Replacing Hole On The Green

Replacing a hole on the green is an art. I can guarantee you that if it is not done properly, golfers will be the very first to notice and complain. Chris is the maintenance expert at Osprey Links and he does an excellent job ensuring that the hole is flat and in a reasonable location. I will admit that I have expressed some displeasure with the pin locations over the years, but I do not relish the having to ensure that18 holes are perfectly changed on a daily basis. Besides, I do not know how to change a hole on the green, but selecting locations……I think I could do that with some expertise.

If you are wondering, here is how the USGA explains how to change a hole on the green. Pay attention to the front of the video about hole location. We shall delve into that deeper after the watch:

It is very interesting how the entire process is completed. One thing I noticed is that the greenskeeper coated the hole insert with some kind of talc. I am not sure what it was, but I would be interested to find out. I will have to ask Chris next time I see him on the golf course. If any of you know, please let me know in the comments.

Near the front of the video the USGA suggests that a 2 or 3 foot area around the green should be flat or have a minimum amount of slope. This ‘grace area’ (my words) provides an opportunity for amateurs, like myself, to sink the ball easily or at least not have a knee knocker from 2 feet. This is where I think most courses sometimes forget that the grace area is very important to a positive golfing experience.

I have played some courses where the hole was in ludicrous positions. I would putt the ball at the hole, miss, and my ball would return to my original position or father away. This hole position (was actually in a tournament) was the deciding factor for the scores of all participants. One person actually 5 putted the ball. I was lucky and only two putted because I sank a 12 footer.

I played a hole where I missed the ball on the right, it rolled around the outside of the rim (completely outside the cup) and came back to me six feet away from where I started. The worse part was that I was putting for eagle and left with a par. I actually ran into the head greenskeeper on the next tee box and we had a great laugh about my misfortune. He was shocked and immediately went and looked at my claim. When I saw him later in the round, he stated that he changed the hole to around the position I originally putted the ball.

Changing a hole on the green is an art. Done properly and we have a great golfing experience. Do it poorly and all heck can break loose. I do not profess to have even the slightest idea how to change a hole, but my experience does provide insight on where to place one. Obviously, I will not be in the position to select hole positions, but I will continue to watch an learn as time goes on.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


4 thoughts on “Replacing Hole On The Green

  1. It seems to me that the staff at most every course I’ve played decide to disregard that 3 foot rule daily on at least a hole or two. And while it can certainly make life difficult, it adds a challenge I like. But it depends on the hole. When they spice up an easy par three by putting pins in difficult places I enjoy it more than when I find one on an already difficult hole. I’ve seen both in recent months and it hurt a bit on those tough holes I must admit. It’s like you did your best and got there only to find the real challenge has just begun. It makes keeping even well earned confidence that much harder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      I do not mind a challenge on the green. However, there are some pin placements that are completely unfair. Those are the positions I dislike. A player should not be penalized for just missing a putt by having their ball stop farther than when they started. I realize that there many variables, but I think an experienced player like yourself will understand what I mean.

      Cheers Jim


      • Yeah I do know what you mean, I just don’t see it quite the same. I’ve seen holes that were next to impossible to get to from where I landed my ball, and I’ve seen holes where the safe area to find a decent putt from is frustratingly small. But I’ve not seen one ever that had no path to it. I’m often far from that safe path, but that’s my fault for either not knowing the green or not executing well enough. The game just wouldn’t be as interesting without challenges like that. And I have to say that if the greens are slow enough to keep the ball from rolling down a slope like that, I won’t find it as fun either. And mastering those holes that cause us so much anguish is surely one of the better feelings in life. I say bring em on.

        There’s one hole here that I got suckered on. It’s only 150 to the middle. A nice easy hole. But it has a false front and the crew apparently has the temerity to put the pin up there on occasion. On the slope. If you go past the hole with your tee shot, you have to make sure you hole it. Period. If not, you’ll be lucky to stop in the fringe and get at least another putt. But more likely your hit the taller grass and have to chip back on. And staying under the hole isn’t a simple thing. You have only the fringe to work with really. And of course that would leave that lip out problem which is assuredly what the outcome would be. It’s tough. It’s treacherous. I’d even call it diabolical. But I don’t see it as unfair. I see it as fun.

        Liked by 1 person

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