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Old 07-17-2017, 01:38 PM
ToddL ToddL is offline
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Default Par 4s - multiple in a row or sprinkle par 3s into them?

Generally speaking, do you prefer to have a few par 4s stacked back-to-back, or do you like to have par 3s between them?

In tournament play, I think most backups come when a difficult par 4 follows an easy(ish) par 3. The guys on the tee pad for the 4 have to sit and wait while the chuckers ahead of them hack their way 400 ft down the fairway, and by that time the group behind them has flown through the easy par 3 and are now waiting as well. As long as you've already started a backup, would it be better to just go ahead and stick a couple more par 4s immediately following this one?

A. 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3
B. 3, 3, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3
C. 3, 3, 4, 3, 3, 4, 3, 3, 4

In casual play, I think I like the variety of bouncing back and forth between long and short, easy and hard. But in tournament play, those backups are just killer. Would Layout A only result in one backup while Layout B/C would have 3 separate backups?
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:51 PM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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I think it depends far more on the terrain you have to work with and the type of holes it will yield. My feeling is you pick the set of holes that best fits the land you're using. No sense in forcing a par 4 where a par 3 is a better fit (given the features in place) or vice versa. If the result is a string of par 4s, so be it. If it spreads them out, fine.

Also, what kind of par 4 are we talking about? One that is wide open and long? Tight and bendy? Par 4s that back up tend to be the type where one group can't tee off until the group in front is finished the hole. That doesn't always have to be the case. If it's a true two-shot par 4, then once the first group has cleared the first landing area, the next group should be able to tee. In such cases, the concern for back-ups should be minimal and it doesn't matter what precedes it.

Frankly, I feel that is the cause of more back-ups than the actual design of a course. People get into the mentality of par 3 golf where you wait for the hole to be entirely clear before throwing, and quite often, that is waiting longer than necessary. If you can't reach the next group (by which I mean not coming within 100-150 feet of them with your best shot), throw. Having two groups playing a hole simultaneously is not against the rules.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:12 PM
ToddL ToddL is offline
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Originally Posted by JC17393 View Post
I think it depends far more on the terrain you have to work with and the type of holes it will yield. My feeling is you pick the set of holes that best fits the land you're using. No sense in forcing a par 4 where a par 3 is a better fit (given the features in place) or vice versa. If the result is a string of par 4s, so be it. If it spreads them out, fine.
I don't want to make this too much about the specific cast I have in mind, but here's the layout anyway. The question I'm mulling is more an issue of routing than hole design.



The route could either go:
1 - A, B, C, D, E, F, G
2 - A, B, E, F, D, C, G

I could stick the two par 3s between two of the par 4s, or I could just do all three par 4s in a row with the par 3s after. It wouldn't really affect any hole design.

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Originally Posted by JC17393 View Post
Also, what kind of par 4 are we talking about? One that is wide open and long? Tight and bendy? Par 4s that back up tend to be the type where one group can't tee off until the group in front is finished the hole. That doesn't always have to be the case. If it's a true two-shot par 4, then once the first group has cleared the first landing area, the next group should be able to tee. In such cases, the concern for back-ups should be minimal and it doesn't matter what precedes it.

Frankly, I feel that is the cause of more back-ups than the actual design of a course. People get into the mentality of par 3 golf where you wait for the hole to be entirely clear before throwing, and quite often, that is waiting longer than necessary. If you can't reach the next group (by which I mean not coming within 100-150 feet of them with your best shot), throw. Having two groups playing a hole simultaneously is not against the rules.
This is definitely one of the big problems.
In a true dogleg hole, the guys waiting on the tee can go ahead and tee as soon as the forward group gets around the corner. On a more straight shot, the guys on the tee all sit there and act as if there's a good chance they're going to hit the guys 450' down a wooded fairway. So they wait 5 minutes and then hit a tree 100' off the tee pad and take 10 minutes to get far enough down the fairway for the guys behind them to just repeat the whole ordeal.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:23 PM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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Not being able to see the actual terrain, I can't be 100% certain what I'd do. But just from the map, I'd go ahead with the alphabetical order and do the two par 3s after the first par 4. In part because the last par 4 (F) seems less of a back-up concern IF people are treating it like a true par 4 and teeing off as soon as the group in front is around the corner.

So the only potential back-up concern is hole E, but that may be mitigated a bit if hole B does what par4s often do and succeeds in spreading groups out a touch. My guess would be that by the time group 1 finishes hole B, they'll be able to complete hole C maybe before group 2 finishes B. Therefore they should arrive at E with a full hole's gap behind them and presumably that same size gap in front of them...meaning the group they're following should be on E's fairway somewhere and the wait should be minimal at most before they can tee off.

