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Best Handicap To Most Appreciate Course Architecture?

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53 minutes ago, Bo the Golfer said:
Now in your comeback you talked about a 36 handicap. I never mentioned a 36 and I think that is the extreme end of the spectrum. The average handicap is somewhere in the neighborhood of a 15.

No no no. You said things like this:

23 hours ago, Bo the Golfer said:

I really think any handicap can appreciate CGA.

Now you're throwing out that a 36 can't.

So, like the old joke, now we're just haggling over the price.

In other words, you DO have a range.

56 minutes ago, Bo the Golfer said:

By your logic a 3 would appreciate it more than a 5, or a 5 more than a 7.

I never said that.

19 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I understand what you're saying, but the very best players may be blind to design features that impact lesser mortals.

I agree, and that's why I excluded the very best players in my OP. Hell, I didn't even include 2 handicappers. I cut it off at 3-4 for my answer.

19 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

If you can hit it past all the fairway bunkers, who cares how they're angled, and how their placement might impact a 12 handicapper?. Those design features are still important, in the overall evaluation and appreciation of course design.

How many 3-4 handicappers are routinely flying fairway bunkers vs. how many 18s are routinely driving into the areas affected by that?

If you had a course - or even a majority of courses - where fairway bunkers were routinely flown by 3-4 handicappers but affected 18 handicappers, then that may very well be a great example of poor architecture/design, or an older course that modern golf has left in the dust a bit.

How many courses have bunkers you routinely fly, @DaveP043?

19 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I on't believe there's a specific "best" skill level for appreciating golf course design. I do believe that playing something like bogey golf is kind of a minimum requirement, but I can't persuade myself that playing better than that makes someone a better judge of design.

Then, like @Bo the Golfer, you do. Because it's likely not binary. If you don't think a 20 has the "minimum requirement," it can't realistically go to "equal ability to appreciate architecture" from 18 handicap down to whatever your "very best players" level is. No?

You're all being too fine. Trying to sit on a fence.

It's just golf. It's just a discussion. Have some balls. Make a choice and argue it. Hell, change your mind if you want. I said 3-4 and nobody's done a damn thing to challenge that, but at least I offered something. The 7-8 guy in the other topic at least offered something.

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@iacas much like you did not directly say a 3 would appreciate it more than a 5 etc. I did not say a 36 can't appreciate CGA. I'm not sitting on a fence, that hurts your arse to much. All I'm saying is that I refuse to believe appreciating CGA is tied to a lower handicap. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. That cannot be refuted.

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This question is hard to answer.

The more I think about it though I think it would have to be, the player that has nearly every shot type in their bag. Like you are capable of shaping your shots LtR and RtL, you can hit low running shots and higher spinning shots.

Whatever handicap that person is can best appreciate GCA (0-5 best guess). 

 

But on the other hand maybe a touring pro simply due to the amount they have to play. They have seen every possible type of shot, certainly they can best appreciate GCA.

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1 hour ago, Bo the Golfer said:

@iacas much like you did not directly say a 3 would appreciate it more than a 5 etc.

Gimme a freaking break. I clearly narrowed my range down to 3-4, "or maybe a bit better." My range was very small. I said "better than a 7-8" too. That's a small range.

Your "range" was initially "there is no range" and then you admitted "well, okay, not a 36 handicapper." Now you're backing off that again. You're contradicting yourself all over the place.

If you want a single number from me? 3. There. Good enough to know what shots are being asked, good enough to have been around golf for awhile, and put a lot of time into it, and yet still not too good to ignore it by hitting over hazards or caring only about score (like a lot of PGA Tour players).

1 hour ago, Bo the Golfer said:

That cannot be refuted.

Again, we are not talking about individual people or situations.

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19 minutes ago, iacas said:

Gimme a freaking break. I clearly narrowed my range down to 3-4, "or maybe a bit better." My range was very small. I said "better than a 7-8" too. That's a small range.

Your "range" was initially "there is no range" and then you admitted "well, okay, not a 36 handicapper." Now you're backing off that again. You're contradicting yourself all over the place.

If you want a single number from me? 3. There. Good enough to know what shots are being asked, good enough to have been around golf for awhile, and put a lot of time into it, and yet still not too good to ignore it by hitting over hazards or caring only about score (like a lot of PGA Tour players).

