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"Unfair" / "Tricked up" / "Gimmicky" / "Mickey Mouse" holes and features


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#31 duffer987

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 10:50 AM

View Postraynorfan1, on 10 September 2017 - 06:31 PM, said:

View PostRoadking2003, on 10 September 2017 - 04:46 PM, said:

Exactly.  That's as mickey mouse as it gets.  But, it's The Old Course so it's called quaint.

Same thing with the totally blind par 3 at Prestwick.

If a modern designer built those holes he would be laughed out of the business.

Disagree on both.

17 on the Old Course doesn't require you to hit over the hotel to make Par. It's a more aggressive line, but it's not required. It's actually a pretty fun shot.

Blind Par 3? Fine by me. I wouldn't want every Par 3 to be blind; but it's fun variety every so often.

If someone plays a cut/slice the line doesn't even include the railway shed, you'd best be left of it to avoid going OB. If you hit a straight ball or a draw then absolutely the line can be over the shed, but the shed isn't the concern it's the boundary fence down the right. You want that right side approach to help avoid the bunker/be able to run it on the right front. Burn down the shed and it doesn't change the strategy of the hole, it's still a cracker.

I've actually played a few courses that have Alps/Himalayas template holes on them. Never played with anyone who laughed at the holes and wished anyone concerned to be out of business.
I'd encourage everyone if they get a chance to play Prestwick and judge for themselves how the holes come together over a round of golf. Minus 18, it's very fun and challenging place to play.

Edited by duffer987, 11 September 2017 - 10:50 AM.


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#32 MrJones

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 11:19 AM

View PostNo Catchy Nickname, on 11 September 2017 - 08:41 AM, said:

View PostMrJones, on 11 September 2017 - 08:20 AM, said:

But let's get to the really Mickey Mouse part: there's a green side bunker where the slope from the green down to the bunker is probably about 10 feet. At the bottom of this slope the course designers thought it would be a good idea to build a little nearly foot high mound to keep water from flowing into the bunker. You effectively have an 8 foot long "V" that your ball will roll down into. Zero way to come into the back of the ball. You're 10 feet from the green and more than likely will have to hit out left or right by 90* or slam your club into the ground behind the ball hoping for a favorable pop.

I don't think I've seen a feature like that. That is....odd. Surely they must have realized it would actually prevent balls from rolling into the bunker, or was that also the intention?

They couldn't keep sand in the bunker and had erosion problems with the bunker as well because of the heavy run off. So they built a wall for the water to run around.

It's a really poor design that members complain about often.
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#33 One_Putt_Blunder

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:34 PM

Have yet to see something I would call unfair. There is one here in town that is borderline. Par 5 fairway slopes hard right to left and funnels into a water hazard. Prob unfair to the first time player who hits driver which would land and roll out into the narrowest part and likely into the water especially if landed anywhere near center fairway or hit with a draw. It is a short par 5 so hybrid or 3 wood off the tee keeps you safe so I would call it more tricked up because they usually have the rough shaved thus helping balls reach the water.
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Things I would consider to be part of a tricked up design. Man made or shaped slopes and hazards that are designed to take a reasonably well placed golf shot and have the end result negatively impacted. Also things like trees in the middle of a fairway or blocking a large percentage of the green. Most of the times to me tricked up is going to fall under poor course set up pins in bad spots or  shaving slopes to assist balls finds hazards water sand etc.

Mickey Mouse to me is a design where it forces one shot option on the player and one option only. fine on one maybe two holes per course but when done repetitively throughout the course it gets old. This would be things like a par 4 with a forced layup leaving a much longer 2nd shot than the hole yardage would typically call for. like a 360 yard hole with a non carryable hazard requiring you to hit something 160-180 off the tee and 180+ left for the second.  Sometimes true desert target golf gets this feeling Troon North Monument good example. 1 they have a giant boulder in the middle of a fairway and multiple holes that force a certain limit on distance off the tee on the player. It is a weird one no matter what tees I play I have the same approach shots, just hit different clubs off the tee the further I go back.

Edited by One_Putt_Blunder, 11 September 2017 - 12:34 PM.

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#34 Tim Gavrich

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 02:54 PM

View PostRoadking2003, on 10 September 2017 - 04:58 PM, said:

View PostTim Gavrich, on 09 September 2017 - 01:19 PM, said:

These terms seem to come up a lot when people are describing golf courses, holes and features that they don't like. I have my own thoughts on these, but I'd be interested in people's definitions of this basket of terms, and some examples.

