Mike Rewinski initially raised the subject in a thread entitled,
I also commented on the resulting diminishment of the challenge on the approach and recovery shot, which are adversely affected to a good degree.
Interestingly, Seminole has recently softened some of their greens in the name of speed, yet not a word of protest was uttered. I don't want to divert the thread, but if Fazio had been the architect there would have been an outcry that he was ruining another classic. I think GCA should find out who the supervising architect was, and why he permited the alteration of these great Donald Ross greens.
Getting back to speed, I had previoulsy mentioned that if the trend continues, eventually, you'd be left with flat, uninteresting greens. But, it's not just putting that would be affected, it would diminish the need for tactics on the approach as well.
One only has to look at the 1st green at NGLA to see how spectacular a little opening hole can be thanks to creative and challenging green contours. Flattening that green would destroy a good part of the architecture, strategy and playability of the hole.
Many greens have lost critical pin locations due to speed, altering the play and strategy of the hole.
In addition, flattened greens rarely putt like the remaining unflattened or original greens, causing an inconsistency in the play of course in approach shots,chipping, pitching and putting.
Donald Ross indicated that greens are the most important feature on a golf course, yet, with increased green speeds, their character is lost, and as speeds increase each becomes more common, more alike rather than distinctive.
Flattening greens to accomodate increased speeds is a process that can only lead to greens void of character and challenge.