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Old 05-18-2016, 07:22 AM
BuzzSharpe BuzzSharpe is offline
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Default PDGA Updates Par Guidelines

This past week, the PDGA updated their longstanding "Determining Par for Each Tee Color Based on Hole Length and Foliage Density" chart. Notable changes include the distance range is now 125' to 1300', as opposed to the old chart's 150' to 1100', though within their design guidelines, holes can be as short as approximately 100' and as long as approximately 1500'. Other updates include the (unrecommended) possibility for White Par 2's, accompanying their already existing (unrecommended) accommodation for Blue and Gold Par 2's, as well as Red Par 6's, which was previously not charted. And the break point distances for higher Par assignations were increased by about fifty feet across the board.
Wonder if this will change some people's opinion that it is an antiquated, obsolete, out of date dinosaur of a document to be ignored?
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:43 AM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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Doubtful. I've always found "foliage density" too vague to be useful. And doglegs are tricky---the ones that require a landing zone aren't as hard to measure as the ones that allow the possibility of a shot getting around the corner and significantly up the next segment.

I wouldn't pan it as severely as you do---I think it displays a general concept fairly well---but it's not terribly valuable for setting par, either.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:11 AM
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Aim For The Chains Aim For The Chains is offline
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Doubtful. I think it displays a general concept fairly well---but it's not terribly valuable for setting par, either.
So what is then? Its the damn PDGA guideline. Does someone else have more authority on governing the sport?

Par is commented as a joke but it actually makes this sport seem like a joke to those on the outside when comparing to "golf" as we get tied into thanks to the name.

Hell I dont even know what a good total score is on some layouts. Par here is one thing for courses its another at the actual course then scorecard has different info.... Course local dude says XYZ score is good while owner says he sets par for all players blah blah blah.

It doesnt make a course unplayable not being defined accurately but just a poor way to present a product. Its like a race with no length or courts with no set dimensions etc.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:52 AM
bhadella bhadella is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidSauls View Post
Doubtful. I've always found "foliage density" too vague to be useful. And doglegs are tricky---the ones that require a landing zone aren't as hard to measure as the ones that allow the possibility of a shot getting around the corner and significantly up the next segment.

I wouldn't pan it as severely as you do---I think it displays a general concept fairly well---but it's not terribly valuable for setting par, either.
Foliage density is definitely the key. I personally think what is considering "Heavy" foliage is actually medium foliage and a higher foliage density level is needed. Locally all of our Gold'ish courses (par rounds rate around 980) have par 5s would be shorter than what is recommended. Nevin #5, #10 and #17 and The Web #3 and #16 to name a few.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:22 AM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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Foliage density is definitely the key. I personally think what is considering "Heavy" foliage is actually medium foliage and a higher foliage density level is needed. Locally all of our Gold'ish courses (par rounds rate around 980) have par 5s would be shorter than what is recommended. Nevin #5, #10 and #17 and The Web #3 and #16 to name a few.
Do you have tournament scores for those? We can test whether the par 5s are easier to par than the other holes.

It seems to me that a par that is a few lower (to rate 1000 or better) would be more appropriate for Open.

Perhaps the par 5s need to be updated to the new standards.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:48 AM
bhadella bhadella is offline
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Do you have tournament scores for those? We can test whether the par 5s are easier to par than the other holes.

It seems to me that a par that is a few lower (to rate 1000 or better) would be more appropriate for Open.

Perhaps the par 5s need to be updated to the new standards.
Nope, it would be an interesting review. Someone might have 2012 Worlds data from Nevin where they played #5. The last local "gold" layout that had tournaments results was Renny Gold at the 2015 Carolina Clash Round 3. Par 70 came out at 996, Par 69 (-1) was 1002 rated.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:21 AM
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Cgkdisc Cgkdisc is offline
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The Public Par guidelines including the recent update are more to help players get a feel for appropriate pars than to actually be the bible for how designers and TDs should set it. There's a more detailed process that takes into account more of the items mentioned by Sauls above. Ultimately, holes should be tested to see how well they delivered what the designer intended using a validation process. Here's what I wrote on this several years ago and is still on the PDGA site: Course Design Validation
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bhadella View Post
Foliage density is definitely the key. I personally think what is considering "Heavy" foliage is actually medium foliage and a higher foliage density level is needed. Locally all of our Gold'ish courses (par rounds rate around 980) have par 5s would be shorter than what is recommended. Nevin #5, #10 and #17 and The Web #3 and #16 to name a few.
I never know how to compare a tight shot through the woods with a narrow but defined fairway, nor a hole that is open for 400', then a tunnel for the final 200'.

I think the chart's virtues are showing different, somewhat overlapping pars for different skill levels, and showing that distance is only one factor in determining par.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:26 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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The Public Par guidelines including the recent update are more to help players get a feel for appropriate pars than to actually be the bible for how designers and TDs should set it. ...
I put together a lot of the methods - calibrated to be compatible with the new quidelines - here.
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:56 PM
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goosefraba1 goosefraba1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Cgkdisc View Post
The Public Par guidelines including the recent update are more to help players get a feel for appropriate pars than to actually be the bible for how designers and TDs should set it. There's a more detailed process that takes into account more of the items mentioned by Sauls above. Ultimately, holes should be tested to see how well they delivered what the designer intended using a validation process. Here's what I wrote on this several years ago and is still on the PDGA site: Course Design Validation
Great read!
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