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Thomas Dai

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Fast greens equals slow play
« on: September 05, 2023, 04:51:48 AM »
Fast greens = slow play.
Thoughts?
Atb

Rob Marshall

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2023, 07:39:44 AM »
How fast are you talking about? I think if there is a bad pin placement it will for sure.
If life gives you limes, make margaritas.” Jimmy Buffett

Tim Martin

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2023, 08:14:15 AM »
When greens are running too fast to allow for slope and contour they can definitely slow down play.

Jim Hoak

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2023, 11:21:31 AM »
Too fast greens are the result of the same sickness as not playing the correct tees.
When I hear people bragging about the speed of their greens, I think they don't know much about golf. 
I love Oakmont, but when I hear the boasting about "slowing the greens down for the Open," I just think "C'mon, Man."


John Blain

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2023, 12:13:07 PM »
Too fast greens are the result of the same sickness as not playing the correct tees.
When I hear people bragging about the speed of their greens, I think they don't know much about golf. 
I love Oakmont, but when I hear the boasting about "slowing the greens down for the Open," I just think "C'mon, Man."
Completely agree. It has become a badge of honor for members and, many times, superintendents as well to have greens ridiculously fast.
Warching the WC this weekend was such a pleasure to watch with greens stimpimg somewhere around 10-10 1/2. Of course, I'm old enough to remember when 10 was considered extremely fast.
Brad Faxon was saying a few weeks ago that slower greens tend to bring out the best putters simply because a player needs to hit a putt a bit more solidly on slower greens as opposed to greens that are crazy fast. I think that is especially true for putts in the 4-6 foot range. Makes sense, if you think about it.

Matt_Cohn

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2023, 02:52:48 PM »
Brad Faxon was saying a few weeks ago that slower greens tend to bring out the best putters simply because a player needs to hit a putt a bit more solidly on slower greens as opposed to greens that are crazy fast.


It's true. But it can also de-emphasize the long game, because it's easier to recover from a bad position on slow greens. I played two tournaments this past week—one running about 8 and one about 12. I hated putting on the 8's because I haven't had to really hit a putt like that in forever, and it felt terrible trying to do it. But I wasn't going to three-putt on the 8's unless I did something pretty dumb, and it didn't really matter if I was above the hole, below the hole, short-sided, whatever. The 12's required a lot more thought, care, and placement.

Matt Schoolfield

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2023, 03:22:15 PM »
Having done a sizeable amount of research on the subject, I would say that this would probably matter during tournaments, but likely doesn't make a difference in day-to-day golf.

The vast majority of slow pace is caused by profit-oven-pace tee time intervals paired with sub-optimal routing. The carry capacity of holes is the obvious culprit, creating pinch-points that back up even when "fast" players are playing. On a non-beginner course, focus on pace should almost exclusively be on management understanding the courses real carry capacity (not what it "should" be), while in development, trying to keep sub-optimal carry capacity holes (par 3's, reachable par 4's & 5's) very early in the round.

Most people care more about perceived pace, rather than actual pace. I propose the best way to deal with this is providing elegant distractions (halfway houses, photo opportunities, bathrooms, etc.) exactly at the places where a course is known to back up.

The archetype of what I'm talking about is Lincoln Park GC in SF, with it's back-to-back challenging par 3's as 16 & 17. Combine these inappropriately positioned holes with their quick intervals, it is not uncommon to have the course back up 3+ groups exactly here, leading to 5-6 hour rounds. Simply installing a food/beverage cart or bathrooms would placate most of the players who wait here every day.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2023, 03:30:04 PM by Matt Schoolfield »

John Emerson

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2023, 08:51:51 PM »
If I were to rank the impact of course features on slow play, not being able to find balls has to be number one.
“There’s links golf, then everything else.”

Jim Sherma

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2023, 11:33:41 AM »
Agree that not being able to readily see balls in the rough is the greatest contributor to losing larger chunks of time to slow play. However, fast greens, assuming that players are trying to putt everything out, will kill pace of play due to the slow drip of grinding all day over 3-6 foot putts.


