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optidiscic
12-03-2009, 09:47 AM
Been noticing some conflicting opinions on here regarding hole designs. There seems to be a disagreement about what makes a good hole. Some say a hole is too random/luck driven if there is a wide discrepancy in their scores on that hole....
"one day I get a 5 and the next a 2 wtf to me that is a poorly designed hole"

Then there are those who strive to create holes with a wide scoring spread just as easily birdied as bogeyed.

I realize that the spreads are supposed to separate the higher rated players from the masses...so 100 different red rated will get the 4.5 average on a hole and the 100 blue pros will get the 3.25..etc. that makes sense but I truly enjoy a hole where one day I can take a 5 and the next a 2. I find these types of holes to be addictive and interesting because you always want to come back and get that potential eagle but your just as likely to get a bogey....I'm sure youve all figured what your overall round score would be if you took your best score for each hole and had it happen on the same day.

I guess I have just noticed a few on here who define random and fair differently than me and they feel their own personal score should be consistent for the hole to be fair. Anyone have thoughts on this?

Donovan
12-03-2009, 10:00 AM
Some people feel that holes with a narrow route to get through the trees are garbage. I tend to think of these type of holes as accuracy shots.

However, if there is no real flight path to a hole because the trees are so random and plentiful, then that is where it tends to be a bad hole in my opinion. There needs to be at least one flight path or line that makes a drive possible off a tee pad to be considered a fair hole.

I personally don't see "score differential" ever being an actual factor in deciding whether a hole is good or not. Placement of a drive whether it be distance or avoiding trees can do this on any given hole pending on the person's throwing strengths.

billnchristy
12-03-2009, 10:11 AM
I just don't want a pinball game. If there is a tight gap or tunnel and 3 days I par, 1 day I birdie and 3 days a bogey that doesn't make it a bad hole, it makes me innacurate.

If there are 50 random trees in the fairway and your average line has a 10-30% chance of getting through then it is a steaming turd.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 10:23 AM
Here is an example of two very similar holes that have different levels of fairness (and strategy) for different levels of players. It shows the spray pattern of 3 different players. The second demonstrates the effect of what I call "early trouble" on scoring spread.

http://www.dgcoursereview.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=2808&d=1259850206

Dave242
12-03-2009, 10:34 AM
To clarify the pictures. The green is heavy schule made up of bushes and sapplings. It extends back from the fairway indefinitely (not islands as I showed). The shots do not penetrate right through as shown. What is shown is where the shots would have landed had their been no obstructions. All shots show max drive attempts (no strategy is involved in these pictures of players "choking down")

billnchristy
12-03-2009, 10:35 AM
I would play both the same because of my skill level. I would throw my Sinus AP off the tee around 150-200', land dead center of the fairway 80% of the time, do it again and putt in for par.

Oops Dave, you posted while I was.

If I threw a stalker full out I would probably be 60% on the first and 40% on the second...more from fade into woods than hitting the obstacles.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 10:38 AM
On the top hole, it is fair for everyone.

* Blue can deuce it some of the time, will normally birdie it, and may sometimes bogey it depending on how he recovers from his shots that end up in the schule.
It is an OK hole for him, but a little boring (since he almost always just pars it - 60-70% of the time). it is a so-so par 3 hole for him

* RedA effectively lays up to the pinch point, but the more he goes for it to make his upshot easier, the higher the chance he is in the schule and will take a 4 or 5 or even 6 to recover. Play safe and smart he often gets a 3.
It is a good hole for him and his skill - a decent par 4 where he can birdie sometimes, often par, and sometimes bogey.

* RedB can find this hole frustrating. Since he can and often does put himself in a position to get birdie he goes for it all the time. He gets a wild scoring spread from a few 2's, some 3's, lots of 4's, a bunch of 5's and even 6's at times. Since he gets more 5's and 6's than RedA it is doubly frustrating since he thinks he is a better player since he can throw ways further.
It is a good par 4 hole for him that he can eagle, but also screw up bad. It tests his mental game (decision making) and his execution excellently.

billnchristy
12-03-2009, 10:45 AM
Red 3 is all too common...maybe not 470' but I have seen a ton of dudes that could just muscle a disc all the way to a basket and still take a 4 because they can't putt.

Hell, last week I saw a 12yo kid chuck a disc 340' and then miss a 10' putt setting himself up with a 30' then a 40' then another 10' and finally in.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 10:48 AM
The bottom hole has "early trouble" - an 18' gap at 100'. The green area is thick schule made up of shrubs, and sapplings where all you can hope to do is pitch out.

