A 15” golf hole has emerged on the golf scene and is starting to gain some traction with North America golf courses. And some big industry players think that the big cup could help grow the game of golf. But, can a bigger golf hole really make a difference?
The big cup, a 15” golf hole developed by Hack Golf, with the backing of TaylorMade Golf has brought to market a new idea for golf. The group known as Hack Golf uses the tagline: ““How Do We Make Golf More Fun For Everyone?” The idea behind the bigger golf hole: golf is just too hard of a game.
The skiing industry, and its recent revival, was built around user-friendly improvements, making it easier for beginner skiers to take a lesson in the morning and be on the top of the ski hill by the end of the day. Some argue, on the other hand, that the golf industry makes golf clubs that only help top golfers (and golf professionals) increase their distance and accuracy. The big cup, almost four times the size of a regular golf hole (4 ¼”), offers golfers a “dinner sized target”, as Forbes.com refers to the new innovation. Wouldn’t it be way less nerve racking and way more exciting to one-putt more often and reduce those three-whacks (putts) to nil? It could even make the game of golf a lot quicker – turning a nine-hole golf round into 1 ½ hours instead of two. According to Forbes.com, one California golf course reported golfers, on average, knocked ten shots of their golf score after testing the big cup.
Like all of us, I have played with a number of beginner golfers who often get frustrated after blowing the golf ball 10 feet past the cup, only to follow that putt up by putting off the green. After four or five putting strokes, they feel discouraged and at times, put their golf clubs in the bag for the rest of the golf round. But will a big cup make that much of a difference to their enjoyment OR will these types of golfers miss the bigger golf hole anyways? And will avid golfers, especially those at private and public golf courses, accept the big cup - or does that even matter?
We have yet to see a Stratford or London golf course in the local Ontario golf scene introduce the big cup, but who knows, maybe we aren’t too far away. It could even be good for St. Marys and Stratford company golf tournaments, where for often more than half the employees, this is the only round of golf they will play all year. In the end, the big cup has to do two things if it is to ever gain any real traction: (1) make golf more fun for beginners, and (2) increase the number of golf rounds played in a given year.