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George Pazin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2011, 02:21:47 PM »
The thing is, for every guy who is influenced by the access, there is a guy who is influenced by his playing companions. For every one of him, there is someone who is influenced by other rankings. For every one of him, there is someone who is influenced by freebies. For everyone one of him, there is someone who comes in with preconceived notions of what a golf course should be.

And so on, and so on...

So, in the end, the attempts to influence - particularly given the fact that the course being rated does not see the individual rater's ballot - are likely not nearly as great as the overwhelming majority of people think.

I'm not a fan of ranking golf courses - if I have a question about a course, I'd rather just ask the individuals whose opinions I respect - but I think the tendency to find conspiracies everywhere in the process is far overblown.
Big drivers and hot balls are the product of golf course design that rewards the hit one far then hit one high strategy.  Shinny showed everyone how to take care of this whole technology dilemma. - Pat Brockwell, 6/24/04

Mike Hendren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2011, 02:25:02 PM »
I apologize to Tom Doak.   If Garland's quote is correct Tom is only half-wrong as I would consider nos. 1, 4, 7, 10, 11 (the second shot confronts the four worst trees I've ever seen on a golf course), 12, 14, 15, and 16 to be heavily constricted by trees.   That's 9 out of 18 - half.

Bogey
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Greg Tallman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2011, 02:54:43 PM »
We give all raters free tacos.

David Camponi

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2011, 03:21:50 PM »
We give all raters free tacos.

I just read this thread and exactly what I thought would happen has;

Jim, wow 25 yrs-                                                                                                                     
Cost of Golf: $150,000
Having to pay for none of it because of being a rater.....Priceless.   

JC you are completely incorrect; Kavanaugh is exactly right and it is about power.  I am on the Board of a company and we just made a decision to let go of our CFO after he had a sudden and drastic shift in attitude; the only thing we could possibly draw his behavior back to was the fact that he became a "rater" for a national publication.  He felt he was entitiled to everything, when I say everything I include the COO's secretary and the COO's mother.

Greg Tallman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2011, 03:25:13 PM »
We give all raters free tacos.

I just read this thread and exactly what I thought would happen has;

Jim, wow 25 yrs-                                                                                                                     
Cost of Golf: $150,000
Having to pay for none of it because of being a rater.....Priceless.   

JC you are completely incorrect; Kavanaugh is exactly right and it is about power.  I am on the Board of a company and we just made a decision to let go of our CFO after he had a sudden and drastic shift in attitude; the only thing we could possibly draw his behavior back to was the fact that he became a "rater" for a national publication.  He felt he was entitiled to everything, when I say everything I include the COO's secretary and the COO's mother.

Why did you quote me? More importantly how young is your COO?

Dan Herrmann

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2011, 03:30:09 PM »
David Camponi,
Not the mother too!

It's good to be me, a non-rater.  No power, no expectations, pure joy :)

Greg Tallman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #56 on: April 05, 2011, 03:53:07 PM »
In all fariness the decorum of the Digest rater has improved greatly over the last 12-18 months. Sense of entitlement once the norm seems to have faded and I now receive proper letters of introduction versus a card thrown in the face of one of my staff from guys refusing to pay for the reservation made on line and secured with a credit card.

Amazing how fast some of these guys made it to the range after I offered to straighten it out with Ron Whitten and credit their card if Whitten asked me to do so upon receiving the report. 

David Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #57 on: April 05, 2011, 04:15:34 PM »
I heard a Golf Digest rater shot a man just to watch him die.
"Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent." - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian.

Greg Tallman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #58 on: April 05, 2011, 04:16:43 PM »
I heard a Golf Digest rater shot a man just to watch him die.

That was a GolfWeek rater.

Jim Franklin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #59 on: April 05, 2011, 04:34:41 PM »
I just read this thread and exactly what I thought would happen has;

Jim, wow 25 yrs-                                                                                                                     
Cost of Golf: $150,000
Having to pay for none of it because of being a rater.....Priceless.   


What Jim has been a rater for 25 years? Certainly not me.
Mr Hurricane

Garland Bayley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #60 on: April 05, 2011, 07:21:44 PM »
...
The statement you attribute to him is obviously hyperbole.  If you place greater weight in his hyperbole than in my experience and opinion - I can't really blame you.
...



