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Jerry Kluger

  • Karma: +0/-0
I don't necessarily agree that the architect is somehow trying to deceive the player - the architect is trying to challenge the player and having knowledge of the course or the hole doesn't defeat the architect's design intent. The best players in the world are being challenged by the architect and that challenge is more than enough to establish who is the best player and how good is the design of the course.  Sure, sometimes they are surprised about how much a putt may break but there is no deception as to where they should play a shot or even need to play a shot because of the difficulty of executing the necessary shot and the consequence if not executed exactly correctly.


Just tell the guys who want the little flags that you will also put poles in the fairways at 200, 150 and 100 yards.  My club has pin sheets with simple pluses or minuses and it works quite well as we can look at a flag and see its location so far as right or left.   

Charlie Goerges

  • Karma: +0/-0
I don't necessarily agree that the architect is somehow trying to deceive the player - the architect is trying to challenge the player and having knowledge of the course or the hole doesn't defeat the architect's design intent. The best players in the world are being challenged by the architect and that challenge is more than enough to establish who is the best player and how good is the design of the course.  Sure, sometimes they are surprised about how much a putt may break but there is no deception as to where they should play a shot or even need to play a shot because of the difficulty of executing the necessary shot and the consequence if not executed exactly correctly.


Just tell the guys who want the little flags that you will also put poles in the fairways at 200, 150 and 100 yards.  My club has pin sheets with simple pluses or minuses and it works quite well as we can look at a flag and see its location so far as right or left.




Deceive or deception are loaded words that can imply more than I think is meant by their use in this case. I think it would be perfectly fair to say that architects who used visual tricks were only trying to challenge us and make choosing the correct shot or strategy more difficult. The purpose of adding that type of perceived difficulty, I think, is somewhat egalitarian in nature. Discerning the proper shot to play is something anyone can do, regardless of ability. It may be a way to level the playing field between the weaker player and the stronger player.
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

Steve Lang

  • Karma: +0/-0
 8)  Bill B,


Personally, I'd let it go...  these information sources (perhaps forces) are simply too entrenched at this time in the golf culture, let alone play with GPS aids... 


I played an interclub match recently where the home team guys were constantly using laser and gps aids and calling out the yardages to double check things... at their home course.  Just being competitive I guess... or its the ritual, probably a little of both.  I couldn't unhear those yardages.


I grew up playing on courses with 150 yd bushes and random painted numbers on sprinklers... so while I now have a gps watch giving front, middle, and back yardages, I pretty much play to the center of greens and take my chances from there...  maybe bias things a little given local knowledge and conditions... 


I have to wonder if the ODG's had more technology at hand, would they have created the same type of courses or given us different views??
Inverness (Toledo, OH) cathedral clock inscription: "God measures men by what they are. Not what they in wealth possess.  That vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness"

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Why do they put a white stone on the hill at The Dell hole at Lahinch?  More mystery if they didn’t 😉

It is because it saves time from golfers walking up there or sending the caddie ahead to find out where the flagstick is that day.  The golfer still has to hit the shot.  Does the white stone ruin the architect’s intent?


General indication vrs highly specific advice.
And an occasional wee white stone is decidedly inexpensive and doesn’t have to be moved most or each day.
At


Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Thomas,
Did the architect intend the use of the white stone in their design?  Regardless, do any of us think there are any professional players that don’t know exactly where every hole is located before they tee off or play their approach shot?  They know right where they are.  Providing a pin sheet is just a quicker way for the rest of us to find out.  Again we don’t need to use it if we don’t want to.  And as I said, the FAR MAJORITY of golfers are just trying to end up somewhere on the green so it helps them very little.  No disrespect, but most of the information golfers get, they can’t use anyway because they are not that good.  I am a 1 index and if my ego allowed it I would probably be lower by just aiming at the middle of most greens and my score might go down.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2023, 08:38:52 PM by Mark_Fine »

Stewart Abramson

  • Karma: +0/-0
  And as I said, the FAR MAJORITY of golfers are just trying to end up somewhere on the green so it helps them very little.  No disrespect, but most of the information golfers get, they can’t use anyway because they are not that good.  I am a 1 index and if my ego allowed it I would probably be lower by just aiming at the middle of most greens and my score might go down.


