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Can Hack Golf’s 15-inch cup help grow golf?

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HACK Golf's TaylorMade 15-Inch-Hole Event
Sergio Garcia fixes the cup at TaylorMade’s Hack Golf event at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia. 

In January, TaylorMade-adidas Golf CEO Mark King announced a new initiative between the PGA of America and TaylorMade called Hack Golf that’s aimed at making the game more fun as it evolves in the 21st Century. Clearly a play on words, it bills itself as “an open-innovation initiative aimed at crowdsourcing the future of the game.”

Translation: It doesn’t matter if you’re a golfer or not. Throw out an idea and we’ll see if it sticks.

Hack Golf insists it is not trying to fundamentally CHANGE golf as it is today. It’s about coming up with an easier, faster, more fun alternative to attract new people to the game. For the avid golfer, a lot of these initiatives are shocking. Golfers are taught at a young age to play 18 holes, know the (complex) rules and count every stroke until the ball reaches a bottom of a 4.25-inch cup. Truthfully, that’s not necessarily how the game is typically played. Out of bounds balls are not properly re-teed. Clubs are grounded in hazards. Mulligans, breakfast balls and gimmes are more the norm than not.

photo-1-9z
Is this the new gimme?

These “rules” are not written, but are accepted. Hack Golf is counting on core golfers keeping an open mind. Hack Golf’s first concept is the introduction of a 15-inch cup tournament. Held for the first time at Pauma Valley Country Club in Southern California, typical golf rules still prevailed with the exception that the cup was 3.5 times its normal size. The tournament was a huge success according to King. Rounds took 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete on average and some golfers showed a 10-stroke improvement with plenty of “hero” shots: One woman chipped in seven times, another man shot a gross 58.

To introduce the big cup concept to the media, Hack Golf hosted its own 9-hole, 15-inch cup event at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Ga., with TaylorMade staff players Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia the day after the conclusion of the Masters. You may think anything from 50 yards and in would be jarred by Garcia, who has 24 worldwide professional wins and by Rose, the reigning U.S. Open champ. Results, however, were a little surprising. Rose shot 3-under, while Garcia bested him by posting 6-under. There were plenty of chip-ins and long putts made, but no hole-in-one or slam dunk from the fairway. The takeaway? With a big cup, golf is more fun but it is still hard.

HACK Golf's TaylorMade 15-Inch-Hole Event
Golfers might expect to make every putt on greens with 15-inch cups, but not even U.S. Open winner Justin Rose made a lengthy putt in the event. 

Over the next few weeks, 20 more courses will join in on the 15-inch cup concept, with another 80 are expected to receive the custom 15-inch cup kit from PAR AIDE by the end of May. Format participation will include weekend tournaments and fundraisers, but some courses will have both a regulation hole and 15-inch hole on each green at all times as long as green square footage will allow. In the next month, the Hack Golf campaign plans to announce one or two more experiments to execute in the future.

Only time will tell what, if any, of these experiments will work, but King and Hack Golf have dedicated five years to funding this concept, so no doubt there are more developments to come.

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Rob is a golf junkie that has been involved with GolfWRX since its inception in 2005. From designing headcovers, to creating logos to authoring articles to social media management to sales and marketing, Rob has done it all. Born and bred in NJ. Favorite golfers: Phil, Freddie. Favorite club: Driver.

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118 Comments

118 Comments

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  6. Frank

    Jul 12, 2014 at 8:50 am

    used to be 6700 yards from the tips in the old days. Many courses have fescue grass or high rough. Greens are faster than ever. Amateurs watch Pros and think they have to analyze the greens from every angle and practice putt 5 times before hitting a 15 footer. Courses used to be country club style where greens were close to the next tee and fairways parralel to one another.

    Everything has changed for the 5% of GREAT GOLFERS!

    Cheers

  7. Jeff Trigger

    Jul 10, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Pace of play is a problem because the courses are too long for the average player. Courses should move the tees up on the weekend. You’re always going to run into that group that has to play the tips, when it’s obvious that they couldn’t break 80 on the reds. Move the tees up a box, and maybe everyone would play at an appropriate area. Novice tee boxes should also be build ranging from 80 to 150 yards away. Pinehurst also taught us a thing or two about upkeep. Courses should be based off of the natural terrain of the area. That could keep the cost of maintaining it down. Designated drop zones for shots that go into water and trees, should also be implemented for weekend play. People wouldn’t have to figure out where to go, as that takes forever. The OB rule needs to be banished, I mean seriously, other than tournament golfers, who plays to that rule?

  8. Jim Benjamin

    Jul 9, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Greens have room for different hole positions. Put the standard holes in regular positions and also put a 15″ or whatever hole in an opposite side of the green with a unique flag. Normal players play to the regular cup while others play to the 15″ hole.

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  10. George stevenson

    Jun 22, 2014 at 7:59 am

    15″ hole. You know do you want to grow golf it simple. Make green fees reasonable 10-15 dollars. Make everybody take a cart 5dollars a round. This is the only way to reasonably speed up gold and grow at the same time. You could add take a young caddie. Do not screw with the basics of golf just make it affordable and faster
    ready golf. Gimmes in acLose to the hole, Continue putting to in the hole. There’s lots of small ideas . Our fore some plays in 2hours 15 minutes every day. And it’s fun.

    • Kathryn Hardesty

      Jun 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      I’ve been reading comments about golf, willingly open to suggestions from others about the situation our family owned 18 hole par 3 golf course is facing today in the hot desert summer. What would you think about doing a combination of “glowball at night using the 15 ” hole?

    • carl marcus

      Jul 7, 2014 at 10:05 am

      A 15 inch hole is disgusting and an insult to this game. If you want to fix golf, fix the 4 to 5 hour round. It should take a 4 some 3 to 3 1/2 hours to play 18 holes! Rangers don’t ranger. Golfers don’t know etiquette anymore and certainly don’t know the rules. I’ve actually heard people say that they spent money to play and they’ll take as long as they want. With that new attitude in golf, the game will NEVER grow. So maybe golf should shrink a bit so it can grow more. With the age of Tiger, so many fans came into the game that never took the time to practice or learn etiquette. Now that Tiger is on his down swing, these golfers are leaving. I say GOOD! They held the hole golf course up! Maybe golf is exactly where it should be. You can move the tees up, you can make a hole the size of the green, but if the golfer sucks, he/she refuses to take a lesson and learn the game, then they probably aren’t going to play for long anyway.

    • carl marcus

      Jul 7, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Most of the golf courses can’t afford to lower the prices much. I like your idea to make everyone take a cart though. I also think the 4 to 430 round is too long. If you’re playing for any real money the gimmies don’t work. We’ve all seen the pros miss short puts, and believe me, single handicappers miss often, especially downhill sliders. I don’t know the answer that will grow the game, because maybe the game is where it should be, but if we could play 18 holes of golf in 230 to 3 hours, I know many people who would play at least one more time a week.

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  12. Trp3319

    May 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Unless we are talking about Putt Putt a 15″ hole will not help grow Golf. As stated by several other posters it’s not the putting that is frustrating new golfers, it’s everything else. Here are a few of my suggestions to not only help/encourage new golfers, but to speed up play for the experienced golfers who share the course with newbies:

    1. Design a program that new golfers can learn via website or on site training that teaches READY GOLF and course management. IMHO, course management alone could save some golfers 5 to 10 shots a round depending on the player and their lack of course management. Maybe have the course give a free round/lesson/golf shirt/etc to those that complete it.

