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Great putting is just luck, why we should make the cup bigger. - Page 5

post #73 of 105

Checking around, it seems the hole is 4.25 inches in diameter because the first hole-cutting machine was built in 1829 using a piece of pipe that size that was conveniently available to the inventor. In 1891 the R&A adopted 4.25 inches as the standard, but until then, holes could be any size.

 

So I don't see 4.25 inches being the perfect size, or any having any other quality that can be argued for after the fact. That size was not an inspired choice. It was the result of a workman using a tool that was handy.

 

Now we've gotten used to it. If the piece of pipe in 1829 had been 5 inches in diameter, there's a good chance we would be arguing for the sanctity of that size today.

post #74 of 105

I have always thought that the hole is 4.25" because that size hole just will allow a ball to go in the hole with the flag stick in the cup. If the hole was 6" that would increase the gap between the flag stick and the edge of the hole from 1.875" (based on a 1/2" dia. flag stick) to 2.75" That is a huge increase, and I feel it would affect just as many (or more) shots from off the the green than it will putts. The number of hole-in-one's, hole out from fairway, green side bunkers, chip in, would all increase drastically. And this would increase the luck factor instead of decrease it as the OP has suggested.
 

post #75 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Righty to Lefty View Post

 

Like I already said though....I am all for the "no brainer" zone of putting to be moved from somewhere around 2 feet to more like 4 feet because I just feel like grinding over 3 foot putts is ridiculous when the start of the hole was over 400 yards away.  I absolutely believe that a 3 foot putt should not hold the same importance as an approach shot. 

 

Why?  Why should a 100 yard pitch be as important as a 270 yard drive?  The logic (if you can call it that) doesn't hold water.  To make it logical you'd have to build a multiplier into every stroke, based on the actual distance.  How silly does that sound?  Ask Hale Irwin how important one inch is.  A stroke is a stroke is a stroke.  If the hole was and inch larger, we would be taking about 6 foot putts instead of 3 foot, and your argument would be equally invalid.

 

You are rewarded for getting inside of your "grind" distance by not having to grind.  That distance is different for different people even wit the current hole.  I almost never grind over a 3 footer.  Most of the time, all I need to read is center, right center, or left center, then hit it hard enough that it won't take too much break.  3 foot puts don't usually require a lot of effort, just a good stroke to hit the ball on a good line.  In my opinion, more 3 foot putts are missed due to a bad stroke than due to a bad read.

post #76 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Recreational Golfer View Post

Checking around, it seems the hole is 4.25 inches in diameter because the first hole-cutting machine was built in 1829 using a piece of pipe that size that was conveniently available to the inventor. In 1891 the R&A adopted 4.25 inches as the standard, but until then, holes could be any size.

 

So for 60 years there was a lot of continuous experimentation with various cup sizes and with that in mind the R&A settled on the 4.25" cup.  That doesn't sound too arbitrary to me.

 

Another factor I haven't read mentioned is that in the not too distant past the ball's size wasn't constant.  I've been told by older golfers how they preferred that old smaller ball because it gave them a slight edge when putting!

 

I like the notion of increasing the "value" of longer shots over shorter putts, but that too is part of the inherent difficulty of the game.  

post #77 of 105

I think a lot of people on the this thread are missing the point. There aren't any adjustment to the hole size or any other aspect of the game that make it fundamentally easier or more difficult, it just alters the rewards for certain disciplines in the game. If the hole was 3" or 10" it would make the game seem easier or more difficult relative to the current way the game is scored and the way that people currently play it.

 

If the R&A had decided 120 years ago (for similarly arbitrary reasons) that the hole was going to be 2 feet wide, it wouldn't be an easier or more difficult game, it would just have placed a much stronger emphasis on ball striking and if anyone nowadays would advocate a hole that was only 1 foot wide current players would complain because it would make the game (and the scoring) much too difficult by comparison.