As is seen, this is too tight to make it fair for red players as it will knock down 30'40% of RedA & RedB's drives 100' feet into the hole. These players will be hacking away in and out of the schule most of the time. While playing recreationally it might be a fun challenge for them to navigate this hole. But, in tournament play scoring spread would be caused by luck too often - scrambling from random places in the schule too high a percentage of the time.

But this early trouble is no big deal for Blue since he basically never hits it. Although visually, this might be a much more appealing hole for him, it is the same hole as the top one with basically the same scoring spread.

billnchristy
12-03-2009, 10:50 AM
Dave and all,

Here is a question, what can you do to make the first hole interesting? I would think a tree dead center about 150' or so out. It really doesn't make the hole much harder but it would limit your height and your sightline to the gap.

Countchunkula
12-03-2009, 10:53 AM
The bottom hole has "early trouble" - an 18' gap at 100'. The green area is thick schule made up of shrubs, and sapplings where all you can hope to do is pitch out.

As is seen, this is too tight to make it fair for red players as it will knock down 30'40% of RedA & RedB's drives 100' feet into the hole. These players will be hacking away in and out of the schule most of the time. While playing recreationally it might be a fun challenge for them to navigate this hole. But, in tournament play scoring spread would be caused by luck too often - scrambling from random places in the schule too high a percentage of the time.

But this early trouble is no big deal for Blue since he basically never hits it. Although visually, this might be a much more appealing hole for him, it is the same hole as the top one with basically the same scoring spread.

So, the scoring spread on a given hole could very dramaticly between players of different skill levels. Meaning for some skill levels little to no spread and for another level crapshoot.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 10:54 AM
So I guess the moral of my story is that what is appropriate (or even easy) for some players is frustrating as heck for others. Considering all of this (hole lengths & shapes, fair widths and pinch points) is what goes into the art of good course design.

I am a huge fan of designs targeted at specific skill levels with appropriate hole design to make the course fun and challenging/rewarding at the same time. To do this properly, you at times (on some holes) will make lousy holes for the skill level players that the course is not intended for. IMO, substandard designers try to make almost everyone happy and end up with courses that are pretty blah for everyone.

Cgkdisc
12-03-2009, 10:55 AM
If you're making the first hole play better for blue players, it either needs to be longer or shorter. Perhaps move the tee foward 75-100 feet and to the right so it's a turnover that's birdied around 1/3 of the time.

billnchristy
12-03-2009, 10:56 AM
Here is a pic of a similar hole at my home course. Difference is the pin is actually out in the clear so it makes it a lot easier because if you clear the junk you are free:

http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course_pics/3345/d7b9410b.jpg

It is also a lot shorter 187-211 red and 248-270 blue.

I am red 1 or a little under (820 and about 250') and I am:

1 bird, 6 par, 5 bogey RED
3 par, 6 bogey, 1 double bogey BLUE

Though most of my issue is a jacked upshot from red, I almost never hit the trees there, blue is another matter.

Countchunkula
12-03-2009, 11:01 AM
This discussion shows why multiple tees can make the same hole fun and challenging for a wide range of players.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 11:02 AM
So, the scoring spread on a given hole could very dramaticly between players of different skill levels. Meaning for some skill levels little to no spread and for another level crapshoot.

Exactly.

Of course, my illustration is simplistic in that it only used 3 players (and they are not meant to be the Joe Average red or blue level players). Within a skill level, you will get all sorts of combinations of skills (the 3 main ones are drive length, accuracy and putting). For instance for Blue players (PDGA rated 925-975), you will have some that can only throw 280', but do so accurately and putt lights out. Others will be bombers that are more wild. And so on.

To design well for a specific skill group, IMO what you want is to make some holes that cater to the bombers to reward (and tempt) them with their skill in big D. Others will require placement or tight lines, and others will have "fast greens" - challenging putting areas. Par 4's and 5's allow you the most flexibility in providing those and combinations of them.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 11:05 AM
If you're making the first hole play better for blue players, it either needs to be longer or shorter. Perhaps move the tee foward 75-100 feet and to the right so it's a turnover that's birdied around 1/3 of the time.

