Thursday, November 13, 2014

Preset Cups for the Winter Season

We installed our preset cups for this coming winter season. This idea is becoming popular in the Transition Zone with the ultradwarf bermudagrasses. The focus is to minimize the amount of old plugs from changing the cups during the winter season. Cup changing is necessary to reduce damage from foot traffic during play. Unfortunately our climate during this time of year isn't conducive to grass growing or plug recovery. So to reduce foot traffic, visibility of old plugs and improve the aesthetics and playability of the greens, we have implemented our preset cup system. Our pin locations are separated into three sections. Each section will have two cups and each cup will contain a rubber plug (green in color) to fill the void. The plugs will be level with the putting surface. The USGA has a rule if the ball comes into play or settles on the plug: For those wondering about what happens should your ball be on the putting green and the rubber plug is on the line of your putt, the Rules of Golf cover this situation. Since this a hole made by a greenkeeper, it meets the Definition of Ground Under Repair. You could choose to play your ball as it lies, but you also have the option to take relief. Rule 25-1b(iii) provides guidance on how to take relief if desired. 25-1b (iii) On the Putting Green: If the ball lies on the putting green, the player must lift the ball and place it, without penalty, at the nearest point of relief that is not in a hazard or, if complete relief is impossible, at the nearest position to where it lay that affords maximum available relief from the condition, but not nearer the hole and not in a hazard. The nearest point of relief or maximum available relief may be off the putting green. To ensure the best cooperation from players, the Committee should let players know the reason the covers are being used. From a Rules perspective, the Committee should make it clear to players that these holes are ground under repair and recommend that the hole covers should not be removed. Below are some pictures of the process: