Can Bigger Holes Save the Golf Business? One Local Course Hopes So

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Madison, Ala. (WHNT) Who hasn't walked off green in frustration? That four and quarter inch wide hole seems just small enough to keep your golf ball from falling. The difficulty involved in one of the world's oldest sports is part of the reason participation is down. Changing lifestyles are another reason for a decline in the golf business since the turn of the century.

In an effort to revitalize the game and bring new players to the course, Sunset Landing in Madison is experimenting with a larger cup. "The big cup is about the size of a large pizza," course owner Randy Emens says. "The golf business is struggling a little bit and we thought it would be a good way to bring new players into the game and not be as intimidated."

Sunset Landing is one of about 80 courses around the country to debut "Big Cup Golf," and the only one in North Alabama.

The unorthodox holes are not the reason Lauren Edwards decided to begin playing, but it is helping her confidence. "It's a little intimidating. Just a game with a lot of people who are experienced and a lot of different things you have to know," Edwards said while playing the first round of her life. "Definitely made my confidence higher. When the other guys are playing the smaller holes. it allowed me to feel a little more level with them."

Most golf traditionalists are not in favor of having a 15 inch hole in the center of the green, but that's not who this nuance is geared towards. Emens is targeting the recreational golfer who frequently shoots in the 100 range.

"You will shoot 10 strokes lower than you would normally shoot and possibly play about 45 minutes to an hour faster." which gives more time for everyone's busy lives.