Next time you play at Leongatha Golf Course you will see that nine of the greens have a red ball on the flag stick. These are of course pin markers, and they have been installed for a trial period to determine if they aid in improving the pace of play.
How will they achieve that you may ask?.
I give you this situation as an example.
I have ended up on the right hand side of the 17th fairway, 15 metres from the bunker after two or three shots depending how I got off the tee. Most players would have been here at one time or another. This is what I see.
My next shot is a chip over the bunker. Because I am lower than the green I can’t determine where the pin is located. To do that I need to walk the 25 metres up onto the green so I can see and pin and visualise my shot. Then I walk back, prepare for my shot and then execute the chip..probably into the bunker with my latest form.
That process may have taken a couple of minutes or so, not a lot of time lost you might think but multiply it by 4 or 5 other holes and they all add up. Now instal a pin marker. This is what I see.
But what does the pin marker tell me. To be of use, you need to know that on average each of the greens at Leongatha Golf Course is about 21 metres in length, front to back.
If we place the pin marker at the top of the flag stick it indicates the pin is located in the back third of the green. In other words in this case the pin is between 14 -21 metres from the front of the green.
Now without walking up to look I can confidently prepare to put in a 35 metre chip from where I am and if executed properly I should be within a putt or two. I’ve saved that walk and a minute or two and maybe even a putt.
If the red pin marker had been midway up the flag stick, I would know that the pin is located in the middle 7 metres of the green, and if the pin marker was on the lower third of the flag stick, the pin would have been located within the front 7 metres of the green.
The red pin marker is on bottom third of the flag stick, the pin is located within the front 7 metres of the green.
We have installed the pin markers on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th and 9th holes on the front nine as well as on the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 17th on the back nine.
There are many opinions as to the whether such pin markers will make any difference to the actual pace of play.
As for me, like lots of other members approaching most greens from within 100 metres, I often have difficulty determining where the actual pin is placed on these holes. I know this new clarity will help me to prepare my shot, whether I have the skill to take advantage of it, is another matter.
Any feedback on the value or otherwise of the pin markers will be greatly appreciated and can be directed to either of the Golf Committee’s.
I look forward to your candid views on the pin markers.