Did you ever begin a round and immediately get the feeling that somebody put wasabi in the Grounds Keeper's oatmeal that morning?
You find pin placements that, a fair argument could be made, were cut so close to the fringe that you might need to drop yourself into a bunker just to read your putt from behind the ball.
On other holes, a hole will be positioned at the very apex of a buried elephant on the green. It is so severe a slope that all putts will need to go in the hole or your next shot might be made from the 100 yard marker.
Sometimes you will find the entire round of golf with these "anomalies". Sometimes, it is just the way that the golf course plays. While, other times, it is not by accident.
Here are a few reasons for harsh hole locations:
- Someone actually DID put wasabi in the Super's breakfast.
- There are weather and course conditions that require them to preserve and protect the greens from traffic and wear.
- A noteworthy tournament is scheduled to be played there soon and they want to preserve the decided upon pin positions.
- And finally and quite often: There is a hot-shot player coming by to play at the club, and the greens committee wants to toughen things up to defend their turf.
Regardless of the reason, don't attack the sucker pins! Aim for the middle of the greens, and whenever possible - try to leave yourself uphill putts. Otherwise, you might join a long list of players on that day who would have preferred to have missed their tee time.
Francis Westmoreland, Head Greenskeeper