Not important at all. Whenever I play it's just to be out there with my friends and we just want to have a good time. I kept a handicap for a while, to see if i could get to single digits. I did, and now I don't need one.
Got my order in a few days ago, but haven't been able to play. I played 18 today with the ball and it met expectations, which were high after reading nothing but glowing reviews. The ball preforms every bit as good as any premium quality ball for me. I was able to shape it both ways (with the same erratic control :p), and was getting plenty of spin going into the green. Spun a wedge back a couple of feet and as long as I hit the green the ball would always be found a short distance from it's mark. I played reasonably well today (82) and I was hitting it pretty much the same distance I hit every other ball I've played lately.
I also found the ball to be very durable. I hit one tree pretty squarely and bounced it off something hard (not sure if it was cart path or the wood stairs right next to the path) and it held up well (for the most part scuff free). I did alternate between two balls as I always carry an extra ball in my pocket, so that might have helped, but other than the usual dirtying of a ball as you play I really didn't notice any damage.
You've got it exactly backwards. A smaller hole will increase the emphasis on a good short game. The good putter may lose 4-5 shots per round. A poor putter will easily lose 7-8 or more. If you want to help de-emphasize the short game, you increase the size of the cup.
There is a reason that legendary ball-striker Moe Norman would play betting matches with his friends where they wouldn't even count putting (essentially increasing the size of the hole to the entire green).