LET­TER OF THE MONTH

Golf Australia - - AROUND THE TRAPS -

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

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