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Joe Zucker

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2016, 04:52:44 PM »

I agree with the idea of "signaling," and yet it signals all the wrong things -- you will lose enough golf balls to be happy?


The only positives would be if one assumes that a newer course is in better shape -- but many of these long courses are 50 years old, and fail that test -- or that modern designs are superior, and we all know that's a lie.


This could be easily solved in golf course architects pushed back against it and used their platform to invalidate the idea.  If only they had an effective organization to discuss the topic and try to correct the problem ... but instead they would wind up writing a white paper on why "choice" is so important.   >:(   


Incidentally, I had the brainstorm the other day that the only way to get the good players to favor an equipment rollback would be to keep building shorter courses.  If we built courses where their longer drives did them no good, and they had to lay up often, they would respond by favoring an equipment rollback so they could hit driver again [and regain their natural advantage].  The more architects play into the idea that courses have to be lengthened, the less chance there is that players will want the equipment rolled back.


I think the first line is right.  The average golfer assessing the quality of a course expects to lose balls in unnecessarily penal water hazards.  They are picturesque and will look great in pictures later.  7,000 yards does signal the wrong things as Tom mentions and we all know here.  The more interesting question is how to change this attitude.  It's well documented that the tour on TV does no help.  I'll have to think more about building shorter courses, that's an interesting idea.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2016, 05:20:41 PM »
Incidentally, I had the brainstorm the other day that the only way to get the good players to favor an equipment rollback would be to keep building shorter courses.  If we built courses where their longer drives did them no good, and they had to lay up often, they would respond by favoring an equipment rollback so they could hit driver again [and regain their natural advantage].  The more architects play into the idea that courses have to be lengthened, the less chance there is that players will want the equipment rolled back.


   I disagree again, voluntarily getting a few clubs to play their championship flight with a rolled back ball and technology is how you get this ball rolling.  The Ohio Golf Assoc tried it, and that is another way.  Proper change happens from the ground up, not through Central planning from Far Hills.   ;)


Ben:


Did you fail reading comprehension?  Where did I say anything about the USGA above?  I said that if architects chose not to build courses so long, low-handicap players would be arguing in favor of different golf balls, so their length meant something in competition.


I know there are some people who value long hitting over skill.  If you are one of them, sorry to offend you, but try to understand what I'm saying, at least.  The problem, anyway, is that too many people look up to the Tour and what they see on TV, and every single pro is on an equipment company's payroll, so not many are going to favor changing the status quo.

BCowan

Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2016, 05:42:44 PM »

Ben:


Did you fail reading comprehension? 
No, but it never was a strong suit of mine.  ''If only they had an effective organization''-  They either means Golf Archies society or USGA is what I implied this meant.  Where did I say anything about the USGA above? 

I said that if architects chose not to build courses so long, low-handicap players would be arguing in favor of different golf balls, so their length meant something in competition. 
Tom, An Architect as you know has to take into account keeping the doors open when he leaves.  Now if the the property is a 9 or 10 and on an ocean or destination golf then a short course would probably do okay.  The average golfer loves the long ball.  They pay the Bills. 


I know there are some people who value long hitting over skill.  If you are one of them, sorry to offend you, but try to understand what I'm saying, at least. 
I don't value long hitting over skill but I valued courses over 6600 yards when I was in high school and early 20's.  You need to understand that I think of golf and golf sustainability different then you do and what the average golfer wants.  The guy who pays the bills.  I used to be amazed as a teenager at the Alabama golf trail for the had courses that were really long.  I thought if I could break 75 on them I could play.  That was narrow mindedness but that outlook is shared by enough people. 


The problem, anyway, is that too many people look up to the Tour and what they see on TV, and every single pro is on an equipment company's payroll, so not many are going to favor changing the status quo.

Agree with this.  If Cypress point had an exhibition with persimmons and a dialed back ball for $50 on a monday, there would be people selling their mother down the river to sign up.  Certain courses hold the key to change.  People like courses on Water. 

Tom_Doak

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2016, 08:57:36 PM »
Did you fail reading comprehension?  No, but it never was a strong suit of mine.  ''If only they had an effective organization''-  They either means Golf Archies society or USGA is what I implied this meant.


I meant the ASGCA, of which Jeff Brauer [who started this thread] is a former president.  This was from a paragraph that stated that golf course architects could help solve the problem, but they do not.

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2016, 01:05:14 PM »
I have not read the other posts but YES Par 72 and 7000 Yards are the key numbers for marketing.


