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Old 04-27-2012, 09:15 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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Default Cgkdisc and jeverett talk about par

I wanted to pose a question, without further polluting the "54 or Course Par" thread.

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Originally Posted by Cgkdisc View Post
Actual scoring for Open gold players at PW2007
Gold Hole 1: 63% 3s, 33% 4s, 4% 5s = 3.4 avg
Granite Hole 5: 67% 3s, 29% 4s, 4% 5s, 1% 6s = 3.4 avg
Granite Hole 9: 2% 2s, 69% 3s, 24% 4s, 5% 5s = 3.3 avg
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeverett View Post
Would that scoring distribution happen to be normed to a 1000-rating average? If so, it looks to me like:

A par 4 (Gold 1) with reasonable scoring spread.

A par 4 (hole 5) which could use maybe a very slight tweak (e.g. slightly longer basket position) for a slightly higher number of 4's (but at under 70% 3's the hole is still doing what it is intended to do).

A par 3 (hole 9) tweener, which could probably use either a shorter basket position or a much longer position and a par 4 treatment. Scoring distribution is still (slightly) under 70% 3's, though.
Jeverett: If most of the players are scoring 3, how can that be a par 4?

Isn't 3 "the score an expert disc golfer would be expected to make on a given hole"? Or "errorless play under ordinary weather conditions, allowing two close range throws to hole-out"?
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:23 PM
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I agree with Steve. Given a representative sample of a specific skill level (i.e. average player rating = 1000 for gold), par equals the mode score. All three of the example holes are tough par 3's. Make 'em easier to have better spreads as par 3's or make 'em harder to become par 4's.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:25 PM
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Oo a good discussion.. thanks for branching the thread, Steve. Just to add them here, I have two later posts on the other thread.. here's the text of them:

In response to cgkdisc:

The problem with simply converting a par 4 Blue-level hole isn't necessarily the skewed score distribution.. it's intended flight lines. At the Gold-level, are the pros really intended to find some line to the basket that the blue-level players aren't? Or are they just as limited by the available flight lines as the blue-level players? Without seeing hole 1, I can only guess that an accurate drive from a Gold-level player isn't any closer to the basket after their first drive than an accurate drive from a blue-level player. Neither are in the 100ft. range after said accurate drive, making this hole by definition a par 4 at both skill levels.. and a reasonably-well designed one, by the scoring spread distribution. Hole 5 same thing. If the ideal drive for a Gold-level player is still placing them outside 100ft., that's not a par 3 (or it could just be a badly-designed par 3). Hole 9 is the only one that sounds like the intended flight line actually elongates.. and at the blue level it's a definitely par 4, but at the Gold-level is a tweener. That would be the one hole that I could really see it might be worth it to tweak.. that and any of those par 2 candidates you mentioned.. but that's another story.

Again in response to cgkdisc:

I admit that having never seen any of these holes it's hard to understand their exact layouts, but by "two-shot par 3", are you meaning drive, jump-putt, putt? Because a two-(drive) par 3 is a contradiction of terms. By definition, two intended drives = par 4. It still sounds like a par 4.. and maybe a poorly-designed one at the Gold-level. The scoring distribution is still good for that one, though.

For hole 5, did those few players who got within 100ft. make it there due to a perfect 400ft. drive, or did they make it there with a much longer drive? If it's the former, that sounds like a solid case for a par 3. If it's the latter, once again that's a par 4, where top-level players are choosing to try for a riskier max-distance drive for a chance at a long eagle. Again, though, the scoring spread is reasonable.

For hole 9, it still sounds like Gold-level players aren't getting close enough to the pin even by taking the more direct angle. Without knowing anything about the terrain for the green, how about shortening the hole by ~20ft.?

Hi Steve,

From the scoring distribution, if the majority of Gold-level players are scoring a 3, the hole is an 'easy' must-hit par 4. Beyond the 'intended number of drives + 4 constant', the design success can be confirmed by looking at the scoring distribution. The very 'easiest' par 4 can be roughly idealized as an averaged 3.3.. or 70% birdies (3's) and 30% pars (4's). At this distribution, the hole is still 'working as intended', or spreading out the scores to within acceptable parameters. This same average roughly describes the 'hardest' par 3's, as well.. or 70% bogies (4's) and 30% pars (3's). Yes, you'll have double-bogies and such that slightly adjust these values upward. At ~3.4, holes 1 and 5 holes are both pretty borderline, but given the total lack of 2's, and the length of second drive/upshot required even after the ideal 400ft. drive, I'd still label both of them 'easy' par 4's.. which a course should have some of. It also should have 'hard' par 4's.. a reason I was suggesting possibly tweaking both 1 and 5 with longer/more guarded positions.

