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Randy Thompson

  • Karma: +0/-0
 I like to try to design holes that can be easy and also difficult depending on the course set up and the pin position. These holes can produce lots of birdies and pars which make everybody happy. Sometimes we can créate elements into these holes, that can also lead to an 8 and ruin your perfect round! Its 2017 and most us are trying to focus on making golf fun again. So, my question is, should the train wrecks be avoided at all cost? Are train wrecks like wild greens, where a couple are ok but not to be over used in this day and age? When your in the middle of potential wreck and you hit the perfect shot and save par, there is still a big thrill of accomplishment and if you play smart and conservative, you walk away with a bogey knowing you avoided an 8, also feels good! I love to watch others experience them but I am not so fond of being in them, even though they become long term learning expereinces. I am interested in what other Architects think and also interested in feedback from players!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 06:14:49 PM by Randy Thompson »

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 10:36:11 PM »
Hi Randy:


I think it depends on the nature of the train wreck.


There are some courses full of these, but they play fun because they look fun, in my opinion.  The majority of Mike Stranz's would qualify by that definition, such as Tobacco Road.  It's short enough to offer potential birdies, but it's hard to get all the way around without putting a big number or two on the card.  Most golfers have fun with his courses, yet at the same time, none of them are ranked by the magazines as "great".


If you've got a course with potential train wrecks but it doesn't look fun or interesting, I don't think anybody really enjoys that kind of course.

Peter Pallotta

Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2017, 04:57:24 AM »
Randy - I think an average golfer tends to blame *himself* for the train-wreck while a low-handicapper tends to blame everyone *but* himself. For both, however, I think the anger comes when it's obvious that the architect has purposely *created* such a hard/penal golf hole. If it's *not* so obvious -- if, for example, the challenge comes from "naturally" canted fairways, or a natural-looking skyline green, or from a meandering creek that seems to have always been there -- most golfers feel compelled to accept the good with the bad...and that's when the architect can get away with murder!
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 04:59:40 AM by Peter Pallotta »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2017, 05:11:36 AM »
I like to try to design holes that can be easy and also difficult depending on the course set up and the pin position. These holes can produce lots of birdies and pars which make everybody happy. Sometimes we can créate elements into these holes, that can also lead to an 8 and ruin your perfect round! Its 2017 and most us are trying to focus on making golf fun again. So, my question is, should the train wrecks be avoided at all cost? Are train wrecks like wild greens, where a couple are ok but not to be over used in this day and age? When your in the middle of potential wreck and you hit the perfect shot and save par, there is still a big thrill of accomplishment and if you play smart and conservative, you walk away with a bogey knowing you avoided an 8, also feels good! I love to watch others experience them but I am not so fond of being in them, even though they become long term learning expereinces. I am interested in what other Architects think and also interested in feedback from players!

Randy

Like wild greens, train wrecks are best limited to a few holes per round.  Once you start getting into the realm of 4, 5 or 6 trainwrecks, the course will become polarizing.  That is of course unless the land dictates that this is what must be done....but for crying out loud don't make length a big factor in creating the trainwrecks when there are so many on a course.  This is where the old British & Irish courses do such a great job.  On these little smashmouth beauties we get the illusion that the course can be had, and indeed once in a blue moon they can be, but usually we simply shake our heads at the inability to execute finicky shot after finicky shot.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2017, 07:40:37 AM »
A "train wreck" can happen on any hole regardless of the design.  That said, most great holes (in my opinion) offer some form of temptation and often that temptation can lead to a high score if the golfer fails to pull off the shot they were tempted to play. On the other hand holes that are purely penal (long forced carry with no option) or where the architect forces the golfers hand with shots that can lead to disaster get old for many golfers and should be limited (unless the course was designed for scrambles and lots of beer consumption) :)

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2017, 08:27:26 AM »

Agree with Mark.  Train wrecks are induced by bad shots or bad strategy relative to your skill.  Golfers hate when architects induce them via design, but recognize it when the architect provides temptations, but they do it to themselves by falling for the sucker punch.  They blame themselves and accept it, whereas a really tough, near unputtable green they blame the architect.


Any thinking golfer won't attempt a long shot that doesn't give them a 2 to 1 chance of succeeding.  In certain situations, maybe 51%.....The problem with severely contoured greens is they have to putt them and have no choice.  That said, I don't mind varying contours, with maybe one green 10% under borderline contours per nine, mostly because of the variety in challenge it provides over putting on the same slope time after time. 


