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Ira Fishman

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Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« on: March 07, 2023, 11:54:57 AM »
I accept that when the data is aggregated across all courses and all holes (with the caveats I won’t bore you by repeating) that chasing angles is a negative for good scoring.


But do angles of all varieties matter when it comes to recognizing a good design? And I do not mean the non-scoring aspects of good design.


Ally asked a version of this question on the first page of the other thread by specifying what the data say for particular categories of courses.


I did not see it answered so I pose it again.


Ira

Niall C

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2023, 12:10:51 PM »
Ira


Not that it addresses your main question but I don't think your basic statement in the first sentence is a given. It would be better to say that chasing angles so not to short side yourself with the approach doesn't make a difference in scoring terms (although I suspect that's debateable). Angles do matter in architecture, not just for scoring but for interest and for fun.


Niall

Ben Sims

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2023, 12:12:32 PM »
I accept that when the data is aggregated across all courses and all holes (with the caveats I won’t bore you by repeating) that chasing angles is a negative for good scoring.


But do angles of all varieties matter when it comes to recognizing a good design? And I do not mean the non-scoring aspects of good design.


Ally asked a version of this question on the first page of the other thread by specifying what the data say for particular categories of courses.


I did not see it answered so I pose it again.


Ira


Ira,


Absolutely yes. I’ll keep ringing the bell that Tom rang first in post 67 on the angles thread. I hope architects never stop trying to position green sites, hazards, and prundently use contour to confuse and question our games.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2023, 12:20:52 PM »

But do angles of all varieties matter when it comes to recognizing a good design?



Well, good design is entirely a matter of opinion. 


Conventional wisdom on the topic has always been that angles are important, and they do create the "line of charm" that was discussed here many years ago.  I used this quote from George Thomas in my first book:


"The spirit of golf is to dare a hazard, and by negotiating it reap a reward, while he who fears or declines the issue of the carry, has a longer or harder shot for his second; yet the player who avoids the unwise effort gains advantage over one who tries for more than in him lies, or who fails under the test."


Today it appears that most of that is moot as far as good players go.  They know the carry and almost never take one on they aren't sure of making.  And even if they avoid it, they don't gain much advantage from having a better line for the second shot!


But maintaining the spirit of golf is still probably the most important goal for architects.  Without it, the game will be reduced to checkers or darts, and then banished as an enormous waste of resources.

JNagle

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2023, 12:35:51 PM »

Tom commented on the "Line of Charm" which is exactly what I first thought.
[/size][/color]
[/size]I would add that the visual interest of a hole is elevated when angles are added.  Interrupting not just the line-of-play, but also the line-of-sight lends credence to the need to angles. It enhances the overall aesthetics of the course and compliment the land upon which the course is routed. [/color]
It's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or the doer of deeds could have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; .....  "The Critic"

Erik J. Barzeski

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2023, 12:52:36 PM »
Today it appears that most of that is moot as far as good players go. They know the carry and almost never take one on they aren't sure of making.  And even if they avoid it, they don't gain much advantage from having a better line for the second shot!
Right. It's mostly moot.

Until you can make the "better" angle SO much better, it's simply not worth it. The "better angle" has to be worth more than the additional strokes taken from hitting into the hazard (bunkers, ponds, whatever…).

And that's nearly impossible to do.
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, Instructor/Coach, and Lifetime Student of the Game.

I generally ignore Rob, Tim, and Garland.

Jonathan Mallard

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2023, 12:59:57 PM »
Today it appears that most of that is moot as far as good players go. They know the carry and almost never take one on they aren't sure of making.  And even if they avoid it, they don't gain much advantage from having a better line for the second shot!
Right. It's mostly moot.

Until you can make the "better" angle SO much better, it's simply not worth it. The "better angle" has to be worth more than the additional strokes taken from hitting into the hazard (bunkers, ponds, whatever…).

And that's nearly impossible to do.


So.... Where does the Hinkle tree concept fit in this discussion?

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2023, 01:08:29 PM »
They matter, but they pale in comparison to playing over fun, interesting, and varied terrain. That's not quite right, varied terrain does create strategies, some of which are angle-related, but I just think of them as slightly different than the "challenge a hazard" type that Tom mentions. Maybe I shouldn't think of that kind of angle-based strategy differently, I'm open to ideas there.


