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Joe Zucker

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Re: Par Matters
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2019, 04:06:49 PM »
This discussion reminds me my Dad when he was teaching me the game. At a course we had not played before, I asked on the tee whether the hole we were about to play was a par 4 or 5. After an exasperated sigh, he replied “what the hell difference does that make”?  He then told me my goal should be to try and get the ball in the hole in the least number of strokes and then add them up at the end. “It’s not rocket science, dumb ass”!


I like that story, David.  I think it can be boiled down to: Par shouldn't matter, but it does.  Mostly because golfers are irrational.  I think the score keeping aspect of par is a bit of a different discussion.  This is another example that golf is a much a game of the mind as the body.  As Bobby Jones and many others have said.

Jim Nugent

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2019, 06:53:44 PM »

The criteria needed to run a true controlled experiment that a technical scientist would like are never satisfied in the real world.  All of the social sciences rely on natural experiments that are imperfect because of the controls noted are not accounted for perfectly.  Just because it isn't perfect doesn't mean there isn't something that can be learned here.  If we required laboratory level conditions, none of the social sciences would exist, but we have learned things from that research.


Do these guys overstate their case? Probably.  But it is certainly a more rigorous approach to the question than any of us give when expressing our opinions on this question here.
A flawed study is better than no study?  The opposite may be true.  The flawed study may draw false conclusions that send others down the wrong path.  e.g. psychology and social sciences in general are (in)famous now due to the replication crisis: they aren't able to replicate the findings in over half of their studies.  This has some pretty grave implications for those fields (which btw include medicine).     

A better approach for the par issue holds more of the variables constant.  One way to do that: change par on a hole during a tournament, from round to round.  Two rounds they play the same hole as a par 4, two rounds as a par 5.  Still need to repeat the experiment a number of times to develop a decent sample size, to compensate for changing weather, pins, etc.  But at least the key elements of length, overall course setup, technology and players would vary little.  Shocked if the tour ever does this. 

fwiw, my instincts say that on average touring pros score lower on half-par holes that are par 5s.  i.e. they score better when they're shooting for birdie instead of par.  They probably play more aggressively, which at the very least should lead to more 4s and 3s, compared to the same hole as a par 4.  Of course with today's hyper-distances the pro's still often have short iron even into ultra-long par 4s.   




V. Kmetz

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2019, 07:36:48 PM »
And more is to the point about any study... to be completely inclusive, it should have a test unit where NO PAR is listed...not just 4 or 5 (or 3 and 4)


Many of you get it.. individual hole par is one unnecessary leash on modern GCA... but if you want a real world example, that has history, take the 3rd hole at WFW...originally made as a 216 yard hole, with a par of 3 in 1923...this was later expanded to 227...


Before the 2006 Open, a new back tee was introduced measuring 253 to the middle...we scoped out a few years ago that this back tee (to the rear-most possible back hole location) can play a maximum of 264 yards.


What is the rightful "par" for this hole at 216...227...240...253...264?


Billy Casper "laid up" all four days of the 1959 Open and made 3 all four days... so as not to go into or have to flop over the wicked sidebunkers to the green which is fast like rolling Hawaiian waves, but to have a straightforward, if still concentrated running chip through the narrow (12 yard) throat of the approach...


The point is THIS IS GREAT DESIGN and would be if the Par was 2 or 7... and (truth be told) is one of the few places that ams and pros can play from the same distant tee (227+) and havean equivalent if different experience of challenege...the reg. am is only going to hit the green 1 out of 8 times from such distance, while the pros are only going to hit it 4 out of 8 (2006 USOpen stats) and STILL the job wont be done for the pro... he'll have to navigate that crazy, fretful green... avoiding a VERY easy 3-jack, while the ams challenge is going to be keeping a standard 2 putt bogey or...god help him, a lovely up and down or unexpected bomb make...


cheers  vk
"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -

Peter Pallotta

Re: Par Matters
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2019, 09:57:52 PM »
On the other hand, VK, why did Billy Casper lay-up? It was, I'm almost certain, because he was trying to ensure that he got his "3", which just coincidentally happened to be "par" for that hole (just as it is today for the pros, with today's equipment, at circa 260 yards.) I don't deny that it is a great golf hole, for the reasons you note; and while I wouldn't say it's a great hole *because* it's a Par 3 I similarly wouldn't want to claim that it's great hole *in spite* of its par. Call it a Par 4 today and, for us amateurs, it suddenly becomes something like the 10th at Riviera -- and after a few attempts at driving the green but being left with a difficult shot over the wicked sidebunkers to a tricky green and walking away with a stressful "4" (par) or more likely a disappointing "5" (bogey), many of us on subsequent plays would choose to lay up with a mid iron off the tee and flick in a wedge because that offered us the best chance at possibly making a "3" (birdie) or at least a stress-free par "4". See what I mean? The golf hole is & remains the very same golf hole, yes -- but at least some of the delight or disappointment or stress or ease that it offers has to do with its "par"...well, at least for those among us whose state of enlightenment is not yet a constant but a more fleeting & fickle experience.


« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 10:23:02 PM by Peter Pallotta »

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2019, 10:52:53 PM »
It seems we always discuss the distance factor and have  a formula for such in these studies but improved maintenance conditions, especially putting surfaces need to be calculated and placed in these studies also. 
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Ken Moum

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2019, 11:49:19 PM »
This discussion reminds me of my Dad when he was teaching me the game. At a course we had not played before, I asked on the tee whether the hole we were about to play was a par 4 or 5. After an exasperated sigh, he replied “what the hell difference does that make”?  He then told me my goal should be to try and get the ball in the hole in the least number of strokes and then add them up at the end. “It’s not rocket science, dumb ass”!


Two thumbs up for your dad.  I bet I'd have like him.
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

V. Kmetz

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2019, 11:53:16 PM »
On the other hand, VK, why did Billy Casper lay-up? It was, I'm almost certain, because he was trying to ensure that he got his "3", which just coincidentally happened to be "par" for that hole (just as it is today for the pros, with today's equipment, at circa 260 yards.) I don't deny that it is a great golf hole, for the reasons you note; and while I wouldn't say it's a great hole *because* it's a Par 3 I similarly wouldn't want to claim that it's great hole *in spite* of its par. Call it a Par 4 today and, for us amateurs, it suddenly becomes something like the 10th at Riviera -- and after a few attempts at driving the green but being left with a difficult shot over the wicked sidebunkers to a tricky green and walking away with a stressful "4" (par) or more likely a disappointing "5" (bogey), many of us on subsequent plays would choose to lay up with a mid iron off the tee and flick in a wedge because that offered us the best chance at possibly making a "3" (birdie) or at least a stress-free par "4". See what I mean? The golf hole is & remains the very same golf hole, yes -- but at least some of the delight or disappointment or stress or ease that it offers has to do with its "par"...well, at least for those among us whose state of enlightenment is not yet a constant but a more fleeting & fickle experience.


Peter, the longer this went, the more I felt my point covering all readers... delight/relief/stress comes from playing a sound sequence, a lucky stroke, a good shot that received a capricious result, how your opponent stands, what you're gaining or losing to a field with how this one is going... the par of the thing is a dogmatic scheme


Another frequent follow-up I have to make in these threads or announcements is that of course, on the minute everyday level, all peoples playing with another...including a championship tournament committee can determine for themselves (and their constituents) what a birdie, an eagle or bogey is anywhere... plus, we are not so blind as to step up to a hole with 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 as the first digit of yardage and know what is good play....


But I believe that a few of our architects convincing their clients and designing courses with nothing but 18 holes/4 is good anywhere in mind will nudge the art into a refreshed realm, where 260-290 yard holes are more regularly seen...where 2 or 20 holes are desired for their amusement, and occasionally impossible character, more bunkerless holes, holes in the 440 - 490 realms that give a good player somethign and an average player a slightly different something...perhaps sub 100 yard holes and 700 yard holes are less controversial when they don't have to cotton to 3, 4 or 5...


I think WFW #3 played at 240 - 255 yards is a hole that can be played from the same markers by a scratch, a 9 hcp, a 18 hcp and a 25 hcp ... each can take a different style of enjoyment or conquest, with all four reasonably able to achieve a 3, with a 4 readily controlled by smart play... take it from me...both are fine scores there...in medal play a player not on the green in 1 can make a 6 from one poor greenside shot...
"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -

Joe Zucker

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2019, 11:54:50 PM »

The criteria needed to run a true controlled experiment that a technical scientist would like are never satisfied in the real world.  All of the social sciences rely on natural experiments that are imperfect because of the controls noted are not accounted for perfectly.  Just because it isn't perfect doesn't mean there isn't something that can be learned here.  If we required laboratory level conditions, none of the social sciences would exist, but we have learned things from that research.


Do these guys overstate their case? Probably.  But it is certainly a more rigorous approach to the question than any of us give when expressing our opinions on this question here.
A flawed study is better than no study?  The opposite may be true.  The flawed study may draw false conclusions that send others down the wrong path.  e.g. psychology and social sciences in general are (in)famous now due to the replication crisis: they aren't able to replicate the findings in over half of their studies.  This has some pretty grave implications for those fields (which btw include medicine).     

A better approach for the par issue holds more of the variables constant.  One way to do that: change par on a hole during a tournament, from round to round.  Two rounds they play the same hole as a par 4, two rounds as a par 5.  Still need to repeat the experiment a number of times to develop a decent sample size, to compensate for changing weather, pins, etc.  But at least the key elements of length, overall course setup, technology and players would vary little.  Shocked if the tour ever does this. 

fwiw, my instincts say that on average touring pros score lower on half-par holes that are par 5s.  i.e. they score better when they're shooting for birdie instead of par.  They probably play more aggressively, which at the very least should lead to more 4s and 3s, compared to the same hole as a par 4.  Of course with today's hyper-distances the pro's still often have short iron even into ultra-long par 4s.   


