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Forrest Richardson

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Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« on: May 14, 2022, 01:04:01 PM »
It's no surprise I pay attention to movie ratings because I have a family member in the "business". Recently I read an interesting piece on the "biggest divides" between AUDIENCE reviews (ratings) and CRITICS' reviews of modern movies. In some cases the divide was 60% with critics often loathing certain films, while the public rated them terrific. The reverse was true also. Only rarely do the critics "agree" with the public. There's almost always a healthy divide.

Why is this? Likely because the lens of the critic is much different than that of the "people".

What about golf design? Do the course raters and writers make up that "Rotten Tomatoes Critic" pool? Besides the data of annual rounds or "box office success" of a given golf course, it's very unlikely any of the public course ratings are nearly as accurate as Rotten Tomatoes. BTW, Rotten Tomatoes has 30 million hits per month, although I could not find the average number of public ratings per film. It ranks among America's top 300 websites in terms of traffic.

I could not find Golf Digest or Golflink's traffic numbers. When I look at some golf websites, courses often have only 10-20 ratings, so my presumption is that the pubic's ratings of golf courses is not being accurately measured with our current "system".

What would a similar system look like in golf design? Would it change any of the trends we see today?
ó Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

Tom_Doak

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2022, 02:32:14 PM »
I feel certain that if a web site existed for public ratings of golf courses, some courses would stuff the online ballot box as part of their promotional efforts*.  In that sense, golf is much different than a movie ratings site, because the ratings might affect repeat business to drive revenue, whereas that's not much of a thing in the movie business after the initial release.


In the end, what really matters is neither the critics' reviews [which BTW are very few and far between], but whether golfers want to come back again, and give good word-of-mouth reviews to other golfers.  If those last two factors are positive, then the golf course will generally be a success, regardless of what you see online.





* GOLFWEEK's 1980 rankings of courses in the state of Florida were an example of this . . . unless you really believed it was a valid result that the Bloomingdale Golfers' Club in Valrico consistently finished ahead of Seminole by their system.





Forrest Richardson

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2022, 03:12:17 PM »
Good points Tom D. I suspect we also have the "no access" issue. Seminole is a good example. .0005% of the public could even rate it!

On the scale of design, however, films represent a certain "time" on the scale and landscapes (golf courses) wayyyy out on the longevity extreme. At the very end, with fashion design representing "real time, same scale". Golf courses are polar opposite.

I do know that Rotten Tomatoes has all sorts of guards against ballot stuffing. They explain it only partially as it would defeat the effort if people knew how they manage that.
ó Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

PPallotta

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2022, 04:00:39 PM »
Forrest -
I think that, in a way, Hollywood is more honest and open about its products than the golf industry is. No one in Hollywood -- not even the hands-on creative talents themselves, i.e., the writers and directors and actors -- pretends that Nightmare on Elm Street serves the same function or is intended for and will satisfy/entertain the same audience as The Last Temptation of Christ, or that Mission Impossible 2 aims to express and celebrate the art-craft of movie making in the same way that The Seventh Seal does; and I think that, in turn, some movie critics (but not all) can make the same distinction, and judge a film not in terms of some fixed-objective set of film-making standards or their own personal movie-going tastes, but in the context of that particular film's specific genre and goals/objectives, i.e. good critics can give relatively high marks to action adventure films like Speed or Die Hard simply because they are *better action-adventure films* than, say, Fast and Furious 6, i.e. more thrilling and suspenseful and coherent and entertaining; and conversely, those same critics won't attack Speed or Die Hard for *not being* Annie Hall or The Irishman, as if three such distinct kinds of film should or can be judged in the same way. The golf industry, on the other hand, and it sometimes seems to me many of its raters/panelists, apparently wants to assume that every golf course should be able to serve all and every possible function, and make all and every possible golfer completely happy -- such that a golf course, any golf course, is deemed either 'great' or 'good' or 'average' or 'poor' independent of its primary function or intended audience. (Except if its Oakmont or Pine Valley or some other very challenging and hard to access private club with a long and storied championship history.) That doesn't make all that much sense to me -- though I know that someone might say in response: but a great golf course *can* serve every function and every golfer, and indeed that's precisely *why* it is great. I'm not so sure about that -- or at least, I simply don't know if that's true or not. (On the other hand: I suppose that, as with every question about gca that's ever been asked, the Old Course is the 'answer'.)

« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 04:31:11 PM by PPallotta »

John Kirk

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2022, 04:32:00 PM »
This thread is tailor made for me.

Where to start?  OK, which courses do you think might get a high critic's rating but a much lower audience rating?  How about the other way around?

Rotten Tomatoes is right down my alley.  I have a friend who is a well known classical music critic, but he also likes movies and popular music.  He'd likely say that some critics are much better than others, and therefore Rotten Tomatoes is kind of a watered down tool.  However, add the two ratings together with a general synopsis of the movie and a few selected review comments, and my hit to miss ratio on selecting movies is pretty good.

Generally my tastes correlate well with the critical opinions.  Pro tip:  Never see a movie with a critic opinion of ~10% and audience opinion over 50%.


Popular music has a similar service called Metacritic that gathers critic and audience opinions.  Same sort of thing.  If I'm interested in the general description of the music and it gets good ratings, that's enough to simplify the search for new music.


The types of courses that would have high critic ratings and low audience ratings?  How about seaside courses with windy conditions, and maybe courses with fine architecture but less than ideal conditioning.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2022, 09:10:17 AM by John Kirk »

Tom_Doak

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2022, 04:56:01 PM »

good critics can give relatively high marks to action adventure films like Speed or Die Hard simply because they are *better action-adventure films* than, say, Fast and Furious 6, i.e. more thrilling and suspenseful and coherent and entertaining; and conversely, those same critics won't attack Speed or Die Hard for *not being* Annie Hall or The Irishman, as if three such distinct kinds of film should or can be judged in the same way. The golf industry, on the other hand, and it sometimes seems to me many of its raters/panelists, apparently wants to assume that every golf course should be able to serve all and every possible function, and make all and every possible golfer completely happy -- such that a golf course, any golf course, is deemed either 'great' or 'good' or 'average' or 'poor' independent of its primary function or intended audience.




It's interesting that the most noted movie critics of my era had only a simple binary scale for judging a movie [on top of whatever they wanted to say about it, which I'm sure they believed was the more important part of the review].  Likewise, Rotten Tomatoes is only a score of what % of the total audience gave the movie a thumbs-up.


Raters, though, are not critics.  They produce some set of numerical scores that are fed into an algorithm for the ranking to which they contribute.  The algorithm does not consider the intended audience for the golf course at all.


I do think a golf course could be judged that way -- is it worth playing?


But, another difference with golf courses is that they aren't all priced the same or anywhere close to that, which would skew many people's evaluations.  And you'd get an even worse skew in favor of private courses where no reviewer wanted to offend his host.  So, the "popular vote" is likely to suck.


FWIW, while The Old Course is supposedly the greatest example of a course that every golfer can enjoy, I don't think it would get anywhere close to 100% thumbs-up.  Indeed, possibly the highest-rated course would be some banal design that flatters everyone.  I had one on the tip of my tongue, but I don't do that here, anymore.  :-X ;)

Daryl David

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2022, 07:15:15 PM »

good critics can give relatively high marks to action adventure films like Speed or Die Hard simply because they are *better action-adventure films* than, say, Fast and Furious 6, i.e. more thrilling and suspenseful and coherent and entertaining; and conversely, those same critics won't attack Speed or Die Hard for *not being* Annie Hall or The Irishman, as if three such distinct kinds of film should or can be judged in the same way. The golf industry, on the other hand, and it sometimes seems to me many of its raters/panelists, apparently wants to assume that every golf course should be able to serve all and every possible function, and make all and every possible golfer completely happy -- such that a golf course, any golf course, is deemed either 'great' or 'good' or 'average' or 'poor' independent of its primary function or intended audience.
I had one on the tip of my tongue, but I don't do that here, anymore.  :-X ;)