I know that I am shouting at the wind but it is sad that soft/receptive and fast greens are considered the epitome of good maintenance. The game less interesting and dumbed down due to not having to account for the ball bouncing. I also find continuous grinding on fast greens to be one of the less pleasant and least interesting aspects of modern golf (and yes, I consider myself a better putter on fast greens assuming they are smooth and not beat up doe to having to keep them moist at that height of cut).

Mark_Fine

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2023, 12:25:44 PM »
Common sense would suggest the faster the greens the slower the play.  However, this past weekend we held our member member tournament with 156 golfers on the course playing three nine hole matches (27 holes) the first day and two more (18 holes) the second.  The course was set up with extremely firm conditions and the greens rolling as fast and as smooth as I have ever seen them since I joined in 1997.  We have a strict speed of play rule where if you finish a minute over the allotted time both teams are penalized.  We had zero slow play violations despite the extremely fast greens. 

jeffwarne

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2023, 12:33:21 PM »
Agree that not being able to readily see balls in the rough is the greatest contributor to losing larger chunks of time to slow play. However, fast greens, assuming that players are trying to putt everything out, will kill pace of play due to the slow drip of grinding all day over 3-6 foot putts.


I know that I am shouting at the wind but it is sad that soft/receptive and fast greens are considered the epitome of good maintenance. The game less interesting and dumbed down due to not having to account for the ball bouncing. I also find continuous grinding on fast greens to be one of the less pleasant and least interesting aspects of modern golf (and yes, I consider myself a better putter on fast greens assuming they are smooth and not beat up doe to having to keep them moist at that height of cut).


As so may are loath to point out, not one thing is the main cause of slow play, but that doesn't mean that each factor, isn't a contributor to the issue.
The processes so many are taught (or mimic) can take forever, and they will point out they do it faster than others, but the processes still take longer than walking up and hitting it, or walking in from behind and hitting a putt.
Whataboutism is always in play.
A shot clock would merely insure they took 45 seconds for EVERY shot, still way slower than any fast player.
Deep rough and thick native areas are definitely can be pace of play killers, especially for those who are trying to play real golf.
Super fast greens? -yep.


But the main thing is simply slow players, who the "grow the game" crowd pandered to (or at least tolerated) in desperation for years during the golf recession, and the newer post pandemic players who have the bug and just aren't being coached to speed the #$@% up.


Scale is absolutely another reason as there are just some larger scale courses an average group aren't going to buzz around in a max of 3:45, as is common at many smaller scale old school courses.Then throw in the whole "experience" thing and it tends to all slow down.
"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

Rob Marshall

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2023, 02:37:47 PM »
Agree that not being able to readily see balls in the rough is the greatest contributor to losing larger chunks of time to slow play. However, fast greens, assuming that players are trying to putt everything out, will kill pace of play due to the slow drip of grinding all day over 3-6 foot putts.


I know that I am shouting at the wind but it is sad that soft/receptive and fast greens are considered the epitome of good maintenance. The game less interesting and dumbed down due to not having to account for the ball bouncing. I also find continuous grinding on fast greens to be one of the less pleasant and least interesting aspects of modern golf (and yes, I consider myself a better putter on fast greens assuming they are smooth and not beat up doe to having to keep them moist at that height of cut).


As so may are loath to point out, not one thing is the main cause of slow play, but that doesn't mean that each factor, isn't a contributor to the issue.
The processes so many are taught (or mimic) can take forever, and they will point out they do it faster than others, but the processes still take longer than walking up and hitting it, or walking in from behind and hitting a putt.
Whataboutism is always in play.
A shot clock would merely insure they took 45 seconds for EVERY shot, still way slower than any fast player.
Deep rough and thick native areas are definitely can be pace of play killers, especially for those who are trying to play real golf.
Super fast greens? -yep.


