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GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: Joel Pear on December 02, 2017, 10:36:27 AM

Title: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Joel Pear on December 02, 2017, 10:36:27 AM
I've been playing golf for a long time and have played over 200 different courses, some of them very highly thought of.  While the deterioration of my game has progressed with the aging process, at one time I was able to scrape it around pretty nicely.


When reading golf course reviews, it is not uncommon to see something like, "It's got great shot values!"  I never really know what is meant.  I feel like I should know, but I don't.  Is it you use every club in the bag?  You have to move the ball both ways?  I just don't know and nobody has ever explained it to me.  This may seem like an elementary request, but I would be curious to know your definition.


Thanks
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Kyle Harris on December 02, 2017, 11:35:13 AM
The ratio of the amount of skill required to significantly increase the odds of holing your next shot vs. the amount of skill not required to do the same.
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Tommy Williamsen on December 02, 2017, 11:53:21 AM
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,20633.msg370521.html#msg370521 (http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,20633.msg370521.html#msg370521)


http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,4329.0.html (http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,4329.0.html)


Personally: does the hole offer a variety of options? If I take a bold and risky line off the tee will I be rewarded with an easier shot into the green than if I took a more conservative line? Do the shots into the green require good thought, imagination, and good shotmaking? Is it only a bombers course or does it ask for precision and finesse as well?
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Thomas Dai on December 02, 2017, 01:04:17 PM
I recall reading somewhere, herein maybe (?), that ‘shot values’ was another way of saying ‘challenge’.
Atb
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: John Kirk on December 02, 2017, 02:31:20 PM
My definition of shot values distills down to something like "How much fun are the golf shots?"
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on December 02, 2017, 03:48:27 PM

On the old thread, Tom Paul posted this:


I like this definition in the Glossary of Design Terms in the back of Cornish and Whitten's book;

"Shot values is an important yet somewhat mysterious term. Golf architects Ken Killian and Dick Nugent have described it wall as "a reflection of what the hole demands of the golfer and the relative reward or punishment it metes out for good and bad shots.""


To which, I responded:

I can tell you that I can't accept that Killian and Nugent version, and its very possible that I wrote it for them, having done much of their wordsmithing back in those days! I have spent much time trying to write a better definition, whether here, on my Cybergolf series, or in my various "design philosphy" statments.

Why? Because there was (IMHO) too little thought process put into the shots in the typical K and N design - and perhaps, the typical 1980's designs - despite what you think is the seminal statement on the subject......Even accepting that distilled version as a good basic definition, the gca is left with the question of how do you find/develop/shape features for "the relative reward or punishment it metes out for good and bad shots?" 

While accepting that there are many, many ways to do that, as well as many great exceptions to any standard rule, I feel the definition should go a bit further, just for my own use, and many good players and critics apparently believe similarly. 

It is also clear that like life itself (unless you are a creationist, rather than a Darwinist) shot values evolve over time.  The classic example is the blind shot, which was accepted in the 1800's, gradually becoming unacceptable as soon as it was practical to remove it, and now, seems to be making a limited comeback.  What kills me, is my definition of shot values, which I have taken over 20 years to formulate, may be obsolete by virtue of technology before I finish it!  There are parts talking about "ancient" concepts likes fades and draws which have largely gone by the wayside, as has the idea of a controlled layup shot!  (No such thing for the long bombers who find that a short shot from the rough beats a long one from the fw)

Such is life, which as you know from above, is another topic I am currently struggling with!


I still struggle, but did write two consecutive articles in Golf Course Industry a while back.
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on December 02, 2017, 03:54:36 PM

I wrote this in Golf Course Industry magazine in 2011:


 Over time, I have developed my design oriented view of “Shot values” from amazingly consistent comments from Tour Pros and other good players.  This provides me a tool for choosing the best design features.  It could be a basis for a formal ratings system, but others can rate and analyze designs.  I just design, striving to make as many shots as I can adhere to these parameters:
   