I'm a 13 index. I am happy just to be on a green, but I am much happier to get my approaches close to the hole. Knowing whether the hole is front, middle or back definitely helps me to do that. Just using the distance to the middle of the green to determine the appropriate shot is often not helpful in ending up on the middle of the green. The two courses I play most often have a half dozen holes each that run very fast from front to back. If I shoot for the middle of the green on any of those holes, I'll either be at the very back of the green or off the back in rough... Not very helpful if the hole is at the front or even in the middle. Our greens at both courses are very interesting with both break and some undulation and are very difficult to two putt from the back and even worse when off the back in the rough.  On those holes where approaches run fast to the back,  in order to be close to a front hole location I need to land just short and have the ball hop on. To a middle location I need to land on the front. If I execute, I'll be close. If I don't hit it solid I may still be on the green. Knowing the hole location is very helpful for this high handicapper.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Thomas,
Did the architect intend the use of the white stone in their design?  Regardless, do any of us think there are any professional players that don’t know exactly where every hole is located before they tee off or play their approach shot?  They know right where they are.  Providing a pin sheet is just a quicker way for the rest of us to find out.  Again we don’t need to use it if we don’t want to.  And as I said, the FAR MAJORITY of golfers are just trying to end up somewhere on the green so it helps them very little.  No disrespect, but most of the information golfers get, they can’t use anyway because they are not that good.  I am a 1 index and if my ego allowed it I would probably be lower by just aiming at the middle of most greens and my score might go down.


The simple rule of thumb on Golf Club Atlas is, Mark Fine is usually on the wrong side of the argument.  8)


As an architect, I can say that I don't really like giving golfers extra information about how to play the course.  I'm not often trying to deliberately deceive them, but I would prefer if they employed their own brain power to figure out how to attack my defenses, instead of relying on artificial devices.


I really dislike the front/middle/back rotation found on many courses, including all of them at Bandon, last I looked.  It's just so rote, and it doesn't take the wind into account.  Just like the golfers, I'd love for the maintenance crew to employ a little of their own brain power.


More and more, at the high-end clubs with lightning fast greens, the hole locations are set by a computer app that takes inputs on wind and green speed and where the hole has been in the last week, and tries to find a balance for the day's locations.  And that app will also spit out a pin sheet for the pro shop, so it doesn't take any more of the maintenance crew's time -- they just have to pace out where to cut the holes.


It was more of an adventure in the days when the members were subject to the mood of the guy who cut the holes.  I remember at Piping Rock when we were doing the renovation work, the golf chairman told me that the holes were set by a guy on the crew who was a recovering alcoholic, and the members could tell how he was doing when they played each Saturday.  :)

Erik J. Barzeski

  • Karma: +0/-0
I really dislike the front/middle/back rotation found on many courses, including all of them at Bandon, last I looked.  It's just so rote, and it doesn't take the wind into account.  Just like the golfers, I'd love for the maintenance crew to employ a little of their own brain power.
I do as well. I dislike even more the "hole location 6 today" stuff. I've shown up at a course months or even years apart… and for 18 holes, played almost exactly the same hole location on all 18 holes because I showed up both times on "Pin Position 3" days.

At least front-middle-back can leave some variety left to right. When they have quadrants or, more often, six "areas," you often get holes relatively close to where it was six days ago.
Erik J. Barzeski @iacas
Author, Lowest Score Wins, Instructor/Coach, and Lifetime Student of the Game.

I ignore Rob, Tim, and Garland.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1


I dislike even more the "hole location 6 today" stuff. I've shown up at a course months or even years apart… and for 18 holes, played almost exactly the same hole location on all 18 holes because I showed up both times on "Pin Position 3" days.

At least front-middle-back can leave some variety left to right. When they have quadrants or, more often, six "areas," you often get holes relatively close to where it was six days ago.


Agreed.


Years ago we played the Renaissance Cup at a course where the superintendent had a 13-day pin rotation.  The greens are pretty severe, and we didn't want the course to be too hard, so a friend and I went out to set holes for some better birdie chances.  You can imagine my surprise when some of the flattest places we found were not in the 13-day rotation at all.

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Tom,
I was just stating facts  ;)  (which statements do you disagree with because I know you are ALWAYS on the correct side) 8)  By the way, I trust you agree, a pin sheet says nothing to the golfer about "how to play the course".  It just states where the hole is located.  It is then up to the golfer to figure out how best to get there.

