Taking the flagsticks out is a Cool Golf Thing

No pins? No problem.
No pins? No problem at Boulder Pointe in its annual end-of-season event. Note the multiple cups on this green.

Golf has a lot of rules and restrictions. And I'm not talking about the USGA's Rules of Golf, but the many other laws governing the vast majority of days at a golf course.

Hats? Facing forward. Shirts? Tucked in. Tee markers? Clearly defined with the understanding that golfers will play from a single set the whole round. Fivesomes? Strictly forbidden!

Once a year for the last seven, Boulder Pointe Golf Club in Oxford, Mich., about 40 miles north of Detroit, has let a little bit of anarchy reign.

It's called the No-Pin Open, and it is Boulder Pointe's way to close out the golf season.

"We wanted to have something that was different and would bring people into the course even on a day with poor weather," said Eric Suran, Boulder Pointe's director of golf.

The format is what you would expect given the name: a four-person scramble tournament where players approach each green with no foreknowledge of where the cup is cut.

But there's a twist: at the No-Pin Open, it's cups, plural. A particular green might have as many as four cups cut in its different sections. Or it might have one.

A pig roast follows Boulder Pointe's annual No-Pin Open.

Adding to the pot-luck feeling, there's a post-tournament pig roast. And it being November in Detroit, the weather is a total wild-card. "There have been years where Mother Nature has cooperated," said Suran. "We have had years where the weather has been extremely cold, and we [may] receive all 4 seasons in one day."

Boulder Pointe filled its 27 holes with golfers for this year's No-Pin Open, played under mild conditions with sun and temperatures in the 60s.

Despite the lack of flagsticks, the winning teams went low, with one team shooting a 55. There's a lesson in that.

March 22, 2019
Browse our not-too-long essays about cool things in golf.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
Commented on

I can’t believe you put a picture of a dead pig on a stick on this site. Horrible to look at. And I’m not even a vegetarian.

Commented on

Two words: Awesome ideas.

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Taking the flagsticks out is a Cool Golf Thing