Again, we are not talking about individual people or situations.

As you said earlier, this is a golf discussion. Not sure why you get all fired up. If you can find me the phrase "not a 36" coming form me I'll buy a sponsorship for a year. If not than you can give me one. I acknowledged incorrectly attributing words to you so please don't do that to me. My phrase was that 36 was the extreme end. Does not mean a 36 can't appreciate CGA. I didn't ask you to give me a number but if that is your opinion I respect it. I would appreciate the same. (see what I did there :-D)

Edited by Bo the Golfer

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13 minutes ago, Bo the Golfer said:

As you said earlier, this is a golf discussion. Not sure why you get all fired up.

I'm not. Bad assumption. You're reading something into these comments that isn't there.

14 minutes ago, Bo the Golfer said:

If you can find me the phrase "not a 36" coming form me I'll buy a sponsorship for a year.

I quoted it earlier. It indicated to me that a 36 was at the extreme and thus not likely to be as good at appreciating the architecture as a scratch or 15.

If you're gonna switch over to claiming that all 36 handicappers, or the average 36 handicapper, is just as likely to most appreciate course architecture as a 3… then go ahead.

But then, rather than just being a fence sitter, I'll point out that your position is just terribly dumb. In no way does an average 36 understand golf course architecture as well as a 12, or a 5, or a scratch golfer. No way at all.

And then, as soon as you have a difference, you can answer the question. If the average scratch golfer better appreciates golf course architecture over almost the non-golfer (the 36 handicapper), then there has to be at least a range where, in your opinion, it peaks.

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I've started listening to Tom Doak on the Fried Egg podcast and read his book on golf architecture.

I both read and heard him say good golfers usually dont experience every part of the course compared to a lower handicap. He said this is both because of better course management as well as less wayward shots.

The only thing the architect can control consistently every round is a person's view from the teebox.

 

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Time to settle the argument! Everything below 12.

Then you can have fun and have game, at the same time understand why it's happening. Above ot's more too my experience one or the other! 10ers ie from my time on the course can flip their focus easier than a 15 hcper:)

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I would be of the opinion that playing ability....ie Handicap....has little to do with appreciation of GCA. It is relatively common for big name players to move into designing golf courses.  But who are the current day designers which get the most accolades? Gil Hanse, Tom Doak, Coore/Crenshaw, David McKay Kidd....Tom Fazio, Pete Dye. Other than Crenshaw....The rest of them are not scratch type golfers. They understand the history of certain hole types....They work with the land and input their vision. But the vision is based on the desired outcome by the owner.  Who is the customer that shall play the course? Look at baseball or any professional sport...Were the best managers the best players....It's a different skill set. As is design and appreciation vs playing ability.  

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42 minutes ago, FLOG4 said:

But who are the current day designers which get the most accolades? Gil Hanse, Tom Doak, Coore/Crenshaw, David McKay Kidd....Tom Fazio, Pete Dye. Other than Crenshaw....The rest of them are not scratch type golfers.

A number of them were or are very, very good golfers.

And, it's still also a pretty small sample size that doesn't really get to the question.

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2 hours ago, FLOG4 said:

I would be of the opinion that playing ability....ie Handicap....has little to do with appreciation of GCA. It is relatively common for big name players to move into designing golf courses.  But who are the current day designers which get the most accolades? Gil Hanse, Tom Doak, Coore/Crenshaw, David McKay Kidd....Tom Fazio, Pete Dye. Other than Crenshaw....The rest of them are not scratch type golfers. They understand the history of certain hole types....They work with the land and input their vision. But the vision is based on the desired outcome by the owner.  Who is the customer that shall play the course? Look at baseball or any professional sport...Were the best managers the best players....It's a different skill set. As is design and appreciation vs playing ability.  

 

1 hour ago, iacas said:

A number of them were or are very, very good golfers.

And, it's still also a pretty small sample size that doesn't really get to the question.

I also used the comparison to professional managers. The best managers were not the best players. My opinion is the same holds true in golf architects/designers. The knowledge of how to do supersedes the ability to execute.   

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2 minutes ago, FLOG4 said:

I also used the comparison to professional managers. The best managers were not the best players. My opinion is the same holds true in golf architects/designers. The knowledge of how to do supersedes the ability to execute.   

