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Peter Pallotta

Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2022, 11:45:24 PM »
I always appreciate Jeff's posts.
I once watched the SWWoG with Nicklaus vs Snead at Pebble Beach from the mid 60s, and then followed that by watching the new SWWoG, with Nicklaus vs Watson at Pebble Beach, from the mid 90s. What an eye opener, on many fronts -- including green speeds.

PS
But the opening holes were still as gentle, the 7th just as charming, the 8th as majestic as always, the 17th still a test, and the 18th a wonderfully dramatic finish, perennially.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2022, 12:22:32 AM by PPallotta »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2022, 12:54:19 AM »
And is that as deep as it goes?

Ally,

The only non-ego based reason coming to mind is:

Based on personal experience, slower greens tend to be more bumpy, and faster greens less so.  There are probably a few exceptions of course, but it could be many courses have sped up greens in large part to make them putt more true.


As to the original question?
Truth


As to Kalen's post above?
Mostly myth.Faster greens are only "truer" when they are pure, and a nightmare when they aren't.
If greens are healing or in poor condition, I'd much prefer they be on the slower side.
Both can be bumpy, but on a slower green the ball can be struck firmly to power thru a bump/imperfection with minimal comeback consequences.
On a fast green, every single imperfection is more relevant because the ball is travelling more slowly, and "powering thru" an imperfection such as aerification, spikemarks etc. can result in going many feet by.
Of course everything is relative, but greens have really gotten faster across the board the last 5 years or so.
Aerified greens that are healing are now often lightning fast whereas back in the day they weren't rolled as tight or even mowed to promote healing.
Fast and bumpy is zero fun and it's common now in competition in the spring.


Watching NCAA Tourney now.
You'd think these kids were terrible putters inside 5 feet.
They're not.


There's evidently little tolerance for slow greens-ever, and consequently even when healing or in poor condition it's demanded they be fast-which further slows the recovery.
People don't like slow greens because they demand solid contact-fast green absolutely do not.

Don't the new strains of grass allow for speed, remain true and can remain dialled up for longer periods of time? This is what I have been led to believe. Even so, there is no resolution between slope /contour and OTT speed.

I know the two times I played on lightning fast greens they were in awful condition. Balls bounced all over the park, but yes, the greens were fast. I do remember times in the 80s at my home course when I couldn't putt at the hole if above the hole. There was the real possibility of putting off the green if you misjudged the speed. Except for one hole, I eventually found ways to use pockets to slow putts down and still have slight chance at a two putt. Even then us kids thought front hole locations were unreasonable for some holes. A few had their fronts lifted to kill the severe false front, but it then made bouncing shots in nearly impossible. The speed of those greens would be considered slow these days...yet we thought they were extremely challenging...because they were. As far as putting goes, those greens are still one of the best and most fun I have ever played.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood & Ladybank

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2022, 02:07:47 AM »
Erik,


To close out on our distracting to-and-fro, people posit these statements as black or white, definitive. The point of these threads is to investigate the shades of grey and find out how close the truth is to that absolute. Or whether the statements are completely misleading…


Hopefully the idea is clear to others.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2022, 06:32:47 AM by Ally Mcintosh »

Kyle Harris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2022, 04:31:23 AM »
The question is there to provoke discussion. You can answer it how you wish. If you don't wish to give an expansive answer then that is your prerogative.
My answer is that Ally would likely get more expansive discussions if they weren't "always/never" type questions.

It's in spite of the way he's asked some questions that some decent conversations have erupted.


I don’t think anyone on these threads have written expansive posts with the exigency if “man, I’ll really show Ally!”


Or do you not know what “spite” means?
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thank you for changing the font of your posts. It makes them easier to scroll past.

Jim Sherma

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2022, 08:42:23 AM »
Played in an A-B-C-D club event yesterday and the greens were dialed up to maybe 10.5-11. Not crazy fast, but faster than they have been so far this year. The course has mostly original 1930 greens with 6 greens from the 1980's. When the greens get a little faster rarely do you have a putt outside of a couple of feet that is played inside the hole unless you are directly on the fall line. I had three putts that required me to play at least 25-30 degrees away from the direct line to the hole. The greens are big enough that there tends to be plenty of room to play them at these speeds and bad pins are rarely used. Yesterday had the pins in no real aggressive spots and were set with the intent to move people through the course on a busy day.


