Caution – False Front … Par 4


                                            Chicago Golf Club – (Photo:The Itinerant Golfer)

What in the world is a “false front”?

Golf Journalist Brent Kelley explains: “In golf, a “false front” is a front portion of a putting green that slopes down to the fairway, so that golf balls that hit that section of green won’t stay on the green. (They don’t stick! LG)

Who cares?

Kelley moves quickly to the “so what” explaining: “Hitting the front of the green with your approach shot, or with a pitch or even a chip, is rarely a bad thing. After all, a ball that hits the front of a typical green is likely to roll at least a little deeper into the green, getting closer to the hole position.

But when a green has a false front, that doesn’t happen. A false front, if it slopes enough, might even repel an approach shot. A golf ball that doesn’t land beyond the false front, or have enough juice to roll up it, will trundle back down into the fairway.

Yet, the false front of the green looks like any other front of a green in terms of turfgrass and maintenance: It’s mowed at putting green height, rolled and manicured just like the rest of the green. It is part of the green. It’s tidy and perfectly blends with the rest of the green.  Except that unlike a typical front section of a putting green, the false front won’t hold your ball on the green if you hit it. (It lets you down or deceives you.)

This brings into question, “what was the course architect thinking or trying to accomplish by including “false front” greens in their design?  The answer…”to protect par”—the heart of the golf course. To put the answer in colder language; the intent of the false front is to act as a facade to deceive the golfer into believing that the green in question is easier to navigate than it is in actuality.
It seems rather  “cheeky”—that a designer would intentionally try to deceive the participant—doesn’t it?  Well, yes…and no.


The course designer expects me to do my “due diligence” and check out the design prior to going out and competing.  That’s what “practice rounds” are for—Due Diligence or thorough preparation.  Due diligence is encouraged, to  help me become aware of exactly what the course has to offer in terms of difficulty and complexity and then apply my thinking and physical skills accordingly so that come match or tournament time, where there is a prize at stake, I am prepared to deal with the realities of the situation.

This concept of false fronts seems innocuous enough in a golf setting.  However, it becomes much more serious, or perhaps even insidious, when I take the concept of false fronts and move them into a life context. When I look into my mirror and ask myself some straightforward questions, what comes to light? Are people seeing the real me when they see me or are they seeing a facade or false front? Am I presenting the real me or is there a disparity between what people see and the me I know to be?

Do I hide behind position, power, money, fame, spirituality or any other buffer to keep people at bay from seeing or reaching the real me? When people do their due diligence and pull back the curtain on my life, will they find me or the Wizard of Oz?

At this point I have to be perfectly candid with you and admit there are some things I would rather you not know about me—for instance, my spotty (read rugged and questionable past). I have learned over the years to wear a false persona that does not expose that past. Sometimes, to this day, I want you to see the me I want to be instead of the me I am.

Here’s the deal.  I know that by accepting Christ as my redeemer I have been forgiven for my spotty past. I know that I am a treasured child of the most high God. The question is, now that I know I have been forgiven of my past failings, do I still have a sense that it is necessary to put up a false front, or am I living free in the man God created me to be, allowing you unashamed free access to the real me?

Candidly, it’s sometimes a challenge for me.  But with God’s help, I’m working on it.

How about you?  Do you have any false fronts you need to deal with?

One response to this post.

  1. Great Post, Larry! Thanks for sharing your insights. Blessings to you, John Smith


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