Cutting Cups
By kickntrue on 7/21/10
By Matt Snyder, ClubSG Contributor

Matt is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. His column will appear each Monday on ClubSG. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions of Matt in the comments. Don't hold back- because Matt won't.

In my 15 years of working at golf courses, I've learned to do just about everything that there is to do on a golf course. One of the more simple and fun tasks that I've conquered is cutting cups. There are not a whole lot of steps in the process, but it is important that each step be done correctly. The last thing you want to be doing is cutting extra holes in the green because you messed up the first time. It takes between two and three weeks for a properly replaced plug to completely heal, so creating extra plugs is not something that the superintendent smiles about.

In this video, you'll see me completing each of the following steps: cutting the new hole, removing the cup from the previous hole, inserting the cup into the new hole, and plugging the old hole.

The most important thing about this process is ensuring that you are careful with the plug that you cut from the new hole as you insert it into the old hole. If you end up with a plug that is too large or too small for the old hole, you create a situation where the plug is not level with the green. We’ve all seen, from time to time, a plug that was clearly set too low or too high. If the plug is set too low, it becomes a hazard for players to put over. But even worse, if a plug is set too high, the greens mower will likely scalp the grass right off the top of the plug causing an ugly scar on the green which will take a long time to heal. The moisture level is usually the reason for uneven plugs. If the green is too dry, the plug will often fall apart and make for a pretty miserable time of trying to all the dirt from the old hole into the new hole. Additionally, a dry green will not accept the new plug into the old hole very well at all. So, you can stomp on a dry plug all day long, but it won’t compact and mold itself to the old hole. On the other hand, if the green is too wet, the plug tends to compact more and become smaller than the old hole. So, while cutting new holes isn't exactly a complex assignment, it is a process that takes some time to get good at properly completing. It is also one that can cause numerous people to get pretty angry if you fail to get it right.

So, check out this demonstration of the cup-cutting process and let me know what you think. If you have any other questions about the process or a step that you see in the video, feel free to post it and I will be checking in to answer as best I can.

* Matt's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.

Editor Note- Forgive me for the quality of the video. It was filmed on an iPhone and edited quickly using free software from Microsoft. That said- most of the video inadequacies are on me!

[ comments ]
saxxman says:
And then there are the people who use their putters to get the ball out of the cup and ruin the edges?
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