Hole Design

Does what it says on the tin!
User avatar
Jester
Posts: 1782
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:10 am

Re: Hole Design

Post by Jester » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:31 pm

bruce wrote:I'll caveat this heavily by saying I haven't played the course, and I very much respect Jester's opinion on course design as we've worked together on this in the past. However I raised a couple of eyebrows at his assessment of the Dunbar course holes 1, 3 & 13, the only ones that are close to or over 350', as being tricky 2s for 'mortals'. I do note that he was really talking about adding risk to the drive or approach for shorter throwers, which is fair enough, but I would be expecting most if not all of the Open division, plus the top Adv Ams to be capable of hitting those kind of distances, especially if they're as wide open as they sound.
The distances ranged by Seamus tell half the story, happy to clarify the rest for those who have not seen the course:

Hole 1’s fairway is flat and open for the first 3/4, then a steep hill rises up with the basket exposed on top of it (think #16 at QP but x10 bigger). The elevation means it plays a good deal longer than it measures, however this doesn't stop Seonaidh or Hamish (the non-mortals I referred to in my Dunbar course write-up!) overdriving it on occasions. The hole is current really all about power. Yes if you get it wrong you can go OB right, but the tee and basket positions don’t bring this line into play enough to make it a consideration for any division (I doubt anyone went OB during The Battle). Much more important than shortening the hole, I was musing ways that an element of risk to give players something to think about on the tee could be introduced. In conversation about hole 1 with Dan Ryan we agreed that we wouldn’t want to see the length reduced, we just wish we could throw 20yards further!

Hole 3’s fairway is straight, uphill and heavily wooded on either side of a 10-15ish yard wide clearing with the odd trunk left in the way. Again it plays longer than it measures. To be clear I don’t think there is any reason to shorten this hole, it’s great as it is. The only reason for moving the tee forwards would be to make space for a lengthened hole 2 (if that was deemed to be more important than preserving hole 3 as is).

Hole 13 is an open fairway that dips in the middle. It feels that the tee is slightly lower than basket. There is a large tree stump 30y up the fairway but it really shouldn’t come into play. The basket is elevated on a tree stump. Like hole 1 there is no risk off this tee so the player can wind up and go for it. At Nationals the wind was a breezy L to R tailwind meaning carrying the field for a 2 was possible. But at the Battle the wind was a howling R to L headwind. This made getting within putting distance practically impossible and a lot of 4s, 5s and worse were carded two weeks ago. Taking the uncontrollable variable of the wind out of the equation, I feel my original point is still valid: is there anything that can be tweaked to encourage creative shot-making rather than just rewarding pure power?
Jester
BDGA #128
PDGA #8817
------------------------------------------------------
Croydon DGC: Hyzer Cup Champions 08/09, 13/14

User avatar
BaggerBlakehill
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:16 am
Location: Newbury, Berkshire

Re: Hole Design

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:47 pm

I only have 1 example to hand to show you but this below is the lovely hole 4 at Dunbar which measures in at a very reachable 318ft/97m. From the picture below you'll see my drive got maybe a 3rd of the way up there before I hit the 10% of a tree that isn't air. The hole I believe is in a straight line with the camera through the 3rd large tree on the right in front me. This is a perfect example of going for a makeable birdie but walking away with a bogey (if not maybe even a double bogey :( )
Attachments
Capture.JPG
Capture.JPG (99.64 KiB) Viewed 5618 times
Still suffering from early wood

BDGA# 1112
PDGA# 61657

User avatar
Jester
Posts: 1782
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:10 am

Re: Hole Design

Post by Jester » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:54 pm

bruce wrote: In my view we should, where possible, be designing Tour courses to challenge at the gold standard of PDGA course design, aimed at 1000+ rated golfers with SSA in the 60s.

If you look at the spread of ratings in the UK we have a big cluster of players between 900-930. This equates to almost a third (32%) of the golfers currently rated. It's my belief that this is down to the courses we regularly play, and that they are designed with these players in mind. Why would our Ams (or Open for that matter) learn to throw 130m if they're never asked to do so?

Foreign visitors to BDGA events routinely shoot above their ratings (see http://www.pdga.com/tour/event/16841 for the Norwegian's ratings), and I put that down to them playing tougher courses day-to-day. The corollary is that UK players often shoot worse than their rating in European events, maybe not amongst the top few, but certainly those around the 900-950 mark.
I couldn't agree more. I feel British Tour golfers have become conditioned by the courses we play on to be comfortable at a certain range, which is somewhat shorter than that which Scandinavian players learn on for example.

