I’d like to take this opportunity to address some questions and what we believe some possible confusion surrounding the 15″ Cup initiative.
First let me address some history and how we (Par Aide) are involved. The 15″ Cup was the brainchild of Taylor Made and came to life via a project they are calling “Hack Golf”. This is a project designed around growing the game of golf. Hack Golf is an open forum for people to comment and give thoughts/ideas on ways to grow the game…that has been steadily declining. Golf is losing golfers, rounds are down, revenue is down to facilities and courses are closing and are projected to continue to close in the US at a staggering rate over the next 10 years. We need to look outside the box and think of different ways to grow the game and this idea is just one of them. Taylor Made announced their investment in this project at the 2014 PGA Show and approached Par Aide to partner with them in production of the cup, hole cutter, flag sticks, flags and tee markers. A kick off event was held at Reynolds Plantation on the Monday after The Masters where sports writers from across the country were introduced to the 15″ Cup idea. Since then, many articles have been written about that event and the 15″ Cup.
This is where we see some of the confusion happening as many of these commentaries have missed the mark. The 15″ Cup is NOT designed to replace a regulation cup. It is not meant to be used in normal everyday play for an avid golfer. It is not something anyone is trying to promote to change the integrity of the game. It is meant to be just one more idea to attract beginners, kids, etc to the game. Its hard to argue that the game of golf, that we are all deeply invested in, needs to find ways to grow. Attract new golfers. Increase rounds. Increase revenue. Again, In no way, shape or form is the 15″ cup meant to replace a regulation cup, rather, the thought is that it could be used in conjunction with a regulation cup to offer beginners a different target to putt to. Think of it like tee ball for baseball. Lowering the rim and using a smaller ball for basketball. Bumpers for bowling. Or any other sport that makes modifications to attract beginners and make the game easier and less intimidating for them. Other than shorter clubs and Jr. Tees, golf is not doing much to make an extremely difficult game easier, less intimidating and more inviting for say a 6 year old.
Will the 15″ Cup be for every club? Of course not. And Mark King, CEO of Taylor Made, who has committed $5 million to growing the game of golf readily admits this. But to his credit, he is doing something about it whether it works or not.
Does the 15″ Cup come without a number of maintenance issues for Golf Course Superintendents? No, obviously. That is where we come in and why Taylor Made chose to partner with us. We are doing everything we can to make the process as easy as possible for our customers. We are looking at different ways to cut the cup, mowing practice when the cup is in play, designs in the actual playability of the cup, etc.
While this idea doesn’t come without its fair share of “issues” we hope our customers as well as the golfing community can understand what the true goal of this project is. To grow the game of golf and preserve its future.
Sales & Marketing Manager