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Sean_A

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Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2023, 12:47:14 PM »
I agree with Mark here 100%

Of course if a really good player tees it from the up tees at 5000 yards its going to be wedge on the 3s, every par 4 will be drivable, and the 5s will likely be driver/short iron.  Its a completely different playing experience and journey around the course.  ( I do think it'd be a great idea for a silly season 4-club event instead of the usual stuff.)

I don't think anyone has contradicted the fact that a course plays different at different lengths. I feel like Jim's original question is based around can a course be so focused on a single set of tees that it goes from good (or adequate or fine or ok) to bad by moving to a different set of tees. It's a very philosophical question. I think the answer is "no". If a course is "bad" for me at the up tees, it probably wasn't very good from the appropriate tees either.

I do think some courses aren't as good from the forward tees because 1) they can be placed in poor positions, 2) long walk to forward tees and 3) not involve much interaction with features. Its incredible how often I walk by forward tees and think wtf. In all honesty, women need to get more involved in course design, maintenance and top layers of administrations. Its quite evident that the concept of forward tees is often misguided. Its no wonder attracting women to the game is so difficult despite that being the obvious target for growth.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

Mark_Fine

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Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2023, 01:33:16 PM »
Someone correct me if I’m wrong but approximately 80% of play on most golf courses is from one main teeing area. Architects (unless instructed otherwise) focus most of their design effort for players using those tees.  Back tees and more forward tees are often added to accommodate higher and lower skill levels but most of the design is centered on how people will play the hole from the main teeing area. 


Getting back to what is good or bad; a pro or scratch player playing “most any existing course” from say 4500 yards probably won’t think it is very good. They’ll think the course is very different and maybe fun to play from that distance every once in a while, but they will probably coin it an Executive course or a chip and putt course.  As such, since it is likely not a great test of golf from that yardage, they probably won’t love it.   If for example Augusta National only had a forward set of tees at 5000 yards in length, I doubt it would make anyone’s Top 100 list and I don’t think it would continue to hold The Masters.  Does that make it good or bad? You tell me :)

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2023, 02:56:54 PM »
Someone correct me if I’m wrong but approximately 80% of play on most golf courses is from one main teeing area. Architects (unless instructed otherwise) focus most of their design effort for players using those tees.  Back tees and more forward tees are often added to accommodate higher and lower skill levels but most of the design is centered on how people will play the hole from the main teeing area. 


Getting back to what is good or bad; a pro or scratch player playing “most any existing course” from say 4500 yards probably won’t think it is very good. They’ll think the course is very different and maybe fun to play from that distance every once in a while, but they will probably coin it an Executive course or a chip and putt course.  As such, since it is likely not a great test of golf from that yardage, they probably won’t love it.   If for example Augusta National only had a forward set of tees at 5000 yards in length, I doubt it would make anyone’s Top 100 list and I don’t think it would continue to hold The Masters.  Does that make it good or bad? You tell me :)




Yeah, I don't disagree with any of that Mark. But the question was about the delta in quality between two or more sets of tees. So my thought is a course that is good or great from the perfect set of tees for a given player will still be pretty good or pretty great from a much nearer or farther set of tees. Or maybe think of it as a linear decrease in greatness. What I thought Jim was saying was that there was a seemingly logarithmic change in quality at Spanish Bay. (I might be using the wrong terms there, I'm not a math person.) But the quality sort of dropped off a cliff. To my mind, this weakness might belie greater weakness even from the "proper" set of tees. Like maybe the greens are not that interesting. Or maybe the course is not enjoyable (or perhaps even dangerous) when the player is out of position.


To take your example, Augusta from 5000 yards might not make any top 100 lists, but maybe it would be the greatest executive course in the world? Hopefully that makes sense.
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

Charlie Goerges

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Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2023, 03:12:49 PM »
I do think some courses aren't as good from the forward tees because 1) they can be placed in poor positions, 2) long walk to forward tees and 3) not involve much interaction with features. Its incredible how often I walk by forward tees and think wtf. In all honesty, women need to get more involved in course design, maintenance and top layers of administrations. Its quite evident that the concept of forward tees is often misguided. Its no wonder attracting women to the game is so difficult despite that being the obvious target for growth.




That can definitely be the case. In terms of Jim's question, I feel like number 1 is the most relevant. If there is a better position available, at least the option exists to improve the course. If no better location exists because of the way the course is designed, then maybe the course isn't that great no matter which tee is chosen? A place like Spanish Bay may have some serious restrictions on tree clearing and the like that just make it so no good forward options are available. Things like doglegs and trees pinching the course. It may be a weakness that can't be overcome, at least not fully.