But the main thing is simply slow players, who the "grow the game" crowd pandered to (or at least tolerated) in desperation for years during the golf recession, and the newer post pandemic players who have the bug and just aren't being coached to speed the #$@% up.


Scale is absolutely another reason as there are just some larger scale courses an average group aren't going to buzz around in a max of 3:45, as is common at many smaller scale old school courses.Then throw in the whole "experience" thing and it tends to all slow down.


I'm a fairly fast player. My group regularly plays in 3:15-3:30. I don't think I spend enough time reading greens and I've starting to think its why my putting isn't as good as it should be. I hit my start line pretty consistently. When someone comes up with a fast way to get a good read on greens please let me know................
If life gives you limes, make margaritas.” Jimmy Buffett

Joe Zucker

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2023, 03:10:08 PM »
Brad Faxon was saying a few weeks ago that slower greens tend to bring out the best putters simply because a player needs to hit a putt a bit more solidly on slower greens as opposed to greens that are crazy fast.


It's true. But it can also de-emphasize the long game, because it's easier to recover from a bad position on slow greens. I played two tournaments this past week—one running about 8 and one about 12. I hated putting on the 8's because I haven't had to really hit a putt like that in forever, and it felt terrible trying to do it. But I wasn't going to three-putt on the 8's unless I did something pretty dumb, and it didn't really matter if I was above the hole, below the hole, short-sided, whatever. The 12's required a lot more thought, care, and placement.


I'm not sure if fast greens necessarily slow down play.  But I do agree with Matt that a lot of time, fast greens make things more interesting.  At least for good players.  When greens are slow, there is little risk and slopes acting as hazards/defense doesn't really mean anything.  Would Augusta's greens be as interesting if they rolled at 8?  I don't know, but I doubt it.


It's probably worthy of a different thread, but the question of 'do fast greens make them more interesting?' is intriguing.  If you've played the extremely sloped classic greens on 100 years ago rolling at 12 and then go back to playing them an 8-9, the teeth never seem as  sharp.

Jim Hoak

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2023, 04:16:38 PM »
Joe, you obviously don't believe that those slopey greens from 100 years ago, built to roll at 8-9 and now rolling at 12, were ever meant to roll that fast?  Does that bother you? What do you think the original designer would say?

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2023, 04:24:38 PM »
Joe, you obviously don't believe that those slopey greens from 100 years ago, built to roll at 8-9 and now rolling at 12, were ever meant to roll that fast?  Does that bother you? What do you think the original designer would say?




I have to wonder how often those original greens are being played. How many have been flattened in order to accommodate faster speeds?
Severally on the occasion of everything that thou doest, pause and ask thyself, if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives thee of this. - Marcus Aurelius

Carl Johnson

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2023, 04:25:18 PM »
I've never understood the obsession with "fast greens."  Greens should be fair.  Not too slow and not too fast.  Naturally there are going to be differences of opinion about what's just right, but some folks seem to want super fast greens to punish players.  That's not my way of thinking how the "game" should be.  Super fast greens are likely to slow play because (1) there will likely be more putts and (2) players will take more time getting ready to an executing putts.  I'm talking about amateur recreational play.  The pro tours and the USGA can do whatever they want to for their tournaments.  It's their business and they can model it however they think best suits their objectives and let the market decide.

Mark_Fine

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2023, 06:35:23 PM »
100 years ago putting was not nearly as an important aspect of the game as compared to what it is today. 

Matt Schoolfield

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2023, 08:22:19 PM »
100 years ago putting was not nearly as an important aspect of the game as compared to what it is today.
Wait, what?! Is there evidence for this?

Erik J. Barzeski

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2023, 08:34:00 PM »
100 years ago putting was not nearly as an important aspect of the game as compared to what it is today.
Wait, what?! Is there evidence for this?
Unlikely.

But we do know that putting is the least important part of the game today (of Driving, Approach Shots, Short Game, and Putting).
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, Instructor/Coach, and Lifetime Student of the Game.

I generally ignore Rob, Tim, and Garland.

