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GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: George Pazin on November 25, 2009, 04:38:02 PM

Title: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: George Pazin on November 25, 2009, 04:38:02 PM
Some food for thought over the next couple days.

I recently had a conversation with another poster about how golfers' play influences feelings about the course. The short of it was that I feel golfers miss things when only playing once or twice, because there is (understandably) too much influence of the outcome of their own shots, as well as a misunderstanding of how the best play.

I find it fascinating how many golfers walk off great courses feeling they left more than a few shots out on the course. Upon reflection, I consider this a HUGE plus for any course. It's my own (limited) experience that the best courses always leave one feeling as though they should have scored better, but somehow didn't. It's the somehow that is important, imho.

After relating this drivel to my friend, he remarked that in his many years of tournament play - always well into the double digits every year for many years - he frequently heard fellow golfers lamenting how they "shot 75 but should have shot 68" or something like that. He said he was the only one who routinely said "I shot 72 but should have shot 80!"

I think there is genius in those statements. Think about it over the next few days and we'll talk again.

 :)
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on November 25, 2009, 04:54:53 PM
There is an old saying in the gca biz - never ask a golfer what he thinks of the course, just ask him what he shot and you have your answer. I think that works about 90% of the time.

I rarely hear a golfer say "I loved this hole". The more typical response is, its good, but I HATE that hole...."

Or, you can play a variation of that old kids game where you add the words "in between the sheets....." to any song title and still have a song title...In gca, I add "It doesn't fit my game" to any course criticism and it still makes sense, and usually a lot more of it.

On a related note, do golfers ever relay the story of the good bounce, or do they always reflect on the bad ones when determining what they shot or could have shot?  So, while I agree that a great course affects your score upward in ways you don't understand at first, in a large percentage of the time, golfers making those shoulda coulda woulda comments are simply being...well, golfers.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Sean_A on November 25, 2009, 05:53:11 PM
George

It isn't often I walk off a course and wonder how I dropped those shots.  When this does happen the course is often a very subtle, clever design and one I want to see again. 

When I recount scores I always chuck out the "I don't know why I dropped a shot" shots and accept their loss - chalk one up for the archie.  Its only the shots where I screw up and know why that I have a hard time accepting.  Even then, for my shoulda score I usually halve this number after subtracting the odd long putt or bit of good fortune like bouncing back in bounds.  So in the end, its rare for me to say I shoulda scored say more than 2 shots better than I did - which of course is essentially in a buffer zone of an acceptable score given my performance. 

Ciao
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: TEPaul on November 25, 2009, 06:36:29 PM
"It's my own (limited) experience that the best courses always leave one feeling as though they should have scored better, but somehow didn't. It's the somehow that is important."

George:

I think that statement is real genius, particularly the second sentence!


It's too bad Bob Crosby didn't hear that one a few years ago because if he had he would've put it into his calander of golf quotations.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: TEPaul on November 25, 2009, 06:41:32 PM
George:

I'll tell you, and on reflection, playing pretty much just tournaments (no real recreational golf) all those years, tournament golf was not a good architectural education at all for me (I can think of 2-3 instances only, and one was NGLA after a tournament, where a day or two later, it suddenly occured to me and I would think to myself, Holy Shit, that was quite a golf course and architecture). But for real architectural education, observation or appreciation of any golf course, officiating tournaments on the Class A circuit beats actually playing tournaments for me by a factor of about 100!
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 25, 2009, 08:27:07 PM
There's never been a golf course where I completed my round and didn't think I left shots on the golf course, irrespective of the architectural quality of the golf course.

Let's not forget that golf is the play of a game involving scoring, and not the evaluation of the architecture.

As to considering one's own play in evaluating a golf course, that's a monumental mistake.

To be objective, one must evaluate a golf course in a disinterested fashion, and not from a single perspective, especially one based upon one's play of the golf course.

The golf course is static, save for some minor variables.

Why should a particular golfer's evaluation differ, based upon their score.

Does the golf course reveal itself differently when a golfer shoots 66 versus 78 versus 88 ?

Handicap/player wise, the architect has "no dog in the fight".
He tends to forge a disinterested 18 hole challenge, one that neither favors nor punishes a select faction.

While one feature or one hole may favor a draw, another hole may favor a fade.
While one hole may favor length, another may favor accuracy.
While one hole may favor the high handicapper, another may favor the low handicapper,
but, overall, the challenge presented in all 18 holes "BALANCES OUT" favoring no one faction.

That's the biggest problem I see with green committees and boards, they/golfers try to amend/alter the golf course to favor their particular game, giving no consideration to the games of other players.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Mac Plumart on November 25, 2009, 10:36:37 PM
You know guys, I think I take a different view on this one.  But for starters, let me say that if you are a "pencil and scorecard" golfer you shouldn't be a golf course critic.  Plain and simple.

However, I think you should "consider" your own play when evaluating a course...as the thread clearly states.

For example, I played a course early this summer which was on the "best new" courses list.  I think at the time I was a 15 handicap.  I played so-so and hit an 85.  I remember one shot on the back nine where I pulled the heck out of an 8 iron.  It was WAY left of the green...but it hit the surrounding hills/slopes and rolled all the way down and onto the green and left me with a 15 foot putt for birdie.  WTF?!?!?  That is poor architecture in my book.  Poor!!!

And the thing about it was that was not the only time these hills/slopes that flanked the fairways saved a poor shot of mine.  Even though I scored well, I thought the course was a joke.  So "considering" my play, which was not at my best, and my score which was below my handicap...I concluded this was not a course I wanted to play again.

Vinnie Kmetz made a comment that it isn't your score that matters, rather it is the strategy, execution, and way you arrived at your score that makes a course and the game enjoyable.  (or at least he said something like that).  Golf course critics need to have this mindset.  if they hit 95 but have a strategic, exciting, and fun duel with the course that is better than a 75 without the interesting duel.

Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Bill_McBride on November 25, 2009, 10:47:43 PM
For example, I played a course early this summer which was on the "best new" courses list.  I think at the time I was a 15 handicap.  I played so-so and hit an 85.  I remember one shot on the back nine where I pulled the heck out of an 8 iron.  It was WAY left of the green...but it hit the surrounding hills/slopes and rolled all the way down and onto the green and left me with a 15 foot putt for birdie.  WTF?!?!?  That is poor architecture in my book.  Poor!!!


Mac, I think you are missing an important part of golf architecture appreciation here, as well some of the most fun experiences on a golf course.

I have no idea what the course is, or the architect, but he may well have planned this slope that you can play off to access the green, or even a particularly pin.

It is really gratifying to size up an approach shot and see where the architect has given you a kick plate to play off, or a back stop where the ball will gather far beyond the pin and slowly roll back down toward the green, or some other feature that's not readily apparent unless your eyes are open to innovation. 

Once you start looking for those opportunities, and trying to utilize them, golf becomes a whole new game.

At Yale we spent about 10 minutes on the 10th green, watching guys try to putt to a front pin from up behind a ridge.  The required line was perhaps 15' to the right of the direct line.  That is fun golf!
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Ian Andrew on November 25, 2009, 10:55:02 PM
Never do - I'm much more interested in the architecture than posting a score.

If I'm worried about missing something after wayward play - I simply pick up - and spend time looking at a hole.
I love to attempt the shots or try a line - but I no longer care about posting a score.
I do pay a lot of attention to each player’s shots to see how they react and where they end up.
I will ask them questions about the shot they just hit.