    2. Hire, train, and EMPOWER level headed marshals. One marshal is not enough on busy days. The marshal should not only uphold course policy on slow okay, but also help new golfers with anything they may have a question about on course….think Buford T Justice merged with a Ritz Carlton concierge.

    3. US Kids Golf came up with a tee system based on age…you may have seen golf courses with these different color markers on the course. I would propose the same type tee system for golf, especially new golfers or high handicappers. I feel bad for slicers who have to not only clear a pond off the tee that forces a over 200 yard carry, but also has OB or some other hazard all down the right side. Make the tee boxes appropriate for different skill levels, it’s much more fun to play out of fairways than woods. Maybe have a course give a quick “test” during the week on the driving range based on drives, mid irons, short game, and ready golf rules. These players are given a suggested tee box and maybe preferred tee times for completing the class.

    It’s a tough subject and I applaud Taylormade for trying to grow the game, but I honestly for the life of me don’t get the large cup as the solution.

    • TexasWedge

      May 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      I like your comments, but one thing courses should do to help speed up play and make courses more enjoyable is to clear out all the underbrush from around the trees so that a wayward shot isn’t a lost ball and penalty strokes. Make the course playable for the people who can’t find the fairway every time and it will be more fun. I’m not saying get rid of the trees, just some of the undergrowth.

    • RG

      Jun 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      Hire?? Train? Golf courses can barely afford a staff and fertilizer. I played with a newbie last week and it was awful. I was put in a foursome and at times 11-14 shots were played before I got to hit my second. The newbie was playin the gold thinkin this is appropriate. She never should have hit outside 100 yds. Train golfers is impossible.

      • Brandel

        Jul 2, 2014 at 11:40 am

        I heard the in Europe they require you to take a few educational lessons on technique, etiquette, and rules before getting a handicap id card which is required to show before playing a round of golf. Maybe when it’s busy restricting certain handicaps to certain tee boxes. Also my home course in Palm Springs has lots of desert brush and weeds and if it were cleared could really speed up play by reducing time looking for lost balls. Greens need to be rolled to keep them firm to reduce time spent fixing pitch marks and slower green speeds do help reduce putts on severely undulated greens. Then it’s up to the Marshall’s to watch groups educate slower players on ways to play faster and enforce slow play.

  13. Bishop 2-2

    May 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Firstly, the 5 percent of “purists” or sub-10 handicappers is not who keeps the game alive, it is the Weekend Warriors like myself. Sorry to say that, but it is true. So I understand what Hack Golf is trying to achieve, and I applaud the initiative. But the change is too extreme.

    What they really need to do is increase the size of the cup by about 1-1/2 to 2 inches, and only on public courses, and only on weekends (or during corporate event tournaments). That is when most of us hackers get a chance to play (hence the term, Weekend Warrior), and that is also when most of the slow play problems occur. Keep the cup the same size for the pros and sanctioned amateur tournaments.

    I think this will cut the average player’s score by enough strokes per round (consider those 3-footer lip-outs), and it won’t upset the purists as much as introducing a gaping 15-inch pothole. Overall, it should be enough to reduce the average time a round takes to make a difference in how we all experience the game.

    Face it, we are never going to reduce the average duration of a weekend round to the time it takes to watch a movie (@Jim), no matter how big the hole is.

    Here is another suggestion directed at golf course superintendents, managers and greenskeepers: stop placing the pins 5 feet from the edge of the green, and tucked away behind bunkers. I know that is how they do it at the Masters on Sunday, but that is done as a true test of world-class golfers’ skill. You are not testing my skill by doing that, you are testing my desire to want to come back to your course. You are adding several strokes per round anyone’s score by doing this. Not saying put the pin in the center on every hole. Just saying that I have found too many impossible pins on courses frequented by average golfers. Sunday at Hacker’s Valley Muni is not Sunday at The Masters.

    Another suggestion for golf courses who do not allow 9-hole rounds on weekends: a lot of us will get out more often to play golf if it only took 2-1/2 hours instead of 5. A half a round of golf is more fun than a full round that lasts 5 hours, especially when an hour of that time is spent sitting in the cart waiting for the two groups in front of you to clear out. So many courses only allow 9-hole rounds during the week and weekend twilights.

    • MHendon

      May 5, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      Well said Bishop I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s funny my home course waits until the weekend to place the hardest pin placements, I’ve always thought that was stupid and I’m a 3 handicap. Also I think 15 inches is a bit to large for the hack cup, I would go more like double standard size.

  14. Scott B

    May 4, 2014 at 12:47 am

    There are 13 other clubs in the bag, making the hole bigger doesn’t suddenly give everyone a golf swing. For many novices I’ve been around the most frustrating thing is consistently hitting the ball, or avoiding massive slices because of their propensity for an outside-in swing. I often make newbies I play with take a max of two putts per hole, which effectively achieves the same results as the 15″ hole – except for depriving them of the satisfaction of seeing the ball drop in the hole. A junior program at a course I played growing up used to break the course into 3 “sixes” instead of 2 nines. Instructors could more easily manage the juniors on the six hole stretch and it took much less time to play. Since this was used for instruction it mattered little that we did not meet the minimum of 7 holes for handicapping purposes.

  15. Scott

    May 1, 2014 at 10:45 am

    No. Part of the love for this sport is the purity. Would we have 3 foot basketball goals? play nerf football in leagues? NO. Then why open this up. Maybe, if it happens a compromise of 6 inches or two holes on a green. I HATE this idea.

    • Frank

      Jul 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

      You mean like Tee-Ball? You mean like Half-Court Basketball? You mean like Flag Football or 2 hand touch? You mean like Half sized soccer fields? Almost every sport is altered for the amateur/hack participant.

  16. brad

    Apr 24, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Has anyone here ever actually replaced a cup before? It’s hard enough to replace a 4.25″ and get it flat and properly re-set. I can promise you, no respectable golf course will ever do this to the greens they’ve spent years if not decades growing. It’s a ridiculous idea anyway…Hey, let’s play tennis with no net. Bingo, but all the letters are B, and all the numbers are 1. This generation needs to learn that sometimes you may not be very good at something, and it may require working harder. If you lose interest because it’s too difficult, then this probably isn’t the game for you.

    • Glen Abbott

      Apr 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      My Company, Turbo-Golf International,has been working on grow the game initiatives for 5 years. We will attract 35 million new players to Golf by 2022. We build new or retrofit existing 22-30 acre Turbo-Golf courses that take 1 hr to play. Anyone can play; hitting drives, fairway shots, chips,bunker play & putting; with all shots recorded on strategically positioned broadcast quality HD cameras. The 1 hr play is edited back to a 3-5 minute highlight available gor sharing via Facebook & WeChat etc. Game is scored differently to normal golf on our app with virtual trophies awarded for achieving certain milestones during the game. My CEO & I dropped by TaylorMade’s HQ this month on a visit from Australia to introduce our company to TaylorMade’s key people but no one was available.