I play in a group that is filled with A-players and a few of the better B's. We generally love it when the greens get fast and smooth assuming that the pins are kept in sane places. I was in shock at how poorly the C & D players I played with putted. The C-player (12 hdcp) made one or two putts outside of 3 feet and had a bunch of three putts. The D-player (30 hdcp) picked up on most greens after his third or fourth putt - I can only imaging his score if he had kept putting until he was in the hole. Yet both the C and D guys raved about how great the greens were rolling and how the club should have them like this or faster more often. Clearly their ability to make putts had nothing to do with their assessment of the greens. In this case the showboating aspect of the green speed was FACT for the C and D players since it certainly did nothing to improve their golfing experience in any positive way that I could see.

Erik J. Barzeski

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2022, 08:43:46 AM »
I don’t think anyone on these threads have written expansive posts with the exigency if “man, I’ll really show Ally!”
I could have used the "despite" but "in spite of" as a phrase is a synonym of "despite" and doesn't mean that people are trying to be spiteful.

Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, and Lifetime Student of the Game

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2022, 10:02:13 AM »
And is that as deep as it goes?

Ally,

The only non-ego based reason coming to mind is:

Based on personal experience, slower greens tend to be more bumpy, and faster greens less so.  There are probably a few exceptions of course, but it could be many courses have sped up greens in large part to make them putt more true.


As to the original question?
Truth


As to Kalen's post above?
Mostly myth.Faster greens are only "truer" when they are pure, and a nightmare when they aren't.
If greens are healing or in poor condition, I'd much prefer they be on the slower side.
Both can be bumpy, but on a slower green the ball can be struck firmly to power thru a bump/imperfection with minimal comeback consequences.
On a fast green, every single imperfection is more relevant because the ball is travelling more slowly, and "powering thru" an imperfection such as aerification, spikemarks etc. can result in going many feet by.
Of course everything is relative, but greens have really gotten faster across the board the last 5 years or so.
Aerified greens that are healing are now often lightning fast whereas back in the day they weren't rolled as tight or even mowed to promote healing.
Fast and bumpy is zero fun and it's common now in competition in the spring.

There's evidently little tolerance for slow greens-ever, and consequently even when healing or in poor condition it's demanded they be fast-which further slows the recovery.
People don't like slow greens because they demand solid contact-fast green absolutely do not.


Jeff,

I certainly agree with the above, but I was thinking the question applied to the default condition of the greens in the 'normal' season (May to October).  Any time greens are under repair, maintenance, or otherwise recovering from the winter, all bets are certainly off regardless if they are fast or slow.

P.S.  One of my biggest disappointments was playing the resort course at Couer D' Alene for the first time, (which at the time were legendary for fast greens), as they were early on in the aerification process.  I went back the following year on a cool fall day when they were humming and got the full experience;)

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2022, 05:00:03 PM »
To me it entirely depends on the greens. 


On greens with severe slope,  I would rather see the speed kept in check and the slopes retained.  Southern Hills seemed plenty interesting on day two when they decided to not cut the greens due to anticipated high winds.


Many modern greens come alive at a high speed and are less interesting at lower speeds.   


I would love to see speeds vary wildly on courses hosting professional tournaments.  I suspect the contrast would make for more interesting golf. 

Cal Carlisle

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2022, 06:02:47 PM »
To me it entirely depends on the greens. 


On greens with severe slope,  I would rather see the speed kept in check and the slopes retained.  Southern Hills seemed plenty interesting on day two when they decided to not cut the greens due to anticipated high winds.


Many modern greens come alive at a high speed and are less interesting at lower speeds.   


I would love to see speeds vary wildly on courses hosting professional tournaments.  I suspect the contrast would make for more interesting golf.

I know I don't like playing on greens that vary wildly in speed. I don't think many pros would find it all that amusing either, especially if they're the first to putt.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2022, 07:46:27 PM »
I agree with Jason here.  When you consider Tour venues, there can be quite a bit of variance from week to week in terms of:

- Overall length
- Parkland, Links, Prairie, Desert, etc..
- Lush thick rough vs short rough vs whispy rough
- Wide fairways vs narrow ones or lots of rollout vs hit and splat
- Cold, wet conditions vs dry and hot or even hot and humid
- Bunker conditions and the amount of them found on the course
- Playing surfaces, bermuda, bent, zoysia, etc
- Very little to no water...or lots.
- Tons of trees...or none, same for wind.

