Do They Move the Holes on a Golf Course? (Answered)

Many people who are new to golf make a lot of assumptions about how the course is cared for and managed. Everything from the location of the green to the sand traps to the driving range might seem like it will be set in stone at your favorite golf course. However, that is not actually the case.

Many golf courses do move the holes in their course. This is because the holes can get damaged due to lots of foot traffic and putting, and they might get ragged or have a depression near them that throws off play. This is a practice that is common to both local and professional play courses to preserve the putting spaces at each hole.

How is a New Hole Made in the Green?

The holes are required to be 4.25 inches in diameter and a minimum of 4 inches deep per professional golfing rules. The greenskeeper is the one that makes the new hole, and they use a specialized cutting tool to cut a new hole and pull the plug of soil and grass from the hole. The bottom of the hole is then smoothed out, and the cup is removed from the original location and placed in the new hole.

The old hole it filled by putting the plug of dirt taken from the new hole into the space where the hole had been. The plug will be pressed into place, and some fill dirt might be needed to complete the process of filling in the space where the flag was once inserted and where putting was done. 

This process keeps golf courses fresh and easy to play, and it can also help to maintain the green. There are many different philosophies about the location where new holes should be placed in relationship to the old hole, and there are plenty of golf course architects who make manuals about how to undertake this task. Well-maintained courses will always provide this service for the people who play through their course, and they will use the advice of these experts to help guide their decisions about the placement of the new hole.

You might be thinking that this will change the playability of the hole on the course, and it might change your angle of attack to the putting green somewhat. However, that is the nature of golf, and you should be willing to learn to play through a well-maintained course that makes these adjustments from time to time.

Golf Courses Move the Holes to Protect the Green

The main reason that golf courses move the holes on the putting green is to protect the grass and to make sure that there is no sunken depression around the hole itself. This is part of normal maintenance for putting greens and golf courses, and most golf course owners will make sure to take on this task from time to time to keep the course in good condition.

This article was last updated on February 7, 2023 .

The Golf Blog