  17. Dominate

    Apr 23, 2014 at 7:48 am

    I work in the green grass industry, and we desperately need to grow the game. We also need everyone to stop trying to profit from the growth. What I mean by that is course developers, there are too many golf courses. I live in the suburbs and it seems like every neighborhood has its own rinky dink private club. There are just not enough golfers to sustain it. Close some golf courses(permanently) and enforce pace of play. As for how hard the game is, work harder. The younger generation needs EVERYTHING to be sooo easy for them. I see less and less kids being at the course from sun up to sun down in the summer, and less kids after school. Start them when they are young, send them to a PGA twice maximum, and boom dad can keep them interested the rest of the way. It truly is a game we call play for life. Oh and its way too expensive.

  18. Scott

    Apr 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    This is not going to impact the traditional golfer. It is just a option for a golf course to give it’s beginners or kids. Give them a larger cup to make the putting part of golf easier (on occasion or at a executive course) and then as they become more accustomed to game have them play a par 36 or 72 on a regular sized cup. It appears the goal is to give new people a chance and maybe be less discouraged.

  19. America

    Apr 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    If I played on a 15 in cup I would have a plus handicap.

    • DB

      Aug 16, 2014 at 12:59 am

      Me too but it would be really nice not missing those 3, 6, 8 footers. Every putt and chip could be hit firm. I think it would be fun.

      The thing is that these holes could be placed in areas that normally wouldn’t be fair. Middle of downslopes, big breaks, etc. You could have a tough, easy day all in one. You would also not have too much too worry about affecting a normal place of play if the hole replacement didn’t go well. I could see the supers of really nice places balking big time, though their members would love it for a day each year simply because it is less stressful.

  20. Jason

    Apr 21, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    If you want to grow the game cut the prices and the time. Any round over 5 hours is ridiculous and adds the frustration of people coming back to golf courses. Cut the cost of equipment, with every $400 driver bought that comes out every six months most of us should be hitting nice soft draws that land somewhere around 400 yards down the fairway, if people weren’t putting $5 a piece golf balls in the woods they wouldn’t be wasting 20 minutes per hole trying to find the dang things. If I could get a great quality set of clubs from the major manufacturers for under $1000 I would be able to invest in lessons and shoot better golf that would take less time and would be more enjoyable and get me back out more often. If more courses would offer clinics to get more women and juniors involved that would help.
    I have never been waiting at a backed up tee box and thought man if that hole was 5 times bigger this game would be fun. Taylormade seems to have its best interest in mind and not that of gofers or the game of golf. My family enjoys the game and enjoys playing with each other but 4 sets of equipment along with 4 green fees and trying to keep the kids interested while waiting for aggravatingly slow groups is keeping families off the course. Families are the way to grow the game, playing with your kids or your grand kids that is what will grow the game.

    • Jim

      Apr 22, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Good points Jason. I tried to get my daughter interested in golf, so took her out for 18 at a nice local course. At the end, she said that it was fun but in the time it took us to play the round, she could have played beach volleyball with her friends, gone to a movie, and had a bite to eat afterwards all in less time it took us to play 18 holes (backed up course – 5 hours!) and still have spent less than the round of golf cost.
      A quick note re: we shouldn’t make golf easier (larger holes, lateral hazards, slower greens, etc). Well aren’t adjustable 460cc drivers and cavity back irons supposed to do that? Purists could always go back to their pre-Big Bertha 260cc drivers and Hogan blades.
      Re golf participation not dropping off since weekend tee times still seem full. I’ve been going to Myrtle Beach for a few years, and understand there used to be 120 courses in the immediate area but due to closures, there are now about 100. Fewer course options certainly keep tee times full.

  21. Kenny Wilson

    Apr 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Try FootGolf. It has a 21″ hole, but you use a soccer ball and kick it around the course instead of using clubs. It’s a blast. My dad used to call your leg a “FootWedge” when he kicked the ball over a bit to improve his lie.
    We are using FootGolf to Grow Golf by introducing it to kids in developing nations who all play soccer. 98% of the rules of golf apply, so it is a great transition to golf. There are 22+ FootGolf installations on golf courses in the US and almost 30 countries.

    • Dan

      Apr 21, 2014 at 11:33 am

      I think that some people may be missing the point here. It’s not about changing the game, it’s about growing the game. They are not suggesting replacing 4.25″ cups with 15″ cups. Rather, offering them as an alternative for beginners or special events. If you don’t think growing the game is important, I urge you to look at the number of course closings vs openings over the past 5 years. People are not playing golf, rounds are down, courses are closing. Something needs to happen to spark the game.

      Think about this. For just about every other sport there are modifications to get kids/beginners involved before they move on.

      Basketball = smaller balls, shorter rims
      Baseball = tee ball, softer balls
      Soccer = smaller balls
      Tennis = kids racquets and low compression balls
      Bowling = bumpers
      Skiing = wider skis

      What has golf done? Yes there are kids clubs, but other than that and putting in a kids tee, it’s still the same game that we play.

  22. Ross F

    Apr 19, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I have an Idea to introduce people into golf, design dual purpose pitch and putt course… effectively mini par 3 courses that can be played as a par 27 regular ball or complete with a 30% distance ball.. 150 yard par 3 becomes a tasking 450 par 4! build these around cities and let kids play for next to nothing.

  23. Randy

    Apr 19, 2014 at 10:29 am

    15″ cups are a bad idea. People play the 4.25″ cup in Minnie golf w/o a problem. If you can’t putt well, practice on the putting green. These same people might have a hard time hitting full shots so should we make courses shorter by 3x? Putt close and pick it up if you want, even the pros do that in match play. All cost in golf is the problem and pace of play. Fees and equipment leading the way. Keeping fairway grass a little longer makes balls easier to hit and saves $ on water and mow time. Keeping the rough a little shorter would speed up play.

  24. Golf Putz

    Apr 19, 2014 at 2:56 am

    I showed this to my 11 year old daughter and she said, “Dad, why would they make it easier? Then people wouldn’t have to practice to get good.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

  25. yo!

    Apr 18, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Sergio would have won several majors by now if the cup was 15-inch.

    • Leo

      Apr 30, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      There are thousands of folks that can crush a golf ball every bit as good as Sergio but can’t putt well or just can’t handle the pressure of a 5 footer for par.

      Golf was cheap when I was a kid. We used to play for $7 junior rate. That same course is now $50 for adults. Years ago the clubs were hard to hit and golf was popular. Now, it’s easier and golf is less popular.

      Enforce the pace of play.

  26. sam

    Apr 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Typical garbage from Taylormade….

  27. Scooter McGavin

    Apr 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I completely understand why the industry (equipment manufacturers, retailers, courses) wants to “grow the game”, but should golfers want that? Sure, it’s better for these companies’ bottom lines if more people play, but what’s the benefit to other golfers? More crowded courses and more expensive greens fees? That being said, if people do want to grow the game, why don’t these companies try to recruit the uber casual golfers by offering more reasonably priced, non-conforming clubs? Instead of changing the courses or rules, couldn’t we make it easier on the user’s end? Oversize, super high ct, mega forgiving clubs? While making different sets of rules for casual golfers could get confusing, wouldn’t it be simple to just keep that all the same and let casual golfers use non-conforming equipment? Why do so many of us care if our equipment conforms? There are a LOT of golfers that never play competitively. Anyway, just a thought… or seven…

  28. Oldplayer

    Apr 18, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Leave our game alone!!!
    This idea just straight out sucks.
    You don’t shoot lower scores by making it easier. You shoot lower scores by working and enjoying the PROCESS of getting better.
    The challenge of becoming a good player of a difficult game is where the real enjoyment of the game lies.
    I just can’t get my head around the way some people think!