I knew that would be the first thing you would post! :D And, I agree (in the last post I made that comment just before reading your post). My point is that it is good hole for this particular Blue player. The average blue player does not have that D. The top picture would be a hard par 3 and would not provide much scoring spread for the Blue class of players.

You prove my point that a good designer knows his intended audience! :clap:

mattdabbs
12-03-2009, 11:12 AM
I just don't want a pinball game. If there is a tight gap or tunnel and 3 days I par, 1 day I birdie and 3 days a bogey that doesn't make it a bad hole, it makes me innacurate.

If there are 50 random trees in the fairway and your average line has a 10-30% chance of getting through then it is a steaming turd.

That is what tommies and thumbers are for. You are decreasing the probability of hitting a tree by the difference of the width of your disc and its height. In other words, making your disc 1 inch wide rather than 8 inches wide decreases your chances of hitting trees on those pinball holes and to me is the only way to throw them to make sure my first shot goes 250 rather than 50.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 11:21 AM
That is what tommies and thumbers are for. You are decreasing the probability of hitting a tree by the difference of the width of your disc and its height. In other words, making your disc 1 inch wide rather than 8 inches wide decreases your chances of hitting trees on those pinball holes and to me is the only way to throw them to make sure my first shot goes 250 rather than 50.

Actually, you need to double the effective width since you can hit a tree on both sides of the disc. Yes, a 9" disc (most are 9" not 8" BTW) can fit through a 10" gap, but a 3" tree blocks 21" of airspace

Picture it like this: O|O --> 9" + 3" + 9"

OK.....technically it doesn't (it is actually just 9+3 = 12), but it helps me to respect obstacles with this sort of thinking.

mattdabbs
12-03-2009, 11:30 AM
Actually, you need to double the effective width since you can hit a tree on both sides of the disc. Yes, a 9" disc (most are 9" not 8" BTW) can fit through a 10" gap, but a 3" tree blocks 21" of airspace

Picture it like this: O|O --> 9" + 3" + 9"

OK.....technically it doesn't (it is actually just 9+3 = 12), but it helps me to respect obstacles with this sort of thinking.

I see what you are saying here but throwing the disc vertical rather than horizontal still dramatically decreases your chances of hitting vertical trees. It just effectively makes the gap work bigger for you. Some of it is mental as well as I am more confident to make it through the gap if I throw the thumber and less worried about the trees.

Cgkdisc
12-03-2009, 11:36 AM
If a roller is possible, it's even more reliable in terms of taking up less width in a wooded fairway (more vertical) than a thumber which isn't always vertical as it goes thru its twisting motion and the roller is on the ground where there aren't branches sticking out.

mattdabbs
12-03-2009, 11:54 AM
If a roller is possible, it's even more reliable in terms of taking up less width in a wooded fairway (more vertical) than a thumber which isn't always vertical as it goes thru its twisting motion and the roller is on the ground where there aren't branches sticking out.

Good point. This all depends on which hole you are playing, where the gaps are and which throw makes the most sense. I was just pointing out in this whole thing that being creative and learning a variety of shots can help you keep your score lower when executed well.

billnchristy
12-03-2009, 12:52 PM
I have seen a lot of wooded fairways where the canopy will limit your thumbing and the root floor would limit your rolling as well. Others...yeah, agreed.

Donovan
12-03-2009, 12:53 PM
Like I said earlier. If there is an actual intended fairway or flight path, it should not be considered a ridiculous hole. You just need to learn to throw that shot. However, no one should have to throw through multiple 30" gaps. That is not an intended flight path.

But like the thread started out asking, score differential makes no difference.

Good discussion Dave242 and billnchristy.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 01:02 PM
Like I said earlier. If there is an actual intended fairway or flight path, it should not be considered a ridiculous hole. You just need to learn to throw that shot. However, no one should have to throw through multiple 30" gaps. That is not an intended flight path.

But like the thread started out asking, score differential makes no difference.

You do an excellent job here of pointing out the difference in opinion/preference of the recreational approach to DG vs the competitive approach. There is overlap of course.

As a wide generality, this forum is primarily made up of those with recreational preferences and the PDGA forum is made up (at least it used to be) by those with competitive preferences - makes sense since the vast majority of them are members so they can compete in PDGA competition.

Donovan
12-03-2009, 01:03 PM
#13 at Bear Creek in Grapevine, TX, USA has this 100 feet straight ahead with about 2 gaps in the trees about 6 feet apart. Then then hole turns a sharp left (another 100 feet to the basket) and has a wall of thin trees just in front of a 5 foot ditch with the basket on the other side of it. Some people hate the fact that those trees are blocking the ditch.

