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Evidently Jack Nicklaus wants to double the size of the hole in some settings? - Page 4

post #55 of 97

If 12 hole golf were more officially sanctioned, I can see some existing golf courses doing something like this:

 

Take the 18 hole layout and find a way to create 12 really good holes.  That frees up 6 holes worth of land.

 

Sell off some land for development:  this would re-finance some clubs that are close to closing.  Lets say they sold off 3 holes worth of land, that leaves 3 holes that could be used to create a par 3 academy course for the juniors, beginners and people who have an hour after work. 

 

12 holes would make golf a "half day" game if rounds took 2 and a half hours as Jack suggests.   

 

In my area there are all sorts of courses of varying standards.  I think it would be great if some of them, lets say 20%, converted from being mediocre 18 hole layouts to decent 12 holes.  IMO they would appeal to a segment of people who don't have the time or money for regular 18 hole golf.  Golfers could migrate up and down from 12 to 18 and 18 to 12 over their golfing career as their time and interest and ability and income varied. 

 

I think Jack is spot on about 12 holes. 

post #56 of 97

Hole size and Jack's idea about 8 inch holes. 

 

If I recall reading about this correctly, the origin of the 4.25" hole goes back to the size of a piece of drain pipe that was used to cut holes on one of the original courses in Scotland ages ago.  In other words, it was an accident. 

 

There are a lot of arguments against making any change, there always are.  I acknowledge all of these, and maybe no change is the best answer, but I wanted to point out some benefits of a larger hole as I see them

 

Putting is slightly too big a fraction of the game.  IMO.  There is slightly too much bias towards "not 3 putting" as opposed to "trying to make birdie". 

 

Missing short putts is one of the main reasons we get frustrated with the game. 

 

Golfers put pressure on courses to prepare perfect greens so they get fewer missed putts due to irregularities in the greens.  This drives up the cost of building and maintaining greens. 

 

Pro stats and TV coverage prove the point that you need to take care over short putts if you are serious about your score.  All that marking and lining up of 3 foot putts takes time.  Golf is too slow and TV coverage is way too slow.

 

In the UK, they trialled something called "powerplay golf".  I hate it, it misses the point totally.  However, one aspect is relevant to the hole size debate:  in PP golf there were two holes and flags per green.  If we ever wanted to try larger holes, you could have 2 holes, one standard and one large, per green.  I have played it and having an extra flag is not a problem for playing at all. 

 

A larger hole, would, IMO:

 

make golf less frustrating, quicker, more positive.  More birdies on TV, cut out the lined up short putts.  Allow "fair" putting on less costly greens.  Tilt the balance of skill in golf just a fraction away from putting and towards the long game and pitching.   

 

I think Jack is right about the size of holes as well.  He is trying to modernise the game.  He knows what he is talking about, and I really hope he gets a lot of support. 

 

 

post #57 of 97

Missing putts is frustrating but in terms of time lost and frustration it doesn't come close to looking for a lost tee ball in the woods.  There are initiatives in place like "Tee it Forward" that haven't been adopted because amateur golfers want to play the game the pro's do.   Since the pro's aren't going to change their game you're going to have two holes on a green and I'm betting like the TIF most people won't utilize the larger hole. 

 

Golf participation is down for numerous reasons most of which I believe have little to do with the difficulty of the game. 

  • Participation was at an artificial high due to Tiger Woods and his popularity.  It was more a reflection of people wanting to emulate Tiger than true interest in the sport.  Since Tiger has dropped in the rankings, the participation numbers are closer to where they were before the "Tiger effect". 
  • The economy has tanked, the housing market has tanked, unemployment is high and for most disposable income has taken a hit. 
  • Fathers are more involved with their children than they were in the past.  Golf has taken a backseat to family for most men. 

 

The course developers and designers built too many courses (too many private) that were too expensive to maintain and they can't sustain their operations.  Like the housing market they will need to lower their expectations and adjust to the current demand for tee times.  Many private courses are opening slots for public use, which may be the only way they can sustain until the economy or Tigers performance improves and participation rises. 

 

I know a lot of people that play golf, none cite the difficulty of the game as a concern or reason they don't play more. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lipout View Post

Missing short putts is one of the main reasons we get frustrated with the game. 

