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Course you prefer? Every hole tough or easy - Page 2

Poll Results: What type of golf course do you prefer to play?

 
  • 42% (9)
    A course where every hole makes you think
  • 4% (1)
    A course thats easy
  • 52% (11)
    Some where in between with 9 difficult and 9 easy
21 Total Votes  
post #19 of 25
Great question. Like all sports and games, you don't want to be intimidated or be predictable. @sabram - wholeheartedly agree with you, there the perfect golf course offers room for challenge and ease!
post #20 of 25

I don't care if they are hard or easy.  All I want is the rating to be  indicative of the course.  I hate playing a 69/118 course that is way harder than a 72/135.  Just because one is 6000yrd and the other is 6800 doesn't mean it's easier.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy playing both but when I post for HC my ego takes a beating on "easy" course but gets stroked big time on the "harder" course.

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by flintcreek6412 View Post
 

I don't care if they are hard or easy.  All I want is the rating to be  indicative of the course.  I hate playing a 69/118 course that is way harder than a 72/135.  Just because one is 6000yrd and the other is 6800 doesn't mean it's easier.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy playing both but when I post for HC my ego takes a beating on "easy" course but gets stroked big time on the "harder" course.


That really shouldn't ever happen if the courses are rated correctly. As you know, in broad terms the course rating is mainly an indication of difficulty for the "bogey" golfer (distance, hazards), while the slope is for the "par shooter" (green difficulty, etc.).  Can't say I've ever played a course rated as low as you state that was anywhere as difficult as the higher rated course.

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

That really shouldn't ever happen if the courses are rated correctly. As you know, in broad terms the course rating is mainly an indication of difficulty for the "bogey" golfer (distance, hazards), while the slope is for the "par shooter" (green difficulty, etc.).  Can't say I've ever played a course rated as low as you state that was anywhere as difficult as the higher rated course.

 

I'm only quoting your post because it reminded me, not because I think you're wrong at all.

 

The "Slope on the Plus Side of Scratch" PDF on the USGA's site (the link is here but it will probably download rather than displaying in your browser) puts it this way:

 

Quote:
Slope is the measure of how much harder or easier a course plays for a higher-Handicap player relative to how it plays for a lower-Handicap player

 

That's a slightly different - but important - way of thinking about things that I think will be new to people. A lot of people consider slope to be a measure of how hard a course is for a higher handicapper… but it's how hard it is for that player relative to a lower handicap player.

 

That's relevant (and why it's in this article) when you consider + handicaps. Some people are confused why shooting +5 over the course rating might result in a differential of 3.8 while shooting -5 below the course rating results in a differential of -3.8… when you'd think that the higher slope means the course is "more difficult" so shooting under par should result in an even larger differential. But that's the thing - it's not necessarily "more difficult" - it simply tends to create a wider gap between better players and worse players. Once you're better than scratch, that's by allowing you to score. Scratch is, as the first sentence in the spoiler says, an arbitrary level of performance.

 

PDF in JPEG Form (Click to show)

post #23 of 25

Thanks, Erik, for the additional info. I knew my response was cryptic at best, so it's good that you add the "official" explanation of slope & course rating.  BTW, do you have a chart or such that you could post that shows the thinking behind rating a golf hole? For example, what goes into a 400 yard par 4 hole being rated at 3.8 or 4.4? Or how do you quantify the slope of that hole? I think that would be an interesting discussion.  Thanks.

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 


That really shouldn't ever happen if the courses are rated correctly. As you know, in broad terms the course rating is mainly an indication of difficulty for the "bogey" golfer (distance, hazards), while the slope is for the "par shooter" (green difficulty, etc.).  Can't say I've ever played a course rated as low as you state that was anywhere as difficult as the higher rated course.

 

It seems you may have (inadvertently) reversed the application of rating and slope.

 

A "USGA Course Rating" is the USGA's mark that indicates the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for a scratch golfer under normal course and weather conditions. It is expressed as strokes taken to one decimal place, and is based on yardage and other obstacles to the extent that they affect the scoring ability of a scratch golfer. (See Section 13.)

 

A "Slope Rating" is the USGA's mark that indicates the measurement of the relative difficulty of a course for players who are not scratch golfers compared to the USGA Course Rating (e.g., compared to the difficulty of a course for scratch golfers). A Slope Rating is computed from the difference between the Bogey Rating and the USGA Course Rating. The lowest Slope Rating is 55 and the highest is 155. A golf course of standard playing difficulty has a Slope Rating of 113. 

 

I do agree that in theory "That really shouldn't ever happen if the courses are rated correctly." but in practice I think courses sometimes have out of date ratings and slopes because something has changed, but for whatever reason the course didn't get re-rated. Around here the most common thing is a course lets undergrowth and trees grow relatively uncontrolled over the years and starts playing narrower and harder. The opposite is a brand new course that clears out undergrowth and stray trees every year and eventually starts playing much easier than it was initially rated.

 

But eventually courses do get re-rated and back to better numbers but it feels weird thinking last week I posted scores against 70.2/115 and this week I'm posting against 72.2/128 ... I want a refund of all those strokes I lost before the re-rating damn it!

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

BTW, do you have a chart or such that you could post that shows the thinking behind rating a golf hole? For example, what goes into a 400 yard par 4 hole being rated at 3.8 or 4.4? Or how do you quantify the slope of that hole? I think that would be an interesting discussion.  Thanks.

 

It doesn't quite work out that way. I think they could probably get the machine to spit out numbers like that, if they wanted to, but it's built to just calculate ratings for groups of nine holes. There's no real way to get the "slope" of just one hole, and if there was, because generalizations are made like whether the green is "relatively flat, moderately contoured, or highly contoured" if one particular hole was right on the upper edge of a lot of the categories (hazards, bunkers, size of green, green speeds, contours, trees, length, elevation change, etc.) then it could be in and of itself drastically under-rated (or vice versa), while those things get smoothed out over the course of nine holes.

 

Specifically regarding green contours, we'll often massage the data a little bit where if we have a green that's between flat and moderately contoured, we'll give it the easier rating but give a later hole (ideally on the same nine) the tougher rating if it's close, to balance it out. We keep track of those kinds of things.

 

"Drop-offs" versus "mounding" is another example - a hole might have weak mounds and a 12' drop-off that doesn't meet the "1/2 the green or more" required for a drop-off, so we'll call it mounding and move on. "Mounding" figures in a bit more weakly than "drop off." (Actually drop off is called "rise/drop" and deals specifically with perched greens that have steep drop-offs or rises near them - playing from 10' above or below the green or more is difficult, while playing from greenside mounds is less difficult but still not as easy as a flat lie).

 

If you could give these stats for a single hole, you'd just figure out the average of the best 50% of the scores a bunch of authentic scratch golfers shoot and plot the average scores of the higher handicappers to get the slope. You could easily develop a hole that's a 3.8 "rated" hole with a "slope" of 145. For example, a 330-yard hole with a bunch of trees left and right and a green almost entirely surrounded by water. The better player hits a hybrid or iron and a wedge, the hacker hits his ball in the water half the time. Carried to an illogical extreme you could make a course that had a course rating and slope of 67.3 and 144 (for example) if you wanted.

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