    • chris

      Apr 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      exactly my thoughts.. It kinda seems like the problem today in general.. Kids are learning if the task is too hard make it easier instead of practice..Golf is the most difficult sport there is, sorry people that stink….(like myself) that’s what makes me want to go out and practice…I was at a course yesterday hitting a bucket at the range then at the chipping/putting green. I found the toughest chip i could find around the green to practice. I chipped from the same spot for 45 minutes until i could figure out how to get all 6 balls into into a 3 foot circle..

  29. Ryan

    Apr 18, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Golf isn’t a sport that you want to dumb down. The challenge is why we’re crazy for the game.

    It’s the cost associated with the game that is typically the biggest issue and it is not a sport that most families can do together because it’s simply too expensive. Even at my main track which is modestly expensive at about $45 a round right now, for me and my family to play a round together, it’s a $150+ day. Given the choice between golf and something like Busch Gardens, golf is going to lose everytime. Family outing days or evenings during slow periods would be a huge boost both to the local growth of the game as well as to the course itself.

  30. conrad

    Apr 18, 2014 at 12:44 am

    I have to agree with Danny, at least in my area it seems courses are packed whenever the weather is decent(and getting recreational golfers will not increase all weather golfers by much). Konnor, I agree with your points for most part, but they offer no solutions. Golf at one point definitely needed to be grown, but now does it really?(and to what point?). Tyler you mention that everyone in the golf industry wants the game to grow? That seems pretty obvious to me, more growth more sales, more profits for the industry, I have never seen any industry who is not hoping for there industry to grow…

  31. Egor

    Apr 17, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I don’t think a larger cup is the answer.

    I *DO* think making it more attractive to families will result in growth.

    * Cheap / free youth greens fees
    * Rental clubs for kids
    * Forward tees / Fairway tees like those offered by US Kids Golf
    * “Family night” on normal slow nights where the course offers a family rate for 3, 6, or 9 holes and caters in Pizza or something to the club house.

    Boosting or marketing to families should also provide an increase in youth lessons, youth camps, and ‘ladies night’ lessons.

    This would need to be coupled with the correct marketing in local papers or other media, but I think it would work.

    Am I right? Are there other ways to expand this idea?

    • Philip

      Apr 17, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      This is getting closer for marketing ideas that generate growth. Clubs that have slow days/evenings or clubs that are hurting need to understand their potential clientele better, not try random gimmicks.

      Besides, instead of adding larger holes why not have a no putter family day where once you’re on the green it is automatic that 2 shots is added to your score and you move on. If your ball is in the sand you have the option to lift and play it besides the trap.

      I think for most golfers adding a 15 inch hole is almost going to guarantee two putts per green anyways.

    • Daniel

      Apr 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Love the idea of the family nights. I would take my family to one of those nights. As it is now with all the online tee time sites, you pay as much or more for nine holes. It isn’t much fun to take the wife and kids to the course for 18 holes, but they would love to play just a few, especially if there was pizza involved.

      • rkristopher

        Apr 29, 2014 at 9:14 am

        Agreed. About 1/2 the reason my family belongs to our small town CC is the fact that its family-friendly. We can take out 7 y.o. and 4 y.o.out and hit range balls till thecows come home for $200 a year, we can play the front 9 as a 4 hole, 6 hole, or 9 hole course and adults pay a dollar a green for cart while the kids ride free, plus the staff/membership fawn over the kids and make it clear they want us out there.

        We live within 30 minutes to the Pinehurst area, so we *could* be playing lots of different nice courses but don’t because of family friendliness.

  32. Jim

    Apr 17, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Lots of good points made here, but many sports have different rules for pros vs weekend warriors and they are booming. I’m a Canuck on the wrong side of 40 and the majority of baseball here is slow pitch with metal bats, non-contact no slapshot hockey, flag or touch football, no cross checking lacrosse, some small court tennis, and that doesn’t include easier ways down ski hills vs double black diamond runs. And these types of rule considerations are in the majority, heck I can’t even find most sports to join under ‘pro’ or top amateur rules.
    The 2-sized holes per green, lateral hazards, play it forward, circles around the holes are the kind of thinking that we likely need to help keep people from dropping out, or not starting.
    I’m also an official with Canadian golf and every survey I’ve ever seen tells us that cost and time are the biggest hindrances to more rounds. Why not 9 hole rates after 6PM? And take your kid (or better half) for free after 6 as well? How about Mon-Wed or evening memberships? And since all manufacturers produce good products these days, purchase ‘last years’ equipment, or just use the same sticks for a half dozen years, unless you think its worth several hundred dollars to go from shooting 95 to 93… maybe.

    • Philip

      Apr 17, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Though people may be saying cost and time are the biggest deterrents to playing golf I still question whether that is true. How many of those persons that have no time for golf still commit 20 – 40 hours a week or more watching television, browsing the internet, or playing video games. How many complain about cost but then spend $50 dollars without question on diner with friends, or buy junk food/meals. I’ve known people who never have money for various activities, including golf, but then just burn it on other things for hours of entertainment.

      The truth is that for many of these people golf just isn’t high enough on their list to warrant funds or time.

      As far as equipment being expensive, totally true that they do not have to buy the latest and greatest, but then you have TaylorMade trying to convince everyone of needing the latest … so I guess they are not helping to grow the game in their own way.

      • Steve

        Apr 17, 2014 at 11:49 pm

        It’s deeeeeefinitely TaylorMade’s fault

      • gerald manale

        Apr 18, 2014 at 10:08 am

        Right on! What was the rationale for 15 inch cups and not cups double or triple the existing 4.25?

  33. Tony Lynam

    Apr 17, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I don’t really care about the 15″ cup because that is not going to grow the game as much as stopping the ridiculous prices of equipment, golf clothing, and green fees. I have to pay $40 for my eight year old to play Celebration (Orlando) from the Junior Tee boxes, really? $400 for the current Adams XTD driver? Taylor Made and it’s new gear every eight months? Go to trade in a driver that is not a year old and they give you $25? The golf industry is it’s own worse enemy.

    • Steve

      Apr 17, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      You do realize you don’t HAVE to buy every new club?

      • Tony Lynam

        Apr 18, 2014 at 10:42 pm

        Really? That is the best comment you have? Try something of substance to offer to the rest of us. If I wanted comedy I would not have come here for it.

        • retlod

          May 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm

          He wasn’t being funny–he was calling you out for whining. You do realize you’re complaining about the cost of completely optional purchases, right? Why not complain about the cost of BMWs while you’re at it?

  34. bert

    Apr 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Yuck. It isn’t putting that makes the game hard. It’s getting it to the green. No 15″ holes here.

