For another standard example, let's look at the Redan hole:
There is also the Biarritz where the area in front of the depression is maintained as green:
But what about holes that only offer one option or the other?
Some holes offer the roll-out option only for shots landing short, like this version of the biarritz:
This biarritz has the front portion of the hole, between the bunkers, maintained as approach/fairway turf. This means the only option for players wanting to land the ball on the green is a lofted shot that will stop near by where is lands. The only run-up option that exists is for the player to land the ball short of the green, run it through the depression that is also maintained at fairway height, and have it filter back to the hole. This hole still has the run-up option, just not as many variations as the biarritz above.
What about holes that offer only the run-up option for balls hitting the green?
This hole, #16 at Augusta National Golf Club, has the short-of-the-green run-up option removed due to the bunker. When playing to a back-left hole location, typically seen on Sunday during the Masters, the player must take the aggressive line directly at the flag, bringing the front bunker into play or play the ball out to the right, center of the green, and allow the internal contouring to bring the ball closer to the hole, as seen in the illustration.
Certainly the holes that have both options are likely to be better, all other things being equal. But are holes that offer the player the option to work the ball towards the hole using contours, either internal or external, better than those that merely require an aerial play to the green? In most cases, they certainly are. Of course, they answer to that question is not "always" because if we compare the eighth hole at Tobacco Road, where the green has numerous contours that allow the player to funnel balls to multiple locations, to the twelfth hole at Augusta National, where there are no ground contours to utilize, only a delusional individual would say the hole at Tobacco Road is better.
When comparing these holes, internal and external contours, option generators, if you will, should be viewed equally. Both of these options give players the chance to pick a target and calculate ball movement after it arrives at the target. It also gives them the chance to make a conservative play and still get the ball close to the hole. Of course there are potential consequences at play. On either of the biarritz holes, a shot played low that does not make it through the depression will leave the player a difficult second shot. That second shot will be easier on the hole that has the depression and approach maintained as fairway, but it will still not be easy. On the redan, if a ball it hit too high, it may stop on the front of the green, leaving the player a very long putt. At Augusta National, viewers are able to see every year the consequences of the conservative play when professionals wind up with putts that have 5-6 feet of movement in them.
But all of these options and outcomes give the player more possibilities and options to consider during the play of the hole. At no time is having more options available a bad thing. Internal and External Contouring are both equal and both equally good.