That said, I'm always on the  side of strategy because I absolutely don't want to return to the Victorian type of architecture that I think  a lot of the fairness-mongers would probably be perfectly fine with.
Severally on the occasion of everything that thou doest, pause and ask thyself, if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives thee of this. - Marcus Aurelius

Ira Fishman

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2023, 03:58:54 PM »
I fear that I have failed in my question. Statistics always revert to the mean because it is not possible for everything to be above average.


However, we generally accept that some courses are better than others from an architectural perspective. I am not looking to rehash whether Erik is the sage of the Average Player on the Average Course. I grant that he is. I am looking for any data that either does or does not show that there is a dispersion (pun intended) across the generally accepted view of high quality courses (pick those in all of the Top 100 of GM, GD, and Top100). And to be precise, I mean data for all shots, not just chasing angles off the tee.


Perhaps I am a romantic, but I do believe some courses are better than others, and I mean from how one scores based on the strategy that the course embeds.


Thanks.

Sean_A

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2023, 05:35:10 PM »
I fear that I have failed in my question. Statistics always revert to the mean because it is not possible for everything to be above average.


However, we generally accept that some courses are better than others from an architectural perspective. I am not looking to rehash whether Erik is the sage of the Average Player on the Average Course. I grant that he is. I am looking for any data that either does or does not show that there is a dispersion (pun intended) across the generally accepted view of high quality courses (pick those in all of the Top 100 of GM, GD, and Top100). And to be precise, I mean data for all shots, not just chasing angles off the tee.


Perhaps I am a romantic, but I do believe some courses are better than others, and I mean from how one scores based on the strategy that the course embeds.


Thanks.

I suspect the data that reveals angles don't matter also reveals the opposite. That is if all the variables have been kept. The thing about data is that for it to be meaningful it requires
interpretation and the specific questions asked of the data which then allow for meaningful interpretation.

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

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2023, 06:12:00 PM »
Ira,


I too believe that some golf courses are objectively better than others. But I think that people believe “strategy” is a much bigger differentiator than it is when evaluating why one course is better than another.


Which Top-100 courses are actually more strategic than other lower down courses? Would everyone agree?


The truth is that the “strategy” of a course has very little to do with how it is perceived. And if it does, it is usually an overestimation of how much that “strategy” really effects the playing of the course.

ward peyronnin

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2023, 07:41:24 PM »
Appreciate that this question has been rephrased here and my sloth weighing in on the intitial thread is countered.
I have played golf 62 years; lotta tournament golf and lotta focused rounds also played for fun. Been involved in rules and coaching as well as a student of design. Hell you have to study golf to deal with all the variables thrown at you if one truly chases the sport.
I could play early on but only felt I had gained some control of my game when I realized that in order to initiate the muscle memory practice builds the first principle was to arrive at a target for each shot, be confident one has processed the shot desired, and is confident the correct choices are in play.

Most of us are aware of all those variables we strive to apprehend that lead us to choose the line of charm for existing conditions.If the design is good the course offers up disecernable features that allow us to vision a target that provide distinctive targets to direct along  those lines of charm for that round.

What I am trying to say is that angles matter for good players to unlock their skill and play a focused game that is the most sure way of scoring optimally. But every player whether, they knowingly focus this way or not, will play better and enjoy a round more if these angles are play. I have never played Firestone but I recall hearing many holes are  treelined straightaways  for example. How unexciting facing flattened landing zones directly in front of one. YAWN
What I am describing seems to me to be the soul  of the game; not conditioning, not degree of difficulty, not even really the setting  or soil or the many other elements that are tweaked for effect.

Hope this makes sense
Pax
"Golf is happiness. It's intoxication w/o the hangover; stimulation w/o the pills. It's price is high yet its rewards are richer. Some say its a boys pastime but it builds men. It cleanses the mind/rejuvenates the body. It is these things and many more for those of us who truly love it." M.Norman

Mike Wagner

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2023, 09:03:31 AM »
I accept that when the data is aggregated across all courses and all holes (with the caveats I won’t bore you by repeating) that chasing angles is a negative for good scoring.


But do angles of all varieties matter when it comes to recognizing a good design? And I do not mean the non-scoring aspects of good design.