Of course, all it takes is one slow group or one lost disc to mess up the timing, but that's the case no matter what the holes being played.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:26 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is online now
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It depends in part on the nature of the Par-3s. The real problem comes with some of those "It's-really-a-Par-2-but-we-don't-want-to-call-it-that" holes.

I think it's better when they're staggered, because you have individual waits---but not the massive waits when a string of easy holes runs into a tough higher-par hole, and suddenly you've got multiple groups backed up on the tee.

Generally, I think it's something to live with, because better the good holes, however they fall, than to compromise hole design for tournament pace-of-play.

On the other hand, reviewing a new hole at Stoney Hill, we have discussed breaking up a tough string of Par4s with an easy hole, just for the psychological break. The easy hole could be extended, but probably won't be. (Garnet #4, if you've been there this year).
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:05 PM
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pauldst pauldst is offline
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Originally Posted by JC17393 View Post
Of course, all it takes is one slow group or one lost disc to mess up the timing, but that's the case no matter what the holes being played.
I think that this is a key issue, bringing up the question, "How much risk on each hole is there of losing a disc?"

How much underbrush is there? Are there rises and dips that will hide discs from being easily found? Is there a lot of debris--leaves, logs, branches, etc.--on the ground?

Also, it seems to me that 'A' may cause delays. Even the pros who can easily carry that water shot sometimes mess up and throw one in the water (watching video lately, I've seen Val Jenkins-Doss throw several memorable wormburners). The rules for such cases on that hole can make a big difference to speed of play; from what your diagram shows, re-tee would be faster than going to a drop zone, but you would still probably have to plan for those who don't want to make that throw again. (Out of curiousity, how long is the water carry?)
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:25 PM
ToddL ToddL is offline
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No real risk of lost discs, but wooded holes are always slow. There's always one dude taking a double bogey and complaining that the lines are too tight.

Hole A could have anywhere from 270-300' water carry. Could be tough if you can't clear the water, but there's tons of bail-out space to the left. If you're scared, throw 250' to the right and you'll have a 100' water carry.
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:29 PM
ToddL ToddL is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidSauls View Post
On the other hand, reviewing a new hole at Stoney Hill, we have discussed breaking up a tough string of Par4s with an easy hole, just for the psychological break. The easy hole could be extended, but probably won't be. (Garnet #4, if you've been there this year).
Man, I haven't played anywhere in about a year and a half. Up at Ashe County last weekend was probably my 15th round since May of last year. My leg's healed up, but I spend way more time cutting trees down than playing.

And I wouldn't know the Garnet layout if it bit me. I just stare at the scorecard and follow the group in front of me.

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Old 07-18-2017, 02:52 PM
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Man, I haven't played anywhere in about a year and a half. Up at Ashe County last weekend was probably my 15th round since May of last year. My leg's healed up, but I spend way more time cutting trees down than playing.

And I wouldn't know the Garnet layout if it bit me. I just stare at the scorecard and follow the group in front of me.
Heal up for The Battle, and you can follow a group around and see it. It's the climb-fewer-hills layout; we built 2 holes in December so now there are only 4 holes in common with the Diamond layout. We have ideas on separating out 3 of them.

(And you have my sympathy; I barely played for 7 months, and didn't play a tournament for 1 years. I'm making up for it now by throwing a lot more throws per round).

But to the point, we built 2 holes in December. One is a birdie run, which we could convert to a par-4, but doing so would make a stretch of 4 consecutive par-4s. And the Garnet is supposed to be the less-strenuous layout. So for now, hit the line on this hole and it's a birdie (miss it, and you might be facing bogey). So we're leaving it short. For now.

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Old 02-23-2018, 10:47 AM
curmudgeonDwindle curmudgeonDwindle is offline
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I'm not certain if this is an appropriate 'a priori' design question, although it's good to keep these considerations in mind from the outset, I wouldn't make a definite decision like this one while still walking the property and marking the maps.

Make the highest quality play value course you can with the resources available, without considerations to back-ups and like, first. Adjust later if you must. If if is possible to 'plan around' a potential back-up, it would be best situated at the turn (assuming returning 9s) or other similar transition spot - giving players a chance to break when they normally might anyway...

All routings have some sort of rhythm. Be it staccato, syncopation, increase/decrease of tension, etc., but high quality routings will blend this with the landscape naturalistically to reinforce play value and the unifying stylistic idea for the course. Transitions are also a part of the experience of rhythm. A very good example of what I mean here is Bradford Park, in Huntersville, NC.

fwiw
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