I will say up front that the one that bugs me the most is when someone says "That hole is unfair...I hit a good shot but it ended up in trouble."

This makes no sense at all to me. If you ended up in trouble, how is it possible to conclude that you hit a good shot?

Maybe you hit a good shot but not a perfect shot.  Perfection shouldn't be required to par a hole.

I agree with you in principle here, but what you're implying is a situation where one specific, professionally-hit shot is the only option for success on a hole. I can't think of a possible example of that among courses I've played or seen on TV. The only exceptions would be setup failures, like #7 at Shinnecock in the 2004 U.S. Open or #18 at Olympic in 1998.

I think a big issue is that golfers who throw the words "unfair" and "gimmicky" and "tricked-up" all the time have an unrealistic sense of entitlement, where they expect a shot they've grooved on the range to be applicable on any hole. And when a different sort of shot is needed, they cry foul.

I thought there was a perfect example of this sort of thing a couple years ago at Doral. JB Holmes (I think it was him) had hit a very long tee shot just into the left rough of the first hole, a par five with a skinny green that slopes forward and right into a pond.

Holmes drew a decent lie in the rough, and he decided to lash at it with a long iron. The ball flew on a line right at the hole, hit on the front part of the green and rolled forward and right, into the pond. I recall one of the commentators (and some people on Twitter) declare that "unfair," saying "a good shot should not be punished like that."

Those people are dead wrong, of course. Holmes left himself the most dangerous angle, and he was in the rough, with no guarantee of even his best-struck shot stopping comfortably on a green he knew to be firm and fast. He simply chose too aggressive a shot to play, and he was rightfully punished for his greed. If he had wanted to have a better shot of hitting the green, he should have hit the fairway or hit it right off the tee, rather than left, leaving himself more margin for error re: the angle and the green slope.

He could have laid up and made a one-putt birdie all day long. It's not the golf course's fault that he misplayed that shot; it's his. I am inclined to think that a lot of golfers would not take responsibility for an error like that, and instead mistakenly curse the architect and/or superintendent.

Am I missing something here?
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#35 Cspackler6

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:18 PM

I'm usually a bit confused when ppl use those words to describe holes. I believe augusta would get trashed by people if it was built and had its first tournament this year. Although some won't admit it or understand due to the familiarity and prestige of the course. Imagine the shots that we would see there with hardly any course knowledge. Talk about seemingly great shots ending up terrible. Having to hit a specific type of shot into specific places ect.  Instead it's "that is what makes the place so special".


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#36 Tim Gavrich

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:42 AM

Cspackler6 brings up a good point: as golf course construction methods have become more sophisticated, have we lost our tolerance for unusual/odd/"quirky" features?

I think this particularly has to do with blind shots and holes. Does a golf course architect have an obligation to move dirt and/or route the golf course so as to eliminate blindness?

I would say no. There are a lot of great golf holes where the target is either partially or fully obscured. In almost all of these cases, there is some indication as to where you're supposed to hit it, whether it's a flagpole behind the green on a couple holes at Yale or a dartboard hung up in a tree behind #9 green at the Cascades course at the Homestead. And besides, it's only truly blind the first time you play it.

I think modern golf course architects should confront the "No one would build it this way today" statement head on.
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#37 cwglum

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:54 AM

Any hole that has overgrown tree limbs blocking ball flight is gimmicky.  Not design feature trees, but the kind that are 50+ yrs old, overgrown and the course just ignores the overhanging limbs.

Edited by cwglum, 13 September 2017 - 07:54 AM.


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#38 jmilacek

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:19 AM

The only thing that really bugs me are greens that overly punish you for a barely missed putt. I guess I'm really talking more about a pin that's placed in such an area - that's really the issue. But I've played a few greens where a putt could be below the hole (only good spot) and then make it almost to the hole, and start to roll back. As far as I'm concerned, 99% of the time, if a put comes to a complete stop, it should not then change direction and move again. It unfairly punishes your only option which is to try to make it on the short side. I've seen what should have been easy 2 putts go to 5 which is just ridiculous.

Anything else on a course is fair game IMO. Yes, I don't enjoy fairways angled down on both sides so that non-center hits go flying into the rough, but I consider that my fault for missing it. I don't mind any dogleg, even the ones where you have to hit a short iron off the tee to reach the corner and then a long iron after. Long carries are annoying for sure, but they're just proper teebox enforcement IMO ;)

Edited by jmilacek, 13 September 2017 - 08:32 AM.