  35. Philip

    Apr 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    If TM really wants to grow the game they can consider the following:

    * Lead the other manufacturers by reducing the price of all products by 30%
    * Make up the difference by no longer wasting money on endorsements
    * Encourage courses to can cut back on pesticides and pass on the savings with cheaper green fees
    * All courses remove the golf shoe requirement if they have it

    Other things that can improve the pace of play issue:

    * Every manufacturer sells a Polara type “anti-slice” ball and have all courses stock them at a reduced price
    * Courses can enforce the use of the front tees
    * Stores do not encourage golfers to buy drivers or 3 woods – a lot of money and frustration is saved there

    A few more ideas:

    * If the large cup idea takes off then double the size of the golf ball
    * Get rid of the rule book and go back to only a page of rules
    * Reduce or remove all hazards
    * Lets be honest – why even keep score – most of us play better during a non-scoring practice round – no scorecards saves on trees
    * New courses can have a reduced footprint with smaller distances for Par 3s (up to 150 yards) – Par4s (up to 250 yards) – Par 5s (up to 350 yards). The extra space can be used for creating real nature areas as the new courses never use pesticides

    Maybe the 15 inch hole can be a good idea – but there is no reason to keep score as it is just time outside with family and friends having fun, and nothing ruins fun quicker than keeping score and competition.

    • Deano

      Apr 18, 2014 at 4:13 am

      Not to be harsh but some of those ideas would really ruin the game completely.

      cutting back on pesticides would lead to courses looking awful and full of weeds everywhere.

      The idea of doubling the size of the golf ball would simply not work as a double size golf ball would no longer work with a traditional club head as you will just shoot the ball straight up in the air by hitting underneath it.

      A rule book is what defines how to play a game and the hazards show the direction that a hole needs to travel.

      The game would lack any sense of point or fun with those changes ….

      Sorry ! ! !

      • Philip

        Apr 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm

        Not taken as such as that was the whole point with some of what I wrote (some of it was sarcasm) – where do you draw the line … the doubling of the golf hole is taking the fun out for lots of golfers as it almost guarantees a two putt, so why even putt – just add 2 once you’re on the green.

        I suspect the rule book can be simplified – though hazards can stay as I personally enjoy the challenge – which is the reason I play golf.

        However, you are totally incorrect on the removal of pesticides … you can reduce pesticides to almost nothing except when a disease cannot be controlled using non-pesticide methods – I know because my course is such and it is a wonderful smell when a golf course hardly uses pesticides. Of course, how much you can reduce pesticides depends greatly on whether a local environment should even have a golf course – deserts and swampy areas come to mind.

      • Philip

        Apr 19, 2014 at 2:14 pm

        As far as the size of the golf ball requiring new types of golf clubs – totally correct and excactly what TaylorMade means when they say grow the game – require the spending of more money for more profits for them … a new market of non-golfers is probably preferred, however, why not do to the golf industry what was done to the music industry when going to from LPs to cassettes to CDs to Enhanced CDs to Music DVDs, and now downloads – people buying the same stuff in new formats – talk about profits.

        Maybe I shouldn’t give them any ideas as they may actually try it … oh well, some humour in this discussion.

    • brad

      Apr 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      While I understand your point, I hope none of these things ever happen—EXCEPT for enforcement of the proper tee-box. Your GHIN card should be your ticket to the back.

  36. TJ

    Apr 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    These “grow the game” initiatives (gimmicks) are completely lost on me. I live in the northeast and golf seems incredibly healthy based on how hard it is to get a tee time and how packed the public courses are most nights and weekends. These gimmicks are an embarrassment and ruin the beautiful game for those of us who love and respect it. Since when is appealing to the lowest common denominator any kind of intelligent solution?

    • ChrisG

      May 1, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Growing golf by making it easier isn’t for those of us who love the game. It isn’t even really for new golfers either. It is for those who are in golf for the short haul. TM is trying to make the game appear easier to get more people to try and, and maybe like it enough to buy clubs. If TM, or any other mfg can get 1 million new people to play enough to buy a set of clubs, they see more profits. After they buy clubs, the mfgs don’t care that they only play a few times a year, are horrible, and often ruin a nice day for the rest of us by swearing, being obnoxious, and doing things otherwise not done in golf. Though they do love the fact that they are horrible, because then they can sell them more “better” clubs, and make more money. Its all about money people.

      That said, I don’t know if a 15″ cup will really work as intended. My dad and I saw this on the news last night. He doesn’t even like the game, and has no interest in it, and thinks the 15″ cup is dumb. The whole key is interest. My dad was no more interested in the game now that a 15″ cup is being thought of than before. He is simply not interested. The fact is that many people are just not interested in hitting a little ball with a big stick, and nothing done to change the game will change the fact that its still hitting a little ball with a big stick.

      So, it all comes back to these “grow the game” initiatives being about making more money. After all, look who starts and funds them.

  37. Dan

    Apr 17, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I’m sorry but if you think this is a bad idea for golf I think you are crazy. I can think of a million ways that having two cups on each green would be awesome. Think about friends that want to take up the game or have just recently taken up the game. As an established golfer playing rounds with them can be a hassle, with two holes they could be comfortable playing to the big hole and you could play to the regular size hole. I’d love to take friends out that are learning knowing it won’t be nearly as frustrating for them (and me) and faster! 15″ is large but provided the greens are big enough every golf course should try and have these in on Saturday/Sundays in my opinion they’d have to get way more play, especially in the afternoons. Heck they could even install these at 12pm so the early morning regulars wouldn’t have to deal with the holes.

  38. RadioActive

    Apr 17, 2014 at 10:52 am

    it may attract some new players but will drive away just as many if not more existing players

  39. MFB

    Apr 17, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Cost and the time it takes to play a round are the two biggest factors of why people don’t or stop playing.
    And the cost is not going to go down and most courses refuse to enforce any kind of pace of play policy because they don’t want to offend anyone.

  40. Gary

    Apr 17, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Interesting thoughts from all. Tradionalists love our game and do not want it tampard with, which I respect however this will impact the game we love. Not growing game (attracting anyone who has any level of interest) will impact us all negatively. I love nothing more to see a young father and son or mother daughter late in the day out for 9 holes playing for fun and or companionship.

    Not thinking out of the box, not being a visionary will result in golf dying. This may not happen in our lifetime however may occur shortly after. Not growing the game will result in great little muni courses disappearing for housing complexes or strip malls. From there your favorite country club could be next, from there who knows….how safe would Bethpage be if rounds were cut by 80% in the next 50 years?

    Is it larger holes? Is it more par 3 courses? Is it cheaper green fees related to less than perfect conditioned courses? I am not sure however I would encourage everyone to reflect and ask themselves “have I helped to grow the game”? For those of us over 50 think back to how you may have been introduced to the game by caddying for $4 – $5, saving that money to buy your first set of used clubs (Hogan Apex blades). Safe to say that for the most part this is now not an option for most boys and girls today. Sadley cadding is disappearing. This is a learining from our past. The question is what are we learning about the declining intrest in our game today and more importantly how do we grow our game.

    • ChrisG

      May 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      But when most of us started playing the game, there were far less distractions, and golf was less expensive, and average folks (the ones for which prices make golf more prohibitive, and thus complain about the cost) have less disposable income than they did–Maybe the problem isn’t that golf is too expensive, but the vast majority of us are grossly underpaid?–but I digress.