I feel like most decent courses, I can walk 100 yards forward, plonk a tee in the ground in a reasonably appropriate place and enjoy myself, if that's what I wanted to do. From the sounds of it, that's not really possible at SB.
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

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2023, 03:56:23 AM »
I do think some courses aren't as good from the forward tees because 1) they can be placed in poor positions, 2) long walk to forward tees and 3) not involve much interaction with features. Its incredible how often I walk by forward tees and think wtf. In all honesty, women need to get more involved in course design, maintenance and top layers of administrations. Its quite evident that the concept of forward tees is often misguided. Its no wonder attracting women to the game is so difficult despite that being the obvious target for growth.




That can definitely be the case. In terms of Jim's question, I feel like number 1 is the most relevant. If there is a better position available, at least the option exists to improve the course. If no better location exists because of the way the course is designed, then maybe the course isn't that great no matter which tee is chosen? A place like Spanish Bay may have some serious restrictions on tree clearing and the like that just make it so no good forward options are available. Things like doglegs and trees pinching the course. It may be a weakness that can't be overcome, at least not fully.


I feel like most decent courses, I can walk 100 yards forward, plonk a tee in the ground in a reasonably appropriate place and enjoy myself, if that's what I wanted to do. From the sounds of it, that's not really possible at SB.

It's a question I can't answer with certainty because everyone has a different idea of good and bad. For my liking, I see too much back and forward tees based too much on yardage rather than angles and interacting with features. I don't know how many times I have heard on this site that there should be little trouble for forward tees. I would think forward tee players want just as many thrilling shots as anyone, but at appropriate yardage.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

jvisser

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2023, 08:52:29 AM »
Hi,
Interesting discussion; I play quite a bit from different sets of tees (all the way back to quite short) and of course moving forward, I might need to throttle down and hit shorter clubs then driver. Most courses still provide interest and one always needs to hole the putts to score well!

However, I would like to add another view looking at the more forward tees.
My main concern with these forward tees is that regularly, I find that they are not set up for the people who 'should' play from them. Few examples:
* on doglegs have the forward tees hug the inside tree line, while the tees further back are based on the outside and can nearly look around the corner.
* penalty areas crossing the fairway in positions where the better player does not even notice them such as 30 - 60 yards short of a green, with a large bunker in front and the ground sloping downwards to the bunker, creating a significant carry of a down-slope for which short hitting older women pick up their ball and walk around it.
* par 3's with long carry over water for all players and no route to the side for shorter hitters.

I often wonder why architects show so little consideration for the players who are not playing that well, which is the vast majority of players...
Cheers,   Jan

Jim Hoak

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2023, 09:50:35 AM »
I'd ask the architects on here--Honestly, how much attention do you pay to the shorter tees in your design?  Or is their placement really somewhat of an afterthought?  My experience in some redos, is that they are really an afterthought--and are set almost entirely based on distance, not course features.

Jason Topp

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2023, 04:58:07 PM »
I believe the wrong tee test is a decent indicator of course quality.  If I can play a set back and a set forward and find the course engaging, the course is likely quite good. 

Charlie Goerges

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2023, 05:50:34 PM »
I believe the wrong tee test is a decent indicator of course quality.  If I can play a set back and a set forward and find the course engaging, the course is likely quite good.


Yes, nicely put.
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

Ken Moum

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2023, 06:35:37 PM »
I'm starting to think that we need a GCA version of the Cayman ball.


Something that would reduce the length of every shot by about 30 percent.


Thanks to age and variety of hand and shoulder problems that's about how much length I've lost in the last 20 years, and it has completely changed the way I look at golf courses.  Playing most of my golf with my wife for last 29 years has had an equally big effect.


FWIW, forward tees are rarely positioned in a way that makes the golf course better for short hitters. Even worse, they often make it less playable.


For about four years my wife and I have played at Red Mountain Ranch CC in Mesa, and it is very much the exception.  For instance, on all four par threes, the tees are set in echelon that gives the forward tees a different angle to the green. In each case it means that the short hitter has a chance to bounce a ball on the green instead of having to fly it on.  (An overlooked problem for short hitters is that they can't produce backspin)


At about 4600 yards from the original forward tees it's still a very interesting course for golfers who hit it under 150 yards off the tee. Of course that might be because there are only two holes with bunkers in play off the tee, even for the longest hitters (presuming they play from appropriate tees.} 
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

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2023, 09:21:04 PM »
Thinking through my last half dozen or so projects, I can’t recall any where we didn’t spend a significant amount of time adding forward tees.  Furthermore, there is a lot of thought put into where they are placed and how they will be built. One technique I like to use is to work with the head pro to decide on an approximate yardage, place temporary tee markers/tees on every hole, develop a scorecard for those new tees and let golfers play those tees and share their opinions.  After a certain amount of time and feedback, final decisions are made and formal tees are built.  This process has worked very well and the courses/golfers love it.  I literally just went through this process earlier today on a project.  A new set of temporary tees will be added to a course taking the forward tee yardage from 5000 yards down to about 4200.  We think most forward tee players will love it and the pro thinks it will bring more golfers to the course.  I am anxious to get player feedback.

