty good chance for a two putt bogey.

  2. I have always wanted to try a round with bigger cups to see if it would make a difference. I do think it would speed up play a bit since people would finish instead of marking and waiting. I’ll have to go ask the super at my course and see if they might be down with trying it out.


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