#541  
Old 05-17-2013, 11:30 AM
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grodney grodney is online now
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Hi John. As the designer of some of the best 2-shot and 3-shot holes in the world, what is your take on having Stand & Deliver mandated for non-tee-shots?
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  #542  
Old 05-17-2013, 12:06 PM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by grodney View Post
Hi John. As the designer of some of the best 2-shot and 3-shot holes in the world, what is your take on having Stand & Deliver mandated for non-tee-shots?
Rodney, I'm glad you appreciate those holes -- I know you've played a lot of my favorites. I saw your S&D thread the other day, so I have actually thought about it a bit. I am not a fan. For those who haven't seen the thread http://www.dgcoursereview.com/forums...ighlight=stand here is Rodney's summary of the pros and cons:

Advantages:
- Easier for player to take and confirm a correct stance.
- Easier for stance violations to be called.
- Adds an additional skill to be developed and demonstrated.
- Allows multi-shot holes to be shorter distances, thus allowing less space to be used.
- Fewer injuries caused by fairway runups.

Disadvantages:
- Removes the "wow factor" of long throws.
- The runup is fundamental to throwing.
- More injuries caused by standing.
- Gives an unfair advantage to strong players.
- Judgement call on the 1-second no-forward-movement period.

The first two advantages on stance calls would be nice, but I don't see that we have a big problem there. And you counterbalance it to some degree with the 1-second period, "Adding an additional skill" is counterbalanced by removing an additional skill. Using less land can certainly be an advantage in theory, but I think the difference in the amount of land used would be quite small.

You have injuries on both lists. I don't see that we have a substantial problem now, and I'm not sure which would be more harmful.

To me, the biggest issue is the freedom to throw how you want, and the great enjoyment we get from throwing as far as possible, which you sometimes have to do on second and third shots. I just can't see a way to justify taking that away.

And I'll give you another disadvantage: it reduces the reward for keeping your drive in the fairway. If you miss the fairway in an area with trees or other obstacles, your run-up may be compromised, whereas in the fairway it won't be. I count on that when designing rough areas.

And here's one more. I love to use a putter for approach shots whenever I can. If I couldn't run up on a 200-275' footer, I might have to move to a midrange disc. I think taking away that disc choice makes the game less strategic.

One more interesting note: the new course at Frost Valley YMCA has several rocky areas that I was able to incorporate as a different kind of "sand trap." I immediately thought of the S&D debate when I saw them. In these areas, you will not be able to use a run-up, so they are a natural and elegant way to create extra challenge for a shot that missed the fairway.
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  #543  
Old 05-17-2013, 12:30 PM
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grodney grodney is online now
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Awesome John, thanks. Although we disagree on a couple of the points, your comments obviously echo the more intelligent responses on that thread. No sense re-hashing those differences here in your thread -- I'll save that for in-person over a Shiner. As a visionary, legend, and friend, I appreciate your insights on the design and game-play aspects.

And add another YAHTZEE to the Frost Valley project with those naturally-occurring "bunkers". Wow.
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  #544  
Old 05-17-2013, 02:59 PM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Yeah, the Frost Valley areas worked out better than I had hoped. Since there weren't trees involved, I didn't think it was right to call them PITTSBOROS, so we're now calling them Footing Restricted Opportunities to Save Three (FROST). They're mentioned in my upcoming article in the PDGA magazine.

As a friend, I look forward to that Shiner, and I respect your right to be wrong (just as you respect mine, of course).
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  #545  
Old 05-21-2013, 02:17 PM
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Dan Ensor Dan Ensor is offline
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John,

I'm curious, why is the drive not the second most important shot in disc golf (after the putt) like it is in ball golf?



Thanks for this thread; I love it!
Dan, I'm really glad to hear that you enjoy this thread.

I'm not sure how to answer your question -- did someone say that the drive is the most important shot in disc golf? I've pretty much always been in the "Drive for show, putt for dough" camp. Though sometimes I think that on well-constructed par fours, the approach shot can actually be more important than the drive. Where's your question coming from?

Sorry it's taken a while for me to get back here; and also that I didn't explain this well enough. In ball golf, putting is #1. You hit 18-36 putts a round. Driving is #2. On average, you hit 16 drives a round (every hole but par 3s). Approach game is #3. Any time you go for a green and miss, your approach game comes in to play and can count as a putt if you're good at it. Long iron game is #4. Generally, you'll hit 4 long irons a round (2 par 3s, 2 par 5s), and you're only rewarded if they're spot on; pretty close is the same as not close at all because your approach game should cover the span between pretty close and not close.