I love to hit a few extra putts on areas that draw my attention.
I'm there to learn about the course - and I won't let playing get in the way.  :)
 
Some may find this practice odd - but I never get in the way, disrupt the rhythm of more serious players or hold up the group.
I've found this attitude helpful when I struggle, because I made the trip to learn from the course - not play it.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Rob Rigg on November 25, 2009, 11:04:13 PM
When I visit a course to evaluate it - I never keep score. If I play the hole "properly" then I will probably finish it - if I hit a wayward drive, then I will often pick my ball up and put it down in position A or B to get a feel for how the hole was supposed to be played.

I never mind missing a green when I am evaluating a course because I think it is fun to chip on or blast out of a bunker to get a feel for how the complex works together.

If there is no one behind me, I think it is fun to putt from different parts of the green to the hole to get a feel for the slopes and undulations and different pin placements.

The most important thing about a course is how the 18 holes work together - basically "what kind of walk is it?" - so if the ultimate goal is to give the course a chance, then you have to let yourself "enjoy the walk" and not let anything get in your way that is not part of that experience.

There are enough biases we deal with in course evaluation - eliminating as many as possible is a good thing.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Adam Clayman on November 25, 2009, 11:16:24 PM

For example, I played a course early this summer which was on the "best new" courses list.  I think at the time I was a 15 handicap.  I played so-so and hit an 85.  I remember one shot on the back nine where I pulled the heck out of an 8 iron.  It was WAY left of the green...but it hit the surrounding hills/slopes and rolled all the way down and onto the green and left me with a 15 foot putt for birdie.  WTF?!?!?  That is poor architecture in my book.  Poor!!!

And the thing about it was that was not the only time these hills/slopes that flanked the fairways saved a poor shot of mine.  Even though I scored well, I thought the course was a joke.  So "considering" my play, which was not at my best, and my score which was below my handicap...I concluded this was not a course I wanted to play again.



Well, there is a fine line between overly used and properly used features. Especially containment.

Mac, The same happened to me on the 15th at Sand Hills. Yes , I got lucky, but it is in no way poor architecture. It may actually be a secret way to get to a specific area of the green.

And that is precisely why you should not evaluate a golf course based on how you played it, especially once.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Bill_McBride on November 25, 2009, 11:36:57 PM

For example, I played a course early this summer which was on the "best new" courses list.  I think at the time I was a 15 handicap.  I played so-so and hit an 85.  I remember one shot on the back nine where I pulled the heck out of an 8 iron.  It was WAY left of the green...but it hit the surrounding hills/slopes and rolled all the way down and onto the green and left me with a 15 foot putt for birdie.  WTF?!?!?  That is poor architecture in my book.  Poor!!!

And the thing about it was that was not the only time these hills/slopes that flanked the fairways saved a poor shot of mine.  Even though I scored well, I thought the course was a joke.  So "considering" my play, which was not at my best, and my score which was below my handicap...I concluded this was not a course I wanted to play again.



Well, there is a fine line between overly used and properly used features. Especially containment.

Mac, The same happened to me on the 15th at Sand Hills. Yes , I got lucky, but it is in no way poor architecture. It may actually be a secret way to get to a specific area of the green.

And that is precisely why you should not evaluate a golf course based on how you played it, especially once.

Adam, when I wrote my reply #7 above, two of the fun design features I was thinking of were behind the top of the 7th green and the mound to the left of the rear bunker on #14, both at Black Mesa.  You played a wedge off that backstop behind the green on #7 for a birdie, and Lou Duran played off the mound on #14 to kick in range. 

If we didn't look for those kind of features, golf wouldn't be nearly as much fun!
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Tim Gavrich on November 25, 2009, 11:37:43 PM
Never do - I'm much more interested in the architecture than posting a score.

...
 
I've found this attitude helpful when I struggle, because I made the trip to learn from the course - not play it.
Ian--

As an architect, do you feel as though this approach is one that should be taken by all players, or is it more realistic to do that as one for whom golf course architecture is a living?  I've always felt that at its core, golf is a game played either against one's fellow players or against par.  So, for about 99% of the rounds I play, I keep score--even on courses I'm playing for the first time and especially on courses that I may only play once.  Really the only times I don't keep score are practice rounds before tournaments, when I'm trying to familiarize myself with a course for the purpose of playing it in as few strokes as possible.  My appraisal of the quality of a course therefore comes from playing it, rather than playing with or on it, if that makes sense.  I don't really think there are many golf courses I've come away from thinking that I had an inadequate understanding of it from just playing for a score.  Of course, I always enjoying hitting extra shots on holes when I can.

Perhaps it comes down to whether you're a golfer in the sporting sense or a golfer in the hobby sense.  I certainly accept the legitimacy of those who don't really play golf for a score, as long as they don't take hit a disrespectful number of extra balls and hold up play.

--Tim
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Jud_T on November 26, 2009, 07:02:02 AM
Score per se doesn't matter.  Although I think after only one visit one tends to favor courses where one played well.  When it does have an impact is when a mid to high handicapper is playing a championship layout that was not designed to be fun for all abilities.  This is IMHO an architectural weakness.  I think many of us here could design very difficult courses that would test the strong player.  But there are not nearly enough of us that can design courses that will test the strong player yet be fun for all abilities..
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Tom_Doak on November 26, 2009, 09:55:31 AM
There is an old saying in the gca biz - never ask a golfer what he thinks of the course, just ask him what he shot and you have your answer. I think that works about 90% of the time.


Jeff:  My variation on that is "Always ask a golfer what he thinks of the course, but if he tells you what he shot, you can probably ignore the rest of it."

George:

This is a very good topic.  Long ago, I wrote about Cypress Point exactly what your friend said -- that nearly every player walked off the 18th thinking he had left some shots out there.  That's the reason it's such a good course, whether or not some long hitters think it's too short.  And more importantly, it drives home the point that a course does not have to be super-hard to leave you with the feeling you could have done better.

You've got some observers for whom score is way too important -- who can't even understand that most people are out there to have fun, and that fun is not necessarily related to score.  You've got other observers who think that anyone obsessed by [or focused on?] score should be dismissed outright.  It is indeed a Big World.

But to suggest that you should not use the shots you hit on a course to HELP you judge its merits is pretty silly, to me.  Results matter.  You just shouldn't make the mistake of thinking the hole ALWAYS plays the way you played it.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: archie_struthers on November 26, 2009, 11:22:16 AM
 ;D ;) :D


Hey George I'd take your friend any day as partner....a really good player often shoots a good score and hits it pretty bad...in fact the attitude that score is everything separates the real players from the wannabbees ...my good friend Tim DeBaufre (who was a player) always asked me how I played , I've learned to just tell him the number ....no descriptions please  lol
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 26, 2009, 11:37:58 AM

Score per se doesn't matter. 

Then, like Ian, who's picking up his ball and puttering around, you're NOT playing golf.


Although I think after only one visit one tends to favor courses where one played well. 

"Favors" it in what context ?


When it does have an impact is when a mid to high handicapper is playing a championship layout that was not designed to be fun for all abilities. 

Then, the golfer is playing from the wrong tees.


This is IMHO an architectural weakness. 