I would suggest that Tom builds wide enough courses that it might not be so much hyperbole on his part.

"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Jim Franklin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #61 on: April 06, 2011, 07:48:13 AM »
If the lists can generate this much stupid commentary they have huge entertainment value.   David, to place enough credence to them, that elicits this much vitriol from you, someone not affiliated, who is being _____ ? (Insert)

I would like to know as well.
Mr Hurricane

Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #62 on: April 06, 2011, 08:20:30 AM »
Is it "Wine Valley" or "Whine Valley"?

Just asking.

Terry, Before you tee off it's Wine, After you get done, and don't putt well, it's Whine.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #63 on: April 06, 2011, 08:42:10 AM »
Lou, I do like facts. It is fairly well known from many studies that human beings are compelled to return favors when they are given one. Human minds are very well in tune with building harmonious society, and this is just one of those traits that we have evolved over millenia.

I am sure Mr. Rich did not ask for any pro-quid-pro, but he didn't have to. He knew that by bestowing such attention and generosity, those favors would come back to him. He may not even be conscientiously doing it, it may be just something he learned over many years of business dealings. Marketers are well aware of this phenomena, which is why you see those free samples at Costco and loss leader pricing for special items.

Do you believe Rich Harvest is a top 50 course?

And you should know that I have a very strong love/hate relationship with that hole :) I am THRILLED that I actually parred that hole for once. But I came right back with an X, which is more of my norm.

Rich,

In a prior life, I was one of the undergraduates who did much of the grunt work for highly-regarded PhDs in the social psych dept of a major research institution.  Next to working for a large bible church and being paid for talking about Jesus all day long, I can't think of a more satisfying job than concocting research findings so that other smart people can source them and feel good about what they know.  But perhaps I am a just a contrarian who believes that human beings are way too complicated to be pigeon-holed so easily.

As a business planner early in my career with a world-class consumer products company, I also came to realize very quickly that much of what I learned in B-school was only marginally useful.  To understand the hugely multi-variate motivations driving human behavior, one had to go well beyond linear programming, multiple regression analysis, Nielsen summaries, or coupon redemption rates.  Unfortunately, these complicated factors are seldom within easy reach of those who synthesize the data for the popular press or even the academic journals.  I did get a kick once, awhile ago, when one of my old research profs wrote to the Wall Street Journal noting that recognition studies (of television commercials) did not inform on actual "pull off the shelves" (buying) behavior- a kind of an "A Ha" moment, no doubt, in his otherwise Pavlovian world-view.  But I digress (and I do need to get started on my favorite thing- my income tax return- prior to leaving for some more golf and R & R next week).

Jerry Rich allowing me to play his course for "free" had no more of an impact on my estimation of Rich Harvest than paying $180 each to play 36 holes at Pac Dunes and Old Mac did a couple of weeks ago.  In fact, when considering flights, room, food, and time, the social psychology literature might suggest the opposite- we tend to esteem the things we pay more for higher than those free or of lower cost (a reason we tend to appreciate things we earn or work hard for as opposed to gifts, common goods, or easy accomplishments).  Not being a national rater currently, I'd have to go back an look at my files, but I don't know if I had Rich Harvest in my top 50.  Top 100 that I've played?   For sure.

Re: Pac Dunes #16, I made an easy par on my last round there.  I still have not parred 17 (bogie out of the front bunker), and barely finished on 18 with an 8, again!  That is a most difficult finish for a golf course I never considered particularly hard.

Sweet Lou

Being an Ad man you must realize that perception can be more important thhan reality.  The issue with free access and free whatever while at a club leaves the rater open to the perception that he ican be influenced by matters not related to the task at hand.  Every rater believes, or at least will publicly state that he is not influenced by access plus.  If they are telling the truth, why then does the perception differ?  If they aren't telling the truth, why then does perception matter? 

For any person objectively reviewing the rater process, there is only one conclusion to draw and that is the system is badly flawed. 