It took me a while to figure this hole out, but you can actually get across the ditch with a hard left skip shot. This will flatten the disc out and slip right through those trees once in a while. However, you only see someone across the ditch in one throw about 5% of the time and maybe just 10% of the time on the skip shot.

I don't mind this hole, but this may be an example of what seem to think is a bit ridiculous.

http://www.dgcoursereview.com/gallery.php?id=135&mode=gal&view=&hole=&page=2# look at the #13 Adv Tee picture.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 01:08 PM
no one should have to throw through multiple 30" gaps. That is not an intended flight path.

nail - hit on the head

Understanding the spray pattern of their intended audience helps designers come up with appropriate gaps and pinch-point widths. I do not think you will find anyone anywhere that believes anyone can consistently hit a 30" gap more than around 30-50' down the fairway. Designers who include such holes are not good designers, IMO.

Donovan
12-03-2009, 01:10 PM
You do an excellent job here of pointing out the difference in opinion/preference of the recreational approach to DG vs the competitive approach. There is overlap of course.

As a wide generality, this forum is primarily made up of those with recreational preferences and the PD GA forum is made up (at least it used to be) by those with competitive preferences - makes sense since the vast majority of them are members so they can compete in PDGA competition.

I agree with that completely. So when making a course focused on just competition that is one thing and building a course just for little kids is one thing. However, all the other courses should be viewed as a rec to competition style course mix. At least that is how I see it. I mean you make it as tough as you want with what you use for par (not going there!!!!), but either way it need to not just be pad and basket thrown where ever and call it a hole. Some fairway should exist, no matter how tough it is for some.

DavidSauls
12-03-2009, 01:12 PM
My personal definition of a good hole / scoring spread is that

* When standing on the teepad, I should be in doubt as to what score I will get. Even better if there more than 2 potential scores, based on execution.

* That doubt should not be based primarily on luck. (Luck is always a factor, and sometimes an entertaining one. It should not be the primary factor, though).

For the first point, any hole on which I get the same score more than 70% of the time is rather boring.

For the latter, "luck" usually involves trees in the middle of the fairway. All I ask is that the size of the available gaps and distance from tee mean that, if I execute well, I have a good chance of getting through. If there are no gaps wider than 4', all 200' away, I'm not really aiming for the gaps, just praying. Bad.

*****

As for getting 2s & 5s on the same hole, holes with risky O.B. can be fair and fun, yet produce a wide range of scores. Nothing wrong with that.

Donovan
12-03-2009, 01:20 PM
My personal definition of a good hole / scoring spread is that

* When standing on the teepad, I should be in doubt as to what score I will get. Even better if there more than 2 potential scores, based on execution.

* That doubt should not be based primarily on luck. (Luck is always a factor, and sometimes an entertaining one. It should not be the primary factor, though).

For the first point, any hole on which I get the same score more than 70% of the time is rather boring.

For the latter, "luck" usually involves trees in the middle of the fairway. All I ask is that the size of the available gaps and distance from tee mean that, if I execute well, I have a good chance of getting through. If there are no gaps wider than 4', all 200' away, I'm not really aiming for the gaps, just praying. Bad.

*****

As for getting 2s & 5s on the same hole, holes with risky O.B. can be fair and fun, yet produce a wide range of scores. Nothing wrong with that.

I totally agree with you here. There are some par 4 and 5 holes that I lay up on the drive to avoid bad second shot options (tight fairway ahead, or OB, or water), and go for the big drive on my second shot to the hole. Some of that is strategy that some people think should not be involved. Some feel you should drive to the hole or throw all out on a long hole off the tee, that is just not realistic and can make for repetitive boring holes if everything was like that.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 01:21 PM
I found this statement in a review very amusing "Hole #3 (276') makes this course somewhat beginner unfriendly. The road is OB but there is little to no fairway available to the average player. You will have to throw left into the prairie areas with wildflowers and such."

It is only 160' to clear the road (no real traffic as it is near the end of a dead end) and there is plenty of bail out area where a newbie's disc will normally hyzer out to. To me it is a perfect/excellent hole for newbies as it gently introduces them to the strategy of disc golf - risk/reward for how much of the road they want to bite off.

