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Sean_A

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Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2011, 09:16:01 AM »
Sean,

A strange question it may be...

The obvious ground game neccesities are firm/fast conditions and wind. These are less to do with design and more to do with agronomy and natural conditions of the site.

I'm trying to find what aspects of design might promote or hinder the use of the ground game...

Ally "Patrick Mucci" McIntosh

Ally

I spose all I can really say is the design should take into account possible weather and turf conditions.  It may b really exciting to see a ball rolling and banking off contours and sometimes that is a safer way to access a good position on the green, but I don't see how that should effect the decision to play bump n' run shots very much.  Most of the time the decision is down to wind and course conditions, and of course where one has left himself for the next shot. There necessarily must be aerial routes to make ground routes more enticing.  Bottom line is good design should take care of creating those options, but what is the best choice is down to skill and willingness to take risks.  Do you have examples of good or bad ground game courses which have good turf for that sort of game?  Perhaps that would help illuminate what you are driving at.

Ciao 
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2011, 09:29:33 AM »
Sean,

A strange question it may be...

The obvious ground game neccesities are firm/fast conditions and wind. These are less to do with design and more to do with agronomy and natural conditions of the site.

I'm trying to find what aspects of design might promote or hinder the use of the ground game...

Ally "Patrick Mucci" McIntosh

Ally

I spose all I can really say is the design should take into account possible weather and turf conditions.  It may b really exciting to see a ball rolling and banking off contours and sometimes that is a safer way to access a good position on the green, but I don't see how that should effect the decision to play bump n' run shots very much.  Most of the time the decision is down to wind and course conditions, and of course where one has left himself for the next shot. There necessarily must be aerial routes to make ground routes more enticing.  Bottom line is good design should take care of creating those options, but what is the best choice is down to skill and willingness to take risks.  Do you have examples of good or bad ground game courses which have good turf for that sort of game?  Perhaps that would help illuminate what you are driving at.

Ciao 

I guess I'm driving down a dead end to be honest.

I tried to give an example with Ballybunion above but there has been a lot of good stuff suggested since...

Talking purely of links courses, you must find yourself on some using the ground route more than others, independent of specific wind on any given day?

Jamie Barber

Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2011, 09:53:40 AM »
I can think of specific holes which pretty much exclude a ground approach on a links,, e.g. the 9th at Brancaster, but that's really an odd sod.

Sean_A

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Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2011, 10:02:43 AM »
Ally

I can't think of any off the top of my head UNLESS I know the course quite well - Burnham for instance, but that is more a matter of familiarity than design.  Burnham is a fairly narrow course and it can pay to keep the ball down and try for the thumping, punch.  Plus, it makes a big difference where flags are as to the best place to miss and thus the type of shot to play.  On #8 for instance if the hole is middle to back and there is a decent wind off the leeft and I am on the right - I am not afraid to try and stick an aerial shot approach because going long isn't so bad.  

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Niall C

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Re: What makes a good "ground game" course?
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2011, 02:25:34 PM »

Niall,

Although Dornoch has plenty of plateau greens I dont think that means that they demand an aerial approach shot? I'd say that on all but 5 and 10 which have bunkers across the front of the green, you have a chance to run an approach shot up the ridge, false front or plateau. With the famous Foxy I'd even say that its pretty much your best chance of getting on the putting surface as anything pitching the green is likely to run through?

But maybe thats a key factor with Ally's question? If you have a long iron in your hand when approach a hole like Foxy, unless you can hit some towering high shot, the odds are most of us will be naturally running the shot in anyway, so its about having the skill to make sure that the shot doesn't just land short but actually will stay low and run out to where you want it. With a short iron in hand there will be times when landing it short is the order of the day but often most people will think they can hit and hold a green, though perhaps these are the cases when a low half shot with more club, comes into play, often landing some way short and running a long way.

So a green doesn't need to be grade level to allow for the ground game, but it does need to be short grass rather than bunkers or rough, or enough room to land the ball short as you mention.

