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Old 08-04-2019, 02:48 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
Par Delusionary
Join Date: Dec 2009
Years Playing: 46.4
Courses Played: 426
Posts: 5,438
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Originally Posted by ChrisWoj View Post
Blobby lookin' fellow, any significance to the seemingly weak positive correlation?
Don't know for sure. Feel free to speculate. I'll start.

Some reasons for the positive part are obvious. There just isn't "room" to fit in different length holes if you don't have enough total length for really long holes.

The maximum variety would be achieved by making each hole 20% longer than the next-shorter one. Assuming no hole is shorter than 120 feet, to get 18 different lengths for all 18 holes would mean that the longest hole would be 2,662 feet long and the total length of the course would be 15,374 feet.

It think the maximum variety you could fit into a 3,600 foot course would be 5.96, or 9.64 for a 5,400 foot course, or 11.64 for a 7,200 foot course. (With no holes shorter than 120 feet.)

Similarly, the lengths of the longest and shortest holes put limits on the variety than can be achieved. That's why courses with more holes don't exhibit noticeably more variety. Between 200 feet and 600 feet you can only squeeze in about 6 different hole lengths whether you have 18 or 27 holes to do it.

As for the weak part, I think two things contribute. There may be others.

First, not many designers have been trying to get a lot of hole variety. Even if they had, it hasn't been measured before, and nothing can be optimized without accurate feedback.

Second, the most prolific designers have a philosophy of designing courses with "proper" hole lengths for a specific level of skill. That limits hole lengths to tight groupings around one-drive, two-drive, and (maybe) three-drive holes.

Similarly, the lengths of holes on local-player-designed courses probably all cluster around the length of the longest controllable drive by that player.

I'm not saying hole length variety is a goal in and of itself. I do think adding hole length variety is a good thing - if it is done within the constraints of the other goals for the course. For example, old-school designers could choose to make some of the holes at the short end of "proper" and others at the long end, or make an effort to find a place for that three-drive hole. Or include a zero-drive hole.

Personally, I design for the whole group of players that will be using a course. For me, increasing hole length variety helps make sure all users will have at least some holes "fit" for them. Also, so not all the holes are only good for my arm.

I also like to maximize hole length variety for an Ace Race. For those, the shortest holes should be putts anyway, so you can fit a lot of variety into 18 holes. If the shortest hole is 10 meters and the longest about 250 feet, you could have hole length variety of 11.64.

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