NO, it's the golfer's weakness, his ego that has brought him to play from tees unintended for his ilk.


I think many of us here could design very difficult courses that would test the strong player. 
But there are not nearly enough of us that can design courses that will test the strong player yet be fun for all abilities..

I think that's pretty much impossible, unless you have different sets of tees, and even with different sets of tees, the disparity in play between the wide spectrum of golfers is too difficult for the architect to overcome, especially in light of the advances in the I&B.

Can you think of a championship course that tests the strongest players that's fun for golfers of all abilities ?

Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Ian Andrew on November 26, 2009, 12:04:52 PM
Tim,

People who play for the sport of the game should play and keep score.
They would miss out on too much if they don't.
I have a different agenda than most.

I enjoy playing and do finish most rounds.
But if I hit into deep trouble or have trouble finding the ball in long rough - I drop and go.
If you do that, you can't keep score.

I do enjoy a match - but not keeping score.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Adam Clayman on November 26, 2009, 12:16:25 PM
Bill, I remember it well. And well said.


But if I hit into deep trouble or have trouble finding the ball in long rough - I drop and go.
If you do that, you can't keep score.

I do enjoy a match - but not keeping score.


Ian,
 If one can use ESC to take scores on holes not played. It seems logical that a golfer who throws down the occasional ball, can still turn in a score using either ESC, or as in match play, what the golfer most likely would've scored.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Mark Pearce on November 26, 2009, 12:39:43 PM
Can you think of a championship course that tests the strongest players that's fun for golfers of all abilities
Yes.  Muirfield.  Dornoch.  Carnoustie  Three courses I played as a (poor) 19 handicapper in the past and had a blast.  Sometimes, Patrick, the arrogance of the good player shines through too brightly in you.  To imagine a weaker golfer cannot "play" these courses and enjoy them is nonsense.  He/she may not score well, or play to their handicap but they can still have a great deal of fun.  Far more, in fact, than on some flat, short, boring course where playing to your handicap is no challenge.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Jud_T on November 26, 2009, 01:04:15 PM
Pat,

Dude-deconstructionism went out with the '90's... :P

1. Score doesn't matter AS IT PERTAINS TO ASSESSING A COURSE"S DESIGN.

2. There are no tees at places like Butler or Medinah #3 that are fun for the mid to high handicapper.

3. Favors as in ranks more highly.

4. Lots- Olympia Fields, Chicago Golf, Winged Foot, TOC, Muirfield, Pebble, Merion, etc., etc....This is in fact IMHO one of the defining characteristics that seperates the truly great courses from the merely good to very good...
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 26, 2009, 01:54:20 PM
Can you think of a championship course that tests the strongest players that's fun for golfers of all abilities

Yes.  Muirfield.  Dornoch.  Carnoustie 

Three courses I played as a (poor) 19 handicapper in the past and had a blast. 

And you played all three from the Championship tees used in the Opens ?


Sometimes, Patrick, the arrogance of the good player shines through too brightly in you. 
To imagine a weaker golfer cannot "play" these courses and enjoy them is nonsense. 

It's not nonsense, it's a fact.
Tell us, how as a 19 handicap, from the Championship tees at Muirfield, Dornoch and Carnoustie, you interfaced with the architecture, the features when you played ?


He/she may not score well, or play to their handicap but they can still have a great deal of fun. 

How so when it's impossible to interface with the architectural features,, save at the green end ?


Far more, in fact, than on some flat, short, boring course where playing to your handicap is no challenge.

As a 19 handicap how can playing at any golf course NOT be a challenge for you ?

Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 26, 2009, 02:05:26 PM
Pat,

Dude-deconstructionism went out with the '90's... :P

1. Score doesn't matter AS IT PERTAINS TO ASSESSING A COURSE"S DESIGN.

That would depend upon whether you were playing golf or just jerking around.
If you're playing golf, score matters.
If score doesn't matter, then you're not playing golf.
Since score doesn't matter for you, what's your handicap ?


2. There are no tees at places like Butler or Medinah #3 that are fun for the mid to high handicapper.

Are women and high handicappers banned from Medinah # 3 ?
Or, are there tees to accomodate them ?


3. Favors as in ranks more highly.

So you would rank the architectural merits of a golf course based upon the scores you shot ?
That's a rather unique methodology.


4. Lots- Olympia Fields, Chicago Golf, Winged Foot, TOC, Muirfield, Pebble, Merion, etc., etc....
This is in fact IMHO one of the defining characteristics that seperates the truly great courses from the merely good to very good...


Let's focus on one course at a time.
Tell us what or how playing Winged Foot West from the championship tees is fun.
First, tell us your handicap so that we might better understand your response.

Thanks



Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Jud_T on November 26, 2009, 02:51:11 PM
Pat,

Apparently match play is just jerking around..  :-\

Medinah #3 isn't fun period, I don't care if you set up junior tees in the middle of the fairway.

who said anything about playing from the championship tees?

If being a very strong player is a prerequisite for this conversation, then why do the majority of touring pros, Ben Crenshaw excepted, generally make such mediocre golf course architects?

I'm a 20 currently.  Didn't start playing until my mid 30s. Guess that makes me unable to appreciate golf courses.  Any time you want to give me 11 a side from the tips at Winged foot and play a thousand dollar nassau, I'm there.....  :-*

Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Norbert P on November 26, 2009, 03:19:59 PM
I am a scratch golfer when I'm standing on the 1st tee. 
I am a higher handicapper when I walk off the 18th green.
And never the two shall meet.


I can contemplate, analyze and theorize golf designs but it can be disappointing when the tee shots go awry and I don't get the approach angles that I'd hoped to have. I want to experience what the preferred angles gives the player but shotgunning my drives keeps me ignorant, though it helps my recovery game.  I don't blame anybody but myself. 

I always have to keep in mind though that Alistair was no great stick, and he did alright.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Bill_McBride on November 26, 2009, 03:35:47 PM
Pat,

Apparently match play is just jerking around..  :-\

Medinah #3 isn't fun period, I don't care if you set up junior tees in the middle of the fairway.

who said anything about playing from the championship tees?

If being a very strong player is a prerequisite for this conversation, then why do the majority of touring pros, Ben Crenshaw excepted, generally make such mediocre golf course architects?

I'm a 20 currently.  Didn't start playing until my mid 30s. Guess that makes me unable to appreciate golf courses.  Any time you want to give me 11 a side from the tips at Winged foot and play a thousand dollar nassau, I'm there.....  :-*



Be careful what you wish for, Mucci is a real stick!
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Kyle Harris on November 26, 2009, 04:26:24 PM
Didn't Tom Watson say something about golf courses being played and not ranked?

I think your own play is really the only way to evaluate a course. The kicker is how much one understand their own game and how that fits in the metagame of golf.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Sean_A on November 26, 2009, 06:29:23 PM
Didn't Tom Watson say something about golf courses being played and not ranked?

I think your own play is really the only way to evaluate a course.

Huh?  What if a guy doesn't play golf - does that mean he can't evaluate a design based on how others play? 

Ciao
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Ian Andrew on November 26, 2009, 07:16:39 PM
I played Kingston Heath with two really first class players last week. I had one of those days where I missed more than my fair share of shots - probably played and walked too much by that point.

But I made damned sure that I watched almost every one of their shots and lived a little vicariously through their play. You don’t have to hit the shots to learn, but often it helps to see “someone” play “a shot” to fully understand the more subtle parts of the design.

