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Golf Course Architecture / Re: Par-3 first holes: bad or good?
« Last post by Tim_Weiman on Today at 10:06:09 PM »
A straightforward 130-160 yard par three that takes less than 8 minutes for a 4-ball to finish can be a very good opening hole. As soon as the possibility of lost balls or multiple second shots into the green is introduced into the equation however, it can become a very bad opening hole.


The first hole at Bury GC (MacKenzie) is a good example of a successful par 3 opener.


Hole#1 by Duncan Cheslett, on Flickr

Everything is on view, it is not over long, and it is followed by three par 4 holes of over 400 yards in length. I play there often and I have never known any hold-up on the tee. Groups are then spaced perfectly for the subsequent holes.


It should be noted that MacKenzie started the course at the current 400 yard 4th and had this hole as the 16th. The change was made in the 1980s and I am told it is a big improvement. The fourth has a blind tee shot with a cliff-edge eating into the right hand side of the fairway 200 yards from the tee. THAT is a bad first hole!
Duncan,


Yes. I can see that hole working as an opener. I like it.
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Golf Course Architecture / Re: Random Thoughts after a Hiatus
« Last post by Peter Pallotta on Today at 10:04:25 PM »
My random thought after the lay-off was that I am a lousy golfer with all manner of band-aid compensations in my swing; and that, since it's now or never I better start taking my first ever lessons with a CPGA golf professional -- and so I have: a young women not many years out  from playing high level college golf. I much look forward to getting better, in a card and pencil way. The appreciation of golf architecture will then take care of itself :)
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Golf Course Architecture / Re: Random Thoughts after a Hiatus
« Last post by jeffwarne on Today at 10:01:21 PM »
Why?  Just because that's your first impression?  If it's ridiculous, you'll be able to provide a well argued explanation, rather than a gut response.  I look forward to it.
the entire scale of everything will be out of whack.




ha! I've been saying that for 20 years!!!
Sorry couldn't resist..


Erik,
While I agree 20% is a bit much, I certainly don't think 15% would be too much for elite or athletic players, because I don't think the "average" short hitter  would see a 15% decrease as he doesn't optimize smash, launch, spin etc. and didn't really gain much from tech.
Back in the day "member tees" were rarely shorter than the "member" tees I see today-people just didn't object to long irons, fairway woods, or even that they couldn't reach in regulation on longer holes.The back tees were just anothe 10-20 yards further back.
6300-6500 was not uncommon at all 50 years ago from the member tees, but then again, everybody then wasn't "above average".




But if we want to go back to scale, look at many fairways from the 1920's-nearly as wide as they were long, now they are long narrow ribbons.
Ridiculously wide fairways with hazards within them where solid contact, skill, strategy and yes-length- were rewarded would seem far more fun than hunting for balls on well "protected" modern fescue farms.
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Golf Course Architecture / Re: The Worst First Hole
« Last post by Tim_Weiman on Today at 09:54:49 PM »
By far the worst 1st Hole I have played is at Secession. Didnít really like the rest of the course either.
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Golf Course Architecture / Re: The Worst First Hole
« Last post by Rob Marshall on Today at 09:37:50 PM »
Worst first hole on an otherwise great course...Pebble Beach.


That should be the clear winner in that category.  Anyone who thinks the opening hole at The Old Course is bad, must not have played Pebble.


The opening hole on my home course growing up was not "the worst", but it was a bad opener.  Plays straight east, with o.b. left, and a slope down from the right of the fairway to the fairway of the 9th.  Slicers like me were constantly hitting their second shot of the day vaguely in the direction of players walking off the 9th tee.


Someone please explain to me why the 1st hole at Pebble is bad. Iíve only played it once. Itís harder than a ďfriendly handshakeĒ but hardly a horrible hole imo. Fairway wood and 8 iron. Bunker on the corner but hardly a narrow corridor. Fairly severe green sloped from front to back. Certainly not a great hole....
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Golf Course Architecture / Re: The Worst First Hole
« Last post by JohnVDB on Today at 09:21:33 PM »
It has been remodeled, so it happily RIP. The opener at Black Butte Ranch's Big Meadow was a serious contender. Mid iron tee shot on a par 5. Pretty sure JVDB will agree.


The first at Painswick is an easier golf hole than it is a walking test - had to tack back and forth at least three times.


Totally agree. After the iron, hit another iron to get around the second corner and then a third one to the green. 
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Golf Course Architecture / Re: The Worst First Hole
« Last post by John Kavanaugh on Today at 08:04:37 PM »
The 1st at Pebble is the best opener I have ever played. What's next with you clowns, the first at Riviera?
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Golf Course Architecture / Re: The Worst First Hole
« Last post by Dan_Callahan on Today at 07:48:37 PM »
The 1st at Pebble is definitely the worst opener on a great course. Iím also not a huge fan of #1 at the Country Club.
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Surprised no one has mentioned the land directly south of the courses at Saunton. Breathtaking dunes. 
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Golf Course Architecture / Re: Random Thoughts after a Hiatus
« Last post by Tom_Doak on Today at 07:30:30 PM »
It's not likely that a new ball would cost every player the same % off their current distance.  Elite players gained much more than average players from the tech of the last 20 years, so one would think a rollback would cost them more, too.
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