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Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
I love and hate firm and fast.
« on: May 07, 2023, 01:22:01 PM »
I played a course a few weeks ago with some of the firmest and fastest fairways and greens I've ever played. I sure liked the conditions off the tee, although there were a couple of times the ball ran farther than my caddie or I thought it would and ran into a bunker. That was fine; I misjudged. Hitting to the greens, however, created problems for me. I hit what I thought were good shots, only to have them go through the greens. I played for the roll, and if I hit them any shorter, I'd have been in a bunker the ball, or it would have stayed short of the green. I loved the course, but the setup made it impossible for me to play it well. I don't hit the ball high enough to hold those greens anymore.
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

Matt Schoolfield

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2023, 04:05:30 PM »
Iíd be interested to know the holes. This set up makes angles in golf everything, and I love strategy.
Building an encyclopedia of golf courses that anyone can edit: Golf Course Wiki
Some strong opinions on golf: Wigs on the Green
I really think golf culture should be more like beer culture than wine culture

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2023, 04:11:54 PM »
I played a course a few weeks ago with some of the firmest and fastest fairways and greens I've ever played. I sure liked the conditions off the tee, although there were a couple of times the ball ran farther than my caddie or I thought it would and ran into a bunker. That was fine; I misjudged. Hitting to the greens, however, created problems for me. I hit what I thought were good shots, only to have them go through the greens. I played for the roll, and if I hit them any shorter, I'd have been in a bunker the ball, or it would have stayed short of the green. I loved the course, but the setup made it impossible for me to play it well. I don't hit the ball high enough to hold those greens anymore.


Truly firm and fast conditions can only be employed on courses that have been designed for truly firm and fast conditions.


I feel for you, Tommy.

John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2023, 04:17:02 PM »
Itís the finest and most rare of all obstacles.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2023, 04:27:09 PM »
Happy to have all firm, really firm. Fairways, greens, the lot. Whatís a real pain, or maybe an extra Ďchallengeí, is when the approaches are irrigated but the greens are really hard and firm. Even more so if the hole is cut at the front. Land the ball short to run or trickle onto the green and the bloody ball will stick and stops on the approach. Fly it further onto the putting surface and bong, the balls bounced and gone long or over the green.
Atb

Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2023, 04:52:04 PM »
Iíd be interested to know the holes. This set up makes angles in golf everything, and I love strategy.


I tried to figure out the angles. The other problem was that I was hitting longer clubs into the greens because I didn't hit it very far off the tee, even with those hard fairways. This was a very well-respected course. It was only the second time I have played it. It has a relatively old membership, so there must be a way to play it better than I did. However, neither my caddie nor I knew what that was. I want to get back there again.
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

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2023, 05:25:30 PM »
Tommy,
Maybe the older members move up a set or two of tees?  Just a thought.
Mark

John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2023, 05:29:11 PM »
Maybe the older members accept the deterioration of their skill sets and arenít interested in screwing with the enjoyment of the newer members.




Ken Moum

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2023, 05:34:18 PM »
."I want to get back there again."



That's the most important thing.


FWIW,  I've had the same problem only worse at my home course and moved up from 5400 yards to 4800. The "Play it Forward" chart was right.


I'm averaging no more than 175 off the with my good drives and 4800 is the recommendation.  Managed to break 80 for the first time in a long time.
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2023, 05:47:28 PM »
."I want to get back there again."



That's the most important thing.


FWIW,  I've had the same problem only worse at my home course and moved up from 5400 yards to 4800. The "Play it Forward" chart was right.


I'm averaging no more than 175 off the with my good drives and 4800 is the recommendation.  Managed to break 80 for the first time in a long time.


Ken-Congrats on getting it under 80. Itís a tough pill to swallow but when someone has a fairway wood, hybrid or long iron into most of the par fours itís time to move up.

Jim Sherma

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2023, 06:01:21 PM »
Green speed is the issue with true fast and firm conditions. Once green get fast enough that a pitch or long putt becomes a difficult question how is one supposed to weight a shot from full shot yardages. There's a reason that you see fairways running faster than greens in the UK+I  -it's so the run up shots can stop on the putting surfaces. Once you get green speeds fast enough the only way to get the ball to stop consistently is with spin, not bump and runs.

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2023, 06:20:48 PM »
Once you get green speeds fast enough the only way to get the ball to stop consistently is with spin, not bump and runs.


Jim-I agree as trying to judge the proper amount of runout is extremely difficult.

Wade Whitehead

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2023, 06:37:50 PM »
Golf is so much more interesting when a player is trying to get the ball to stop than it is when s/he is trying to get the ball to go.
Tommy, fast and firm, at its best, can be maddening...and exhilarating.

WW
(Oh, and  played with Tom on the day in question.  Absolutely the firmest, fastest fairway surfaces I have ever seen)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2023, 06:52:05 PM by Wade Whitehead »

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2023, 08:58:54 AM »
It took us about 400 years to realize that greens can be made too fast.
(Yet it remains the go to comment for any amateur review or consideration  in choosing or revering  a course)

I'm sure eventually we will find a way to make courses too firm.


