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iacas

Best Handicap To Most Appreciate Course Architecture?

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9 hours ago, gbogey said:

Personally I think it has more to do with golf experience than handicap.

That's not the question. I didn't ask "what characteristics in general allow one to best appreciate architecture?" Had I, experience might be my answer, too.

I asked… well…

8 hours ago, saevel25 said:

+2 thru 5 handicap probably has a higher percentage of people who appreciate CGA.

That's not the question, either.

The question, since many people are misunderstanding (which means I did a poor job explaining it), is what handicap index gives one the best chance to fully appreciate golf course architecture.

Another way of saying it is perhaps "assuming all else is equal, what handicap range gives someone the best chance to understand/appreciate architecture"?

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Probably also helps if you have enough length to challenge the landing spots the architect is trying to funnel you into.

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Probably in the 5ish or lower range.  

 A lot of architecture is built around risk/reward opportunities.  In order to really appreciate those opportunities, you need to have the skill to realistically contemplate the options that are available to you.  Even playing shorter tees doesn’t necessarily allow higher handicap players to have a realistic chance to challenge a lot of the riskier options with any real possibility of success.  

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54 minutes ago, jamo said:

Probably also helps if you have enough length to challenge the landing spots the architect is trying to funnel you into.

Well, that's what multiple sets of tees are for. 

I don't think it's totally handicap dependent. It's just having an eye for design and esthetics. I can appreciate a beautifully landscaped house and not be a top of the line landscaper. A couple of posts mentioned "experience" in the game and "new to me" courses. I think many of us have experienced the sensation of stepping up on a tee and saying, "Oh wow! Look at this golf hole!" Of course, we're comparing it to other golf holes we've seen in the past. 

I think it helps if there happens to be a course fashioned by a renowned course designer in your area that you can play, and you get interested in that. In my case I had Mill Creek GC designed by Donald Ross. Once I found out who he was, and how well appreciated he was in the golf world, I started reading everything I could find about him. It made me appreciate his style to the point where I can pretty much spot a Ross course on sight! 

It's much like Brian Huntley, an Ohio designer out of Canton, OH who has designed quite a few of the newer courses here in NE Ohio. His courses just seem to have a certain "look" to them! 

 

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10 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

I don't think it's totally handicap dependent. It's just having an eye for design and esthetics.

It is, because that's the exact question being asked. The question limits it to just the handicap index.

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Golf is hard.

My favorite course (Cimmaron in Palm Springs) suits my handicap so I think I appreciate that course's architecture more than a 2-3 handicap player would.  After all it's my favorite course.

I prefer Torrey North over Torrey South.  Same reason, the north is easier for me to play.  I'm guessing the majority of the better players prefer the South.

Best handicap to appreciate the courses I like, 10 -12. 

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The best player "To Appreciate Course Architecture" is the one that hits 250 off the tee in average, it´s below 10 handicap and don´t hit driver on every tee shot.  

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1 hour ago, No Mulligans said:

Golf is hard.

My favorite course (Cimmaron in Palm Springs) suits my handicap so I think I appreciate that course's architecture more than a 2-3 handicap player would.  After all it's my favorite course.

I prefer Torrey North over Torrey South.  Same reason, the north is easier for me to play.  I'm guessing the majority of the better players prefer the South.

Best handicap to appreciate the courses I like, 10 -12. 

None of that speaks to "the architecture." The strategy, the design choices, etc. It just feels like it speaks to the "difficulty."

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+whatever to about a 5/6. Need to have at least some length off the tee to appreciate where the hazards have been placed. I actually tend to notice more around the greens. Some pins you really just shouldn't go for. I have spent years actually just aiming at the middle of green and when I miss the shot sometimes I get an easy birdie. I appreciate when a designer gives you an easy tee shot and then gives you a shallow green over a deep bunker if you want to get rewarded. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I appreciate the golf holes that show an easy par or a tough birdie (followed by a tap in bogie).

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I think that there are 2 questions being conflated.

