Taking A Hack At Golf’s Growth Problem

GREENSBORO, GEORGIA | The irony never occurred to them. Just a little more than 12 hours after Bubba Watson won the most elite, tradition-laden tournament in golf at arguably the most exclusive club in the world, Sergio García and Justin Rose co-hosted an event designed to shake up golf’s staid and stodgy mores and make the game fun for a new generation of beginners.
At Reynolds Plantation, a lakeside resort an hour’s drive from Augusta National, García and Rose, neither of whom played particularly well in The Masters, gushed over a new initiative called Hack Golf, a terrible name for an idea that isn’t half bad.
The brainchild of TaylorMade CEO Mark King, Hack Golf provides course owners with the tools needed to create a 15-inch hole, complete with cup and flag, to make the game easier and faster.
“Beginners need to feel as though they can make it,” García said after shooting 6 under for nine holes using the big cups. “I remember there was a sprinkler head in the middle of the putting green when I was a kid. Every once in a while my friends and I would say, ‘Let’s putt to the sprinkler head.’ It wasn’t 15 inches, but it was great fun because we all felt like we could make it.
“That’s important. For young kids, for beginners, and even for some older people who have lost their touch, this is a great way to regain the sense of accomplishment that comes with making it.”
No one is suggesting a replacement for the standard 4 1/4-inch cups that have been part of the game since Scotsmen began cutting holes with snuff cans. The idea is to offer both.


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