 

Golfers put pressure on courses to prepare perfect greens so they get fewer missed putts due to irregularities in the greens.  This drives up the cost of building and maintaining greens. 

 

Pro stats and TV coverage prove the point that you need to take care over short putts if you are serious about your score.  All that marking and lining up of 3 foot putts takes time.  Golf is too slow and TV coverage is way too slow.

 

In the UK, they trialled something called "powerplay golf".  I hate it, it misses the point totally.  However, one aspect is relevant to the hole size debate:  in PP golf there were two holes and flags per green.  If we ever wanted to try larger holes, you could have 2 holes, one standard and one large, per green.  I have played it and having an extra flag is not a problem for playing at all. 

 

A larger hole, would, IMO:

 

make golf less frustrating, quicker, more positive.  More birdies on TV, cut out the lined up short putts.  Allow "fair" putting on less costly greens.  Tilt the balance of skill in golf just a fraction away from putting and towards the long game and pitching.   

 

I think Jack is right about the size of holes as well.  He is trying to modernise the game.  He knows what he is talking about, and I really hope he gets a lot of support. 

 

 



 

post #58 of 97

Been reading about the pros & cons to this & each side has good points. The purists want to play the same course the pros do but a good amount want to make the game more appealing & not so damn hard.

 

How about both?

 

Have two holes on each green - the standard one & an 8-inch one.

post #59 of 97

I think the 12-hole round played in 2.5 hours is perfect for the person who doesn't have enough time to golf. My friends catch crap from their wives for golfing because it takes 4-5 hours. For me I like how it is now, but for them it would be perfect. Plus if I play alone and the course is empty I'm done in 2-2.5 hours anyway.

post #60 of 97

We adopted the family tees at our course. In talking with people as we have a large senior membership and I work with a lot of the younger players it's not the hole size or putting that's frustrating, it's distance. Since putting in the family tees our course increased business a fair amount and people of all ages and abilities love it. I remember when we were setting up the tees we passed a couple fo older couple who all commented on how it was ridiculous and they would never be caught dead playing from them. We were out playing around about 2 months laters and sure enough, the same couple was playing from them and loved it. You can also play all 18 holes in just under 2 1/2 hours.

post #61 of 97

I like the idea but only if it is in tandem with current setups.  Golf is too much of a purist sport; amateurs think they can play like the pros and the reality is 98% (grabbed from thin air to make a point) simply cannot.  For those that want to be able to enjoy the game more by making it easier and reducing the overall time commitment, why not present them the option?  As others have said, you could have rounds based on twelve holes and each green could have two different cup sizes as an OPTION to players.  Any other sport, you see variations in how amateurs play the games except for golf in which amateurs try to play from tees they have no business playing from and swing clubs they should put in a closet (drivers, long irons).  Golf does not have the number of participants it once had and it needs to be addressed; if courses can make rounds easier and shorter time while preserving the option of playing traditional setups, the only question is WHY NOT?  No one complains when football is played with a non-regulation size ball, or basketball is played on a half court or hockey is played with a ball and rollerblades.  But try to make a change in amateur golf and the purist amateurs, who typically cannot play worth a damn (and that is FINE), are entirely against change.  Meanwhile, the pros recognize the game may need to adapt to keep attendance figures and overall interest in the game. 

post #62 of 97

It's not just Mr. Nicklaus proffering this idea.  A lot of the manufacturers, course owners, and even the PGA are behind this in some part.  Golf is in decline in America:  the total number of golf courses is declining, number of rounds played is dropping, and more people are leaving the sport than are taking it up.

 

From The Business of Golf:

 

"Eighty-five percent of individuals who play golf don't have a handicap...  Seventy percent drink alcohol while playing.  Golf is not principally about competition, athletic challenge or individual accomplishment.  Golf is simply entertainment, and golf courses are like theme parks - no two are alike...therefore, the success of the course is measured by how much fun the customer had...."

 

Golf is entertainment and the they're taking a lesson from the bowling industry.  Twenty years ago, bowling alleys were in decline; full of old people, cigarette smoke, and not very family friendly.  They shook things up by adding bumpers, disco lights, and music among other things.  In short, they made it more entertaining and saved themselves.  Golf needs to do the same.  It's stuck in the past and could use some shaking up.   