I think most of us can envision what something does, but until we get a ball in play, we can never be 100% sure. I hit at least 50 extra putts and chips around the 5th at Barnbougle Dunes with my host because we decided to explore all the alternatives (and there was no one behind us). We found all sorts of alternative shots to access even the harder pins on the left.

If we were very serious about playing, we would have left long before that to maintain some sense of rhythm to our round.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Keith Phillips on November 26, 2009, 07:18:45 PM
a decade ago i played two classics back to back - as a 14 I shot 84 to help win member guest at Oakmont and two weeks later shot 103 in Mamaroneck - Oakmont remains my favorite inland course...and Winged Foot sucks!
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: JR Potts on November 26, 2009, 07:53:20 PM
Trying to get Jud's point on this topic is like trying to nail jello to a wall.

Patrick - I'll back the bet Jud threw out there.

Finally, Medinah does not have Junior or Woman's Tees...and it really doesn't have Senior Tees.  The club has three courses, if you can't play #3 from the tees that are out there, it is suggested that you play one of the other two courses.

And Butler is the same way - the course is built for its members.  If you're not good enough to play it (for score), then you shouldn't be a member.  I'm relatively certain that Bulter would be just fine if they never had another 15+ handicap play their course - especially the 15+ that got access and then bitch about how the course wasn't flexible enough for their poor games.

And on-point, it's impossible not to take your own play into account when evaluating a golf course.  I always snicker at guys who have strong opinion of golf courses when they spend all four hours of a round 25 yards deep into the right trees.  I mean really, what could they have learned?
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 26, 2009, 08:17:29 PM
Pat,

Apparently match play is just jerking around..  :-\

So if you're in one of your $ 1,000 Nassau matches you're examing the architectural features that don't interface with your game ?
Please, spare us the B.S.


Medinah #3 isn't fun period, I don't care if you set up junior tees in the middle of the fairway.

who said anything about playing from the championship tees?  I did, didn't you read my reply ?

If being a very strong player is a prerequisite for this conversation, then why do the majority of touring pros, Ben Crenshaw excepted, generally make such mediocre golf course architects?

Who said, "being a strong player is a prerequisite for this conversation" ?
I certainly didn't.

To answer your "touring pro" question, probably because developers and the end users believe that name recognition is important in terms of marketing and the quality of the product.  Are you familiar with the "Nicklaus" brand and its weight at the banks ?

Were Pete Dye and George Fazio good golfers ?

CB MacDonald ?
Donald Ross ?  


I'm a 20 currently.  
Didn't start playing until my mid 30s.
Guess that makes me unable to appreciate golf courses.

You'd be hard pressed to appreciate them from the perspective of a 15, 10, 5 and 0 handicap player wouldn't you.


Any time you want to give me 11 a side from the tips at Winged foot and play a thousand dollar nassau, I'm there.....  :-*


It's typical that I get these offers in December, January and February.
But, somehow they seem to start disappearing around April and May.
I'd be happy to accomodate you with a match from the tips at Winged Foot West.
Typically we play seven ways (2 front, 2 back, 3 overall, with automatic presses when anyone goes 2 down)
As a 20 why do you feel entitled to 22 shots ?
We'll play the match with you getting the difference in our handicaps, with summer rules.

Ryan Potts,

I'd be happy to have you participate in the wager.


Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Kyle Harris on November 26, 2009, 08:28:31 PM
Didn't Tom Watson say something about golf courses being played and not ranked?

I think your own play is really the only way to evaluate a course.

Huh?  What if a guy doesn't play golf - does that mean he can't evaluate a design based on how others play? 

Ciao

Sean,

Fair enough, but please include the whole post. That person would have to understand where the other "games" fit in the metagame of golf.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Jud_T on November 26, 2009, 09:00:03 PM
Pat,

I'm a 20.9 index currently (up from 17.3  ;)) which translates to a course handicap of 27 for a 145 slope, you are a 4.1 if I'm reading it correctly which makes you a 5 from the tips, that sound like 11 a side to me...Fyi, I can probably arrange some interesting side action with a buddy who will give you one a side as well...I'm down except for the automatics.  Don't do those since I gave an entire Scotland trip back once at Kingsbarns....

Ryan,

Nobody will be more happy to not have me at Butler again than me...There's no question that I have no business being out there. I was simply responding to Pat's conjecture that it's merely a matter of playing the right tees....

Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 26, 2009, 09:02:09 PM
Ian,

I think you have to differentiate "playing" from "observing" when one or the other is your main focus.

Some people have incredible, broad powers of observation, others have tunnel vision and only see the golf course through their game.

Most people playing a meaningful round are focused on their objective/s, not the totality of the design.

Evaluating a golf course through your own play is erratic at best, unless you're a plus handicap.
Too often, evaluating a golf course through your own play is constricting or myopic.
When you factor in the variable/s in one's play it gets even more complicated.

When handicaps are determined by taking the differential between the lowest 10 or your last 20 scores versus the course rating/slope you begin to see that variable.  A 10 handicap golfer might score 80 on a par 72 course and he might score 100.  Certainly the gap between the two scores is so considerable that the golfer's perspective of the golf course might be vastly different for each round.
And, in both cases, his evaluation might be mortally flawed.

Sean Arble,

Seth Raynor, a non-golfer comes to mind as the perfect example of a non-golfer's ability to evaluate a golf course.
But, Seth Raynor's purpose for being on a golf course wasn't to play golf.
Seth Raynor was trained as an engineer and a surveyor, and tutored/mentored/educated by one of the finest architetural minds of his time.

But, the question originally posed wasn't whether or not a non-golfer could evaluate a golf course.

The question posed didn't ask for an arms length or disinterested party's opinion, it asked whether an interested party, a golfer playing a round on a particular golf course, with a built in bias, should insert that bias in evaluating that golf course.

My answer, as convoluted as it might seem to some, was that the architect must forge a disinterested challenge that favors no particular game.

Once a golfer evaluates a golf course on the basis of his game, he's no longer a disinterested party without bias, he's clearly predisposed, and as such, his evaluation is inherently flawed.

That's my premise and I'm sticking to it.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Jud_T on November 26, 2009, 09:55:45 PM
Pat,

That makes a lot more sense and I think you are correct in the sense that it takes a trained, impartial eye to really assess a courses design elements.  It's very difficult for the average player, particularly after only one or two rounds, to get out of their own way and experience to fairly evaluate a design.  And of course one's play is only one of a myriad of elements that can influence one's view, i.e. exclusivity, hospitality, scenery, etc....I don't buy the view, expressed by some here, that only someone who has a chance at shooting par from the tips can fully appreciate the full measure of the intended strategy of a course...If that were the case then all the low single digit players' opinions of a given course wouldn't mean sh*t compared to Tiger Woods' who carries the ball 40 yards further than them and is giving them a stroke a hole ( a +13 at last measure...)...Since the average club player carries a 15 index and the average non-club player is somewhere north of that, it seems a bit arrogant to assume that only those 2-3 standard deviations from the mean of playing ability should hold court on what is or isn't in GCA.  If that's the case, then Tom Doak's ( a 10?) opinion is useless, and as a matter of fact this entire site would be a complete waste of time (? ;D?) unless the best golfer in the world were posting....
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 26, 2009, 10:39:55 PM
Jud,

In my limited experience of interacting with golfers who were either evaluating a golf course, a golf hole or a particular feature, I've noticed several general tendencies.