Thatís ok, Tom. I have one on top the tip of my tongue too. I bet they match.  ;D
« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 09:54:29 PM by Daryl David »

Lou_Duran

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2022, 07:49:27 PM »
A well-known critic once opined that commercial success has no bearing on the quality of the architecture and critical acclaim.  I happened to have known this man, an indifferent golfer with a very high regard for his intellectual prowess and a correspondingly low appreciation for the opinions of others which might differ than his own.


Personally, I am in agreement with the Good Doctor that a golf course should provide the most pleasure for the most  players.  So, if a course is highly regarded by its customers and members, say any number of Fazio designs, it is likely a good course.  I have seldom been disappointed playing courses with strong popular support, though I can think of two or three "top of the list" courses according to the critics which left me scratching my head.


Some critics have to differentiate themselves from the common folk and their few competitors.  After all, they have more refined, sophisticated tastes.  They might not be able to break 90 from the back tees, but they "get it".  I've wasted my time more by following the recommendations of these good folks than from buddies who might recommend a "good track" they've enjoyed.

I understand that Golf Digest is reviving its "best places to play" list which includes recommendations from its everyday readers as well as its panelists.  I don't know if this is analogous to "Rotten Tomatoes", but I look forward to seeing what it offers.

Kyle Harris

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2022, 09:13:58 PM »
*   1980 rankings of courses in the state of Florida were an example of this . . . unless you really believed it was a valid result that the Bloomingdale Golfers' Club in Valrico consistently finished ahead of Seminole by their system.


Wow. Theyíre so humble over there I never knew this.


Um. Youíve all heard of GolfAdvisor, right?
http://kylewharris.com

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

Ben Malach

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2022, 09:29:00 PM »
I think this is a two-part issue.


The first asks the question, is there any real criticism of golf course architecture?


The second asks. if the masses should have a voice in this criticism?


I for one think that there is a large lacking of real criticism of golf courses in general. Which has led to the point of the entire golf course architecture and review side being nothing but puff pieces and pay for ads. Look at any of the big 3 golf publications and you will not find a single sentence. Wherein any of these publications or authors offer any form of criticism beyond faint prase or cursing a course by omission. This leaves an industry that requires feedback to fly blind and allows for a handful of practitioners to get away with what in any other field with strong criticism would be shouted down as banal and poor work. But in golf, if you get even one hole that photographs well you might be able to make a career out of it.


 This is shameful to its core as the architects we all admire had strong critical voices themselves and around them willing to provide feedback thus giving them feedback instantly from their peers and the media. This does not happen today for a number of reasons but it's a real issue. I myself right now am committing this same sin as I don't want to offend anyone in the future that might offer me work or I am currently engaged by. This is very very very frustrating to me as a shaper and someone that deeply loves the game of golf. As I personally thrive off criticism and challenges set forth by others. As, how else am I supposed to improve if all I get is a pat on the back and a good paycheque? This is also a huge issue from a more macro lens as to how much bad work could have been avoided over the past 100 years. If instead of shunning criticism we as the golf architectural profession engaged with it and actively participated in it, much like building architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design,  and production design spaces have. Some of the best things I have read and learned about the design process and how to build for the future have come from these places of real criticism by working professionals and knowledgeable critics.


