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Old 03-13-2013, 11:45 AM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by 907miller View Post
Hi John, would love some input here:

I am designing a course with some heavy flow restrictions, and after multiple iterations of trying different options, we have fund one to be optimal. However, there is one solitary hole that doesn't quite work very well, but seems to be pretty mandatory to connect parts of the course and maintain good flow.

It is a small chunk of land with river on one side and walking path on the other. It starts wide but tapers down to almost nothing (it worked much better in reverse because of that). This leaves us with little room to work with to avoid high speed errant shots (for pedestrian protection). After scouring this land and pulling my hair out for a while, I found a pretty unconventional hole. It is about 120' with a tee pad 10' or so from a 2.5' or so tree gap, and the basket on a small knoll.

Pros:
- Offers a highly controlled shot that every player should be able to execute
- Slows disc speed to protect pedestrians
- Uses very little land
- Provides a very unique hole seen close to nowhere in my experience (250+ courses in 41 states)
- Provides decent risk/reward (any player can lay up a putt 15' for an easy 3, but most will risk the 2)
Cons:
- many players will hate this hole
- could be conceived "gimmicky"
- the "risk" isnt very high. you could hit the trees and salvage a 3 sometime. double mandoing the trees or adding a small OB island around the trees could change this.
- many players will throw overhand shots through the gap. this could be remedied by screwing some small down trees/branches across the gap at say 8' high and up or something...

So basically I'd be very interested to hear your opinion on a hole like this.

Also, I'm wondering if you have any formula for "distance to gap":"gap width" ratio. i.e. if your double mando is 20 feet off the pad, and your double mando is 6 feet wide, the ratio would be 3.33. The higher, the harder... What is the maximum to not be considered lucky? Is it even a linear correlation?

Thanks for the help!!
Logan, your timing is interesting, as I'm currently working on a course with very challenging routing, mostly due to a paved walking path and an uncrossable creek that sometimes get very narrow. Sounds like we've been looking at some similar puzzles. I like your thoughtful list of Pros and Cons -- you've obviously spent a lot of time finding the right answers, and you've obviously been very conscientious about safety issues, so I applaud you.

In addition to just being very careful and looking at over a dozen routing variations, I'm able to plant trees on this one, so that's a huge help.

When you count on players using a slower disc, as I almost did several times, you're asking for trouble. Some players, especially new ones, don't even own slower discs. Yes, they SHOULD throw with less speed on such a short hole, but is that going to be enough to keep pedestrians safe?

Also, when you go into it knowing a good number of players are going to "hate" it, to use your word, that would really make me pause.

I guess my bottom line question is this: if the hole is 120' long, do you really need it there? Maybe it makes sense to just add 120' to the walk between the previous hole and the next hole. Of course, that means adding a hole somewhere, or splitting up a hole somewhere. It's hard to say without knowing all the ins and outs, but based on what you've said, it sounds like there may still be a better solution out there.

As for a gap width formula, there's a third factor you need to include. That's the distance from the gap to the pin or landing area. If you have to hit a 12' gap that's 200' away, it matters if the pin is 50' past the gap or 100' past the gap. Different disc, different throwing speed, different success percentage.

Think about what Chuck said, and look at the percentage of players who are going to make the shot.
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  #462  
Old 03-13-2013, 11:56 AM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by Cgkdisc View Post
If only half the throws can make it through, then you basically have a coin flip shot that's mostly luck ...
Chuck, you raise a very intriguing question that I've been pondering for a while. If the success rate of an activity is 50% or less, does that really mean it's a matter of luck and not skill?

If so, then by that definition, we would have to say that for most players, making a 30' putt is a matter of luck.

Hitting a 3-point shot in a basketball game, even for the best, would be a huge matter of luck. No one thinks of it that way.

Throwing a strike in a baseball game would be pretty much a coin flip, too.

Here's where I am, and I'll be interested to see what others think:

If we've been playing a while, we certainly don't think of a 30' putt as a matter of luck -- it's a matter of skill. Our intuition says it's a skill, even if the results show a success rate of 50% or less.