 

I think that what the OP was getting at was does the size of the hole place too much of an emphasis on putting and not enough on ball striking? An average tour pro will both strike the ball and putt better than a 12 handicap virtually 100% of the time in any given round, but probably stands to consistently gain fewer strokes on the green compared to the tee box or the fairway. Another way to think of it is how much easier it would be for a 12 handicap to replicate the putting of a tour pro in any given round vs. their ball striking in any given round. While neither are likely, one is certainly much easier than the other. I think Hogan said something similar regarding the relative difference in the way that skill level is consistently rewarded in ball striking vs. putting.

post #78 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by jroadrage View Post

I think that what the OP was getting at was does the size of the hole place too much of an emphasis on putting and not enough on ball striking? An average tour pro will both strike the ball and putt better than a 12 handicap virtually 100% of the time in any given round, but probably stands to consistently gain fewer strokes on the green compared to the tee box or the fairway. Another way to think of it is how much easier it would be for a 12 handicap to replicate the putting of a tour pro in any given round vs. their ball striking in any given round. While neither are likely, one is certainly much easier than the other. I think Hogan said something similar regarding the relative difference in the way that skill level is consistently rewarded in ball striking vs. putting.

 

Given the make percentages from various distances, one could easily argue that ballstriking is given a good amount of weight, since you have to be inside 7'10" to have a 50/50 chance at making the putt.

post #79 of 105

I agree it's luck.  I don't think that's a bad thing or something you can change with the size of the hole.

 

As an athlete (myself included) it's hard not to buy into getting "hot".  As a statistician I've seen a number of studies essentially proving that in lots of cases it's literally false that players get hot, and a player having made a couple shots in a row, or having hit a higher percentage of the past 10 shots than normal or whatever (to take basketball for example), actually has no relationship at all to the chance of making the next shot.  You just are, say, a 40% shooter and sometimes you get lucky and hit a couple in a row and sometimes you get unlucky and miss 8 in a row, but really it's the same as if you were just flipping a coin that landed "hit" 40% of the time and if you've made 4 of your last 6 you still have a 40% chance of making the next shot.  People are wired to over-interpret random patterns as meaningful.

 

I've never seen a good study of this for golf (if anyone has please post a link!).  But I'd bet that the argument I outlined above is true of putting for solid players.  Even the pros have a dispersion distribution (circular or elliptical, errors left to right and far and short) that's bigger than the hole for all but the shortest short putts.  I'd bet that on most days at the course you've got the same chances of hitting exactly the putt you lined up, or missing a couple inches short but on line, or missing left a few inches, etc., as you do on other days.  It's just some days you're unlucky and hit a few more of those less likely, worse misses.  But I'd bet that for most good players having missed a putt or two or four worse than average doesn't affect your odds of various makes or misses on the next green.

 

So yes, I agree and think it does have to do with "luck", but making the hole bigger wouldn't change that.  You'd still have the same elliptical dispersion distribution, it's just that more of it would be covered by the hole, so you'd have to have a more extremely unlucky day to miss tons of putts.  So what you're really saying is that you want to drop more putts, not that you want to take the luck out of it!

post #80 of 105
Thread Starter 

Here is one other idea that crossed my mind yesterday. What if the golf hole looked like this?

 

1000

 

 

You would never miss a putt with a cup that big!

 

But really I would've drawn a picture but this is the perfect shape. The curved edge would have to be plastic, and the center diameter of the cup would be 4.25". I think this would be interesting as it still goes with the same idea I've been going with before, without making it overly easy, it would let some of those really good putts that you barely miss still drop. I imagine you could find a curve that would still allow for maximum lip outs for maximum frustration factor.

 

What do you think?

post #81 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by jshots View Post

Here is one other idea that crossed my mind yesterday. What if the golf hole looked like this?

 

1000

 

 

You would never miss a putt with a cup that big!

 

But really I would've drawn a picture but this is the perfect shape. The curved edge would have to be plastic, and the center diameter of the cup would be 4.25". I think this would be interesting as it still goes with the same idea I've been going with before, without making it overly easy, it would let some of those really good putts that you barely miss still drop. I imagine you could find a curve that would still allow for maximum lip outs for maximum frustration factor.

 

What do you think?

The emphasis should be on the well struck putt, not the fact that it somehow stayed out. My focus is always on shot execution, not result.

post #82 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by jshots View Post

Here is one other idea that crossed my mind yesterday. What if the golf hole looked like this?

 

1000

 

 

You would never miss a putt with a cup that big!

 

But really I would've drawn a picture but this is the perfect shape. The curved edge would have to be plastic, and the center diameter of the cup would be 4.25". I think this would be interesting as it still goes with the same idea I've been going with before, without making it overly easy, it would let some of those really good putts that you barely miss still drop. I imagine you could find a curve that would still allow for maximum lip outs for maximum frustration factor.

 

What do you think?