If you want to recruit members you will get more if you hit those numbers, anything lower it is more difficult however I think you need the 7000 to be made up by 3 or 4 tees 50-70 yards further back, so the real medal course is about 6700 yards par 72. Equally 6475 yards par 71 or 6250 yards par 70 lengths are the same strength of course relative to par.


The reality is that very few people want to play 7000 yards and you need to kid them by 300/400 yards as to what they are playing.


The other stigma is courses under 6000 yards, its a big minus to most people.


However, I think most courses are set up at around 6000 yards for normal play (even the 7000 yarders) and 6000 is probably the ideal length for enjoyment though people think they are playing 6400/6500.







A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Thomas Dai

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2016, 01:12:57 PM »

...you need to kid them by 300/400 yards as to what they are playing.



Very astutely put. Smoke and mirrors. Lots of scope for this. 😊


Atb

Mike Nuzzo

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2016, 05:15:18 PM »
I don't understand why this is even a discussion or question.
The answer is dependent on what you say Jeff - especially as an ASGCA past president - which is what Tom said.


Adding back tees may not make a significant difference to the budget but it has a big impact on the routing.


And if you need the real answer Tom also posted it here many years ago:


[size=0pt]Analysis of the Top 50 Golf Courses in the World
 
 19 are par-72 courses
 15 are par-71
 16 are “others,” mostly 70 or 73
[/size]

[size=0pt][/size]
[size=0pt]12 of the top 50 are less than 6800 yards from the back tees;
 15 are between 6800 yards and 7000 yards;
 23 can be stretched to 7000 yards for championship play.
 
 
[/size]
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil & Tiger.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2016, 06:07:32 PM »

Analysis of the Top 50 Golf Courses in the World
 
 19 are par-72 courses
 15 are par-71
 16 are “others,” mostly 70 or 73


[size=0pt]12 of the top 50 are less than 6800 yards from the back tees;
 15 are between 6800 yards and 7000 yards;
 23 can be stretched to 7000 yards for championship play.
 
[/size]



Mike:


I suspect many of those shorter courses have been stretched since that post, but not for marketing so much as they were convinced by the sport's governing bodies that they were falling behind.  Look at what they did to Merion!


Mr. Dye told me in 1983 that the only way to get golfers on the right tees was to build them at 5800 yards, and then lie and say those tees were 6200 yards, otherwise they wouldn't play them. 


It amazes me the same b.s. is necessary, 30 years later, but it's all because of the way bad courses are marketed.  Why do we let them set the standard, instead of educating people about the truth?



Another interesting point:  7000 yards is meaningless in countries that use the metric system.  Some have insisted on 6400 m or 6500 m as a standard ... some even go for 7000 m (!) ... but over 6000 meters is usually enough for those in Australia or Europe to think the course is just fine. 


This even has an effect on individual holes ... in America not many clients would want me to build a par-4 under 300 yards, but I built four of them between St. Andrews Beach and Barnbougle and nobody said boo about it, because they measure in meters.

Sean_A

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2016, 08:07:57 PM »
There is a serious divide so far as marketing goes.  It is much more likely the new course on the block "has to be" 7000/72.  That is far from the case for a ton of well established and respected courses.  I talk to a ton of new members and none say the reason they joined was course yardage/par.  In fact, the course is 6700 from the medal tees and a par of 71...not many people are clamouring for another 300 yards on the medal card and most members play the daily tees every chance they get.  I think the 7000/72 mantra is a peceived wisdom that is rarely challenged even though there are tons of examples as to why it should be challenged.

Ciao 



New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Peter Pallotta

Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2016, 08:30:12 PM »
Sean's post got me thinking about intentions, actual instead of ostensible ones. The USGA has the "tee it forward" and "play nine" initiatives/marketing tools, but there is no "6800 yards is enough for everyone" equivalent. It's a no-brainer: so many stellar and/or famous courses to highlight in print and television ads, and so many golfing greats past and present ready to chime in on the joys and challenges of a 6800 yard course. It makes me wonder why the USGA hasn't been done it before. Oh, wait -- maybe it's because they don't *want* to do it. Why? I have no idea. But  maybe, in some weird parallel to Col Kilgore's infamous "Charlie don't surf!" from Apocalypse Now, there's Col Davis in the background at Far Hills shouting "Pros don't get humiliated on 6800 yards!" 