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#39 SkiSchoolPro

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:39 AM

View PostTim Gavrich, on 09 September 2017 - 01:19 PM, said:

These terms seem to come up a lot when people are describing golf courses, holes and features that they don't like. I have my own thoughts on these, but I'd be interested in people's definitions of this basket of terms, and some examples.

I will say up front that the one that bugs me the most is when someone says "That hole is unfair...I hit a good shot but it ended up in trouble."

This makes no sense at all to me. If you ended up in trouble, how is it possible to conclude that you hit a good shot? I have to think that in this case, you thought you hit a good shot but were mistaken. If you hit an absolutely pure 7 iron that landed on the edge of the green, on a side slope and bounced/rolled into the water, I'm afraid to say that you did not hit a "good shot."
In the past month, I landed on sprinkler heads twice, losing a tee ball and having a wedge (where the sprinkler head was about 25 feet from the cup) go into the native grass over the green.

While these may be the exceptions, what about when the wind shifts suddenly. i.e. playing to a back pin into the wind with trouble long only to have the wind shift to behind while the ball is in the air...you could hit a shot that would have been perfect into the wind, but is in trouble downwind.

The 16th at Keystone River is a 500 yard extremely downhill par 4 with multiple tiers in the landing area short of the fairway running out at around 300 yards. The wind can shift suddenly and you can only make a guestimate as to the firmness of the landing area. If you land on a flat section that is soft, you might not get any roll (like my shot that landed on the 2nd to last tier yesterday) and leave a long shot in, but if you land between tiers or on a firm spot, you might run 40 yards and go into the downsloping rough or even OB. Most of the time good shots turn out ok, but not always.

You can make the argument that it is the nature of the game that not all good shots are rewarded, but disagree with the conclusion that if a ball ended up in trouble it is impossible to have hit a well thought out and well struck shot.

View Postaz2au, on 11 September 2017 - 10:11 AM, said:

I've never seen an unfair hole.  To me that would mean that two shots with exactly the same characteristics resulted in drastically different outcomes.
How does wind play into this? I have played many holes where two identical shots that land 5 feet apart from each other can have drastically different outcomes. Don't you think wind shifts can change 2 identical shots by 5 feet or more?

Edited by SkiSchoolPro, 13 September 2017 - 09:11 AM.


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#40 jdl

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:44 AM

I agree a lot of "gimmick" holes are just bad design. There are a couple of greens at courses in the area here that come to mind. One has a huge front-to-back slope to the point where if the flag is in the front, the only option to get close is to play short of the green and chip/putt from there. Another course I played (only once!) had a green with a huge swale in the middle. I was on the right side and the pin was on the left. I couldn't hit a putt at the hole and stay on the green, so had to "lay up" 15 feet away.

Another type of hole that irritates is the short par 4 that forces a layup with a mid/long iron. Usually the area inside 100 yards or so is so penal that you have no other choice. Not unfair/gimmicky, just boring. There's a course nearby that has 6 of these holes so I just don't play there any more. A couple is OK, 6 is way too many.


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#41 larrybud

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:15 AM

View Postandrue, on 11 September 2017 - 06:26 AM, said:

View PostMcMoo, on 11 September 2017 - 06:16 AM, said:

Any hole with a tree in the middle of the fairway or blocking a significant portion of the green.
Ahem. Satellite view.

Setting aside the scalloped fairway edges (already discussed in another thread) the choices here are:
* Sneak left of the tree (but don't go OOB either left or too long)
* Sneak right of the tree (but don't go long enough to reach the pond and of course avoid the hedge.
* Go over the tree (but not from here as the green is only a couple of yards beyond it with almost no space behind).

Dunno why I didn't think of this hole earlier as it's from the same course I mentioned earlier in the thread.

wavy cut fws to boot!


To add to the list: Long par 4s which require a layup off the tee, meaning your 2nd shot is longer than your tee shot.

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#42 dhc1

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:34 AM

I think that the "Road" hole at Old Macdonald is poorly designed in that where it normally plays from (399 from the green tees) and the prevailing 15-20 MPH wind, it is effectively playing ~ 500 yards to an elevated green that repels low running shots. For most good players, it's unreachable.

The rest of the course plays significantly shorter so this hole, irrespective of what tees are being played, is out of range. It's not quite as bad as a hole with a forced carry well beyond what anyone from that tee can manage (e.g., 260 from the member's tee)

Most of the caddies there think it's, by far, the worst hole on the property.

Edited by dhc1, 13 September 2017 - 10:36 AM.