 

I think this just made your idea worse, in my own opinion =/ I was not with you before and disagreed but now I'm 110% on the opposite end of your thinking.

 

I like the game/hole the way it is.

post #83 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

Why?  Why should a 100 yard pitch be as important as a 270 yard drive?  The logic (if you can call it that) doesn't hold water.  To make it logical you'd have to build a multiplier into every stroke, based on the actual distance.  How silly does that sound?  Ask Hale Irwin how important one inch is.  A stroke is a stroke is a stroke.  If the hole was and inch larger, we would be taking about 6 foot putts instead of 3 foot, and your argument would be equally invalid.

 

You are rewarded for getting inside of your "grind" distance by not having to grind.  That distance is different for different people even wit the current hole.  I almost never grind over a 3 footer.  Most of the time, all I need to read is center, right center, or left center, then hit it hard enough that it won't take too much break.  3 foot puts don't usually require a lot of effort, just a good stroke to hit the ball on a good line.  In my opinion, more 3 foot putts are missed due to a bad stroke than due to a bad read.

I am on both sides of this topic because regardless of the size of the cup I practice very very diligently on my putting. My logic absolutely holds water because if I'm navigating 1200 plus feet of golf hole where all the trouble is present up until the green...once I safely arrive at the green I don't think that a 3 footer should carry the same weight because I've avoided all the hazards of the course.  A100 yard pitch and be dumped into a bunker or hit into a hazard so yes absolutely it is more important than a 3 foot putt in my opinion.  A 270 yard drive and be hit in a bunch of places which are designed to be penal only one of which is positive, and that is the fairway. A 3 foot putt hhas no chance of being hit into any hazard so I would hope that you can see that it is not the same.

 

Well you better not come to the middle east if you don't think that three footers don't require alot of effort because these courses here will quickly show you otherwise.  Miss a 3 footer here and you could have 8 feet coming back. You must hit alot of balls inside of 3 feet then because out here you're not done until you are inside three feet closer to 2 feet with these greens out here. 

 

You make it seem like the game would be child's play if the cup were a lil bigger and the game would still remain very difficult and no one would have an advantage over the other.  Good putters would still shoot lights out and bad ones would still struggle.  So what they would make a few more five footers...the good putters would be lights out from 5 feet. Bad putters would still have bad distance control and it would still cost them bigtime no matter what.  You make it seem like a 10 handicap would become a 2 overnight and that couldn't be farther from the truth. 

post #84 of 105
While we're at it, let's just give everyone in the Olympics a medal this year... Because they all did try hard.

And heck, give me a PGA tour card and some endorsements because I deserve it with an 11 HCP. I think I should get a "give me" from anything 150yds and in.

(Unless it isn't obvious, this is all said with just a hint of sarcasm)
post #85 of 105

The only way I see an idea like this being implemented would be on a partial basis.  Such as at an executive course, or a facility that would use this as a tool for promoting an easier version of golf for potential customers.  This could even be implemented while adhering to existing rules.  Course ratings and slope could be adjusted to account for a larger hole.  For instance a 6000 yard course that carries a 69/118 rating with "standard" cups would be rated 64/108 with 6" (or larger) cups.  Obviously I made those ratings numbers up, but there is no reason why course ratings couldn't take such a difference into account.  This way purists and better players who don't want to have an easier time of putting could stick with standard cups while at the same time allowing the industry to incorporate larger holes in an attempt to broaden the appeal of the game for beginners and those who struggle with the game.  Doing it this way would also allow for handicap portability so you could play either cup while maintaining your handicap's validity.  Score comparisons would hold up across courses as they currently do thereby easing any transition from one format to the other.  Beginners could learn the game with one cup and then move to standard size as their skills improve.

 

The problem I see here is that the one aspect of golf beginners and high handicappers grasp right away is putting and that real frustration with the game exists primarily with the full swing and the results (or lack thereof) they get.  So while larger cups no doubt would make the game easier right away I don't see this making much of an impact on the underlying cause of the frustration many players feel from not being able to improve their skill at the game.  Even the increase in the "fun" factor of the game would only occur with at best 25% of the game (unless this was done at a par 3 executive course where putting is by default much more of the game even for less skilled players).  

