News & ToursFebruary 12, 2009

Heineken Hill?

Taking a page from the FBR Open, the New Zealand Open next month has designated the 15th hole at the Hills Course as a party hole.

"Every organizer in golf knows about that par 3 in Phoenix," Doug Jacques, a board member at the Hills, told the Southland Times. "The crowd goes silent when the players hit. You could hear a pin drop. Then, everyone's yelling, 'get in the hole,' and if it goes in the crowd goes wild."

The story said that Robert Allenby has criticized the idea, though it doesn't say why.

The thinking here is why not occasionally inject some frivolity into a game that moves at a languid pace? Consider this: A player who shoots 66 in a four-hour round is hitting only one shot every three minutes, thirty-eight seconds on average, including tap-in putts that lower the average, but not the monotony. The game isn't growing. It could use an occasional jolt that might even bring new people to the game.

-- John Strege

More from The Loop