I think it depends if the study is truly flawed or in bad faith, rather than being imperfect.  The replication crisis is certainly a problem, but many of those findings were so counterintuitive that there wasn't good theory behind it to support the empirical results.  In the par case, there is theory on why par matters.  But I do agree with your point that bad science can set you back.


The main point I'm trying to make is that you rarely, if ever, have perfect conditions for a test.  Since that's true, should we throw our hands up and and just rely on our guts?  I would say no.  I will take the flawed test if we properly understand the caveats and don't become too confident the results from any one study are the truth.    Your proposed approach would be better (but still not perfect).  A state golf association could certainly try it.  And I would love to see it, but until then I don't think we should throw out all research done in imperfect settings.

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2019, 08:17:51 AM »
Let's get real simple.  I see a trend in millenials where they care more about the walk in the park than learning to play better golf.  they want a leather bag with some wooden clubs, a few craft beers at the turn , maybe a one-hitter in their bag, talk about the ground game because they don't have an air game and just have a good time.  I'm not saying it is wrong but for them par really doesn't matter. 
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Tim Martin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2019, 08:31:51 AM »
Let's get real simple.  I see a trend in millenials where they care more about the walk in the park than learning to play better golf.  they want a leather bag with some wooden clubs, a few craft beers at the turn , maybe a one-hitter in their bag, talk about the ground game because they don't have an air game and just have a good time.  I'm not saying it is wrong but for them par really doesn't matter.


Mike-That is a great description. ;D ;D ;D  Would any self respecting millennial have a one hitter instead of a pre loaded disposable vaporizer?! Bite your tongue!!!!
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 08:33:47 AM by Tim Martin »

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2019, 08:33:24 AM »
Sean,
You state that par has no intrinsic value for golf.  Do you feel the same way about handicapping?  How would you deal with that for match play if there was no designated par for individual holes or for a course?


Let’s face it, par is simply a measurement standard, nothing more, nothing less.  It has significant relevance in the game for many reasons.  Are we all trying to get the ball in the hole in the least strokes possible - of course we are.  Par just gives us an arbitrary standard to measure ourselves and others against.  Many golfers set their own par (standard), it is part of game and always has been even when there wasn’t an “official par” on the scorecard.  Deal with it 😉

Kyle Harris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2019, 08:46:47 AM »
I love the concept of Par because it exposes a mental approach to the game which I can exploit in my opponent.
http://kylewharris.com

Constantly blamed by 8-handicaps for their 7 missed 12-footers each round.

Thank you for changing the font of your posts. It makes them easier to scroll past.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2019, 08:51:39 AM »
Sean,
You state that par has no intrinsic value for golf.  Do you feel the same way about handicapping?  How would you deal with that for match play if there was no designated par for individual holes or for a course?

Let’s face it, par is simply a measurement standard, nothing more, nothing less.  It has significant relevance in the game for many reasons.  Are we all trying to get the ball in the hole in the least strokes possible - of course we are.  Par just gives us an arbitrary standard to measure ourselves and others against.  Many golfers set their own par (standard), it is part of game and always has been even when there wasn’t an “official par” on the scorecard.  Deal with it

Getting around handicapping is an easy fix.  Handicaping existed before par did!

I will only stress "arbitrary" and "own par" from the above statement. That pretty much settles the debate. Deal with it  8)

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

John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2019, 08:54:29 AM »
It makes golf stories shorter which is a very good thing.

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2019, 09:02:53 AM »
Let's get real simple.  I see a trend in millenials where they care more about the walk in the park than learning to play better golf.  they want a leather bag with some wooden clubs, a few craft beers at the turn , maybe a one-hitter in their bag, talk about the ground game because they don't have an air game and just have a good time.  I'm not saying it is wrong but for them par really doesn't matter.


Mike-That is a great description. ;D ;D ;D  Would any self respecting millennial have a one hitter instead of a pre loaded disposable vaporizer?! Bite your tongue!!!!


Tim,
Sorry.  I forgot...
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #40 on: June 02, 2019, 06:26:58 PM »
Sean,
Then I guess we are saying the same thing in that everyone has a standard or a "par" score in their mind for every hole they play.  That is all par is and clearly we both agree it matters  ;)
Mark

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Par Matters
« Reply #41 on: June 02, 2019, 07:58:47 PM »
Sean,
Then I guess we are saying the same thing in that everyone has a standard or a "par" score in their mind for every hole they play.  That is all par is and clearly we both agree it matters  ;)
Mark

I spose if par can be any number we like then it really doesn't matter.  That would be an interesting conversation. 

What did you have?
A par.
Come again?
Yes, my par is 7 on this hole today.
I see  ::)

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

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