1.   No Unplayable/ Unreasonably Difficult shots, including impossible forced carries, or targets behind mature trees, or greens that impossibly small or which reject shots.   Also includes Uncomfortable Shots, with difficult “physics” like:
a.   Uphill long iron shot from downhill lie
b.   Combinations of vertical challenges, i.e., shots over a bunker lip but under tree branches.
c.    Shot over water/OB required to reach target (i.e., water right in right to left winds)
2.   Target Visibility. There are exceptions, but blindness reduces strategy and pace of play, and sometimes increases safety problems.
3.   Target Accepts/Holds Well Played Shots -  including:
a.   Adequate Size – Statistically sized, and about:
                                       i.    15% width/20% depth of expected shot distance (average players)
                                     ii.     10% width/10% depth of expected shot distance (good players, used guarded “Sunday Pins”)
                                    iii.    Adjusted for typical wind conditions (i.e., deeper greens on downwind shots accounting for less spin, wider greens in crosswinds, etc.
                                    iv.    Generally, angled less than 30 degrees right or left for playability.   
b.   Contours with at least 1.5% upslope facing golfers, and fairways with less than 10% (depending on turf type) cross slope. 
4.   Options with Consequences –
a.   2-3 options on most tee shots, (More options provide little benefit) with a “best location” providing an approach shot that is shorter or from a better angle (usually no hazard carry), a level lie, better vision or holding capacity, or taking major hazards out of play on either shot.
b.   On approach shots, a choice between “fat middle” area, “Sunday Pin” target, which might vary daily by wind or pin location.
c.    A “bail out” area for any shot with difficult hazards.
d.   Balance of Risk and Reward, i.e., opportunity to gain a shot or lose a shot.  Risk proportion may rise near the end of the round when gaining shots is critical to those behind.
e.   Create Temptation and Dilemma
                                       i.    High Risk Shots should have 51-67%, chance to succeed, and reverse proportioned 67-51%, chances for recovery if missed. (Hazards can be more difficult Reaching a par 5 in two shots) 
                                     ii.    Use large 90-100% doable “Safe” targets to accentuate the difference between safe and risky shots.
5.   Reward one “best” shot pattern on each shot.
a.    Wherever possible, strongly align prevailing wind, lie and target angle to “signal” a preferred shot pattern.  It reduces confusion and makes success a matter of execution, and reduces luck. Setting up and rewarding one shot pattern on each shot requires golfers to ”hit all the shots” over the course of the round. 
b.   Even when favoring one shot pattern, leave enough room for others, as few golfers can hit all shots.  Even top players can’t do it reliably without their “A game," relying on their ” go to” shot at other times.

6.   Reward Different Recovery Skills over 18 holes – Hazards should be:
a.   A mix of different types and styles, for visual and play variety.  However, golfers who can hit “all the recovery shots” (or excel on only some) both enjoy courses where they vary from hole to hole. 
7.   Shot Difficulty Balance/Relationships – While the occasional truly hard or easy hole stands out, most holes should have:
a.   Near average difficulty, with a mix of hard, medium difficulty and easier shots.  Holes with difficult tee shot should have easier approach shots and/or putting.  Where the long shots are relatively easy, putting can be relatively harder.
b.   Similarly, hazard difficulty should relate to shot difficulty (i.e., relatively harder hazards on easier shots, and easier hazards for harder shots
c.    Hazards should be harder on wider fairways and bigger greens and easier on narrow fairways and small greens.

8.   Balance over 18 holes – Golfers have different game strengths, and the course should allow each to shine, with a variety of shots favoring accuracy, length, finesse, different shot patterns, and winds.

9.   Variety and Rhythm over 18 holes – All other things being equal, varying hole pars, lengths, features, relative difficulty and shot types provides better play and competition over a very unbalanced course. Holes with variety, occuring in a pleasant sequence, especially avoiding a string of hard holes, provide the most enjoyable play and competitive conditions.

10.               Exceptions to the Rules – Golf courses can’t be standardized, and I have never followed these rules for every shot, nor try particularly hard to do so.

Great holes first and foremost fit the land, and are aesthetic, sometimes at the expense of shot values.  Using the land is the “first among equals” in design criteria. Many great old holes and courses break these rules.  Some are even revered for it, such as Olympics’ “too narrow, too sloped” fairways, or the Road Hole at St. Andrews.  But, while those exceptions are cool, modern designers who break the “rules” too often usually create courses that are more goofy than great.
Even now, golfers aren’t too coddled or demanding that they will quit the game if the greens won’t hold, or they are required to play to a reverse slope green, or hooks off fade lies, or an approach, etc.  They all play the same course, and regard an uncomfortable or difficult shot as just another golf challenge. 
For them, just playing is more important than playing a course with good shot values.  However, if shot values are too far out of the norm, they may switch courses!
 There you have it, a nice 10-point list (because it’s all about lists these days) succinctly describing the current consensus on “
 
 
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on December 02, 2017, 03:59:30 PM

And this was my column the month before, sort of teeing up the top ten definitions.  The paragraphs discussing setting up shots vs. punishing them is probably the core of my beliefs on the subject.
 

