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How many strokes do you lose playing aerated greens?


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  1. 1. How many strokes do you lose (or gain) playing aerated greens? Assume they're like the photo in the first post.

    • I shoot better scores on aerated greens.
      4
    • I shoot about the same on aerated greens.
      36
    • I shoot a few strokes higher on aerated greens.
      44
    • I shoot several strokes higher on aerated greens.
      29
    • I shoot much higher scores on aerated greens.
      4


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They put a local rule in effect. "If you can make it in one, putt. If not two putts per hole." The aerating was horrid. Then there was the six weeks after. Horrible, uneven greens. You'd pick your line and the ball would go down it then clip a former plug hole. That cost me four strokes on my last round because it happened right near the hole. One would have been a birdie. Then they aerated the fairways. The course was done for the year.

And sand would scrape the cover off the ball on approach shots. It was shag ball day on the course.

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Ditto. A putt I might have missed might go in and vice versa. And long putting (lag putting) is much easier because they're slower. I too suspect a lot of people will s

I always find it interesting that people are so adamant that aeration holes knock their putts off-line and cause them to miss, but an aeration hole never causes a putt that would have missed to vee

Depends on how well it's done. Here it ranges from terrible to barely notice it. The terrible places are just as bad to hold a wedge as to putt. I've seen balls skip on the sand like it's water. My pr

I always find it interesting that people are so adamant that aeration holes knock their putts off-line and cause them to miss, but an aeration hole never causes a putt that would have missed to veer into the hole..... ;-)
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I always find it interesting that people are so adamant that aeration holes knock their putts off-line and cause them to miss, but an aeration hole never causes a putt that would have missed to veer into the hole..... ;-)

Lol, same justification as the bad luck divot holes without acknowledgement of the good luck tree bounces or fluffy rough lies, huh?

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I agree that there is not too much difference in total putts. It probably affects the truly good putters (top 10%) more than those who are average or below average. And, for putters with hand of stone aeration might even help.

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I definitely putt worse on aerated greens, but I would be willing to concede it's just as much a mental issue, as an issue of putts actually being knocked off line.

For some reason, I have more speed problems than I probably should given the circumstances and I think it's a result of trying to "jam" the putts to the hole, as opposed to taking a smooth stroke that I would on a unblemished green.

That said, no one will ever convince me that you're going to putt just as well on the medium length putts (say 5-10 feet) with an aerated green. I would imagine that my "make" percentage drops from somewhere around 40-50% to 25% at best. Even a mediocre putter like myself is going to start most of their putts on or very close to the intended target line from that distance. As a result, I would argue that the golfer is indeed more likely to be harmed by a bounce off line then he or she would helped by one.

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... no one will ever convince me that you're going to putt just as well on the medium length putts (say 5-10 feet) with an aerated green.

Actually, I think I can. ;-)

I would imagine that my "make" percentage drops from somewhere around 40-50% to 25% at best. Even a mediocre putter like myself is going to start most of their putts on or very close to the intended target line from that distance. As a result, I would argue that the golfer is indeed more likely to be harmed by a bounce off line then he or she would helped by one.

And I can do it just using your math.  You say that a golfer is more likely to be harmed by a bounce OFF line than would be helped by a bounce back onto the line, however, you are saying that you only make 40-50% of your putts on good greens.  That means that even if you start the ball on the line you INTEND more often than not, it is still the INCORRECT line 50-60% of the time.

Considering that the majority of your putts are already off line, even if the greens were in good shape, I see no reason to assume that aeration holes wouldn't help AT LEAST as much as they hurt.


Now, as far as the mental part you mentioned ... I really have no counter-argument for that. :beer: My suggestion:  Don't do that. :-P

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Fair point Drew, but I remain unconvinced. Even if we just take the small sample size of putts that are noticeably re-routed by aeration marks, my bad putts might be helped, or they may be pushed further in the wrong direction. Meanwhile almost all "good" putts will be pushed off the correct line and turn to misses. I will grant you that many putts aren't re-routed and some are so imperceptible that they don't have an impact on the outcome. So I probably overstated the discrepancy for effect. That said, doesn't common sense dictate that it will be harder to putt on a less predictable surface? Have there been any studies (a'la Dave Pelz and his "perfy" machine) that show scientifically that aeration marks don't affect make percentages? There are a few posters on this thread that seem fairly confident that they putt just as well on aerated greens as they do normal greens. If given the opportunity to win $10,000 by 2 putting from 30 feet on a normal green or 29 feet on a nicely aerated green, would any of you (] @David in FL @Golfingdad @Fourputt ) actually choose the 29 foot putt?
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Fair point Drew, but I remain unconvinced. Even if we just take the small sample size of putts that are noticeably re-routed by aeration marks, my bad putts might be helped, or they may be pushed further in the wrong direction. Meanwhile almost all "good" putts will be pushed off the correct line and turn to misses. I will grant you that many putts aren't re-routed and some are so imperceptible that they don't have an impact on the outcome. So I probably overstated the discrepancy for effect.

