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Bullitt5339

Sadistic pin placements

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Playing my home course today here in NC on a pretty windy day and ran across something I've never had happen to me before on any course.  Whoever was responsible for the pin placements for today must have been a sadistic bastard.  With some pretty stiff winds, there were pin placements that were impossible.

On hole #11, the cup was on a downslope towards the front of the green.  I had a huge breaking 3' putt, and just barely tapped it.  Lipped it out, and the ball rolled 12', breaking hard left (as expected) and proceeded to roll 4' off the green because it was severely sloped towards the front of the green.  Combine the winds with the dryness of the greens, and it was like putting on glass.

On hole #13, I missed the green on my approach, but hit a great chip that almost stopped a foot from the hole.  I say almost, because it then proceeded to roll back 90* and ended up around 12' off the green.  I ended up with double bogey when it should have been an easy par.  I shouldn't feel too bad though, I had the best score on the hole in the group and one guy actually carded a 13.

On hole #15, the cup was positioned on the side of a ridge, which was impossible to get close to.  You either hit the cup, or were 8ft away.  I ended up with the 2nd option.

On hole #17, the cup was again cut into the side of a ridge, which made it hit or die.  I got lucky to 3 putt and save a bogey.  Some weren't that lucky.

I complained to the Pro after the round, and he asked me specifically where the cup was on hole 13, since it's the most severely banked green towards the front.  I told him the pin was in the front, and what had happened, and he didn't seem very happy at the person who was supposed to cut the new pins.  He specifically told me that at this time of year, especially with the wind, there was no way that pin should be there.  I was happy that he acknowledged that the course wasn't setup very well for the conditions and seemed eager to get it fixed.

I ended up shooting 100.......  And felt lucky to get that out of today.  The scores from my group (most typically shoot mid-80's to very low 90's) were 2 100's, a 101 and a 109.  Just a tough day on the course.  On a good note, I finally found my driver swing that's been AWOL all summer.

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I had this happen to me once and it was brutal. Holes were on the peaks of greens and mid way up the steepest grades. Had a hell of a first nine and the hole placement killed the back nine.
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Hey Bullitt, where do you play? I used to be the assistant superintendent at Kings Grant in Fayetteville in the early to mid 90's. When I used to set the holes, I would try to make 6 easy,6 medium,and 6 tough hole placements. I would NEVER put a hole on a slope or near the bottom or top of a slope. The tough hole placements were usually tucked behind a bunker, or as close to an edge as was fair. I was always thinking about pace of play when I placed the holes. If I had to use a questionable hole placement, I would do it during the week when play wasn't as heavy. I've seen a lot of bad hole placements at other courses, and a lot of times they are placed by guys that don't play. Sometimes guys just don't care that the players have fun.

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I'm a member at Scothurst in Lumber Bridge and like the course.  It's without a doubt the best value from a membership in this area since they redid all the greens about 6 years ago with Tiff Bermuda and they're constantly working on making the course better.

I've never seen ridiculous pin placements like this out there before, and after the conversation I had with the Pro, I don't think I will again.

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I'm a member at a course that is notorious for this.  Most of the greens are huge, which should usually be nice to play, but when the pin is 6 feet off the left fringe and you miss right you're looking at an 80 foot putt.  The slopes of the greens are also pretty drastic.  I think the pin setter must have a pretty good sense of humor.

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I've seen some pretty stupid pin placements over the years on muni's and think it's due to greenskeeper's that don't know what they are doing. A pin should never be on a slope. If you can drop a ball next to a hole and it rolls away, it's a bad pin position.

I've seen pins where from below the hole you putt to the cup and the ball rolls back towards you. That's a mistake made by the greenskeeper.

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Thats what you might call a, "sucker pin".  When they are like that, you need to simply go for the center of the green and trust your putter.

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Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer

Thats what you might call a, "sucker pin".  When they are like that, you need to simply go for the center of the green and trust your putter.


