Heat Maps of Every Green at Poppy Hills
April 4, 2014
Here’s a new way to look at greens.
The maintenance staff at Poppy Hills uses EZ Locator, a service that has heat mapped every green to the centimeter. After entering data such as the green height and stimpmeter readings, the program generates optimum hole locations, keeping in mind the slope of the greens and the wear and tear of the turf in that particular area. (You can also download their app — EZ Locator ePinsheet — for updated hole locations at Poppy Hills every day.)
The black dots identify potential hole locations — and these new greens were designed to facilitate a lot more. Any areas shaded in green are ideal, while portions of the green that are orange-tinted begin to get dicey. (3% is borderline, depending on green speed and the slope on the other side of the hole.) The red, pink and blue represent strong slopes between 4-10%, or sometimes even more.
The blue and purple areas illustrate how you can use the slope left of the green to feed down the putting surface. The front left corner of the green slopes as strong as 7%.
You can clearly see the three distinct sections here: front (which also includes a false front), left (which sits in a bowl) and back (which is perched on an upper shelf). You can also see the strong slope right of the green that will kick balls down a 10-plus% slope.
This green gained a tremendous amount of hole locations when it eliminated a top deck. A bunker guards the front left, but you can see a sneaky kicker slope is behind it, feeding shots long and left back onto the green. The long and narrow green is 40 paces deep, but less than 20 wide.
Left of the green is a strong kicker slope that can be used to your advantage. The very back of the green also begins to fall away from you.
You can see that there are tons of hole locations, and a hidden kicker slope right of the green and over the sand feeds balls down and to the left. This is the widest green on the course at 42 paces.
Remember the wildly undulating former sixth green with a steep top deck and secondary levels left and short? There are hole locations on nearly every yard of the new green.
This map illustrates the strong tier that divides the back half of the green from the bottom front. You can also see a small pocket of hole locations in a bowl on the left.
The miss is left of the green, as a strong bank there feeds balls right. But beware that the left corner of green briefly flattens out, before the slope of the land continues flowing right. The right edge of the green falls off dramatically.
An important goal during the renovation was to create as many hole locations along the edges of hazards whenever possible. The ninth green demonstrates this idea perfectly, as a creek fronts the left side of a green that angles away from you. For those who want to play it safe and to the right, a helping slope will kick balls onto the green.
A small ridge defines the left and right sides of the green. The green complex is slightly crowned, repelling shots that only reach the edge of the putting surface.
A very strong slope left of the green kicks balls right. Even shots that hit the green will wander right.
A very deceiving green. This green putts like it slopes front-to-back, even though it looks relatively flat above, and slightly back-to-front below:
— NCGA (@ncga1901) March 21, 2014
This green has the strongest movement on the course, with front, back and right sections. The front of the green falls off, but anything left will funnel on. The back and right edges of the green also fall off.
The smallest green on the course at approximately 4,700 square feet has an opening short right, but it morphs into a false front. The land does help you if you miss pin-high and left.
You can see how much this Redan-style green slopes strongly from front-right to back-left.
While much gentler than before, you can see that the green does have a raised second level. But the good news is any shot long will hit into a bank that acts as a bowl, sending balls back toward the green. The front right corner of the green falls off sharply.
The left side of the hole has a bank that will usher balls right and onto the green. Shots the comes up short (and carry the front bunkers) will also dribble on. You can see that quite a few hole locations can line the ravine along the right edge of the green.
This green still has three sections, but they are much gentler than before. Shots that end up long and right catch a slope that can bring them back to the green.