What is the Diameter of a Golf Hole?

What is the diameter of a golf hole and why are they all the same size? - Jim in San Antonio, TX

Well the diameter of a golf hole is 4.25 inches exactly… I’m sure many people have taken a putt only to miss and think to themselves… “If only that hole was just a bit bigger my ball would have slipped right in.” So why was this standard golf hole size chosen to begin with? Here’s the answer. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, issued new rules in 1891 with the purpose of making the game more consistent and one of the ways they decided to accomplish this was to standardize the size of the golf hole. The size that they arrived at became the hole that we are all fond of today with the magic diameter of 4.25 inches.

Actually, this is the end result of the rules that previous incarnation of Royal Musselburgh Golf Club had come up with back in 1829. This led to the creation of the first known hole cutter and believe it or not this ancient ground eater is still in existence and is on display at Royal Musselburgh and was the exact 4.25 inches in diameter that we all are familiar with today. After the great people running the Royal and Ancient Golf Club adopted it into their rules back 1891 and the rest of the world followed.

However, there is a bit of wonder surrounding why the first hole cutter was created at this specific size. But more than likely, it was a totally arbitrary decision. Take that next putting stroke with pride and know you’re hitting your balls deep into a piece of golf history every time you take a putt.

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