Ally asked a version of this question on the first page of the other thread by specifying what the data say for particular categories of courses.


I did not see it answered so I pose it again.


Ira


Of course angles matter. They matter much more in the moment of a single shot than they do vs data of thousands of shots. Let's look at, say Pacific Dunes #17 (only because it's the one that popped in my head .. must be where it happens the most). Someone will ask what I hit or "what should I hit." For simplicity purposes, just imagine no wind. My response is it depends on your flight. The entire hole is an "angle" .. what's your comfortable ball flight? Sometimes I'm going to try to fly it more, sometimes I'm going to use the land .. it depends how and what I'm feeling that day in that moment.  I can have the choice of 3 or 4 different clubs for the same shot ... yes, angles matter .. gravity matters ... it all matters .. as much as you want it to.

Britt Rife

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2023, 09:54:36 AM »
They matter, but they pale in comparison to playing over fun, interesting, and varied terrain. That's not quite right, varied terrain does create strategies, some of which are angle-related, but I just think of them as slightly different than the "challenge a hazard" type that Tom mentions. Maybe I shouldn't think of that kind of angle-based strategy differently, I'm open to ideas there.
.


1.  I really like what you are saying here.  I customarily play a Willie Park old course, whose through-the-green terrain, I believe, gives the course its charm, rather than any particularly tempting placement of hazards.  The course often requires me to tell myself "hit the drive to Y position, if you want your ball to end up in X position".  That's a type of strategic thinking, without angles entering into it.  So to find the center of the fairway, you don't aim there.  So perhaps Mr. Barleski's position doesn't mean the end of interesting golf.


2.  I've also played some MacRaynorBanks courses, with their classic tempting placement of hazards.  I am usually delighted with them, because I hit it a bit shorter than a lot of fellows.  Accordingly, I'm able to hit right at the tempting hazards without fear--I'm just short enough that I know I won't roll into the bunker, but I'll enjoy a really nice angle into the green.  So, playing for angles without real risk might make "angles matter".  Once you take risk out of the equation, you are really just asking yourself which side of the fairway would you prefer, and is the center always best?  [I know that aiming for one side of a fairway tempts the rough, but if you're coming from a good angle (open green), the extra roll that the rough imparts doesn't particularly bother me.]




mike_malone

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2023, 10:14:34 AM »
When I’m approaching a green where the bunkers are parallel or perpendicular to the line of play I’m just disinterested. I see no strategy only penalty.


The variety of angled bunkers by angled greens is such a more intriguing idea. Flynn did this a lot.



 
AKA Mayday

Ben Sims

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2023, 01:42:24 PM »
When I’m approaching a green where the bunkers are parallel or perpendicular to the line of play I’m just disinterested. I see no strategy only penalty.


The variety of angled bunkers by angled greens is such a more intriguing idea. Flynn did this a lot.



 


Mike,


How do you feel about the short holes at Sleepy Hollow or NGLA? Or what about holes like the #4 at St. Georges?

mike_malone

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2023, 03:04:19 PM »
Ben,


I have only been to NGLA and it was 20 years ago. Generally the template holes are violators of my rule.


The Redan was angled and I love that.


I more prefer angles than I despise the alternative.
You make me think that larger and more complex greens can overcome the parallel problem though.
AKA Mayday

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2023, 04:17:54 PM »
When I’m approaching a green where the bunkers are parallel or perpendicular to the line of play I’m just disinterested. I see no strategy only penalty.



You probably hate about 75% of the greens in America (by my estimate) that are guarded by bunker left, bunker right, even when designed by guys who say they design strategic angles of play. :)
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

mike_malone

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2023, 04:22:14 PM »
When I’m approaching a green where the bunkers are parallel or perpendicular to the line of play I’m just disinterested. I see no strategy only penalty.






You probably hate about 75% of the greens in America (by my estimate) that are guarded by bunker left, bunker right, even when designed by guys who say they design strategic angles of play. :)


Sounds about right. But it is not hate but a strong preference for angled bunkers and greens.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2023, 04:24:56 PM by mike_malone »
AKA Mayday

Ira Fishman

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2023, 10:14:51 AM »
Ira,


I too believe that some golf courses are objectively better than others. But I think that people believe “strategy” is a much bigger differentiator than it is when evaluating why one course is better than another.


