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Is the Pursuit of Faster Greens a Problem in Golf? - Page 3

Poll Results: Are Faster Green Speeds a Problem? Please elaborate below.

 
  • 23% (13)
    Yes
  • 76% (43)
    No
56 Total Votes  
post #37 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Really?!  g2_eek.gif

Not me.  I expect the greens to be absolutely consistent from one hole to another on any given course.  If they aren't, then they definitely qualify as sub-standard, regardless of speed.

I agree with that. I meant round to round. I'd prefer some variance between rounds and don't always want them as fast as possible every time.
post #38 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post
 

Wow. I voted before reading any of the responses and was shocked to see I was one of only two total "yes" votes! 

 

OK, so hear me out, guys. I agree with all of your points that argue the "no" side of it. I love fast greens too after all :-D

 

 

But the reason I voted "yes" is because of a conversation I had with a former mini-tour pro (now in his 50s) about a nice course that was near us. I asked him what he thought about it and he said, "hate the greens. They're too fast for their design. They were designed in the 1930s, so there's a ton of undulations, but the speeds back then were much slower. Now, they've mown them so fast, that they should have redesigned the green complexes too, but they didn't. So I hate that course. Putting is a joke there." I'm paraphrasing. 

 

 

He could be totally full of it, but what he said kind of made sense. What do you guys think of what he said? That's why I hip-fire voted "yes." I'm more than willing to change my tune in light of new evidence as golf course architecture and maintenance is not my area of expertise :-D

 

But if that guy was right, then it is a problem, but only a very rare one. However, if you're a member at a course like this, then yea, I guess it could be a real problem for you. 

 

 

this is very very true. as a superintendent our job is to try our best to set up the course for all the players to enjoy. remember for every player who loves fast greens there is another who hates them. Many problems arise when trying to make greens fast on older courses i.e. reducing pin placements, maint. costs and slow play on greens that have slope. Also the grasses used on these old courses cant hold up over time like the modern grasses can. I never post stimp readings because the can change alot day to day.I have had golfers waive me down saying how fast they are when they are rolling 8 and those same golfers have said they were slow when they are 10 go figure. whats most important to me is how smooth they are, and yes you can make "slower" greens smooth. 

post #39 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

We aren't talking about 15" holes in this thread.

 

OT Response (Click to show)
And in the context of golf as a whole, or compared to the other skills it takes to play golf, putting takes minimal skills. It's also the area where pros and players of all levels separate themselves the least.

You're right, we aren't  Silly me to expect consistency across threads.  Maybe I should bridge the gap with a separate thread and a poll as to whether putting well takes minimal skill or putting is a major frustration for new golfers that requires 15" holes to keep from driving them away from the game.

post #40 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post
 

Wow. I voted before reading any of the responses and was shocked to see I was one of only two total "yes" votes! 

 

OK, so hear me out, guys. I agree with all of your points that argue the "no" side of it. I love fast greens too after all :-D

 

 

But the reason I voted "yes" is because of a conversation I had with a former mini-tour pro (now in his 50s) about a nice course that was near us. I asked him what he thought about it and he said, "hate the greens. They're too fast for their design. They were designed in the 1930s, so there's a ton of undulations, but the speeds back then were much slower. Now, they've mown them so fast, that they should have redesigned the green complexes too, but they didn't. So I hate that course. Putting is a joke there." I'm paraphrasing. 

 

 

He could be totally full of it, but what he said kind of made sense. What do you guys think of what he said? That's why I hip-fire voted "yes." I'm more than willing to change my tune in light of new evidence as golf course architecture and maintenance is not my area of expertise :-D

 

But if that guy was right, then it is a problem, but only a very rare one. However, if you're a member at a course like this, then yea, I guess it could be a real problem for you. 

 

Courses built in the 1930s are not the norm. Soften the contours at those minority of courses or play them at 9-10. I play a course built in the 1950s with some severe contours, and they get silly at 13, but can play at 10 to 12 every day (the latter excludes a few hole locations, but has enough for a few rounds of tournament play).