Stewart,
I probably should have used different words than saying "aiming at the middle of the green". I hoped you and others would know what I meant which was trying to hit a shot that "ended up" in the middle of the green.  How you get to that spot can vary dramatically but that would be the goal so there is no worrying about where the hole is located that particular day - just focus on playing approach shots that end up near the middle.  The point was, if I could have a putt from the middle of every green on most courses in regulation I would probably be lower than a 1 index.  By the way, how would you play your home course if there were NO flagsticks?  Maybe I should ask Tom if flagsticks are extra information  ;D


Erik,

Most clubs that have hole locations like "hole location 6" (my home club Lehigh CC uses such a system) are done to spread out wear and tear on the green (if you are fortunate to have that many).  On most of our greens there is variety within those locations for the hole to be placed and the super chooses unless we are having a tournament.  On several of the courses I am currently working on, they have multiple holes where they are lucky to have 2 or 3 hole locations as the greens have so much slope for current green speeds. 

Rob Marshall

  • Karma: +0/-0
We used to have pin sheets, went to 5 section system this year. Red white and blue is “public course”. I would prefer Red White Blue over the section system. I liked the pin sheets. I can’t play like a tour pro but I like playing like a tour pro…….


Played Jackie Burke’s club many years ago in Houston. Large greens with no indication where the pins were and this was before lasers. All depth perception. Jackie I was told, was old school.
If life gives you limes, make margaritas.” Jimmy Buffett

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Why do they put a white stone on the hill at The Dell hole at Lahinch?  More mystery if they didn’t 

It is because it saves time from golfers walking up there or sending the caddie ahead to find out where the flagstick is that day.  The golfer still has to hit the shot.  Does the white stone ruin the architect’s intent?


General indication vrs highly specific advice.
And an occasional wee white stone is decidedly inexpensive and doesn’t have to be moved most or each day.
At

The Lahinch white stone is one of the most famous and iconic landmarks in golf. Are folks really comparing that to pin sheets 👀.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Chuckle time!
Oh for times gone bye when hole locations were only changed maybe once, maybe twice per week, if that at some courses.
Incidentally don’t folks these days look at greens ahead to try and get a glimpse of where hole positions further on in the round are located?

Atb


Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sean,
Is it really a big deal to show a golfer where the hole is located with a pin sheet?  I tossed out the white stone just to show that even on iconic courses, they point out where the hole is located (very similar to a  modern (#3 hole location system).


And Thomas yes of course many of us look to see/confirm where a hole is when we pass by other holes during a round.  Smart thing to do for added info. 


I could be wrong (Tom Doak will tell everyone I always am  ;D  and he is always right) but these “extra bits of information” like yardage makers on sprinkler heads, pin sheets, hole location indicators, range finders, … (some of this we like or don’t like because we are purists) are attempts to speed up the game.  Many of these surely lessen the need for a really good caddie who is good at walking off yardages, great at math and triangulating distances, willing and able to walk up to greens to check on hole locations,.. etc For some all of this is definitely still part of the game.  For others it is just not that much fun. I am thinking how much fun it would be waiting on a group in front of me watching such an exhibition.  Again the game is hard enough for most of us.  Despite all this extra information, you still have to execute the shot all the way down to that three footer - not sure the pin sheet helps a lot with that ;D

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Mark,


I just think that golf is best as one man, his swords and interaction with the landscape. The less of everything else the better.


Where people draw the line at what they accept and what they don’t like in that “everything else” is going to be quite individual. For me, I don’t like clutter and I don’t like additional “tools” such as range finders, stroke savers, pin sheets etc… primarily because you have to get them out of your pocket, interact with them and that disrupts the flow of seeing the shot as you walk up to it, pulling the club and then executing.


On the other hand, I have come to accept that yardages are here to stay and therefore needed - at least to stay competitive - so anything that I can just glance at as I walk is preferable: A 150 yard marker, numbers on sprinklers or - grudgingly - a GPS on your watch or trolley.


That’s me. Others will have different priorities / preferences.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Mark,

I just think that golf is best as one man, his swords and interaction with the landscape. The less of everything else the better.

