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jshots

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

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An old post brought to the front page today made me want to post this, I posted the same thing in that thread but I think this is different enough to warrant it's own discussion, and that thread seemed to be aimed more at a pace of play issue. I want to know what other people think of this.

I've often wondered if putting is too difficult, almost unreasonably difficult. Even pros don't really make that many longer putts, and I feel like when someone really goes lights out with an incredible round from a putting stand point, that they are often just getting lucky that their putts are dropping.

For example, I have days when I am putting well, but I don't make ANYTHING. Burning the edge by and inch or so on a bunch of putts. On the other hand, I've had days where it just seems like all of those I might have missed by an inch go in the hole. Most "good" putting days are somewhere in the middle of those 2. It's not that my putting improved from one day to the next, I honestly believe that it just accounts to luck.

Other times, I have BAD days putting, where I miss by a lot more, rather than inches, its feet. If the hole were to be an inch or two wider, then perhaps my bad days might improve ever so slightly but not by much, and my good days would improve a lot and more accurately reflect how well I putted rather than just having to get lucky and have putts drop.

Increasing cup size by a small amount wouldn't be making it easy, but it would more accurately reflect how the player was putting for the day. I would love to see someone do some kind of study on this.

So the questions I want answered are, Do you think lights out putting is in large part due to luck? And if so then do you think that increasing the size of the hole a small amount would more accurately reflect good putting by letting more of those that are a fraction off (still good putts) go in the hole?

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I'm just starting out with the game seriously but I feel almost like it would be cheating if the size of the whole increased.

I understand tools of the game getting better in regards to technology but the overall general basics of the game should remain untouched.

I wouldn't "want" to play on courses that had the new "cup" size

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I remember reading something in Golf Digest about amateur events that use six, ten, even 20-inch cups, but that isn't what you're talking about lol. I think It's a combination of luck and skill, but mostly skill. I feel like if you made the cup wider, more golfers would be more aggressive with their putts, and probably still burn edges just as often. I really think the cup is the perfect size for a difficult game...frustratingly tiny. Just my two cents though.

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Originally Posted by JaxBomber17

I remember reading something in Golf Digest about amateur events that use six, ten, even 20-inch cups, but that isn't what you're talking about lol. I think It's a combination of luck and skill, but mostly skill. I feel like if you made the cup wider, more golfers would be more aggressive with their putts, and probably still burn edges just as often. I really think the cup is the perfect size for a difficult game...frustratingly tiny. Just my two cents though.


have to keep it the way it is now

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I played with a guy today who brought up that holes should be bigger but it doesn't help someone who leaves a 25ft putt 8ft short. A good putter on a bad day misses by inches and a bad putter misses by feet almost every round. I think that making the hole bigger would make actually open up a bigger gap between good players and bad players. It doesn't help level the playing field but it would most likely make scores slightly lower. I guess I just don't see a point to it

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Originally Posted by clubchamp

I played with a guy today who brought up that holes should be bigger but it doesn't help someone who leaves a 25ft putt 8ft short. A good putter on a bad day misses by inches and a bad putter misses by feet almost every round. I think that making the hole bigger would make actually open up a bigger gap between good players and bad players. It doesn't help level the playing field but it would most likely make scores slightly lower. I guess I just don't see a point to it

So then you would say that a good putter on a bad day is missing because they are not putting as well that day in terms of skill rather than bad luck?

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I think that is exactly what he is saying.  I personally don't beleive having a good or bad day putting has anything to do with luck.  It just depends on whether you are reading the putts correctly and performing them with the correct speed.  Putting is more than just hitting it toward the hole and hoping for the best. There is a lot involved to make a good putt.  Read, line, grain, speed, and whether or push or pull the shot or not.

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Ummmm.... no.  Sorry but it's a silly idea.  You want the hole 1/4" bigger so you don't lip out so many 5 footers?  Then all you do is start lipping out 6 footers.  So let's make it another 1/4" larger.... lather - rinse - repeat.  Phooey!!!

Like the rest of the game, putting isn't supposed to be easy.  You have to learn to read the greens for break and speed.  Then you have to learn how to hit the ball on the line you read at the speed that's right for the line.  Then you have to hope that your read and stroke were right.  The more you practice, the more often they will be.  That isn't luck.  You hit the nail on the head when you said that even the pros don't make longer putts on a regular basis.  You aren't supposed to.  That's why par has 2 putts per hole built into it.

A birdie should be the reward for a great shot, whether due to a stiff approach or making a longish putt.  Sure, when you accidentally hole a 50 footer there is a lot of luck involved, but the same is true of hitting a 150 yard approach to within 4 feet, at least for most of us.  I feel that I earned that reward, and I don't want it to be cheapened by playing to an oversized hole.

Originally Posted by jshots

So then you would say that a good putter on a bad day is missing because they are not putting as well that day in terms of skill rather than bad luck?

Of course.  Blaming it on bad luck is just dodging the real issue.  Own up and admit that your stroke isn't perfect every day.  Your eye for reading slope or speed isn't the same every day.   I'm a decent putter, average about 30-31 putts per round, and I can go for 4 or 5 rounds straight without a 3-putt.  Then in one 18 hole round I can have three 3-putts, or miss three or four inside of 5 feet.  I don't blame those bad putting days on the gods.  I put it right where it belongs, on my own shoulders.  And I know that it's an aberration, so I don't lose any sleep over it either.