 

It seems silly to me to base an opinion on the, what, 10% of courses built and not renovated since 1940? 1960? 1980?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post
 

You're right, we aren't  Silly me to expect consistency across threads.  Maybe I should bridge the gap with a separate thread and a poll as to whether putting well takes minimal skill or putting is a major frustration for new golfers that requires 15" holes to keep from driving them away from the game.

 

Oh brother. Consistency has been maintained. Putting takes minimal skill compared to the rest of golf, but as I said because putting is the last thing a golfer does, it's often disproportionately frustrating and makes people feel particularly silly when they're just starting to play. The two statements are not inconsistent.

 

Gee whiz. Please stick to the topic. The 15" hole topic already has a thread.

post #41 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by imsys0042 View Post


I agree with that. I meant round to round. I'd prefer some variance between rounds and don't always want them as fast as possible every time.

 

Not "as fast as possible".......but faster rather than slower.  9-10 vs 7-8.

 

I'd still prefer to get my variety from playing different courses, rather than finding inconsistencies in the same course from day to day.  Personal preference though.

post #42 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

 

Not "as fast as possible".......but faster rather than slower.  9-10 vs 7-8.

 

I'd still prefer to get my variety from playing different courses, rather than finding inconsistencies in the same course from day to day.  Personal preference though.

Agreed.  Some natural variation will occur from hole to hole because of shade and angle to the sun, etc.  They may all be mowed the same in the morning, but will vary a bit in a few hours.

post #43 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

If that's what the members want, that's what they should get.  Why would anyone not a member of a particular club care about how that private course is set up?

 

Because people, especially better players, tend to putt better on faster greens.  The very first criteria I judge a golf course on is the quality of their greens.....

 

As to variety, I prefer that my variety doesn't take the form of sub-standard conditions.  I realize that "slow" doesn't always equate to sub-standard, but many times the two go hand-in-hand.

 

I'm not saying that the members shouldn't have the course set up the way they want.  Hey, it's their club.

 

I am questioning their value system about what makes a course or club nice.  Belonging to a club, for a large portion of members, is a prestige thing.  And because of that, somehow the difficulty of your course has been tied to exclusivity.  Particularly the speed of greens.  I had a golf course superintendent tell me that western PA has the most ideal grass growing conditions in the country to set up fast greens.  Whether or not that's true, it has to be near the top.  So the clubs just love to make everything insanely fast and super firm.  Well, the average member can't handle those greens.  As a single digit handicap, I can barely handle them.  Let alone a 22 handicapper 65 year old hitting a 7 wood from 155 yards to a green he can't hold, let alone putt well.  These conditions just prolong play.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wils5150 View Post
 

this is very very true. as a superintendent our job is to try our best to set up the course for all the players to enjoy. remember for every player who loves fast greens there is another who hates them. Many problems arise when trying to make greens fast on older courses i.e. reducing pin placements, maint. costs and slow play on greens that have slope. Also the grasses used on these old courses cant hold up over time like the modern grasses can. I never post stimp readings because the can change alot day to day.I have had golfers waive me down saying how fast they are when they are rolling 8 and those same golfers have said they were slow when they are 10 go figure. whats most important to me is how smooth they are, and yes you can make "slower" greens smooth. 

 

I like this approach right here.

post #44 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by wils5150 View Post
 

this is very very true. as a superintendent our job is to try our best to set up the course for all the players to enjoy. remember for every player who loves fast greens there is another who hates them. Many problems arise when trying to make greens fast on older courses i.e. reducing pin placements, maint. costs and slow play on greens that have slope. Also the grasses used on these old courses cant hold up over time like the modern grasses can. I never post stimp readings because the can change alot day to day.I have had golfers waive me down saying how fast they are when they are rolling 8 and those same golfers have said they were slow when they are 10 go figure. whats most important to me is how smooth they are, and yes you can make "slower" greens smooth. 