Low handicap golfers have wanted to stiffen the challenge and high handicappers have wanted to diminish the challenge.
Both factions present their case, solely in the context of their game and how the hole/feature affects it, or could effect it.
Low handicappers have tended to want to make the challenge more difficult, not for themselves, but, for the lesser player.
The higher handicappers have tended to want to make the challenge easier for themselves, with little concern about making the challenge more difficult for the lower handicap player.
In general, I've sensed an antagonism between the two factions that rarely leads to consensus..

The architect must dismiss biased views, he must ignore interested factions and find a tactical balance amongst all factions, not in any one feature or hole, but in the context the entire 18 holes.

It's a rare committee/board session when low handicaps 0-2 and high handicaps 18-20 come to a meeting of the minds on a particular feature or hole, and that's why clubs NEED to hire a disinterested, independent party, an architect.

In order to make an honest or thorough evaluation, one must evaluate a feature, hole or golf course in the context of the broad spectrum of golfers who will interface with those features, holes and golf course, and not in the sole context of their game.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Jud_T on November 26, 2009, 10:56:46 PM
Pat,

Forgive me my transgresses.  I am relatively new to this site and you have a much more subtle view of the subject than I understood at first glance...Please see my related thread- We like quirky fun designs because we're hackers... :-X
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Mac Plumart on November 27, 2009, 07:58:08 AM
Enough of this "nice-nice"...

I want a $1,000 nassau at Winged Foot from the tips with automatic presses when anyone goes 2 down beteween Jud and Patrick!!!!!!

I know we can get someone from GCA to give us stroke by stroke commentary on the site!!!

 :)
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Jud_T on November 27, 2009, 08:16:10 AM
Mac,

I'm all for it and I'm sure it would be quite entertaining. (I have the inside track on the best caddie as well!).  The problem, as I'm sure you're aware, is my volatility vs. Pat's.  i.e. if we both are playing our best, then it's a 50/50 proposition, but if we are both off our game, I'm sure to lose most of the time as a bad round for him may be 4 or 5 shots worse while a bad round for me may be 10-15 shots worse, so the real odds are more like 2-1 in his favor.... :-\
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Dónal Ó Ceallaigh on November 27, 2009, 09:31:37 AM
Some food for thought over the next couple days.

I recently had a conversation with another poster about how golfers' play influences feelings about the course. The short of it was that I feel golfers miss things when only playing once or twice, because there is (understandably) too much influence of the outcome of their own shots, as well as a misunderstanding of how the best play.

I find it fascinating how many golfers walk off great courses feeling they left more than a few shots out on the course. Upon reflection, I consider this a HUGE plus for any course. It's my own (limited) experience that the best courses always leave one feeling as though they should have scored better, but somehow didn't. It's the somehow that is important, imho.

After relating this drivel to my friend, he remarked that in his many years of tournament play - always well into the double digits every year for many years - he frequently heard fellow golfers lamenting how they "shot 75 but should have shot 68" or something like that. He said he was the only one who routinely said "I shot 72 but should have shot 80!"


George:

I can't think of one occasion where I didn't walk off a course feeling that I had left a few shots on the course. In my opinion, it's got nothing to do with the quality of the course. We all make mistakes, whether it's on a dog-track or a Top 100 course. Even Tiger Woods hasn't played a perfect round in his life and probably never will.

I believe your friend was just good at course management. Squeezing a 72 out of an 80 is the sign of a good golfer. It's about getting up-and-down when it counts and minimizing mistakes.

As one or two (Ian / Rob) have already said, if you want to evaluate a course properly, you need to forget about the score. I'd say you need to just drop balls down here and there and play from different positions. Try chipping and putting from all angles and positions. It takes a lot of walking and time to fully evaluate a course. You need to look at the approaches to greens from all angles and distances. It's a bit like a survey.

Personally, I like to keep score, so I don't think that I can be fully focused on evaluating a course; it's a bit of give and take in my opinion. On the other hand, I don't think I could evaluate and appreciate a course by just walking it.

Dónal.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Mac Plumart on November 27, 2009, 09:42:50 AM
Jud...

I hear you.

As an FYI...I'm willing to stake a % of  your risk in return for a % of the profit.  Perhaps, we could get a syndicate going to help alleviate some of the risk...but then some of your reward as well.

Or you guys could drop it to a friendly game ($1 nassau) and give us feedback after your round along the lines of what a mid to high handicapper thought of the round and the course versus a low handicapper.

Either way, I'm trying to get you a look (or another look) at Winged Foot!!!  Work with me here!! :) :D ;D
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Michael H on November 27, 2009, 10:05:03 AM
Those people who opine that one cannot evaluate a course after a single play likely have better access.

While there are those of us who cannot adequately articulate our opinions (or as Sean Arble rightly points out, are simply too intellectually lazy to do so) the cognoscenti should heavily consider the fact that we indeed "get it" whatever the heck "it" is.

Not only is it not a "monumental mistake" as Pat Mucci opines, I'd argue that the ONLY way to evaluate a golf course is in the context of your game.  If not, why bother playing the round?

I don't at all mean to imply that all golf courses should suit every type of game.  All I know is that I've played with several members of this web-site on golf courses they've been fortunate enough to play multiple times and it's obvious form their choices that they don't "get" the architecture.

I'd even argue that the key to evaluating golf course architecture is a keen understanding (not playing capability) of the GAME itself.  

Perhaps a single play forces the student of architecture to pay better attention.  

Give me the guy who takes the time to look for replaced cups on the green over the guy who curses after a poorly struck shot every time.

My game has fallen to pieces but in no way do I want to "diminish the challenge."  The double-digit handicapper has to confront virtually every architectural element on a golf course.  Accordingly, he cannot let down his guard in evaluating the golf course.

I can recall only a single round in the past 40 years where I failed to make a par due to stunningly poor play.  It was my only round on what I believe to be the best course in this country.  

I have come to love the architecture more than the game, to the extent that I have resigned my club membership so I can budget those funds to travel and see more courses.  

Mike

Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: George Pazin on November 27, 2009, 11:46:53 AM
When I visit a course to evaluate it - I never keep score. If I play the hole "properly" then I will probably finish it - [color]if I hit a wayward drive, then I will often pick my ball up and put it down in position A or B to get a feel for how the hole was supposed to be played.[/color]


You'll pardon me for singling you out, but I think this is a real mistake (in general, not necessarily when you personally do it). I don't believe it is good to say a hole is supposed to be played in a certain manner, again speaking generally. I'll try to expand more later.

Thanks, Tom P, for noticing the importance of the word "somehow". That was a carefully worded sentence, in spite of its brevity. :)

Tom D, I love this statement:

But to suggest that you should not use the shots you hit on a course to HELP you judge its merits is pretty silly, to me.  Results matter.  You just shouldn't make the mistake of thinking the hole ALWAYS plays the way you played it.

More later.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: George Pazin on November 27, 2009, 12:16:37 PM
You're right, Shiv. Maybe I should have asked:

How should one's play influence thoughts on a golf course?

