Hole Design

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West
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Re: Hole Design

Post by West » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:04 am

Neil M wrote:I don't have a problem with walking between holes. We have been discussing this with regards our potential new course in herstmonceux as the grounds are pretty big. We didn't really come to a conclusion but one thing we were considering was 2 9 holes with the option of joining them together. The thinking behind this is that newcomers can play either of the 9's and progress to playing all 18. I suppose a question is how far out of your way are you prepared to walk for an amazing hole?
Depending on course layout you can walk for a good 5 mins+ up the hills to play some holes at Whitcombe, but they are awesome and the views are amazing so you don't think twice about it. There have been some "linking" holes in the past which work but not sure add anything extra to the round, but the views still make it all worth while ... I miss Whitcombe :(

If its linking two separate 9 hole courses to make a championship 18 hole course and when it's used in an event is well sign posted then 5ish min walk is fine with me.
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Re: Hole Design

Post by Jester » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:35 pm

Neil M wrote:I don't have a problem with walking between holes. We have been discussing this with regards our potential new course in herstmonceux as the grounds are pretty big. We didn't really come to a conclusion but one thing we were considering was 2 9 holes with the option of joining them together. The thinking behind this is that newcomers can play either of the 9's and progress to playing all 18. I suppose a question is how far out of your way are you prepared to walk for an amazing hole?
In principle, yes, this is an ideal scenario as it allows player to taylor the length of the round they have time for. A course with a central HQ and two loops of 9 holes (where #1 tees off in one direction while #10 tees off in the other) would give great flexibilty to players to play just the front 9 or back 9 if desired.
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Re: Hole Design

Post by West » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:55 pm

Jester wrote:
Neil M wrote:I don't have a problem with walking between holes. We have been discussing this with regards our potential new course in herstmonceux as the grounds are pretty big. We didn't really come to a conclusion but one thing we were considering was 2 9 holes with the option of joining them together. The thinking behind this is that newcomers can play either of the 9's and progress to playing all 18. I suppose a question is how far out of your way are you prepared to walk for an amazing hole?
In principle, yes, this is an ideal scenario as it allows player to taylor the length of the round they have time for. A course with a central HQ and two loops of 9 holes (where #1 tees off in one direction while #10 tees off in the other) would give great flexibilty to players to play just the front 9 or back 9 if desired.
The two loops of 9 starting and ending in the same place would be ideal :)
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Re: Hole Design

Post by West » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:00 pm

Even if each 9 hole loop isn't "amazing" by itself but the 18 hole course is :)
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Re: Hole Design

Post by robbnot » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:36 am

How do you work out par? I'm playing Down Grange park every weekend trying to get a regular course in Basingstoke set up and I've got twelve holes which we're averaging 4shots on but as we are new to this we can't yet get the distance that you guys are throwing, so what is a good 4 for me would be an easy 3 or maybe even 2 for more experienced players.
The park extends on both sides so there's plenty of room for an eighteen,
we've tried to include everything there's lefties, righties,long,short, up and down(although not very up and down ) ,straights and esses clear open space and in the woods most holes get trickier in the summer because of the foliage
i liked the idea of looking at the space you've got and design as many good holes as you can then work out which holes would make an enjoyable game that flowed from hole to hole
my favourite holes are ( excuse the lack of knowledge about their number or name I've only played them once)
QP the one down with river on right basket up hill on left and the nipple
Bristol the pond my putter is in there
Croydon stairway
Basingstoke hole 7 the Christmas treetree,12 man in the woods
cheers it'd be good to get an answer on the par question
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Re: Hole Design

Post by bruce » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:15 am

Hi Robb

Par tends to be defined differently by different people, there are probably three schools of thought on it:

1) Par is how many shots a pro level (1000+ rated) golfer exects to take to get to the green, plus 2 shots for putting. This is the ball golf model, but with putting much simpler in DG, this is not quite so applicable.
2) Par is what a pro golfer will usually expect to shoot. Under this model we have a lot of par 2 holes in the UK, and few genuine par 4s.
3) Par is what a golfer of the targeted level will usually expect to shoot, so this varies by division.

The PDGA Disc Golf Course Designers group supports 3), and you can find their guidelines here: http://www.pdga.com/files/documents/ParGuidelines.pdf
Looking at the numbers there I think we tend to use something similar to the Blue tees numbers.

Ultimately the game is about taking as few shots as possible, so par is irrelevant. The only time it matters in competition is if you fail to play a hole:
Missed Hole Due To Late Arrival. The player has failed to play a hole due to late arrival. The player receives a score of par plus four for the hole.

Omitted Hole. The round has been completed, and the player has neglected to play a hole. The hole is scored the same as a hole missed due to late arrival.
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Re: Hole Design

Post by mat cutler » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:50 pm

I just call everything a 3 as it makes it easier to count your score.

