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Why do so many fairway mowing lines converge and bottle-neck at the front of greens?atb
Even on courses with wide, expansive fairways, its not uncommon to see features such as bunkers and mounding that create a more natural bottleneck to the entrance of the green. It would seem that overtime the grass lines were brought in to mimic the presence of these features, creating a similar challenge to a running ball trying to reach the green, without the feature needing to be present. At the same time, as the game evolved to be more aerial focused, the bottleneck acted as a buffer for poorly hit aerial shots. A player expecting to fly the ball all the way to the green would be unlikely to find a miss hit shot landing short and bouncing up onto the green. As bunker shapes and mowing lines became simplified during the post-war era, the bottleneck presented both a visual separation between the fairway and the green complex, while also acting as a type of hazard within a more aerial focused game.
Ben-I think that’s spot on analysis with reference to the “aerial” game. It drives me crazy on the longer holes where I believe the original mow lines were intended to allow the player to bounce the ball into the greens through short grass with a fairway wood or low lofted iron(brassie, spoon, baffy or cleek). Obviously my reference is to golden age courses.
Have you guys ever mowed grass? Mowing lines move because a human being is operating the mower. Everyone on this board enjoys Golf Architecture. We ponder and discuss why things are the way they are. But 95% of the guys mowing don't. If fairways are cut 60-150 times a year do you realize how a small discrepancy/mistake/rounding a corner, etc. continues to 'grow.' Anyone familiar with how the 'mowing lines' are communicated? Is there a final 'plan' given to the superintendent by the architect with mowing lines... or is it 'organic'
My whole life the look of a skinny fairway between fronting greenside bunkers on an uphill hole has been THE US parkland look...especially Midwest and Northeast.
But the aerial game is not effected by fairway lines.
Which I guess is better than those superintendents who simply turn the fw mover short of the fronting bunkers and leave rough up to the green. I hope I am not insulting superintendents here, but I only ran across a few who would know or care enough about design to figure taking out the fw approach is really affecting the design.
Quote from: Sean_A on May 31, 2023, 12:06:48 PMBut the aerial game is not effected by fairway lines. Sure it is, the tighter the bottle neck the more the aerial game matters. If a player has a limited opportunity to run the ball onto the green, a higher priority is placed on their ability to fly the ball and stop it on the green.