      The average teenager today wants instant gratification, bright lights, loud noises, going fast, danger, explosions, and all sorts of other stimuli. Pretty much exactly, and thankfully, what golf isn’t. This is a societal issue, and I don’t see how, without totally changing them game, we get around this.

      There was a write up in Golf Digest about “Top Golf” in Austin, TX. I have never been there, but it seems like they combined a bar/disco/bowling alley concept with a driving range. It does very well as they have seen huge profits over the past few years. But is it golf. Is that what we want golf to become?

      The big question is how do we convince teenagers that golf is more worthy of their time/money than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, CandyCrush, Snap-Chat, and all other media they consume. Because really, the individuals who might think about playing golf, are far more interested in social media/entertainment.

      Without making the game obnoxious, I don’t know how we can attract a new generation that will be in it for the long haul.

      Possibly have a youth/newbie night a local courses that have way reduced fees, rental clubs, food, music, etc. Potential new players could try the game for 3 holes or so, have some fun, and be in the company of other new players, without worrying about backing up the experts. The next day, established players could enjoy the course their way.

  41. Evan

    Apr 17, 2014 at 8:39 am

    anyone who has played golf avidly (most GolfWRXrs) should know that making a long putt or even a 10 footer for that matter is as much about luck as skill. Sure, a skilled putter will make a putt more frequently than a non skilled putter. How many times have you hit a putt exactly how you want to on the exactly right line and it ends up missing by an inch. I think golf made a mistake ALONG time ago when it chose the 4 1/4″ hole size and has kept it ever since. I’m not so sure the cup should be 15 inches, I think a universal increase to 6-9 inches for “amateur” golf would eliminate the frustrating 3-5 footers that slow up the game.

    Most greens on “average” courses are not always perfect, if you want a game for the masses you can’t expect pristine conditions on greens. It requires less water and chemicals to maintain a natural course and a bigger cup would decrease the desire for perfect greens.

    • Andrew

      Apr 17, 2014 at 10:39 am

      So what happens when you miss a putt by an inch on a larger hole? Should you just keep making it bigger every time you hit a putt “perfect” and it doesn’t go in?

    • Andrew

      Apr 17, 2014 at 10:41 am

      No disrespect to what you are thinking because I have thought the same thing too. But if the hole had always been a few inches bigger, we would think the same thing every time we missed a putt right on the lip.

      • Evan

        Apr 17, 2014 at 2:26 pm

        yes, understand your logic… but golf is a game of proximity. You will still miss, especially from over 10 feet. It’s the 3 to 5 footers that will be significantly easier.

  42. bootscrilla

    Apr 17, 2014 at 8:33 am

    One of the problems might be the cost associated with buying clubs, yeah of course you can buy beginner sets but if you’re an adult you could end up spending a couple grand.

  43. Justin

    Apr 17, 2014 at 8:26 am

    They have been having tournaments like this twice a year in FL at just one of the golf courses in Brevard county for as long as i can remember..This isnt new…

  44. Andrew

    Apr 17, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Not a fan of this idea at all.

  45. sgniwder99

    Apr 17, 2014 at 7:32 am

    I’m not sure that I see the difference between the “new” gimme range in the photo and my current gimme range. 6ft seems about right.

  46. cole

    Apr 17, 2014 at 7:26 am

    You learn all the etiquette and rules because it’s a gentleman’s game. It’s part of it, learn the rules and respect the game. DON’T FIX WHAT IS NOT BROKE!

    • Andy

      Apr 22, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      The decrease in courses and rounds played kinda tells you that the game is broke to a certain extent.

      • ChrisG

        May 1, 2014 at 2:21 pm

        But that’s because American society is becoming less and less about following rules and etiquette and more and more about the “I do wha’ I wan'” attitude.

  47. Jon

    Apr 17, 2014 at 7:13 am

    I believe the city of Denver golf courses have been using large cups on Sundays for a few years. 9 holes used a larger cup and tee boxes were set up inside 150 yards to promote fun for young families and new golfers. The courses were active in educating the golfers on pace of play and the back 9 (18 hole courses) was used during the first hour and a half of tee times only. A normal cup was on the same greens and normal play was not effected. Some strong golf courses and golf organizations actively looking to grow participation are far ahead of Taylor Made in ideas and in a greater position to educate golfers on a face to face basis the rules and etiquette of the game.

    • ChrisG

      May 1, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      Right. Any time I see a MFG trying to grow their sport, I am weary. For them, it isn’t about getting more people to play for the love of the game or getting out and being active. It is about creating more consumers.

  48. brad

    Apr 17, 2014 at 7:04 am

    This is the golf equivalent of the participation trophy. I would never continue to play at a course that destroys the greens with these monster holes.

  49. David Cogswell

    Apr 17, 2014 at 2:36 am

    Horrible idea. Look what happen to bowling when they made the game easier by screwing with the playing environment and equipment. Ever sense, there has been less and less regular bowlers.

    The same will happen to golf.

    DONT DO IT!

  50. Mat

    Apr 17, 2014 at 12:39 am

    By the way… no one mistakes TopGolf for actual golf. What these hole-size concepts don’t get is that new golfers hate putting.

    Think about it this way… What’s the most dreaded thing to do in golf? Make a 5-10 foot second putt. Most new people catch on to whacking a golf ball a massive distance, but then they’re judged harshly by score when they putt. Suddenly that Par 5 they got on in 4 turns into a snowman.

    Putting is so hard, that to get people to do it, they need astroturf, windmills, and volcanoes. If you want to get people excited and playing, paint a GimmeRing ™ and here’s what you score:

    If you’re on the green or fringe, you may only take two more strokes. First putt goes in, you count that. First putt lands in the ring, it’s a two. Second putt goes in, it’s a two. Otherwise, it’s a three putt. That’s it.

    All boundaries are laterals, must get on the fringe within Par (or take Par+3), and handicaps can’t be turned in. That’s FastGolf™.

  51. Jackson

    Apr 16, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Taylormade must have a new line of Drivers, Irons and putters for this type of golf. I cannot see them getting involved for any other reason. How embarrasing for Sergio and Justin.

    • Ryan

      Apr 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      It’s so they can use, “Guaranteed to make 100% more putts*” when advertising their new line of putters. Then in the fine print they’ll explain that the new putters were tested on a 15 inch cup vs the old putters on a standard cup.

  52. nikkyd

    Apr 16, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    We had a tournament last summer at my home course with 6″cups. It was harder than you think because they cut the cups on extreme slopes. It would make the game easier for weekend warriors but they should just stick to mini putt courses for a feeling of accomplishment

  53. Andrew

    Apr 16, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    So how do newbies find there way to the green?

  54. Kyle

    Apr 16, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    I would never play one of these courses. Don’t know anyone that would want to either.

  55. Kemptx

    Apr 16, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    The idea of using a larger hole has been tried before. I recall seeing it in Florida in the early eighties. The hole wasn’t 15″ but about double the standard size. The idea was the same, make the game more fun and speed play. It didn’t catch on. I don’t think this will grow the game. I think the Top Golf concept is likely to make more think about taking up golf than this concept.

    • ChrisG

      May 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      I would like to see how many people who were introduced to “Golf” as it is known at Top Golf actually learn to play the whole game, and stick with it.

