On most of the holes I've seen these "gimmicks," the added challenge of an elevated pin was a positive modification of a hole that otherwise would produce very little dispersion in scores. It takes more guts and skill to go for the putt, especially in the wind. There is an obvious element of added risk vs reward. The first pyramid style elevated pin I ever saw was at Morley Field in San Diego (hole 6?). I've seen some very crazy things at other courses later on (especially private courses), which made me realize how fun it could be to be creative with this kind of thing. At my home course, we have some elevated pins simply due to erosion of the ground around the sleeves. We've considered re-setting the pins, but sometimes it is more interesting to keep them as they are.
It doesn't mean they are always good for a hole. I think it really depends on the hole, you have to judge each case separately. I would never go so far as to say that they are always good or always bad.
Mark Ellis wrote:The problem is not that the basket is too high or low or swings in the wind. The problem is the basket itself is a poorly designed device which arbitrarily rejects good putts.
This is one of the biggest problems, for sure. I had a tournament round fall apart after laying up to within 6' of the basket, tossing my putt dead center into the heart of the chains (not too soft, not too strong), hit gently against the center post with the chains enveloping the disc, and then somehow finding a way to fall out of the basket (no wind, DGA Mach III). Everybody in my group assumed it was in, and had already turned away, as did I to pick up my mini...until we heard it hit the ground. It was a shocking occurrence, and I can tell you for sure that it threw my game into the toilet ever after. This definitely needs to be fixed, and is a much worse problem for our sport than artificial OB or elevated pins.