The question doesn’t ask about players becoming architects. Had it, obviously current architects would be the best choice…

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

The question doesn’t ask about players becoming architects. Had it, obviously current architects would be the best choice…

The best group to look at to answer the question posed are the actual persons that do the work. It is then best to look at those who are the best in their field to answer the question. If we take the architects of note today and review their playing abilities....That is the single best answer to the question. You can expand it to all architects historically. The answer is the same. Those that design the best courses are not per se expert golfers. They have a passion for the game. They know what works in course design. That view holds true to all sports. Those that were the best managers were not the best players. My guess is that most of the best architects were single digit handicaps.

 

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I actually thought of this thread watching the Masters this week-end. Number five has been redesigned so that the bunkers on the left have come back into play. I don't think a (playing the hole at 495) many players who are say higher than a 15 hdc. can even get the ball to those bunkers off the tee so they don't come into play. It makes a longer hitter consider hitting a three wood and having a longer club into the green. That's something a good course designer can do to make a great golf hole.

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I've enjoyed reading these post. The question calls for an answer that is somewhat subjective although the subjective answer should be based on probability.

The higher handicap can certainly appreciate the beauty. They can probably appreciate the danger or risk seen from the tee. They can see that ideally the hole calls for a fade or draw whether they can execute that shot or not.

But to truly appreciate CGA, not only does it take [IMHO] an accomplished golfer, I think it requires the yardage book of all 18 holes. Standing on the tee of a course you are not familar with, how far is that bunker/hazard/landing area/widest part of the fairway/end of the fairway? What's the risk/reward? The lower handicap knows how far each club goes and how far he wants to be on the approach and will make a decision accordingly. It's not just accepting a longer iron in, because the green complex may have risk/reward that may require the accuracy of a PW rather than a 6 iron for the approach.

Looking over the hole from that view [yardage book] allows a plan. Being able to see the designers challenge should bring appreciation for his work, especially if his work retains the natural beauty of what was already there.

In reality, any golfer can see and appreciate this, but the probablity is the accomplished golfer is more likely to do so.

So, what's accomplished? 5? scratch? Plus? I know alot of guys who are mid single handicaps that hit it straight, are on or near the green in two, and chip and putt well. But not one shot was higher than 15 or 20 feet. And they enjoy the game and I say more power to them. Age has taken it's toll and the shots they hit don't resemble anything we might see on Tour. They are playing the game their body allows. Therefore, my answer would be 3 or below, and the addition of having played some of the great courses.

Don't throw rocks, it's just an opinion.

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3 hours ago, FLOG4 said:

The best group to look at to answer the question posed are the actual persons that do the work.

I don't agree. It's about appreciating what the architect has built, not having to build something (often from scratch) to begin with. Being a good architect probably has more to do with drainage and routing and shaping than it does actually being able to play golf.

Being able to appreciate something doesn't mean I have to be able to BUILD that same something. I'm sure architects appreciate good architecture slightly differently than golfers do, but that's not the question.

3 hours ago, FLOG4 said:

If we take the architects of note today and review their playing abilities....That is the single best answer to the question.

And as you guess later on, architects have been historically very, very good players.

3 hours ago, FLOG4 said:

Those that design the best courses are not per se expert golfers.

Again, yes, architects tend to be very good players. There are a number of former major champions who have designed golf courses. Gary Player, Greg Norman, Jack, Arnie, Tiger now… etc. have designed, between them all, thousands of golf courses. And… it's not like we have a million golf courses. Tom Doak is a good player. Pete Dye medaled in the state amateur golf championship. Robert Trent Jones was a very, very good player. Tom Fazio's uncle won twice on the PGA Tour.

Virtually any architect I can think of - save the Seth Raynor types who didn't even really play much golf (he was genius at landscaping, drainage, routing, etc.) - was a very good golfer.

3 hours ago, FLOG4 said:

My guess is that most of the best architects were single digit handicaps.

Yes! I think most were actually even better than that.

1 hour ago, LMoore said:

In reality, any golfer can see and appreciate this, but the probablity is the accomplished golfer is more likely to do so.

I agree.

Interesting, too, @LMoore that we arrived at about the same number.

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