Golfers often speak of “Good Shot Values” (sometimes sounding quite authoritative) but I have never heard a good, concise definition of this presumably important – and widely misunderstood - term.   For example, the 1998 Cornish and Graves book, “Golf Course Design”, asked a few architects to define the term.  The responses were maddingly vague, at best.  Some samples:

“A reflection of what the hole demands of the golfer, and the relative reward or punishment it metes out for good and bad shots.” (Killian and Nugent)

“The architect should get the most out of the land, while letting play take care of itself.  Each hole must be designed to balance risk and reward.” (Tom Doak)

“The value of a required shot as related to its difficulty or allowable margin of error.” (Mike Hurdzan)

I worked for Killian and Nugent, and never got any more depth than that.  Tom Doak has made a nice career over putting the land first, but I wonder if he really “let’s play take care of itself”.  And, in his own 1996 book, “Golf Course Architecture,” Hurdzan expounds more on “shot value”, first noting it means a variety of required shots, lengths and targets, and defining the “allowable margin of error” as sizing greens by using USGA slope system research to allow 66% of average golfers to hit the green. 

He vaguely suggests that hazards can be designed so the punishment “matches the crime,” suggesting bunker depth be matched to expected recovery clubs, with fairway sand bunkers requiring mid to long irons to reach the green should be shallower than green side bunkers where you can use a wedge.  The possibility of clean escape is an inherently good shot value.

He thinks “fairness” dictates all shots should be within the golfers ability, and states, “If enough holes are deemed unfair, the golf course is unfair.”  Like others, he mentions progression and sequence, another form of variety.

Even Golf Digest, which uses shot values as a double weighted component of their golf course rankings system defines it only as:

“How well do the holes pose a variety of risks and rewards and equally test length, accuracy and finesse?”

Golf Digest other rating factors include “resistance to scoring“, “design variety“, “memorability“, “aesthetics“, “conditioning“ and “ambience“, which also do contribute to how golfers evaluate courses as bad, good or great.

GolfWeek has somewhat different criteria, which some find more meaningful.  They emphasize variety, but notably leave out resistance to scoring.  I believe Golf Digest maintains that category as a legacy from its early “Toughest 100 Courses” lists, while GolfWeek’s ratings emerged after opinions shifted, and most think that tough doesn’t necessarily equal “good” in golf courses, a notion to which I subscribe. 

First, any course feature designed to “resist scoring” usually cost poor golfers several shots more than it might cost top players. Second, the Golden Age masters wrote that they were trying to are encourage, suggest, or reward, a variety of different types of golf shots over 18 holes for fun and challenge.  They had little interest in punishing bad shots harshly. The "punishment" mentality was common around 1900 and later from 1950 onward, dating to the Robert Trent Jones remodel of Oakland Hills.  The Golf Digest “Toughest 100 list” inadvertently influenced the tough is better mentality, and later, aesthetics (read: more sand bunkers) kept it going. 

The difference between placing hazards to encourage different shots versus placing them to punish bad ones is a tough concept for many golfers and greens committees to grasp!  Even when you believe in some punishment, we soon realize that for competitive matches, the architect only needs to differentiate golfers by one shot per round in medal play, and by as little as one hole in match play.  A high score on one hole effectively ends the stroke play match, when golf matches are more exciting if they are close to the end. 

Hard hazards aren’t required for that differentiation, and tend to negate risk taking, (there is that phrase again) while risk also increases the inherent fun of golf.  While occasionally tempting golfers to attempt shots beyond their ability is part of strategic architecture, thinking golfers (not all are) rarely take a chance when their odds are better than 50/50, and preferably 2/3-1/3. However, instilling a bit of doubt, if not outright fear, a few times per round is also a part of architecture, so a few harder hazards can be appropriate.  In modern design ponds for irrigation and storm water storage often fit the bill. 

The masters knew that arranging hazards to suggest golfers hit a particular shot type – such as a low fade with a mid-iron to a tucked pin position has similar shot values whether the guarding bunker is two or twenty feet deep.  The “one shot difference” theory suggests moderate depth bunkers allowing recovery with a good shot, with a chance of staying in the bunker with a mediocre one.[/size][/font]

“Balancing” risk and reward suggests par 4 holes with a maximum reward of birdie or one stroke to par, should typically limit punishment to bogey (also one stroke to par).  On par 5 holes, where you might pick up two strokes, perhaps two stroke hazards (like water) are appropriate.  Thinking of progression, perhaps harder hazards near the end of the round, golfers may already face a “do or die” situation, harder shots and penalties make less different.

