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View Poll Results: Which of these best describes Hole 18 at the Utah Open?
A par 2 where 38% of throws are errors, and 1% of throws are hero throws. 6 25.00%
A par 3 where 24% of throws are errors, and 33% of throws are hero throws. 16 66.67%
A par 4 where 16% of throws are hero throws, and 23% are double heroes. 1 4.17%
A par 5 where 37% of throws are hero throws, and 21% are double heroes. 0 0%
A par 6 where 16% of throws are hero throws, and 62% are double heroes. 1 4.17%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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  #501  
Old 04-11-2017, 12:26 PM
gdub58 gdub58 is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
There is only one true par - based on what an expert would expect. However, I see value in modified pars as a form of handicapping. Based on true par, a beginner would score anywhere from 15 to 45 over par, depending on the course. Not only is that disheartening, but it gives them no clue as to whether they did well or are getting better.
Why do you advocate different pars as a form of handicapping rather than just using a handicapping system itself? If we assume that there is only one true par, then wouldn't we be better off sticking with that concept and having gross/net scores as in ball golf? I don't believe that telling someone that what is a par three for some players is a par five for them would be any less disheartening than telling them they scored two throws more than the "true par".


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Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
With a par that reflects what they should expect with errorless play, they can see how they are doing and track their increase in skill over time on any course.
They would also see progress if their handicap went from a 30 to a 20. With a system of different pars, at what point would you tell someone they have improved to the point that they can move to the next set of pars? Would it be based on their expectation changing?

I think the concept of "errorless play" is harder to apply to those with lower ratings/higher handicaps. The less skilled have larger margins of error, so "errorless" is much harder to achieve but yields the same result. For example, a very wide range of golfers would expect to get a three on a 400 foot hole with moderate hazards if they had errorless play but the likelihood of that happening for an 800 rated player would be much different than for a 900 rated one.
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  #502  
Old 04-11-2017, 12:37 PM
gdub58 gdub58 is offline
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Originally Posted by TimSyl View Post
Yep GDub, I also am from a golf background. Having different length tees is a great solution.

We have the machismo in disc too. My home course has two sets, and many newbs play the longs because they don't want to play the "ladies tees". Our courses are frickin' hard from the longs.
We sure do. Whenever I play a new course, I always choose to play the longest tees because I want to test myself against the hardest layout even though I'm pushing 60 and have to throw blizzard plastic to get it out to 350'.

That's part of what makes this discussion so interesting to me. In ball golf, I have no problem playing the blue tees instead of the black on a lot of courses - I will look at the scorecard and see which set of tees is in the 6500-6900 yard range and play those because that is commensurate with my five handicap, and because I want the opportunity to shoot a round close to par. In disc golf, since course design and sign pars are all over the place, which tees I use or how hard the course plays doesn't really matter. If disc golf courses and par assignments were more standardized and there were multiple tees I'm not sure that would be the case, but to be honest the variety is one of the things that makes the game so appealing...
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  #503  
Old 04-11-2017, 02:05 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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Originally Posted by gdub58 View Post
Why do you advocate different pars as a form of handicapping rather than just using a handicapping system itself? If we assume that there is only one true par, then wouldn't we be better off sticking with that concept and having gross/net scores as in ball golf? I don't believe that telling someone that what is a par three for some players is a par five for them would be any less disheartening than telling them they scored two throws more than the "true par".
Golf has different pars for men and women. What is that other than different pars for different skill levels? Why not let all players have a par for their own skill level?

To, me pars for different skill levels just skip the whole handicapping step and give you the net par. It may not look as accurate because it's not specific to an individual, but it is a lot simpler than the 26-page USGA handicapping method.

I suppose instead of listing the par for various skill levels, we could list the number of throws each skill level gets to subtract from their score.

However, the concept of "my par" seems a lot easier to digest. I've never met a disc golfer who didn't refer to "a good score for me" or some similar phrase. I've also never met one who said "I usually get a score about 6 throws above what an expert would get on a par 54 course, and about 13 throws above what an expert would get on a par 68 course" or anything similar.

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Originally Posted by gdub58 View Post
They would also see progress if their handicap went from a 30 to a 20. With a system of different pars, at what point would you tell someone they have improved to the point that they can move to the next set of pars? Would it be based on their expectation changing?
Sure. For casual play, they'd figure out when they're starting to get close to the higher skill level par. For tournaments with different pars for different divisions, they'd get the right par by entering the right division.

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Originally Posted by gdub58 View Post
I think the concept of "errorless play" is harder to apply to those with lower ratings/higher handicaps. The less skilled have larger margins of error, so "errorless" is much harder to achieve but yields the same result. For example, a very wide range of golfers would expect to get a three on a 400 foot hole with moderate hazards if they had errorless play but the likelihood of that happening for an 800 rated player would be much different than for a 900 rated one.
Side note: A 300 foot hole is par 3 for everybody. The average length of hole in disc golf is right at 300 feet. All par 3 wins again!

