#11  
Old 03-20-2013, 06:02 PM
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Dave242 Dave242 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidSauls View Post
One aspect of disc golf courses is that the casual critics can see all the choices you didn't make. Why didn't you put a basket here? Why didn't you use that area for a fairway? They don't know what they don't know, though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewis View Post
This is where a lot of the bad criticism came from at my home course. It's a lot easier to see what the designer didn't do after the course is in than to come up with your own design from the start.
This thought process you both bring up intrigues me. It is maybe more "Critic Insider" that the OP topic, but I think if the designer understands his critics that can be helpful. .....and I do not understand this at all. In my mind it makes sense to judge/critique what is there....but it makes no sense to judge/critique what isn't there (or what maybe could be there).

Can you guys help me understand this more? Maybe the best way would be to provide a list of quotable quotes you have heard. Is this only stuff you hear as a designer when talking to people or does it show up too in DGCR reviews (I do not read reviews too closely....usually just skim them for the main points being made)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewis View Post
This is the reason that I avoid reviewing a course here at dgcr until I've played it several times. For example, I haven't reviewed Cliff Stevens in Clearwater, FL, after only playing a round and a half one afternoon in December, because I don't think that's enough time at it to form an opinion of it worth sharing with the internet.
Understanding this might be helpful too. What is it you learn about a course in the 3rd-5th rounds that you were not able to learn during your 1st round?
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2013, 08:02 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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I've only got one course to take blame for design on, and only a share of that. I don't think the hard feeling comes from constructive criticism, but from critics who go online and harshly criticize features of a course without trying to understand why they were done---what was the designer's intent, what were his constraints, how does the hole fit into the flow or balance of holes on the course, etc.
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2013, 08:27 PM
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BionicRib BionicRib is offline
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Mr. Berry

Great post. This is the biggest problem with this site in general. Until some of the "reviewers" actually go through the ENTIRE process of getting a course in.......(ie all the red tape and future projects, last second budget cuts, boundaries of land available changed yada yada yada). FWIW, I would just take the negative feedback with a grain of salt. I am a firm believer that if you took 10 different course designers and gave them the same piece of land to work with.......you would have 10 different designs, some similarities here and there, but for the most part different. I think as long as you follow the basic parameters of design and use as much of the land available as possible you probably won't have horribly negative feedback.

Until there is some sort of "criteria" or "tests" for a reviewer to take, I wouldn't worry too much about the uneducated naysayers. Through time as/if the sport grows and people take it more seriously, more people will understand what makes a course "good or bad"......that may take a long time though.

I think the feature where the designer can reply to reviews is a good idea.......Makes it much easier to explain why a plinko fairway ended up that way, or why you have a basket 20 ft from a playground that wasn't there when the course was put in......yada yada yada you get the point
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  #14  
Old 03-21-2013, 07:51 AM
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superberry superberry is offline
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Dave, I make the 'mistake' of commenting on "what could have been", in quite a few of my reviews. It's not a personal attack against the course or the design, but since my reviews do offer my realm of preferences and subjectivity, I feel it necessary to comment that if "that section of woods over there were utilized", or "the creek should be brought into play OB more often", then my rating of the course would have been higher. I completely understand the limitations of design with respect to land use and other politics. However, sometimes the comments regarding what could have been are because I completely feel the course may have been laid out by an inexperienced designer who may take and run with these new ideas, or that a parks department crew who doesn't even play disc golf may have thrown the course together.

What really spurred this entire conversation I had, and kept me stewing about it for a while afterward, was a comment I heard second hand. Something completely absurd surfaced and it was thrown out that "an AM2 can't design a good course". Personally I think PDGA tournament play has ABSOLUTELY zero to do with course design, and I was now in the attack mode based on the comment. I do admit that knowing the rules, being involved in higher level design discussions, understanding (and executing) player skills at higher levels, and having vast familiarity with playing the sport at multiple courses does indeed help foster better inputs into a design. But the designer still needs creative manipulation of these inputs and the land given to work with. What divisions I choose to play, what tournaments I actually bring myself to play (because I LOATHE sanctioned events), and how I actually finish has no bearing on my design abilities. So, while that got me stewing, I decided to outline some of the inside views I have, and expand on the disc golf designer biography I have also thrown together.

I'm still curious what other designers use and some basic or specific inputs into their own designs, and how they use their inputs to debate the feedback, and especially combat the negative feedback or maybe even keep it from surfacing.
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  #15  
Old 03-21-2013, 07:59 AM
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superberry superberry is offline
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It's not like I am whining about a low rating of any course I've designed. When someone rates a course low on this site, I typically send a PM and ask for some feedback. I understand and accept most of it.

