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Venting: too many courses that are difficult, slow, expensive and contrived. - Page 2

post #19 of 34

Some of my favourite holes are shorter par 3's with lots of trouble around the green.  Requires touch and accuracy rather than bombing it close and hoping for a good lie.  It's always really satisfying to be rolling birdie putts on those holes.

 

One of my very favourites is only 120yds slightly downhill.  Water in front and left, sand right and long.  Multiple tiers on the green.  Depending on the wind for the day you could be hitting 2 clubs different.  You really need to hit the right tier too or 3 putt is a likely result.  Miss into the sand and you're looking at getting out hitting towards the water to a green that's running away from you!  It's always exciting when we get to that hole - especially when there are multiple skins on the line!

 

Having said that I also like to stretch out on long par 4's too.  I think a great course has a good mix of holes demanding length and also accuracy.

post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by trackster View Post

The only thing that bothers me is the craze with making par 3s ridiculously long!  Played a course the other day where the shortest par 3 was 177 yards.  One of my favorite courses is in the boat it is in with me because it has short par 3s.  One plays at 135 yards with a huge bunker guarding the front of the green and if you go long you will be lost in the woods.  That's what makes the par 3s fun, not taking a vicious whack and trying to roll one up the green. I can handle 550+ par 5s because I still have a chance to reach the green in regulation.  But when you have 200+ yard par 3s I lose interest in the course.

 

I'm with you on this.  Most of the time when I play a new course, I look at the par 3 distances and try to put my self on a tee which makes them reasonable.  Unlike so many players these day, I'm not hung up on hitting driver on every long hole, so shortening the course to make it a strategic challenge instead of the driver-wedge fest is okay by me.   

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

I find that most difficult courses are fair and play well if played from tees in line with the golfers skill. I can think of just one course that is unnecessarily difficult, length is a factor as well as the insane amount of ESA on the course. But it's really just a bad design. Blind tee shots into tight fairways that are lined by homes. I've hit what I thought was a perfect drive only to discover I can't find my ball. Downhill tee shots that roll very far, through the layup area and end up in ESA that splits the fairway on a very long par 5 where the longest club you can hit from the tee is a mid-long iron. Potato chip greens with pin placements on ridges that make it impossible to land even the best approach shot close. At best you hope it doesn't roll too far off the green into a collection area 12 feet below the green.

 

What course is that?  I want to be sure to avoid it. a2_wink.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

It's the psychology of golf. Play enough and you'll eagle the 487-yard "par five" at your rinky dink course, with plenty of birdies to boot.

 

But hole a 50-footer for birdie after three great shots on a 620-yard monster with ponds and bunkers, and you can tell that story for ages.

 

Golfers are oddly very, very good about remembering good shots and forgetting the bad ones (that's why many golfers take on too much risk far too frequently). The tougher the shot, the less chance you have of pulling it off, but the sweeter it will be if you DO manage to nail it.

 

And I much prefer what you so disparagingly call a "rinky-dink" course where I have that chance to make birdies and even the occasional eagle.  I have zero interest in playing a 600 yard par 5 hole if I'm only ever going to have a chance to birdie it once in my life (and I'd probably have to hole one from the fairway to do that.  

 

My rinky-dink home course has 2 par 5's which are just under 500 yards from the middle tees, and 2 more at 520 and 530 from the mids (the shortest par 5 from the back tee is 520 yards).  It also has 4 par 3 holes, the longest at 185 from the middle tees, the shortest is 125.  The par 4 holes range from 340 yards (with a forced layup short of a lake) to 434.  When I play this course from the middle tees, I usually use every club in my bag, every round, which is partly why it's been my home course for 35  years.  It gives me a fair challenge, and I have fun playing there.

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt 

 

What course is that?  I want to be sure to avoid it. a2_wink.gif

 

 

Thorncreek in Thornton. It's terrible but always crowded so maybe it's just me.

 

Some of the better courses I play are kind of quirky and that's why I like them. Todd Creek in Brighton has an abundance of 420+ par 4's but also has challenging short par 5's. The back 9 has three par 3's and two par 5's. Even though it's fairly easy to hit the greens on the 5's in two it's also easy to make double on the tougher sub 400 par 4's. It's a course that requires more thought than grabbing a driver and whaling away. I like that a great drive could be punished by rolling it in a fairway bunker. Arthur Hills designed it and I must say I am a fan.