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To the OP:  Geez!  Why not just get rid of the hole and automatically add 2 strokes when you hit on to the green?

Fourputt's is absolutely right.

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When a pro goes lights out with their putting it likely means they are in the zone and are putting to their max potential.   Watching a lot of golf you can tell when guys are just confident and making the right read and stroke to get the ball in the cup.  It has nothing to do with luck.

As for larger cup size, I'm against it for same argument Fourputt makes.  The right hole size for some will always be bigger than the current one so prefer not even to go down that road.

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If the hole was 3X bigger, I know for a fact I would have three aces instead of one, and the accomplishment, even if largely luck,  would be lessened.

Nah, we have to preserve the integrity of the hole in one.  Set out little v-shaped lane devices next to the greens, similar to what they use for the youngsters at  bowling, to guide the errant ball into the hole. Pull the flag, set down the lane guide and putt. Remove when done. You still gotta get the ball to the hole and if it's too fast, it hops over.

Kidding aside. Putting is not luck. It's a skill in consistency of stroke and reading the green. Not to say we don't have lucky putts, when you launch a ball with no general idea what's going to happen, and the ball  just arcs in. Experienced golfers seem to know what's going to happen. Sometimes, I get it right too. I visualize a break and it actually happens.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Of course.  Blaming it on bad luck is just dodging the real issue.  Own up and admit that your stroke isn't perfect every day.  Your eye for reading slope or speed isn't the same every day.   I'm a decent putter, average about 30-31 putts per round, and I can go for 4 or 5 rounds straight without a 3-putt.  Then in one 18 hole round I can have three 3-putts, or miss three or four inside of 5 feet.  I don't blame those bad putting days on the gods.  I put it right where it belongs, on my own shoulders.  And I know that it's an aberration, so I don't lose any sleep over it either.

I know for a fact that my stroke isn't perfect every day, but what I'm saying is that even when my stroke is good I have days where on paper you wouldn't know it just because nothing will go down. I honestly don't think that it is due to "poor" green reading. I play the same 2 courses 99% of my rounds and I read the greens every day.

I gaurantee that on top of those rounds where you miss 3 or 4 inside of five feet, you occasionally have rounds where you drain more putts than normal. So do you think that on those days, all of a sudden, your green reading skill increased just for the day? Only to go back to normal for the large majority of your rounds... you can't account that to skill.

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Originally Posted by MichaelRyanSD

Plus think about it, if you make it past a certain size, like say a foot, people could literally rocket that thing in there with little respect or regard for the green speeds/angles, etc.

Originally Posted by newtogolf

As for larger cup size, I'm against it for same argument Fourputt makes.  The right hole size for some will always be bigger than the current one so prefer not even to go down that road.

I'm talking a fairly small increase, 6 or 7 inches max total cup diameter. I think there would be a size that would improve competition without making it overly easy.

Originally Posted by Fourputt

A birdie should be the reward for a great shot, whether due to a stiff approach or making a longish putt.  Sure, when you accidentally hole a 50 footer there is a lot of luck involved, but the same is true of hitting a 150 yard approach to within 4 feet, at least for most of us.  I feel that I earned that reward, and I don't want it to be cheapened by playing to an oversized hole.

But a birdie is the reward for a great shot well less than half of the time... if you're outside 8 feet, you only get rewarded 50% of the time. Outside of 11 you are down to 1/3, and that's if you are a tour pro.

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Also, we need to make the greens bigger, the traps smaller, and the fairways wider.

Seriously, why is the hole 4.25"?  Doesn't that seem arbitrary?  Well it is.  There is no compelling reason why the hole is that size.  But to make it bigger to make the game easier is illogical.

http://golf.about.com/od/historyofgolf/f/holesize.htm

Quote:

That first hole-cutter utilized a cutting tool that was, you guessed it, 4.25 inches in diameter. The folks running the R&A; apparently liked that size and so adopted it in their rules for 1891. And as was usually the case, the rest of the golf world followed in the footsteps of the R&A.;

The exact reasons for why that first tool cut holes at the now-standard diameter are lost to history. But it was almost certainly a completely arbitrary thing, a notion supported by the story that the tool was built from some excess pipe that was laying about the Musselburgh links.

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Originally Posted by CraiginKSA

Also, we need to make the greens bigger, the traps smaller, and the fairways wider.

Seriously, why is the hole 4.25"?  Doesn't that seem arbitrary?  Well it is.  There is no compelling reason why the hole is that size.  But to make it bigger to make the game easier is illogical.

http://golf.about.com/od/historyofgolf/f/holesize.htm

So we should stick with 4.25" just for the sake of tradition? That is ridiculous. So it was arbitrary but why should it be when we could improve competition by increasing the size of the cup?

How is it illogical to make putts easier? It would make a bad putter lose more strokes for bad putting compared to the field. How does it make sense that whether you land at 10 feet, or you land and 50 feet, you are more than likely going to 2 putt? Players aren't typically rewarded for doing anything other than sticking it within 8 feet of the pin. But arguably many shots that land further than 8 feet are also great shots that deserve more reward than they are given.

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