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Base point of design
« on: April 19, 2003, 09:39:34 PM »
A question for those of you involved in design....What basic point do you use for hole design layout (and this relates to prior threads regarding bunker placement)? When I was first introduced to the practice of golf course design my mentor instilled the concept of designing holes and hazard placement based on the middle tee yardage at a distance of 240 yards, a practice I have used over the years. This is based on the premise that bunker and hazard placement should ideally not impart a penalty to the typical daily fee player's game. I am very aware that this 240 yard factor has been radically changed by recent equipment improvements, but that in iteslf is another matter entirely.

Conversely, I have worked in close association with "name" designers who have insisted on designing from the back tees with angle point yardage of 250 yards and adjusting from that point for the various carded yardages.

My contention is that if a hole's bunkering is designed and controlled  from the mid-tee position (beyond the average daily-fee player's game), moving the lower handicap player back 30 to 40 yards will achieve a levelling effect of hazard placement and place the impact where it should reside.  

What say you? ???

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


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Re: Base point of design
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2003, 10:21:51 PM »

My mentors followed the path you took. However, in housing developments, that theroetica tee "center" usually got pushed closer to the property line, and the course lost desired length. When I started my own practice, I used back tees as the base, moving them out to the mathematically convenient 800 feet/266 yards, which seemed to reflect good players distance from 1984-1994. After that, the best club players went up to about 270-280, and we know where the pros are.

I am currently designing a course where the doglegs are at 850 feet/283 yards. I am putting the next set of tees about 30-40 yards further, basically agreeing with your 240 distance for middle tee players.

There are some mathematical problems with par 5's since, since adding 225-240 yards for the second shot puts the short par 5 greens ahead of the second dogleg. We'll work those out somehow, or go back to 800 feet, back tee yardage, with 20-25 yard splits, plus or minus.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach


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Re: Base point of design
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2003, 05:16:25 AM »
I still use 800 feet, which Pete Dye taught us twenty years ago.  I hear Pete is using 900 feet (300 yards) now ... but he's got different back-tee players in mind than I do.

However, the most important thing I've come to understand in golf course design is that players don't often get to the 800 foot stake.  When I'm looking at the approach shot, I start looking from 20-30 yards behind the stake, and from 10-20 yards to either side of it, because there are going to be more people playing from there than from Position A.

Also, the bad thing about using a set distance like 800 feet is that you seldom remember to build anything shorter -- like a hole where the flattest spot is 240 yards and then it falls away.  You're always going to put the landing stake in the best spot and measure back from there, unless you're very conscious of this point.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: Base point of design
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2003, 06:38:18 AM »
We actually work in metric.

Depending on the course (local muni to championship course), we use 230, 240 or 250 metres, and then 180, 190 or 200 metres for the second shot.

But for the 250-200 option, we end up with the same problem that Jeff has on par fives, which is why I don't like using it all that much.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Forrest Richardson

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Re: Base point of design
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2003, 05:11:24 PM »
Up to 3,000-feet above sea level I still maintain a good center point is 220-yards from "where most average players" will play the course. Hazards and landing areas are defined from that point and back tee yardage is, of course, considerably more. Obviously this will depend on the course, type of play and grass variety.

Tom D.'s comment about forgetting to consider shorter landing areas is crucial to keep in mind -- this was my disagreement in another thread with the notion of all dog-legs bending at the same point -- to create holes with sameness in landing area or turning distance is a disappointment. Of course, at many residential communities we see this result.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA


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