In disc golf, Putting is #1 for the same reason. However, 90+% of the courses I play, "long iron" shots (200-350') take the place of driving, and driving takes the place of long irons. Then I would say the escape game of disc golf is synonymous with the approach game of ball golf.

Edit: I might almost say 200-350 is the most important distance. Seems like I have a shot at this distance on most holes; if it's withing 30, this distance is equal to putting, but you can park those shots and not need to putt. I actually went through a time playing some of my best rounds where I never putted. I'd just lay it up next to the basket and drop it in; never trying to "make a putt".

Now, the problem I have is that any hacker/chucker can park a 300' hole, and they have 16 chances a round to do that. However, AJ or GG can park a 450' hole, and they have about 2 chances a round to do that. And it's 50% more difficult for them to park that hole (just based on angular error, I suppose). Some famous golfer (might have been hogan) said "Par 3s are the great equalizer. Anyone can get lucky and take a stroke on me on a par 3."

So I suppose the question I'm asking is "is this intentional, or a condition of disc golf not having great choices in land to put courses on?" And if it's intentional, what is the reason for it?

Last edited by Dan Ensor; 05-21-2013 at 02:20 PM.
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  #546  
Old 06-05-2013, 01:36 AM
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TalbotTrojan TalbotTrojan is offline
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So, maybe this has been asked before, but John, would you classify your course design work as a hobby or a job? Will there ever be enough money in disc golf to make something like this a career?
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  #547  
Old 06-05-2013, 02:08 AM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by TalbotTrojan View Post
So, maybe this has been asked before, but John, would you classify your course design work as a hobby or a job? Will there ever be enough money in disc golf to make something like this a career?
Thanks for the question, TT. Easiest one in a long time, actually: course design is absolutely my full-time job. As far as there being enough money, we're getting closer all the time. The sport keeps growing, as does the demand for the highest quality courses.
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  #548  
Old 06-28-2013, 03:21 AM
texhop58 texhop58 is offline
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Simple question: should wind be a factor in hole length.
Reason: the course I helped designed is almost always windy more then 15 mph. It's usually in 20's with gust into the 40s (typical for north Texas)
We put in the first 12 in march (avg 262 in length). Some said they were too easy/short when being built yet scores have ranged with the local best player scoring -9 to plus 3. He usually is around -5/6range and is about 975 player. When there is no wind he usually rips up the course. I did my walk through the ideal last 6. They were to be our long holes with the last 6 averaging 375. I am now thinking maybe we should shrink the lengths of some because of the normal terrible wind conditions.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:15 AM
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grodney grodney is online now
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Originally Posted by johnrhouck View Post
Actually, here's how all my courses are designed: the idea is that each hole is reachable in 1, 2, or 3 shots. Not one and a half shots or two and a quarter shots, etc.
So on a 1-shot hole, for instance, do you ever watch players play it? If so, are you ever concerned with how it's playing? I know you probably can't put numbers on it, but if you watch a field of 72 players play a 1-shot hole you designed, at what point does their performance concern you? If only 10% of them are putting after 1 shot, are you concerned? 20%? When do you start to re-think your design or consider a tweak?
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  #550  
Old 06-28-2013, 10:26 AM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by texhop58 View Post
Simple question: should wind be a factor in hole length.
Reason: the course I helped designed is almost always windy more then 15 mph. It's usually in 20's with gust into the 40s (typical for north Texas)
We put in the first 12 in march (avg 262 in length). Some said they were too easy/short when being built yet scores have ranged with the local best player scoring -9 to plus 3. He usually is around -5/6range and is about 975 player. When there is no wind he usually rips up the course. I did my walk through the ideal last 6. They were to be our long holes with the last 6 averaging 375. I am now thinking maybe we should shrink the lengths of some because of the normal terrible wind conditions.
Texhop, I like the way you're thinking about this question. Wind absolutely needs to be a consideration in hole length.

To find a solution, I would look a different data. Rather than looking at players' total score for the holes you have, look at the scores for individual players on individual holes. I think that's what Rodney was pointing to.

For your new holes, again look at individual lengths. If an average of 375' means some holes are 370' and some are 380', you're probably gong to have a problem. If it means some are 275' and some are 475' (upwind), then you might be OK.

The big picture is always important, but you need to make sure each individual hole works.
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