Anyway, I set par for different skill levels based on the same expectation: At least 75% of your throws will be good enough to get par on the toughest holes. On average, 90% of your throws will be good enough to get par.

No matter how skilled or unskilled you are, we all have a distribution of throws from one in a thousand good luck to the worst throw we've ever made. I think we think of our "errors" in terms of the same fraction of our throws.
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  #504  
Old 04-11-2017, 02:38 PM
Lazerface Lazerface is offline
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I was sort of anti PAR reform when this discussion began, but I'm coming around. It's funny because I don't think the majority of players in either sport really think of PAR as it is defined "....score and expert is expected to get". I still hate the idea of not "putting" for birdie, but objectively speaking I think adjusting PAR to fit the actual definition has more utility to the players/audience.

There is no real argument against Steve's point that PAR is wrong. It simply is. The question is can others follow my lead and accept the fact that sometimes we are just "throwing" for birdie?

I have been pumbled in this discussion. (PAR humbled).
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  #505  
Old 04-11-2017, 02:53 PM
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lyleoross lyleoross is offline
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Originally Posted by Lazerface View Post
I was sort of anti PAR reform when this discussion began, but I'm coming around. It's funny because I don't think the majority of players in either sport really think of PAR as it is defined "....score and expert is expected to get". I still hate the idea of not "putting" for birdie, but objectively speaking I think adjusting PAR to fit the actual definition has more utility to the players/audience.

There is no real argument against Steve's point that PAR is wrong. It simply is. The question is can others follow my lead and accept the fact that sometimes we are just "throwing" for birdie?

I have been pumbled in this discussion. (PAR humbled).
Gawd Lazer, there you go being more adult than the rest of us.

Sorry for the diversion but it seems that few of us can change our opinions on anything anymore. I'm right, is our mantra. And no, I don't think I'm an exception. That's why I admire Lazer, Chuck, Steve, David, ARay and some others. They'll listen and respond politely, even to me!
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  #506  
Old 04-11-2017, 06:21 PM
gdub58 gdub58 is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
Golf has different pars for men and women. What is that other than different pars for different skill levels? Why not let all players have a par for their own skill level?
It is rare for holes to be different pars for men and women - it most often occurs on holes that are long par fours for men and hole design makes it inconvenient to have a shorter tee for the women, so it becomes a par five for them. In the vast majority of cases, there is simply a shorter tee for the women and the same par.

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Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
To, me pars for different skill levels just skip the whole handicapping step and give you the net par. It may not look as accurate because it's not specific to an individual, but it is a lot simpler than the 26-page USGA handicapping method.
Please. The 26 pages are full of a lot of silly details about things like the definition of tee markers and how to measure holes. The USGA loves long-winded explanations - it gives them purpose. The handicapping process and calculations themselves are pretty straight-forward.

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Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
I suppose instead of listing the par for various skill levels, we could list the number of throws each skill level gets to subtract from their score.
Well, that's how handicapping works so we're back to that. How would you propose to determine, let's say for a 900 rated player, how many throws they would subtract from their score on each hole?

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Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
However, the concept of "my par" seems a lot easier to digest. I've never met a disc golfer who didn't refer to "a good score for me" or some similar phrase. I've also never met one who said "I usually get a score about 6 throws above what an expert would get on a par 54 course, and about 13 throws above what an expert would get on a par 68 course" or anything similar.
I'm not sure what your point is. Even with handicaps in ball golf, players know what a good score is for them on a particular course. That doesn't necessarily equate to a player saying "a good score for me is 85, so I will refer to 85 as my par". This would be especially awkward at the hole level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
Sure. For casual play, they'd figure out when they're starting to get close to the higher skill level par. For tournaments with different pars for different divisions, they'd get the right par by entering the right division.
I'm genuinely interested in the details of what you are saying here. How do you figure out when you are close enough to the next skill level to use different pars? As for tournaments, are you agreeing with the concept of strict ratings-based divisions?
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  #507  
Old 04-11-2017, 06:37 PM
gdub58 gdub58 is offline
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Gawd Lazer, there you go being more adult than the rest of us.

Sorry for the diversion but it seems that few of us can change our opinions on anything anymore. I'm right, is our mantra. And no, I don't think I'm an exception. That's why I admire Lazer, Chuck, Steve, David, ARay and some others. They'll listen and respond politely, even to me!
Gee Lyle, I'm very sad to not be on your list of your admired posters. When have I been anything but polite?

OK, maybe I'm a bit sarcastic at times, but it that so bad?

Look, I think Steve has some good points and I like that he and I can engage in this discussion in a reasonable, intelligent way. Should pars be set better in pro tournaments? Absolutely. Do I have an aversion to the concept of par twos that is hard to defend? Probably.

