Unmakeable putt

Ok, I lied, it’s make able… I was out messing around with my short game yesterday and the pin on 9 was in a place that causes my buddy Dave to send an angry email about every time it’s there.

I decided to have some fun and see what I could do.

The green is a big, mostly two tier green with a weird little tier between the two on the right middle of the green… basically the left side of the green is two tiers seperate day by a consistent slope and the right side has a hill, four feet of flat, and then another hill. (I will take a picture of the slope book later)…

If you are a above the hole, it’s basically impossible to stop it on the flat spot without holing the putt. 90% of my putts of various lines and speeds ended up in a five foot circle 20 feet past the pin.

The short answer is to not hit it above the hole, but I’m wondering if anyone has strategies for when you do… it might even be worth trying to stop it on the fringe past the hole.

Thoughts?

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I was playing in a tourney at Poppy a couple of weeks ago. 17th hole slopes from left to right severely. Pin was front right. Hit a great GW pin high but instead of rolling down the slope it stops and stays. I have 10 feet for birdie and almost no chance. I knew it was either a birdie or a 10 footer for par. Breathing on the putt it rolled 10 feet by. Nothing you can do except not hit it there.

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Yeah, I think we’ve all seen pins placed on the portions of greens that don’t seem to meet USGA regulations.

Like @THEZIPR23 said, if a ball can’t stop there, there’s really no trick to somehow get it to defy physics. The only word I’d add here is that it’s probably better to accept the reality, try to make it, and face the putt coming back than to over-gentle it, somehow leave it above the hole, and have the same terrible option again.

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Is there an option to putt it sideways to keep it moving even slower? I’ve seen pins like this occasionally and the only way I’ve found is to either make it, or actually hit it away from the hole and let the slope, slowly, take it back towards the hole.

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The only word I’d add here is that it’s probably better to accept the reality, try to make it, and face the putt coming back than to over-gentle it, somehow leave it above the hole, and have the same terrible option again .

This so true. Actually discussed it with partner before I putted. Told him I’m either making birdie or bogey (luckily I made par putt). But there was no point in trying to coax it down there.

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The 10th hole at my course is a big green with a bunker right side and the green slopes towards it. The left side is a constant slope back to front but the back right is up a tier and a spine at the middle top makes it slope left to right. When the pin is up top on the right if I don’t hit it up on the tier which is a really risky shot then I almost always 3 putt. If you are up back left pin high you have to putt it uphill along the fringe then it breaks severely right and fast downhill. I usually come up short leaving myself a slider. Hit it harder and you can run off the green or down the tier. I just accept that when the pin is there I 3 putt and if I get down in 2 I get excited.

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Not really an option from where I was located… I took lines progressively more parallel with the hill to no real change in outcome… I was about to start just dropping balls and seeing how they rolled when another golf showed up on the fairway.

It was an interesting experiment out there, though the comeback putt was basically just aim at hole and hit it at ramming speed… anything past would die on the hill and settle within four feet.

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I am a spot putter. And go by feel. A lot of our greens at our home course are sloped back to front. So yes the object on the approach is to be below the hole, but things happen and many time I am above the hole, with a speedy curving downhiller. Hopefully it’s not on the first hole of the day though. Basically, it all starts with my warm up. Which consists of putting to a spot about 5 feet away on the practice green. This is my starting calibration for the day. I look at the spot and take a stroke and do this at least 5 times with the same stroke. Typically I will notice a pattern (i.e. a few inches short, a foot long, etc). After this calibration. I will then putt at the same spot but adjusting for my previous calibration. So if my previous puts were a foot long, I would get lined up and look at a spot 12 inches in front of my target (my speed spot). Given a flat put it should be very close. Now after a few holes of putting you may end up adjusting your “speed spot”, instead of 12 inches in may be 18 inches if the greens have sped up since you started. Now this nasty downhiller. Let’s say it’s 10 ft. Given that for a flat putt your “speed spot” is 12 inches in from of the hole you will likely be looking at a spot on you line 3ft or more in front of the hole. It takes some practice, but this method has greatly improved my speed control on all putts

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My home club has some severe contours and terraces, to the point where a putt from a “bad location” has no chance of stopping near the hole. I agree completely with this advice, make absolutely certain that you don’t leave the putt short, still above the hole, still impossible to get it close. Make sure you make no worse than 3 putts, never allow 4-putts to become a possibility.
And as you say, don’t hit it there in the first place. If you know the course well enough, you may find out that its better to be off the green on the “good side” as compared to putting from the bad side. Your aim location may be the proper edge of the green, to minimize the “guaranteed 3-putt”.

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There’s a few greens I’ve played that are like this. At some point I think you just have to accept that 3-putting is very likely from certain spots on the green. It probably even makes sense to consider these locations on the green equivalent as short-siding yourself.

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I gotta remember that!

…in a really dire situation … putt away from the hole to where you think you’ll have the best chance to make the next one…

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I’m going to have to try this!

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The grounds crew has started rolling and double cutting for Saturday’s… not sure if this pin placement will make an appearance… if it does, I’ll try to take some pictures/ get video.

I agree with everyone here. Even though our greens are very small by any stretch of the imagination, I have divided each green into quadrants. Under normal circumstances I play 40-42 rounds a year. 35 are on my home course. I have been playing there for 17 years now. So this is kinda captain Obvious here. If you don’t your layout by now…shame on you! There are Go pins and No Go pins. Like our #9 if there is a lower RH quadrant pin placement. The proper play is to the apron in front…Do NOT go past that pin! Lefthand you are dead, anywhere 8-10ft past pin you are dead, Right hand quadrant in bunker you are dead. So the proper play is 20ft circle front apron, so it would be an uphill chipper or texas wedge. Chip it in for 3 or accept your par. If you hit it past, or left pin high or above, no way you can stop unless you make the putt. I saw a 2ft putt lip out and the guy had 15ft coming back. Know your course and you WILL improve your score.

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That area in the right middle will occasionally have a pin on it…it’s not fun.

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So it looks like anything pin high left away from the bunker or front left is good you might have a shot…anywhere else is a probable 3 putt? Accept what the architect did and move on right? Pin in middle

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I don’t know if anyone remembers this but yeah GOAT and an unmakeable putt… That’s freaking cool. https://youtu.be/u9KrMQDU94g