Wednesday, 5 January 2011

10 Best Greens – 2nd at Pine Valley

The "waves" show up best from the side

Pine Valley’s second green is one of the most creative and interesting greens in golf. The green has two outside plateaus, two beautiful interior valleys and a central spine. When all these features are seen together from the side of the green, they give the impression of waves lapping up on the beach. Nothing harsh, but each feature is strong enough to stand out on its own merit.

The pins on the upper plateaus at the edge are extremely difficult. The left plateau is a subtle crown and the ball will easily wander back down into the valley if short, but far worse is being wide where the short grass leads to the waste area. The right plateau is a little more flat and pitched into play, but is also slightly higher making it harder to find. The miss not only comes back down the slope but often ends up at the front right where you can not putt up to the plateau.
The hole from the air

 The interior valleys feature most of the pin positions, they are very steep in places and the ball can easily get away if you are above or to the side. An uphill putt can be very makeable, but all bets are off if your long or worse in the wrong valley. Each putt is excruciatingly difficult to judge.

My favourite feature is the central roll since it creates the double valleys. It extends two thirds of the way towards the front and then slowly disappears allowing the valleys to converge on a beautiful and diabolical front pin. The pin position is spectacular, but a putt down to the pin is one of the most delicate you’ll find. What is tougher is if you have to cross the central spine on the way.

The coolest putt on the green is from the upper right plateau down to the front right pin. It can be done and involves a putt well away from the target that feeds the ball into the valley and down to the front. It took quite a few tries to find the line.

Looking backwards in Black & White
This is another great example of the value of interior contours. In this case the features are running from back to front. The reason this green stands out is the fan shaped five features that make me think of a shell. I found this particular green a touch more creative and original that all others with a similar set up.

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