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#43 az2au

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:39 AM

View PostSkiSchoolPro, on 13 September 2017 - 08:39 AM, said:


View Postaz2au, on 11 September 2017 - 10:11 AM, said:

I've never seen an unfair hole.  To me that would mean that two shots with exactly the same characteristics resulted in drastically different outcomes.
How does wind play into this? I have played many holes where two identical shots that land 5 feet apart from each other can have drastically different outcomes. Don't you think wind shifts can change 2 identical shots by 5 feet or more?
Wind doesn't play into it in my mind.  Wind is ever shifting and fits into the rub of the green category.  Landing 5' apart can be huge depending on the hole.  I can think of multiple spots on my home course where 5' makes the difference between a relatively easy birdie and a struggle to make bogey.  That's just challenging, not unfair.  Unfair would be the ~same spot, ~same spin rate, ~same trajectory, etc resulting in drastically different results.  Pure physics dictates that exact replication with inexact items (ground, golf ball, etc) is highly unlikely so let's make it something that is inherently measurable instead.  In essence, unfair to me means that even with a full set of information the golfer cannot determine the result.  It doesn't mean that because a given golfer doesn't have the ability to hit a particular shot, even though they have knowledge of what is required, that the hole is unfair.

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#44 az2au

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:45 AM

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 10:34 AM, said:

I think that the "Road" hole at Old Macdonald is poorly designed in that where it normally plays from (399 from the green tees) and the prevailing 15-20 MPH wind, it is effectively playing ~ 500 yards to an elevated green that repels low running shots. For most good players, it's unreachable.

The rest of the course plays significantly shorter so this hole, irrespective of what tees are being played, is out of range. It's not quite as bad as a hole with a forced carry well beyond what anyone from that tee can manage (e.g., 260 from the member's tee)

Most of the caddies there think it's, by far, the worst hole on the property.
And most golfers hate the concept of the half par holes when it is the harder version/love it when it is the easier version and most caddies tell players what they want to hear.  That hole, per Jim Urbina himself, is a par 4.5 in the prevailing wind.  It is meant to be very difficult to make a par on and that's ok.  Just like it is ok that Sahara is clearly a par 3.5 (easily driveable with a 3 wood in the prevailing wind, just did a few weeks ago).

All IMHO, totally understand if you feel differently and in no way mean to indicate that you are wrong, just presenting what Jim himself told me so you'll know that it is with intent.

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#45 duffer987

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:47 AM

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 10:34 AM, said:

I think that the "Road" hole at Old Macdonald is poorly designed in that where it normally plays from (399 from the green tees) and the prevailing 15-20 MPH wind, it is effectively playing ~ 500 yards to an elevated green that repels low running shots. For most good players, it's unreachable.

The rest of the course plays significantly shorter so this hole, irrespective of what tees are being played, is out of range. It's not quite as bad as a hole with a forced carry well beyond what anyone from that tee can manage (e.g., 260 from the member's tee)

Most of the caddies there think it's, by far, the worst hole on the property.

But that's because you are concerned with the hole's par. There is no forced carry over a pond that cannot be done into the wind, it's just a long hole. How many ever strokes it takes, it takes.
# 4 running parallel to the 'road hole' is even longer.
We go in the winter and see the wind going both ways, have had Driver - PW on the road hole one day and Driver - 3W - PW, the next and #4 is effected by the wind in an opposite manner, so it tends to even out.

Edited by duffer987, 13 September 2017 - 10:49 AM.


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#46 cardoustie

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:15 AM

17 at The Old Course is an awesome hole !!!!!!  Keep it way right with a ballsy play off the tee and you get the choice angle

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#47 dhc1

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:20 AM

View Postaz2au, on 13 September 2017 - 10:45 AM, said:

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 10:34 AM, said:

I think that the "Road" hole at Old Macdonald is poorly designed in that where it normally plays from (399 from the green tees) and the prevailing 15-20 MPH wind, it is effectively playing ~ 500 yards to an elevated green that repels low running shots. For most good players, it's unreachable.

The rest of the course plays significantly shorter so this hole, irrespective of what tees are being played, is out of range. It's not quite as bad as a hole with a forced carry well beyond what anyone from that tee can manage (e.g., 260 from the member's tee)

Most of the caddies there think it's, by far, the worst hole on the property.
And most golfers hate the concept of the half par holes when it is the harder version/love it when it is the easier version and most caddies tell players what they want to hear.  That hole, per Jim Urbina himself, is a par 4.5 in the prevailing wind.  It is meant to be very difficult to make a par on and that's ok.  Just like it is ok that Sahara is clearly a par 3.5 (easily driveable with a 3 wood in the prevailing wind, just did a few weeks ago).

