Our Experts Explain

Article Rating: starstarstarstarstar

Experts Explain: Frequency For Changing Hole Locations

Posted: 11/8/2013

Some members of our Green Committee want us to change hole locations daily. We have not done this in the past because we receive a low volume of play during the week. Should we be changing holes every day? (Missouri)



The frequency for changing hole locations is dependent on golfer traffic, turf growth and labor availability. For daily play, the purpose for changing the hole is primarily to distribute traffic over the entire putting surface to prevent wear damage.

During times of heavy play, changing the hole daily is likely a necessity to prevent excessive turf wear from concentrated foot traffic and spike marks and to maintain the integrity of the hole, as hole edges can easily become worn and/or damaged by players if they are careless in removing their ball from the hole or replacing the flagstick. Occasionally, hole locations may be changed twice a day if play is extremely heavy, especially on public golf courses. When play is light, golf facilities may choose to change the holes daily, not out of traffic concerns, but to keep the course more interesting for players fortunate enough to play every day. 

Superintendents at heavily played courses must also consider the impact of hole locations on the pace of play. Ideally, the easier hole locations are saved for days on which the course is heavily used to help players get the flagstick in the hole and move on to the next tee more quickly. Since there are a limited number of easy locations, this means there will be days on which the holes are “tucked in” to some more difficult spots. This balancing of hole locations is particularly challenging on small, heavily contoured greens.

 As a general rule, most golf course superintendents prefer daily hole changing, but not all courses have enough labor to accomplish this task every day unless it is absolutely necessary to prevent damage to the green. In reality, many golf facilities reach a compromise, with new holes cut following a day of heavy play, while using the same hole location for consecutive days when play is slow. While it may be possible to not change holes for several days when play is minimal, the interval between hole changes should not be so long that lateral turfgrass growth effectively shrinks the diameter of the hole.

Rate this article:
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

AmEx image