Rob Marshall

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2023, 08:42:35 PM »
Joe, you obviously don't believe that those slopey greens from 100 years ago, built to roll at 8-9 and now rolling at 12, were ever meant to roll that fast?  Does that bother you? What do you think the original designer would say?




I have to wonder how often those original greens are being played. How many have been flattened in order to accommodate faster speeds?


Play a tournament at Irondequoit CC in Rochester. In October we play them faster than they did when the web.com played there. Brutal.
If life gives you limes, make margaritas.” Jimmy Buffett

Rob Marshall

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2023, 08:46:29 PM »
100 years ago putting was not nearly as an important aspect of the game as compared to what it is today.
Wait, what?! Is there evidence for this?
Unlikely.

But we do know that putting is the least important part of the game today (of Driving, Approach Shots, Short Game, and Putting).


It’s funny, I know the stats bear this out, then you watch Hovland roll putts in from everywhere, same for Glover.
If life gives you limes, make margaritas.” Jimmy Buffett

Mark_Fine

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2023, 09:10:13 PM »
There was quite a bit written about the value of putting vs all the other shots played in a round.  Some architects like George Thomas felt the putting stroke had too high a value compared to the other shots played (we have all heard the line "a 300 yard drive down the middle of the fairway is worth the same as a 6 inch putt").  Essentially what Thomas was saying was that to him, putting should not have the same importance (or value) as the other shots.  Others agreed with this theory and there was much talk about how difficult greens should be as well as where holes should be located as this could further enhance the problem. 


Very early on greens, were not well maintained (Old Tom Morris changed that) and putting grew in importance despite architects such as Thomas not being happy about it.  So maybe I should say - 100 years ago, some architects felt putting should not be as important aspect of the game compared to other strokes. 


Today if you can’t putt you can’t play this game at the highest level and for some they give it up completely. 
« Last Edit: September 06, 2023, 09:22:28 PM by Mark_Fine »

Erik J. Barzeski

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2023, 10:01:40 PM »
There was quite a bit written about the value of putting vs all the other shots played in a round.
That doesn't mean they were right. "Drive for show, putt for dough" still survives in the minds of some despite how much it's been shown to be inaccurate.

Essentially what Thomas was saying was that to him, putting should not have the same importance (or value) as the other shots.
It counts as one stroke, but it doesn't have the same "value." There's much less separation in putting than in the other areas of golf.

Today if you can’t putt you can’t play this game at the highest level and for some they give it up completely.
Boo Weekley even managed to play on a Ryder Cup and wasn't a very good putter at all. Scottie Scheffler had a good year and has been a comparatively poor putter - he would have won the Memorial by more than 10 or 12 (or 15?) shots or something ridiculous if he putted Tour average.

Putting is the least important of the four skills with the lowest Separation Value®.
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, Instructor/Coach, and Lifetime Student of the Game.

I generally ignore Rob, Tim, and Garland.

Mark_Fine

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2023, 10:47:02 PM »
Erik,
All I am saying is architects like Thomas advocated for putting to count as a half shot.  He and others also wanted larger holes and pins located in less demanding locations on greens so putting would be less important.

We can agree to disagree about how important putting is today.  It makes or breaks the pros and many average golfers as well. 


Quote from Ben Hogan:


“I have always contended golf is one game and putting is another.  One game is played in the air. The other is played on the ground.  If I had my way every golf green would be made into a huge funnel so that when you hit the funnel the ball would roll down the pipe into the hole.”
« Last Edit: September 06, 2023, 10:59:27 PM by Mark_Fine »

Jason Thurman

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Re: Fast greens equals slow play
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2023, 11:02:58 PM »
A lot of fuzzy math in this thread.


Putting doesn't matter... Pay no attention to Scottie Scheffler continuing to not win. He's just gotta work a little harder on those approaches from 175-225 yards I guess.


Also, any fool who seeks tee times on the courses with the slowest greens in my town, thinking fast greens=slow play, is gonna be real disappointed when he gets home in 8 hours.
"There will always be haters. That’s just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

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