Cheers,

James

James

You've seen how inadequate I am at approach play first hand so perhaps I need to make allowances for my poor golf. Perhaps you are right, you can run it up onto those plateau greens but its a hell of a shot from mid iron range imho. Far better chance to land on the green so run-up really isn't a sensible option. While I've played the course a number of times I'm rubbish at remembering hole numbers but off hand I would suggest Foxy (14th), the short hole following it, the 17th and either the 4th or 5th (or possibly both, can't recall) as coming into that category. Thats quite a lot for one course.

Maybe running the ball up a steep slope from distance is an acquired skill but can't say it appeals to me.

Niall

Niall C

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Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2011, 02:31:26 PM »
If a shot is going to present an attractive ground game alternative, I like to see some shaping to work the ball with or against, some interest around which to let the imagination run wild.

A flat, even approach to the green, sure, with firm, fast surfaces it might in theory fit all the technical requirements for a running approach, but unless there is a bit of artistry involved I just can't get excited about it.

It doesn't need to be wild, but there needs to be something.

Just my two cents.

Scott

I think I agree with you in essence. Its how much movement there needs to be that is the question. In my mind too much movement is worse than none at all. It all comes down to the degree.

Niall

Philippe Binette

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Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2011, 02:52:47 PM »
The overall tilt of a green

If all the greens are 2-3 feet higher at the back than at the front, it gives the little 2-3 % slope that would help stopping the ball.

I noticed that a lot of links course had more lateral tilt (overall) than back to front tilt... so the ball still moves forward after the first bounce, especially on firm ground.

By making the aerial approach hard to stop, a player could start considering to bounce the ball in...

Mark Pearce

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Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2011, 03:51:22 AM »
Two examples I can ythink of of courses where you would use the ground game more than usual would be TOC (perhaps the most obvious example) and Elie.  At Elie in normal conditions I will deliberately aim to land an approcach short and run it on at 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (driveable par 4), 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17.  I might run the ball on on 8, 13, 16 and 18 depending on the conditions.  I will NEVER play an aerial shot to the green on 3, 5, 6, 9, 10 or 15.  Only 2 (short par 4 with large very elevated green, usually approached with a wedge or less) really doesn't suit a ground approach, even on the short par 3 11th (a wedge or 9 iron for most) it's quite common to bring the ball in from the bank on the right hand side of the green, rather than go straight at the green and risk putting one in the sea on the left.

I think a big factor here is contour (as Scott said).  On most of these holes at Elie, there are slopes that greatly affect the approch shot.  1 is a down hill approach, frequently played off a dowhill lie and there is a bank perhaps 10 yards short of the green which can knock a short approach forward.  2 doesn't aid the ground game because of the steep slope up to what is then a very flat green.  3 is a steeply downhill long par three with a strong right to left slope short of the green.  5 has a blind approoach, over a ridge with a slope down to a green that runs away.  Anything landing far enough up the ridge will run down to the green.  6 is another downhill approach to a green that runs away from the golfer.  9 has another blind approach to a green with a steep slope down to it, the only way of holding the green (unless it is into a decent wind) is to land the ball shiort and run it down.  10 runs steeply away from the golfer (and is driveable by many in the right conditions).  15 again has a downhill approach to a green that runs away.  Many of these almost dictate a ground approach.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 04:06:21 AM by Mark Pearce »
In June I will be riding the first three stages of this year's Tour de France route for charity.  630km (394 miles) in three days, with 7800m (25,600 feet) of climbing for the William Wates Memorial Trust (https://rideleloop.org/the-charity/) which supports underprivileged young people.

James Boon

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Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2011, 04:04:48 AM »
Niall,

Perhaps the genius of the design of the green at Dornoch's 14th, Foxy, is that the slope up to the green is just the right height and angle. Any shallower and it would be too simple to run a shot up. Any steeper and it would be almost impossible. Buts its just the right amount of slope to make it fun and a challenge, so perhaps thats a "good ground game" feature that Ally is looking for?

Cheers,

James
2023 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Aberdovey, Royal St Davids, Woodhall Spa, Broadstone, Parkstone, Cleeve, Painswick, Minchinhampton, Hoylake

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2011, 05:08:42 AM »
Niall,

Perhaps the genius of the design of the green at Dornoch's 14th, Foxy, is that the slope up to the green is just the right height and angle. Any shallower and it would be too simple to run a shot up. Any steeper and it would be almost impossible. Buts its just the right amount of slope to make it fun and a challenge, so perhaps thats a "good ground game" feature that Ally is looking for?

