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Golf Hole Size

How Was the Golf Hole Size Standardized at 4.25 Inches?

Now this would be a great standard size hole!

see hole size ruling below

How Was the Golf Hole Size Standardized at 4.25 Inches?

The standardized size of the golf hole comes from the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, and the links at Musselburgh.

The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club, now a 9-hole municipal course, invented in 1829 the first known hole-cutter. That ancient hole-cutter is still in existence and is on display at Royal Musselburgh. This first hole-cutter utilized a cutting tool that was, 4.25 inches in diameter.

In the new rules issued in 1891, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) decided that the hole size should be the same size on golf courses everywhere. In discussing what size it should be, the R&A determined that they liked that size of the original hole cutter from Musselburgh of 4.25 inches, and so they adopted it in their rules for 1891. From there the rest of the golf world adopted the R&A ruling.

How the first hole cutting came to be 4.25" is lost in history. A story that the tool was built from some excess pipe that was laying about the Musselburgh links may have some bearing on how this size came about. However, obviously some thought had to be put into it at the time in order to accommodate the ball into the hole while a flag stick was in it..