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Rob Marshall

  • Karma: +0/-0
Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens
« on: July 28, 2022, 08:28:15 AM »
What is a fair hole location on a green? Should you be able to stop the ball within 3 feet from all directions? Is any location where the ball won't roll backwards fair game?


With the memberships increasingly demanding faster greens from the Superintendents at what point do interesting greens become ridiculous?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 10:50:30 AM by Rob Marshall »
"I used to get pissed at blowing leads until I quit having them" John Kavanaugh

Joe Hancock

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations and slopes of greens
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2022, 08:52:21 AM »
I’d say that the question for me is “ Will the ball stop near the hole from *a* direction?” If the pin is on a slope that you can’t stop the ball near the hole at all, then it’s stupid.


I also question whether a membership demands fast greens until they’ve experienced fast greens. For example, if the fastest greens a golfer ever has experienced are 9 on the Stimp meter, then they aren’t going to demand faster than that. The demand for speed usually comes from elsewhere, whether it be the club across town or Stimp bragging…..
" What the hell is the point of architecture and excellence in design if a "clever" set up trumps it all?" Peter Pallotta, June 21, 2016

"People aren't picking a side of the fairway off a tee because of a randomly internally contoured green ."  jeffwarne, February 24, 2017

Britt Rife

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations and slopes of greens
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2022, 09:30:55 AM »
For a visual example, take a look at Dan Callahan's St. Patrick's photo thread below--10th hole.  I just don't understand that one.  Is it puttable?

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations and slopes of greens
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2022, 10:11:58 AM »
There is nothing fair about golf.  Why do we use that word?  Is it fair that your ball ended up in a divot or in a deer’s footprint in a bunker and mine didn’t?  Is it fair that your drive hit the same tree as mine but bounced out of bounds and mine didn’t?  It is fair that your putt lipped out of the hole and mine went in?  Is it fair that the wind kicked up when you hit but was calm for me?  When we start to try to make golf fair we ruin the game.  As to your question about fair hole locations, thought recommended, the hole doesn’t even need to be placed on the green.  That doesn’t mean it is not fair but it might mean it is stupid :)

Rob Marshall

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations and slopes of greens
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2022, 10:20:30 AM »
There is nothing fair about golf.  Why do we use that word?  Is it fair that your ball ended up in a divot or in a deer’s footprint in a bunker and mine didn’t?  Is it fair that your drive hit the same tree as mine but bounced out of bounds and mine didn’t?  It is fair that your putt lipped out of the hole and mine went in?  Is it fair that the wind kicked up when you hit but was calm for me?  When we start to try to make golf fair we ruin the game.  As to your question about fair hole locations, thought recommended, the hole doesn’t even need to be placed on the green.  That doesn’t mean it is not fair but it might mean it is stupid :)


Mark,
So if you put a hole in the middle of a 4 degree slope on greens running at 10, you are good with that hole location? It's ok if everyone has to hit a putt that rolls back to their feet until they finally make it? Everyone has to putt it, so it's fair to everyone. That's not my point.


When you design a green do you make sure you have X number of hole locations? IF so what do you consider an acceptable location when you design a green?

« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 10:22:23 AM by Rob Marshall »
"I used to get pissed at blowing leads until I quit having them" John Kavanaugh

Brad Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations and slopes of greens
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2022, 10:26:47 AM »
I’m the guy most likely to say that nothing is unfair if everyone is playing the same course. A lot of greens and pin locations that many call absurd, I very much like. I want to play golf, not hit golf shots on a course. There’s a big difference. I want the course to demand I find a way to manufacture a score.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations and slopes of greens
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2022, 10:32:52 AM »
Perhaps the thread title should be “Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens”?
Many a potential hole position is lost by the speed of the greens being too quick.
Atb
« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 10:37:54 AM by Thomas Dai »

Rob Marshall

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations and slopes of greens
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2022, 10:50:43 AM »
Perhaps the thread title should be “Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens”?
Many a potential hole position is lost by the speed of the greens being too quick.
Atb


done
"I used to get pissed at blowing leads until I quit having them" John Kavanaugh

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations and slopes of greens
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2022, 10:57:12 AM »
Rob,
We all just watched the Open at St. Andrews.  There are hole locations on most of those greens that would be silly but I still would never use the word unfair.   We just rebuilt two greens this past year on an older course that were close to 7% slope for most of the green.  The greens weren’t unfair, but they just didn’t work for modern green speeds. The new greens look basically the same but now allow more of green surface to be used.  Almost ANY green with even moderately severe contouring will have hole locations that could be deemed silly.  But they should not be called unfair.  The idea is to make sure when building a green that you have enough locations that are not deemed silly so you can spread out wear and add variety.  And if you want to have some fun in say a scramble and use a silly location, go for it. 
« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 10:58:58 AM by Mark_Fine »

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations and slopes of greens
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2022, 11:25:17 AM »
There is nothing fair about golf.  Why do we use that word?  Is it fair that your ball ended up in a divot or in a deer’s footprint in a bunker and mine didn’t?  Is it fair that your drive hit the same tree as mine but bounced out of bounds and mine didn’t?  It is fair that your putt lipped out of the hole and mine went in?  Is it fair that the wind kicked up when you hit but was calm for me?  When we start to try to make golf fair we ruin the game.  As to your question about fair hole locations, thought recommended, the hole doesn’t even need to be placed on the green.  That doesn’t mean it is not fair but it might mean it is stupid :)

Mark,

I might be more inclined to adopt this philosophy if the rules weren't littered with exceptions in the name of fairness.