      Top Golf is all about being highly social while paying too much for balls, too much for food, and too much for booze, because it is fashionable and cool to do so. Its just like the rest of the dance club scene. Its a great business model, and they make money, but I would never call that golf.

  56. Happyday_J

    Apr 16, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    absolutely love the idea. Just curious as to how they settled on 15? Why not 10,12 or 18? Is there something that has to do where the 50/50 make percentage is? Would like to know more on that side of things.

    • Rob Miller

      Apr 17, 2014 at 8:23 am

      Kemptx, there was actually no data to back up using a 15″ cup. They just decided to try 15″. It kind of changes the better golfer’s mindset around the green. You tend to hit everything with speed trying to hole it and when your direction is off, you have a 20 foot come backer. I’d like to try it again.

  57. Jim

    Apr 16, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    It would be cool to see at every course put two flags up different colors and put closer tee markers up for those who play that flag to speed it up even more even if it was only a 12 inch hole i would love to see this.

  58. Tom Stickney

    Apr 16, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    I’d play one in a heart-beat! Golf is lacking fun…

    • Kyle

      Apr 16, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      How does this make it more fun? It just makes it easier..

      • Andy

        Apr 22, 2014 at 12:51 pm

        Some people hate to putt. It’s by far my least favorite part of the game and it’s not because I’m bad at it.

    • Philip

      Apr 17, 2014 at 12:04 am

      Personally this would take all the fun out of golf for me … if I want to play better golf I’ll work at it. No one is stopping my friends from playing mulligan golf with a gimme within 3 feet on the green. What does this change from a gimme on the green?

      Nothing – score is the same, sense of accomplishment in not finishing the putt is no different … wait, that’s it – the illusion of making a putt over a gimme is what is different … where do we draw the line?

      This is like lowering basketball nets and using smaller basketballs or smaller baseball diamonds – which people do. If someone finds a real golf course with 18 holes too hard than play a par 3, play only 9 holes, hit balls on a range, play mini-golf or a video game, nothing is stopping them from enjoying those activities. Heck put the larger cups on the par 3’s.

      If someone really finds golf too hard then don’t play it – it is after all a free society.

      • Mike

        Apr 17, 2014 at 5:43 am

        Yes, basketball and baseball do use those methods, as you’ve stated. So do football (flag), soccer (field/goal/team size), and even tennis (to an extent). They do these things in large part to grow the game, especially for young people. And yes, it is a free society, and you are able to choose not to play at courses and events participating.

        • Philip

          Apr 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm

          But golf already has those things – like the other sports as I mentioned – Par 3/4 courses, 9 hole courses, mini-golf and such. There are lots of ways for children to start the game. Besides when I started playing with my dad, like many kids, I wanted to play the same course, heck I wanted to use his clubs – kids always want to grow up faster.

          The point your missing is that if my golf course decides to use large cups I have lost my choice.

          Maybe we should have new courses with large cups and a LOT shorter holes – Par 3s up to 150 yards, Par 4s 150 to 250 and Par 5s only up to 350. That should add a lot of fun for everyone and make the game play a lot faster.

  59. Dakota

    Apr 16, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Honestly I would drive several hours to play in one of these tournaments I think it could be a lot of fun, but I don’t see where courses could realistically survive on this concept.

  60. J

    Apr 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Good idea! Pay no attention to the negative comments from people who seem to care what other people are doing.

    • Tony Lynam

      Apr 17, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      It’s an open forum, full of opinions and free speech!

  61. paul

    Apr 16, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    I live by a few busy courses and don’t like the idea of growing the game.
    Also maybe we should “of” add some words into our sentences to make the writer feel better… Can’t remember the lastest time I read an article here without extra words or wrong words in places, shouldn’t rely on just spell check to catch everything.

    • Jonathan

      Apr 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      WRX sorely needs an editor to look over these before they post them.

  62. Chris

    Apr 16, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    How can we wind out which courses will do this? My girlfriend is still fairly new to golf and I would love to have her give this a try.

  63. AZ Golfman

    Apr 16, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I think they should limit the hack golf thing to putt putt golf courses and amusement parks.

  64. Mat

    Apr 16, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Leave the cup, but make a 30″ gimme circle in paint.

    Also, make penalties all lateral unless you’re in tournament play.

    Speed of play improves, and no one *must* play the GimmeRing™.

    • Philip

      Apr 16, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      Agree – besides people have been doing this for centuries – it’s called a gimme. It’s bad enough when I want to putt out and so many people are saying just take it! Now there will be another stupidity if I want to use the normal cup and everyone in my group is using the gimme cup. And what about having to putt over a 15″ cup size chunk of grass when they move the cup. I guess free lift and place on club length away no closer to the cup (whichever one that is).

      The only ones that need the game of golf to grow are those who just can’t get enough of the green paper – money.

    • HackerDav31

      Apr 16, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      Really like this idea. Allows you to have an alternative without the need for a physical change to the putting greens… its a nice in between in my opinion!

  65. Danny

    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    I don’t work in the industry and therefore don’t wish to grow the game of golf. It already takes 5 hours for a round, if these clowns grow their game anymore I’ll be shelling out $200 for a 6 hour round. No thanks!

    I also don’t want to hear about closing courses. If the courses are any good and priced right they will get play. Leave non golfers non golfers.

    • Konnor

      Apr 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Clearly you do not respect the game or industry. Arnold Palmer just had a 3 day segment explaining how he spent his whole growing the game through relationships and a smile. Creating new golfers, getting children involved and revamping the lapsed golfers is what the game is about. Not everyone has what it takes to play golf the traditional way, its very difficult and should be but that does not me we eliminate those players. Nobody is forcing anyone to play golf simply making the game more appealing to those who otherwise would not be playing. The competitive side of the game is most definitely not for everyone but the benefits most definitely are. Also growing the game does not mean increasing green fees or length of rounds actually the opposite. Just respect the game and the industry.

      • Tyler

        Apr 17, 2014 at 10:50 am

        I work in the industry almost everyone in the industry wants the game to grow. I agree 100% with Konnnor Arnie was a huge factor in making golf as big as it is today. Danny if your that pissed about 5 1/2 hour rounds join a private club you wont have that problem.

        • Tony Lynam

          Apr 17, 2014 at 6:46 pm

          Tiger Woods and his following has grown the game as well.

        • conrad

          Apr 18, 2014 at 12:45 am

          I have to agree with Danny, at least in my area it seems courses are packed whenever the weather is decent(and getting recreational golfers will not increase all weather golfers by much). Konnor, I agree with your points for most part, but they offer no solutions. Golf at one point definitely needed to be grown, but now does it really?(and to what point?). Tyler you mention that everyone in the golf industry wants the game to grow? That seems pretty obvious to me, more growth more sales, more profits for the industry, I have never seen any industry who is not hoping for there industry to grow… My apologies if this came off negatively, its just my honest opinion.

    • ChrisG

      May 2, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      What is funny is that people cite “Top Golf” as being a gateway into the sport and a great way to grow the game. I read a review of that franchise and people will wait 4 hours to hit golf balls at a quasi driving range. While they are waiting they buy food and drinks. I wouldn’t be surprised if the average “Top Golf” visit were close to 3 hours and $100, all said and done. I would rather spend half the money and take twice the time to play 18. Aldo, look at Groupon for golf deals. You can usually find something good for cheap.

