The Hole Size in Golf

PGA Fellow Professional

The Hole Size in Golf

The Hole Size in Golf

The Hole Size in Golf is a short golf blog post that looks at the exact diameters of the cup size and flag height on a golf course.

A question that is often asked is What is the diameter of a golf hole?

The Hole or the Cup is exactly 4.25″ or 10.795cm in diameter. That is 2.529 x the diameter of a golf ball.

The depth of the cup must be at least 4 – 6″ under the surface of the green.

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

In 1891 these sizes were taken on and made official by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A).

It had taken the R&A approximately 150 years before they decided to regulate the hole size.

Since 1820 Royal Musselburgh Golf Club had been using a bespoke hole cutter for consistency.

Members of the R&A visited the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club. After seeing it for themselves they decided that it was a great idea and adopted the hole cutter as standard.

Throughout the history of the game, many have argued for a greater diameter.

Ben Hogan famously proposed an 8″ hole size. He thought that the 4.25″ hole size gave too much emphasis on putting.

This suited the good putters but not the great ball strikers and players.

Hogan thought that it would help even things up for great short-game players and approach players.

Since then, a hole size of 15″ has also been discussed.

As you can see in the image above, the flag height should be at least 7′ or 2.13m high.

Remember that at least 4″ will be below the surface of the putting green.

This is an odd one for me as I have played in many tournaments where that was not the case. There have been flags that were not much higher than my waist height.

Maybe those tournaments should have been null and void.



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