I think that a lot of CGA-geeks like Andy Johnson and Zac Blair absolutely do not understand correct strategy. Laying up for a better angle is a terrible idea for basically everybody, unless the course is super tricked up with slopes and/or bunkering. They also do not get that that you should be aiming at the center of the green on most of your approach shots. When they talk about the best angles to approach pins from over 100 yards, my eyes just glaze over. Virtually zero amateur golfers should care about where the flag is, period, so trying to set up the best angle to get that flag is pointless.
That said, I strongly prefer playing courses that are CGA-geek approved. They tend to be wider, and thus easier and more fun for me. It is also fun to be able to play a course and see what the architect wants me to do and the decision making that I'm supposed to go through. Plus, I hit a lot of drivers, and that's a lot of fun to do for me as well. For example, there's a Doak course called CommonGround by me that I really enjoy playing. It's probably my favorite course in the Denver area, actually! I understand what Doak wants me to do off the tee and where he wants me to put my shot. As an example, this is the par 5 11th hole:
Doak wants us to take that line off the tee. That line is about 250 yards, FWIW. That line gives us the shortest shot into the green. Then you have to decide whether you can carry the water on your second shot and get to the green. It's not the best angle, but the closer you get to that second bunker on the left, the shorter your shot will be. Although right is safe, it will leave you with the longer shot and virtually zero chance to get the green into unless you're a monster hitter.
The problem here is that it's stupid to purposefully play too far left. The fairway is about 60 yards wide past that bunker (which is only 230 to carry, i.e., not a problem for most okay golfers in Colorado) You don't want to be in that second bunker on the left, and you don't really have that significant of a penalty for being right. It's going to be a 3 shot hole for most people no matter what. There's not a decision to make if you understand proper strategy like in LSW. You're hitting driver, with the center of your shot zone in the center of the fairway. If you end up on the left side of the fairway, great! You might have a good shot to go for it. If you end up on the right side of the fairway, then that's not a problem. You just won't have much of a chance to get there in 2.
It's still a lot of fun, though. Hitting that perfect shot that ends up on the left hand side of the fairway is great! A good shot for me on the left side means I'll have a 5 iron for the approach shot to the green. Right just means I have to avoid that bunker in front of the green with my approach. Nothing wrong with the hole; it's still great fun. But there really isn't a decision to make off the tee at all as Doak intended. There are other holes at this course with similar "decisions" where the answer is, cool, give me my driver.
I'm at zero also.
Aanalogies are always a little "not the same though" but that's as close as I can get (eagle on a par 4).
Personally? I wouldn't be as thrilled at a little short ace vs one I'd consider more 'typical' of a good course. Though lots of super cool courses also have a very short 3 in there.... But I have a hard time picking a differentiating criteria.
I think a "Par 3 course" is not a good way to discuss it. Maybe, instead, what yardage is 'too short' to feel like claiming the hole in one, makes one pause a beat and think about it.
If a gun was held to my head to draw a line? I put the split on whether it's a wedge or a longer club
Wedge ace? Yeah, it's a hole in one (frown.....smile a little bit)
Iron or longer in? YEAH!!!! (Smile)
It's so arbitrary......
I'd probably rank them… with Talamore a distant third. I'm not sure which I'd put where between Mid-South and Dormie Club. I haven't played Mid-South since before the renovation, so I'm bumping it up in my mind for that… but it may be even better or slightly worse than I imagine. Right now I'm calling it a tie, though.
They actually have a combo set of the Blue/White tees, where the scorecard indicated which set of tees you played for each hole. I think it was something like 12 holes from the whites and 6 from the blues IIRC.
It was 6,300 yds and was rated 71/127 which was perfect for us. My buddy is in the 15-20 handicap range and a bit shorter off the tee than me, so I think the full blues would have been a bit much for him.
When I shoot 85 instead of 75, it's because I couldn't make my putts, or couldn't hit the fairways enough....etc.
Other factors like course condition, weather and wind has more effect on my game than the numbers my clubs are spec'ed to generate.
I never heard a professional golfer say they didn't play well because of the numbers on a golf screen was off.
I bet someone like Phil, or Tiger, can take my old MP53s and still shoot 65.....because their game is 1000 times better than mine.