The diameter of a golf hole is 4.25 inches. Did you know it’s been that way since 1891?
The story goes that the only tool available to cut a golf hole was 4.25 inches in diameter, and so that became the measurement included in the rules established at that time. Random, but that’s the way it is.
So it was with much interest that I read an article in the New York Times that proposes major changes, not only to the rules of golf, but the entire way the game is played. The reason for the proposed changes is due to a fear that the current game is too hard, too time consuming, too expensive and not enjoyable for many players.
It seems the world has changed, and golf is in danger of disengaging newcomers.
It is thought that by changing things, like making the hole 15 inches in diameter, golf will become more enjoyable and stop people from quitting the game. Some ‘traditional’ golfers are horrified by the idea. “We’ve always played the game this way. This is the way it should be played.”
I’m sure there are lots of people who would find the game of golf more enjoyable if they could putt to a hole that was 15 inches in diameter. My boys are 5 and 3 and are learning to play golf. They struggle with putting (don’t we all!) and I’m sure they would find it much more engaging if the hole was bigger.
This got me thinking. Why do all golf courses have to be +/- 7000 yards (sorry, I’m English) long, 18 holes, with a proshop at one end and a bar at the other? – wait… keep the bar!! – Why not give people a very short course, 6 holes, with no hazards, short grass everywhere and 15 inch diameter holes? It would be simpler, quicker, cheaper and more engaging, and maybe many more people would want to play.
I think it’s a great idea. My kids would love it.
But it wouldn’t work for me!
When I play, I want the original experience. I’ll get frustrated by missing 6 foot putts to a hole that measures 4.25 inches, but I reckon that’s part of the game. I’ll play on a ‘proper’ course with 18 holes. I’ll use a course plan, have a strategy and take advice from my caddie, because I believe that’s the best way to get where I want to get to. It will cost more and take longer, but I see value in it.
It’s a different experience for me.
It’s not right or wrong, just different. Maybe a simpler, quicker, cheaper experience would be better for the game. You might not want it, but it doesn’t mean others won’t, or shouldn’t have it, especially if that means more people engage with the sport.
I want my kids to have fun with the game and engage with it, because if they do, they’ll learn the rules soon enough, and maybe they’ll choose to get some proper coaching, when it will begin to matter, when coaching will make a difference to the game they want to play. Until then, they need a simple, cheap, quick and engaging means of accessing the game.
Any idea where I might find a 6 hole course with 15 inch diameter holes for the kids?
As a financial planning firm, who are you marketing your product to, and what do they want that experience to feel like?
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