You can't go for the center, because then you're putting downhill towards a slope off the green,  So when you tap it, it ends up 12' off the green, chip up short, ball rolls back to your feet, chip up long and then miss the putt back and you're 12' off the green again.  We're not talking simple sucker pins, I know how to play those, we're talking about impossible to stop the ball near the hole.  Miss the hole at all, even if the speed is good and the ball is going to change direction and run off the green, picking up speed as it goes.

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At the club I used to belong to, one day a year the course would be set with all the pins on humps, edges, and slopes, we would then play a 4-man scramble tournament, and have a good laugh at the absurdity of it all.  On a couple of the holes, you either made the 20 footer or the ball was right back at your feet.

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My home course has very fast greens that can host some pretty ridiculous hole locations. Whenever we find one in such a spot we figure the greenskeeper must have gotten in a fight with his wife.

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Originally Posted by Bullitt5339

You can't go for the center, because then you're putting downhill towards a slope off the green,  So when you tap it, it ends up 12' off the green, chip up short, ball rolls back to your feet, chip up long and then miss the putt back and you're 12' off the green again.  We're not talking simple sucker pins, I know how to play those, we're talking about impossible to stop the ball near the hole.  Miss the hole at all, even if the speed is good and the ball is going to change direction and run off the green, picking up speed as it goes.

Par 3, #15 at Rancho San Jauquin here in Irvine is exactly as you described when mowed daily... When they place the pin on the right side - front or middle pins cause the ball to roll off the green.  They had to stop mowing that green daily - to slow it down from the rest of the course - given the severity of the slope, as it wouldn't hold putts/shots.  Talk about frustrating... I've had rounds where I was even or one over... And walked off four or five over.

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Final of a county comp, I three putt following hitting it in a hazard, including a 4 ft putt that runs 20 ft past & off the green. My 8 on a par 5 is good though as my opponent 5 stabs, including a 3 ft up hill putt that horseshoes out and runs 20 ft off the green. The pin position needed a windmill. Gave me my first lead of the day, won the next 3 and eventually won 3&1, completely changed the dynamic of the match.
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I am putting so bad right now that every hole placement looks bad to me!

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That aint no sucker pin, those pins are in area's that are unfair. Sucker pins are ones that are sat behind bunkers in areas of the green were if you hit it straight at it, there's a better chance of ending up in a bunker or off the green than near the pin.

As for those pins, that should never happen. A ball should never run away from you on any putt. They might be fast, but shouldn't be unfair. True example is having a ball end up short of the pin, than rolling back down the hill, that should never happen. Unless you have a tiered green, were if you come up like 2 feet short it rolls back, that is ok. The reason is, close to the hole or past it is safe.

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This thread reminded me of a hole on one course I played this year.   The green sloped severely from back to front and the pin was about 10' off the front edge.   Naturally, I ended up above the hole and barely tapped the ball.   It went right over the hole and rolled past it onto the fringe.   From there, I hit what I thought was a perfect putt back up the hill to the cup.    It wasn't perfect.   It stopped literally within an inch of the cup and then rolled right back to me!    So, I tried it again, but this time I missed about an inch to the right and.........   you guessed it, it came right back down to the fringe.    I ended up putting twice more before I finally got the ball in the hole............    By the time I finally made the putt, I had gone from  disappointed to mad and finally to laughing so hard I almost couldn't make the stroke!

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I don't mind tough pin placements, but I do hate it when they put the cup on a slope. Not too bad if you are on the right side of the hole, but coming from the top of the slope is a nightmare. Having pins in the middle or back of the green all the time is no fun. Different pin placements means you have to think about how far you want to hit it. Not just find the distance with a rangefinder and try hitting it.
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Originally Posted by Zeph

I don't mind tough pin placements, but I do hate it when they put the cup on a slope. Not too bad if you are on the right side of the hole, but coming from the top of the slope is a nightmare.

Having pins in the middle or back of the green all the time is no fun. Different pin placements means you have to think about how far you want to hit it. Not just find the distance with a rangefinder and try hitting it.


Tough pin placements are fine with me, but when a pin is in a place where you can hit good shots but there's no possible way to stop the ball within a foot of pin without it rolling off the green isn't tough, it's idiotic.

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