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Hazards that Affect Only Bad Shots


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One of the things I often wondered about is why trouble on the course is put where it is, in some cases.  For example, a typical length Par 4 that has a pond in front of tee that makes the player carry the ball 80 yards to clear it.  I don't understand the point of the pond.  It is meaningless to any half decent shot, and any shot that goes into it is a terrible shot by definition.  Probably 95% of the balls that go in there are from duffers.  Wasn't it enough consequence that the duffer is still 300+ yards away after his drive?  They have to add insult to injury by putting a pond there that can only add insult to injury by adding a penalty stroke.

Putting trouble in places a golfer will only get to by duffing a shot seems like a strange design philosophy to me but I see examples all the time.  IMO the duffed shot is consequence enough without being piled on by poorly placed trouble.

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One of the things I often wondered about is why trouble on the course is put where it is, in some cases.  For example, a typical length Par 4 that has a pond in front of tee that makes the player carry the ball 80 yards to clear it.  I don't understand the point of the pond.  It is meaningless to any half decent shot, and any shot that goes into it is a terrible shot by definition.  Probably 95% of the balls that go in there are from duffers.  Wasn't it enough consequence that the duffer is still 300+ yards away after his drive?  They have to add insult to injury by putting a pond there that can only add insult to injury by adding a penalty stroke.

Putting trouble in places a golfer will only get to by duffing a shot seems like a strange design philosophy to me but I see examples all the time.  IMO the duffed shot is consequence enough without being piled on by poorly placed trouble.

I'm with you on this.  Another thing about it that I find odd is the maintenance.  A nice big beautiful bunker that stretches around the tee box and down to the fairway seems like a giant, unnecessary hassle for greenskeepers too.

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Perhaps the pond is there to collect water, or because it would otherwise just be a large muddy area.

I haven't seen too many tee boxes surrounded by bunkers.

I think Erik is right with this one.  Gotta look at the lay of the land and check drainage.

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One of the things I often wondered about is why trouble on the course is put where it is, in some cases.  For example, a typical length Par 4 that has a pond in front of tee that makes the player carry the ball 80 yards to clear it.  I don't understand the point of the pond.  It is meaningless to any half decent shot, and any shot that goes into it is a terrible shot by definition.  Probably 95% of the balls that go in there are from duffers.  Wasn't it enough consequence that the duffer is still 300+ yards away after his drive?  They have to add insult to injury by putting a pond there that can only add insult to injury by adding a penalty stroke.

Putting trouble in places a golfer will only get to by duffing a shot seems like a strange design philosophy to me but I see examples all the time.  IMO the duffed shot is consequence enough without being piled on by poorly placed trouble.

That would be awesome! I could start buying the expensive balls!

:-P

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Water storage, and a forced carry. The storage part is easy to understand. As for the forced carry part I'm thinking that's going to fall under the mental aspect of the game. Even if it's only 80 yards, it's going to make even some of the more seasoned golfers think about. I personally don't like forced carries over water, but I take them in stride as a challenge. Forced carries rate right up there with island greens. (same thing) As for the newbie golfer, they need problems like this to be come better at the game.

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I think Erik is right with this one.  Gotta look at the lay of the land and check drainage.

There's an example of this at one of my regular courses:

You can see the carry for the pond on the 18th is a mere 110 yards from the tips. It doesn't really come into play (although I have seen people hit into it). However, if you look at the bigger picture, the pond is clearly a collection area for the course. Probably part of the storm system for the school and the neighborhood around the course, too.

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There's an example of this at one of my regular courses:

You can see the carry for the pond on the 18th is a mere 110 yards from the tips. It doesn't really come into play (although I have seen people hit into it). However, if you look at the bigger picture, the pond is clearly a collection area for the course. Probably part of the storm system for the school and the neighborhood around the course, too.


The pond does creep in nicely by the seventeenth green though.  And the 18th is a pretty great hole, I think the water gives it a much better look from the tee despite not really being in play.

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The pond does creep in nicely by the seventeenth green though.  And the 18th is a pretty great hole, I think the water gives it a much better look from the tee despite not really being in play.

It's really the drainage ditch that's more in play on 17, but totally agree the 18th is much more picturesque with the pond. 17 is a pretty good hole. Probably the best on the course, IMO.

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Water storage, and a forced carry. The storage part is easy to understand. As for the forced carry part I'm thinking that's going to fall under the mental aspect of the game. Even if it's only 80 yards, it's going to make even some of the more seasoned golfers think about. I personally don't like forced carries over water, but I take them in stride as a challenge. Forced carries rate right up there with island greens. (same thing) As for the newbie golfer, they need problems like this to be come better at the game.

Strangely enough forced carries are usually not something I worry about, it's more lateral water/hazards that get me. I've mentioned a few times the course my league is on has a hole that has a 240 yard carry over a pond or a 180 ish lay up. I never think twice about going over the pond. The first hole has a small pond in front of the tee and another larger one off the right side of the fairway. I'm sure you can guess which one I worry about :-) It's the same thing when it's a par 3 over water, I never even have a thought about clearing the water just which side of the green I'll end up missing on.

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Strangely enough forced carries are usually not something I worry about, it's more lateral water/hazards that get me. I've mentioned a few times the course my league is on has a hole that has a 240 yard carry over a pond or a 180 ish lay up. I never think twice about going over the pond. The first hole has a small pond in front of the tee and another larger one off the right side of the fairway. I'm sure you can guess which one I worry about :-) It's the same thing when it's a par 3 over water, I never even have a thought about clearing the water just which side of the green I'll end up missing on.

That is true, but forced carries like that are not what I was talking about.  I'm talking about trouble that is located in a place that only a terrible, duffed, shot would go.

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That is true, but forced carries like that are not what I was talking about.  I'm talking about trouble that is located in a place that only a terrible, duffed, shot would go.

I realize that which is why I mentioned the first hole at the course which has exactly that, a pond right in front of the tee.

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I can understand hazards being near the tee box if they are natural and the course was built around them. Yea, placing a bunker in an out of place position is stupid. I can understand a pond if it is for drainage reasons.

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I agree with @turtleback courses placement of hazards and obstacles.  It is fairly common for courses to no longer mow the first 20-50 yards of the fairway/rough off the tees or to have a water hazard or drainage pond/ditch adjacent to tee boxes.  I understand the need to eliminate mowing that should rarely affect play and placing a drainage pond/ditch out of the way (i.e. in front of the tee where a competent player is rarely going to go).  Unfortunately, these out of the way features wreak havoc on novice and beginning golfers.  Hitting a "worm burner" off the tee is bad enough.  When that error is compounded by the ball plopping into a 40' x 40' pond or burying itself in gnarly vegetation 30 yards in front of the tee, it adds insult to injury.

Placing the "Gold", "Silver", "White" or "Red" tees beyond these areas makes sense to me.  If the player chooses to play a set of tees that severely punishes "worm burners", "tops" and pop-ups, so be it.  There should always be, however, a  rated "men's" tee located beyond these 20-50 yard carries.

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a lot of times designers use bunkering to frame a hole and provide visual interest and sometimes they use them for aiming points. as for ponds and no mow areas in front of tees it is what it is.

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