It is always good to hear from the experts.  Thanks @wils5150 

post #45 of 143

The one thing needed for fast greens is MONEY.  watering by hand,fert and chem, rebuilding,regrassing...... the list goes on.

post #46 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguirre View Post


I'm not saying that the members shouldn't have the course set up the way they want.  Hey, it's their club.

Yep. It is....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguirre View Post


I am questioning their value system about what makes a course or club nice.  

See above......it's their club. Who are you to "question the value system" of the membership of a club you're not a member of? If you disagree with how they run their club, don't join it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguirre View Post


Well, the average member can't handle those greens.

a). How would you know what the "average member" at any particular private club can or cannot handle?
b) Why would you care?

Slow golfers cause slow play. Not fast greens.
post #47 of 143

Private clubs are an entirely different thing IMO. My experience is the appeal for most is the more tour like setups. It's not random, everything is put to a vote. You want 2.5" rough they vote on it. You want difficult pin placements they vote on it. Never played a private course where I didn't leave wishing they were all like that. I play a private club 3-4x a month. The greens are wicked fast and anything above the hole is brutal. My scores are always higher and I love it. Make a birdie there and you know you played the hole well because it's usually two good shots and a short to mid length putt from below the hole. The satisfaction is pretty cool.

post #48 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguirre View Post
 

 

 

I'm not saying that the members shouldn't have the course set up the way they want.  Hey, it's their club.

 

I am questioning their value system about what makes a course or club nice.  Belonging to a club, for a large portion of members, is a prestige thing.  And because of that, somehow the difficulty of your course has been tied to exclusivity.  Particularly the speed of greens.  I had a golf course superintendent tell me that western PA has the most ideal grass growing conditions in the country to set up fast greens.  Whether or not that's true, it has to be near the top.  So the clubs just love to make everything insanely fast and super firm.  Well, the average member can't handle those greens.  As a single digit handicap, I can barely handle them.  Let alone a 22 handicapper 65 year old hitting a 7 wood from 155 yards to a green he can't hold, let alone putt well.  These conditions just prolong play.  

 

I'll stand up for at least two of them.

 

A senior couple played with my son and I on a reasonably difficult course. It took them quite a few shots to get to the green, but they made more than their share of 20 foot putts. Both man and woman putted really well. I realize that I may not a good judge of good putting, but quite a few 15 to 20 foot putts on 10 stimp greens looked pretty good to me.

 

The faster greens I have played appear to be in better condition as well, so the surface conditions seem more predictable.

post #49 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


Yep. It is....
See above......it's their club. Who are you to "question the value system" of the membership of a club you're not a member of? If you disagree with how they run their club, don't join it.
a). How would you know what the "average member" at any particular private club can or cannot handle?
b) Why would you care?

Slow golfers cause slow play. Not fast greens.

I'm a guy with an opinion.  Maybe you're new to the internet and message boards.

 

I've played at scores of private and semi-private clubs.  Lots of them have the members handicaps right there on the locker room wall.  So over time, you develop a sense of how good the average member is.  Not to mention that the USGA and other organizations have published statistics on such things.  Since I've played a lot, I know what 18 handicappers can do, and what they can't.  And they can't, in general, handle the fast firm greens on their very own course that they hold in oh such high regard.  

 

And extremely fast greens absolutely contribute to slow play.  Suggesting otherwise is asinine.

post #50 of 143
Multiple studies shown that golfers putt better on faster greens than slower greens.-Point remains what people want at THEIR clubs is up to them, not you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguirre View Post

I'm a guy with an opinion.  Maybe you're new to the internet and message boards.

I've played at scores of private and semi-private clubs.  Lots of them have the members handicaps right there on the locker room wall.  So over time, you develop a sense of how good the average member is.  Not to mention that the USGA and other organizations have published statistics on such things.  Since I've played a lot, I know what 18 handicappers can do, and what they can't.  And they can't, in general, handle the fast firm greens on their very own course that they hold in oh such high regard.  