But.....it demonstrates how there's different strokes for different folks.

http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course_pics/1179/0e0d1db2.jpg

Dave242
12-03-2009, 01:32 PM
My personal definition of a good hole / scoring spread is that

* When standing on the teepad, I should be in doubt as to what score I will get. Even better if there more than 2 potential scores, based on execution.


:clap::thmbup::clap::thmbup::clap:

DavidSauls
12-03-2009, 01:41 PM
Some of that is strategy that some people think should not be involved.

Anytime strategy is involved, it's bound to be a good thing.

Fairway management---not just hitting the fairway, but trying for the sweet spot that best lines up the next shot---makes successful par-4s & 5s.

billnchristy
12-03-2009, 01:50 PM
I found this statement in a review very amusing "Hole #3 (276') makes this course somewhat beginner unfriendly. The road is OB but there is little to no fairway available to the average player. You will have to throw left into the prairie areas with wildflowers and such."

It is only 160' to clear the road (no real traffic as it is near the end of a dead end) and there is plenty of bail out area where a newbie's disc will normally hyzer out to. To me it is a perfect/excellent hole for newbies as it gently introduces them to the strategy of disc golf - risk/reward for how much of the road they want to bite off.

But.....it demonstrates how there's different strokes for different folks.

http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course_pics/1179/0e0d1db2.jpg


You could also lay up to the other side then hop over to the green for an easy par.

I can see how that would frighten someone new to the game but yeah, that is a good hole...if not way too easy.

DavidSauls
12-03-2009, 01:53 PM
Scoring spreads can be quite interesting.

If you get a chance, after a tournament, get a hold of all the scorecards and make a spreadsheet of scores from players in a division or with roughly similar ratings. Sometimes it's surprising which holes work well, which don't.

I'm only half responsible for one course design, and it's one that can be tinkered with, at that. Sometimes a hole looks cool but doesn't produce the scoring spread you'd like. (At another course recently, a "birdie" hole was redesigned to make it more challenging; the Pros ended up with 80% or 90% 3s on it).

Dave242
12-03-2009, 01:57 PM
I can see how that would frighten someone new to the game but yeah, that is a good hole...if not way too easy.

This is actually a creative and difficult hole compared to the average 9-holer in the north and western Chicago areas (and most holes on the 18-holers). I'm dead serious. And there are an absolute ton of courses in the area that make up this average.

Moving here from NC, I have come to appreciate that many of the perspectives expressed on this site are conditioned by what people know.

The good news is that I am working very hard at this particular 9-hole course to get this expanded (redesigned) to a real and challenging (yet fun) Blue par-65 18-hole course.

billnchristy
12-03-2009, 02:02 PM
Good for you! There is nothing worse than a half-assed not even fun for rec. course.

I think we are lucky in Atlanta. We don't have the best courses but we have a dozen or more solidly average/average + and very different courses.

NothinButChing
12-03-2009, 02:13 PM
red M&M blue M&M they all wind up the same color in the end

optidiscic
12-03-2009, 04:05 PM
This is what we should be doing here....discussing disc golf courses and course design!

I suppose something to consider is that when a player is starting out (beginner) they tend to notice trees, gaps, hills, obstacles etc.. that a more experienced and refined player will usually not even notice. That field goal gap set of trees 30 ft of the tee will intimidate the hell out of a rec/beginner and clearing a small pond or creek in the first 250 may thwart a beginner from going for it.....experts will barely notice these things and may be more perplexed with hyzering hard and skipping onto the green 330 ft up the fairway, a look that noobs don't even think about as they are concerned with that initial gap etc......
However while this may separate the noobs and beginners from the pros I have seen many errors in design that punish the higher rated player... what many designers fail to do is realize that late trouble can give the noob the advantage back......for instance perhaps late in a 450 hole there is a ravine from the 350-400 mark just before the green.....suddenly the noob can throw 2 drives one of 300 ft and an approach of 150 and be on the green and shooting for par 3 with very little risk. The expert has plenty of risk to consider and even if he can clear the ravine off the tee he likely will have a 2 putt (unless he absolutely parks it) and be rewarded with a 3 for all that risk. If he lays up at 340 he still ends up with a 3. the ravine really does not come into play as much for the Noob as it does for the pro.
I hope this makes sense to someone out there I think a good course separates the middlings from the pros. I will admit that sometimes these type of courses are a lot of fun because everyone can be in on the action and the wins often come down to whos hitting the putts etc...

optidiscic
12-03-2009, 04:07 PM
The best course I have played with multiple tees that absolutely added challenge off the tees for higher rated players was Killens Pond in Delaware. Not only do these tees add a little distance the looks are far more technical and difficult from the expert tees than the intermediate. There are also beginner tees which are easy as Pie. Just a great mix of golf for all 3 levels and its not all about distance. The course just becomes more and more technical and challenging as you use the Pro tees. Often with a pinch gap near where it joins the intermediate fairway. Truly challenging and fun.

