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Jason Topp

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While I believe variety is the ideal, I find greens that open to the inside of a dogleg to generally result in more interest to the player than greens that open to the outside of a dogleg. If there are advantages to a green opening to the outside of the dogleg beyond my thinking, I would love to hear them.


If the green opens to the inside of the dogleg, the player who tempts whatever hazard guards the corner is rewarded with an easier second shot.  A bailout away from the corner results in a more difficult shot.  This picture provides an example - the 10th at TPC Sawgrass.







By contrast, a green that opens to the outside of the dogleg encourages the player to bail out off the tee.  A bailout to the outside also provides a double reward for length because the longer hitter can just aim away from the hazard at the corner whereas a shorter player has a choice between a longer approach or a bad angle into the green.  Here is an example of that type of hole:





I am not sure why anyone would hit the ball near the bunkers on the inside of the corner on this hole. 


For architects and afficianados - are there advantages to setting up a green so it opens to the outside of the dogleg I am not seeing?  If I were designing holes I think I would only do so to make sure the player is paying attention and to prevent the course from becoming formulaic.


Pictures are screen shots from Blue Golf:http://course.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/course/course/directory.htm


Mark Saltzman

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Jason, Perry Maxwell very often had the preferred angle from the outside of the dogleg. But he also protected the outside of the dogleg and, more so, gave a view of the green to tempt the golfer to play to the inside. You're now given the choice, preferred angle, or shorter approach? But you're not getting both!

jeffwarne

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Jason, Perry Maxwell very often had the preferred angle from the outside of the dogleg. But he also protected the outside of the dogleg and, more so, gave a view of the green to tempt the golfer to play to the inside. You're now given the choice, preferred angle, or shorter approach? But you're not getting both!


While Jason may have answered his own question in the first sentence, Mark nailed it.
Short hitter?
play outside and run it on
Long hitter? play inside and fly a shorter shot on


or vice versa  ;) ;D
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Paul Gray

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Firstly, receptive greens makes the whole debate irrelevant.


Secondly, if you do have running greens, the question is really one of so many other variables. Length, slope, wind and hazards all combine to make this somewhat unanswerable.
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Kyle Harris

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How dross and obvious; not only can you reduce the distance it takes to get to the hole by playing to the inside of the dogleg, but now you also have the favorable angle?

Rolling Green in Philadelphia is about as good an example of the ability to provide interest and challenge from outside the dogleg *edit* as there is in golf.
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Ally Mcintosh

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Hate to always revert to my home course but I tend to point out to visitors that many of the holes at Portmarnock are set up highly strategically but from the outside of the sweeping doglegs. The 2nd, 8th and 10th are just three excellent examples where the outside offers the easiest way in.

Carl Rogers

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5th hole at Riverfront is text book ... dogleg left, fairway bunker at the outside edge of the landing zone guarding the best approach line, huge green side bunker guarding the left portion of the green

will try to retrieve some past threads & pics
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 09:41:47 AM by Carl Rogers »
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Jeff_Brauer

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Jason,


Pete Dye has expounded on the idea of guarding the inside of the dogleg twice, especially on long par 4 holes to make them play really long.  Ditto, when there is a challenge fw, he has said he leaves it open to the safe (presumably longer) fw.  I tend to agree but also like variety and consider a lot of factors. [size=78%] [/size]
[/size]
[/size]I use the inside DL / Outside at green most often on downwind holes, figuring with reduced spin, the frontal opening really makes a difference, even on better holding greens.[size=78%]
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Ronald Montesano

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Isn't the impact point dependent on your preferred ball flight? If green is angled, either left to right or right to left benefits. Doesn't matter if it is from inside or outside of dogleg.
Maybe for 2022
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Jason Topp

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Jason, Perry Maxwell very often had the preferred angle from the outside of the dogleg. But he also protected the outside of the dogleg and, more so, gave a view of the green to tempt the golfer to play to the inside. You're now given the choice, preferred angle, or shorter approach? But you're not getting both!


While Jason may have answered his own question in the first sentence, Mark nailed it.
Short hitter?
play outside and run it on
Long hitter? play inside and fly a shorter shot on


or vice versa  ;) ;D
The problem I have with this formula is that I do not think it works that way for holes of adequate length to require more than a wedge in (I am assuming the inside corner of the dogleg is protected by something - trees, bunkers, rough).  Such a design greatly exacerbates the advantage a long hitter experiences and eliminates interesting decisions for both class of player.
The long hitter can hit it anywhere and still have a reasonable approach to the green.  He hits it to the outside the approach is still short enough to make the approach reasonable.  If he takes on the corner hazard he gains enough yardage that it may well offset the disadvantage of the angle.  As a result, I believe most long hitters aim down the middle and if it drifts one way or the other no harm done.
The short hitter has two bad options.  A bailout to the outside results in a long approach, that is much more than the driving distance difference between him and the long hitter.  A shot on the inside of the dogleg results in a difficult approach from a bad angle.  As a result the short hitter aims down the middle and hopes for the best. 
Reverse it and both the long hitter and the short hitter have the opportunity to gain the preferred angle.  A bailout by both results in an increased length approach and a bad angle. 
 