 

One potential benefit of this might be putting to rest once and for all the question concerning primacy of short game over long game (putt for dough and all)...

post #86 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by tefunk View Post

While we're at it, let's just give everyone in the Olympics a medal this year... Because they all did try hard.
And heck, give me a PGA tour card and some endorsements because I deserve it with an 11 HCP. I think I should get a "give me" from anything 150yds and in.
(Unless it isn't obvious, this is all said with just a hint of sarcasm)

So you're telling me that he hole being slightly bigger somehow gives less talented players and advantage over tour pro's?  Sure a bigger hole might drop your handicap to a 9 over night but a pro's would go from +5 to +7 so how is that an advantage.  I mean shoot they keep making courses longer and longer to account for the distance that golfer's, even average ones, hit the ball nowadays so actually this is bringin things back in to a more even playing field if you think about it.  We would all be 4 or 5 strokes better on our handicaps if they didn't keep making courses longer but that obviously doesn't go against the game like makin the cup a lil bigger does!

post #87 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Righty to Lefty View Post

I am on both sides of this topic because regardless of the size of the cup I practice very very diligently on my putting. My logic absolutely holds water because if I'm navigating 1200 plus feet of golf hole where all the trouble is present up until the green...once I safely arrive at the green I don't think that a 3 footer should carry the same weight because I've avoided all the hazards of the course.  A100 yard pitch and be dumped into a bunker or hit into a hazard so yes absolutely it is more important than a 3 foot putt in my opinion.  A 270 yard drive and be hit in a bunch of places which are designed to be penal only one of which is positive, and that is the fairway. A 3 foot putt hhas no chance of being hit into any hazard so I would hope that you can see that it is not the same.

 

Well you better not come to the middle east if you don't think that three footers don't require alot of effort because these courses here will quickly show you otherwise.  Miss a 3 footer here and you could have 8 feet coming back. You must hit alot of balls inside of 3 feet then because out here you're not done until you are inside three feet closer to 2 feet with these greens out here. 

 

You make it seem like the game would be child's play if the cup were a lil bigger and the game would still remain very difficult and no one would have an advantage over the other.  Good putters would still shoot lights out and bad ones would still struggle.  So what they would make a few more five footers...the good putters would be lights out from 5 feet. Bad putters would still have bad distance control and it would still cost them bigtime no matter what.  You make it seem like a 10 handicap would become a 2 overnight and that couldn't be farther from the truth. 

 

So... the middle east has the monopoly on tough greens?  C'mon man.  Surely you don't really believe that.  If you read my post again I didn't say ALL 3 footers.  Slippery downhill putts are a different creature.  I also play plenty of places where a 3 foot sidehill putt can break 6 inches if you let it.  I just try to minimize the break by hitting those putts a little harder.  Every putt has to be taken as it comes.  My only point was that most 3 footers don't have to be all that agonizing.

post #88 of 105

I'm just raising a debate which is all that this thread is good for and you were asking for valid reasons but when valid reasons have been posted you simply discount  them because you have an opinion.  It's okay for golf courses to continue to be stretched out longer and longer but it is not okay for an adjustment to be made to the hole is basically what you are saying?  The entire playing field has changed but you say it is completely unacceptable and immoral to even address the size of the hole, and possibly make the hole bigger, because it make the game "easier."  That is your arguement.....yet you use the latest and greatest technology in your clubs and golf balls to help you hit the ball further and more accurately and this doesn't make the game "easier?" 

post #89 of 105

Leave it the same. All it would do is make course designers try to troll the players; greens stimping at 17, massive slopes and firming up of the turf to challenge the good putters. At that point, it would be smart to pitch off the green and slam dunk it into an 8" cup rather than putt it off the planet. If you hate putting so much then take 6 footers as gimmes when you're playing for fun. There's no more luck involved than in any other shot. Not that there's none, but there's far more skill than you give credit for.

 

Putting well is hard because it's so clear cut; a drive of 300 yards can be "perfect" anywhere within a 10-20 yard radius as long as it's on flat, short grass with a look at the green. An approach to 6 feet is awesome from 100 yards, but that 6 foot putt left 1 inch from the hole will make you swear wildly. Unless you find that 4.25 inches, whether you get any love from the rim or not, your putt is crap. It's not as if a giant clown statue blocks your dead center putt half the time, if you put it on the right line it won't miss.

post #90 of 105
Thread Starter 

Ironically I had one of my best rounds ever today in large part thanks to dropping a 20 foot and a 10 foot birdie putt as well as two 15+ foot par saves z6_surrender.gif

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