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt 

 

What course is that?  I want to be sure to avoid it. a2_wink.gif

 

 

Thorncreek in Thornton. It's terrible but always crowded so maybe it's just me.

 

Some of the better courses I play are kind of quirky and that's why I like them. Todd Creek in Brighton has an abundance of 420+ par 4's but also has challenging short par 5's. The back 9 has three par 3's and two par 5's. Even though it's fairly easy to hit the greens on the 5's in two it's also easy to make double on the tougher sub 400 par 4's. It's a course that requires more thought than grabbing a driver and whaling away. I like that a great drive could be punished by rolling it in a fairway bunker. Arthur Hills designed it and I must say I am a fan.

 

A fun, but some call it quirky (I prefer to call it unique) course is Fossil Trace.  My brother and I make a point of playing there every time he visits from Idaho.  We will be playing there this August.  It works out to be quite playable, while still having plenty of challenge.  I'ts what I usually look for in a course.  No crazy long holes ( back tees are just 6831), but the par 5 12th hole has these stone monoliths in the middle of the fairway  The bunkers can be a real bitch.


Edited by Fourputt - 7/6/13 at 11:50am
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

A fun, but some call it quirky (I prefer to call it unique) course is Fossil Trace.  My brother and I make a point of playing there every time he visits from Idaho.  We will be playing there this August.  It works out to be quite playable, while still having plenty of challenge.  I'ts what I usually look for in a course.  No crazy long holes ( back tees are just 6831), but the par 5 12th hole has these stone monoliths in the middle of the fairway  The bunkers can be a real bitch.

Been there, really like it and would play often if not so far away Brighton. Got to love CO no shortage of great courses here. Everything from older park style muni's to high end resort courses in the city limits and it's just a day trip to all the mountains offer. Back in 1998 me and my folks attempted to play all the public courses in the metro area in one summer, we failed. Amazing how different they all are.

post #24 of 34

I enjoyed Fossil Trace as well and agree with Fourputt that it is fun to play some shorter par 5s (and par 4s) where you can have a chance at birdie or eagle, but have no problem with a few really long holes as well.  Nothing wrong with a 280, 470 or 580 yard hole from the middle tees- like the OP said, if the hole is really long, then don't make the rest of the hole really difficult as well.  In terms of assigning par to holes that are odd lengths like 280 or 470, I think it should be based on what a scratch golfer will average- if they average 3.5+, then it should be a par 4 and a par 5 if they average 4.5+. 

post #25 of 34

I just played Chambers Bay today. This course is not contrived all and there should many more course like it. The deep pot bunker on 18 is mostly just a visual hazard but if someone does find themselves in it there is a big opening back out right or left. Awesome course!!! Like golf was played in the beginning-

post #26 of 34

Personally, I enjoy a championship caliber golf course from time to time as a little treat to myself. On Father's Day, I was able to play Arcadia Bluffs in Arcadia, MI while I was on vacation with my family. This course is exactly what the OP and several others described, but you're treated like a king and it can easily be a bucket list course to play. Since I've played it before, it will definitely be on my list to play again within the next 2 years (considering I live near Cleveland, OH and it is nearly a 9 hour drive to the course and $180 for 18 holes from June 3rd through September 29th).

I do think that many courses are trying too hard and design aspects are kind of skewed on new courses that I see popping up in NE Ohio (such as Shale Creek). But, overall, I definitely appreciate that tourist attraction Golf Course that offers you something that no other course within hundreds of miles can.

I included some personal pictures that I took below. Sorry if I crowded the thread with these, but these don't even do the course any justice whatsoever. (One of the most memorable aspects of the course was the "Bagpiper of Arcadia" who plays the bagpipes during a daily closing ceremony at dusk, and opens the course in a daily opening ceremony at dawn. You can hear the bagpipes clear across the course).

PS: The 4th and 5th pictures go together. 186 yard Par 3 that I nearly aced. Ball came to rest about 5 feet from the hole... you can see my ball on the green if you zoom in. After that birdie, I slammed a few Heinekens and left with a smile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #27 of 34
Beyond playing from the appropriate tees, part of it has to do with a players course management (which most golfers seem to make bad decisions in this area). If there is a pot bunker in the middle of the fairway and you don't want to be in it... Then lay up, just like any other hazard.