 

Besides the larger hole, there are other things they're looking at, like breaking courses into smaller 6 hole sides, removing restrictions on COR and restrictions on golf balls.  Bottom line, they're looking at making golf more entertaining and I don't see anything wrong with that.

 

 

post #63 of 97

I've seen this analogy before but I don't think it's fits.  Bowling never went through a boom period where they overbuilt bowling alleys.  Bowling alleys make the majority of money from leagues and selling alcohol.  Kids bowling and daytime bowling are typically discounted just to pay the bills for staying open during the day.  The cost for a family to go bowling is much less than a round of golf, plus bowling balls are free and shoes are a nominal amount to rent. 

 

I'm all for making golf more attractive to people and faster to play.  There are already 9 hole courses, I don't see the point in 12.  As for a larger hole on the green, I guess it's worth a shot, but I don't see many people wanting to use it just as I don't see adults bowl with the bumpers down in the gutters. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladimir Puttin' View Post

Golf is entertainment and the they're taking a lesson from the bowling industry.  Twenty years ago, bowling alleys were in decline; full of old people, cigarette smoke, and not very family friendly.  They shook things up by adding bumpers, disco lights, and music among other things.  In short, they made it more entertaining and saved themselves.  Golf needs to do the same.  It's stuck in the past and could use some shaking up.   

 

Besides the larger hole, there are other things they're looking at, like breaking courses into smaller 6 hole sides, removing restrictions on COR and restrictions on golf balls.  Bottom line, they're looking at making golf more entertaining and I don't see anything wrong with that.

 

 



 

post #64 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

I've seen this analogy before but I don't think it's fits.  Bowling never went through a boom period where they overbuilt bowling alleys.  Bowling alleys make the majority of money from leagues and selling alcohol.  Kids bowling and daytime bowling are typically discounted just to pay the bills for staying open during the day.  The cost for a family to go bowling is much less than a round of golf, plus bowling balls are free and shoes are a nominal amount to rent. 

 

I'm all for making golf more attractive to people and faster to play.  There are already 9 hole courses, I don't see the point in 12.  As for a larger hole on the green, I guess it's worth a shot, but I don't see many people wanting to use it just as I don't see adults bowl with the bumpers down in the gutters. 

 



 


It's not an analogy.  It's stuff I've heard from the likes of Mark King and read in various PGA rags.  It's where things are headed.

 

post #65 of 97
post #66 of 97

Mark King: "When bowling alleys started to resemble ghost towns, the industry attracted new players by making the game easier. They installed automatic scoring systems, put guards up along the gutters, and provided light balls that kids could roll. Today, bowling alleys are packed. We can do the same in golf by encouraging beginners to play the forward tees, to tee the ball in the fairway, and to call gimmes within five feet of the cup. We could even increase the size of the cup for beginners' leagues."
Mark King, president and CEO, TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company

 

http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/no-1-gear-heads-club-company-ceos-george-fellows-cindy-davis-greg-hopkins-and-mark-kin

post #67 of 97

The key to all of this, IMO, is the willingness of the governing bodies to sanction varieties of the game.  If they could sanction one official large hole size and 9,12,18 hole formats for scoring, then perhaps that would release course owners to try differnt things without the fear of becoming "not golf".  Offer variety and see what happens.  Right now we are offering no variety and are in an over supply situation.  Rather than just keep closing courses until supply meets demand, wy not at least try some varieties to see if there really is a demand for something else? 

post #68 of 97

Do any of you guys play in 36 hole competition?  Our club championship is 36 holes in one day.  Imagine, 9-10 hours of strokeplay in one day!

 

They say that they do that because people don't play if it is Saturday / Sunday because they have family commitments. 

 

Now with a 12 hole course: 12 holes for round one, a bite to eat, then 12 holes for round two:  all done in 5 hours.

 

Now that sounds like a better day to me. 

 

On TV:  Saturday:  two 12 hole rounds, the cut and then two 12 hole rounds and a result.  Wouldn't that be better TV? 

post #69 of 97

Why not just have a drop area 300 yards out to hit irons from instead of hitting from the tee? Why not allow 5 feet worth of gimmies? Why not just give everyone a par and a trophy and go get snow cones?