Ciao   
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2011, 10:04:59 AM »
If anyone thinks there's an expectation of being comped they are deluded. People are flawed. The rater didn't create the system. If it can even be called a system. What I find interesting is how few people in a position to decide their courses policies towards raters, understand the power they have over each rater. Poor behavior needs to be reported and I consider expecting special consideration, on the part of the rater to be poor behavior.
We are suppose to repect the course and minimize any affect we have on their tee sheet.
The results should work themselves out over the years. So, taking one years list is not a credible basis for complaints about one courses placement. 
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Terry Lavin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #65 on: April 06, 2011, 10:21:58 AM »
The main issue I have with raters is that many of them don't have the ability to articulate the basis for their rating of an individual golf course, much less compare that rating in an intelligent way with other courses that they've rated.  This, of course, is just my opinion based on decidedly anecdotal "research".  When the primary reason for becoming a rater is to gain access to golf courses that are otherwise difficult to play or to try to cross out numbers on the Top 100 list, it's easy to see why the results might just be somewhat silly at time.  I recognize that there are plenty of talented raters who have the sort of golf/architectural gravitas to do a credible job on rating golf courses.  Problem is, they're in the decided minority.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.  H.L. Mencken

Matt_Ward

Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #66 on: April 06, 2011, 11:25:50 AM »
Terry:

Well said indeed !

Course coverage and cogent analysis (the cross comparison variety) IS what is needed.

It's become more than "silly" Terry -- fact is, few knowledgeable people place much stock in any
number of them because of the comments you provided.

Melvyn Morrow

Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #67 on: April 06, 2011, 11:28:25 AM »
The Final result from all the ratings is to be judged, I believe by a form of proportional representation.

This method of voting never come up to a good conclusion as its basic requirement is compromised. Compromises in actual choice then excitement, enjoyment, conditions, and then I suspect food and other facilities are also throw in to further make the waters even more muddy.

Rating is dead at the very thought of it because we are so different, in so many aspects of life let alone golf. It actually stand and tries to prove the opposite of that old saying, “You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all of the time”. For the rating to actually work it has to stand for "WE can fool all the people all of the time", otherwise what is the point apart from marketing a course.

It proves nothing, like a Horoscope there may be something that touches on something in our life/game that makes us continue reading, yet the less gullible among us do not fall for such rubbish – so why do golfers everytime these magazines come out with one.

Or do we admit that we are happy to be fooled - if so then why do we get upset as Brad has done on his topic “Why is Ran silent as GCA commits brand suicide?”, because these Ratings & List do not represent the truth and are we not worthy of knowing the truth.  

Melvyn
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 11:46:09 AM by Melvyn Hunter Morrow »

Lou_Duran

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #68 on: April 06, 2011, 11:32:59 AM »
Sweet Lou

Being an Ad man you must realize that perception can be more important thhan reality.  The issue with free access and free whatever while at a club leaves the rater open to the perception that he ican be influenced by matters not related to the task at hand.  Every rater believes, or at least will publicly state that he is not influenced by access plus.  If they are telling the truth, why then does the perception differ?  If they aren't telling the truth, why then does perception matter?  

For any person objectively reviewing the rater process, there is only one conclusion to draw and that is the system is badly flawed.  

Ciao  

Sean,

I was a marketing type in my working life only as an integral part of my real estate sales efforts, and do not consider myself as an advertising expert.  I did have some financial planning and control responsibilities for several years long ago over a marketing function with large ad budgets, so I did have some interest in how it worked and its effectiveness.

The issue of perception vs. reality as it relates to conflicts of interest has some bearing on the subject, but not all that much outside of this forum and some in the industry.  The lists have to be extremely important for the perceived conflict as you and others describe it to be material and I just don't see that they are.

The golf industry has much bigger fish to fry than whether GD or GW gets it wrong because some courses waive a guest fee to attract raters.  As in all endeavors undertaken by less-than-perfect humans, there are any number of things that can account for the compilations to be less optimal than they can be.  Terry Lavin points to one possible source.  Another is one that Matt Ward has alluded to numerours times- the depth and breath of experience in the rater corp.  I understand that large sample sizes can, statistically, overcome relative differences in exposure to the top courses, but I still have not worked out in my mind how a person who has only seen 10-20 of the top 100 candidates can provide an accurate ranking (I get that one vote can't affect 50 others much, and that the consistently top 20+ courses have many more votes than that).