Jason Topp

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Jason, Perry Maxwell very often had the preferred angle from the outside of the dogleg. But he also protected the outside of the dogleg and, more so, gave a view of the green to tempt the golfer to play to the inside. You're now given the choice, preferred angle, or shorter approach? But you're not getting both!
I think this works better on a shorter hole where there might face a choice between a 150 yard or a 120 yard approach.  I think it works less well on a longer hole.

Jason Topp

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Firstly, receptive greens makes the whole debate irrelevant.


Secondly, if you do have running greens, the question is really one of so many other variables. Length, slope, wind and hazards all combine to make this somewhat unanswerable.

A fair point although I believe an approach to a receptive green from a bad angle still presents additional difficulty.

Jason Topp

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5th hole at Riverfront is text book ... dogleg left, fairway bunker at the outside edge of the landing zone guarding the best approach line, huge green side bunker guarding the left portion of the green

will try to retrieve some past threads & pics

Is there something that protects the inside of the dogleg?

Jeff_Brauer

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Isn't the impact point dependent on your preferred ball flight? If green is angled, either left to right or right to left benefits. Doesn't matter if it is from inside or outside of dogleg.

I think so. In fact, a few good players have told me they prefer coming from the side of the green side bunker. 

If you wanted to protect against OB on the tee, you would line up near it, aim away, and curve gently back to the middle.  Some use the same idea on the approach, playing to the green side bunker side, aiming it at the far edge of the green, and curving it back. If it goes straight (despite the set up to curve it in, worst case, it hits the outside edge of the green.  Regular curve puts it in the green middle, harder curve might get you to pin, and over cooking it puts you in the bunker. 

That gives you all the width of the green - 15-25 yards to work with for hazard avoidance.  Playing for the opening and aiming at the middle halves that, even though it gives you the frontal opening.  If the bunker is more of a side bunker than carry bunker, then this method is almost a slam dunk.

Not many good players worry about coming up short, but the opening might make the difference between clubbing down for the uphill putt and clubbing up to carry the bunker resulting in a downhill putt.  Add in wind, pin location, etc., and the choice can vary from day to day on any given hole.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Carl Rogers

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5th hole at Riverfront is text book ... dogleg left, fairway bunker at the outside edge of the landing zone guarding the best approach line, huge green side bunker guarding the left portion of the green
will try to retrieve some past threads & pics
Is there something that protects the inside of the dogleg?
No, except that out of bounds creeps around the inside corner more quickly than appears from the tee. From the inside of the dogleg, the green presents a long wide target right or left (big back to front slope), but a very narrow target perpendicular to the line of play.  Big yawning bunker in front that hides half the flag stick, steep drop off for the mistake long.  As are most bent grass greens in a transition zone, the green is fairly soft in hot weather.


The 5th hole is a medium to short par 4.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 12:35:29 PM by Carl Rogers »
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Jason Topp

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Jason,
Pete Dye has expounded on the idea of guarding the inside of the dogleg twice, especially on long par 4 holes to make them play really long.  Ditto, when there is a challenge fw, he has said he leaves it open to the safe (presumably longer) fw. 
I tend to agree but also like variety and consider a lot of factors. I use the inside DL / Outside at green most often on downwind holes, figuring with reduced spin, the frontal opening really makes a difference, even on better holding greens.

I missed your post last time I checked in Jeff.  I perceived that Dye did the opposite but when I looked at aerials of Kiawah and TPC Stadium it did seem like he had a lot of inside/inside bunkering schemes on longer par 4's. 
I agree it makes the hole play longer although I think it exacerbates the advantage of length.  If that is the goal, the approach makes sense.  I just think length provides a significant advantage already so why add to that advantage.
(I assume you have figured out by now my friends hit it past me off the tee) 
 
 
 

Jeff_Brauer

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Jason,

If we angle the bunker in to the fw, (back is closer than the front) then it may make the longer tee shot riskier, maybe even open up the option of 3W off the tee to stay just short of the bunker for a better angle.  But, I do think Pete was focused on the best players much of the time, and probably figured "hard par, easy bogey" for the rest of us, who he probably imagined hitting the green with a wedge third........