It is very frustrating that even on this board when the subject of a real critique of a golf course comes up all that seems to happen is a pat on the back and a thumbs up even if the work is middling at best. There is an example of a thread that I won't bring up because of how much controversy it caused when one architect decided to discuss his view of another architect's work with a critical lens and that thread instead of creating an insightful dialogue about the choices made on the ground and the reasoning behind them devolved into name-calling and tribalism. I get that we all have different preferences and go about the work of building golf in different ways but it's very very hard for me to have an honest conversation about golf without feelings overriding the conversation. This is entirely against the point of good criticism as a good critique is based on past knowledge, ideas and principles. If you disagree with one of the core assumptions the critic uses feel free to discuss why you have that disagreement and that discussion opens up a lot of interesting avenues of thought and creates a more open space for future discussion. When someone shuts down criticism by discussing feelings we have entered a very basic realm where there is no need for more discussion as there is only offence or lack of it. This is very problematic and where we currently sit and binary positions can only oscillate and can never be nuanced enough to be very interesting to discuss.


This brings me to my second question is there a need for the masses to be involved in the criticism of golf. I personally say yes with the caveat that they take their role seriously. This is due to the issues I pointed out earlier with the industry in its current stunted state due to everyone being afraid to anger a future client or acquaintance. As golf is a very small industry, everyone kind of knows each other or has at least spent an evening in the same bar as someone. This leads to an interesting problem of access and closeness to the subject which can limit even the best critic to be truly critical as no one likes to be dressed down in public for something that true that they wrote. 


This means that we need to bring more blood into the game and I think it's happening with the creation of websites like Openlinks, top100golfcourses.com, Beyond the Contour and The Fried Egg(earlier work). All of which are owned and operated by traditionally outsiders in the space. They all seem to be doing very well although all the sites do not promote the type of criticism that I would like to see favouring trying to cater to the preferences of the user. More than to actually digging deep into what makes a good course good and what defines poor design in the golf space (Andy Johnson's earlier work tried this and was very good although as he grew into a larger role this has become less and less common in his work). I think that's truthfully the next step is for someone outside the golf space to start a newsletter, blog, website or board that would host this type of work and heavily moderate it to make sure that it all stays in the realm of good criticism instead of devolving into gutter sniping and tribal warfare.


I don't think any of the traditional golf media outlets have much interest or care to be actively critical as when I have pressed a few of the key figures at these places to share their true thoughts publicly. I get the answer of, "well I don't want to lose my job."


Back to the point of this thread, I don't think the rotten tomatoes model works for golf criticism as trying to set up numerical categories and throwing them into an anonymizing algorithm is not very valuable to anyone. If you want to see the results of what that looks like Golf Advisor has tried this and the results were not the best. So they even stopped publishing their best-of lists.


Golf can be accurately categorized by numbers but they need to be formed into a tier list (Doak Score) with an explanation of why that course received that number for you. It's how I talk in short hand amongst my friends and have had a lot of success with sharing it with even my non-super golf nerd friends with me regularly now. Waking up to or receiving a message from a friend saying "Just played a new course in Brockville, Ont. I think it's about a 5 or 6, a couple of really fun holes, a good walk and the conditioning was great. They still need to mow it a bit wider and cut a couple of trees for you to like it though". This is a great armchair criticism and something that I think could easily be applied to a large model. Where your score on a course doesn't count unless you answer 3 or 4 questions that will be posted alongside your scores. Answers less than 4-5 words would disqualify a score. Just an idea as I never like to leave a problem without posing a solution. Something I picked up from those design critique articles.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 09:38:14 PM by Ben Malach »
@benmalach on Instagram and Twitter

Craig Sweet

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2022, 10:24:02 PM »
Seems to me if you are going to critique a golf course you have to play it.  So many great course are not available for the average golfer, unlike a movie. 

He's nuttier than a squirrel turd.

John Kirk

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2022, 11:18:38 PM »

...poorly thought out post removed.  Sorry to all concerned.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 11:59:17 PM by John Kirk »

Sean_A

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2022, 09:48:58 AM »
On a larger, mass population scale I don't think golf criticism matters much. It doesn't matter what people say about the famous courses, if accessible, people will travel and pay big money to have a go. If lesser known courses are praised or lambasted, few people in the US will care if the topic is a little known Welsh course. Real criticism in golf has a very limited appeal or viability first simply due to the global nature of the game. Second, most critics with good experience are trying to make money from golf and negative reviews don't tend to help the bottom line. Third, golf is stinking expensive and travel costs a bomb. The golf audience is naturally quite limited from the start. Movies and music don't require anything lke the financial and time investments as does golf...so the analogies are seriously flawed from the start.

