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Golf ball flying to the cup. Zooming to the hole.

False fronted greens are used by course designers to catch out golfers who under hit an approach shot.

The front of the green slopes down onto the fairway and normally sends any balls which land short rolling backwards away from the pin. This normally means the green is raised up above the level of the fairway like the 10th hole at Augusta, called Camellia. A false front can also be created by introducing a gully just in front of the putting surface. The most famous example of this is at St Andrews at the 18th hole on the Old Course, known as the ‘Valley of Sin”.

False fronted greens can be countered by ensuring the club hit will carry the ball all the way to the pin and wont rely on rolling up the front of the putting surface.

If you normally play at the same course it is possible to become acquainted with any false fronted greens which may exist. If, however, you travel around and play a number of different courses there are a number of ways you can identify a false fronted green and hit the correct shot.

Most of the time a false fronted green will become apparent quite quickly as the front of the green will slope down to an area below the level of the green. It can be sometimes tricky to pick this out if hitting a long approach into the green or when hitting down onto the putting surface from a great height. When looking down at the green, it is very hard to tell some of the undulations, it will take some concentration and maybe a look at the course planner to ensure you are fully prepared.

Most false fronted greens will simply deposit a ball back onto the fairway although some will have hazards lying in wait. Some false fronted greens run down into rough, bunkers or even water. Take your time to identify if the course architect is trying to catch you out.

Understanding how a course is designed and set up will allow players to select the correct shot to hit into the green.

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Because false fronted greens feature a slope, golfers can never quite be sure of how the ball will react when running up to the green. Try whenever possible to fly the ball into the heart of the green and reduce any risk of running back down the slope.

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Understanding how a course is designed will help every player no matter their handicap. Being able to identify a false front will help a golfer better choose what shot they want to hit.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Identifying a false front green doesnt mean you have to hit the ball any higher than normal but does require a solid shot into the green center.