Of course, Pat disagrees, which only means I'm on the right track... :)

There is a very controversial sports talk guy here in the Burgh who has one thing that he says that I love: What coulda happened, did.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: TEPaul on November 27, 2009, 12:42:48 PM
GeorgeP:

What I'm about to say I realize is somewhat off the point of the subject of your thread---eg "Is it ever a good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?" but I have noticed over the years that some golfers (and golf architectural analysts) are just a whole lot better than others at picking up the nuances of any course's architecture than others are given some limited amount of time or experience with a course.

I've seen some analysts who play a course once and they seem to think they have basically noticed most everything about the architectural ramifications of a course when I can tell really well they just haven't. I guess this is just a common case that some people just do not appreciate very well to KNOW WHAT THEY DON'T KNOW!

On the other hand, I have seen others who pick up on all kinds of architectural nuances really quickly even if they have never seen or experienced the relevent shots with these architectural nuances.

I'm sure a guy like Doak can do this really well, and I have noticed being with them that Bill V could do it well as I think Ran Morrissett can as well, and even on recent threads I was pretty amazed at how much Bradley Anderson picked up on with some architectural nuances of the architecture of Oakmont, after having seen it only once.

As for me, I just can't play golf and notice architectural nuances very well that have not related to what I've done on the course that day. I guess I just can't stop concentrating on what I'm trying to do and spend the time to really look around and analyze.

But courses with great architecture like Pine Valley that I've probably played more and know better than anyone else on here still surprises me with some of its architectural nuances, particularly when the course and particularly the approaches and greens are firm and fast.

There is no question in my mind that when good architecture plays firm and fast all kinds of architectural nuances start to pop out that even long term members never appreciated or even noticed.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Jerry Kluger on November 27, 2009, 12:52:23 PM
I would like to submit the following with respect to this thread:  If a hole can only be played one way is it good architecture?  What I am saying is that if after you play a hole and are trying to judge its architecture, you come to the conclusion that it can only be played one way in order to score well on the hole, is that necessarily bad?  In other words,  if you have to play the hole by playing to point A and then to point B can that be good architecture - to me, generally the answer is "no." So my own play will influence my consideration of the hole and that is because of the architecture and not because of my play - does that make sense?
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 27, 2009, 01:45:49 PM
Mike Hendren, et. al.,

"I do not believe any one is qualified to pass on the merits of any one hole, let alone eighteen holes, unless he has played them under all the varying conditions possible--varying winds, rain, heat, frost, etc." ;D
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: George Pazin on November 27, 2009, 02:32:44 PM
If we imposed that standard on everyone, this would be one lonely and quiet site.

Tom P -

You're certainly right about some folks getting it immediately and others never. I guess my next question would be for those who get it, such as those mentioned by you, what things do you look for? Do you think there is anything most relative novices frequently miss?

As I mentioned earlier, I think playing a hole as one believes the designer has in mind is somewhat of a mistake. I think this approach would miss the lion's share of the architect's work, and would render most analysis rather dull and boring.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 27, 2009, 02:41:49 PM
George,

It depends on whether you're most concerned with, quantity or quality  ;D
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Tom_Doak on November 27, 2009, 10:46:33 PM
Tom P:

I've told this story before, but in my one visit to Rustic Canyon I played with Eric Iverson and Jim Urbina and Sara Mess, and we spent three hours deconstructing the course from there on our way to Palm Desert.

Sara had been an intern for only a week and she was just blown away that the rest of us were talking about places on the course where we hadn't even played from!

I would not be able to do that so easily on an average course -- but if a course is really good, it will stand out to my eye right away because it's different, and I will notice a lot of those features.  Not all of them, of course, but a lot of them.  And then I'll know I want to go back.  And if a course does not have features like that, it's pretty easy to see that it doesn't, and that's that.

George:

I agree with you that few people have played very many courses in every possible condition.  However, I lived in Great Britain & Ireland for long enough to understand that the wind can blow hard from all sorts of directions, and the best holes still work no matter which way the wind is blowing.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: TEPaul on November 28, 2009, 10:14:45 AM
TomD:

Very, veeery interesting there.

Perhaps you'd explain to the highly anticipating viewers and contributors of this website what some of the details are you were looking at on Rustic Canyon of which you speak and from which none of you played from. I know I sure would like to hear some or all of that.

By the way, regarding what you said to George about the wind, reminds me again of how interesting I thought those two side by side holes of Pacific Dunes were (#5 and #6). I think in a certain seasonal wind the one that is a par 5 can play as a par 4 and the one that is a par 4 can pretty much play as a par 5. I call that kind of thing "architectural par skewing" and I think it's very cool as it can give certain players virtual strategic brain-lock!!
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Jud_T on November 28, 2009, 10:31:37 AM
sh*t,

now I have to make the 2 1/2 hour drive up from Carlsbad... :-\
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Tom_Doak on November 28, 2009, 11:54:06 AM
Tom P:

What happens at Rustic Canyon, stays at Rustic Canyon, at least as far as internal Renaissance Golf discussions are concerned.  Sorry.  Plus, it was five or six years ago now (it was the same day Ronald Reagan's body was lying in state just up the road, the traffic was horrendous), so I've forgotten a lot of it.

I'm just saying that three of us pretty easily understood whether or not a shot from the right side of the fairway would have faced different results, even if none of us had actually hit our drives to the right.

We tried to go there incognito, and pretty much succeeded, although Jim Urbina pushed the envelope a bit by asking the guy in the shop repeatedly whether it was a Geoff Shackelford design.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: George Pazin on November 28, 2009, 12:20:39 PM
I'm just saying that three of us pretty easily understood whether or not a shot from the right side of the fairway would have faced different results, even if none of us had actually hit our drives to the right.

I can certainly understand keeping specific things internal, no problem with that, but could you give us some clues as to what you notice in situations like this? Perhaps even using a different course, even one of your own, as an example? Are they obvious things? Not obvious?
A bit of each?

Mostly I'm just interested in how you notice other elements of a golf course, particularly things you think someone not involved in building would overlook or miss entirely.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 28, 2009, 12:43:17 PM
George Pazin,

You have to remember that Tom Doak's skill sets, when it comes to architecture, are exponentially greater than the average golfer or GCA.comer.

What he sees in a flash, doesn't necessarily get recognized in 10 visits by the unprofessional eye.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: George Pazin on November 28, 2009, 12:50:31 PM
I understand that, that's why I'm asking him for advice! :)

I'm not expecting anyone, least of all myself, to be anywhere near as proficient as Tom or Jim, etc., I'd just like all of us, especially me, to be a little better.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Tom_Doak on November 28, 2009, 06:11:29 PM
George:

Our fourth, Sara Mess, probably has a higher I.Q. than the other three in our group.  But she was a competitive golfer, so she wouldn't worry about where else she might have hit her tee shot; she'd just go to it and figure out how best to play from there.

Jim and Eric and I are used to working on designs in the field.  When you are building a green, you are thinking about all the angles of approach and how to design it to favor one over another; and once you are used to that, then every time you walk on a green, you analyze it and think back to where the best approach might have come from.

Most design analysis on really good courses is done from the green backwards.  That seems lost on a lot of players.
Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Mark Pearce on November 28, 2009, 06:38:52 PM
Can you think of a championship course that tests the strongest players that's fun for golfers of all abilities

Yes.  Muirfield.  Dornoch.  Carnoustie 

Three courses I played as a (poor) 19 handicapper in the past and had a blast. 

