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Making rounds fun while waiting for punched greens to grow back in


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What are you guys doing when your greens are nothing more than a gridded-out swiss cheese sand pit for 2 weeks?

 

Trying to play real golf and keep a score on my home track is impossible at best, and frustrating/unenjoyable at worst when punched.  Still wanna get out there and play though.  What kind of games/ alternate versions are going on out there when the greens don't even remotely resemble golf as it's intended? 

 

Today, me and a bud are doing 4-club challenge, where you must choose a different 4 clubs for the back 9, match play. Auto-putt style with flagstick length and in being a 1-putt, and everything else being a 2.  I think it'll keep it fun.

 

Any other suggestions??  Points awarded for creativity. 

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What about playing a match in which, once all balls are on the green, CTP wins the hole, irrespective of strokes? (No putting)

 

You'd have to have a handshake agreement to still try to play something close to real golf.  But it might be a strategic advantage to try to miss greens so you could give yourself a chance to chip close to the hole.

 

We get too obsessed with GIRs (not that they don't matter).  But this would be a fun way to remind ourselves that we don't always need to fire at a pin and missing a green isn't the end of the world.  It would also help promote that bulldog mentality of grinding out up and downs, and keeping from getting obsessed about how putting is impacting score.

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4 minutes ago, Poor Mans Ty Webb said:

What about playing a match in which, once all balls are on the green, CTP wins the hole, irrespective of strokes? (No putting)

 

You'd have to have a handshake agreement to still try to play something close to real golf.  But it might be a strategic advantage to try to miss greens so you could give yourself a chance to chip close to the hole.

 

We get too obsessed with GIRS (not that they don't matter).  But this would be a fun way to remind ourselves that we don't always need to fire at a pin and missing a green isn't the end of the world.  It would also help promote that bulldog mentality of grinding out up and downs...

 

Love the concept.  Variations would be to maybe make it point-based.  Maybe a GIR is worth 1 point (extra point for getting on under reg, ie par5's in 2, driveable par 4's), CTP worth 2 points, hole-out worth 3 points, cumulative.

 

So if you HIO a driveable par4, you get 1(green in reg) + 1(green under reg) + 2 (CTP) + 3 (hole-out) for a total of 7 points on that hole.  You also go straight to the bar!

 

This sounds fun.  If you're down in the match, it's advantageous to shoot for a miss off the green and give yourself a look at CTP or a hole-out.  Likewise, if you feel like you're striking irons that day, pin-hunting from 160yds can net you 3pts a piece and put the pressure on.

 

Gonna try this!

 

 

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Would almost never go to a non municipal course if the greens were just punched.  Not worth the cost.  I'd rather spend 2-3 hours at the range and chipping green.

 

Municipal courses where it's easy to walk I'd play when the greens are punched generally because it's less crowded and I treat it a true practice round.  No point in putting at all.  I'll hit multiple shots off the tee or from the fairway...or purposely put myself in situations where I need to work the ball around a tree or something.  Obviously the main goal is keeping the pace of play up if there's a group behind.  Walking makes it easier to fetch all of my balls or find random situations where I want to take a shot without slowing down anyone else in the group.

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Just remember ... There are kids in China who would love to play on punched greens.

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13 hours ago, st1800e said:

Any putt within a (normal) putter length is good.  Otherwise play it out.  

Pretty much what we do but use a shorter distance. 

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14 hours ago, st1800e said:

Any putt within a (normal) putter length is good.  Otherwise play it out.  

 

Yeah we've been doing that too, but even while playing to a theorectial 6ft wide hole, smashing 25 footers through the bumps and grit gets old real quick, and you just walk away rolling your eyes and wondering if there is something more enjoyable you could be doing with the last 2 strokes on every hole.

 

I like all the suggestions, easiest of which is the gap wedge only idea from @Jeff58.. If the ball is gonna bounce its way to the hole anyway, might as well start it in the air with a bump and run.

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4 hours ago, Yacho said:

If the ball is gonna bounce its way to the hole anyway, might as well start it in the air with a bump and run.


Once you do it a few times, it’s not difficult. Hit short putts around the ball’s vertical center with the leading edge.
 

The line will have less beak, not care much about all the plug refuse, and it’s good chipping practice as well. 👍

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1 minute ago, Chunkitgood said:

Punched greens prevent you from keeping score?

 

Punched greens prevent me from playing the game of golf as it is intended.  I can keep score just fine if I want to write down a 3-putt every time.  I can also play putt-putt on the beaches of Santa Cruz with a Mai Tai as a target and write a number down.  I haven't had deficiencies with basic addition since my early days of kindergarten.  But there's always room for improvement. 

