#71  
Old 04-23-2010, 12:36 AM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by Three Putt View Post
So how far is that?

We moved a tee at my local course behind a pond. The water carry is nothing, something like 80' maybe. For anybody with reasonable skills the water isn't even a factor. I play with my 9 and 6 year old daughters, and 80' makes the hole unplayable for them. They also can't hit the bail out spot because of the shape of the pond. I think we need another tee in front of the pond, but most of the people I've talked to think I'm crazy because it would make a pretty lousy hole. I think keeping the course playable for kids and new players trumps having a tough hole in a public park.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out how much of a jerk to be on this one. Basically I'm just trying to gauge how crazy I am.
In this type of case, the numbers don't lie. If people are throwing in the water and have no opportunity to play safe, the carry is too long. In this case, it seems too long for younger kids. I think Rhinesel is right: drop a couple discs on the ground and make a special tee for your kids.

If you think there are going to be a good numbers of kids who are playing without supervision (or at least without parents who know how to keep them out of the water), then make a tee for them. I'm really intrigued by the counterargument you cite: "it would make a pretty lousy hole."

OK, it would make a lousy hole for adults. So adults don't use that tee. What's the big deal? I've made courses that are full of beginner tees that make lousy holes for experienced players. For that matter, if you're not a gold level player, there are some pretty lousy holes -- for you -- on the Jackson course at the IDGC.

Unless I'm missing something, it seems like you have offered a simple, workable solution. And in case there's any confusion, no one should feel obligated to use every tee on a course. Use the ones that make sense for your skill level.

By the way, I've never heard of anyone who aroused angry neighbors by catering to kids in the park. On the contrary, it usually makes our sport look good.

Thanks,
John
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  #72  
Old 04-23-2010, 12:39 AM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by fairweather_fan View Post
thank you both for taking the time to answer some of our questions! i've got a few off the top of my head to pose:

*do you have a preference for a certain mix of pars, if the land is available and fitting, such as 9 par 3s, 5 par 4s, and 4 par 5s (or some other combination)?

*how close, in general, do you believe to be 'too close' to have an O.B. area (water or otherwise) to a basket or green?

*what are a few courses by other designers that you hold in the highest regard?

thanks again...
Great questions. I'm not sure there is a perfect mix of pars -- I think the land generally dictates what will work best. But I do think that par fours add a lot of dimension to the game, and when I can, I prefer to have as many par fours as par threes (if not more). I also think that really good pars fives are harder to design in disc golf than they are in traditional golf, and sometimes the land just doesn't give you many. Last week I completed the preliminary design of a great new course on Nantucket Island. Right now it's looking like seven par threes, eight par fours, and three par fives. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

I don't have a rule for how close a basket can be to OB. I know I'll diverge from some other designers here, but I think that answer depends on a number of factors. For example, if someone's approaching from 300', the basket shouldn't be as close to OB as if they're approaching from 150'. Wind would be another factor. We had one hole in Sana Saba that I think was maybe 7'-8' from OB; normally I wouldn't put a basket that close, but in that particular case, I think it worked.

Just off the top of my head ... Like many people I think Harold's done a great job with Winthrop Gold. Many of the techniques he's used there aren't appropriate for public park courses, but they work great for the USDGC. Harold is a very thoughtful and sensible designer. Closer to home, I think Mike Olse did a great job at Manor. And there are many more praiseworthy courses out there.

Thanks,
John
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  #73  
Old 04-23-2010, 11:09 AM
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Dave242 Dave242 is offline
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Hi John & Dee - great stuff...thank you!

I grew up in DG in Charlotte NC and am strongly influenced by Stan McDaniel & Harold Duvall designs (and I have read all your stuff online). I recently moved to Chicago and am proposing to bring a Blue level Par-64ish course to the big flat city of lousy 9-holers. I am in discussions with Park & Rec now.

You have mentioned that Par 5's are difficult to design well. What are your thoughts on this hole? I realize you are very limited by looking just at an aerial & topo map.



First throw is a onto a island/peninsula (at least for tournament play) that takes 260' (195' effective) just to get onto the "peninsula". OB access road (no traffic ever except maybe Zamboni) on right, woods on left. Narrowing landing zone toward a 10' gap to enter the woods (the trees shown have been cut down, the white line is the tree line).