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WRX Forum Buzzz

GolfWRX members predict where Tiger will finish at the 2017 Hero World Challenge

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If you’ve managed to stay off the internet for the entire week, then I’ve got some exciting news for you: Tiger Woods announced he is playing in the 2017 Hero World Challenge.

No more back surgeries, no more time off, no more legal issues, no more speculation on when he will play again. Tiger will tee it up in competition on November 30. That leaves us one last question; “What place will he finish?”

For the record, I was asked the same question and predicted he’d finish 18th out of the 18 players in the limited field. But what do I know? We put the same question to our GolfWRX members to vote, and here are the results they came back with.

See the full poll results and comments here.

Second (0.54 percent)

*Apparently no one was bold enough to predict in the comments that he would play well enough to contend, but not well enough to get the job done on Sunday while wearing his power red. 

Top-5 (3.26 percent)

*Top-5 and not win? Again, no GolfWRX members put their commenter names on the line to make that prediction.

Win (3.80 percent)

sekrah: Anyone who thinks a healthy (key word obviously) Tiger Woods can’t play high level golf anymore, they are out to lunch. You don’t just lose “it” when you are that great. Muscle-wise, 42 is not that old for golf and he keeps himself into great shape. Now is he legitimately pain free to point where he can practice regularly without interruption?? That’s the million dollar question.  With previous long layoffs and limited playing time because of extreme nerve pain the last 4 years, he’s still shown flashes of great golf. If he’s healthy and can practice a full time schedule, pain free?  I’ll bet anyone here he wins on tour again and contends for majors.

WD, or withdraw (14.13 percent)

80sFredrickson: Let’s just hope the guy can stand after 4 rounds

QuickFeet: It will be a victory in its self if he finishes 72 holes without hurting his back or coming away with another injury. I’ll be surprised if he can be competitive with the top players in the field.  I think it will take several tournaments, playing 4 rounds, before he can regain an “A” game that may allow him to win, if that is even possible now.

18th, or last place (23.37 percent)

youngwaldo: He will have some great shots no doubt but last place is what will happen and I am one of his great fans. 

leventhalc: I bet he will crack the top 20 haha

cradd10: The only way he doesn’t finish last is… if he invites me to play in field.

Top-10 (27.17 percent)

bladehunter: He finished 15th last year and dropped from top 10 on the last day with 4th round 76. So an even par 4th round is a solid top 10 last year. And led the field in birdies, so id take that bet.

Dave230: Middle of the pack I think. Show some glimpses but make a few silly mistakes. It’s a fairly soft event, small crowds, limited danger, and with no cut you’ll get some guys who just don’t have it at all for the week. 

straightshot7: I will guess he finishes 7th (I know it’s ambitious but I want to he optimistic). As others have said, I’ll be happy if he just finishes 4 rounds without setbacks to his health. 

Top-17 (27.72 percent of votes)

Debow: T-11th

Santiago Golf: Very doubtful that he finishes top 10. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if has a round in the 60s. Key thing here is he doesn’t have more than one blow up hole all week and play with in himself.

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WRX Forum Buzzz

Does Tiger Woods need golf more than golf needs Tiger Woods?

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In light of Tiger Woods’ return to the public eye as an assistant captain at the Presidents Cup, and his admission that his future in the game remains uncertain, GolfWRX Member Need4spd raises the question highlighted in the headline: “Does Tiger Woods need golf more than golf needs Tiger Woods?” Piggybacking off a Golf.com video, this GolfWRX forum thread has seen more than 125 replies this week and is heating up.

The responses are excellent, with many revolving around the idea that, putting aside how much we want to see him play, a return to golf may not be what’s best for Woods personally (although it would surely be difficult for the 14-time major champion).

Mackepa writes: “I genuinely believe time away from golf and the lime light is best for Tiger. Just let him have something close to a normal life.”

MidwestGolfBum writes: “Golf isn’t going to go away because he isn’t playing. There may be less interest in it at the professional level from people who don’t actually play the game like when Tiger was in his prime, but it’s not going to die as so many have predicted.”

Presidents Cup - Preview Day 2

And dbleag has an excellent take: “I am reading ‘The Fine Green Line: My Year of Golf Adventure on the Pro-Golf Mini-Tours,’ by John Newport. He meets Ivan Lendl at a mini-tour event in Florida where IL shoots 73/83.

“They discuss whether IL is trying to get good enough to go on to the PGA Tour. Lendl admits that he isn’t nor will ever be good enough to play at the highest level, but he has “competitiveness” in his blood and has to be in an environment which allows him the rush that tennis used to give him.”

To the Lendl point, Woods mentioned in his press conference yesterday that he’s been playing competitive golf since he was four. He misses it. He wants to get back to it. Certainly, if Woods were able to remain healthy, a return has substantially less downside than the grim pattern of coming back, getting hurt, needing another surgery, and being cast into that dark place again.

Great discussion with no shortage of variables to consider.

Discussion: Have your say in the thread

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WRX Forum Buzzz

What’s your favorite Scotty Cameron putter ever?

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The GolfWRX forums exist so golfers have access to the latest equipment releases, hottest discussions, real equipment reviews, best instruction, new technologies and everything golf you can imagine. So if you love golf, the GolfWRX forums are your sanctuary.

In the From the Forums weekly feature, we bring you the hottest, most buzz-worthy topics from our forums for your convenience. I’ll be your trusty tour guide to navigate the latest buzz. Here’s a peek behind the curtain into golf’s sanctuary.

Your favorite Scotty Cameron…ever!

CameronProto

Simple enough question. Numerous possibilities. Plenty of passion. An excellent thread in theory turns out very well in practice as mattd1206 asks for WRXers favorite Scotty Cameron models. Check it out if you’re a sucker for Scotty.

See the thread.

Forged + forgiveness + beauty? 

Mizuno_MP_18_Irons

Different golfers. Different handicaps. Different wants and needs in a golf club. Mfm22 is looking for a forged iron that offers a measure of forgiveness and is aesthetically pleasing? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and forgiveness in a forged iron is highly subjective, so this is an interesting thread to peruse.

See the thread.

How common is using fewer than 14 clubs? 

OUUL_Super_Light_Stand_Bag_Top

14 clubs. If you were just coming to the game of golf, you’d think that was a lot, wouldn’t you? How many weapons could you get by with if you had to? Five? Six? Spartan6910 poses the question to the forum faithful: Do any of you carry fewer than 14 clubs (and why)?

See the thread.

Jack Nicklaus’ Rolex 

(Photo credit: Hodinkee)

(Photo credit: Hodinkee)

Fantastic stuff here as the Golden Bear tells the story of a Rolex (the only watch he’s ever owned!) that he’s worn since the 1960s. Ebrasmus21 spotted the video on Hodinkee and shared it with the community. An absolute must watch, and the forum chatter is top-notch as well.  

See the thread.

Peeping PGA Tour tax documents 

1

Ever wondered what the PGA Tour’s (non-profit organization that it is) Form 990 looks like? Ebrasmus21 (again!) dug it up. And while the form itself is interesting, it’s the five pages of hot takes from GolfWRX members that are worth your time. Interesting stuff.

See the thread.

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