A Norwegian chap on holiday in London played Croydon a few weeks ago. He was just about 1000 rated and without ever seeing the course before he shot 55. He just threw long and straight off every tee as it was all within his comfort zone.

bruce wrote: We have to get away from this idea of wrapping Int Ams in cotton wool and giving everyone an equal chance off the tee, they shouldn't do! Someone who is 6 months into the game should stand no chance against someone who has honed their skills for 5 years. If that means that they take 3 shots to get down the fairway that an Open player drives in one, so be it. I actually disagree that this is demoralising, I think it's motivating. Even with the courses we have now there are players taking 100+ shots and still coming back the next event and taking 10-15 shots off their scores, so clearly it isn't scaring folks away.
Yeah, that. Massively. Is there a feeling that Int Am players in DG should be able to birdie holes on Tour courses? Would anyone walking on to a stick golf course expect to be able to get 2s and 3s without years of practice? I don’t believe so, so why sanitise DG course design? Perhaps it’s to try and be inclusive to all, but that only creates a false sense of security which is exposed when players travel to European events and get beaten up by the ‘tough courses’ (the ones our European cousins consider as ‘regular’).
Jester
BDGA #128
PDGA #8817
------------------------------------------------------
Croydon DGC: Hyzer Cup Champions 08/09, 13/14

bruce
Posts: 2581
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 4:13 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: Hole Design

Post by bruce » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:53 pm

Jester wrote:The elevation means it plays a good deal longer than it measures, however this doesn't stop Seonaidh or Hamish (the non-mortals I referred to in my Dunbar course write-up!) overdriving it on occasions.
[snip]
In conversation about hole 1 with Dan Ryan we agreed that we wouldn’t want to see the length reduced, we just wish we could throw 20yards further!
Like I said, man up! :P
#gobigorgohome
[Standard post disclaimer] My posts are never intended to undermine the work of the Board or individuals putting in effort to grow the sport, they are my honest thoughts on the best ways to grow the game

BDGA: 145
PDGA: 8824

User avatar
rhatton1
Posts: 1692
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: Hole Design

Post by rhatton1 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:54 pm

BaggerBlakehill wrote: all the other holes QP are of a 'wang-putt' nature if you're at high enough level.
Can't agree with that from an Open perspective, pretty much all the QP holes have danger around the basket/fairway/landing zone that makes you have to think about where you are landing your drive - there is a lot of thought on the tee beyond throw it as far as you can. The only one really that doesn't meet this criteria is probably hole 2 which is a bit straight forward for an open player it should even in strong wind be a 2 or a 3 every time . Every other hole is easily parable to an open player but because of the many lurking hazards it is very easy to go for the birdie and end up with the five when they should be able to achieve a 3 with a putter alone. For that it is a brilliantly thought out course although some people do not like being forced to a particular shot on holes- personally I think it is a great test of any golfers all round ability. The one thing it doesn't do is encourage players to learn how to throw far as inaccurate distance is punished very badly, which leads to a lot of QP players limiting their distance.
www.discgolfuk.com
richard@discgolfuk.com
Home of the Midlands One Day Series
Talk to us about courses!

seamus
Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:14 pm
Location: North Berwick
Contact:

Re: Hole Design

Post by seamus » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:06 pm

As a chef when someone cares enough to criticize the soup its a compliment no matter what is said, when people don't care you know your product is not engaging enough.
Jester wrote:The hole is current really all about power.
Jester wrote: I feel my original point is still valid: is there anything that can be tweaked to encourage creative shot-making rather than just rewarding pure power?
I think a course design that has a balance of holes is in the best interest of player development. I have to disagree with the conclusion that if only 1% of the Tour can get a birdie on a particular hole it needs to be tweaked even though the hole(s) are within the standards of play. Its all about balance, lefty/right hyzer, power/finesse, risk/reward, Also I can't change Hole 13 because its been aced https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=67 ... =2&theater
Wait until you see the Gold Tee though.


So I guess my advice Rich is to take all the comments you can handle but in the end do what you think is best, its your soup.
Back to back, chicken shack.