It’s easy to see that shot value must be considered both individually and in terms of both the individual shot, related shots, and the overall sequence of the round, variety of other shots, etc. 
I have never found previous definitions particularly useful as design tools, as I need to decide specifically how to arrange features to create good shot values, as their my primary goal.  Thus, undaunted by those who believe shot values are too hard to define, and those who prefer to leave the definition vague, using the pornography test (I know good shot values when I see them……) I have cobbled together ay definition of shot values from the thoughts above, and the amazingly consistent comments I have heard over 30 years from better players (in tidbit form) as to what they like, and expect to see.

But, as the psychologists are famous for saying, we are out of time this month……..
 
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Tom_Doak on December 02, 2017, 06:05:39 PM
You must be missing Patrick Mucci with that last post :)
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Thomas Dai on December 02, 2017, 06:16:01 PM
You must be missing Patrick Mucci with that last post :)


With the amount of cutting and pasting and coloured text on some recent threads maybe PM has reappeared in disguise or under an alias! :)
Atb
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Peter Pallotta on December 02, 2017, 07:02:45 PM
Joel - I don’t know; but so vague is the term that all the answers above seem to me to be very good ones (and I think they are).

But there is little mention of “thrills”, ie shot value as thrills. Isn’t it best when as many golf shots as possible during a round both mean something and *look like* they mean something?
There is great satisfaction in pulling off the important and/or dangerous-looking shot — and even when we don’t pull it off, there is at least the drama of the attempt. That drama is what’s wonderful about a game of golf.

I think one of the reasons I’m not a great fan of water/ponds/islands greens except at Sawgrass is because it’s lazy, ie it is the easiest and most obvious and least interesting and imaginative way for an architect to create the thrill, and the drama. Subtle drama, or maybe better “strategic drama” must be the hardest thing for an architect to successfully pull off.

Peter
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Joel Pear on December 03, 2017, 11:17:22 AM
Thanks, everyone, for your replies.  Shot values, it seems, can be a very ambiguous term.  Jeff, I especially appreciate the thought and time you put into your responses, and agree technology has lessened the impact of what many have defined as shot values.  In the 70's when you had balls that actually spun and you could make them curve, it was a totally different game.  Now, with the modern golf ball you can just launch it high, let its trajectory land it soft, and just fire away.
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on December 03, 2017, 12:59:48 PM

You must be missing Patrick Mucci with that last post :)


Not really.  When I cut and paste from a word doc, I get all sorts of (font) tidbits, making it hard to read.  By changing font, size and color, it seems to post as normal text.  It's possible I could just change one or two.....
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on December 03, 2017, 01:03:22 PM

Thanks, everyone, for your replies.  Shot values, it seems, can be a very ambiguous term.  Jeff, I especially appreciate the thought and time you put into your responses, and agree technology has lessened the impact of what many have defined as shot values.  In the 70's when you had balls that actually spun and you could make them curve, it was a totally different game.  Now, with the modern golf ball you can just launch it high, let its trajectory land it soft, and just fire away.


Based on working with guys like Colbert and Notah Begay III, they think (as shorter hitters during their time on the PGA Tour) that it is important.  They crafted every shot to heighten their percentage of success chances to compensate for lack of distance.  And, that is at the very highest level (save the 65 guys on tour who average over 300 yards) so I think they are a good proxy for low handicap ams who feel the same way.  And, that is who I design for. 


The balance of shot types works for single pattern players, too.  It makes sure that those who fade and draw have about half the holes that work in their favor.
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Jay Mickle on December 03, 2017, 02:49:14 PM
But there is little mention of “thrills”, ie shot value as thrills. Isn’t it best when as many golf shots as possible during a round both mean something and *look like* they mean something?
There is great satisfaction in pulling off the important and/or dangerous-looking shot — and even when we don’t pull it off, there is at least the drama of the attempt. That drama is what’s wonderful about a game of golf.
Peter


Sounds like an advert for Tobacco Road
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Norbert P on December 03, 2017, 06:04:08 PM
  I remember using the term "shot values" in describing a course when somebody asked me what "shot values" meant.


  I stammered apoplecticly my answer. 


  I have never used the term since.