If we've been practicing, we hit more 30 footers than we used to -- if we can improve our percentage does that prove that it's a skill?
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  #463  
Old 03-13-2013, 12:17 PM
Cgkdisc Cgkdisc is online now
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Completing a challenge - holing out - less than 50% of the time is a different type of activity than succeeding in a challenge that allows you to attempt to complete a challenge. These two activities kind of parallel the difference between the challenge to score a touchdown in the first possession of sudden death which happens less than 50% of the time versus winning the 50/50 lucky coin flip that gave your team the first possession. In the case of hitting the gap or getting the first possession, it would be better if this were skill based indicated by at least being able to do it more than half the time, perhaps at least 2/3 of the time as I suggest.

Hitting the gap isn't the same activity as your holing out percentage from any particular distance. What would be comparable is if there were a putting window that you had to pass through on a certain line to the basket whether from 20 ft, 30 ft or 40 ft. Again, you would want the window to be large enough that at least 2/3 of your putting attempts would pass through it regardless whether those attempts that made it through actually holed out.

Last edited by Cgkdisc; 03-13-2013 at 12:19 PM.
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  #464  
Old 03-13-2013, 12:27 PM
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jeverett jeverett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrhouck View Post
Here's where I am, and I'll be interested to see what others think:

If we've been playing a while, we certainly don't think of a 30' putt as a matter of luck -- it's a matter of skill. Our intuition says it's a skill, even if the results show a success rate of 50% or less.

If we've been practicing, we hit more 30 footers than we used to -- if we can improve our percentage does that prove that it's a skill?
To me, this comes down to level of control. i.e. just how controllable is the outcome of the throw (or really, the entire activity of disc golf)? How much control over the outcome is necessary for a player to 'buy in' (i.e. change the activity from "throwing plastic at trees" into "a game")?

Humans enjoy the experience of getting better at a skill they've set out to learn, and many games/sports set up a wonderful reinforcement loop: engaging in the activity essentially means practicing the skills of the activity repetitively, constantly observing the outcome. Because human learning is so closely-associated with practice, during this process we improve at the skill, which we can then directly observe as we continue to engage in the activity: the player gets to demonstrate to them-self that they've improved at the activity.

Where this starts breaking down, though, is when even with continued engagement in the activity a participant doesn't get that reinforcement: they don't feel like they are getting sufficiently better at the skill they're engaging in. This is of course very subjective to each individual. How accurately can a player measure their own improvement in the specific skill? How much improvement, and how quickly, is 'sufficient'?

Basically, we can set up (initially) low-probability events where practice still has a significant impact (because the player can directly observe the improvement, in a cognitively-statistically-significant way), but we can also set up low-probability events that remain essentially just-as-low-probability despite the amount of practice a particular individual is willing to commit to the activity.
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  #465  
Old 03-13-2013, 01:58 PM
907miller 907miller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrhouck View Post
Logan, your timing is interesting, as I'm currently working on a course with very challenging routing, mostly due to a paved walking path and an uncrossable creek that sometimes get very narrow. Sounds like we've been looking at some similar puzzles. I like your thoughtful list of Pros and Cons -- you've obviously spent a lot of time finding the right answers, and you've obviously been very conscientious about safety issues, so I applaud you.

In addition to just being very careful and looking at over a dozen routing variations, I'm able to plant trees on this one, so that's a huge help.

When you count on players using a slower disc, as I almost did several times, you're asking for trouble. Some players, especially new ones, don't even own slower discs. Yes, they SHOULD throw with less speed on such a short hole, but is that going to be enough to keep pedestrians safe?

Also, when you go into it knowing a good number of players are going to "hate" it, to use your word, that would really make me pause.

I guess my bottom line question is this: if the hole is 120' long, do you really need it there? Maybe it makes sense to just add 120' to the walk between the previous hole and the next hole. Of course, that means adding a hole somewhere, or splitting up a hole somewhere. It's hard to say without knowing all the ins and outs, but based on what you've said, it sounds like there may still be a better solution out there.

As for a gap width formula, there's a third factor you need to include. That's the distance from the gap to the pin or landing area. If you have to hit a 12' gap that's 200' away, it matters if the pin is 50' past the gap or 100' past the gap. Different disc, different throwing speed, different success percentage.

