Old 09-06-2017, 11:32 AM
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Bart Bird Bart Bird is offline
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Default "Signature" Holes

Question for all course designers: when you are developing the course plan, do you give specific thought/emphasis to including a "signature" hole, like Blue Ribbon Pines #4?
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:38 PM
Casey 1988 Casey 1988 is offline
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Not really with a course my dad a friend and then My brother and I designed. this course: https://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=2444 We did on hole 17 kind of make that a signature hole as we did with 4 but then the trees died in a storm replanted different kind of trees though. Then we did with hole 7 going into the woods. Hole 8 can be tough if it is not designed right. Then with this course: https://www.dgcoursereview.com/cours...d=1704&mode=ci we did not design the original 9 but did change a few of the original holes. I do think the sigature of the back 9 my dad a friend and then My brother and I designed, is one I insisted back in 2006 had the basket behind a dead branch on a tree that is still on the tree. The branch is in the way of putting if you land in behind the low hanging tree branch. I am happy with that hole as if the tree branch was not their, the hole would be either a just under 360 or a just over 300 depending on which tee you use.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:09 PM
biscoe biscoe is offline
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Yes and no- mostly no in my case. (about 2 dozen courses worth) One of the biggest mistakes a designer can make is to wed themselves to a single exceptional hole at the expense of the course in general. The goal is to maximize the property and often that means that what may be the single best hole on the property has to fall to the wayside. Sometimes it does work out that there is a demonstrable "signature hole", sometimes there is one but it doesn't wind up being the hole you expect it to be. if this sounds deliberately vague it is because the course design process in itself differs greatly from one parcel of land to another.

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Old 09-06-2017, 11:27 PM
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Typically when you first visit the property, you see features you want to use well in your design. As the layout and hole designs emerge, you probably have a sense what hole(s) players will see as signature holes. But as Biscoe mentions, don't get trapped into saving a potential signature hole if it screws up the routing or quality of other holes. However, if the course owner or park department wants a particular hole, then you need to do your best to work around that one if it doesn't flow naturally.

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Old 09-07-2017, 11:05 AM
curmudgeonDwindle curmudgeonDwindle is offline
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What Chuck doesn't explicitly state is that the land available will dictate, in most respects, what the course is like, this is because almost all DG course designs are 'subtractive' at this point, in terms of what is done to the land. Just as important to the character of the course are the wishes of the property controller. It is then up to the designer to 'make things happen'.

Not all courses can have an actual 'signature' hole, other than in a marketing sense.
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:28 PM
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I am going to agree with everyone else's comments so far. I only got 3 courses under my belt but, I can say I would rather have a course with well designed holes over a course with a few signature holes that has all sorts of safety issues or long walks or filler holes or any combination of those things.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:30 PM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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I'll chime in to agree with everyone else. You can try to plan for and design a "signature" hole, but if it doesn't fit, you have to be prepared to abandon it. IMO, as much as you can design something to be the signature hole, sometimes the true signature holes just happen by (happy) accident.

I'm on my first solo design after apprenticing (for lack of a better term) with another designer on about a dozen courses and maintaining/tweaking a few others, and the first rule I had to understand was to not be precious about my ideas, particularly at the expense of the rest of the course. Early on, I designed a couple holes I felt had potential to be signatures because they included a significant feature of the property. Those designs have since been tweaked and re-routed and ultimately abandoned because I couldn't find a good way to get to them or to get out of them. But sometimes you find a new way to include that feature anyway. Maybe not in a "signature" way, but in a way that better serves the course overall.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:35 PM
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Some courses have built their signatures holes with man made structures or gimmicks or earth moving in what would otherwise be a very bland or forgettable hole.

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Old 09-09-2017, 08:26 AM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is online now
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Only being responsible for one course, and half-responsible at that, I will confess that in the first few years we talked about building "18 signature holes". Despite the absurdity---if 18 are signatures, then none are signatures---that concept slowed the process considerably. Well, that, and the labor involved. But for holes that are scenic and emblematic of the course, we might have ended up with 3 or 4.

Several of which we did cement into the design at the beginning, and then work around. They may have been tweaked over time, but 3 are essentially the same as they were when we had just a 7-hole course.

Eventually, though, we hedged a bit. We built a second, overlapping layout, so that those "signature" holes didn't entirely stop us from building other holes in the same areas.
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Old 09-09-2017, 03:04 PM
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Not at the expense of the overall product. Unless the overall product is going to be awful regardless, then maybe.
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