I like the play a brutal course every once in a while, as I appreciate it. And I generally prefer shorter (6000-6500) courses with tricky layouts (even though I am a long hitter). And sometimes I love an easy, straight forward, wide open track that I can lay down a great score. I get what I want out of it... And that's enjoying to play the game.

To each his own (as long as he's not slowing me down and letting me play through!)
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post

Personally, I enjoy a championship caliber golf course from time to time as a little treat to myself. On Father's Day, I was able to play Arcadia Bluffs in Arcadia, MI while I was on vacation with my family. This course is exactly what the OP and several others described, but you're treated like a king and it can easily be a bucket list course to play. Since I've played it before, it will definitely be on my list to play again within the next 2 years (considering I live near Cleveland, OH and it is nearly a 9 hour drive to the course and $180 for 18 holes from June 3rd through September 29th).

I do think that many courses are trying too hard and design aspects are kind of skewed on new courses that I see popping up in NE Ohio (such as Shale Creek). But, overall, I definitely appreciate that tourist attraction Golf Course that offers you something that no other course within hundreds of miles can.

I included some personal pictures that I took below. Sorry if I crowded the thread with these, but these don't even do the course any justice whatsoever. (One of the most memorable aspects of the course was the "Bagpiper of Arcadia" who plays the bagpipes during a daily closing ceremony at dusk, and opens the course in a daily opening ceremony at dawn. You can hear the bagpipes clear across the course).

PS: The 4th and 5th pictures go together. 186 yard Par 3 that I nearly aced. Ball came to rest about 5 feet from the hole... you can see my ball on the green if you zoom in. After that birdie, I slammed a few Heinekens and left with a smile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even the bathroom looks inviting.

post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

 

 

Even the bathroom looks inviting.

Yeah I was cracking up when I saw that the bathroom was a "mini-me" inspiration of the clubhouse. Though, the sight of the 10 ft. deep bunkers can definitely justify a nice, comfortable throne! I, unfortunately, ended up in one of those babies and it took 3 flop attempts to get out.

On topic though, I definitely had a blast and it was both an eye opening and learning experience. I never played in these types of bunkers and I was quite proud of myself for not having to hand wedge the ball out of the bunker and play on.

I felt like the OP did at one point, but Arcadia changed that for me. Now I have a new and deeper appreciation for what these courses can offer you.

post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 

#3 @ Chambers Bay is the hardest Par 3 ever for me. Tho #8 - I think that's the number:hmm:; the first of the two Par 3's in a row at Pacific Dunes -- is crazy hard and I HAVE been in the bunker to the right, which I think the caddie called "perdition" or "purgatory" or some such. Anyway, #3 @ CB loves a low, running punch, drawing, cleanly pinched, that climbs the hill and then j-u-s-t about stops on the hill, but then feeds down (takes 45 seconds) to the hole on the left side of the green. Just hit it high, at the hole and spin it? Nuh-uh. Bunkah! Deathly bunkers below, behind and left. Knobby hill to the right. Usually, there's a marshal who looks like Wilford Brimley, standing on the dune and watching you tee off, waiting to give you + your carts a ride up the hill to the bathroom and next tee. (He is a good guy - way less crotchety that ol Wilf's usual characters.) The first time I played there, I pulled this miracle-for-a-fifteen-cap off and had a tap-in birdie -- which I missed. Easy three. I intend to golf there MANY times before the big dirt nap, but doubt I will ever have as good a birdie chance on that hole again. And that is kinda cool - especially when I watch the gods of golf make five there in the US Open. Gonna love that! 

 

My last time out, Nov 1 in glorious sunshine, I barfed up a 48 front, then went nuts and hits all the greens and made three immense putts for a back nine 37. THAT (he gloats, forgetting conveniently about the not-so-great-48) is when I really "got it" about playing Open caliber courses. 

 

My original point - let Championship courses be that, but not EVERY course is a championship course - still stands. 

post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filbert View Post

Courses should not have a fairway pot bunker in the middle of the fairway that has stairs down into it.  

Why not? What's wrong with a hole where the best shot isn't down the middle? Doesn't it make it interesting to change it up by including a hole where the best choice is a particular side of the fairway? I've played some great holes with center bunkers.

post #32 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

The OP has hit on something that while true in some aspects, also addresses some tendencies I've found in my three year journey to be the nature of golf and golfers.  The game is hard enough, but many golfers seem attracted to the courses that feature that hard to reach island green, that 600 yard par 5, and maybe even a 280 yard par 3. ...snip...

