#81  
Old 11-18-2019, 08:11 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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How else would you define a "Great Course"? UDisc produces similar ratings to this site, with a somewhat different clientele. What courses draw players from far away, or are "must stop" courses for travelers? What rec players are compiling lists of "Great Courses", after playing several hundred, that differ significantly from these?

I agree that forced water carries, without options, aren't "best practices", particularly for everyday courses. But I feel there's difference between everyday courses, and great courses.
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  #82  
Old 11-18-2019, 08:38 PM
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Cgkdisc Cgkdisc is offline
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How else would you define a "Great Course"? UDisc produces similar ratings to this site, with a somewhat different clientele. What courses draw players from far away, or are "must stop" courses for travelers? What rec players are compiling lists of "Great Courses", after playing several hundred, that differ significantly from these?

I agree that forced water carries, without options, aren't "best practices", particularly for everyday courses. But I feel there's difference between everyday courses, and great courses.
As a private owner, you can do what you want and many players consider what you've done as great including me. The down side is that what private owners feel they can do is not necessarily ideal for good design principles on public courses. In fact, breaking conservative principles is what can make some feel a course is great. And when holes/courses are seen as great, the principles used on them are pointed to as "great" and mimicked on public courses where maybe they shouldn't be such as crossing fairways and island holes.

Personally, the courses I feel are great to play for me, are not necessarily ones I would design for clients because their audience and needs are different from mine. My concern is that not enough are designing for new people the manufacturers would like to attract to playing (like women and older players).

Our current base of players can be conflicted because making courses more appealing for lower skilled players means more crowds on the courses and dealing with "disc chargers." The tougher you make the courses, fewer lower skilled players will enjoy playing them and you'll get high fives from your peers for your tough design, especially when promising the park dept it's worth it to make an 8000+ ft course to attract tournaments.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:44 PM
Casey 1988 Casey 1988 is offline
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But not just open long holes as is the effect of needing other challenges to the course to make them better.

Another thing they need is working baskets that are in okay working order, maintained with no broken or missing parts or at least replaced even if with non brand parts on some baskets like having to replace a fully rusty chain set or missing S hooks on a basket. This helps insure a great course. Also keeping the baskets the same or as close as the same as one can, do not replace a damaged basket with a different model like a Mach V for a modern Mach II to save money as much as a modern Mach II looks like a old cage Mach V they are slightly different baskets in more then just the Disc Cage height and how durable the baskets are. Also do not replace with a different brand entirely just because that is your favorite basket as that is not fair to people, thought some baskets are the exact same model just within in the same company with the other brands logo on the basket for a bit less.
As more and more of the good to great courses become semi private in that they are at state parks, county parks that you have to pay to play the idea that some of the funding go back to course maintenance as in a basket is not fully fixed then it will detract the course rating and in some places by quite a bit. Now some Sate/county parks have had bit natural disasters on the entire course and park, so the people are just waiting for enough funds to replace and fix everything at onceon th course.
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  #84  
Old 11-18-2019, 09:04 PM
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BogeyNoMore BogeyNoMore is offline
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I like to see water on courses, just not positioned aggressively if loss is likely, especially for rec players, even those who try the long tees. There should be a route they can take to avoid the water or at least cross a corner less than 50-60 feet across. Clear, shallow water, creek beds can be ideal as long as players can get to their discs. I look for those options during design but they're not as common as muddy, deeper creeks, some with steep banks.

If a player loses a disc for some reason, I'm hoping it's because of a riskier choice they made and not one I "forced" them to make.
I might have set the minimum 75 ft or so, but I think we're on the same page.

When the water is big like the ponds at Flyboy, there should be shorter tees to cut the corner. But every piece of property is unique, and not every situation allows for such optimal tee placements.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:13 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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As a private owner, you can do what you want and many players consider what you've done as great including me. The down side is that what private owners feel they can do is not necessarily ideal for good design principles on public courses. In fact, breaking conservative principles is what can make some feel a course is great. And when holes/courses are seen as great, the principles used on them are pointed to as "great" and mimicked on public courses where maybe they shouldn't be such as crossing fairways and island holes.

Personally, the courses I feel are great to play for me, are not necessarily ones I would design for clients because their audience and needs are different from mine. My concern is that not enough are designing for new people the manufacturers would like to attract to playing (like women and older players).