Anyways, I can't speak on behalf of the many raters I've known over the last 10+ years, but I can tell you with a straight face that I've never been persuaded that a course is better or worse based on the amount that I've paid (or not), how I've been treated by the course staff, or the state of my game when I played the course.

If the system is "badly flawed" as you claim, then I am sure most of its users discount it accordingly.  I am not a national rater, but I defend the process, however imperfect it might be, because I do find it useful and entertaining.  I am somewhat curious about just how much importance other non-raters put on it.  After all, it is not rocket science or terribly consequential in terms of compelling a golfer to doing something.

BTW, I've been far more disappointed with theatre, movie, and restaurant reviews offered by "professional" critics who were not comped (and, so presumably, unconflicted) than using the ratings to select courses in unfamiliar places.  I can only remember playing one dud suggested in a top 100 list, and even that one has many strong supporters.  Might it be that when one's preferences aren't reflected in the rankings that we look for sinister reasons why that is so?  I mean, it surely can't be our take or preference!  ;)  

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #69 on: April 06, 2011, 11:40:13 AM »
Sweet Lou

I don't know if A, B and C should have been included in these lists or not.  That isn't really my concern.  I am more about the process and getting it right - then let chips fall where they may.   Although, I would say that "playing only one dud" is not a ringing endorsement of the system when we its job is to recognize the 100 best of thousands of courses.  A rating system done correctly can be just as entertaining as ones which are flawed so I am not sure that is a good argument for doing a sloppy job. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Richard Choi

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #70 on: April 06, 2011, 11:56:50 AM »
Lou, perhaps you are infallible on uncorruptable. I freely admit that I am all too easily fallible and corruptable. But at least I know my shortcomings and I can work against my nature whenever I can.

Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #71 on: April 06, 2011, 12:01:36 PM »
Richard, You do realize these votes are submitted without anyone's knowledge of their value? A secret ballot if you will.

Terry, How big could your anecdotal sample size be?
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Richard Choi

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #72 on: April 06, 2011, 12:05:10 PM »
Adam, it does not matter if it is secret, although it helps. The human's desire to return a favor is pretty strong and the enjoyment of anything is enhanced whenever you believe it is very valuable.

Mark Saltzman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #73 on: April 06, 2011, 12:37:24 PM »
Rich,

I am no expert on human desire or wanting to return a favor...well I'm probably not an expert on anything.  I have two questions/observations.

1) Would you think it is possible for those raters that would not have access but for their position as a rater, they would ever have the feeling that "if this place lets me in as a rater (rather than as a member's guest) it can't be that great?"  All the very top courses do not allow rater play.

2) Could the attempt to treat a rater very well ever work against the golf course?  There is quite a bit of discussion on this site about the attempts of personnel at golf courses to sway the opinions of raters.  As a result, I suspect that some raters work 'extra hard' to try to avoid these gratuitous offerings.  I wonder if it is possible that when they are offered, a rater will sometimes, maybe without even realizing it, believe he is trying to be bought, thereby lowering his opinion of the facility as a whole.

I'm not sure if any of these really holds true, but I guess I like playing devil's advocate.

Mark

Richard Choi

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The Rater Game?
« Reply #74 on: April 06, 2011, 12:44:20 PM »
Mark, as to your first comment, there are plenty of research on perception of value and its affect on brain's pleasure sensors (if it is more expensive, you will get more enjoyment, even if it is no different than something cheaper). So, more exclusive the course is and harder it is to get a tee time, when you finally get to play it, you are likely to enjoy that round FAR more than another course of the same caliber that you can access easily.

(It is a pretty vicious cycle, really. If the person has something that another person is wanting, that person is less likely to share freely - there was a pretty fun study where researchers documented that if somebody is already waiting for a parking space, it would take twice as long for the driver to move out of the parking space than if no one was waiting for it)

As to your second comment. I guess it could, but that would be an outlier and would be overwhelmed by others who would appreciate the increased value of the special treatment.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 12:46:57 PM by Richard Choi »

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