A while back, I asked several questions about golf course maintenance and how we as members could help protect our playing field. One question that was asked dealt with if the cup is being damaged more now that the pins are left in, than before when the pin was always removed. It is a valid question being asked all over because a person has developed an method to alleviate this potential hazard.
First, thanks to Jeremy Sizer from Turfbots for sending me the video. Jeremy is an ex-superintendent at Roundel Glen and I consider him an expert in the area of golf course management.
This solution seems very simple, but not really innovative. Just about every practice putting green I used over the years had this type of ball retrieval system. Albeit the pins are shorter, the basic principle is the same. A little scoop at the bottom of the pin to pull the balls out of the holes.
Now, the holes on the course are deeper and this pose a slightly more difficult challenge pulling them out hole with the pin in. This device will definitely make that easier and should protect the holes. So, on the surface it seems like a good idea.
I have a couple of thoughts:
- Will the sleeve around the pin affect how the ball will fall into the hole?
- Does the sleeve deaden the ball, thus making it easier to sink the putt or is it larger causing the ball to bounce away more often?
These and other questions will arise if the ball scoop becomes popular. I guess I will have to wait and see.
I asked Chris, the greenskeeper at Osprey Links who changes the hole location all the time, about if he notice more damage to the holes now that the pins are being left in. He said, that it was about the same. There is a bit of an issue of people reaching in to retrieve their ball or trying to pull the pin out with the ball in the hole. But, nothing more noticable from when people would use their putter to scoop out the ball with the pin out. Ultimately, from Chris’ opinion, it is a push. However, make no mistake some damage is being done to the holes every day.
Bottom line, this invention would help protect the holes a bit better, but I am not convinced the cost to the golf course would be worth it. I would have to actually see one of these ball scoops in action to provide a more in-depth analysis.
For now I will withhold my final decision. I ask that if anyone has used one of these new ball scoop inventions, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.
Regardless, I do applaud Tactic Golf for trying to improve golf. It is innovators that help make the game better.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!