It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
New 15-inch holes to be trialled at 100 golf courses in the US
Golf courses across the USA have started introducing new 15-inch holes on the putting greens in an effort to entice more people back into the sport.
The holes will undergo a severe re-design, boosting from 4 inches to 15 inches in a pilot scheme which is being rolled out to around 100 golf courses across the pond in the hopes that it will improve players’ scores, inject more speed into the game and also encourage beginners to give the sport a proper go.
A good description of the new holes has them being compared to an average size pizza, and they’ve been given the backing of Ted Bishop, president of the Professional Golfers Association of America.
Bishop said: “We’ve got to stop scaring people away from golf by telling them that there is only one way to play the game.”
The Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia, is preparing to install the 15-inch holes, with top players Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose playing on the new course during a promotional event held last month.
“A 15in hole could help junior golfers, beginning golfers and older golfers score better, play faster and like golf more,” Garcia said.
Doug Hawley, managing director of the Redwoods Golf Course in Langley, British Colombia, Canada, has agreed to trial the holes on the greens. He told CBC News: “Younger folks just don't think it’s cool.
“Golf hasn't really grown. It hasn't really declined. It's just staying stable.
“If you can take out some of the frustration out the game ... the more relaxed they are, the more they'll enjoy their day, and the more they'll want to come back.”