ReBoot Disc Golf
www.rebootdiscgolf.com

User avatar
rhatton1
Posts: 1692
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: Hole Design

Post by rhatton1 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:13 pm

Jester wrote:
Yeah, that. Massively. Is there a feeling that Int Am players in DG should be able to birdie holes on Tour courses? Would anyone walking on to a stick golf course expect to be able to get 2s and 3s without years of practice? I don’t believe so, so why sanitise DG course design? Perhaps it’s to try and be inclusive to all, but that only creates a false sense of security which is exposed when players travel to European events and get beaten up by the ‘tough courses’ (the ones our European cousins consider as ‘regular’).
This is a very good point. There will though still be some emminently birdieable holes in terms of distance or aided by elevation on the championship course however they will have their own obstacles waiting to catch the unwary. My one concern from the weekend was thinking back to a memorable round with Hippy Dan when he tried to clear the OB at squeaky bum corner a few years back and took a 13 as he kept failing instead of going round.

I have a couple of holes which will be crossing water on 2nd or 3rd shots. on one particularly depending on the route you take and your lie this will be at most a 65 meter crossing if you are sensible and have taken the extra shot realising that you cannot take on the tight 115 meter crossing which is possible earlier. My concern was how many players with a wind about could potentially lose half their bags before deciding to be sensible and play around the edge of the lake (probably 3 shots with a putter as opposed to the one across the water) As this crossing comes a few shots into the hole you cannot have a drop zone option similar to that at Essex so it will rely on people being sensible and realising what they are capable of. (Gary and I both messed up our first shots across on the weekend - Sian didn't take it on even though it is easily within her range - Mavis of courses took on the 115 meter shot and failed - albeit just) This gave me an interesting microcosm of how the hole was likely to play out in tournament and I kept having visions back to that Hippy Dan moment where I was desperately biting my tongue to not shout "just play around it!!!"
www.discgolfuk.com
richard@discgolfuk.com
Home of the Midlands One Day Series
Talk to us about courses!

User avatar
BaggerBlakehill
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:16 am
Location: Newbury, Berkshire

Re: Hole Design

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:01 pm

Hold on Rich. Let me be clear and say that I was not criticising the QP course and I did specifically say this is for players being of a high enough level by which I'm talking about the 1000+ rated players and as Bruce himself did mention in a post earlier today, someone effectively did just this a couple of years back. As I have also said, I love the QP course and find it a great challenge so would hate to see it change too much. I do agree with you though in regards to there not being many holes where you get to really let your arm go however without considerably increasing the course size, I don't think you're going to get lots of super long holes while keeping the beginner friendly short courses which is what keeps bringing people like myself into the sport.


I'd also like to point out that while simply crushing out a 500 foot drive my look dull on some of the courses we see from the US, the thing to remember is that the longer you throw, the larger your area of error. Now I'm not a math whiz but I'm sure someone on here will do a proper calculation but my simple view is that if you throw a disc 50 meters and let it out 2 degrees off line, when you land you're only going to be off by a short amount. If however you then throw 100 meters and again let it out 2 degrees off line, you're going to be much further off your desired landing point. Make that throw 150 meters and 2 degrees off and oh boy, you're a loooong way out. This was very clear to me when I went from playing pool to playing snooker. 0.5mm off line on a pool table and you're still likely to pot the ball but on a snooker table from one end to the other, you're gonna miss by inches! Not really sure now what relevance this has but I've typed it now so hey ho :)
Still suffering from early wood

BDGA# 1112
PDGA# 61657

User avatar
rhatton1
Posts: 1692
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: Hole Design

Post by rhatton1 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:08 pm

seamus wrote:

So I guess my advice Rich is to take all the comments you can handle but in the end do what you think is best, its your soup.
I always will (along with Tweed) :)

I just like hearing other peoples comments and taking them on board - there is one on this thread from Del a couple of years ago which has made me rethink a lot of things since regarding hole 7 at Croydon. For me at my level of distance and ability it was a great risk reward hole, but that was because i couldn't comfortably get to the distance where it opened up. For any longer thrower the hole didn't really have any risk and had loads of reward and it was something that really made me start trying to see holes from the perspective of all levels of ability. What's a great risk reward hole for me is potentially a boring layup and approach for a level below and a stupidly easy hole for a level above. Bruce has reemphasised this point a few times in different ways as do some of the Houck articles but repetition tends to aid memory and that original Del comment certainly made me think in the first place.
www.discgolfuk.com
richard@discgolfuk.com
Home of the Midlands One Day Series
Talk to us about courses!