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Re: Hole Design

Post by robbnot » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:29 pm

Great thanks guys
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Re: Hole Design

Post by West » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:39 pm

mat cutler wrote:I just call everything a 3 as it makes it easier to count your score.
We'll await for new long holes at Bristol which will still be 3's then ;-)
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Re: Hole Design

Post by mat cutler » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:05 pm

yup 255m par 3 what's your problem? :D

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Re: Hole Design

Post by West » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:05 pm

mat cutler wrote:yup 255m par 3 what's your problem? :D
Other than not being able to throw very far ... nothing :D
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Re: Hole Design

Post by rhatton1 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:14 pm

Just been watching this - http://www.pdga.com/answer-throwing-wind texas state championship 2014. My god it looks dull, every shot appears to be wang it as far as you can. Putt. or wang it as far as you can approach putt. or wang it as far as you can, wang it again. Approach putt. (forget the wind) Think it was hole 8 where two shots were comically bad on a par 3 they went as far away from the hole as they did towards it yet both players still both took threes - what's the point of course design like this :( It might as well just be a driving range.

Not really the point I was going to make - just saying really :)

Right the point I was going to make is regarding this:

http://www.houckdesign.com/dumbholes.html

Great article and I agree wholeheartedly with the ideas. I'm hoping that Bedworth will be a good mix of this so we have three layouts - red for beginners, blue - the main course with par of around 57 probably around 950 rated (so you would expect Del to shoot it in around 53/54) and then the championship course . This will only be playable at certain times of the year and will utilise a number of temporary holes due to meadow growth.

What standard is it reasonable to set this at (after playing my ideas at the moment on the weekend with Mavis, Gary, Sian I think it's pushing 1000 rated for par which will be around 63, QP black course by comparison is par 57 and about 980 - 985 rated to achieve that par.) It's tough, boy in places is it tough with length and at times I felt it was probably unfair on Sian due to distance concerns (around some of the water holes especially) there is a good chance that for players of a certain level it could turn into a bit of a slog. For my standard I think it's tough but fair, there is risk and reward on most holes. For a standard above me it's again tough but fair. For the big and accurate + 1000 rated drivers I think it's still tough but fair (I have a smaller frame of reference of these players so I hope this is true) . Any advantage from length has to be tempered by control. Questions are asked on every tee and second shot on the two or 3 shot holes You've played really well to take your birdies on most of these holes. For me I had wanted the championship standard to be something special, but if we are playing this in tour events there is a chance it could alienate the intermediate division by turning into a demoralising slog (there are a number of holes where biiiig numbers could occur, although on each there are routes that could be played with just a putter by the sensible player to come in 1 or 2 over par) . I do have a number of other temporary hole options fortunately that could temper the difficulty some what - but what should we be trying to achieve?

I do want this to be as close to a finished article on the first hit as there are a number of very expensive costs involved in this first installation which are reduced by doing it in bulk which we will probably never have the budget for again on a hole by hole basis, so opinions welcome.
Last edited by rhatton1 on Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hole Design

Post by bruce » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:36 am

This might not be the most popular answer, but bear with me...

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.

The whole point of competition is to find out who is better at executing the skills required to get around a golf course. If you only ask the question of half the skills you don't get a fair answer, and you don't incentivise players to develop those other skills. As a silly example, say we introduced a 'gimme' rule for all putts inside 10m. We'd all get pretty handy at running those 12-15m putts and leaving comebacks that were <10m. A year later you travel to an event that requires you putt everything out. Do you think you'll do well?

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.

This also applies to the Open division. 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.

So to answer your actual question Rich, design the championship course as tough as you can. You have the other layouts for recreational and club level use, so you can hardly be accused of being non inclusive.
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Re: Hole Design

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:03 am

Hi Rich

Regarding your first point, I too have been watching the Texas State NT event and had similar thoughts about the 'wang-putt….wang-putt' nature of the course however it was good to see some of the pros also have trouble in the wind but even then, some of the putts that were being made were phenomenal.