Critics just have to accept their limited value and appeal and everything is fine.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Bamburgh Castle, Erewash, Gullane 2, The Loop x2 & Crystal Downs

John Kirk

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2022, 10:39:15 AM »
On a larger, mass population scale I don't think golf criticism matters much. It doesn't matter what people say about the famous courses, if accessible, people will travel and pay big money to have a go. If lesser known courses are praised or lambasted, few people in the US will care if the topic is a little known Welsh course. Real criticism in golf has a very limited appeal or viability first simply due to the global nature of the game. Second, most critics with good experience are trying to make money from golf and negative reviews don't tend to help the bottom line. Third, golf is stinking expensive and travel costs a bomb. The golf audience is naturally quite limited from the start. Movies and music don't require anything lke the financial and time investments as does golf...so the analogies are seriously flawed from the start.

Critics just have to accept their limited value and appeal and everything is fine.

Ciao

Sean,

It's the other way around.  Everybody else has to accept the role of the critic, and understand their limited value and appeal, and everything will be fine.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2022, 10:49:29 AM »


Third, golf is stinking expensive and travel costs a bomb. The golf audience is naturally quite limited from the start. Movies and music don't require anything lke the financial and time investments as does golf...so the analogies are seriously flawed from the start.



But that's the #1 reason why there should be a market for good criticism of golf courses.  Who wants to waste their $$$$ to go play a course they won't like ?

Peter Flory

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2022, 11:01:45 AM »
I've always thought that Metacritic was superior to Rotten Tomatoes for reviews.  Rotten Tomatoes is binary- fresh or splat depending on the critic's review.  Metacritic translates each review into a score from 0-100.  So something can theoretically score as 100% fresh on rotten tomatoes and get a score of 51% on Metacritic with the same batch of reviews (if they were all slightly favorable).  That would rank such a movie at the top of the list on RT and in the middle of the pack on Metacritic.  i.e. the less polarizing a mediocre movie is, the better it will do on RT. 


One other note is the Metacritic weights the reviews- gives more weighting to established critics than some random new reviewer for example. 





Joe Hancock

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2022, 12:09:26 PM »


Third, golf is stinking expensive and travel costs a bomb. The golf audience is naturally quite limited from the start. Movies and music don't require anything lke the financial and time investments as does golf...so the analogies are seriously flawed from the start.



But that's the #1 reason why there should be a market for good criticism of golf courses.  Who wants to waste their $$$$ to go play a course they won't like ?


Play golf with people you enjoy and youíll never waste another dollar on a golf course.
" What the hell is the point of architecture and excellence in design if a "clever" set up trumps it all?" Peter Pallotta, June 21, 2016

"People aren't picking a side of the fairway off a tee because of a randomly internally contoured green ."  jeffwarne, February 24, 2017

Sean_A

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2022, 12:29:52 PM »
On a larger, mass population scale I don't think golf criticism matters much. It doesn't matter what people say about the famous courses, if accessible, people will travel and pay big money to have a go. If lesser known courses are praised or lambasted, few people in the US will care if the topic is a little known Welsh course. Real criticism in golf has a very limited appeal or viability first simply due to the global nature of the game. Second, most critics with good experience are trying to make money from golf and negative reviews don't tend to help the bottom line. Third, golf is stinking expensive and travel costs a bomb. The golf audience is naturally quite limited from the start. Movies and music don't require anything lke the financial and time investments as does golf...so the analogies are seriously flawed from the start.

Critics just have to accept their limited value and appeal and everything is fine.