But when its comes to greens, why must they all be super quick and stimping at 12+?
« Last Edit: May 31, 2022, 07:49:10 PM by Kalen Braley »

Erik J. Barzeski

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2022, 08:07:01 PM »
But when its comes to greens, why must they all be super quick and stimping at 12+?
PGA Tour greens are rarely 12+. You'll hear 12 all the time on TV, and 13+ at Augusta, but greens are typically 10.5 to 11 on the PGA Tour. This from a really well regarded putting coach. But it matches what you actually see, too, when you do AimPoint. Mark Sweeney, when he had to do the putting line on TV, had to measure Tour greens all the time, too.

The problem with using a stimp meter is that you can't often find a truly flat spot on the green, and even if you average the up-hill and down-hill sections you're going to get an inflated number (and the higher the stimp, the higher the error).
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, and Lifetime Student of the Game

Cal Carlisle

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2022, 08:46:56 PM »
I agree with Jason here.  When you consider Tour venues, there can be quite a bit of variance from week to week in terms of:

- Overall length
- Parkland, Links, Prairie, Desert, etc..
- Lush thick rough vs short rough vs whispy rough
- Wide fairways vs narrow ones or lots of rollout vs hit and splat
- Cold, wet conditions vs dry and hot or even hot and humid
- Bunker conditions and the amount of them found on the course
- Playing surfaces, bermuda, bent, zoysia, etc
- Very little to no water...or lots.
- Tons of trees...or none, same for wind.

But when its comes to greens, why must they all be super quick and stimping at 12+?


Because I don't think you're going to see too many clubs willing to raise their hand and say, "Okay! We'll be the slow green speed tour stop!"


Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2022, 10:30:56 PM »
I’d like to see more clubs try to match the speed of the greens to the slope and undulation. When I was a member at Four Streams the slopes were nuanced and when the greens were slow there was not much break. When the greens ran at 11 or so they were much more fun to play. Some courses have wild greens and if they run at 11 can be almost unplayable. They seem to wear that as a badge of honor when in truth they should be slowed down.
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2022, 02:12:54 AM »
I’d like to see more clubs try to match the speed of the greens to the slope and undulation. When I was a member at Four Streams the slopes were nuanced and when the greens were slow there was not much break. When the greens ran at 11 or so they were much more fun to play. Some courses have wild greens and if they run at 11 can be almost unplayable. They seem to wear that as a badge of honor when in truth they should be slowed down.


But in truth, which courses actually do run their big undulating greens at near unplayable?


I guess greens are only “too fast” when a large number of designed pin positions can’t be used. If it continues this way, it is a crime. If greens are then re-designed as a result, it is a major crime. Only real outcome is to slow the greens slightly.


I’d be interested to know which courses are currently on the edge when they don’t need to be? And which ones have had to enforce the major crime mentioned above?

Sam Kestin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2022, 11:19:35 AM »
The problem with using a stimp meter is that you can't often find a truly flat spot on the green, and even if you average the up-hill and down-hill sections you're going to get an inflated number (and the higher the stimp, the higher the error).


Erik--this might be a dumb question (decent chance of that) but what causes the inflation when you average uphill and downhill putts?


I'll confess to being a complete simpleton here as I had just presumed that averaging the uphill and downhill speed would get you a accurate number.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2022, 11:28:07 AM »
Sam I would think it would be because the average would be so far away from the actual data points.

If you find a slope on the green where the ball only rolls 5 feet uphill, but 20 feet downhill.  Then the average, aka the stimp rating would be 12.5 which could be way off from reality.

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2022, 11:29:27 AM »
To me it entirely depends on the greens. 


On greens with severe slope,  I would rather see the speed kept in check and the slopes retained.  Southern Hills seemed plenty interesting on day two when they decided to not cut the greens due to anticipated high winds.


Many modern greens come alive at a high speed and are less interesting at lower speeds.   


I would love to see speeds vary wildly on courses hosting professional tournaments.  I suspect the contrast would make for more interesting golf.

I know I don't like playing on greens that vary wildly in speed. I don't think many pros would find it all that amusing either, especially if they're the first to putt.




Cal - sorry for any confusion.  I meant from week to week.  While I do believe there is skill in identifying greens that are quicker or slower within a given round and varying speeds within a round is an interesting idea, my focus was from course to course.

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2022, 11:35:15 AM »
I’d like to see more clubs try to match the speed of the greens to the slope and undulation. When I was a member at Four Streams the slopes were nuanced and when the greens were slow there was not much break. When the greens ran at 11 or so they were much more fun to play. Some courses have wild greens and if they run at 11 can be almost unplayable. They seem to wear that as a badge of honor when in truth they should be slowed down.


