Putt Putt, Windmill, Mickey Mouse Greens

I’ve seen people describe greens at some courses negatively saying that they were basically putt putt golf and goofy or all they course was missing was a windmill (doesn’t apply to Streamsong Black as it has a windmill). When I played SS Black I thought the greens were pretty tame compared to how they were described and my foursome only had two three putts all day. My home course is also a Langford and Moreau course so the greens are what make the course with all types of interior contours. I did grow up on a muni that had simple greens that were mostly single plane greens sloped back to front, so I can see how people wouldn’t be used to complex greens, but greens with bolder and more complex contours add a lot to the course. At what point to do greens go too far when you are playing a course and would you describe any greens you’ve played as putt putt or gimicky?

1 Like

There is no point for me. Golf should be fun, and putt putt is fun. Make the greens as wild as you can as long as they are pinnable. Those people are upset about not being able to put up a good score. Yet another reason why match play is the superior form of golf.

8 Likes

My response is more dependent on pin placement than gimmicky greens. Bad greens can have great pins and good green complexes can have bad pin placements. Give me a left to right sloped green with back to front slope to sling hooks into a backstop, and I’ll love it. Conversely, a fader Of the ball may think it’s too penal.

2 Likes

Agree with this completely. Those greens made it so much fun to play. If you get it out of your head that greens should be flat and easy and learn to enjoy the challenge, there’s not much more fun to be had. The closer you got to the hole, the flatter the putt; but if you had 15’ or more, you’re in for some fun. I get too bored on those muni single-plane flat greens, and would prefer some fun putts, even if it means I 3-jack a few and don’t score well.

I will say, the only time I get frustrated at greens is when the pins are right on ridges and the greens are fast, making even a 3 putt nearly impossible. But these are few and far between.

2 Likes

I was interested to see what you had to say, as your avatar has some of the most “gimmicky” (tounge-in-cheek) greens I’ve ever played. 16 and 18 at Pasa are borderline unplayable with fast greens, but that’s what makes it awesome. You have to hit a great shot.

A while back @Q-school was sending us videos of the Western Intercollegiate with guys landing balls right by the flag on 18 and it rolling off the green and asking how it could possibly be fun. Really fun to watch, but definitely polarizing to play.

1 Like

Perhaps the angle of approach shots influences this answer too. For example, dogleg right cape hole, with a prevailing left to right wind, where a Shallow green has a false front running right and towards the water would be Mickey Mouse in my opinion. Which basically describes most of PGA National…

1 Like

I can only think of two holes in my life off hand that I’ve played where things had gone too far. Generally I think it would come down to a combination of speed, slope, weather conditions, and pin placement. If some combination of those gets out of hand, then it becomes a joke.

In both of those cases mentioned above, the greens were fast (either due to maintenance or being rock hard) and the pin was on a slope where you could not stop the ball near the hole. If you came up a few inches short (or even long and it didn’t pull a u-turn and go in like Max), it would roll 20’ back down the hill. One of these was during a JV golf tournament in HS. My best friend took a 13 on the hole. I’m pretty sure he was on in regulation…

1 Like

Every bit of this conversation depends on whether or not there are options for approach shots / width & angles off the tee. If there aren’t it’s a different conversation altogether. There are a lot of things besides the greens that make PGA National Mickey Mouse golf.

1 Like

Agree, pinnable is the main point and what you’re coming into the green with. I know people get on 7 at Sweetens but it is usually a wedge and has areas to hit to, although they are small. If it was a green you hit mid to long iron into then I would classify it as a little “unfair”.

1 Like

Very much agree. 7 at Sweetens is one of those holes that I HATED at first, but have come to like very much as I’ve played it more.

Yeah polarizing is absolutely right, but it adds to the adventure. Green speed and firmness are mandatory accommodations to dramatic slopes. That said, if you fat an 8 iron into a back right pin on 16 at Pasa, and you leave it short of the green, you probably shouldn’t have a sniff at par without two fantastic shots. It also lends to flighting the ball differently. 16 was designed at a time when folks weren’t hitting gap wedge into that green flying at 140’ high with 8000 rpm of spin. Sure, the 10 handicap may not manage the course well enough to knock down a 7iron to those pins, but those dang college kids ought to be able to play those shots.

2 Likes

If green complexes and architecture in general continue riffing on Golden Age greats, and we start seeing bolder contours, I could absolutely see green speeds starting to slow down to accommodate that. Maybe that is wishful thinking, but I would ride hard for that trend.

Literally heard an old gui at Sweetens tell @holeout the greens were like “goofy golf” in a condescending tone recently…while we were in the middle of a really fun putting contest.

I was a member at Signal Mountain for 4 years before moving to SC. When we got greens going up there for the invitational, it could become a circus. I remember D1 kids showing up to our 6300 yard course to play for world am points and shooting 83.

Also, if you’re ever in SC, you’ve got to play Camden CC. It’s exactly what you reference above. Super fun to play at 9-10’ on the stimp. At 11 or 12’, I’d need a psychiatrist.

It’s a Ross, and has some of his sketch work in the clubhouse

2 Likes

I didn’t know that! Ever get back here to visit?

1 Like

Camden is a place I’ve needed to play for a long time. As an SC guy, it’s on the list.

1 Like

Super accommodating and accessible. Most private clubs in the midlands can get a reciprocal from them for $30. It’s honestly one of the best bargains I’ve ever seen for someone who cares about architecture. Always in reasonable shape, greens can be spotty at times, as they had an issue with their irrigation ponds, but otherwise it’s just a blast. I’m shocked it’s not more of a “woke” golf Mecca. Cheap, not overly manicured, pedigree, and the type of place that if you play a foursome in 3.5 hours there’s two groups waiting on you…

2 Likes

Every year or so. Last year I went back for a wedding and played Black Creek and Signal. Where do you play?

Wherever I can! Somewhere different pretty much every weekend. Sewanee is my go-to though.

Hit me up when you’re here and let’s get out.

1 Like

Sewanee is sooo good. Randomly played it last April not knowing anything about it. Just wanted a quick round of golf while driving though the area and could get a tee time there. Man, talk about a HUGE surprise at the quality of the course. Definitely planning on going back the next time I’m in the area.

3 Likes