I'm talking about the unthoughtful "this hole is lame", or "I hate that tree", etc etc etc. Then roll it all together with a little bit of "why'd you do THAT, I would have done THIS". While this feedback is so useless and meaningless, it still gets under my skin.
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2013, 11:11 AM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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I'd take it with a shakerful of salt.

I think there's a distinction between not liking a tree or hole or course or style of course, and saying the desginer should have done it differently. The first is from the player's point of view, and everyone has different tastes. I doubt it even occurs to some reviewers that the designer may read what they wrote. If I say, "Fontana Village is a very good course but hole #1 is lame", I'm passing that info on to potential future visitors. I'm not blaming the designer---he may have had no better choice---but stating an opinion that I think it's a lame hole.

Now, if someone says an MA2 shouldn't design a course, I'd shrug it off as ignorance. I can think of plenty of great courses whose designers aren't Top Pros.
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  #17  
Old 03-21-2013, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BionicRib View Post
Mr. Berry

Great post. This is the biggest problem with this site in general. Until some of the "reviewers" actually go through the ENTIRE process of getting a course in.......(ie all the red tape and future projects, last second budget cuts, boundaries of land available changed yada yada yada). FWIW, I would just take the negative feedback with a grain of salt. I am a firm believer that if you took 10 different course designers and gave them the same piece of land to work with.......you would have 10 different designs, some similarities here and there, but for the most part different. I think as long as you follow the basic parameters of design and use as much of the land available as possible you probably won't have horribly negative feedback.

Until there is some sort of "criteria" or "tests" for a reviewer to take, I wouldn't worry too much about the uneducated naysayers. Through time as/if the sport grows and people take it more seriously, more people will understand what makes a course "good or bad"......that may take a long time though.

I think the feature where the designer can reply to reviews is a good idea.......Makes it much easier to explain why a plinko fairway ended up that way, or why you have a basket 20 ft from a playground that wasn't there when the course was put in......yada yada yada you get the point
Those are good points if you want a thorough review of the design process of a given course, but I don't think any of that is necessary for what this site's real purpose is. The reviews and ratings are primarily there to find the courses that are most enjoyable to play. Knowing that a course was difficult to install and that the city put a lot of restrictions on the designer doesn't change my rating at all. It may change my view on how well the designer used what was available on the property, but I'm reviewing and rating only what's actually there to play not what could have been.
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  #18  
Old 03-21-2013, 12:36 PM
Rockwell Rockwell is offline
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In regards to the AM2 comment:

While the comment may be made in ignorance, it does have some base: because there are certainly a lot of Am 2s that I would recommend not design a course.

A designer should thoroughly know what a disc can do. They should know what a good hyser flip looks like and can acheive; or a roller, overhand, backhand, anny, forehand, skip-shot, etc.

That doesn't mean they can execute all of those shots in tournament rounds at the highest levels, but it does mean they probably shouldn't be a new player who has a great firebird-forehand but nothing else.

That said, an Am2, if seasoned and thoughtful and well-versed, can make the best course in the world. Even better than one that Ken Climo might make.
I liken this to how great basketball coaches are often not the best players, but the best students of the game.

Last edited by Rockwell; 03-21-2013 at 12:40 PM.
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  #19  
Old 03-21-2013, 12:57 PM
Rockwell Rockwell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockwell View Post
In regards to the AM2 comment:

While the comment may be made in ignorance, it does have some base: because there are certainly a lot of Am 2s that I would recommend not design a course.

A designer should thoroughly know what a disc can do. They should know what a good hyser flip looks like and can acheive; or a roller, overhand, backhand, anny, forehand, skip-shot, etc.

That doesn't mean they can execute all of those shots in tournament rounds at the highest levels, but it does mean they probably shouldn't be a new player who has a great firebird-forehand but nothing else.

That said, an Am2, if seasoned and thoughtful and well-versed, can make the best course in the world. Even better than one that Ken Climo might make.
I liken this to how great basketball coaches are often not the best players, but the best students of the game.
Too add to this I'd pose a question: Would you or Have you designed a hole that required a shot you couldn't pull off? (other than just distance)
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  #20  
Old 03-21-2013, 01:12 PM
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superberry superberry is offline
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Yes I would design a hole with a shot I couldnt pull off. I do not believe I have though because I can't think of a shot I cannot pull off (not saying that concededly).

Mash, you're getting at what I'm asking other designers about. How do they feel about lower quality holes or courses they've designed, as well as difficult ones that have received negative feedback. I wholly admit that if a course sucks relative to others I've played, it is going to rate low, and it isn't a fault of the designer necessarily, but I also wouldn't take the reasons why into consideration of my rating.
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