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Larger Golf Holes: Nicklaus May Be Onto Something
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 12:05


I know he probably got some grief for this, but when Jack Nicklaus proposed to host an event over Labor Day at his Muirfield Village Golf Club in which the cups were twice as large (8” vs. 4.25”), and the tournament was only 12 holes (vs. 18 holes), I was in his corner. He is concerned that fewer people are playing golf and that the industry needs to think outside the box. Bravo!!

According to the Columbus Business First article I found:

As part of the Labor Day activities at Muirfield Village, Nicklaus will host 12-hole tournaments in which the hole will be 8 inches in diameter instead of the traditional 4 1/4 inches. To encourage faster play, participants are required to complete the round in 2 1/2 hours. They will be penalized one stroke for every five minutes over the allotted time.

It seems that the industry is loathe to change and acts like the fairy tale kid with a finger in the dike. ..if we just keep our finger in the hole, then the world won’t come crashing down upon us. We’re in denial unfortunately.

We know that participation is dropping. We know it takes 4 ½ hours to play. We know that golf is a hard game and we know that as many people pick it up as drop it each year. If people like Jack Nicklaus start to lead a charge, then maybe others will listen.

It is past the time that golf courses will be able to wait out this double-dip recession (yes, unfortunately I mean that). Courses need to think WAY outside the box and getting behind something like this is a start.

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