Think about what Chuck said, and look at the percentage of players who are going to make the shot.
thanks chuck, john and jeverett for the insights. so my gap is approximately 14 degrees right now, which fits in the parameters you've recommended, jeverett, good to hear.

the path is maybe 100' past my proposed pin location, so its less about disc speed than about intended distance thrown i suppose... someone would almost have to be off by 2 times their intended distance to make it to the path...

hate is a strong word, im giving just assuming the worst because it is so unconventional.

we may not need it there, but it breaks up a 1000' walkout, where any prior walkout is less than 300'. its a tough call.

i think the third factor of distance from gap to pin is what makes this hole even a remote possibility, if it was longer the gap would appear far too small.

its pretty thick currently, so a trial run of this hole would require some clearing. might be worth it though, its a small area.
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  #466  
Old 03-13-2013, 02:05 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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Angle Accuracy

I don't have data for really short throws. Here is data from long and medium length throws. I used jeverett's "angular accuracy" for the x-axis.



To compute the size of the gap use:

Distance * 2 * Sin(Angular Accuracy), then add 8 inches (maybe more for Super Class) for the width of the disc.

As for luck:
Someone suggested in another thread that if a target (like a gap or window) is very small, then the chance that a player will hit a wider target goes up in proportion to the size of the target.

A player has three times as much chance of hitting any one of three chain links vs. the chance of hitting one specific chain link, for example. When a gap is that small, it is 100% luck as to whether a player hits it or not.

The bigger the target, the less luck is involved. Eventually, you get to the point where the player can hit the target every time, so making the target bigger would not increase the chance of that player hitting the target. At that point, there is zero luck.

Based on this definition of "luckiness", we can assign a value to each width of gap.



Note that Chuck's preference for gaps that can be hit 2/3 of time is also the point where a gap ceases to be mostly luckiness.

How can a gap be more than 100% lucky? It's because no one seems to throw exactly straight. More throws go just off to one side or the other than straight. For example, if you have a 5 foot gap between two 18 inch diameter trees 160 feet from the tee, more Red players will hit the trees than the gap, even though the effective width of both trees together is the same as the effective width of the gap.
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  #467  
Old 03-13-2013, 02:24 PM
907miller 907miller is offline
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wow! this is great info, thanks steve! where is all this data from? and what do the red blue yellow lines represent?
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  #468  
Old 03-13-2013, 02:54 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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Originally Posted by 907miller View Post
wow! this is great info, thanks steve! where is all this data from? and what do the red blue yellow lines represent?
At the 2008 Minnesota Majestic Chuck, Don Ticknor and I recorded throws on a wide-open flat hole. Red, Blue and Gold are the skill levels (850, 950 and 1000 rated).
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  #469  
Old 03-13-2013, 02:55 PM
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jeverett jeverett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 907miller View Post
wow! this is great info, thanks steve! where is all this data from? and what do the red blue yellow lines represent?
I agree, thank you very much Steve! It's great to have that data, especially represented using the angular accuracy metric. The three colors represent the associated player skill level (e.g. the Gold line represents the averaged 1000-rated player). Does that help?

Edit: I really like seeing the data coming out at roughly 50% success rate with a required angular accuracy of 7 degrees for Red through Blue level players.. that matches pretty closely with my observations of that scenario.

Last edited by jeverett; 03-13-2013 at 02:58 PM.
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  #470  
Old 03-13-2013, 03:34 PM
aardvarkious aardvarkious is offline
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I am making a course is designed for Advanced players with shorter tees for beginners.

Below is a crude drawing of one hole. I want this to be an ace run, but with some danger.

Currently the long hole is 300', but we can put the teebox as close or as far from the basket as we want. It is a straight hole. Along the left is a bunch of dense, young trees- if you end up in them, you will have no problem pitching back out to the fairway, but will have troubles finding a window for a birdie opportunity.

The basket is 30' out from these trees. Other than these trees along the left, it is a wide open field. We have been playing with OB along the right and behind the basket. This OB exists for two reasons. First (and most importantly), there is a parallel fairway on the other side of it we want to keep discs out of. We aren't too concerned about safety (both holes have completely unobstructed views of the other hole), but during leagues/tournaments want to preserve flow by making sure people aren't taking their second shot in another fairway. Second, the OB takes what is a hole that had little risk and adds some.

I don't want to move the basket. However, I can move the teebox and OB lines. So here is my question: for Advance players, what is a good length for this hole? How far behind the basket would you put OB? How far to the right would you put OB?

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