Countchunkula
12-03-2009, 05:07 PM
I found this statement in a review very amusing "Hole #3 (276') makes this course somewhat beginner unfriendly. The road is OB but there is little to no fairway available to the average player. You will have to throw left into the prairie areas with wildflowers and such."

It is only 160' to clear the road (no real traffic as it is near the end of a dead end) and there is plenty of bail out area where a newbie's disc will normally hyzer out to. To me it is a perfect/excellent hole for newbies as it gently introduces them to the strategy of disc golf - risk/reward for how much of the road they want to bite off.

But.....it demonstrates how there's different strokes for different folks.

http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course_pics/1179/0e0d1db2.jpg


What course is this Dave? It doesn't look familiar, is it in the Chicago area?

Cgkdisc
12-03-2009, 05:16 PM
A fundamental design concept is that holes be designed for a particular skill level from a specific tee. If they are designed well, then they will have good scoring spread for that skill level even if that means a more open hole will primarily result in two scores, typically 2s & 3s with an occasional 4 due to a blown makeable putt. Ideally, the percentage of 3s would not be less than 50% nor exceed 70% on these open, two-score distribution holes.

Now, if we're talking wooded holes, then it's likely 3 or even 4 different scores will have a percentage higher than 5% of the time for a particular skill level but we still don't want any one score to be more than 70%. Ideally, we would want the par for that hole, if set based on that player skill level, to be the most likely score (highest percentage). But that isn't always possible and the hole can still do a good job with score separation.

Now how does this apply to multiple skill levels playing a particular hole. The four identified skill levels: Gold (1000), Blue (950), White (900) and Red (under 875) are separated by 50 rating points which is 5 throws. If you divide 5 throws by 18 holes, you see that the scoring average would be about 0.3 throws per hole different between skill levels.

Let's say a Gold level hole averages an ideal 2.7 with about 1/3 twos. That would mean it would average 3.0 for Blue, 3.3 for White and at least 3.6 for Red level players. If we're talking an open hole, it's going to be no fun for the blue level players because outside their deuce range but an easy upshot to routinely get auto 3s.

For White level, the spread in theory would be just as good as for Gold with roughly 1/3 fours and the rest mostly 3s. For rec play that's fine. But for competitive play, the hole separates the bottom third of the players from the top 2/3. Ideally, you want a hole let the top 1/3 of the players separate themselves from the field based on skill like the 2.7 average spread does for the Gold level players on this hole. So the spread is "upside down."

This is a general problem I see on courses where there are too many holes with scoring averages in the 3.3 neighborhood. It sometimes happens when someone decides to lengthen holes with new pin placements to make them tougher. While it raises the scoring average, it may turn what has been a good hole into one with either poor or upside down spread. The fallacy has been that holes need to be lengthened due to disc technology allowing people to throw farther. Unfortunately, they are not throwing any more accurately. So good par 3 holes that still have good scoring spread have gotten destroyed by lengthening. In fact, a case could be made that the new discs with wider rims and harder plastic have reduced accuracy on shorter holes due to sharper hyzering as the disc slows and then skipping away upon landing more than older discs being used when the hole was designed.

The interesting thing about well designed, more open gold level courses is that many holes can play better for the red level beginners than the blue and white level players. Red level is almost one throw worse than gold per hole and their lower putting skills make for nice scoring spreads on about any gold level hole whether in the woods or more in the open.

optidiscic
12-03-2009, 05:41 PM
The fallacy has been that holes need to be lengthened due to disc technology allowing people to throw farther. Unfortunately, they are not throwing any more accurately. So good par 3 holes that still have good scoring spread have gotten destroyed by lengthening. In fact, a case could be made that the new discs with wider rims and harder plastic have reduced accuracy on shorter holes due to sharper hyzering as the disc slows and then skipping away upon landing more than older discs being used when the hole was designed.

AMEN!

