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!