Ciao

Sean,

It's the other way around.  Everybody else has to accept the role of the critic, and understand their limited value and appeal, and everything will be fine.

The vast majority of golfers do this. Critics effect the decision making of a very small percentage of golfers.

Tom

Fame, cost and distance of travel are far more influential than critics. I read about courses from a few well travelled golf industry people, but cost, accessibility and course location are far more important for my decision makng.

What percentage of golfers do folks think critics serve?

Joe, I rarely play with folks who I wouldn't drink with. Still, I ain't gonna willy nilly drop $300-400 playing a course with a mate because a critic said the course good.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 15, 2022, 12:32:20 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Bamburgh Castle, Erewash, Gullane 2, The Loop x2 & Crystal Downs

PPallotta

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2022, 01:17:15 PM »
Third, golf is stinking expensive and travel costs a bomb. The golf audience is naturally quite limited from the start. Movies and music don't require anything lke the financial and time investments as does golf...so the analogies are seriously flawed from the start.
But that's the #1 reason why there should be a market for good criticism of golf courses. Who wants to waste their $$$$ to go play a course they won't like ?
It doesn't even have to be good criticism (i.e. literate, engaging, insightful) -- just honest. Less a heady Pauline Kael review from the 70s than a practical and plain spoken Variety approach: "Course X sacrifices edgy thrills and lurking dangers for friendly playability and birdie looks aplenty, its roominess off the tee and gentle greens offering a soothing balm for the hacker's fragile ego -- and with its resort-like sensibilities and stylish amenities appealing to both the aspirational retail golfer and to the well-heeled mid-to-high-handicapper whose aging game is on ever shakier ground. Our one line synopsis: you'll spend less strokes getting through your round than you will dollars buying dinner afterwards."
« Last Edit: May 15, 2022, 10:50:47 PM by PPallotta »

Joe Hancock

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2022, 02:04:50 PM »
On a larger, mass population scale I don't think golf criticism matters much. It doesn't matter what people say about the famous courses, if accessible, people will travel and pay big money to have a go. If lesser known courses are praised or lambasted, few people in the US will care if the topic is a little known Welsh course. Real criticism in golf has a very limited appeal or viability first simply due to the global nature of the game. Second, most critics with good experience are trying to make money from golf and negative reviews don't tend to help the bottom line. Third, golf is stinking expensive and travel costs a bomb. The golf audience is naturally quite limited from the start. Movies and music don't require anything lke the financial and time investments as does golf...so the analogies are seriously flawed from the start.

Critics just have to accept their limited value and appeal and everything is fine.

Ciao

Sean,

It's the other way around.  Everybody else has to accept the role of the critic, and understand their limited value and appeal, and everything will be fine.

The vast majority of golfers do this. Critics effect the decision making of a very small percentage of golfers.

Tom

Fame, cost and distance of travel are far more influential than critics. I read about courses from a few well travelled golf industry people, but cost, accessibility and course location are far more important for my decision makng.

What percentage of golfers do folks think critics serve?

Joe, I rarely play with folks who I wouldn't drink with. Still, I ain't gonna willy nilly drop $300-400 playing a course with a mate because a critic said the course good.

Ciao


Good point, Sean, even if unintentional; Movies generally cost the same no matter the film, but golf can cost $30 or $300Ö.Iím researching more before spending $300. Iíll stand beside my initial point, however.
" What the hell is the point of architecture and excellence in design if a "clever" set up trumps it all?" Peter Pallotta, June 21, 2016

"People aren't picking a side of the fairway off a tee because of a randomly internally contoured green ."  jeffwarne, February 24, 2017

Sean_A

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2022, 02:26:20 PM »
On a larger, mass population scale I don't think golf criticism matters much. It doesn't matter what people say about the famous courses, if accessible, people will travel and pay big money to have a go. If lesser known courses are praised or lambasted, few people in the US will care if the topic is a little known Welsh course. Real criticism in golf has a very limited appeal or viability first simply due to the global nature of the game. Second, most critics with good experience are trying to make money from golf and negative reviews don't tend to help the bottom line. Third, golf is stinking expensive and travel costs a bomb. The golf audience is naturally quite limited from the start. Movies and music don't require anything lke the financial and time investments as does golf...so the analogies are seriously flawed from the start.