Which Top-100 courses are actually more strategic than other lower down courses? Would everyone agree?


The truth is that the “strategy” of a course has very little to do with how it is perceived. And if it does, it is usually an overestimation of how much that “strategy” really effects the playing of the course.


Ally,


I am not a good enough player to execute on the strategy, but I thought the following had a high degree of strategy in terms of the angles for playing holes successfully:


CPC
Woking
Pac Dunes
SS Blue
Bandon Trails
Royal Dornoch
PH2
Somerset Hills


As noted in my OP, my definition is not limited to chasing the angle off the tee. When I look at the list, the angle of greens relative to the fairway, the hazards on such greens, and the green contours factor quite a bit into my list.


Ira

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2023, 10:59:35 AM »
Ira,


I too believe that some golf courses are objectively better than others. But I think that people believe “strategy” is a much bigger differentiator than it is when evaluating why one course is better than another.


Which Top-100 courses are actually more strategic than other lower down courses? Would everyone agree?


The truth is that the “strategy” of a course has very little to do with how it is perceived. And if it does, it is usually an overestimation of how much that “strategy” really effects the playing of the course.


Ally,


I am not a good enough player to execute on the strategy, but I thought the following had a high degree of strategy in terms of the angles for playing holes successfully:


CPC
Woking
Pac Dunes
SS Blue
Bandon Trails
Royal Dornoch
PH2
Somerset Hills


As noted in my OP, my definition is not limited to chasing the angle off the tee. When I look at the list, the angle of greens relative to the fairway, the hazards on such greens, and the green contours factor quite a bit into my list.


Ira


Thanks Ira,


To the first point, where I was probing is whether the courses you mention are actually any more strategic than many other courses or whether it might just be perception. I think variety in hole type, beauty and topography have much more impact to our actual analysis of quality than strategy does.


For instance - and I pick this only because I know them well - Portmarnock is much more strategic than Royal County Down. People consider strategy in rating courses when they want to and disregard it when they don’t, partially because it really isn’t a big differentiator.


To your second point - and going back to where I was getting at in the other thread - I completely agree. There are all sorts of cool angles in golf and golf design, ones that assist the way you play without necessarily always just being about strategy of the approach.

Ira Fishman

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2023, 11:15:06 AM »
Ally,


I think that mostly we are in agreement. I do think that my list is more strategic than other, less well regarded courses, but I am a green site/green contour junkie so I agree that most people put more emphasis on the other factors you mention. Woking for me is probably the strongest case in point.


Having said that, I have several courses not listed higher up on my personal favorites than some on the list because of the factors you mention plus quirk (which I guess is a subset of topography).


Thanks.


Ira

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2023, 12:10:28 PM »
I’m with you Ira. But to pick on one point, when do cool green contours materially affect strategy? They can, don’t get me wrong. But do Woking’s? Most of them not at all. They just have cool contours that are great to play on and look at.


People think they are rating courses on strategy when they aren’t really. Other things are trumping their perception.


(EDIT: All my comments on these threads on strategy, angles etc… are probably making people think I don’t believe in that aspect of design. Nothing could be further from the truth. I LOVE everything to do with strategy and angles. I’m just questioning the cliches that tend to get trotted out repeatedly. See also Mythbuster threads.)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2023, 12:27:10 PM by Ally Mcintosh »

Ira Fishman

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2023, 12:32:28 PM »
Ally,


I hit a lot of pitches and chips so the way I am coming into a green with exterior and interior contours matters a lot for me. As noted, I understand the basic point in the other thread, but for me the exception of “except when the ball is on the ground” swallows the rule. I did not mention Hope Valley where we are members, but it is Ross design and has several holes where depending on your angle the green runs quite a bit away from you.


Ira

Tom_Doak

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Re: Do Angles Matter for Good Architecture?
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2023, 02:24:03 PM »
When I’m approaching a green where the bunkers are parallel or perpendicular to the line of play I’m just disinterested. I see no strategy only penalty.



You probably hate about 75% of the greens in America (by my estimate) that are guarded by bunker left, bunker right, even when designed by guys who say they design strategic angles of play. :)


I hate them, for exactly those reasons.  If you are not loading up one side a bit more than the other, what are you even doing?

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