An update for you on the Jack Nicklaus-endorsed experiment at one of his home clubs:
Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, was the site Sunday and Monday for something a tad unusual. What was so different? Cups (like the one pictured left) were 8 inches in diameter instead of the traditional 4.25 inches. They were used as part of 12-hole tournaments each day, an idea Nicklaus fully supported.
"Over 100 people participated, and the members appreciated being part of something unique," Muirfield Village Golf Club General Manager Nicholas LaRocca told me.
Muirfield Village Golf Club director of grounds Paul Latshaw, CGCS, and a 24-year member of GCSAA, used a Standard Golf Company large cup hole cutter to expand the holes.
"I think it was well-received," Latshaw said. "It was something outside the realm, a little bit different."
The larger cups, in part, were intended to give those who think the game is too hard a better chance for success, which might make them want to continue to play. The 12 holes used for the event also had a second cup in place for members not participating in the tournament (the flags had different colors to prevent confusion).
"I think it did build up confidence," says LaRocca, noting one player recorded four birdies in a row, and somebody posted a winning score of 5-under-par 44. Players were encouraged to move up one set of tees in an effort to make their experience even more rewarding.
"What we found interesting," LaRocca said, "were member's wives, ladies who no longer played here because the course was too hard, came back and thought it was wonderful."
Muirfield Village Golf Club plans to try this again next month when it invites youths who play on local golf teams to participate.