Jerry Lemons Non-Conforming Hole Locations

REFERENCES lUSGA Green Section Record, July 1966. 2USGA Green Section Stimpmeter Handbook and USGA Green Section Record, September 1967. 3USGA Green Section Record, March 1977. 4USGA Green Section Record, Novemberl December 1978. sUSGA Green Section Record, March 1983. 6USGA Green Section Record, Novemberl December 1983. 7USGA Green Section Record, September! October 1992. 8USGA Green Section Record, Novemberl December 1995. 9USGA Green Section Record, July I August 2003 . lOUSGA Green Section Record, July I August 2006. llTennessee Golf Association Course Ratings. 12SanDiego Union Tribune, "Architect Rees Jones is excited and proud as his redesigned Torrey Pines South gets set to host U.S. Open," by Ed Zieralski, February 13, 2008. 13USGAGreen Section Record, November! December 1984. 14USGACourse Rating 2007 System Guide. lsUSGA Green Section Record, July I August 1987, "Turf Twisters." 16USGAGreen Section Record, Marchi April 2005, "Turf Twisters." 17Excerpts from Golf Course Architecture, Dr. Michael Hurdzan. 18USGAGreen Section Record, January I February 2000. 19U5GA Green Section Record, Septemberl October 1981. 2°USGA Green Section Record, July I August 1987. 21USGA Green Section Record, Septemberl October 1981. 22USGA Green Section Record, Marchi April 1977.

in areas not likely to be used during play, preferably at the fronts and the backs of greens, bearing in mind the areas that will be impaired by foot traffic patterns. • The superintendent who cuts the holes should make sure that the Rules of Golf are observed, especially the requirements that the hole liner not exceed 4" in outer diameter and that it be sunk at least 1" below the putting green surface (Definition 15). The hole should be cut as vertically as possible. • Use common sense with hole place- ments: "If you have to look long- it's wrong!" Bob Jones said, "Control of the ball is what all good golfers are striving for. The great courses in America allow the player to make use of his talent to the degree that he can, yet challenge that talent to reward only the exceptional."22 Although the Rules of Golf may not specifically define a "conforming" or "non-conforming" hole location, in the interest of the game, the committee should consider these recommendations when setting up their golf course for daily and championship play. Selecting fair hole locations involves using art and science. Neither the Rules of Golf nor the committee can use an exact formula that can be applied to every situation. These recommendations will not only allow competitions to occur in a fair manner by identifying the player with the best skills, but they will also allow the great game we enjoy to be played in the spirit that was intended for many years to come. Courses that maintain greens so fast that only a few conforming hole loca- tions exist should consider slower green speeds. If a club is adamant about having faster speeds, then individual greens can be modified by removing severe slopes and still keep the archi- tectural intent of the existing green . Call an ASGCA member today!

condition, void of old cup marks, damage, and excessive pitch marks. • The hole location should have at least 3' around the hole (holing-out area) that is consistent in slope. Hole locations using steeper slopes (yellow on the green speed slope chart) should have at least 6' around the hole. Holes should be placed no closer than three paces to critical steep slopes (in the red). • In no case should holes be located in tricky places or on sharp slopes where a ball can gather speed. A player above the hole should be able to putt with a reasonable degree of boldness and not purely defensively. A player should not lose the ability to control the ball on a putting green, especially around the holing area. • For a competition played over several days, the course should be kept in balance daily as to degree of diffi- culty. In a stroke competition, the first hole of the first round is as important as the last hole of the last round, and so the course should not be appreciably more difficult for any round - balanced treatment is the aim. An old concept of making the course progres- sively harder round after round is fallacious. • In early rounds, anticipate players' traffic patterns and avoid locating many holes where walking across the green by many players could spoil good hole locations for later rounds. • In match play, a hole location may, if necessary, be changed during a round provided the opponents in each match play the same location. In stroke play, Rule 36-4a requires that all competi- tors in a single round play with each hole cut in the same position. When 36 holes are played in one day, it is not customary for hole locations to be changed between rounds, but there is no Rule to prohibit it. If they are changed, all competitors should be informed. • During practice days before a com- petition, it is advisable to locate holes

SPECIAL THANKS toJan Beijan, ASGCA; Rick Robbins, ASGCA; Todd Jenkins, PGA; for their assistance.

JERRY LEMONS is a golf course designer in Old Hickory, Tennessee. A 27-year veteran if the GCSAA, he earned CGCS status in 1988. He recently was selected as an Associate Member if the American Society if Golf Course Architects. Jerry has designed more than 25 courses and can be reached at


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