Dave242
12-03-2009, 05:44 PM
Let's say a Gold level hole averages an ideal 2.7 with about 1/3 twos. That would mean it would average 3.0 for Blue, 3.3 for White and at least 3.6 for Red level players. If we're talking an open hole, it's going to be no fun for the blue level players because outside their deuce range but an easy upshot to routinely get auto 3s.

While in theory I agree with you, in reality you are wrong about a good Gold hole being boring for Blue players. In reality, most/many Blue players have similar ability as the Pro's to make given shots, but are not consistent with that ability.

So, while a Gold-appropriate hole may be harder for a Blue, it is still usually not boring for most. But....it will not provide the optimum scoring spread. I think that is more on target with your point (I keyed in on your words "no fun"). I believe this will hold true for any adjacent skill groups. In groups that are not adjacent there is very little overlap in ability (and huge discrepancy in consistency).

I think you are basically saying that here, although you are talking 3 levels apart share in good holes whereas I am thinking/suggesting 2 levels:

The interesting thing about well designed, more open gold level courses is that many holes can play better for the red level beginners than the blue and white level players. Red level is almost one throw worse than gold per hole and their lower putting skills make for nice scoring spreads on about any gold level hole whether in the woods or more in the open.

This makes perfect sense mathematically, but I am not convinced it is a "better hole" since "better" also involves the experience of playing the hole.....it involves the emotions of euphoria, boredom, frustration etc.... Since Red level players get their scoring spread from lack of ability and consistency in all areas (D, accuracy, putting, mental), the correlation of score to experience/emotion becomes very cloudy. Plus a Gold par-3 is a Red par-4.....so this error is compounded even more since they have an extra throw on which they can add to the screw-ups.

billnchristy
12-03-2009, 05:49 PM
I think this is where theory and practice fall flat on their collective faces.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 05:57 PM
Not sure what you mean exactly there Bill, but I have talked to Stan McDaniel (recognized widely as an excellent designer of challenging but fair courses) a bunch about designing more beginner courses in Charlotte (I think they need more there). He said that it is hard to really do a real design (lengths, pinch point analysis, dogleg placement, etc) for beginners due to all the possible ways they find to screw things up. :) I fully agree with his thoughts.

All that is left then for a designer to do is to make sure the rough is not too rough and that any forced carries (over water for example) are not too long (or do not exist). And, making things aesthetically interesting/pleasing is a good idea.

Cgkdisc
12-03-2009, 06:00 PM
In reality, most/many Blue players have similar ability as the Pro's to make given shots, but are not consistent with that ability.
Not exactly true on the longer par 3 holes where length is the primary factor for scoring average. In the case of the 2.7 scoring average hole for gold that's in the open, the blue level players will either not be able to reach the hole or will be at the edge of their power curve and either have to use a more beveled disc to get in range compared with the gold level player or they will be trying to make a long putt from short of the basket. The 950 players that have gold level power are just passing thru blue on their way to gold and are not the core group in the blue range.

The gold level holes that blue players can handle are usually par 4s and 5s for gold or shorter but tricky par 3s where the gold level players average closer to 2.4 to 2.55. A good example of the shorter hole is #1 at Winthrop. Of course the reason this easy hole plays tougher at the USDGC is they announce your name on the tee and everyone is watching. That must add 0.1-0.2 to the scoring average. Hole 8, 9 and 18 at Winthrop are good examples of par 4s that blue can handle in terms of power but gold excels at dealing with the challenges on those holes to get the better scoring average.

Cgkdisc
12-03-2009, 06:07 PM
This makes perfect sense mathematically, but I am not convinced it is a "better hole" since "better" also involves the experience of playing the hole.....it involves the emotions of euphoria, boredom, frustration etc.... Since Red level players get their scoring spread from lack of ability and consistency in all areas (D, accuracy, putting, mental), the correlation of score to experience/emotion becomes very cloudy.
Better in terms of scoring spread. The issue that separates some red level players from from otehr red level players actually enjoying a gold level course versus a red level course is length. If the red level player has a ball golf perspective then length is no problem since some blue and gold courses play more like par 65 to 72 level for red level.

Since Stan was mentioned, I've heard from a few sources that there seem to be more rec level players that enjoy playing the gold level Renny course layouts than the tournament players. This would make sense based on the red level players feeling the challenges were appropriate for their level even if their "par" was one higher per hole.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 06:16 PM
Not exactly true on the longer par 3 holes where length is the primary factor for scoring average. In the case of the 2.7 scoring average hole for gold that's in the open, the blue level players will either not be able to reach the hole or will be at the edge of their power curve and either have to use a more beveled disc to get in range compared with the gold level player or they will be trying to make a long putt from short of the basket.

