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-   -   Course Optics/Visibility (https://www.dgcoursereview.com/forums/showthread.php?t=130963)

mrtho 06-28-2018 07:37 AM

As a player not a designer I don't feel that seeing the basket from the tee is mandatory, but do agree with the posters above about not hiding it just because. If you are sticking it behind a tree trunk just where it isn't visible then it can usually be moved a foot or two to make it visible without changing how a hole plays.

However on one of the courses I like to play there are two holes (9 baskets but each has 2 tees) that would be almost totally open if the basket wasn't centered behind a huge Willow that goes all the way to the ground. Another course has a hole with line of trees along the left of an open fairway and the basket is in a grove of trees at the end tucked off to the left so that the line of trees blocks your view. In both cases the hole would give up alot by making the basket visible from the tee and Im glad the designer put them where they are.

Long story short: design the hole where it is challenging then fine tune the basket in to view if possible without changing the way the hole is played.

curmudgeonDwindle 09-15-2018 09:24 AM

Course optics/visibility
 
I'm waiting out this hurricane, so bear with me, as some of what I'm about to say is 'obvious' but may be helpful in informing your general philosophical approaches to design. For me, its often helpful to review old lessons.

A golf course is a landscape designed for human pleasure - it is not strictly a 'utilitarian' landscape. A golf course is also basically a path (or trail) one builds that others will follow. One helpful mnemonic analogy for a golf course can be a narrative or story - that being case, what sort of story do folks enjoy? Perhaps some mystery, some unpredictability? Twists and turns? Are appearances deceiving?

What I'm driving at is that one needs elements of a predictable structure AND elements that break that structure to enhance interest and pleasure - in short, variety. There is nothing 'wrong' with a blind hole in and of itself, in fact, one of the most popular courses where I live features almost exclusively blind holes (Kilbourne). A straight-forward opener should be very inviting to the uninitiated, but the designer does well to consider what he's 'inviting' the players into - consider the opening sequence to 'The Angry Beaver' which consists of 3 straight-forward, short 2-shot holes before dramatically increasing the length, complexity and difficulty of the holes as players venture further into the 'deep, dark forest'. This may seem corny, but the point is that the most successful designs are unified - each individual element harmoniously supports all the others and most importantly supports the main idea of the course.

That being said, in my experience and from a practical pov, the designer should give indications of the 'correct line of play' - the 'fair-way'(which doesn't negate the possibility of deception, but more on that in another post perhaps). If the target is not visible from the tee, the golfer should perceive a 'safe' landing zone (or 'bail-out' area), to which they can play with a minimum of trouble. This is especially important for lower skill players and players opting for a conservative tack on a given hole. Hazards, like thick rough, ob areas, ponds and the like should not be hidden from the golfer off the tee. The reason for this is the tee shot is the only 'gimme' on the course; the assumption being you give the golfer the perfect place to make the most perfect shot he can on any given hole (criticisms of lousy tee pads are valid) - which doesn't mean you cannot tempt golfers with a juicy but dangerous birdie (McDaniel is an expert in temptation). So consider your blind targets' and hazard placements' with this in mind. These are general rules of thumb - there's nothing inherently 'wrong' about idiosyncratic holes on a course (#9 @ Hornet's Nest) or what I interpret to be a blind ob on your course's first hole, however, these elements are best balanced within the loose framework of design ideology I've already described.

In general, I'm not a fan of the penal design school, but it still has a place in the sport. I don't feel these types of designs serve the majority of the golfing public well and are best reserved for the top players competing for the most prestigious titles (and to keep their egos in check). This brings us to the most important consideration of all, which is who will read your story? or How might one make this story inviting and pleasurable to the largest number of 'readers'? Is this a story someone might like to read over and over again? Or is it a 'one-off'? Will the financiers of this story's creation be pleased?

Also note that from a practical pov, dependent upon foot-traffic, underbrush will magically disappear by itself, but clearing some underbrush from areas with a high 'lie' potential will speed play and reduce frustration for all golfers, if not improve aesthetics. It would be wise to be careful you're not unwittingly increasing the likelihood of erosion in these cases.fwiw...

BogeyNoMore 09-15-2018 10:30 AM

^ Excellent post. In essence, designing holes that aren't simply good indivdual holes, but that work well together, to create a feeling, such that the course maintains your interest, rather than feeling repetitive.

I believe that's the key factor (or at least one of them) in creating a course where "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

I'm sure that's far easier said than done, but I think that's the intangible that gives some courses an extra half or full disc rating higher than you might expect looking at the individual holes.

Cgkdisc 09-15-2018 11:03 AM

Is your design philosophy more like a Party Host or Dungeon Master?

Gblambert 09-15-2018 11:48 AM

Our course initially had three long par 3 holes with doglegs where the baskets couldn't be seen from the tee pad. From a design perspective we liked having a few blind holes for variety and because they add a bit of difficulty to the course. Turns out though that the blind holes were slowing down play, so we later went back and cut sight lines on two of them.

Even with great tee signs, new players felt compelled to walk halfway down the fairway before playing the hole so they could actually see the basket before throwing. Cutting the sight lines eliminated these walks and it also seemed like the players were spending less time looking for discs in the brush that surrounds the baskets. We didn't keep before and after data to prove it, but it's been our experience that players get better scores on these holes now and spend less time looking for discs when they can see where the disc lands from the tee pad.

After cutting the site lines we also found that the holes were actually more fun to throw. Instead of only seeing the disc during the initial throw, we can now make the throw, wait a couple of seconds, then watch the disc pop into view at the end of the sight line.

curmudgeonDwindle 09-15-2018 07:23 PM

My personal design philosophy is like Johnny Appleseed...

DavidSauls 09-15-2018 08:00 PM

The story our course tells is like one of those serial mysteries, where you never know which way the plot will turn, or who will turn out to be the villain, in the next episode.

joecoin 09-15-2018 08:35 PM

My private course is first and foremost just that; private.

This has led me to hiding baskets so they are not visible from the road. The road I'm on is a public right of way, single lane dead end. Not much traffic, but it only takes one undesirable to cause headaches.

Mando 05-31-2019 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by curmudgeonDwindle (Post 3353432)

A golf course is a landscape designed for human pleasure - it is not strictly a 'utilitarian' landscape. A golf course is also basically a path (or trail) one builds that others will follow. One helpful mnemonic analogy for a golf course can be a narrative or story - that being case, what sort of story do folks enjoy? Perhaps some mystery, some unpredictability? Twists and turns? Are appearances deceiving?

What I'm driving at is that one needs elements of a predictable structure AND elements that break that structure to enhance interest and pleasure - in short, variety...but the point is that the most successful designs are unified - each individual element harmoniously supports all the others and most importantly supports the main idea of the course.

Hazards, like thick rough, ob areas, ponds and the like should not be hidden from the golfer off the tee. The reason for this is the tee shot is the only 'gimme' on the course; the assumption being you give the golfer the perfect place to make the most perfect shot he can on any given hole

This brings us to the most important consideration of all, which is who will read your story? or How might one make this story inviting and pleasurable to the largest number of 'readers'? Is this a story someone might like to read over and over again? Or is it a 'one-off'? Will the financiers of this story's creation be pleased?

Great analogy. I like it !

Mando 05-31-2019 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by curmudgeonDwindle (Post 3353432)
This brings us to the most important consideration of all, which is who will read your story? or How might one make this story inviting and pleasurable to the largest number of 'readers'? Is this a story someone might like to read over and over again? Or is it a 'one-off'?

And what if the author eschews the notion of writing with the goal of being a best-seller for an audience of imbeciles ?


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