And you played all three from the Championship tees used in the Opens ?

No.  Just Muirfield.  And it was tough.  But still fun.  More recently and as an 11 'capper, I played Hoylake off tees about 100 yards shorter than for the 2006 Open and just two days after the Open finished.  That was a blast.  I played comfortably better than handicap.  That's what real fast and firm can do.

Sometimes, Patrick, the arrogance of the good player shines through too brightly in you. 
To imagine a weaker golfer cannot "play" these courses and enjoy them is nonsense. 

It's not nonsense, it's a fact.
Tell us, how as a 19 handicap, from the Championship tees at Muirfield, Dornoch and Carnoustie, you interfaced with the architecture, the features when you played ?
Pat,
It was 17 years ago I played Muirfield in those conditions.  Even you couldn't give a blow by blow account.  I know I had fun, though.

At Hoylake, I had trouble at 4 because with my right to left flight there was no way I could hit and hold that green.  10 was an easy birdie chance, since my 5I lay up ran 210 yards.  Other than that, the fact I know the course, having played it several times meant I knew how to get the ball round.

The others, I played from the yellow tees.  Isn't playing from the right tees important?

He/she may not score well, or play to their handicap but they can still have a great deal of fun. 

How so when it's impossible to interface with the architectural features,, save at the green end ?
  There goes that arrogance again.  How do you know whether I can "interface" with the architecture?

Far more, in fact, than on some flat, short, boring course where playing to your handicap is no challenge.

As a 19 handicap how can playing at any golf course NOT be a challenge for you ?
When it's a flat, boring course when playing to your handicap is no challenge.  It's very sad that you have only one way of looking at golf and a complete disdain for those less skilled than you.  Can I use the word arrogant again?

Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 28, 2009, 07:07:47 PM
Can you think of a championship course that tests the strongest players that's fun for golfers of all abilities

Yes.  Muirfield.  Dornoch.  Carnoustie  

Three courses I played as a (poor) 19 handicapper in the past and had a blast.  

And you played all three from the Championship tees used in the Opens ?

No.  Just Muirfield.  And it was tough.  But still fun.  That's a contradiction in terms.

More recently and as an 11 'capper, I played Hoylake off tees about 100 yards shorter than for the 2006 Open and just two days after the Open finished.  That was a blast.  I played comfortably better than handicap.  That's what real fast and firm can do.

Sometimes, Patrick, the arrogance of the good player shines through too brightly in you.  
To imagine a weaker golfer cannot "play" these courses and enjoy them is nonsense.  

It's not nonsense, it's a fact.
Tell us, how as a 19 handicap, from the Championship tees at Muirfield, Dornoch and Carnoustie, you interfaced with the architecture, the features when you played ?


Pat,
It was 17 years ago I played Muirfield in those conditions. 17 years ago ?  ?  ?

Even you couldn't give a blow by blow account.  I wouldn't bet on that.

I know I had fun, though.  How do you know it if you can't remember it ?

At Hoylake, I had trouble at 4 because with my right to left flight there was no way I could hit and hold that green.  10 was an easy birdie chance, since my 5I lay up ran 210 yards.  Other than that, the fact I know the course, having played it several times meant I knew how to get the ball round.

The others, I played from the yellow tees.  
Isn't playing from the right tees important?


It is, that's why I'm surprised you played from the WRONG tees at Muirfield when your handicap was higher ?
Why did you play from the wrong tees ?
I realize that it was 17 years ago and you might not remember, or, you might conveniently remember what you'd like to remember. ;D


He/she may not score well, or play to their handicap but they can still have a great deal of fun.  

How so when it's impossible to interface with the architectural features,, save at the green end ?
 

There goes that arrogance again.  How do you know whether I can "interface" with the architecture?

It's NOT arrogance, it's COMMON SENSE.
You were a 19 handicap and played Muirfield from the Championship tees for the OPEN.
As such, you couldn't interface with the architecture except at the green end, so stop posturing that you did, it's disengenuous.
19 handicaps don't interface with the architecture from the Championship tees at OPEN VENUES.
So please, stop being disengenuous.


Far more, in fact, than on some flat, short, boring course where playing to your handicap is no challenge.

As a 19 handicap how can playing at any golf course NOT be a challenge for you ?


When it's a flat, boring course when playing to your handicap is no challenge.

Could you list five flat, short, boring courses where you played to your handicap ?
Could you not go back 17 years or more, but, address the question in the context of the last year ?
 

It's very sad that you have only one way of looking at golf and a complete disdain for those less skilled than you.  
Can I use the word arrogant again?

You can use whatever words you like.
I don't have any disdain for golfers less skilled than I.
I do however, have a disdain for those who are disengenuous.


Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Mark Pearce on November 28, 2009, 07:49:29 PM
Can you think of a championship course that tests the strongest players that's fun for golfers of all abilities

Yes.  Muirfield.  Dornoch.  Carnoustie  

Three courses I played as a (poor) 19 handicapper in the past and had a blast.  

And you played all three from the Championship tees used in the Opens ?

No.  Just Muirfield.  And it was tough.  But still fun.  That's a contradiction in terms.No, it's not.  Why can't tough be fun?  Or can you only enjoy it when it's easy?

More recently and as an 11 'capper, I played Hoylake off tees about 100 yards shorter than for the 2006 Open and just two days after the Open finished.  That was a blast.  I played comfortably better than handicap.  That's what real fast and firm can do.

Sometimes, Patrick, the arrogance of the good player shines through too brightly in you.  
To imagine a weaker golfer cannot "play" these courses and enjoy them is nonsense.  

It's not nonsense, it's a fact.
Tell us, how as a 19 handicap, from the Championship tees at Muirfield, Dornoch and Carnoustie, you interfaced with the architecture, the features when you played ?


Pat,
It was 17 years ago I played Muirfield in those conditions. 17 years ago ?  ?  ?

Even you couldn't give a blow by blow account.  I wouldn't bet on that.Sadly, I believe you.

I know I had fun, though.  How do you know it if you can't remember it ?I can remember enjoying myself.  Remembering every shot?  That's for you.

At Hoylake, I had trouble at 4 because with my right to left flight there was no way I could hit and hold that green.  10 was an easy birdie chance, since my 5I lay up ran 210 yards.  Other than that, the fact I know the course, having played it several times meant I knew how to get the ball round.

The others, I played from the yellow tees.  
Isn't playing from the right tees important?


It is, that's why I'm surprised you played from the WRONG tees at Muirfield when your handicap was higher ?
Why did you play from the wrong tees ?
I realize that it was 17 years ago and you might not remember, or, you might conveniently remember what you'd like to remember. ;D
Because, in 1992, there was only one set of tees at Muirfield, so that's where we played.  In fact that's where every member and guest at the club played that day.  The tees hadn't been moved forward, so everyone played from the Open tees.

He/she may not score well, or play to their handicap but they can still have a great deal of fun.  

How so when it's impossible to interface with the architectural features,, save at the green end ?
 

There goes that arrogance again.  How do you know whether I can "interface" with the architecture?