To help me out, can you name a few holes as examples (as you did with Winthrop #1)? What length of open holes yields 2.7 average for Gold? The forecaster version I found somewhere online says 345' for sparse flat holes.

950 players that have gold level power are just passing thru blue on their way to gold and are not the core group in the blue range.

This is not my experience in the crowd I have followed pretty closely for several years (in NC), but your data is much more extensive.

BTW, I agree if you would have said "PDGA Advanced Division players that have Pro level power are just passing thru Advanced on their way to Pro and are not the core group in the Advanced range". Maybe in several years the new/adjusted ratings breaks sort divisions out properly (although that is such a regional phenomenon).

Cgkdisc
12-03-2009, 06:34 PM
Holes 7 & 9 on the Jackson (Houck) course at the IDGC are about 380. Houck was surprised that they had scoring above 2.7 with too many 3s for gold level and almost all 3s for blue level in the HOF event. Shortening those holes about 30 feet to around 345-350 would likely have dropped the scoring right into the pocket for gold as predicted by the Forecaster but have still remained mostly a 3 hole for blue. What happens is that the gold players power allows their drives to surround the basket on all sides including beyond the pin. The blue level players who have chance at deuce have to be on line just to get the putting chance from the short side of the pin.

There are regional differences for players of the same rating. The NC players tend to not throw as far as those in Texas for the same rating but tend to putt better. With the NC players not throwing as far, the difference in distance between skill levels (rating) isn't as much as it might be in TX or OK.

billnchristy
12-03-2009, 06:37 PM
I was just saying that what should be "fun" on paper might not always be so on the course and what should be fun out on the course may not always be represented as such on paper.

Dave242
12-03-2009, 06:49 PM
Since Stan was mentioned, I've heard from a few sources that there seem to be more rec level players that enjoy playing the gold level Renny course layouts than the tournament players. This would make sense based on the red level players feeling the challenges were appropriate for their level even if their "par" was one higher per hole.

I agree with the observation and have reported as such here. Scoring spread may well be a reason, but I think it is equally if not more so to do with the vast number of Rec players compared to 975+ players AND it also has to do with the fact that other area courses are either usually packed or in sketchy neighborhoods.

I have actually asked a few 2-discers at Renny "so, how's your scoring spread coming" to find out what keeps them coming back....and they have looked at me all slanty-eyed like I am some sort of pervert trying to hit on them.

Ok.....I made that last paragraph up. :D

Steve West
12-19-2009, 03:03 PM
If we define "luck" as the tendency for a hole to assign high or low scores to a player independently of that player's skill level, then adjusting a hole to produce a higher scoring spread will almost certainly DECREASE the level of "luck" on that hole. (See my paper on Information Theory here: http://stevewestdiscgolf.com/designmath.aspx)

However, I think most players define "luck" as the inability to predict their own score on a particular hole. If we design holes to reduce that kind of "luck", then more players will get the same scores, and the hole's scoring spread will shrink, and that hole will lose the ability to sort players by skill.

The very things that would make a hole a better measure of player's skills are the things that make the hole seem "lucky" or "unfair" to most players.

mashnut
12-20-2009, 01:50 PM
I found this statement in a review very amusing "Hole #3 (276') makes this course somewhat beginner unfriendly. The road is OB but there is little to no fairway available to the average player. You will have to throw left into the prairie areas with wildflowers and such."

It is only 160' to clear the road (no real traffic as it is near the end of a dead end) and there is plenty of bail out area where a newbie's disc will normally hyzer out to. To me it is a perfect/excellent hole for newbies as it gently introduces them to the strategy of disc golf - risk/reward for how much of the road they want to bite off.

But.....it demonstrates how there's different strokes for different folks.

http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course_pics/1179/0e0d1db2.jpg

Good example Dave, and I think you're absolutely correct on it being one of the more interesting holes in that area. I and the people I play with have always liked the risk/reward on that hole, some because their distance makes them play accurately to land between the road and the rough, others because it's at the limit of their distance, and when they're throwing to get the hole they sometimes flip it and end up ob.

Keep us posted on your redesign, I would love to have a fun, challenging course, and Danny Cunniff is only about 35 minutes from me.