As Lala's final putt toward the history books continued its path to the coveted hole in the ground, the world was at a standstill waiting to witness a small ball disappear into the earth. The cup was now the center of attention.
The cup. Golfer's arch-nemesis. Even the most preeminent putters in the game often wish the diameter of this cavity was a bit larger. Its current measurement of four-and-a-quarter inches in diameter is now the standardized measurement. It almost seems nonsensical that the journey to this four-and-a-quarter inch diameter opening into the ground generally starts 300-600 yards away, and with a ball that cannot have a diameter any smaller than 1.680 inches. It is not a mystery why the game of golf can be one of the most frustrating and problematic games in the world to play. To that end, it is ironic the game of golf is one of the most popular played sports in the word despite the heartbreak and challenges it presents.
How did the hole come to be standardized at its current measurement of four-and-a-quarter inches in diameter? In the early days of golf, those who tended to the golf courses were called "hole cutters" rather than the term used today, the"greenskeeper." The "hole cutters" filled in the old holes on the green and then cut new ones. There was no standardized hole size, and the dimensions varied from course to course. In the early 19th Century, the first step to hole standardization happened in Scotland. During that time, a golf course in Scotland invented the first known "hole-cutter," a tool that could cut holes the same size every time. The hole size had a diameter of four-and-a-quarter inches!
Although the golf courses throughout Scotland used the same hole size, that size took a while to catch on around the world. In the late 1800s, golf courses around the world moved to the now standardized hole dimensions that Scotland created. Now it is almost inconceivable that high-level golfers would play with anything other than the standard 4.25-inch hole size. The exact reasons for why that first tool cut holes at the now-standard diameter are lost to history. It is perhaps apocryphal that the "hole cutter" was built from some excess pipe that was laying about a Scottish golf course.