Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cutting Cups and Hole Locations

Hole Location

A top 10 hot Topic on every golf Course before/during/after a round is the hole location on the putting greens.  The 'natural law of ego' causes the individual holding the putter to cast words of blame immediately at the hole location after a missed putt.  Never mind the fact that there approach shot placement was poor, they read the green wrong or did a poor job with speed control... it is usually always the actual location of the cup that caused the miss.... A natural law I do not see changing anytime soon on golf courses everywhere.  There is always a desirable location to be when your ball comes to rest on the putting green after your approach shot.  It is up the player to figure out ball placement and gain that advantage over the course.  
With those points disclosed I would like to address the actual process we go through when selecting hole locations during our morning course prep.  

Priority Number 1
Keep it playable and don't put out any impossible hole locations.  
Yes this is the first point we focus on every single time we are out placing the hole locations during morning prep.  It is never our intention to upset anyone, we want everyone to have an enjoyable experience.  We want happiness and not anger.  

Priority Number 2
Move the hole location around so the wear is evenly distributed over the entire surface.  
Turf takes time to heal after concentrated traffic occurs around a hole for a day or two, if quality is important all areas on a green must be utilized.  
We actually keep a log folder that goes out every time with the set-up individual.  The past positions are reviewed at each green so we can ensure the positions are being moved around properly.  If the location is front it moves to middle, if its middle it moves to back, if its back it moves to front.  The right-center-left is then based off past locations and ease of the location in relation to other locations on that given day.  

Priority Number 3
Perfect plug replacement.  
When replacing the plug it must be completed perfectly.  High plugs will scalp off during the next mowing and cause unsightly rings, low plugs create a depression that will disrupt ball roll and over time turn into darker green rings as the turf growth thicker and longer in those areas.  There is a process to plug replacement and it is not as easy as most think it is.  

Priority Number 4
Make sure the cup is level so the flagstick rises up straightly.  
This is achieved while sinking the hole cutter into the soil; one must be observant so the cutter is not going in at an angle.  Only minor adjustments can be made with the cup to get the flagstick straight after the hole is cut, so it is important to get a straight hole cut with the hole cutter.  

Priority Number 5
Avoid areas of damage or potential damage.
When selecting the location we want a healthy area of turf around the hole so perfect ball roll can be achieved by players and more putts can be made if putted properly.  
We always try to avoid diseased locations, areas of turf wilt and damaged turf from equipment (like a hydraulic leak).  Winter kill situations can severely limit our location selection but that is usually only for a limited time in the spring of the year.  We also have to predict potential saturated conditions; if it is going to rain heavily we must avoid all low areas on the putting greens.  

Everyday is a busy day here at the Marquette Golf Club so the goal is to create variety in hole locations every day in our set up; most easy but some interesting that take a little more thought and skill.  

**Hole locations are changed 4-5 times a week during the peak playing season.  During the shoulder seasons we base location changes on daily round numbers.  

Found the Location and now Cutting the Cup

Setting the Cup and painting the edge white

Perfect Plug replacement is Essential 

Blog Archive