 

It's hard to put the blame on course designers when we're the ones (golfers in general) asking them to make it hurt so good. 

Ya, true. It just takes one guy in a foursome to start revving his testosterone pump about "go long or go home" to suck the other guys in. That has a ripple effect too - courses don't want to get an "easy" tag...designers don't want to be known for making pipsqueak lay-outs, etc. And, at its core, golf's appeal is in large part based on its unyielding and global difficulty. We all play the same insanely hard holes, when we choose to play hard courses, back tees, etc. 

 

But it is comical when you think that the big hump in the skill bell curve is at 100+ on an average course and then you play a no-name $30 course that has a endless string of hazards and difficulties piled into each hole. I really like the Castle Stuart design credo that aims to reward excellent shotmaking and penalize less perfect shots - but NOT ISSUE A DEATH WARRANT! They want you to play one or two balls in a round, even if you only hit half (or less) of the fairways...they want you to be challenged, but not have to toss your ball out of a sand dungeon with a hand wedge after you reach eight or 10 or whatever your personal frustration tolerance level is...they want you to struggle on downhill putts, but not wind up 50 yards off the green if you go past the hole. Etc. The designer seeks to offer redemption

 

I'd say the the ultimate test of golf course design is to make a course that can be laid out (leaving weather as the PRIMARY influence on the diametric extremes of "hard" & "easy") to challenge the greatest players and still accommodate enthusiastic others with a challenging but fair and REALISTIC round of golf. 

post #33 of 34

I dont have a score card in front of me but my course has all long par 3's the shortest is 179 and the longest is 236 these are from the blue tees although none of them have trouble in front.. People tend to play tees to long for them might be a ego thing I dont know. We are toying with the idea of adding another color tee marker (green). these will be  paired with the blues on par 4 and par 5 holes and with the whites on par 3 holes. we will see how this goes my par 3 tees are small and most likely will get beat up bad. The problem with new courses is the lack of usable land. add in the dep, conservation and other agencies it puts a limit on what you can do design wise. Many designer are handed this job discription " I have x amount of land and this much money build me something.

post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by shihtappens View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

The OP has hit on something that while true in some aspects, also addresses some tendencies I've found in my three year journey to be the nature of golf and golfers.  The game is hard enough, but many golfers seem attracted to the courses that feature that hard to reach island green, that 600 yard par 5, and maybe even a 280 yard par 3. ...snip...

 

It's hard to put the blame on course designers when we're the ones (golfers in general) asking them to make it hurt so good. 

Ya, true. It just takes one guy in a foursome to start revving his testosterone pump about "go long or go home" to suck the other guys in. That has a ripple effect too - courses don't want to get an "easy" tag...designers don't want to be known for making pipsqueak lay-outs, etc. And, at its core, golf's appeal is in large part based on its unyielding and global difficulty. We all play the same insanely hard holes, when we choose to play hard courses, back tees, etc. 

 

But it is comical when you think that the big hump in the skill bell curve is at 100+ on an average course and then you play a no-name $30 course that has a endless string of hazards and difficulties piled into each hole. I really like the Castle Stuart design credo that aims to reward excellent shotmaking and penalize less perfect shots - but NOT ISSUE A DEATH WARRANT! They want you to play one or two balls in a round, even if you only hit half (or less) of the fairways...they want you to be challenged, but not have to toss your ball out of a sand dungeon with a hand wedge after you reach eight or 10 or whatever your personal frustration tolerance level is...they want you to struggle on downhill putts, but not wind up 50 yards off the green if you go past the hole. Etc. The designer seeks to offer redemption

 

I'd say the the ultimate test of golf course design is to make a course that can be laid out (leaving weather as the PRIMARY influence on the diametric extremes of "hard" & "easy") to challenge the greatest players and still accommodate enthusiastic others with a challenging but fair and REALISTIC round of golf. 

 

This is what I seek in a golf course.  I don't want to be rewarded for every errant shot, but I don't want to tortured for them either.  A penalty doesn't have to be stroke and distance to be effective.  You don't have to lose a ball in a water hazard on every hole to make the course challenging.  Place the bunkers correctly, add a few mounds in the rough, add some strategic trees (it doesn't require planting a forest - a grove of 4 or 5 trees here and there in the right places can be an automatic 1/2 to 1 stroke penalty, without the lost ball threat).  Give us the opportunity to play recovery shots.  Give us a fair challenge, not mission impossible.

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