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Josh Stevens

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The long long long par 5
« on: June 17, 2016, 06:34:20 AM »
Do we need more holes like 12 at Oakmont?

For the better player, presumably most par 5s are viewed as birdie opportunities if not better . Par is the worst case scenario if you don't get a good drive away. 

It was quite fun to watch the 12th, where even a good drive, still left the equivalent of a long par 4 to go, such that any drive that missed the fairway meant par was tough.

Surely in the world of modern length, a hole that requires two quality long shots, just to get in range for a short 3rd, is to some degree a modern replacement for the old drive and 2 iron par 4 we used to see.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2016, 07:28:53 AM »
The first major article I wrote for GOLF Magazine [in 1982] was about the par-5 holes that had never been hit in two shots.  [There were about twenty at that time.  I believe all of them have been hit in two now.]


Part of the article was interviewing architects on whether or not they thought that was good design.  Augusta's reachable par-5's had become the norm, and many good players would say that a real three-shot par-5 was silly or unfair.  The architects I interviewed were about evenly divided, although the more famous they were, the more they defended the idea that a par-5 that nobody could hit in two was still ok.


I came away from the piece thinking they added great variety, so long as long hitters THOUGHT ABOUT hitting them in two.  If everyone accepted they had to be played in three shots, then some players were essentially hitting two lay-ups, but as long as some guys were pressing to hit a long drive thinking of being a hero, then the "untouchable" par-5 was keeping them honest.


It is amazing how long a hole has to be now to be "untouchable" or even close to it.  600 yards is a driver and a hybrid for the longer hitters on Tour!  We're not far away from the point that a three-shot par-5 is too big a waste of real estate to be practical.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2016, 07:44:30 AM »
That was my thought.  The idea of a long, long par 5 is for flat bellies.  But if it so long that even flat bellies aren't gonna reach in two...these guys are long enough to lay-up twice and be left with a short iron.  Given that, and the amount of space these holes take, I don't see the point.  Of course an archie could build a monstrosity of 700 yards with 40 bunkers and huge lateral water hazard  :-\


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Josh Stevens

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Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2016, 07:57:21 AM »
I can see that it takes a lot of land, but even still, you have to love a hole where a three ball of Danny Willet, Rory Mciloy and Rickie Fowler walk off with three 6s without doing anything too horrid.

It is a cross country game after all

Sam Kestin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 08:34:02 AM »
I love it too. I don't think there's anything wrong with asking the players to find the fairway twice with their longer clubs--and I don't think there's anything wrong with making a five-par a tough five if you cannot accomplish that task.


Given that every bleepin' golf course seems to rate the par-fives as the most difficult handicap holes (I could whine about this for hours)--I don't think it ridiculous to have at least a few golf courses where that actually has slightly more than a 0 percent chance of being correct.

Michael Felton

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 08:37:26 AM »
Has 7 at Pine Valley ever been hit in 2? I thought it hadn't, but I may be wrong. That hazard that completely blocks the fairway for a very long way is basically the only way to stop it these days. Even then you have to have a very long hole as well. It really would be a dumb hole that was forcing players to hit 7 irons off the tee to lay up to a 150 yard long hazard.


The trouble with a true 3 shot par 5 is it's difficult to generate interest with that second shot. One hole I think is pretty darn good at that and I can't get a sniff of it in 2 from the back(ish) tees is 13 at Bethpage Black. The shape of the fairway and the bunkering in or around the lay up area really concentrates the mind.


I'm also fairly sure I'm not that bothered if someone who can hit it 350 in the air can hit a green in 2 on a par five.

Michael Felton

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2016, 08:39:41 AM »
Given that every bleepin' golf course seems to rate the par-fives as the most difficult handicap holes (I could whine about this for hours)


Just as an aside, stroke holes are really a matchplay thing I think and it's all about variance of scores. The larger the variance, the lower the stroke index should be. The longer a hole is, the more opportunity there is for a better player to differentiate himself from a worse player and hence, the larger the variance in scores.


