In an effort to draw new players to the 18-hole, Fredericksburg, Va., course, alternative holes at the edges of the green marked with red flags measure eight inches instead of the standard four. The enlarged holes are being used on a trial basis during the fall and winter, and will be covered during tournaments.
Cannon Ridge Golf Club in Fredericksburg, Va., has developed a fix for frustrated putters on its 18-hole course: Provide bigger holes.
“So far, the response has been pretty good,” General Manager Bart Wolfe told The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star.
Deane Beman, the former PGA Tour commissioner who designed Cannon Ridge, thought the expanded holes would be a good way to draw a new group of players to the course. Each hole has a regulation 4-inch hole, but also has an 8-inch hole placed near the edges of the greens, where they are least likely to get in the way of regular golfers, the Star reported.
While some members were initially uneasy about the idea of the enlarged holes, Wolfe said, they found they were unaffected after playing a few rounds. The cups are being used on a trial basis this fall and winter and if they are a success, Wolfe said Cannon Ridge might keep them, the Star reported.
Some regulars have said the new holes would bring too many inexperienced players and slow down the pace of play, but Wolfe believes the additional holes will actually speed things up, the Star reported.
“Most beginners—and I’ve taught a lot of them in the last 25 years—learn to get to the green in three to four shots,” Wolfe explained. “But it usually takes them three, four or five-plus shots to get it in the hole. They spend as much time from the fringe of the green getting it into the hole.”
The 8-inch holes are marked with bright red flags, while the regular cups have blue and gray flags. When some tournaments are held, the larger holes will be covered, but the upcoming Wounded Warriors tournament will give players the option of using the red flags. If a player accidentally makes it into the hole they weren’t playing, they would take a drop from the spot. However, if a hole in one is accidentally scored, Wolfe said there’s no harm in counting it, the Star reported.
“Everybody likes going home and saying they shot a 75 instead of a 90,” Wolfe said. “They don’t have to tell their families they played the 8-inch cups. They can just say they played their best round ever.”