Life is about making choices and often difficult ones. Look no further than a certain soup company from commercials years ago, in fact, so long ago that it feels like a lifetime ago. You had to make a choice, “fork or spoon”. Heck, back in the day there was a local amusement park that had a roller coaster called “The Comet” and they decided to make some seats facing the front and some facing the back. In their commercial, there were two Buffalo Sabres hockey players arguing “frontwards…backwards”. Choices.
One of the protocols put into place here in Ontario (or in most places for that matter) to allow golfers to get back out onto the course was to modify cups. The reason was simple and pretty obvious. It was to limit the amount of contact golfers would have on each other and implements on the course.
There are many ways to do this. Pool noodles have been placed inside or outside of the hole, and in some cases, rudimentary pieces of 2″ PVC tubing have been employed as well. The latter was awful, not only was it a cost-cutting “nickel and diming” way of doing things but I also still came into contact with the pin. Out of necessity, tinkerers have invented things like PitchFix’s “PickCup” (left) or the “EZ Lyft” (right) have been created. All of these methods allow the golf ball to disappear like your playing… “real” golf. Both of those products are pictured below.
I would be the first to admit that I hated the inverted cup idea. My malcontent was due to a few things. What differentiated a “holed out” putt, chip, or pitch and one that wasn’t? In the following picture, I made putts from the same distance, utilizing the same stroke and both were right in the “gut of the noodle”. You’ll see that both golf balls came to rest in varying lengths away from the hole. What are the guidelines? Is it up to the discretion of the golfer? If you simply hit the inverted cup is said shot, holed? In my opinion, I think that there is a lot in question here and it becomes even more convoluted the further out from the green that you go. I think by using the inverted cup you’d see handicaps lower by 2 to 3 shots, which isn’t and wouldn’t be a fair representation of a golfer’s true handicap.
But, there might be a hidden “pro” to the inverted cup idea. In a way, it’s almost like a training aid. When we’re putting or performing any other short game shots, it’s our focus that’s paramount. Granted, we should be focused no matter the shot. At any rate, we’re either keyed in on the hole or the pin. The other day was my first time practicing my short game and in doing so, it was also the first time that I’ve experienced inverted cups.
For some inexplicable reason coming out of the gate this year my short game has been “clicking”. It’s odd because usually the short game and consequential feel is the last thing that I find early in the season. The golf that I’ve played has been very limited thus far, seeing that it’s been limited to a total of 18 holes, not consecutively played. I played 4 holes with my former GM and he was inquisitive about my short game asking “Where is that coming from?” and the answer is that generally, it’s always been there. My scrambling stats show that.
So I’m out there the other day practicing my short-game after working on my full-swing (ugh, that’s been surreal and a story for another day) at Brock Golf Course. It’s a fun facility not too far from my front door. It seemed like I couldn’t miss. I was “holing out” chips, pitches, and putts from nearly everywhere. I found that the pool noodles were almost acting like “Tiger Vision” from the old Tiger Woods PGA TOUR video games for the consoles. My focus was honed!
While I’m still no proponent of inverted cups, I feel that in some cases there’s a benefit to them. Other than helping golfers to stay safe and not spread COVID-19 they can help with focus. What say you? Yay or Nay?
Until The Next Tee!!