I'd also slightly reword your statement to: "errorless play *of averaged drive , fairway throw, and close-range distances* under ordinary weather conditions, allowing two close range throws to hole-out". After all, we need to average out 'errorless play' across all players in the 970-1030 range.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:40 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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You re-stated your beliefs, but I don't find any reasons.

Set aside whether a particular scoring spread is good or not. I'm just asking about what par to assign a scoring spread - even a bad one.

If 69% of players get a 3, isn't that one throw plus two close-range throws for all those players?

And, if no one (or very few players) got a lower score, doesn't that mean 3 is the error-free score, and anything higher includes an error? (While anything lower includes a miracle.)

I don't see any mention of "drive" in the definition of par.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
If 69% of players get a 3, isn't that one throw plus two close-range throws for all those players?

And, if no one (or very few players) got a lower score, doesn't that mean 3 is the error-free score, and anything higher includes an error? (While anything lower includes a miracle.)

I don't see any mention of "drive" in the definition of par.
Hi Steve,

I do admit I'm using Close Range Par more to define 'par' than the definition others might use.

If 69% of players get a 3, I'd strongly suspect that to be the 'not a golf shot' dilemma, or one drive plus one upshot outside of 100ft. plus one putt.. or a hole that is only borderline accomplishing its purpose in spreading out the scores. Sitting right on that 3.3 border, it could be either a par 3 or a par 4, depending again on the intended number of drives to reach close range, but it probably needs redesigning.

As I mentioned in a response to cgkdisc, if the reason very few players got the lower score is because those players were the only ones to get close enough to the basket to putt with the perfect 400ft. drive, that sounds like a case for a 'hard' par 3. But if the reason very few players got the lower score is because only one or two of them uncorked an accurate 500ft.+ drive, that instead sounds like a case for an 'easy' par 4 with a risky/long eagle opportunity.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:19 AM
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Someone elaborate on these concepts with opinion or facts:

Par is the number of reasonable optimal throws to complete hole...in this model OOB, elevated baskets and punishing trees are not factored into par as they are added strokes due to mistakes and not optimal throws....however when SSA is used to assign par many holes blow up due to these.

So for instance a short 220 hole surrounded by water might garner just as many 2s as circle 4s and SSA is close to 3 but in reality par based on ideal throws would be a 2?

Sellersville #9
http://www.dgcoursereview.com/view_i...502&p=6880d589

Or a hole with a very narrow gaps to hit that few will play clean but many will end up getting a SSA 4 either by recovery or short conservative shots.....technically an ideal throw would get you through the pinball fairway but this is not likely....just 360 ft but its a 4 due to tree hit potential. Even though the ideal throw would get you a 3.....seems the design is to test your weaving and recovery skills

Idlewild #8
http://www.dgcoursereview.com/view_i...507&p=431b4ef8
http://www.dgcoursereview.com/view_i...507&p=4b691fb4

Lastly the elevated basket....Hornet's Nest a very short hole that played conservatively should be a 2 (165 ft!) but missed putts and overaggressive play cause for blow ups...It's a par 3 but should be a 2 if played ideally.
Hornet's Nest #9
http://www.dgcoursereview.com/view_i...176&p=35cb69d7

My point in all this is that defining par based on optimal throws is silly and unreasonable. Water and OOB inflate scores, trees inflate scores, tricky baskets inflate scores....if all of these were played ideally they'd be birdies.

My main question is do you consider oob, tightness, and difficult basket positions into par even though these elements should not be factors with the optimal throw.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:48 AM
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Im going to have to read this when I have some time . . . looks interesting and important to a fledgling course designer
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optidiscic View Post
Someone elaborate on these concepts with opinion or facts:

Par is the number of reasonable optimal throws to complete hole...in this model OOB, elevated baskets and punishing trees are not factored into par as they are added strokes due to mistakes and not optimal throws....however when SSA is used to assign par many holes blow up due to these.

So for instance a short 220 hole surrounded by water might garner just as many 2s as circle 4s and SSA is close to 3 but in reality par based on ideal throws would be a 2?

Sellersville #9
http://www.dgcoursereview.com/view_i...502&p=6880d589

Or a hole with a very narrow gaps to hit that few will play clean but many will end up getting a SSA 4 either by recovery or short conservative shots.....technically an ideal throw would get you through the pinball fairway but this is not likely....just 360 ft but its a 4 due to tree hit potential. Even though the ideal throw would get you a 3.....seems the design is to test your weaving and recovery skills

Idlewild #8
http://www.dgcoursereview.com/view_i...507&p=431b4ef8
http://www.dgcoursereview.com/view_i...507&p=4b691fb4

Lastly the elevated basket....Hornet's Nest a very short hole that played conservatively should be a 2 (165 ft!) but missed putts and overaggressive play cause for blow ups...It's a par 3 but should be a 2 if played ideally.
Hornet's Nest #9
http://www.dgcoursereview.com/view_i...176&p=35cb69d7

My point in all this is that defining par based on optimal throws is silly and unreasonable. Water and OOB inflate scores, trees inflate scores, tricky baskets inflate scores....if all of these were played ideally they'd be birdies.