Cheers,

James

I think this is a good point. The small folds before greens (such as at TOC) are perfect for run-up shots and almost demand them... but as those folds become bigger, the greens they protect start to be conidered as plateaux or with false fronts and there is a point where these greens start to discourage the run-up approach.

I'm not against shallower complete grade level approaches though. You still have to land the ball short and in the right spot. The flatter courses tend to protect approach sides more with bunkering strategy.

Mark Pearce

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Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2011, 06:14:31 AM »
It is certainly a combination of factors, though.  The 13th at my home club, Northumberland GC is a 470 yard par 4.  About 7 or 8 yards before the (flattish) green is a bank which might be 3 feet high.  The hole plays predominantly downwind.  It would seem ideal for a running shot landing short of the bank and running up it, taking speed off the shot as it runs.  However, it is in a low and damp part of the course.  Except in very dry conditions, that run up shot simply doesn't work but even a long iron (or wood) has a chance of holding the green, even downwind.  When it is very dry, however, it becomes almost impossible to fly the ball to the green and hold it and the run up shot becomes the only way to hit the green.  Sadly those conditions are all too rare.
In June I will be riding the first three stages of this year's Tour de France route for charity.  630km (394 miles) in three days, with 7800m (25,600 feet) of climbing for the William Wates Memorial Trust (https://rideleloop.org/the-charity/) which supports underprivileged young people.

Niall C

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Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2011, 04:24:00 PM »
Niall,

Perhaps the genius of the design of the green at Dornoch's 14th, Foxy, is that the slope up to the green is just the right height and angle. Any shallower and it would be too simple to run a shot up. Any steeper and it would be almost impossible. Buts its just the right amount of slope to make it fun and a challenge, so perhaps thats a "good ground game" feature that Ally is looking for?

Cheers,

James

James

What length of approach and from what angle are you thinking about ? For the sake of argument, sorry discussion, how would you play it from 200 yards out, 140 yards out and 90 yards out ? At what point if any do you go aerial and when do you go ground game ?

For example I always find the 16th at Silloth a bugger because it is usually in between a carry and hold type shot and a run up shot. When the hole is long iron type distance I find it impossible to hold and just as hard to get enough power on the ball to land it short and run up the slope. I feel caught between two extremes whereas a generally more level approach, and by that I don't mean completely flat or completey level, allows greater scope for different trajectories and ways to play the shot.

And when alls said and done, theres still the blindness of the holes like Foxy. One of the great joys of playing the ground game is seeing the ball take the bounces and the roll towards the hole which you don't get with these type of holes.

Niall

Niall C

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Re: What makes a good "ground game" course? - Aside from turf / firmness
« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2011, 11:06:35 AM »
Niall,

Perhaps the genius of the design of the green at Dornoch's 14th, Foxy, is that the slope up to the green is just the right height and angle. Any shallower and it would be too simple to run a shot up. Any steeper and it would be almost impossible. Buts its just the right amount of slope to make it fun and a challenge, so perhaps thats a "good ground game" feature that Ally is looking for?

Cheers,

James

James

What length of approach and from what angle are you thinking about ? For the sake of argument, sorry discussion, how would you play it from 200 yards out, 140 yards out and 90 yards out ? At what point if any do you go aerial and when do you go ground game ?

For example I always find the 16th at Silloth a bugger because it is usually in between a carry and hold type shot and a run up shot. When the hole is long iron type distance I find it impossible to hold and just as hard to get enough power on the ball to land it short and run up the slope. I feel caught between two extremes whereas a generally more level approach, and by that I don't mean completely flat or completey level, allows greater scope for different trajectories and ways to play the shot.

And when alls said and done, theres still the blindness of the holes like Foxy. One of the great joys of playing the ground game is seeing the ball take the bounces and the roll towards the hole which you don't get with these type of holes.

Niall

James

Let me also say about Foxy (and as an excuse to bump this thread !) that if there is any genius about the hole it is the drive where the flatter left hand side of the fairway provides plenty of run whereas the "moguls" on the right hold the ball up. Now thats a brilliant bit of design or happenstance, I'm not sure which.

Niall

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