All that aside, I have asked a number of questions about how par would be used in our game outside of the pro tour and don't get a lot of specific responses from the person who is advocating for them. So, until then, I will keep (politely) challenging the idealistic notion that par can be a universally meaningful measurement in disc golf.
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  #508  
Old 04-11-2017, 07:02 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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Originally Posted by gdub58 View Post
All that aside, I have asked a number of questions about how par would be used in our game outside of the pro tour and don't get a lot of specific responses from the person who is advocating for them. So, until then, I will keep (politely) challenging the idealistic notion that par can be a universally meaningful measurement in disc golf.
A universally accepted and applied par might have some other benefits for the rest of us:

* It would give a standard measure of course difficulty. If I tell you a course is a par-62, that might mean something to you. As it is, is it highly dependent on who set the par, and how. (SSA does this, perhaps even better, if you can find it).

* It would make scores portable. If I say, "I shot 2 under" yesterday, you'll know whether that's good or not. (I won't say it because, if par is set correctly, I won't shoot 2 under. But you get the drift).

* It would allow for handicapping, with handicaps being portable from course to course. At the very least, a casual handicap system: I average 10 over, you average 6 over, we know how we should compare when we meet.

And perhaps more; those come to mind.

And that said, I agree that it's idealistic, and a bit of a pipe dream. It's not happening.

Nor do I think it's important. It would be nice, but not important. At least, not to me.

BUT.......if a tighter standard can be applied to the pros, for top events----Majors and the 3 top-level tours---it would be a start. Who knows, over time it might trickle down.

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  #509  
Old 04-11-2017, 08:15 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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Originally Posted by gdub58 View Post
It is rare for holes to be different pars for men and women...
True, but they do use a different formula. So, they have different pars. Gold Par and Blue par are generally the same for holes in the 275 to 435 range (which is a lot of holes), but it's the differences that matter.



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Originally Posted by gdub58 View Post
Please. The 26 pages are full of a lot of silly details about things like the definition of tee markers and how to measure holes. The USGA loves long-winded explanations - it gives them purpose. The handicapping process and calculations themselves are pretty straight-forward.
OK, it probably could be explained in less than 2 pages. I have studied and learned the system. Even programed it in to test its use in disc golf. But, it's too hard to remember for me to be able to recall enough to be able to explain it in detail. The first page I landed on in that document looked like something from the whiteboard in the background of Big Bang Theory. The formula had arrows connecting different parts. Arrows!


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Originally Posted by gdub58 View Post
Well, that's how handicapping works so we're back to that. How would you propose to determine, let's say for a 900 rated player, how many throws they would subtract from their score on each hole?
White par minus Gold par.


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Originally Posted by gdub58 View Post
I'm genuinely interested in the details of what you are saying here. How do you figure out when you are close enough to the next skill level to use different pars? As for tournaments, are you agreeing with the concept of strict ratings-based divisions?
For casual play, whenever they start noticing they are scoring under par a lot. For tournaments, there is a list of which color par is appropriate for the division. if people aren't entering the right division, they shouldn't have much hope of scoring under par.

Strict ratings-based divisions have a lot of pluses. There are enough minuses that I haven't taken a stand on whether it would be better to move to them.
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  #510  
Old 04-12-2017, 12:00 AM
gdub58 gdub58 is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidSauls View Post
A universally accepted and applied par might have some other benefits for the rest of us:

* It would give a standard measure of course difficulty. If I tell you a course is a par-62, that might mean something to you. As it is, is it highly dependent on who set the par, and how. (SSA does this, perhaps even better, if you can find it).

* It would make scores portable. If I say, "I shot 2 under" yesterday, you'll know whether that's good or not. (I won't say it because, if par is set correctly, I won't shoot 2 under. But you get the drift).

* It would allow for handicapping, with handicaps being portable from course to course. At the very least, a casual handicap system: I average 10 over, you average 6 over, we know how we should compare when we meet.

And perhaps more; those come to mind.

And that said, I agree that it's idealistic, and a bit of a pipe dream. It's not happening.

Nor do I think it's important. It would be nice, but not important. At least, not to me.

BUT.......if a tighter standard can be applied to the pros, for top events----Majors and the 3 top-level tours---it would be a start. Who knows, over time it might trickle down.
Agree with pretty much everything you say here, David. The biggest obstacle IMO is agreeing on what par (gold, blue, red, etc.) would be used across all courses for reference purposes and then somehow getting that standard applied to tee signs or scorecards. SSA is a good point of reference, but when you get courses with multiple tee and basket locations it quickly gets very muddy. That's one of the main reasons I've pushed back so much on Steve - while I absolutely agree that a better standard for top events as he has advocated for would be great, getting to a standard beyond that is quixotic...
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