And extremely fast greens absolutely contribute to slow play.  Suggesting otherwise is asinine.
And dont go adding "firmer" in there.-This thread is about green speed not firmness.
post #51 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil McGleno View Post

Multiple studies shown that golfers putt better on faster greens than slower greens.-Point remains what people want at THEIR clubs is up to them, not you.
And dont go adding "firmer" in there.-This thread is about green speed not firmness.

How are you guys defining fast?  I put better on fast greens too, but not extremely fast.  Not 65% of private club levels fast.  

 

Also, firmer greens absolutely contribute to speed.  And a player who doesn't get much spin is going to have their ball roll through the green more often on the fastest of greens, regardless of firmness. 

 

I don't understand this attitude of "It's their club." I mean, I know.  I already stated that.  I actually don't care how they set up their precious Holy ground.  If they want to be masochists and put up awful scores so they can brag about how tough their club is, it's their priority.  But this suggestion that one can't question that attitude is a logical fallacy.  

post #52 of 143

“The quest for speed is not something new,” says Fearis (David Fearis CGSG). “However is would say there are three factors that have contributed to or accelerated the issue: 1) Stimpmeter 2) television and 3) the increased number of golf courses.”

 

Fearis says low handicap golfers, who usually comprise less than five percent of the membership are “constantly asking…what the greens are Stimping at. Clubs are now posting daily Stimpmeter readings and it has almost gotten to be a contest between clubs on who has the fastest greens. I’ve even heard of a green chairman carrying at Stimpmeter around in his golf bag to compare readings from different course he plays.

 

“Faster greens will actually slow play down,” Fearis stated bluntly. “It has been estimated that it will slow play down by 15-20 minutes per round.  Also, most golfers shoot in the mid-90’s to low 100’s. This might not be as true at country clubs, but the point is that only a small percentage of golfers have low handicaps.  Higher handicap golfers are not good putters.  So they will have more 3-4 putt greens than the better golfer.  This not only relates to slower play but less enjoyment of the game.  Golf is supposed to be a fun game.  A golfer wants to walk off the 18th green and remember his/her round as a fun, enjoyable experience.”

 

 

At the same time some players feel faster greens give them “an advantage over others who are not as skilled,” asserted Ken Mangum, CGCS, director of golf courses and grounds, Atlanta Athletic Club. “Most of the time I think it is purely bragging rights over who has the fastest greens.  Members like to impress their guest with fast greens.  Obviously, TV golf has a huge impact on everyone.  They see long drives and fast greens so they go buy new drivers and come to the club expecting to have fast greens like the ‘pros’ play each week.   I know that during our member-guest tournaments the number one comment is always ‘the greens are really fast’.  The number one question is always ‘are you going to cut the greens down and really make them fast?’”

 

 

“I am convinced that 85 percent of the membership cares very little about or barely notices green speed.  Ten percent cares some of the time, but are generally understanding of weather conditions, etc.  I have found a very small vocal minority clamoring for increased green speed, and seem to desire such speed regardless of the consequences.  If the superintendent doesn’t seem to be providing those desired conditions, they usually lobby for a superintendent who will (or says he will),” George opined.   (P. Stan George, CGSG Praire Dunes Country Club

 

 

 

 

I like these quotes.  Bold emphasis added by me.

post #53 of 143

BTW, I should add that too fast of green speeds is rarely a problem at munis, or higher end resort courses.  It's not something I face often.  And being a golfer with a 15 tee to green handicap and 2 around the green handicap (estimates), it doesn't affect me near as much as others.  It's just my two cents, but hey, please, do whatever you want at your club.  Go for it.  It's your club.  Bury bodies, have dog roasts, it's your place.

post #54 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguirre View Post
 

How are you guys defining fast?  I put better on fast greens too, but not extremely fast.  Not 65% of private club levels fast.

 

11, sometimes 12. Greens don't get much faster than that, even on the PGA Tour.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguirre View Post
 

Also, firmer greens absolutely contribute to speed.

 

I think the point he was making is that we are not discussing FIRM greens here. We're discussing FAST greens there. They tend to - but don't have to - go hand in hand.

 

As for the rest of your posts (please stop making multiple posts minutes apart), you disagree. Cool. Whatever.

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