Wednesday, November 21, 2007

10 Things I Don’t Like - #10 Wide Greens with Front Bunkers

I thought it would be a more interesting choice than the obvious ones I also considered.

A good players rarely come up short or long – they have fairly reasonable distance control and will usually club themselves with-in 10 yards if there is no wind or elevation to deal with. On the other side of the coin – they tend to miss more to the left or right – particularly when they are required to work a ball on a recovery shot.

A weaker player tends to miss most often in front of the green because they have either miss-hit or misjudged the approach shot. The will miss left or right and occasionally long through swing faults – but the vast majority of shots will be short. When in trouble they will often play back to safety before trying to take on a shot to the green

A strong player is rarely intimidated by a carry unless the carry is either long or on a diagonal. The have more issues dealing with a narrow target or a green that slopes to the side than trying to find the courage to make a carry over a front bunker. In fact a fronting bunker often makes the shot clearer and easier to execute since the carry clearly defines the shot they need to hit.

The weaker player hates a carry because this is not a strong suit of weaker player’s game and also the idea of a carry adds pressure to the situation. When you throw in the complications of limited trajectories and limited abilities to carry the ball and you can easily see why this penalizes the weaker player.

There is no question in my mind that the very old fashioned approach of flanking a green with bunkers and leaving the front wide open is the best way to defend a green site. It opens up a clear and fair approach to the weaker player, while telling the good player not to leak the ball left or right on their approach. It also gives both level of player the option to bounce in the approach if they so desire.

10 other things

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