Critics just have to accept their limited value and appeal and everything is fine.

Ciao

Sean,

It's the other way around.  Everybody else has to accept the role of the critic, and understand their limited value and appeal, and everything will be fine.

The vast majority of golfers do this. Critics effect the decision making of a very small percentage of golfers.

Tom

Fame, cost and distance of travel are far more influential than critics. I read about courses from a few well travelled golf industry people, but cost, accessibility and course location are far more important for my decision makng.

What percentage of golfers do folks think critics serve?

Joe, I rarely play with folks who I wouldn't drink with. Still, I ain't gonna willy nilly drop $300-400 playing a course with a mate because a critic said the course good.

Ciao


Good point, Sean, even if unintentional; Movies generally cost the same no matter the film, but golf can cost $30 or $300Ö.Iím researching more before spending $300. Iíll stand beside my initial point, however.

I hear talk of $300 and I know I ain't interested what a critic says in terms of influencing my decision to play the course. Those high end courses which interest me were on my list long before a critic got to me. I think some folks think critics have far more influence as to directing where to play than is the case. I would say ranking lists are more influential.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Bamburgh Castle, Erewash, Gullane 2, The Loop x2 & Crystal Downs

Jonathan Cummings

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2022, 07:34:42 AM »
I feel certain that if a web site existed for public ratings of golf courses, some courses would stuff the online ballot box as part of their promotional efforts*.  In that sense, golf is much different than a movie ratings site, because the ratings might affect repeat business to drive revenue, whereas that's not much of a thing in the movie business after the initial release.


In the end, what really matters is neither the critics' reviews [which BTW are very few and far between], but whether golfers want to come back again, and give good word-of-mouth reviews to other golfers.  If those last two factors are positive, then the golf course will generally be a success, regardless of what you see online.





* GOLFWEEK's 1980 rankings of courses in the state of Florida were an example of this . . . unless you really believed it was a valid result that the Bloomingdale Golfers' Club in Valrico consistently finished ahead of Seminole by their system.


Tom - the GW rating panel wasn't founded until 1996.  I don't know your 1980 reference but suspect it was an internal, not-very-serious endeavor.  I highly doubt it had any "system" - probably something the Golf and Travel advertisers put together (just guessing).

Stewart Abramson

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2022, 07:45:35 AM »

I hear talk of $300 and I know I ain't interested what a critic says in terms of influencing my decision to play the course. Those high end courses which interest me were on my list long before a critic got to me.



Sean, I agree for the most part, but what about expensive new courses? Don't you want to consider reviews of courses like Dumbarnie before deciding to drop the cash? At least reviews from critics whose opinions you respect.

Thomas Dai

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2022, 08:03:22 AM »
Once a movie is completed and released, later 'Directors Cut' versions excepted, they are complete, "in the can", Rotten Tomato' or not. Golf courses change and can become more or less rotten over time and can change back as well.
atb

John Chilver-Stainer

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Re: Should Golf Architecture Have a "Rotten Tomatoes" ?
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2022, 09:54:38 AM »
I would welcome a Rotten Tomatoes style rating, with the critics score and the audience score comparison.


In 2019 I checked out Orville on Rotten Tomatoes. The score was 17% Critics and 100% Audience - a vast disconnect or is Seth M's late night taste too threatening for the critics? Or do the common denominater of audiences find bad taste the best taste.


Now in 2022 the critics are 65% and the Audience is 93%. What does that tell us?


Marmite taste polarises and provokes discussion. Applied to golf courses the quality of the critics review can be helpful in providing a description of the pros and cons of a golf course.
The Audience/Players rating could be indicative of the overall experience.








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