Anyway, to the point in question…. I've only played 4 permanent courses so far - QP, Croydon, Ashton Court & Dunbar - and have to say my favourite course is QP. That being said, while I've only played it once and had a total mare, this is closely followed by Croydon. To return to your previous point about Texas though, you could argue that other than holes 9, 10 & 11, all the other holes QP are of a 'wang-putt' nature if you're at high enough level. For me at least, I really have to consider the placements of my shots far more due to how poor my putting skills are currently (this will change over the summer). So it really depends on what type of course you're trying to build. QP is one type whereas Dunbar is a totally different beast. Wow there's a lot of wood. Barley might have liked to point out to me (numerous times I might add) that trees are 90% air however my discs found that 10% a lot over that weekend I can tell you. I know I'm not really answering your question but I guess I just wanted to give you my thoughts on this. I guess the old saying you "You can never please all the people all the some but you can please some of the people some of the time" is what works here.
If it were me setting up a new course though, what I'd do is try to make something that encourages players to try for the 'pro' line but allows them to also play smart and take the 'sensible' line should they already be struggling and need to "stop the rot". Dunbar is a really good example of this IMO as it has a lot of simple holes but these also have tight wooded fairways that really hurt you if you try to park a drive off the tee but get it wrong. A number of times I had to scramble to save bogeys when I could easily have scored pars had I just played the sensible shots. The thing is though, even when we got back to the clubhouse and compared my 75 round score to Dan's 60, I still looked at as I only shot less than 1 stroke more than him per hole. For me that's encouraging, not alienating but that may just be me. I suppose what I'm trying to say is this….Make it too hard rather than too easy. No matter what level of difficulty you make the course, in competition you're always open to having the lower divisions 'alienated' as even if there scores are low, you're still going to have a relative gap to the top guys. Does that make sense?!?!


Right, I really ought to do some real-world work :'(
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Re: Hole Design

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:16 am

This shows how long it took me to actualy write my previous post as I didn't even see yours Bruce :)
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.
This is exactly what I was trying to say, just not quite as concisely. Being that person whose not even been playing a year yet, I don't expect to be at the same level as the top guys but whether I have it in me or not, it is most definitely my aim and I therefore don't want to be wrapped in cotton wool. As I mentioned though Bruce, even if a new course was made that provided Ints with less of a challenge and shot par, in comparison I'd then expect the top card to likely be 10-15 under par for the round and so still keeping that relative gap. Yes I may feel shooting par is good and patting myself on the back but I'd also know in the back of my mind that it's not really that great a score when put into context.
bruce wrote:This also applies to the Open division. 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.
When thinking of Dunbar, my best advice would be to consider almost every hole like that of Black holes 9 to 11 of QP just slightly wider. Tough as you like in other words :) Yes, I had some feedback to Seamus regarding some of the tee pads but otherwise, the course is fantastic and IMO does exactly what it's meant to do. I have to say that the next time I play there, I'd be probably leave all my drivers in the clubhouse as I know I'd shoot better.
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Re: Hole Design

Post by bruce » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:41 am

BaggerBlakehill wrote:you could argue that other than holes 9, 10 & 11, all the other holes QP are of a 'wang-putt' nature if you're at high enough level.
Distance is not the only factor, you do have to consider foliage and risk. So for example for QP 13-18 every hole has some significant features that you have to consider/avoid, be that OB, rough or the green. However you are correct as when Ville Pippo came over a few years back with his ridiculous overhead throws he went round the blue course in 44 which was very much wang-putt. QP suffers slightly from too many holes in the same length category, 13-18 has 4 @ 102m & 1@ 103m, the front half has several in the mid 80s - mid 90s. The course is obviously constrained by the size of the land, Del has done an excellent job adding the non-length factors that keep the holes interesting and challenging, at least for the <1000 rated golfer.
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Re: Hole Design

Post by rhatton1 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:53 am

bruce wrote: So to answer your actual question Rich, design the championship course as tough as you can. You have the other layouts for recreational and club level use, so you can hardly be accused of being non inclusive.
Just what I wanted to hear :D
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Re: Hole Design

Post by rhatton1 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:56 am

bruce wrote: This also applies to the Open division. 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.
Wasn't his point more that there was no risk really to the longer throwers (kinda the point I was making with the Texas state championship course) . as they could just bang it up there and 2 it easily with 3s' the worst case scenario, for a shorter thrower it would just be an easy 3 but a very unlikely 2. I got the impression that he was asking for more thought for the longer throwers so a bit more risk about attacking the green in one rather than just wanging it.
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Re: Hole Design

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:00 pm

bruce wrote:Distance is not the only factor, you do have to consider foliage and risk.
I totally agree mate and this is what I'm saying about Dunbar; Each hole probably has a tree for every meter in length.

I'm glad my comment about QP wasn't too far off as it wasn't meant as a criticism the same way I wouldn't say the Texas State course Rich was referring too was a bad course; it simply is what it is. Maybe if you take a course in isolation, it might not provide a complete challenge to every skill set however if the idea is to create a course that will compliment the other courses that are on the national tour, then I see nothing wrong with having courses that are 80% 'wang-putt-birdie' or 'gently-gently-par' so long as they still provide a challenge to even the top guys while not making them impossible for lesser-mortals. QP is a brilliant course and I'd love to play it so much more as I know I'd improve so much quicker. Del and his team of workers have clearly done great things and I hope that continues for a long time into the future!
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Re: Hole Design

Post by bruce » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:21 pm

Maybe Rich, but Nick is saying there are trees all over the place which sounds like risk to me on every throw, from bitter experience! :)
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