A lot has been written over the years about the steady decline of golf as a recreational sport. The first culprit being the time that it takes to play a round of golf. If you add up the time it takes to get to the course, hit a small bucket of balls, have a few warm up putts, then play eighteen holes and make the trek home, you’ve probably burned five to six hours!
The bulk of this time is obviously spent on the golf course, eighteen holes will take roughly four and a half hours to play. If you break down your round by strokes played, you will find that most of your strokes come from, on and around the green. The average golfer can reach the green or somewhere close to it in regulation but then takes just as many more strokes to get the ball in the hole.
So this brings us to the second issue, sometimes its just simply too hard to get our little white dimpled friend to go into the doggone hole. Enter the group Hack Golf, whose tagline is “How Do We Make Golf More Fun For Everyone?”. Hack Golf is trying innovative ways to make golf easier. Their website is gathering input that will help make golf easier to play, more time efficient and a lot more fun.
Hack Golf’s new idea – is the 15-inch golf hole. The current size of a standard golf hole is 4 ¼ inches wide. This revolutionary idea will help to end those wicked three putt greens and at the same time increase ones chances of “chipping in” or “holing out”, increasing the number of birdies, eagles and of course, holes in one. The result, more of the “fun factor” and a lot less frustration.
Following the Masters earlier this year, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose headlined a field that tried the new concept at Georgia’s Reynolds Plantation. They played 9-holes, with Garcia shooting 30 and Rose 33. Recently Hack Golf debuted the new 15-inch holes at Southern California’s Pauma Valley CC and reported a 45 minute reduction over 18 holes and many golfers saw a 10-stroke improvement in scores.
Hack Golf is currently introducing golf courses to the program and having them test the idea, using 15-inch-cups complete with special flags and flagsticks. Some courses will experiment with weekend tournaments and fundraisers, while other courses may provide both a regulation and 15-inch hole on each green at all times. Whether it’s a 15-inch-cup or another idea, something needs to change.
So, if you happen to come across a facility that is offering “big hole golf”, don’t be a prude, give it a whirl, who knows you may very well enjoy the experience. After all, something has to change to get the next generation taking to the links and playing this outstanding game that has brought so many of us so much enjoyment. If you’re up for it just google “big hole golf” to find a facility near you.