Where people draw the line at what they accept and what they don’t like in that “everything else” is going to be quite individual. For me, I don’t like clutter and I don’t like additional “tools” such as range finders, stroke savers, pin sheets etc… primarily because you have to get them out of your pocket, interact with them and that disrupts the flow of seeing the shot as you walk up to it, pulling the club and then executing.

On the other hand, I have come to accept that yardages are here to stay and therefore needed - at least to stay competitive - so anything that I can just glance at as I walk is preferable: A 150 yard marker, numbers on sprinklers or - grudgingly - a GPS on your watch or trolley.

That’s me. Others will have different priorities / preferences.

I concur Ally. I prefer markers on edge of fairways and yardages on sprinklers. But I am realist. Golfers are going to want all the crap between ball and club....and carts to get to the ball. To each is own.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Yes to Ally and Sean, to each his own.

I was just reading about some of the pros comments on what the average golfer would shoot at Oak Hill. The estimates were between 120 and 150!!!  Not sure pin sheets and range finders etc are going to help much there  ;D


Thank goodness for forward sets of tees (but I know many here don’t like that idea either)  ;)

Tim Leahy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Just do away with all of it and make the game simple. No pars or yardage or layouts on scorecards or on tees too. Just play the holes and add up your scores. Lowest total score wins.
 ::)
I love golf, the fightin irish, and beautiful women depending on the season and availability.

Ben Hollerbach

  • Karma: +0/-0
Just do away with all of it and make the game simple. No pars or yardage or layouts on scorecards or on tees too. Just play the holes and add up your scores. Lowest total score wins.
 ::)


Why stop there? Take away the flag and flag stick while your at it.

Stewart Abramson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Are those of you who would prefer that informational tools such as range finders, stroke savers, pin sheets, white tabs etc  not be available okay with bifurcation? Tools with details about courses, greens, hole locations and even breaks on greens  will never be leaving the professional game.

IMHO, giving ordinary Jills and Joes as much help as they can get about course set up is good for the game (and is particularly helpful where as visitors they only get to play a course one time).

I get a kick out of how many minute issues bother people and get made into bigger deals than they really are. Let golfers play however they have the most fun, so long as they play fast. Pace of play is the main issues of concern (along with maintenance practice/costs)[/size]. Tabs on flags, stroke savers, range finders don't even make the front page of the list.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
It’s not our thread, Stewart. A few of us who have grown up playing golf in GB&I under those simple conditions are just giving our opinion on what is the essence of the game. Our opinion seems to be annoying people, not the other way round.


There is nothing more enjoyable than grabbing your bag for an evening 9 / 12 / 18 in the sunshine on a remote links. Part of the reason for that is the simplicity of man, ball, hole and landscape.


My take on golf. Everyone else can have their own take.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Of course. Other than using persimmon, I am merely playing the game the way I did when I lerned to play. There is room enough for everyone. All I am saying is that I don't believe the introduction of gadgets, complicated watering systems, special agronomy etc etc has made the game cheaper or quicker to play. All that said, the only place I really draw the line is cart paths in play of golf shots and music. All the rest I can and do ignore.


Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
It’s not our thread, Stewart. A few of us who have grown up playing golf in GB&I under those simple conditions are just giving our opinion on what is the essence of the game. Our opinion seems to be annoying people, not the other way round.


Exactly.  It amazes me, but I have seen it more and more the past few years in America.  It's as if my choosing to decline some modern contrivance is meant to embarrass them, and they can't live with that.

Steve_ Shaffer

  • Karma: +0/-0
We just use Red- front, White-middle  and Yellow-back flags. If we went for one color flags, the members would go ballistic !!!
Back in the day, the mantra was one color, usually white, and just play for the middle.
"Some of us worship in churches, some in synagogues, some on golf courses ... "  Adlai Stevenson
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone: "We're bigger than US Steel."
Ben Hogan “The most important shot in golf is the next one”

Doug Bolls

  • Karma: +0/-0
I just played a course with one color pin flags (Squaw Creek - Willow Park, TX).  I noticed after a couple of holes a small colored flag - red or white or blue - attached to the tee marker next to the tee box.  Sure  enough, those little flags were designating the flag position on each green.
I come down on the side of having the pin position available and if you don't want to use it, then don't.

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