And, if that inside hazard is some kind of carry bunker you could probably argue the distance advantage even more when you open it up after the carry.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Doug Siebert

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I am not sure why anyone would hit the ball near the bunkers on the inside of the corner on this hole.


You must be a straight hitter.  I look at that picture and see "miss my tee shot right, worst case is bunker; miss my tee shot left, worst case is backyard which is likely OB".

Even worse, there's a cart path over there, so probably all I need to do is hit that path on the fly and I'm reloading and hitting three.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 12:29:48 AM by Doug Siebert »
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Adrian_Stiff

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I think neither is better as such. You need the variety of both.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
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Mark Bourgeois

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Of course all things being equal variety is preferred but it always comes down to the execution doesn't it?

Something alluded to that really kills me is a very reachable "hazard" guarding the outside corner of the dogleg. Bookend that with something on the inside and now I am thinking step on the gas and the brake at the same time. This is how good drives go to die.

I am thinking of the 7th at Ganton. Throw in firm and fast, a fall away green and a bunker on the inside halfway between the crook and the green and BOOM there goes Jason's argument that "regular" doglegs are categorically better.
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Jeff_Brauer

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I agree on variety.  As noted, that doesn't mean totally random as I do think length, wind, etc. all make certain holes better adapted to certain layouts.  But, random wouldn't be bad either.  In some cases, you end up with consecutive par 4's in the same direction and it makes sense to make one a certain way and the next the opposite.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Jason Topp

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I am not sure why anyone would hit the ball near the bunkers on the inside of the corner on this hole.


You must be a straight hitter.  I look at that picture and see "miss my tee shot right, worst case is bunker; miss my tee shot left, worst case is backyard which is likely OB".

Even worse, there's a cart path over there, so probably all I need to do is hit that path on the fly and I'm reloading and hitting three.

 
I thought I responded but it did not show up.  The fairway is 40 yards wide and out of bounds is 20 yards wide of that and up a slope to the houses.  I do not recall OB being a real factor in the hole although I am sure it could be into a strong headwind.

Andrew Buck

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The sad reality is, in the last two years I've probably played 200 rounds on 25 or so golf courses, and there are only a handful of holes where it made sense to do something other than aim for the middle of the fairway (after taking into account a draw or fade), to give myself the greatest chance of hitting the fairway for the approach.  On holes with severe penalty on one side of the hole, It's almost always shade to the other side of the fairway, regardless of approach.

There are a few severe doglegs where bunkers or trees come into play to cut the corner (meaning you have to fly a certain distance), but if the ball is hit well, I'm still essentially aiming for the middle of the fairway, just past the dogleg.

The one course I've played where there are multiple plays that really encourage me to challenge one side of the fairway based on difficulty of approach (instead of safety off the tee) is Black Sheep, which has abundance width.  I think the 10th on Pine Needles was a hole that I challenged a bunker I wasn't sure to fly for a shot at getting home in 2 as well. 

That said, I can't think of one hole at #2 where getting in the fairway as far down as possible wasn't a premium over angle to green.  Mid Pines, which I love encouraged to play to sides of fairways mostly because of fairways slopes.  Olympia Fields North I would say was middle of the fairway every hole except 14 and 15 which would be left center only due to trouble on drive.  PGA West Stadium was similar. 

It really is true, unless you can push the edge of on F&F, which is difficult to do in most climates and soils in the US, it's hard to dictate angles without extreme width for the single digit golfer and better, because in almost all cases it's better to come at a green with the most lofted club from the fairway regardless of angle of attack. 

Jeff_Brauer

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Andrew,

That is all probably true and in line with what many players say.  Even if you see the advantage of challenging a bunker, would you rather do it with a driver or mid to short iron in your hands (for longer hitters on most par 4 holes)

Not sure the exact stats on hitting the green from rough vs. fairway, but they probably reduce more than the percent chance of hitting a bunker from the middle of the fairway.

Here is a random and probably angering thought around here....but all those books/pamphlets, etc. that the GA guys wrote mostly as marketing pieces......did anyone ever do any field study on those theories to see if even the good players of the day actually played those holes strategically as envisioned?  Or did they aim for the middle of the fairway, too?

Or, did one of them spout that inside/outside stuff off and the others followed, because they didn't want to look dumb? And, didn't want to emulate CBM either.......

I know Bobby Jones wrote his little bit about 4 ways to differentiate shots.....but he was the best of the best.  What about the Gene Sarazen's of the world, the notch just below and lower?  Maybe he always hit a hook for more distance, etc.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

JESII

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If we think of our three or four favorite dogleg par fours, into which class do they fit?

Think it's the outside for me, but variety will certainly trump monotony.

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