Our current base of players can be conflicted because making courses more appealing for lower skilled players means more crowds on the courses and dealing with "disc chargers." The tougher you make the courses, fewer lower skilled players will enjoy playing them and you'll get high fives from your peers for your tough design, especially when promising the park dept it's worth it to make an 8000+ ft course to attract tournaments.
I just think you're off target, in a discussion about what makes a "Great Course". Public courses, designed for a wider range of players, are wonderful.....but I don't think they fit into the discussion. If people are designing public courses poorly---that's another issue.

We need courses for all skill levels. We need them to be the best they can be, for those skill levels. And for other users of the property. Those are considerations and compromises involved.

But it's a leap to call them "Great Courses".
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  #86  
Old 11-18-2019, 09:26 PM
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Cgkdisc Cgkdisc is offline
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But it's a leap to call them "Great Courses".
It may be a leap for you but not for those who love them. If the course challenges lower level players with a variety of throws and shooting a score in the 60s is a good score for them, it can be just as great as a much longer course that challenges you to shoot in the 60s.

Does popularity matter in the judgment of greatness? It's one thing if it's the only course around. But if it's the most popular in the middle of many other much longer and even similar length courses in the area, does that indicate greatness in relation to the others? My experience indicates that a well done shorter 18 among many others nearby such as Acorn in the Twin Cities or Woodland Greens at Highbridge will have more rounds played by all skill levels of players not just lower level players. I'm not necessarily crowning those courses great but many others might even though not on DGCR or UDisc.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:03 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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They might like them, but I doubt they call them great. Particularly if they've played enough courses to make that distinction.

Hey, I'm a huge fan of Earlewood, a 4500' 18-holer in Columbia. Until this year, I played it more often than any other course. It's an excellent short course. But I wouldn't call it a "Great Course"....just great for what it is.

I get to spend time with a ride range of players, including beginners and casual players. I'm not knocking them. I'm also not a lot better than them. I'm just saying, when talking about "Great Courses", that's not the standard I'd use.

Popularity in a local area doesn't strike me as greatness. Many locals only play a few courses. A course that people will make long drives to, does. If you build a casual-level course and casual-level players often drive 2 hours to play it, when they have other options closer, I'd consider that.

Apologies, Chuck, but I think your argument against forced water carries has merit---but not necessarily in connection with Great Courses.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:16 PM
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I think at the core, does one course with the same terrain mixture, location and amenities have to challenge the best players in the world to be great, i.e., at least 8000 ft? Or can another course designed within the same terrain but only 5000 feet and the same amenities be just as great and perhaps even considered greater because more players can enjoy it?
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  #89  
Old 11-18-2019, 10:38 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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I think at the core, does one course with the same terrain mixture, location and amenities have to challenge the best players in the world to be great, i.e., at least 8000 ft?
Yep. Definitely. I think it should ALSO allow mere mortals to have fun, if it is to be great.

To pull one of your favorite tricks, I borrow from golf. Specifically, Golf Digest. "Resistance to scoring" seems to be the same as challenging the best players.

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To arrive at our ranking of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses, our panelists play and score courses on seven criteria:

SHOT VALUES
How well do the holes pose a variety of risks and rewards and equally test length, accuracy and finesse?

RESISTANCE TO SCORING
How difficult, while still being fair, is the course for a scratch player from the back tees?

DESIGN VARIETY
How varied are the holes in differing lengths, configurations, hazard placements, green shapes and green contours?

MEMORABILITY
How well do the design features provide individuality to each hole yet a collective continuity to the entire 18?

AESTHETICS
How well do the scenic values of the course add to the pleasure of a round?

CONDITIONING
How firm, fast and rolling were the fairways, how firm yet receptive were the greens and how true were the roll of putts on the day you played the course?

AMBIENCE
How well does the overall feel and atmosphere of the course reflect or uphold the traditional values of the game?
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  #90  
Old 11-18-2019, 10:41 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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I think at the core, does one course with the same terrain mixture, location and amenities have to challenge the best players in the world to be great, i.e., at least 8000 ft? Or can another course designed within the same terrain but only 5000 feet and the same amenities be just as great and perhaps even considered greater because more players can enjoy it?
Good question. Flip City seems to please a lot of people.

I think that 5,000 course would have to have some pretty astounding features. I'm sure it's possible. I'd love to see it.

I do think a course can be great without catering to the top players. But it's going to have to cater to good players, at least the kind of players who will care enough to travel to play, and who play enough courses to recognize it as great.

The challenge for a shorter course is being all par-3s. Par-4s (and -5s) can add the variety of fairway shots that are different every time you play. Not essential, but that all-par-3 course is going to have to have something exceptional to make up for it.
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