But in truth, which courses actually do run their big undulating greens at near unplayable?


I guess greens are only “too fast” when a large number of designed pin positions can’t be used. If it continues this way, it is a crime. If greens are then re-designed as a result, it is a major crime. Only real outcome is to slow the greens slightly.


I’d be interested to know which courses are currently on the edge when they don’t need to be? And which ones have had to enforce the major crime mentioned above?


I see it all the time in events where old tilted greens are rolled and double mowed for the event.  Golden Valley in Minnesota is an example.  I have left an uphill putt short on the 9th and watched the ball reverse and go off the green.  The 15th has such significant tilt that there are few places to put the hole.  Many courses react by levelling the greens somewhat rather than slow down speeds.  I am not sure what they did with the 18th at Interlachen but I would be very surprised if they did not level it out. 

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2022, 11:37:55 AM »
I’d like to see more clubs try to match the speed of the greens to the slope and undulation. When I was a member at Four Streams the slopes were nuanced and when the greens were slow there was not much break. When the greens ran at 11 or so they were much more fun to play. Some courses have wild greens and if they run at 11 can be almost unplayable. They seem to wear that as a badge of honor when in truth they should be slowed down.


But in truth, which courses actually do run their big undulating greens at near unplayable?


I guess greens are only “too fast” when a large number of designed pin positions can’t be used. If it continues this way, it is a crime. If greens are then re-designed as a result, it is a major crime. Only real outcome is to slow the greens slightly.


I’d be interested to know which courses are currently on the edge when they don’t need to be? And which ones have had to enforce the major crime mentioned above?


I see it all the time in events where old tilted greens are rolled and double mowed for the event.  Golden Valley in Minnesota is an example.  I have left an uphill putt short on the 9th and watched the ball reverse and go off the green.  The 15th has such significant tilt that there are few places to put the hole.  Many courses react by levelling the greens somewhat rather than slow down speeds.  I am not sure what they did with the 18th at Interlachen but I would be very surprised if they did not level it out.


The day I played Crystal Downs I thought the greens were perfect.  The Head pro who played with us informed us they had not been mowed that day.  Tough to imagine how they play on a mowed day.  Pasatiempo is apparently levelling some of its fantastic greens when a slower speed would allow them to play just fine.

Erik J. Barzeski

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2022, 05:01:00 PM »
Erik--this might be a dumb question (decent chance of that) but what causes the inflation when you average uphill and downhill putts?

I'll confess to being a complete simpleton here as I had just presumed that averaging the uphill and downhill speed would get you a accurate number.
Kalen answered it, I think. The steeper the slope or the higher the stimp, the farther the difference between uphill and downhill putts will be.

Think about it this way. If the stimp is 1, and the slope is 1%, the by far dominant factor is the friction of the green, not the pull of gravity. Conversely, if you had a 10% slope on a stimp 10 green, the ball wouldn't even stop downhill (it'd actually accelerate), so you'd be averaging infinite distance and maybe 7' or something. Gravity is the dominant factor, or a much bigger factor, than the first example.

Averaging almost always leads to a higher number, and since almost no greens have 11' or more of actually flat surface… stimp ratings tend to be high even if you try to get them accurate.

PGA Tour greens are 10.5-11, typically. The Masters (ANGC) can creep toward 12. It's been just over 12 a few times.

A quick way to find an accurate stimp rating is to find the point at which the ball rolls away (i.e. you set a ball down and, on its own, it starts rolling). 70/stimp = % slope for roll-away. So at stimp 10, a ball will roll away at 7% slope.
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, and Lifetime Student of the Game

Kyle Harris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2022, 09:37:12 PM »
The Up/Down variance is handled by two methods, either ensuring the the reading in both directions doesn’t vary by more than 1.5 feet or by using the Notch 2 on the other side of the Stimpmeter, which is lower on the rail thus not making the ball roll as far.
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thank you for changing the font of your posts. It makes them easier to scroll past.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: GCA Mythbusters 7: The need for speed
« Reply #46 on: June 04, 2022, 06:08:27 AM »
Pasatiempo is apparently levelling some of its fantastic greens when a slower speed would allow them to play just fine.


Jason


Is that really true ? I'm amazed at that as I thought Pasa was a shrine to MacKenzie and treated as such. The last thing you'd want to do there is touch the greens.


Niall

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