Second throw is about 230' (265' effective) through the 10' gap into woods with mature oaks spaced 10' to 50' apart with enough underbrush to carve out a fairway that would punish bad kicks.

Approach is then around 200' through the same sort of woods.

The risk/reward plan is to make the hole eagle-able (3) if you push your drive way up the narrowing landing zone. If you stay inbounds and are lined up well you will have a 2nd shot of around 330' (350' effective) through the woods to get into putting range.
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  #74  
Old 04-24-2010, 12:43 PM
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magictenor1 magictenor1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Putt View Post
So how far is that?

We moved a tee at my local course behind a pond. The water carry is nothing, something like 80' maybe. For anybody with reasonable skills the water isn't even a factor. I play with my 9 and 6 year old daughters, and 80' makes the hole unplayable for them. They also can't hit the bail out spot because of the shape of the pond. I think we need another tee in front of the pond, but most of the people I've talked to think I'm crazy because it would make a pretty lousy hole. I think keeping the course playable for kids and new players trumps having a tough hole in a public park.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out how much of a jerk to be on this one. Basically I'm just trying to gauge how crazy I am.
I think you are right on target. At my home course there are a few holes like that where women and kids often don't want to even throw for fear of losing discs in the water. We are putting in some alternate tees just for them. Also at Paul B. Johnson there is a hole over water that has a 3rd tee for just that reason (all the other holes have 2 tees but this one has 3). One of the Pensacola Navy base courses has junior tees for the entire course. I wish more courses would do this as it would really help families and groups with widely varied skill levels.
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  #75  
Old 04-24-2010, 12:53 PM
Cgkdisc Cgkdisc is online now
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This is from the PDGA Course Design Guidelines:

"No player throwing from the shortest (or only) tee on a hole should ever be "forced" to throw over water that is normally greater than 18" deep (50cm). Design an alternate flight path (usually to the left) that gives player the option to not cross water. Any normally dry trenches or bodies of water under 18" deep that are regularly in play should have safe paths down and out to be able to throw and/or retrieve discs safely."
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  #76  
Old 04-24-2010, 07:04 PM
Peterb Peterb is offline
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Originally Posted by johnrhouck View Post
Ah, angry neighbors... let's check the handbook...

First off, I think it's important to always be respectful. They have a right to their opinion, and you'll do better if you hear them out. Sometimes they're a bit misinformed, so if you can calmly educate them, you may just get through. If they educate you, you might be able to help address their concerns (by re-routing the course, putting in trash cans, etc. etc.)

Whenever you can, get them to a basket and have them make a couple putts. I've seen that simple activity turn on light bulbs above many people's heads. Get their kids to try it.

Sometimes it helps to set up some temporary holes and have people play them, so that the neighbors see that disc golf isn't evil and isn't going to ruin the neighborhood. You might even need to hold a couple events using temporary baskets before you can get approval from the naysayers.

I hope that helps a little. I know you guys in SF have had a lot of hurdles, but it sounds like you're making good progress. Please tell my old friend Ross "The Toss" Hammond that I said hi. We played disc together in Buffalo in the late '70's.

Thanks,
John
I'll be playing the SF weekly with Mr. Hammond, and will send him your best wishes.

Somehow I doubt that many of the neighbors will ever be swayed. Several of them value the park for its serenity. The last thing they want are middle schoolers coming into the park to shred plastic.
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  #77  
Old 04-27-2010, 04:02 PM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by Dave242 View Post
Hi John & Dee - great stuff...thank you!

I grew up in DG in Charlotte NC and am strongly influenced by Stan McDaniel & Harold Duvall designs (and I have read all your stuff online). I recently moved to Chicago and am proposing to bring a Blue level Par-64ish course to the big flat city of lousy 9-holers. I am in discussions with Park & Rec now.

You have mentioned that Par 5's are difficult to design well. What are your thoughts on this hole? I realize you are very limited by looking just at an aerial & topo map.



First throw is a onto a island/peninsula (at least for tournament play) that takes 260' (195' effective) just to get onto the "peninsula". OB access road (no traffic ever except maybe Zamboni) on right, woods on left. Narrowing landing zone toward a 10' gap to enter the woods (the trees shown have been cut down, the white line is the tree line).

Second throw is about 230' (265' effective) through the 10' gap into woods with mature oaks spaced 10' to 50' apart with enough underbrush to carve out a fairway that would punish bad kicks.