To appreciate the architecture you need to have the understanding of what effect the layout, land and design choices have on play and on players.

To be able to experience the impact of  design choices it is not so much handicap but consistency and playing from the correct tees. If one can keep the driver in play to a consistent distance and strike approach shots consistently and around the greens they should be able to experience most of the course design. Also one should be able to drive the ball 220+ so that all approaches are not long irons or woods.

If you have a glaring defect in your game it will prevent you from experiencing  the layout as well.

Anyone can appreciate the beauty of Augusta or Pebble beach but it takes a knowledgeable eye to appreciate the impact of a bunker slope on the greens or landing spot. Can you see the "speed slot" that was built into the fairway to entice long hitters to risk carrying a deep bunker. Did the designer decide to put a lip on a fairway bunker or use a sight-line to draw a player in or steer them in the wrong direction.

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5 minutes ago, criley4way said:

I think that there are 2 questions being conflated.

There are not two questions. There's only one. It is this: What handicap index, assuming all else is equal, gives one the best chance to appreciate golf course architecture?

I'm not sure what the two questions you think are being conflated. You didn't say what they were.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

There are not two questions. There's only one. It is this: What handicap index, assuming all else is equal, gives one the best chance to appreciate golf course architecture?

I'm not sure what the two questions you think are being conflated. You didn't say what they were.

I did say.

1. What handicap index is best able to appreciate the beauty of a course architecture/design?

2. What handicap index is bet able to appreciate the playing challenges of a course architecture/design?

The intent may not have been 2 questions but it seems that people are answering different questions.

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1 minute ago, criley4way said:

1. What handicap index is best able to appreciate the beauty of a course architecture/design?

That's not a question being asked here.

You don't even have to be a golfer to appreciate the beauty of a golf course (it's also not really about the "architecture" as much as the "landscaping.").

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I think Erik's being a little pedantic here :-P

But I agree with his answer.  The lowest I've ever gotten was a 7.7, and I play off ~10 now.  I've never been good enough to really experience the ramifications of good architecture.  I'm good enough to appreciate it and try to make decisions based off of it, but I feel like a full appreciation requires that you actually expect to make the shot and get the reward a good percentage of the time when taking a risk determined by the architecture.  Or that when you understand that a low ball on a certain side of the fairway is the best play, you actually have that in your bag at a high percentage.

Just being able to see the cool consequences of the architecture, something I think I'm at least not bad at, isn't the same as actually having your experience of the course primarily dominated by the architecture, rather than primarily dominated by the width of your dispersion cone.

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17 hours ago, mdl said:

But I agree with his answer.  The lowest I've ever gotten was a 7.7, and I play off ~10 now.  I've never been good enough to really experience the ramifications of good architecture.  I'm good enough to appreciate it and try to make decisions based off of it, but I feel like a full appreciation requires that you actually expect to make the shot and get the reward a good percentage of the time when taking a risk determined by the architecture.  Or that when you understand that a low ball on a certain side of the fairway is the best play, you actually have that in your bag at a high percentage.

In reading some of the responses, I realize that I haven't exactly answered the question, so I'll try to do that now.  In my opinion, as long as you have at least a moderately decent game, something like a bogey golfer or better, I think you can have the ability to assess and appreciate course architecture.  That doesn't mean that you have the skills to fully experience the ramifications,  and playing ability on its own isn't the only asset required.  But I believe that bogey golfers CAN, through education and experience, learn to appreciate good architecture.  I'm not sure that a person who has never played to at least that level can learn to understand the elements of course design.

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27 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

I dont know. Any skill of golfer can hit a ball in a sand trap and wonder about its placement...

There's a big difference between whining about a bunker being in a position that catches a player, and understanding and appreciating course design.  And really, if the bunker catches a ball, its probable that its doing just what the designer intended.

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I really think any handicap can appreciate CGA. That's different than being able to play the course how the architect may have intended. I suck and have played a few very nice courses and have certainly been able to appreciate them and could see how they were intended to be played. I just lacked the skill to do it.  

Edited by Bo the Golfer

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