A golfer once told me they remember holes that are difficult, pretty, or unusual.  Not sure how that ties into this discussion, but think it would apply to contoured greens, if not over done.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2017, 12:45:24 PM »
Does this mean classic US Open courses are train wrecks in nature? They wreck the best players in the world, can't imagine what they would do to a joe blow 12 capper.


P.S. I've heard people say they've never had more fun getting wrecked after playing courses like Shinnecock or Oakmont.


Asking for a friend!  ;)

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2017, 02:26:30 PM »
Train wrecks are induced by bad shots or bad strategy relative to your skill.
Go along with this but would add forced carries, lack of width and lack of options in severe conditions.
Atb

Ted Sirbaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2017, 11:37:09 PM »
I most enjoy train wreck situations when it is around the green or as a result of the approach shot... whenever I miss a tee shot into a potential train wreck area- that next shot can often be more frustrating than fun.. but any time I miss the green somewhere that makes the next shot seems impossible, I always have a lot of fun trying to hit that recovery shot

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2017, 09:53:08 AM »

Train wrecks are induced by bad shots or bad strategy relative to your skill.
Go along with this but would add forced carries, lack of width and lack of options in severe conditions.
Atb


The thought of forced carries too long to make, fairways too narrow to hit never cross my mind. Don't mind the occasional only one tough option hole, but it does have to be doable, and unfortunately, probably doable for the least skilled among us.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Matt_Cohn

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2017, 06:50:32 PM »
Stroke play...

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2017, 01:28:11 AM »
Well, MacKenzie once wrote of the average guy piling up a big score.  Train wrecks pile up.....but yes, match play does eliminate the need to keep playing a bad hole for no reason.  Bring it back with the stymie!
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2017, 04:35:54 AM »
I was thinking of train wreck holes more due to tricky holes/greens.  An awkward bunker ala 17 TOC, a crazy green ala 16 N Berwick, a severely domed green ala Pinehurst or a severe target ala Postage Stamp.  Stuff like this has to be tempered or its gets old.  I know I am like a broken record, but this is what I mean about the greenside bunkers at Yeamans.  Its a train wreck waiting to happen on a ton of holes...and there are many train wrecks!

Ciao 
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 05:33:00 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture.
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2017, 05:20:17 AM »

P.S. I've heard people say they've never had more fun getting wrecked after playing courses like Shinnecock or Oakmont.


I've often felt the same way about Carnoustie. I love the challenge. My only regret is that in the half dozen or so times I've played it I've been too beat up by the time I've got to the last 3 holes to really make a good stab at them. That said, the process at Carnoustie is more of a wearing down one rather than the single hole explosion that Randy refers to.

The best examples of the train wreck that Randy refers to, that I can think of, are on my home course (Glasgow Gailes) and are the 8th and 9th which are both shortish par 4's that the big boys can reach. However both have raised greens, the 8th is similar to the second at Dornoch while the 9th is more of an almost triangular shape with the corners rounded. Both have greenside bunkers but frankly that just makes it easier for the top players. That said, no matter the level of player they are always very happy to walk off with two pars (or two bogies in my case).

Niall

Paul Rudovsky

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Holes that can produce a train wreck in golf course architecture. New
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2017, 05:34:31 AM »
The following comment relates more to golf holes than golf courses.


I have this theory that the "best" golf holes are those with clear risk/reward features.  On way to measure this would be to look at the standard deviation (you will need some understanding of statistics to understand this) of the scores for a certain level of player...holes with high standard deviations being the "best"...prime example would be 13 at ANGC where scores ranging from 3 -->7 are regularly seen during the Masters.  Of course, the problem with this concept (assuming it is correct analytically) is actually measuring the numbers...how do you get the data?


Certainly available today for tour players on shot link.  But generally not available for lots of holes for golfers within handicap ranges of say +2-->5, 6-->13, 14--20.


Anyone out there have access to shot link data?


When you get to courses, I agree that too many with high standard deviations is not a good thing...over time it wears down the player.  And I do believe many great architects have "sleeper" holes..that look easy and cause a player to lose concentration.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 05:36:48 AM by Paul Rudovsky »

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