Approach is then around 200' through the same sort of woods.

The risk/reward plan is to make the hole eagle-able (3) if you push your drive way up the narrowing landing zone. If you stay inbounds and are lined up well you will have a 2nd shot of around 330' (350' effective) through the woods to get into putting range.
Dave,

Now that's a great question. I'm eager to dig in to it. Thanks to everyone else for their patience. My wonderful wife and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary the next couple nights, and then I've got family coming in to celebrate my 50th birthday/the 20th year of World's Biggest this weekend. Nobody throws a party like Dee, and I hear she's got several great surprises lined up. Of course, you're all invited...

Anyway, you probably won't see any thorough answers from my keyboard the next week or so, but keep the questions coming. Dave -- if your question is time-sensitive, let me know.

A little good news: just finished the design of a very nice course at Trinity University in San Antonio. Great location and great people. The property was only big enough for 6 holes, but it's definitely the best 6-hole course I've ever done. It could be installed within the next couple weeks; no word yet on whether it will be open to the public.
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  #78  
Old 04-27-2010, 04:31 PM
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Dave242 Dave242 is offline
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Thanks for the response. No rush.....any more. I had a walk-through with the Planning Director and we did not talk specifics of individual holes. I was thinking we might and so I wanted to be prepared and your input (whether positive or negative/cautionary) would have been great food for thought.

I am still very interested in hearing your thoughts. I have never seen a hole like this implemented (drive to narrowing landing zone followed by an narrow-ish gap, then one more through through the woods) but have seen elements of it implemented in lots of places. I think it has a lot of potential, but I do want to make sure I do it right (at least no fatal no-no's).

Anyway - have a happy birthday and anniversary. My wife has the same sort of party-throwing talent your wife has it seems. Had a huge party 2 weekends ago and went away for our anniversary this last weekend......and I have to admit that I logged into this site on my PDA a few times to see if you had responded.
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  #79  
Old 04-28-2010, 08:35 AM
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grodney grodney is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave242 View Post
First throw is a onto a island/peninsula (at least for tournament play) that takes 260' (195' effective) just to get onto the "peninsula".
To clarify:
The picture shows 350 (310 effective) for the first shot. So, it's 260 to get over the sidewalk (or path/road/whatever), and 350 to the middle of the peninsula (or landing area)? Is that what you're saying?

Other than that, I think the gap into the woods is key. I'm wondering how this 10' gap actually plays? If that gap is too small, you're making your landing area too small.

That is, if I throw a good solid drive to the landing area, I should at least be able to advance into the woods such that I can reasonably reach the pin on my 3rd. If the gap at the woods is too small, you're forcing players to either: a) Get their drive lined up *perfectly* just to throw a reasonable 2nd, or b) Throw what is essentially a layup barely into the gap and thus leaving too far for their 3rd.

In my opinion, a less-than-perfect drive should not *dramatically* decrease your opportunity for reaching the pin in 3 shots. Yes, it should make it tougher to get there in 3 (duh), but it shouldn't eliminate it.

Designer: "Okay, the drive is 350 (plays 310). Now, I'm EVIL, so even though this peninsula is 60 feet wide, if you don't hit the middle 15' of it, you've got to lay up into the gap, leaving you 330 (350 effective) to the pin! See, I'm EVIL!! Bwwwah ha ha haha haha hahahaha ha. Pure genius. Pure EVIL!!!"

Rodney: "That's dumb."

Admittedly, this is a very fine line.


Edit: We should have a special splinter thread called "People Who Aren't John Houck Responding to Questions Meant for John Houck".
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  #80  
Old 04-28-2010, 08:44 AM
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grodney grodney is offline
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Question for John: I know you're not a pure numbers guy (understatement?). But if you design a par-3 (one-shot hole) for a particular skill level (gold, blue, whatever), what percentage of players (of that skill level) would you like to see putting on their 2nd shot?

Your answer would obviously vary, but let's go low end. That is, what is the LOWEST percentage you would want to see putting (under normal weather conditions)? If only 10% of the field* is putting, is that too low? Is 30% too low? Is 50% too low?


*I say "field", because even in a certain skill level (gold, blue, whatever), there will be a range of skills, right?


P.S. Hi John! Hi Dee!
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