 

We have mini golf and par 3 courses, not to mention a lot of pathetically short 9 hole courses. If you just want to putt, play mini golf. If you want to just practice approach and short game, go to a pitch and putt. If you want to hit driver and other long clubs, hit the 2700 yard 9 hole course where you can drive over the par 4s. If you want to play a real game of golf, play a full length course and get your ass handed to you. It doesn't have to be a 7800 yard championship layout to do that.

 

If you want to make a golf experience fun, the par 3 courses are the ones to mess with. They are short as can be, kids are common, and players learning to play real golf and decent golfers gain something by practicing there. If you want to make the bowling analogy, mini golf is the applicable example. 70 percent of men who drink whilst golfing would probably drink anywhere if they could.

 

I respect Nicklaus as a golfer, he might be the best player ever. However, this does not give him authority over the game. I think he has a huge amount of ego that carries over to his course design, as well as his crackpot ideas like this. 

 

If you want to grow the game, lower greens fees, make lessons a lot cheaper, and offer membership packages without taking 5 grand a year. Why not offer a hundred or so bucks a month, where you get an hour lesson and 2 rounds free, and cut the fees in half beyond that for members with an optional cart fee for the rest of that month? You get a loyal customer who sucks a bit less at the game and learns etiquette and rules, and lo and behold, he has a handicap! You could even include a clubfitting scheme into this, and kill off all the problems with the game.

 

With a relationship established with the club (who feels like a member at a public course?) you have met the pro and might tone down the drinking, probably will socialize better with the club community, and might even join in a tourney or two. Believe me if clubs made people feel less like a stranger they'd get more money and a better atmosphere. If a person feels more at home, just maybe he could bring his wife and kids.

 

Also, too much money is spent on equipment and not enough on greens fees. That's not healthy, even though the game as a whole is making money. Make both a decent bit cheaper.

post #70 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post

Why not just have a drop area 300 yards out to hit irons from instead of hitting from the tee? Why not allow 5 feet worth of gimmies? Why not just give everyone a par and a trophy and go get snow cones?

 

We have mini golf and par 3 courses, not to mention a lot of pathetically short 9 hole courses. If you just want to putt, play mini golf. If you want to just practice approach and short game, go to a pitch and putt. If you want to hit driver and other long clubs, hit the 2700 yard 9 hole course where you can drive over the par 4s. If you want to play a real game of golf, play a full length course and get your ass handed to you. It doesn't have to be a 7800 yard championship layout to do that.

 

If you want to make a golf experience fun, the par 3 courses are the ones to mess with. They are short as can be, kids are common, and players learning to play real golf and decent golfers gain something by practicing there. If you want to make the bowling analogy, mini golf is the applicable example. 70 percent of men who drink whilst golfing would probably drink anywhere if they could.

 

I respect Nicklaus as a golfer, he might be the best player ever. However, this does not give him authority over the game. I think he has a huge amount of ego that carries over to his course design, as well as his crackpot ideas like this. 

 

If you want to grow the game, lower greens fees, make lessons a lot cheaper, and offer membership packages without taking 5 grand a year. Why not offer a hundred or so bucks a month, where you get an hour lesson and 2 rounds free, and cut the fees in half beyond that for members with an optional cart fee for the rest of that month? You get a loyal customer who sucks a bit less at the game and learns etiquette and rules, and lo and behold, he has a handicap! You could even include a clubfitting scheme into this, and kill off all the problems with the game.

 

With a relationship established with the club (who feels like a member at a public course?) you have met the pro and might tone down the drinking, probably will socialize better with the club community, and might even join in a tourney or two. Believe me if clubs made people feel less like a stranger they'd get more money and a better atmosphere. If a person feels more at home, just maybe he could bring his wife and kids.

 

Also, too much money is spent on equipment and not enough on greens fees. That's not healthy, even though the game as a whole is making money. Make both a decent bit cheaper.


People want to hit all the golf shots, including hitting the driver. They don't want to spend 6 hours doing it. Why require everyone to play 18 holes on a regulation length course, especially on a weekend. There's talk of 9-hole rounds, but a lot of courses don't allow that on the weekend. It's 18 holes or nothing. More and more people are choosing the nothing route. One could argue that a 30 capper who insists on spending 1/2 his Saturday on a golf course rather than getting on with something more productive is the crackpot, but that's taboo.