Ball rolls into a divot?  Too bad....but ball rolls into a ball mark on the green?  Well you can fix that
Ball rolls up against a tree?  That's a pity....but balls rolls up to a staked tree?  You get relief
Ball lands in a muddy spot? That sucks...but ball lands in a muddy spot marked as GUR?  Free drop

And the list goes on and on...

Fairness is part of parcel of the game as its been canonized by the rules makers...

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2022, 12:41:01 PM »
Golf (life?) has become more snowflake as the decades have past. Imagine what things might be like in a few years time …. “You haven’t got a flat stance! Disgraceful, have a free drop. Oh of course we don’t drop any more now, that’s old hat, we now place at the nearest spot where you get a flat stance, oh and don’t worry if that spot is nearer the hole.”
Atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations and slopes of greens
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2022, 12:44:00 PM »
Perhaps the thread title should be “Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens”?
Many a potential hole position is lost by the speed of the greens being too quick.
Atb

Cha ching. We see it at Cleeve Hill. Any of those hard slope greens running at 9 wouldn't be nearly as fun as running at 7. Two reasons. First, it would get silly. If a put rolls back to your feet the green is cut too short. Second, at 9 they wouldn't use the most provocative hole locations. That's silly as well.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2022, 07:43:15 PM »
I talked with a well known gca recently and in the conversation, he reiterated what the USGA and others have said for a while......If you put a pin in a location over 3%, it won't be a good cup location.....period.  Yes, I suppose you could create one with some kind of counter slope or whatever, but most would wonder if it is worth it.


Jerry Lemons (ASGCA) did a good green speed and slope chart (both in degrees and % slope, so make sure you know which one you are looking at) which actually shows a range.  I don't recall the exact numbers so you would have to look up the chart, but if green speed is 8, it might be closer to 4%, and at 13, it would be less than 3%.


In the south, dormant berumda greens can easily get to 14-15 in winter, even if only 10 in summer when the grass is growing, so the question might be in what season.  In reality, a busy public course down here has to know and assume higher green speeds and design accordingly for winter play, albeit, you might not need all 6-18 pin locations at the minimum slope, because play isn't as heavy, but that is a lot of brain power used to justify a summer only cup location when most golfers don't like it anyway.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Kyle Harris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations and slopes of greens
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2022, 03:58:56 AM »
There is nothing fair about golf.  Why do we use that word?  Is it fair that your ball ended up in a divot or in a deer’s footprint in a bunker and mine didn’t?  Is it fair that your drive hit the same tree as mine but bounced out of bounds and mine didn’t?  It is fair that your putt lipped out of the hole and mine went in?  Is it fair that the wind kicked up when you hit but was calm for me?  When we start to try to make golf fair we ruin the game.  As to your question about fair hole locations, thought recommended, the hole doesn’t even need to be placed on the green.  That doesn’t mean it is not fair but it might mean it is stupid :)

Mark,

I might be more inclined to adopt this philosophy if the rules weren't littered with exceptions in the name of fairness.

Ball rolls into a divot?  Too bad....but ball rolls into a ball mark on the green?  Well you can fix that
Ball rolls up against a tree?  That's a pity....but balls rolls up to a staked tree?  You get relief
Ball lands in a muddy spot? That sucks...but ball lands in a muddy spot marked as GUR?  Free drop

And the list goes on and on...

Fairness is part of parcel of the game as its been canonized by the rules makers...


What a one-sided view of “fairness.” It’s always the situations that make your situation worse from a good fate but never the occurrences that make a bad shot better.


What about “snap hook tee shot hits rock and bounces from penalty area to fairway” or “ball sets up in rough.”


To the OP:


While there is no rule there is a line where a hole locations goes from “proving something I don’t know” (can you make the putt) to “proving something I already know” (it’s extremely difficult to make this putt for everyone).


Equally difficult does little to separate skill. And it’s bloody hard to make a 2 or a 3 on even the most benign setups.
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.

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2022, 07:01:51 AM »
Kyle,
I would beg to differ as all those situations/circumstances I mentioned could be viewed from both sides as fair or unfair which is why I don’t like using the words to begin with.  We both hit 300 yard drives and mine is one yard to the left of yours and in the fairway and yours is up against the lip of a bunker.  We both can look at that occurrence as unfair even though I would be happier about the outcome than you are.  Rub of the green can go both ways.  It is and always should be part of golf. 