Ken Moum

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Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2023, 06:10:29 AM »
Thinking through my last half dozen or so projects, I can’t recall any where we didn’t spend a significant amount of time adding forward tees.  Furthermore, there is a lot of thought put into where they are placed and how they will be built. One technique I like to use is to work with the head pro to decide on an approximate yardage, place temporary tee markers/tees on every hole, develop a scorecard for those new tees and let golfers play those tees and share their opinions.  After a certain amount of time and feedback, final decisions are made and formal tees are built.  This process has worked very well and the courses/golfers love it.  I literally just went through this process earlier today on a project.  A new set of temporary tees will be added to a course taking the forward tee yardage from 5000 yards down to about 4200.  We think most forward tee players will love it and the pro thinks it will bring more golfers to the course.  I am anxious to get player feedback.


If only that sort of thoughtfulness were the norm.


The number of forward tees that are behind trees, or similarly odd locations sometimes amazes me.  Other times, the placement is so random that you just shake your head.


I've been playing in Scotland since Aug. 1, and I have come to realize why some of the people on GCA who live in the UK are resistant to more sets of tees.


One thing is that the Scots I've played with, and hung out in the bar afterward with, just don't have a problem with holes that are impossibly difficult. They never question it.  I've brought it up several times and the common response is essentially, "Aye, that's tough hole, innit?"


The other is, IMHO, that you see over and over three sets of tee markers that are within two to five yards of each other.


Then there's a place that tried to do something, and it ends up being just weird.  We've played Tain a couple of times since we've been here, and my wife was happy to see that she didn't have to play 5,645 yards, they have new forward tees at 4,302.


And some of the new tees make perfect sense.  They are positioned so that the carry over tall rough or water are a more reasonable length.  Eight and sixteen being excellent examples.  But then they turned two ~480-yard par fives into ~305-yard...par fives.  So there's a 200-yard walk to play a hole that now barely resembles its former self. And eleven, which was a 370-yard par five is now a 282-yard par five.


Even the pro told her not to play the new tees.


If more courses used a thoughtful approach like you describe instead of, "Let's put out some more forward tees," without much thought about angles, carries and architectural interest, shorter courses would be much better received.
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

Jim Hoak

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Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2023, 10:10:47 AM »
I agree that Mark's approach is the proper one--get the yardage right, but also consider course features, not just yardage.
But I also agree with Ken that I doubt this is done often or well at most courses.

Ken Moum

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Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2023, 11:00:30 AM »
I agree that Mark's approach is the proper one--get the yardage right, but also consider course features, not just yardage.
But I also agree with Ken that I doubt this is done often or well at most courses.


One thing I wonder about is the effect of Alice on Pete. 


I've barely played any of his courses except ]Red Mountain, which wasn't his design, but the Dye organization says it's Perry AND Pete, and it just has the best forward tees I've seen. Several of the women in my family, including my mother who will be 100 in a couple of weeks, love the place.


I actually talked to Pete about Alice and as usual he said her influence on his work was massive.


Has anyone here played a lot of Dye courses with someone who played off the forward tees? If you have, are the as well situated as those at RMRCC?
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

Mark_Fine

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Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2023, 05:53:51 PM »
Ken,
I have played a lot of Dye courses, almost any of note expect Teeth of the Dog.  Alice definitely had forward tee players in mind and location of those tees is key but still much of the difference comes down to yardage. 


I honestly believe that alternative tees are what saved golf and made it as popular as it is today.  If every every male and female and senior and junior from Professional to beginner had to start from the same location, the game would have very limited appeal.  I used to be more of a purest when it came to the number of tees, but if done right and built/placed thoughtfully, they can be extremely valuable to a golf course and add to the playing enjoyment of a wider range of golfers. 


And by the way, anyone care to guess what the average handicap is for golfers playing the shortest set of tees? 

Ken Moum

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Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2023, 02:07:46 AM »
Ken,
I have played a lot of Dye courses, almost any of note expect Teeth of the Dog.  Alice definitely had forward tee players in mind and location of those tees is key but still much of the difference comes down to yardage. 


I honestly believe that alternative tees are what saved golf and made it as popular as it is today.  If every every male and female and senior and junior from Professional to beginner had to start from the same location, the game would have very limited appeal.  I used to be more of a purest when it came to the number of tees, but if done right and built/placed thoughtfully, they can be extremely valuable to a golf course and add to the playing enjoyment of a wider range of golfers. 


And by the way, anyone care to guess what the average handicap is for golfers playing the shortest set of tees?


Of course yardage is the big thing and I'd like to think you're right about the impact on the game. I'd be even happier if we could prove it and get more places to buy in.


Re. handicaps,  it's gotta be close to 30.



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

Mark_Fine

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Different course quality from different tees
« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2023, 07:17:07 AM »
Ken,
I don’t know if anything can be proven but just think if you were behind a foursome of beginners (by the way your 30 handicap guess is low) playing the tips at your favorite golf course.  After six plus hours who is having more fun, them or you  ;)

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