Peter 

(By the way, is it just me or would Wallace Shawn be perfect to play Mike Davis in a movie?  "My Dinner with Mike", set on the patio at NGLA...)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 08:43:51 PM by Peter Pallotta »

Ryan Farrow

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2016, 09:25:06 PM »
What if, for the "Good of the Game", the PGA/USGA/R&A decide that no golf tournament will play over 7,000 yds.




What incentive will there be for owners to build courses over that number?




Is this a way to skirt potential lawsuits with equipment manufacturers over bifurcation/tournament ball?


Thomas Dai

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2016, 10:20:19 AM »
The difference between 7,000 yds and 6,800 yds is essentially 10 yds per hole, less than the variance between two different iron club shots for some players. Not a lot really and pretty much undetectable to most.
Atb

Andrew Buck

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2016, 11:06:31 AM »
I will certainly say if I'm in an area where I know nothing about any course, don't have anyone to ask about quality and just look at a few local options, I'm more likely to default to the longer/higher course rating option (assuming I don't know the architects).

Tom_Doak

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2016, 11:18:54 AM »
I was just putting the finishing touches on The Gourmet's Choice section of Volume 3 of The Confidential Guide, and noticed that, aside from the nine-hole Hooper Golf Club, 11 of our 17 selections are still UNDER 7,000 yards from the back tees.  Those courses, which must all be doomed for marketing purposes:


Banff Springs
Cabot Links
Crystal Downs
Davenport CC
Garden City Golf Club
Lawsonia
Merion (East)
Myopia Hunt Club
Roaring Gap
Somerset Hills
Yale


Of course, as Sean notes, most are private clubs that aren't too worried about marketing to retail golfers.  However Banff and Cabot surely have to market, and don't seem to be suffering.

Jason Topp

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2016, 11:25:01 AM »
It would be interesting to try and pair up 6500 yard courses and courses exceeding 7000 yards of similar quality in similar markets and see how their financials compare.  Any comparison is difficult because of all of the unique factors that play into perceived value.  I also suspect that the impact of such a comparison varies wildly by location.  Nonetheless, I suppose an appraiser who knows golf could probably factor those sort of issues into the analysis, at least for a particular area.

Overall my impression is that the longer courses do better.  Decent but short courses have struggled locally while long but mediocre courses seem to do better.  Most of the Golden Age courses with room have added length to get close to 7000 yards and/or reduced par.  Many of the courses here were par 73s originally so reducing par becomes an option.

Andrew Buck

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #40 on: August 17, 2016, 11:34:05 AM »
And, since I'm also not a big fan of most Par 5s, the best marketing for this average golfer would be something like a 6850 yard Par 70 course -- on which I'd play my majority of rounds from the blue tees at 6500 or so. 


That would be a much more difficult test of golf than I think you expect.  Each stroke to par is the equivalent of an extra 150-175 yards on the scorecard ... so a 6850 yard par 70 course plays like a 7200-yard par-72.


The Loop at Forest Dunes is about 6700 yards from the back and 6100 yards from the front, but at par 70, it's a pretty tough course.  I haven't even heard of someone posting a good number from the back tees ... the middle tees have been plenty for guests so far.

It also depends how you get there, because if you go from par 72 to 71 by adding a 5th par 3, it can be more like 200 - 250 in difference. 

BCowan

Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #41 on: August 17, 2016, 11:42:00 AM »
I was just putting the finishing touches on The Gourmet's Choice section of Volume 3 of The Confidential Guide, and noticed that, aside from the nine-hole Hooper Golf Club, 11 of our 17 selections are still UNDER 7,000 yards from the back tees.  Those courses, which must all be doomed for marketing purposes:


Banff Springs
Cabot Links
Crystal Downs
Davenport CC
Garden City Golf Club
Lawsonia
Merion (East)
Myopia Hunt Club
Roaring Gap
Somerset Hills
Yale


Of course, as Sean notes, most are private clubs that aren't too worried about marketing to retail golfers.  However Banff and Cabot surely have to market, and don't seem to be suffering.

How many of those tracks are on Land that is considered a 9 or 10?  Lets not put courses built on an Ocean, lake, or in the Mountains as a fair comparison.  Cabot and Pebble could be 6500 yards from the tips and are immune to length due to how great the land is.  I hear the land ain't too bad at Crystal either. 

Tom_Doak

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #42 on: August 17, 2016, 12:08:59 PM »
Ben:


Most great [or very good] courses are located on good pieces of land.


If this 7,000-yard discussion is confined to courses on bad pieces of land, then you are just talking about how to market bad courses -- and who cares?