User avatar
rhatton1
Posts: 1692
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: Hole Design

Post by rhatton1 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:17 pm

BaggerBlakehill wrote:Hold on Rich. Let me be clear and say that I was not criticising the QP course and I did specifically say this is for players being of a high enough level by which I'm talking about the 1000+ rated players and as Bruce himself did mention in a post earlier today, someone effectively did just this a couple of years back.
Didn't take it as a criticism but the course is well defended by obstacles just not length. Ville Piippo is a very different beast and pretty much no one else ever will play the course like him. He is an ex javelin throwing monster who threw tomahawks at just about every hole (including 15 over the top of trees) and parked the majority - hell if he could putt to the ability of other similar rated players he would have smashed the 44! I've played a round with Del on the old blue layout where he shot a 43 it was phenomenal to watch on a different day though if he had been a meter left or a meter right on some of the shots it could have been a 50 that's the beauty of QP very very small differences from one round to the next can result in 1,2 or even 3 shot penalties.

Even a player of Paul Mcbeths standard playing most holes with a midrange would be given pause for thought off the tee at QP, it is a very technical and demanding course and the baskets are nearly all heavily protected in ways to punish players slightly off line. Del had Elaine King round there last year former Womens World champion who pretty much said as much (she is the reason 18 may change as she thought it was the only one that was a bit too easy :D )
www.discgolfuk.com
richard@discgolfuk.com
Home of the Midlands One Day Series
Talk to us about courses!

User avatar
rhatton1
Posts: 1692
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: Hole Design

Post by rhatton1 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:33 pm

BaggerBlakehill wrote:t.


I'd also like to point out that while simply crushing out a 500 foot drive my look dull on some of the courses we see from the US, the thing to remember is that the longer you throw, the larger your area of error.
I've got no concern with long holes but I want to see some semblance of risk in going long, if you make wide open tees with huge landing areas with nothing to cause trouble in either the sky or ground it's fairly boring. Every now and again a wide open bomb it hole is fun and fair to reward those that can drive long (I think this is what Seamus is saying about hole 1 at Dunbar) but that Texas state championship course appeared to be the same shot off every tee with very small variations ranging from a flat long shot with fade to a long slight hyzer - the two easiest shots to pull off.
www.discgolfuk.com
richard@discgolfuk.com
Home of the Midlands One Day Series
Talk to us about courses!

User avatar
BaggerBlakehill
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:16 am
Location: Newbury, Berkshire

Re: Hole Design

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:00 pm

I'm glad it wasn't taken as a criticism; QP rules in my book!
rhatton1 wrote: I've got no concern with long holes but I want to see some semblance of risk in going long, if you make wide open tees with huge landing areas with nothing to cause trouble in either the sky or ground it's fairly boring.
This however I have to disagree with as I do feel these holes have a place. I'm not sure who might have said it (maybe Phil Wood, sorry if not) but I've heard before that open holes give people far more options to screw up. Also, while at Dunbar I was almost running back towards the non-open holes as the wind always affects these more dramatically.

Look, I've not been playing long so am more than happy to concede to experience. I'm simply just giving my thoughts on this as a newcomer to the sport and how I see things from the persepctive of someone who is still very much in the lower levels of skill and in the early stages of development. Please don't take any of my comments as criticism or argumentative, I haven't earnt the right to make such comments yet :)
Still suffering from early wood

BDGA# 1112
PDGA# 61657

Phil Wood
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:28 pm
Location: London

Re: Hole Design

Post by Phil Wood » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:31 am

I seem to remember saying something along these lines, but my meaning was that rather than wide open - providing the player with choices on the tee allows the brain to try and take over and forces you make a decision. when the brain is in play, errors in judgement can be made. When there is only "one line" its only errors in execution.

This would be my only minor critism of QP (again think its a great course and would play more often if i got the chance!), as i think others may have stated earlier, Some holes only have 1 senisble shot. QP Holes 2 and 18 are good examples of this. By having a hole where its a safe sensible hyzer for the par or a risky sidearm down a small chute but a greater chance of the 2, or i can get the distance with a roller.... decisions, options, then all still requiring execution.

One thing i really enjoy is seeing new players take on a course for the first time. They look at it with completely fresh eyes and more often than not, look at lines and shots that regulars dont. Tapani was a great example of this, at Croydon and QP he played the course very differently to say Del or Jester would and opened alot of players eyes as to different ways of playing the course. When you design a course you can easily be caught in the trap of making holes test specific things, but players will break it, least i hope they will try!

Post Reply