   There are "valuable shots".
    There are "shots with value".
    But to me, "Shot Values" is a term of bewilderment.






   



Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Colin Macqueen on December 04, 2017, 12:36:56 AM
PN,


"Apoplecticly" which I think is a short form of apoplectically no?!! ;D


But did you mean apologetically? Methinks you did and the word recognition software has claimed you as a victim!!


I heartily agree with your expressed sentiments nonetheless. Having a wee chuckle here!


Cheers Col
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Sean_A on December 04, 2017, 04:51:28 AM
I honestly have no clue what shot values is meant to mean.  I spose if we are talking about what happens after a poor shot, then maybe I can understand the concept?

Ciao
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on December 04, 2017, 08:46:26 AM

Sean,


As I mentioned, good players are amazingly consistent over the years in what they think shot values are.  Summed up, a grinder type (and who doesn't root for them) want to use every tool available on every shot to maximize chances of success and minimize disaster.  They like to be comfortable, and if all the signs point to a particular shot, they are comfortable in hitting that shot and can focus on how to execute.


As Jim Colbert once colorfully told me (and one of my associates) "Pards, there are smarter guys than me, but if my lie slopes left, the target angles left, and the wind blows left, dammit, even I know to hit a draw!  When working with him, or most other tour pros, we work hard to have all the shot signals say the same thing.  Or as Colbert continued, "What if you got to an intersection and saw a red, green and yellow light?  What would you do?" 


Tiger and others are basically saying the same thing with the phrase "the shot fits my eye."


We used to joke that "We aren't working for Jim" when on other projects, we came up with a shot that wasn't "three for three" in signaling.  Really, its impossible to get every signal to match, especially on rolling ground where the contours dictate design.  We comfort ourselves in knowing the prevailing wind does vary, in some locations isn't that strong, or that some really good holes (like Augusta 13) have hook lies and fade green angles, etc. 


We are lucky to get 2/3 of shots to match the Tour Pro criteria, but we try to get as many as we can. And, when we can't, we tend to enlarge targets slightly to let them have at it any way they want.


Which raises the question, "Do you give them what they want?"  Certainly Pete Dye liked to specifically make them uncomfortable, but in general, since I don't design tournament courses, what do I care?  I prefer to let low handicap ams enjoy the challenges of crafting a wide variety of shots, if and when the course calls for it, and/or suffer the consequences of not having all the shots.


If there are enough shots that fit these criteria, and target sizes are appropriate, most good golfers will say the course has excellent shot values.
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Sean_A on December 04, 2017, 09:23:27 AM
Jeff

Interesting....I never heard of signaling the shot and shooting for 3/3 in terms of lie, target and wind.  That said, it seems to me, that after a certain point, the more that 3/3 is achieved, the less interesting a course will be and I have to think the less interesting the "shot values" will be.  This concept doesn't really value reverse camber shots, double doglegs, fish-hook holes, greens in the high side of the site where shits will naturally want to drift to the low side etc.  Gotta say, this signaling business sounds too prescribed and too 1970/1980s for my liking, but maybe I am misunderstanding.

Not to get all fancy or anything, but if I was going to define shot values, I think I would concentrate on the "value" aspect and therefore scrutinize what happens after the tee shot from all areas of the hole.  The tee shots themselves (except for par 3s) as value to the hole aren't as important as the second (especially the second) and following shots...if the greens and how they presented are at all decent. 

Ciao   
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Michael H on December 04, 2017, 09:47:27 AM
Uh, it's one.
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on December 04, 2017, 09:58:39 AM

Sean,


I agree hitting a high shot into a reverse cant sloping fairway is a shot to include. Maybe not the pros favorite, but its a shot worthy of including.  If circumstances are there, I do it.


It can apply to fish hook doglegs.  In reality, its hard to do on double doglegs (or for that matter on a crosswind par 4) unless upwind or downwind. And, many pros love using slope to bring shots closer to the flag or to the fairway, so those aren't excluded.  The contouring needs to be considered along with angle and size of green to set up a preferred shot type.  Of course, we can only suggest shot types with ground features, although trees can dictate curve shots, as the player will do what they want. 


In this regard, I asked Lanny one time if he "used all the shots" and his answer was "Yes, when I am on my game, no when I am not."  Which is a good reason to balance at least shot direction suggestions out.  I guess another distinction among good golfers is the notion that the hazards ought to encourage a shot, not be there to punish a bad one.  Many golfers (including, if I interpret posts here correctly) have trouble grasping the concept of creating shots to hit vs. punishing shots not hit.