Although I still remember Dr. MacKenzie's advice on how to fix a bad hole:  "Shorten it, and get it over with quicker."




Dave McCollum

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #43 on: August 17, 2016, 03:51:20 PM »
We just use whatever yardage/ratings the golf association raters say they are.  I guess they use the middle of the tee to the middle of the green standard.  I suppose we could publicize whatever yardages we want.  That seems sort of dishonest for folks assuming that yardages/ratings are a reasonable way to compare courses.  Like everyone else here, we don’t, and use their numbers.  Virtually no scratch or pro ever shoots the ratings for any tee, so we don’t worry about the challenge presented.  I can’t remember the last time, if ever, we set up the course to play as difficult as possible for a competitive event.  Perhaps for a state amateur some years ago.  For example, our seldom used back tees are listed as 6807 yards.  Setting the markers all the way back, they actually measure 7000+ yards.  Given a fairly windy location in a canyon which causes the wind to swirl and eddy like a white water river, yardage is just part of the problem for a decent golfer to shoot a low score.  For multi-day competitions our adjustments are mostly for fun, variety, and weather, not defending par or providing the sternest test possible.     

We market ourselves as fun, walkable golf course in a unique landscape and don’t really give a hoot about other adjectives and measures.

Andrew Buck

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #44 on: August 17, 2016, 04:47:04 PM »



If this 7,000-yard discussion is confined to courses on bad pieces of land, then you are just talking about how to market bad courses -- and who cares?


Owners of courses on "bad" land who can't afford to hire a "name" architect.

Carl Johnson

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #45 on: August 17, 2016, 08:35:39 PM »
Anecdote.  A friend of mine who's in his late-50s and a seven h.c. didn't want to play Prestwick (Scotland) on a visit a few years ago because "it was too short."  (And he did not.)  Now, I don't recall what tees visitors must play from, but the course is 6,551 from the medal tees, 6,908 from the championship, and 5,973 from the senior tees (per their current website).  And to top it off, he is not an exceptionally long hitter -- his strengths are an exceptional short game and putting.  This is a perfect example of the silliness you can get from otherwise quite intelligent people (PBK at a top tier college in his day).
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 08:41:58 PM by Carl Johnson »

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #46 on: August 18, 2016, 02:54:44 AM »
Ben:


Most great [or very good] courses are located on good pieces of land.


If this 7,000-yard discussion is confined to courses on bad pieces of land, then you are just talking about how to market bad courses -- and who cares?

Most great or very good courses are 7000 yards or the equivalant strength, ie 6750 par 71, 6500 par 70. A quick search through the GB & I top 100 won't yield many shorties. Great or good golf courses still need good strong holes and plenty of them. It is easy for you to say who cares about courses on bad land, but all my courses have been on bad land, I get flat fields, a lot of golf courses have to be made. They still end up full of happy golfers. Not every course can be number 1 and the world needs ditch diggers too.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Sean_A

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #47 on: August 18, 2016, 05:51:53 AM »
Adrian


I guess my main point is that when the main marketing push for a course is 7000/72 then it doesn't bode well because these are such superficial (I would actually argue meaningless and perhaps even negative measurements of quality) measurements of quality.  I would be extremely disappointed if I invested in a course and the best that could be said of it was 7000/72. 


Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #48 on: August 18, 2016, 11:35:58 AM »
Sean - Everybody has different wants with golf courses. You played with your friends at Cumberwell, you liked the Orange nine and did not like the Blue, but your friends preferred the Blue. I like the same sort of courses as you. I spoke with a 1 handicapper this week he thought the Orange was horrendous, he said everyone in the county match hated it. The common denominator with that was good players, so kinda understandable but there is a deep market for golf courses with water in front of greens, good conditioning, fast flattish (normal) greens.


I think a lot of people think they want to play 7000 yard courses, hence the ....required for marketing. Reality it is too hard. Marketing a 7000 yard course is easier than 6800 or 6600 etc. As long as it has multiple tees it is going to suit a bigger portion of golfers, if you have a 'new' 5900 yarder you will not have the same percentage of customers because to quite a few will feel it is too short.


Separate subject bout time you popped down and played our bigger course, message me if you want to bring your three mates.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Thomas Dai

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Re: Par 72, 7000 Yards "Required" for marketing?
« Reply #49 on: August 18, 2016, 12:20:35 PM »
Out of interest with a 7,000/72 combo, in very general terms what would be the proportion (in %) of teeing areas for say the back men's, the men's white's, the men's yellow's and the reds?
Atb

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