I recently played a high end course with zoysia fairways and super firm fast, greens employing multiple tucked pins.
A really unpleasant combination that foiled nearly every creative recovery attempt except the high spinner.
Amazed anyone would go to the time,effort and extreme expense to get worse conditions than can be had for a fraction of the price.
And think the golf was somehow better.
"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

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2023, 12:15:05 PM »
It took us about 400 years to realize that greens can be made too fast.
(Yet it remains the go to comment for any amateur review or consideration  in choosing or revering  a course)

I'm sure eventually we will find a way to make courses too firm.


I recently played a high end course with zoysia fairways and super firm fast, greens employing multiple tucked pins.
A really unpleasant combination that foiled nearly every creative recovery attempt except the high spinner.
Amazed anyone would go to the time,effort and extreme expense to get worse conditions than can be had for a fraction of the price.
And think the golf was somehow better.


In the running for post of the year. On the money!!!

Ken Moum

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2023, 05:46:03 PM »
As often happens around here Jeff Warne nails it.


People can't get past thinking difficult  = good... they're wrong.
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2023, 05:46:08 PM »
I canít decide if the course was too firm or if it was me. Iíd like to know what it is like 300 days a year. I did play up at 6000 yards. It wasnít too long.
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

Jim Hoak

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2023, 06:09:01 PM »
An under-analyzed fact is that as we get older, the trajectory of our golf shots gets flatter, in addition to obviously shorter.  And as we hit the ball flatter, we have more problems holding it on firm and fast greens. 
So, yes, I love it as my ball goes farther on firm and fast courses, but keeping my flatter shots on the greens, is more difficult.
There's probably no easy solution.  But, as has been said, building a firmer, faster course requires a consideration of all the related features--cross-bunkering in front of greens, hazards too close to greens, etc. 
On balance, I love courses firm and fast, but give us an overall design with room and features that work.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2023, 06:10:32 PM by Jim Hoak »

John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2023, 06:32:16 PM »
A what yardage do the spoils of age become too far to overcome. Why can a young pro hit a 70 yd shot crisper than an old pro?


Donít the real discrepancies not start until the 150 yd mark?

Tim Gavrich

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2023, 09:37:37 AM »
I canít decide if the course was too firm or if it was me. Iíd like to know what it is like 300 days a year. I did play up at 6000 yards. It wasnít too long.
Tommy--


I'd be interested to know what model of golf ball you play.


Late last year, I switched from the slightly longer Titleist Pro V1 to the firmer and slightly shorter but noticeably spinnier Titleist Pro V1x. It has made a significant difference to me on iron shots and wedges, including closer-in greenside shots. I've played better since I switched. The experience has suggested to me that the vast majority of golfers play a golf ball (or perhaps a combination of golf ball + irons and wedges) that does not spin nearly enough, and that that deficiency is really highlighted on very firm turf.


As average golf course conditions become firmer and faster - my sense is that this is happening, albeit very gradually and in fits and starts in different places - a golf ball that spins more on approaches and greenside shots will become more of an asset to the vast majority of golfers.


Distance has always been the feature that golf ball marketers have pushed, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. But as more golfers realize they can solve their distance issues by simply moving up a tee box, I think spin becomes a more important factor in choosing the right golf ball for them.
Senior Writer, GolfPass

John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2023, 09:54:49 AM »
If you really believe that courses are becoming firmer and faster we must do everything to squash any complaining while the getting is good. Iíve played around 5,000 rounds in my life and no more than 5 have been on a course ďout of controlĒ and I remember each one of them. I doubt if I have played 500 rounds in perfect conditions. That leaves a bunch of mudding.




Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2023, 10:03:04 AM »
Tommy,
Maybe the older members move up a set or two of tees?  Just a thought.
Mark


Here's another thought. Why doesn't the club employ a competent golf course architect to redesign the course for firm and fast conditions if that is how the course is going to be set up going forward ?


Niall

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2023, 10:15:42 AM »
Tommy,
Maybe the older members move up a set or two of tees?  Just a thought.
Mark


Here's another thought. Why doesn't the club employ a competent golf course architect to redesign the course for firm and fast conditions if that is how the course is going to be set up going forward ?


Niall


Correct.


People arguing out of both sides of their mouths. Firm and fast is great when a course accepts approach shots by bouncing on to greens.


No ball is going to help someone with a 70mph 7-iron with 60 foot peak height stop within 20 yards down wind on a firm and fast links course.


You cannot have firm and fast conditions for courses with significant fronting hazards or steeply elevated greens unless you want to rule out senior golfers from enjoying themselves.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2023, 11:15:22 PM »

You cannot have firm and fast conditions for courses with significant fronting hazards or steeply elevated greens unless you want to rule out senior golfers from enjoying themselves.


Seniors, juniors, women.  All low trajectory players.


Unfortunately most golf courses are designed by very good players who can't relate to them.


Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: I love and hate firm and fast.
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2023, 02:50:16 AM »
You cannot have firm and fast conditions for courses with significant fronting hazards or steeply elevated greens unless you want to rule out senior golfers from enjoying themselves.
Seniors, juniors, women.  All low trajectory players.
Unfortunately most golf courses are designed by very good players who can't relate to them.
And the love of the colour green and lusher grass and thus the desire for irrigation has spread to approaches and fairway areas on holes which previously could be played at a lower trajectory.
atb

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