#311  
Old 12-09-2012, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by afterdarkZ View Post
What is your experience with redesigning existing courses? Is it better to start from scratch? Do you keep only the best existing holes with possibly some minor tweaks? Or do you work with the original layout as much as possible?

I know this will vary greatly depending on the original design and it's hard to make generalizations. I'm just looking for any advice from John or anyone else who has been down this road before.
Really depends on how old the existing course is; if more than 10+ years ago, little tweaks generally will be little tweaks to add strokes but not scoring separation--unless there is a lot more potential land to consider. In the past 2 years, I've helped build 2 new tight, wooded courses (DGCR rated at 4.18 and 3.60) where the designers built significant tweaks into their initial layouts. These courses (RL Smith and Plantation Ruins) both went with the easier design to open the courses for the 2012 Worlds); both now have active debate about how to add scoring separation options by tweaks (or not at all). Being relativity new courses, Stan insisted to the designers that significant tweaks should be considered to truly elevate their challenge. Tweaks should be made to widen scoring separation, not just adding distance or difficulty.
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  #312  
Old 12-10-2012, 02:34 AM
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Amen to that, my place is a short course but it's a great equalizer, placement is crucial especially as shrubbery gets beat down. Have you ever heard of a motorized putting obstacle like mini golf? I was thinking about doing one at my place this year.
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  #313  
Old 12-10-2012, 03:09 AM
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Not really a question but i recently played cedar glades in hot springs, AR . Great job on designing the course! it was an amazing round of golf just a ton of leaves
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  #314  
Old 12-15-2012, 02:00 PM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afterdarkZ View Post
What is your experience with redesigning existing courses? Is it better to start from scratch? Do you keep only the best existing holes with possibly some minor tweaks? Or do you work with the original layout as much as possible?

I know this will vary greatly depending on the original design and it's hard to make generalizations. I'm just looking for any advice from John or anyone else who has been down this road before.
Well, I think you've really answered your own question already: it depends.

If a completely new design from scratch is really an option, then you've got all kinds of new possibilities (unless the property is small and/or narrow or otherwise limited).

What's interesting about that kind of "redesign" is that it's even more complex than making a brand new course is, because you've got additional decisions to make. For example, if you have concrete tees, you now need to ask if it's worth the cost/effort to move or repour the tee. And you now have to deal with a whole new set of expectations -- what will the players think about you modifying or eliminating their favorite holes? Players can get very attached to their favorite courses and holes.

Tom makes a really good point: changing a hole just to make it "harder" or "longer" is a temptation you really need to watch out for. I've seen good holes ruined by redesigners trying to achieve one of those two results.

For what it's worth, the redesgn we're doing at Live Oak is essentially a whole new beginning. There are areas of the park that we're now going to clear, and the parks department's commitment to having world class courses is a big factor. Also the state of the art of course design has come along way in ten years, and what was innovative and exceptional back then may be different from what's exceptional today. I'm really excited about the new courses, and I think they will be several steps above and beyond the original courses.

For what it's worth, the question I keep asking myself is this: "Is there any way that someone is going to think the old hole is preferable to the new hole?" If I'm confident that the new version is clearly better and that I've done the best I can with what I have to work with, then it's a go.

Good luck with your project. Hope it turns out great.
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  #315  
Old 12-15-2012, 02:18 PM
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John, will the Live Oak redesign have multiple tees for some of the long holes? I'd hate to see it be just a 8-9000 footer with no shorter options for us old types or newbs.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:12 PM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by Bultx1215 View Post
John, will the Live Oak redesign have multiple tees for some of the long holes? I'd hate to see it be just a 8-9000 footer with no shorter options for us old types or newbs.
Live Oak will absolutely have two tees per hole. Have no fear.
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  #317  
Old 12-15-2012, 06:29 PM
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Excellent. Thanks.
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  #318  
Old 12-15-2012, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by silverbullet View Post
Not really a question but i recently played cedar glades in hot springs, AR . Great job on designing the course! it was an amazing round of golf just a ton of leaves
Thanks, SB. I know they've had some teepad issues and a couple other things to deal with. I haven't been there in a long time -- hoping to make it back someday (and maybe make some tweaks).

In any case, I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
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  #319  
Old 12-17-2012, 11:59 AM
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In your most recent article in Disc Golfer, you mentioned places where a throw off the fairway leaves no room for a recovery shot, but forces the player to pitch out to the fairway. I've seen criticisms of the pitch out in other forums as well.

Admittedly, the pitch-out throw isn't usually much of a golf throw. Unless you throw as badly as I do and sometimes just reaching the fairway is a challenge. But it seems to me that these areas play much like O.B.---a serious hazard that you seriously want to avoid because of the extra stroke it will cost you. Other than the fact that it's harder to fly over, how much different is a fairway lined with dense rough that will require a pitchout from a fairway lined with O.B.?
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  #320  
Old 12-17-2012, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afterdarkZ View Post
What is your experience with redesigning existing courses? Is it better to start from scratch? Do you keep only the best existing holes with possibly some minor tweaks? Or do you work with the original layout as much as possible?

I know this will vary greatly depending on the original design and it's hard to make generalizations. I'm just looking for any advice from John or anyone else who has been down this road before.
Z,

As others have stated, it depends.

I am in the middle of redesigning the 9-hole, pole course in my neighborhood. It is part of a multi-use, city park, and if we were to start from scratch, there would be land-use permits involved. As it stands, because we are just replacing the poles with baskets, and adding tee pads (even though we will be moving some to make it more player-friendly), it's considered an upgrade, so no land-use permits, or environmental impact statements are necessary.
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