Michael Graham

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2016, 09:33:54 AM »
I could be wrong but I'm sure I read somewhere that the par 5 15th at Hirono had never been reached in two until Jack Nicklaus managed it. (Possibly the first time he played it?)

Carl Rogers

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2016, 04:14:37 PM »
IMO, this hole is only for the 2 handicapper or less and is dependent on the quality/difficulty/options of the second shot.
I decline to accept the end of man. ... William Faulkner

Jaeger Kovich

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2016, 04:30:28 PM »
Love the idea. If you have the acreage, and can make a good, interesting hole out of it, then you are simply adding variety, and memorability to the course. Length is of little concern to me most of the time, but the idea of a true 3 shot is not about the distance, but an entirely different strategy/hole concept.


If all else fails the card and pencil crowd will find some drama, and suspense in the big number... I'd rather have 1 hole with a stupid big number than the sum of all 18.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2016, 05:40:57 PM »
Given that every bleepin' golf course seems to rate the par-fives as the most difficult handicap holes (I could whine about this for hours)
Just as an aside, stroke holes are really a matchplay thing I think and it's all about variance of scores. The larger the variance, the lower the stroke index should be. The longer a hole is, the more opportunity there is for a better player to differentiate himself from a worse player and hence, the larger the variance in scores.


Stroke holes are key in stableford as well Michael.


As to par-5 length, well in the pro game and at top amateur level I do not believe there are any genuine par-5's these days so for these guys, if the acreage is available, then give them a genuine driver, fairway metal, full-shot mid/short iron hole and see how often they make 4-5-6-etc.


Atb

mike_beene

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Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2016, 06:48:38 PM »
If you want to test a long hitter save the real estate and build  2 240 yard par 3s and two 320 yard par4s. You get perhaps 2 drivers and 2 4 irons and the shots mean more than just covering real estate.

Josh Stevens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2016, 05:01:51 AM »
Australians of my vintage, will recall the 14th hole at Huntingdale a very long hole for the day at 600 yards.

It was a hole of almost no architectural merit, but year after year through the 80s and 90s, it was the scene of Greg Normans annual signature shot of hitting driver (a little wooden one) from the fairway to get home in two. Fans lined the fairways 5 deep to watch it.

It was iconic then, but alas now its driver 5 iron and not quite the same thrill.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2016, 05:50:28 AM »
Thanks Josh for the memory of wooden headed drivers with a steel shafts being hit 'off the deck', used to be the mark of a really, really good player (even more so if hit from from a tightly cut fairway with height and a draw). Driver off the deck these days though is played by many a mid hcp amateur. Another example of the game getting easier?


As to a return to 'real' par-5's (and 'real' par-4's and par-3's), keep the same acreage and roll the ball back.


Atb

Ronald Montesano

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Re: The long long long par 5
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2016, 07:38:38 AM »
I remember being a high school golfer and reading Tom Doak's Unreachabes article. Had no idea who he was at the time. Fortunately, I do now.


The article didn't make me want to play those holes, but it did make me want to hit the ball farther. Further study of architecture revealed what has been hashed here thus far: can be a misuse of property but certainly nice to watch every so often. Play? Perhaps, as long as it isn't unrealistic.


I recall a hole on The Monster course at Concord Resort in the Catskill bumps of New York State. Used to be #13, but they seem to have reversed the nines (http://www.concordresort.com/pages/golfcourse.htm) so now you play it as #4. This course was designed to be the longest and toughest, a Joe "middle" Finger design. Seems to have preceded that abomination of a fish-hatchery-turned-golf-course, the permanently-closed ThunderHill golf club near Cleveland, in the architectural school of Route your fairways and site your greens among the lakes and ponds, and you'll have yourself a FITB course.

That hole, 632 yards, was on the list the Doak wrote, but was reached in the following decade, like most on the list. It was, I recall, a wretched hole, not the way to do things.
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