LETTER OF THE MONTH
HOGAN’S HEROIC IDEA
Putting has a disproportionate effect on scoring. The putter is used perhaps twice as much as any other club – and that does not reward quality stroke making required to get to the green. Putting can rain on the parade of good driving and iron play, undermining their relative importance.
The great Ben Hogan had a radical idea. He suggested no cups, only pins. In effect, it was nearest the pin on every hole. This means that all the clubs in the bag can receive their fair share of credit for a good score. Perhaps clubs could gauge the popularity of this format by giving it a trial on a competition day.
It would also make for a much shorter game, since putting is eliminated. A quicker game would appeal to many time poor potential players. Many clubs are struggling, and change is needed, as noted by European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley (Golf Australia, February 2018). Murray Fraser via e-mail