It's NOT arrogance, it's COMMON SENSE.
You were a 19 handicap and played Muirfield from the Championship tees for the OPEN.
As such, you couldn't interface with the architecture except at the green end, so stop posturing that you did, it's disengenuous.
19 handicaps don't interface with the architecture from the Championship tees at OPEN VENUES.
So please, stop being disengenuous.
I'm not being disingenuous.  You are being arrogant.  As someone who clearly has no understanding as to what it'slike to be a 19 handicapper (and there are hundreds of different types of 19 handicapper) why do you believe you have a better understanding of how it is to play these courses as a 19 handicapper than someone who has actually been there?  It's that arrogance again, isn't it?

Far more, in fact, than on some flat, short, boring course where playing to your handicap is no challenge.

As a 19 handicap how can playing at any golf course NOT be a challenge for you ?


When it's a flat, boring course when playing to your handicap is no challenge.

Could you list five flat, short, boring courses where you played to your handicap ?
Could you not go back 17 years or more, but, address the question in the context of the last year ?
  No.  Because I am no longer a 19 handicapper, and have not been for several years.  However, your point is unbelievably stupid.  Any 19 handicapper will be able to list courses where they have played to their handicap, or they would not have that handicap.

It's very sad that you have only one way of looking at golf and a complete disdain for those less skilled than you.  
Can I use the word arrogant again?

You can use whatever words you like.
I don't have any disdain for golfers less skilled than I.All the evidence suggests you do.  At least you have no clue what we do, or do not enjoy.
I do however, have a disdain for those who are disengenuous.
I haven't much time for arrogance, either.

Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Patrick_Mucci on November 28, 2009, 10:35:26 PM
Can you think of a championship course that tests the strongest players that's fun for golfers of all abilities

Yes.  Muirfield.  Dornoch.  Carnoustie  

Three courses I played as a (poor) 19 handicapper in the past and had a blast.  

And you played all three from the Championship tees used in the Opens ?

No.  Just Muirfield.  And it was tough.  But still fun.  That's a contradiction in terms.No, it's not.  Why can't tough be fun?  Or can you only enjoy it when it's easy?

IF it's so much fun, why don't you play those tees every round ?
Why did you mention playing from the "right" tees if it's so much fun from the Championship tees ?


More recently and as an 11 'capper, I played Hoylake off tees about 100 yards shorter than for the 2006 Open and just two days after the Open finished.  That was a blast.  I played comfortably better than handicap.  That's what real fast and firm can do.[/color]

Sometimes, Patrick, the arrogance of the good player shines through too brightly in you.  
To imagine a weaker golfer cannot "play" these courses and enjoy them is nonsense.  

It's not nonsense, it's a fact.
Tell us, how as a 19 handicap, from the Championship tees at Muirfield, Dornoch and Carnoustie, you interfaced with the architecture, the features when you played ?


Pat,
It was 17 years ago I played Muirfield in those conditions. 17 years ago ?  ?  ?

Even you couldn't give a blow by blow account.  I wouldn't bet on that.Sadly, I believe you.

I know I had fun, though.  How do you know it if you can't remember it ?I can remember enjoying myself.  Remembering every shot?  That's for you.

At Hoylake, I had trouble at 4 because with my right to left flight there was no way I could hit and hold that green.  10 was an easy birdie chance, since my 5I lay up ran 210 yards.  Other than that, the fact I know the course, having played it several times meant I knew how to get the ball round.

The others, I played from the yellow tees.  
Isn't playing from the right tees important?


It is, that's why I'm surprised you played from the WRONG tees at Muirfield when your handicap was higher ?
Why did you play from the wrong tees ?
I realize that it was 17 years ago and you might not remember, or, you might conveniently remember what you'd like to remember. ;D
Because, in 1992, there was only one set of tees at Muirfield, so that's where we played.  In fact that's where every member and guest at the club played that day.  The tees hadn't been moved forward, so everyone played from the Open tees.

By coincidence, I was at Muirfield in 1992.


He/she may not score well, or play to their handicap but they can still have a great deal of fun.  

How so when it's impossible to interface with the architectural features,, save at the green end ?
 

There goes that arrogance again.  How do you know whether I can "interface" with the architecture?

It's NOT arrogance, it's COMMON SENSE.
You were a 19 handicap and played Muirfield from the Championship tees for the OPEN.
As such, you couldn't interface with the architecture except at the green end, so stop posturing that you did, it's disengenuous.
19 handicaps don't interface with the architecture from the Championship tees at OPEN VENUES.
So please, stop being disengenuous.


I'm not being disingenuous.  You are being arrogant.  As someone who clearly has no understanding as to what it'slike to be a 19 handicapper (and there are hundreds of different types of 19 handicapper) why do you believe you have a better understanding of how it is to play these courses as a 19 handicapper than someone who has actually been there?  It's that arrogance again, isn't it?

Before I became a low handicap, I was a high handicap.
In addition, as recent as 2004 I was a high handicap, probably higher than 19.
So the next time you make absurd, inaccurate statements, know what you're talking about before you make them.
[/color]

Far more, in fact, than on some flat, short, boring course where playing to your handicap is no challenge.

As a 19 handicap how can playing at any golf course NOT be a challenge for you ?


When it's a flat, boring course when playing to your handicap is no challenge.

Could you list five flat, short, boring courses where you played to your handicap ?
Could you not go back 17 years or more, but, address the question in the context of the last year ?
 
 
No.  Because I am no longer a 19 handicapper, and have not been for several years.

What does that have to do with your naming five flat, short, boring golf courses.  Stop ducking the question.
[/color]
 
However, your point is unbelievably stupid.  

No it's not.  You made a statement and I challenged you to name five flat, short, boring courses you've played that presented no challenge to you.
As yet, you've been unable to name any.
[/color]

Any 19 handicapper will be able to list courses where they have played to their handicap, or they would not have that handicap.

That wasn't my question.
I didn't ask what courses you played to your handicap, I asked what flat, short, boring courses you found unchallenging ?
[/color]

It's very sad that you have only one way of looking at golf and a complete disdain for those less skilled than you.  
Can I use the word arrogant again?

You can use whatever words you like.
I don't have any disdain for golfers less skilled than I.

All the evidence suggests you do.   

No, only the limited amount of evidence in your possession.
There's a broad base of evidence to the contrary, evidence which is not in your possession.


At least you have no clue what we do, or do not enjoy.

Another absurd, uninformed statement, absent the facts, your specialty.
Five years ago I was higher than a 19
[/color]

I do however, have a disdain for those who are disengenuous.

I haven't much time for arrogance, either.

You're disengenuous and uninformed, which leads you to draw absurd conclusions.
Get your facts right before you type.
[/color]

Title: Re: Is it ever good to consider your own play in evaluating a course?
Post by: Tim_Cronin on November 29, 2009, 01:03:57 AM
Wow. I think the last few posts set a record for the number of colors used.

Anyway, I think Shivas makes the most salient point on this most interesting topic. How much weight do you give your results? Me, since I stink most of the time, not so much. But I know what an architect is getting at by placement of hazards, preferred line of play, bailout areas, etc., and can tell how well a hole works as I play it, or even as I walk it covering a tournament.
It's also wise to see what the rest of your group has gotten themselves into. One pal of mine hammers driver every time on a 4 or 5-par, no matter what the hazard (except some obvious water situations). He gets himself into more trouble than he should because he doesn't realize there are sucker driving areas on fairways just as there are sucker pins. He'd not be a good judge of the architecture, I'd think.
And as Tom Doak mentioned, looking at the hole from green back to tee can reveal much.