Friday, 4 February 2011

10 Things I Don't Like in Design - Wide Greens with fronting bunkers

17th at Tobacco Road - 100 yards wide
 An elite player rarely misses short or long. They tend to have excellent distance control and will usually club themselves effectively if there is no wind or elevation to deal with. They miss more often on the left or right, particularly when they are required to work a ball or come in from the rough. Therefore a wide green has a tremendous benefit for the better player.

A weaker player tends to miss most often in short of the green because they have either miss-hit or misjudged the approach shot. They will find themselves left or right of the green and occasionally through but the vast majority of shots wind up short. Wide greens tend to be fronted with bunkers making this a particularly tough test for the weaker player.

A strong player is rarely intimidated by a carry over bunkers into a green. They have more issues dealing with a narrow target or a green that slopes to the side than trying to make a carry. In fact a fronting bunker often makes the shot clearer and easier to execute since the carry clearly defines the distance and they also know the bunker is a good place to miss since it will play directly into the slope of the green making the recovery likely. The weaker player hates this situation because they fear bunkers, have limited trajectories and often limited ability to hit the ball far enough to make the carry.

The final issue is scale. A green that is shallow and wide is running in direct contrast to the flow of the hole and usually the flow of the land. When they are wide often they overwhelm the setting of the green site and appear completely out of scale.

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