Of course, there has to be some consequence to a miss, and while I have tried, I have never been able to figure out exactly how those misses should be treated in any sort of formula.  I guess there is no one answer, but I will say Colbert  (and others) felt like the "overcooked" shot (i.e., curves too far) should be punished more than a shot that curves, but not enough.  To me, if the left of the green has a deep drop, the hazard there will likely be deeper and harder, and through the course of the round, there are just some holes that are more or less punishing than others. 


I hate seeing the base of sand bunkers built up.  Ross seemed to do that, like 10 at White Bear Yacht.  I always wondered if it was a standard green detail that said (bunker 15 feet) so the construction foreman, in Ross' absence built up the base to five foot below the green.  If left at grade level, that bunker might have been 20 feet deep!
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Rick Lane on December 04, 2017, 10:33:03 AM
Adding a bit to the notion of punishing an overcooked shot more than an undercooked one:   I play a Tillinghast course a lot, and I read in one of his books about why he tended to have greens slope back to front a lot, which was, along with drainage to " punish those seeking to hit to the ball far to impress the ladies"  (not exact quote, its from memory).  IE, long is dead.   Also I remember a notion of him giving a bank on the right side of the green for a shorter shot to be played as a "cut shot" into the bank, and a longer shot having that bank on the other side to catch a longer draw shot.   We do have examples of this on my course.   So maybe that's how some of the golden age guys thought about "shot values"?
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Jeff_Brauer on December 04, 2017, 11:48:24 AM

Rick,


also from memory, I think Tillie wrote the overall back to front slope ought to be steep on short irons to help "check" the shot, whereas he felt a long approach needed a flatter green to encourage the run up.  These days, with frequency matched irons, etc., I believe the shot type is more standardized and the variance in slope facing the golfer reduced.  I do note several golfers who say they prefer to hit right into an upslope, rather than gauge a side slope, if possible.


Even the old frontal opening gambit is somewhat dismissed by pros these days.  When I asked Lanny Wadkins if he prefers a frontal opening, the answer was yes, because if between standard club distances, he could go with the lesser club and putt uphill.  If he had to carry a bunker to access a pin, he would go with the longer club, and try to put more backspin on it.  In general, his tee shot was aimed at missing the rough, although he did go into great detail on how he played Riviera when he won there.  He was on his game, and using every slope the place had to offer on his shots.


As to "dead is long" I like the George Thomas take, whereas a long shot is really better (and more aggressive) than one that comes up short, and should be treated gently, especially on long par 4 holes, and he recommended fairway cut behind the green to assure the chip back was an easy recovery shot.  I think being long on medium and short shots is probably a bigger sin to old GT, and the backs of greens on those holes could consist of any manner of hazard.


Not that I have had a séance or anything to ask him...... ;)
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Peter Pallotta on December 04, 2017, 03:06:15 PM
It’s hard to picture shot values when I picture (via pictures) several different 9s-10s that presumably all have excellent shot values and yet require such seemingly different shots. Pine Valley’s shots sure *look* different than those at The Old Course, and TOC’s shots look different than Pinehurst #2’s.
But others will have to tell me if these apparent differences in shots - and thus shot values -disappear in the actual playing.

Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Kyle Harris on December 04, 2017, 03:37:23 PM
Uh, it's one.

Technically, that's a stroke.  ;)
Title: Re: Shot Values, what the heck are they?
Post by: Jason Topp on December 04, 2017, 04:19:53 PM
To me - shot values means what does the design reward?  Here are some rough generalizations:


Nicklaus courses from his evil period (think Concession, Old Corkscrew and others) gave more of a reward to a high cut iron shot flown a precise distance.  To me it seems that those designs provided less reward to a scrambler at the amateur level because the pitches are difficult enough that saving par is unlikely for all. 


Crenshaw courses tend to reward a right to left shot and lag putting.  They place less of an emphasis on driving accuracy.


Doak Courses tend to be almost the opposite of Nicklaus.  They tend to reward a great short game with more latitude on how you get there.


Dye courses tend to reward a player who can move a ball both directions.  He regularly favors moving the ball one direction off the tee and another direction for the approach.  Take a look at the aerial view of the par 4's at TPC Sawgrass as an example.


These are but four examples of different tendencies from some of the most successful architects over the last 30 years.  Assigning a number to each example of each approach as a part of a ranking process disguises personal preferences in a cloak of objectivity.