Friday, 7 January 2011

10 Best Greens - 6th at National GL

From the tee
When you step on the tee of the Short at the National Golf Links of America you see a large inviting green and feel pretty confident that you will find the putting surface. What is not apparent is how the edges of this massive green fall away into the surrounding hazards making the green a far smaller target that it first appears. What further complicates matters is the centre of the green features a beautiful raised bowl. The bowl is a wonderful collective and receptive place to hit a shot, but all surrounding slopes around the bowl radiate out quite quickly to the lower areas below. Many shots finding the side slopes in what appears to be the centre of the green often finish in one of the side bunkers.
From the left
The middle bowl is tough to find since the area is small and all misses are cast well away from the target. The front right side of the green is very narrow and is too shallow to hold a direct attack played downwind (normal wind). This requires a play into requires the slope of the, but that is dangerous since that slope is angled to the right and often the ball ends up directed into the bunker unless hit with a draw. The front left tends to run the ball out the left due to the strong slopes. The back is a plateau where a shot short comes down the slope and a ball too firm runs through into the back bunkers.

From the right
Once on the surface the player is not finished. Not only are all the surrounding hazards in play from the tee, but can come into play while putting too. The most complicated problem putting on the short is when you have to cross the central bowl and ridge, particularly to the front right of the green. This is where judgment and nerve are required to find a line and speed that will keep the ball on the surface. 

From back of green

The short green has been conceptually copied many times by Seth Raynor and Charles Banks in their own versions of the Short. Ideas like the central bowl have shown up in greens created by Walter Travis.

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