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It should be noted that different courses use different sized aeration puches as well.  I've seen tiny (maybe 1/4"?) pinhole-style punches that barely affect the roll of the ball at all. On the other end, I've seen cores the size of pennies that are then filled with sand, and depending on the weather that spring, the grass has barely even started to grow in.  So it's a massive sand pit of a putting surface for a while, and putts at the pace of a 10-footer or less can just sit on a track of punches and ride that line instead of taking the break.  Or it hops to the next track of punches when it goes airborne halfway there (can literally break uphill).  Or, if it is wet or damp out, the ball piles up sand like a snowball rolling downhill until it screeches to a halt.

 

Maybe some people have never experienced the latter (and I hope you never do) but the enjoyment can fade pretty quickly in that situation, hence the topic.

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I played on punched and sanded greens yesterday and while it was annoying the only effect it had on our putting is the greens were so slow all of us were having troubles hitting it hard enough. These were the very small holes however and they had little effect on the way the ball rolled other than speed.

 

I’ve played on courses that use the larger aeration machines and we typically play them as practice rounds with a 2 putt max on every green. Knowing you can’t 3 putt leads to some fun competition as guys get very aggressive with their putts and there were side bets for lowest number of putts. 
 

The same thing went on when the powers that be thought having to pick the ball out of the hole would spread Covid so the plastic cup liners were put in upside down. Several of us had personal best birdie streaks by slamming our putts at the cylinders. You need to make it competitive and fun via other means because trying to putt normally gets real old.

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On 4/18/2024 at 12:58 PM, Yacho said:

What are you guys doing when your greens are nothing more than a gridded-out swiss cheese sand pit for 2 weeks?

 

Trying to play real golf and keep a score on my home track is impossible at best, and frustrating/unenjoyable at worst when punched.  Still wanna get out there and play though.  What kind of games/ alternate versions are going on out there when the greens don't even remotely resemble golf as it's intended? 

 

Today, me and a bud are doing 4-club challenge, where you must choose a different 4 clubs for the back 9, match play. Auto-putt style with flagstick length and in being a 1-putt, and everything else being a 2.  I think it'll keep it fun.

 

Any other suggestions??  Points awarded for creativity. 

So when they do the big holes at my club once or twice a year I usually give myself some grace on the greens.  If I'm on in regulation and I know that during the season it would be a relatively easy 2 putt, I pretty much give it to myself while the greens recover enough to get some true putts again.  But I still putt it out and it has to be reasonable.  I don't give myself 2 putts on 50ft putts with alot of break obviously, ha.  That approach seems to help me from getting too upset with myself.  With that being said, I play my home course enough that I really know what would be a dicey 2 putt vs what would be straight forward.

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I just use my time playing on puched greens every year for a mental reset. My biggest problem when putting has always been getting too focused on the outcome. I just try and work on maling a good stroke on the ball and don't worry about whether it goes in the hole or not. I've actually had some surprisingly good putting rounds on some pretty questionable greens using this approach, and it usually carries over into the golfing season.

 

I've also seen the opposite, in which someone starts tinkinkering with a perfectly good stroke because the ball isn't going in the hole and it takes them ages to get it back. If you can't seperate process and outcome, you really just need to avoid playing in those conditions

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I find putting on punched greens no less haphazard than putting on typical muni greens. 

 

Indeed, I'd argue that the greens at my local are about as good as they ever get right after they have been punched and the dressing is still fresh. They are about the truest greens we get to putt on all year. 

 

Chipping is where aeration really gets dicey. Putting is no problem. 

 

But, people do love excuses.

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If greens are like the OP describes, standard 2-putt and get on with good golf. 

 

Last week one of the courses we played had punched a few weeks earlier.  They used small punches, so healing fast, except they're still affecting putts, so we called all greens 2-putt.  If however, someone wants to putt more, fine, they count ALL putts then.

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They usually punch the practice greens at the same time. 😄 

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Play two ball scramble but your opponent gets to pick which of the two you play - in other words worse ball scramble until you start to putt. Then it’s usual scramble rules. 
 

I play worse ball scramble quite often early in the season when I play alone - trying to hit two decent shots in a row is harder than it seems when you’re keeping score. 

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I'm not sure. Yesterday was the season opener (very north) and the greens have not recovered from winter. Some were shaggy and slow. Some were burned out and US Open fast. Most were punched. One had a temp green in the fairway in remarkably better shape than about half the greens on the course, but was cut at fairwayish height (typical temp green)

 

It got old very quickly trying to predict if a given green would be fast or slow, leaving putts halfway to the hole but then putting off the green. And it was a tournament so nothing one could do about it. We decided to just laugh at it, because there wasn't much else to be done 

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I usually just treat it as a practice round, I’ll play two balls some holes or try shots I wouldn’t normally try. When I’m on the green I just try to putt it close then pick up and move on. 

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