My main question is do you consider oob, tightness, and difficult basket positions into par even though these elements should not be factors with the optimal throw.
Hi Optidisc,

No, I personally wouldn't consider oob, tightness, or difficult basket position factors in determining par. Those are factors for determining the effectiveness of the hole at serving its primary purpose: spreading out the scores so fewer than 70% of the target group receive an identical score. i.e. two step process: 1). evaluate intended number of drives, fairway drives, and upshots, and add two (for close range), based on the physical parameters of the hole and the averaged distances of the target group for each type of throw. This determines par. Then 2). evaluate the hole for effectiveness, by examining the scoring distribution of the target group. This determines if the hole is acceptable or needs redesigning.

Sellersville #9 at 220ft. definitely looks like it is intended as a single drive followed by close range, or par 3. The distance to close range is under 400ft., so still par 3. The scoring spread sounds interesting.. maybe something like 30/40/30? Sounds well-designed to me, providing that Gold-level players aren't, for example, putting up 70% pars (e.g. 15/70/15).

For Idlewild #8, at 360ft. that could be a par 3.. but is the intended shot supposed to travel all the way to the basket? How far out are you if you hit the trees on a drive that should land within 100ft. of the basket otherwise? What's the probability of that event? I've seen plenty of holes with thick rows of guardian trees that essentially block all shots from more than 30ft. away. The ideal 400ft. drive in a lot of these holes places you on the fairway with a good 150ft. line to go around the row of trees for a landing within the circle, making it a definite par 4. If the ideal throw on Idlewild #8 really just comes down to blind luck on landing within 100ft. of the basket, I'd still label it a par 4.. especially if the 'safe' call is to lay up short for a route around the trees. The scoring spread also sounds more like a par 4 to me.

For Hornet's Nest #9, it again sounds like the hole is intended as one drive followed by close range, or a par 3. For the scoring spread, however, just how risky is it? i.e. if 70% of the target group are just laying up for the 3, that sounds like a candidate for redesign. If the scoring spread is wider than that, though, it sounds like a well-designed (and pretty neat) hole.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:02 AM
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I have brought this up as in my experience SSA and par do not always make for a great marriage. Although many swear by this methodology and it has made for some true gold layouts (Iron Hill in DE is the prime example True SSA/PAR 72) What SSA lacks is how is the SSA achieved. Are players blowing up on tricky baskets at Renny? Are players getting pinballed at Idlewild? Are they getting wet and blowing up at Maple Hill? Iron Hill has virtually zero oob, zero tricky baskets, and zero pinbally fairways.....essentially it's you and your ability to keep a drive on a long fairway through the woods and putting out.(sounds easy) so SSA and par work well together here as scores are based on performance essentially and not oob, tricky green blow ups, and punishing pinball situations ON THE FAIRWAY. I enjoy all these crazy elements I should add.
In short my point is that optimal throws would render the crazy elements irrelevent but in reality scores will be higher...thus SSA and par don't always match. These elements do add to the scores of those who don't make an optimal throw...thus a bad drive is extra punished and a missed putt is extra punished likewise laying up or playing safe also punishes as you gain a stroke for not playing aggressive. (laying up on a 25 foot putt on a cliff basket or playing safe and not risking getting wet)
Scoring spreads are what good design is about....achieving that spread in a fair manner is the holy grail of good course design.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optidiscic View Post
Scoring spreads are what good design is about....achieving that spread in a fair manner is the holy grail of good course design.
I agree with you 100% on this. One of the reasons I like the 'intended drives + 2' and CR Par combination for evaluating par is that it tends to try to push hole scoring spread away from the 'bad' 70% identical scores benchmark.

Using SSA measurements, 'bad' holes are those in the 3.5 (median) range.. yet these holes often still suitably spread out the scoring spread.

Using the intended drives + 2 and CR Par combination, 'bad' holes are those in the 3.3 (median) range.. holes that are also typically butting up against 70% identical scores. Plus, you can use the scoring spread distribution to verify/refute the *intended* number of drives accuracy. If your median score for the hole is pushing toward 3.3 and 70% 3's, very likely the reality is that your target group isn't actually making the intended shot frequently enough.
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