Jerry Lemons Non-Conforming Hole Locations

A CHECKLIST FOR "CONFORMING" HOLE LOCATIONS • Check and know your green speed. contours and slopes. A hole location on the front portion of a multilevel green may be difficult for most golfers to navigate when above the hole. hazards or steep slopes are within five paces of the edge of the green. This allows a player enough room to have a reasonable opportunity to recover from a good shot that just missed the green. Take care on greens with multiple No one likes to see a missed putt roll back or a well-struck putt roll completely off a green when the ball has missed the hole. We all agonize when it happens to us or a favorite professional on television. By using the charts and checking slopes near the hole, a hole location can be set far enough away from steep slopes and the edge of the green so that a well- executed shot that misses the hole will not run off the green, thus giving the player an opportunity to hole out. The five-pace recommendation is a good one on courses with large greens, but consider that on a 5,000 sq. ft. green, 25% of the green is in the five- pace area (Figure 2). There are courses with small or irregularly shaped greens for which the five-pace suggestion just does not work. Using a 10' guideline increases holeable space by 33%. An even better guide is to make sure that a hole is no less than 10' from the edge of a putting surface, but only if no golfer is putting from, assuming continuous putting surface between himself and the hole, it should be possible to stop the ball within approximately two feet of the hole. 19 A green so fast (or a hole cut in such a position) that a ball cannot be stopped near the hole from any point on the green, for example, is an unfair challenge. 2o Hole placements as a general rule need to be five paces from the edge of the putting surface. 21

Typical S,OOO-Square-FootGreen

USGA "s Paces" 13 Hole Locations

Conforming "3 Paces" 18 Hole Locations

Figure 2. Keeping hole locations at least five paces from the edge of a green is a good recommendation for large greens. On courses with small or irregularly shaped greens, using a minimum 10' guideline from the green edge increases holeable space by 33%.

of the green. A player should have a reasonable opportunity to recover from a good shot that just misses the green. There must be enough putting green surface between the hole and the front and the sides of the green to accommodate the required shot. For example, for a long iron or wood shot to the green, the hole should be located deeper in the green and further from its sides than may be the case for a short pitch shot. • Balance hole locations from right, center, back, front, and in difficulty . Make every attempt to have six very easy, six moderate, and six moderately difficult hole locations. • Once the above criteria are met, the turf around the area should be in good

• Using the Green Speed Slope Chart, determine the maximum slope based on the speed of the fastest green, keep- ing in mind that weather conditions can change during the day and may result in faster green speeds. • Study the design of the golf hole and factors affecting the shot into the green, especially the wind, length, and hazards around the green. Anticipate the probable weather conditions and how they may affect the shots played. • Hole placements, as a general rule, need to be at least four to five paces from the edge of the putting surface. A hole should be no fewer than 10' from the edge of a putting surface if no hazards or steep slopes are near the edge



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