#101  
Old 05-17-2010, 09:52 PM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by esdubya View Post
Hi John,

I was wondering if you have a standard deviation in Pro level scores you shoot for when designing a hole? Could you please share with us your target range for score standard deviation if you have one?

Thanks! Scott
OK, one more for tonight. Eventually, I'm going to have to face Rodney...

Scott, as much as I like score variances, and as much as I think it's important to tolerate the deviations of certain disc golfers, I think we need to be careful not to put science above art. I did a double major in Math and English, so I have a great appreciation for statistical analysis (and I can write about why), but I think we can take numbers too far in course design.

Score variance is very important, but I think we're better off when we use it as a diagnostic tool than when we look at it as an end in itself. And in the real world, it's not like we generally have the choice of so many nice pin positions and tee placements that we could say, "Well, if I move the tee here and the pin here, I can maximize my sigma values while keeping my scenic component within a delta tolerance..." At this point, I think we're happy when we can make beautiful and challenging holes that have good score variances.

As a matter of practical advice, I urge all designers to remember that a good hole has good score variance, but having good score variance doesn't make a hole good. (Sometimes holes yield a variety of scores because they're poorly designed.)

Thanks,
John
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  #102  
Old 05-17-2010, 10:19 PM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by solomon.trenton View Post
Nantucket, as in MA? do you have any more details on the course or ideas of when it might be done?
That's the one, Solomon. When I was there last month we had a great walkthrough with six representatives from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, so that was good start.

Right now the final proposal is being put together for review by the nice people at the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. I hope they'll feel that we did enough to minimize impact on the the sensitive moth habitat, and that they'll give the course the green light.

Construction will be very labor-intensive, as there are a lot of dead trees to take down (and probably even more dead trees already on the ground). But it's going to be a great course. There are several holes that I really love, and I feel like I was able to realize some new concepts there. I went into this project with high hopes, and the land really cooperated. I left very encouraged.

I hope we get the approval soon, and I hope players will enjoy the course as much as I do.
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  #103  
Old 05-25-2010, 12:10 PM
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esdubya esdubya is online now
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Zen and the art of disc golf course design

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrhouck View Post
OK, one more for tonight. Eventually, I'm going to have to face Rodney...

Scott, as much as I like score variances, and as much as I think it's important to tolerate the deviations of certain disc golfers, I think we need to be careful not to put science above art. I did a double major in Math and English, so I have a great appreciation for statistical analysis (and I can write about why), but I think we can take numbers too far in course design.

Score variance is very important, but I think we're better off when we use it as a diagnostic tool than when we look at it as an end in itself. And in the real world, it's not like we generally have the choice of so many nice pin positions and tee placements that we could say, "Well, if I move the tee here and the pin here, I can maximize my sigma values while keeping my scenic component within a delta tolerance..." At this point, I think we're happy when we can make beautiful and challenging holes that have good score variances.

As a matter of practical advice, I urge all designers to remember that a good hole has good score variance, but having good score variance doesn't make a hole good. (Sometimes holes yield a variety of scores because they're poorly designed.)

Thanks,
John
I'm reading Pirsig right now, so I see this as the age old conflict of Classical(science) vs. Romantic(art) thought. I suppose a good designer is able to play on both the beauty and the science when designing a good hole.

Great response Mr. Houck, thanks for you feedback.
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  #104  
Old 05-25-2010, 04:05 PM
Cgkdisc Cgkdisc is offline
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As one of the developers of more scientific/mathematical aspects in course design, I think some get the idea that that is how those of us who use these concepts do their design work from scratch. Not true. Visual hole design, aesthetics, route shaping, balance and flow are more artistic concepts that lead the way for perhaps all designers. However, where many designers fall down is not then applying the science/math and statistical methods to tweak those designs so they also play well or better for the intended player skill level. That's the, so far, little tapped frontier in hole design.
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  #105  
Old 05-25-2010, 04:15 PM
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WillACarpenter WillACarpenter is offline
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John,

Has the Rochester club been in touch with you at all recently, regarding the recent redesign of the Parma course? The only things I know for sure that changed (they did everything this weekend while I was getting my BUTT kicked at Black Diamond @ Emery Park) is that the VFW told them to take out hole 2 for casual play and they varied up some things between hole s12-15 I guess. And cement!

\/\/
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  #106  
Old 05-26-2010, 03:11 PM
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Scoot_er Scoot_er is offline
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John, what can we do about Houston DG and the plague of having only one designer putting in 25+ lame courses?

I have mentioned your name at every junction but want to start doing something myself to get some quality courses installed instead of pursuing just quantity.

Sincerely,
Matt Hall
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  #107  
Old 05-26-2010, 03:19 PM
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giles giles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoot_er View Post
John, what can we do about Houston DG and the plague of having only one designer putting in 25+ lame courses?

I have mentioned your name at every junction but want to start doing something myself to get some quality courses installed instead of pursuing just quantity.

Sincerely,
Matt Hall
Move away from Houston....
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  #108  
Old 05-26-2010, 04:38 PM
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sidewinding sidewinding is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrhouck View Post
(get those limericks ready)
There once was a man from Nantucket,
who carried his discs in a bucket.
When he got to hole two, he needed to poo,
so he dumped out his discs and said f*** it.

Last edited by sidewinding; 05-26-2010 at 04:40 PM.
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  #109  
Old 05-26-2010, 05:22 PM
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WillACarpenter WillACarpenter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidewinding View Post
There once was a man from Nantucket,
who carried his discs in a bucket.
When he got to hole two, he needed to poo,
so he dumped out his discs and said f*** it.
WIN

\/\/
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  #110  
Old 05-26-2010, 11:20 PM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoot_er View Post
John, what can we do about Houston DG and the plague of having only one designer putting in 25+ lame courses?

I have mentioned your name at every junction but want to start doing something myself to get some quality courses installed instead of pursuing just quantity.

Sincerely,
Matt Hall
Hi, Matt --

Good to hear from you. While I appreciate the compliments and like to help people as much as possible, I hope you understand that I really want this use this forum to discuss my thoughts on course design issues rather than as a place to discuss other designers' work.

To be fair to Houston, I'm sure a lot of readers out there would consider having 25 courses of any type a blessing, and there are a few nice ones there in Houston. But I donít want to criticize other designers' hard work; I donít feel that would be appropriate or helpful. We're all doing our best to support the game of disc golf.

I would love to do some great courses in the Houston area; it's close to home, and we do have lots of friends there, including you. All that being said, send me your thoughts in a private e-mail, and let's talk about what your vision is.

Thanks,
John
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