 

There was an article in a Canadian golf magazine that outlined the decline of ski hills a few seasons ago and part of it was because of the focus on expert terrain. Once they improved the experience for beginner and novice skiers, there was a resurgence. Golf will either adopt similar attitudes or it will continue the sharp downward decline.

post #71 of 97

Basically, it is an adapt or die situation.  Golf is in a decline not only because of the cost but because of changing priorities in life.  Men, who are obviously the bulk of golfers, are choosing to spend more time with their families rather than 5+ hours playing one round of golf on a weekend.  It is an antiquated idea for men to play golf while the family sits at home or does something else.  If golf took less time AND cost less, it could become more of a family activity (which is good or bad depending on how you look at it).  Or, it could allow more time for golfers to actually golf if they could reduce the time down to 2-3 hours.

 

Most golfers I know that routinely golf are either single or retired.  The ones that are married or have families tend to play very little because of the TIME it takes to play a round. 

 

I really do not understand why some people are so close minded to this.  Simply offering additional options for golf is not going to hurt your game.  Is it only coincidence that the ones that complain the most about change tend to be high handicappers?

post #72 of 97

 

 

Quote:
One could argue that a 30 capper who insists on spending 1/2 his Saturday on a golf course rather than getting on with something more productive is the crackpot, but that's taboo.

 

True, I guess, but you don't account for the fact that almost all decent golfers started, at some point, as 30 cappers.

 

I really don't like this idea.  If it is implemented, beginners won't be welcome on the "big" course.  When I first started I routinely shot 110.  Now I shoot between 78 and 84 usually, and hopefully in another year it'll be 73-80.  Now, I spent alot of time hacking it around the course learning the game, and getting grumbles from everyone on the course about it.  Where would I be now if I had spent a year playing with a 15 inch hole from the senior tees?  Probably still pretty bad.  I think it creates a huge disincentive for people to get better and improve their golf games and that is not healthy for the sport.

 

Nor do I think it would be all that popular, honestly.  Those who play "real" golf now and are leaving arn't going to stay because you made the hole bigger.  Thats ridiculous.  Right now, *you have a way to make the course easier* - move up tee boxes.  You already have it!  Why add a second?  And how many threads do we have complaining about people who play from the wrong tee boxes?  Like two per day.  Why do you think this would be any different?  What would make the 30 capper any more likely to say "lets go play the course with the big holes" than he is to say "lets move up to the senior tees"?  Its the same thing.  You guys are just re-arranging deck chairs on the titanic.

 

Golf cannot expect to maintain its numbers from 98-08 unless they make professional golf, on TV, better and more accessible to the masses.  Look at hole #13 (I think?) at the Waste Management.  Really interesting hole.  My wife, who just happened to be in the room for Levin getting caught on it, was making comments about how it was interesting - a choice of fairway, an interesting waste area, etc...  She also thought the stadium hole 16 was really neat.  However, when I asked why she doesn't find golf interesting, she replied that golf tournaments seem to be the same looking guy hitting balls down a tree-lined fairway to some sort of elevated green with bunkers left and right and deep rough behind on a downslope (she picked this up from the smattering of golf shes watched over my shoulder).  She said all the players look the same (I mean, put photos of Ben Crane, Kyle Stanley and Levin next to each other - they are clones)  That is 90% of the holes/events/players on the PGA Tour.  We find it interesting, but nobody else does without Tiger.  You need a dynamic, unpredictable element and golf doesn't have that.  I'm going to make a bold prediction: the next PGA tour event winner will be white, thin but not skinny, between 5'8" and 6'1" tall, wearing a perfect sponsors uniform, be in the top 10 in fairways hit, and the top 10 in putts between 5 and 15 feet for the tournament.  Any takers on that bet?

 

Right now golf has no dynamic matchups or rivalries, has no dominant player, and all the courses look the same.  The sport is grown via TV, like all sports in this country.  All of them.  And you can trace sports popularity directly to having one of those two: a dynamic rivalry or a dominant team.  Right now, TV golf stinks and that is a huge problem.  Traditions, like the Masters and US Open, are all golf has right now.  And while tradition is nice, it is *not* a way to attract *new* players or blood who don't know what the Masters is and don't care.  Rickey Fowler looked like eh might be the guy to do something, but he doesn't seem to be able to win.

 

So, thats what I think.  Why would people use the big holes if they don't already use the forward tee boxes?

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