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2022, 07:28:54 AM »
We can probably all agree that “fair” isn’t a good concept for golf in general.


I think the question of pin positions has changed dramatically with the widespread use of Bermuda hybrids.  As Jeff Brauer points out, the winter speeds can get crazy fast, but this can be true in the summer as well. And I don’t think it even has to be a 3% slope to become problematic.


The issues I see with pin positions are enjoyment and pace of play.  There isn’t much fun to be had, IMO, on greens that are running at 12 or more; you have to putt defensively, and it takes a LONG time to play, especially in any sort of competition.  Front pins often become almost inaccessible; you can’t keep the ball below the pin, and putting back down to it is potentially very ugly.


I think this may be a bigger problem on courses that were early adopters of converting to Bermuda, or courses that did the conversion on the cheap; in both cases, recontouring some slopes might have been good but wasn’t done, with the result being either the loss of pin positions, or the use of pin positions that are just too difficult for most players.


One of the winter trade-offs that I’ve seen are courses with Bermuda greens that use just three pin positions all winter, front, middle, and back, with caps over the other two that are not in use on a given day.  Typically, these are at least relatively benign positions.  Duke and Tobacco Road are two near me that come to mind.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2022, 11:22:44 AM »
Kyle,
I would beg to differ as all those situations/circumstances I mentioned could be viewed from both sides as fair or unfair which is why I don’t like using the words to begin with.  We both hit 300 yard drives and mine is one yard to the left of yours and in the fairway and yours is up against the lip of a bunker.  We both can look at that occurrence as unfair even though I would be happier about the outcome than you are.  Rub of the green can go both ways.  It is and always should be part of golf.


One reason I don't like the new approach to golf is that professional players are now admitting their target area for a tee shot is sixty yards wide, and extending the concept of "fairness" [as in no unlucky breaks] to that whole sixty yard area!


When they complain that it is too difficult to avoid a small obstacle 300 yards from the tee, I always think that one option is to not hit it so far.

Jerry Kluger

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2022, 10:51:47 PM »
I have seen some Donald Ross courses where the greens have been softened, i.e. contours not as severe, in order to allow for greater green speeds which is what American golfers are demanding.  I recently played Southern Pines which is a Ross course which was just restored by Kyle Franz and the greens have quite severe contours but there are enough flat areas within the greens to allow for hole locations which would seem to be within recommendations.  I am not a fan of hole locations where if you happened to be above the hole even the slightest touching of the ball will result in your being a long distance from the hole off the green.

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2022, 06:34:24 AM »



With the memberships increasingly demanding faster greens from the Superintendents at what point do interesting greens become ridiculous?


The easy way to cure that is to consistently utilize the most interesting pins. ;) ;D


Those who have come to the game in the last 10-15 years at high end courses consistently have the same length stroke for all of their putts, because that size stroke works on most putts on their high stimp local track and the ones they frequent.
They really struggle on slower greens, larger greens , or "off the green" putts, where something other than their micro stroke is required.
Putting is a skill of many facets, and the speeding up and consequential homogenization of greens to accommodate such has seriously deskilled the putting game, and has produced many inferior putters who have not learned to control their distance via size of stroke, but rather thru attempting to vary the force of a one size fits all motion.
Such putters hate slow greens and/or greens with enough slope to create a wide variance in putts.
They disguise their lack of skill through complaints about high "green speed" elsewhere until they ultimately get their way, thus the tyranny of the minority is perpetuated-with all of its consequences.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Joe Hancock

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Hole locations, slopes of greens and speed of greens
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2022, 10:42:25 AM »



With the memberships increasingly demanding faster greens from the Superintendents at what point do interesting greens become ridiculous?


The easy way to cure that is to consistently utilize the most interesting pins. ;) ;D


Those who have come to the game in the last 10-15 years at high end courses consistently have the same length stroke for all of their putts, because that size stroke works on most putts on their high stimp local track and the ones they frequent.
They really struggle on slower greens, larger greens , or "off the green" putts, where something other than their micro stroke is required.
Putting is a skill of many facets, and the speeding up and consequential homogenization of greens to accommodate such has seriously deskilled the putting game, and has produced many inferior putters who have not learned to control their distance via size of stroke, but rather thru attempting to vary the force of a one size fits all motion.
Such putters hate slow greens and/or greens with enough slope to create a wide variance in putts.
They disguise their lack of skill through complaints about high "green speed" elsewhere until they ultimately get their way, thus the tyranny of the minority is perpetuated-with all of its consequences.


Pin this…..
" What the hell is the point of architecture and excellence in design if a "clever" set up trumps it all?" Peter Pallotta, June 21, 2016

"People aren't picking a side of the fairway off a tee because of a randomly internally contoured green ."  jeffwarne, February 24, 2017

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