That said, doesn't common sense dictate that it will be harder to putt on a less predictable surface? Have there been any studies (a'la Dave Pelz and his "perfy" machine) that show scientifically that aeration marks don't affect make percentages?

There are a few posters on this thread that seem fairly confident that they putt just as well on aerated greens as they do normal greens. If given the opportunity to win $10,000 by 2 putting from 30 feet on a normal green or 29 feet on a nicely aerated green, would any of you (]@David in FL@Golfingdad @Fourputt) actually choose the 29 foot putt?

To answer your simple question first and get it out of the way:  Of course I wouldn't choose the bumpy putt over the smooth putt. :beer:

Now, back to the 5-10 footers.  You make a good point.  So let's look at it more closely from a math perspective.  And let's make some goofy, random assumptions, just for fun.

Assumption 1:  All putts will be pushed off their line, and they will be pushed enough such that "almost all good putts will be turned to misses."  That means that they'd have to pushed about 2", leaving only the putts that started dead center of the hole as putts that are still falling in.

Assumption 2:  All putts currently miss equally on either side.

Assumption 3:  All putts will plinko their way left or right equally.

Assumption 4:  About 1 in 10 of your 5-10 footers is a combination of perfect aim and line.  And those are still going in.

Assumption 5:  1 in 10 of your 5-10 footers is so far off line (more than 2") that it's still not falling in, even if it plinkos towards the hole.

So, 10% were falling and are still falling, 10% were missing and are still missing, 40% were missing by less than 2" and 40% were making, but were within 2" of either edge of the hole.  If its totally random, then it can be assumed that of the 20% that were missing left, 10% of those will move 2" more left and still miss and 10% will move right and go in.

Now, of the 20% that were going in closer to the left side of the hole; 10% of those would move left and miss, but the other 10% would move right, but still be within the hole.

If you apply the same premise to the other side of the hole, then you find the same result.  The final tally would be EXACTLY the same as it would were you putting on smooth greens.  50% make, 50% miss.

Now, obviously, this is made using a lot of assumptions, and if kind of just for fun, and it doesn't factor in the "mental block" you mentioned before, but I do think that there is at least a kernel of truth to it.

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I am posting my phone so picture me waving a white flag emoticon and surrendering to your superior math skills!

LOL ... please don't discount the two major points I made, though:

I made a shitload of assumptions, and that was mainly just an exercise in fun.

Yes, I recognize that finding weird math problems as fun makes me look like a giant dork and I am OK with that.

(Please don't tell @Ernest Jones though ... he still thinks I'm kinda cool.)

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I definitely putt worse on aerated greens, but I would be willing to concede it's just as much a mental issue, as an issue of putts actually being knocked off line.

For some reason, I have more speed problems than I probably should given the circumstances and I think it's a result of trying to "jam" the putts to the hole, as opposed to taking a smooth stroke that I would on a unblemished green.

That said, no one will ever convince me that you're going to putt just as well on the medium length putts (say 5-10 feet) with an aerated green. I would imagine that my "make" percentage drops from somewhere around 40-50% to 25% at best. Even a mediocre putter like myself is going to start most of their putts on or very close to the intended target line from that distance. As a result, I would argue that the golfer is indeed more likely to be harmed by a bounce off line then he or she would helped by one.

The thing is, you have to adjust the "intended line" for aerated greens.  At least, the ones I'm familiar with tend to be a lot slower the first few days, because after sanding they don't cut them as tight (the sand plays havoc with the mower blades).  The combination of sand and higher cutting means the breaks will be much less.  Hit the ball firmly, play less break - for many of those 5-10 footers I play no break at all.  I find short putts to be much easier because I don't have to read them as closely.

As the greens recover, they gradually regain their former speed.  I just adjust as they change.

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I find that it adds a few strokes but nothing major, tend to make a few more of the bigger putts and miss a couple of the shorter ones. What frustrates me more about aerated greens is the approach shots. Hit a nice wedge from 80 yards out right where you want it and it catches one of the holes just in the right spot and shoots off in the opposite direction. I definitely don't get the ball as close to the hole that time of the year then I do when the greens are in good shape.

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I always find it interesting that people are so adamant that aeration holes knock their putts off-line and cause them to miss, but an aeration hole never causes a putt that would have missed to veer into the hole.....


this ^^^^^^^

Tom Watson said one time that he set the course record at Kansas City CC a day after the greens were  aerated

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About +2 strokes based on my record (I record total putt's per round information).

On plus side, there are less breaks when greens are aerated.  The lost strokes are due to misjudging speed of sand saturated greens (hit too short, or too long), and missing very short putts (3 - 4 feet range) I normally make.

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Note: This thread is 1270 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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