On a course renowned for its speedy greens, the fastest of the fast surfaces should linger in a golfer's memory, likely associated with a birdie chip gone bad or a par opportunity turned sour. But at the Great Rock Golf Club in Wading River, the most severe green is easy to overlook. It arrives at the end of a benign dogleg par-4, which itself follows the course's signature hole, a par-4 touted by Golfing Magazine and Newsday. Even standing directly in front of the green, it's hard to tell what steep slopes lay within.
Great Rock's 11th hole is a 316-yard par-4 and the first of six hard-turning doglegs on the course's back nine. After the uphill 10th and a meeting with the track's namesake rock, #11 is simple by comparison. The tee shot is slightly downhill to a wide landing area. A solid clout with a driver or hybrid will fly over a right-side bunker and settle into the fat part of the fairway.
The trouble awaits between the front and back fringe, though you wouldn't know it based on your first or second glance. Unlike surfaces elsewhere with slopes that can be clearly seen from the middle of the fairway, this deceptive green appears fairly flat even from up close, but it features a nasty tilt from left to right and front to back. Seemingly straight putts make 90-degree turns away from the cup. Others stop on a dime. If you don't believe your eyes, believe your feet -- you can feel the slope in your steps.
The real work begins with the second shot, a short-iron or wedge approach if the tee shot goes according to plan. Anything landing on the green with some heat on it will likely run quickly off the back or right. Miss left in rough that's propped up slightly above the green, or in the short-left bunker, and it will take a great effort to hold the green near a center or back pin, and a tremendous effort to get up and down.
As seen in the videos above and below, only a few inches can make the difference between a perfect chip and a shot that bounds clear off the opposite end of the green. (And this on a wet afternoon with the greens playing "slow.")
PREVIOUS CLOSER LOOKS:
Bethpage Yellow #12 -- (1/5/2012)
Stonebridge Golf Links #7 -- (9/15/2011)
Lido Golf Club #16 -- (8/25/2011)
Stonebridge Golf Links #4 -- (7/29/2011)
Great Rock Golf Club's new 12th green -- (6/6/2011)
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