All IMHO, totally understand if you feel differently and in no way mean to indicate that you are wrong, just presenting what Jim himself told me so you'll know that it is with intent.

Fair enough on the half-hole concept, but IMO, a hole must be reachable with two great shots for it to be a par 4. We could make all par 5s into par 4s based on your point (which, again, I understand).

Let me think some more on whether I would view it differently as a par 5; first thought, is probably, although it's far less interesting as a par 5.

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#48 duffer987

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:43 AM

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 11:20 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 13 September 2017 - 10:45 AM, said:

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 10:34 AM, said:

I think that the "Road" hole at Old Macdonald is poorly designed in that where it normally plays from (399 from the green tees) and the prevailing 15-20 MPH wind, it is effectively playing ~ 500 yards to an elevated green that repels low running shots. For most good players, it's unreachable.

The rest of the course plays significantly shorter so this hole, irrespective of what tees are being played, is out of range. It's not quite as bad as a hole with a forced carry well beyond what anyone from that tee can manage (e.g., 260 from the member's tee)

Most of the caddies there think it's, by far, the worst hole on the property.
And most golfers hate the concept of the half par holes when it is the harder version/love it when it is the easier version and most caddies tell players what they want to hear.  That hole, per Jim Urbina himself, is a par 4.5 in the prevailing wind.  It is meant to be very difficult to make a par on and that's ok.  Just like it is ok that Sahara is clearly a par 3.5 (easily driveable with a 3 wood in the prevailing wind, just did a few weeks ago).

All IMHO, totally understand if you feel differently and in no way mean to indicate that you are wrong, just presenting what Jim himself told me so you'll know that it is with intent.

Fair enough on the half-hole concept, but IMO, a hole must be reachable with two great shots for it to be a par 4. We could make all par 5s into par 4s based on your point (which, again, I understand).

Let me think some more on whether I would view it differently as a par 5; first thought, is probably, although it's far less interesting as a par 5.

Not being facetious, but do you regularly play in calm conditions?
Playing in wind regularly you will regularly see holes that have their par designation stretched and others shrunk, to the point where I think it genuinely helps the golfer see past whether a hole is a 3/4/5, and just attack the next shot as best you can.
Yes the course should be designed with that in mind where it can in regards to prevailing conditions, but the wind will do what it wants :)

As an aside with that N->S on Old Mac, I find #2 can be turned into much more of a beast than the road hole. Or at least it does for my middling game.

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#49 larrybud

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:54 PM

View Postaz2au, on 13 September 2017 - 10:39 AM, said:

View PostSkiSchoolPro, on 13 September 2017 - 08:39 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 11 September 2017 - 10:11 AM, said:

I've never seen an unfair hole.  To me that would mean that two shots with exactly the same characteristics resulted in drastically different outcomes.
How does wind play into this? I have played many holes where two identical shots that land 5 feet apart from each other can have drastically different outcomes. Don't you think wind shifts can change 2 identical shots by 5 feet or more?
Wind doesn't play into it in my mind.  Wind is ever shifting and fits into the rub of the green category.

However designers should be aware of the prevailing wind, and in fact, the USGA course rating system procedure takes the prevailing wind into account when coming up with a course rating.

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#50 az2au

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:59 PM

View Postlarrybud, on 13 September 2017 - 01:54 PM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 13 September 2017 - 10:39 AM, said:

View PostSkiSchoolPro, on 13 September 2017 - 08:39 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 11 September 2017 - 10:11 AM, said:

I've never seen an unfair hole.  To me that would mean that two shots with exactly the same characteristics resulted in drastically different outcomes.
How does wind play into this? I have played many holes where two identical shots that land 5 feet apart from each other can have drastically different outcomes. Don't you think wind shifts can change 2 identical shots by 5 feet or more?
Wind doesn't play into it in my mind.  Wind is ever shifting and fits into the rub of the green category.

However designers should be aware of the prevailing wind, and in fact, the USGA course rating system procedure takes the prevailing wind into account when coming up with a course rating.
As an overall design item, of course. On 1 particular shot that two players are hitting at any given moment, not a relevant factor to decide if a hole would be considered unfair.


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#51 dhc1

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:48 PM

View Postduffer987, on 13 September 2017 - 11:43 AM, said:

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 11:20 AM, said:

View Postaz2au, on 13 September 2017 - 10:45 AM, said:

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 10:34 AM, said:

I think that the "Road" hole at Old Macdonald is poorly designed in that where it normally plays from (399 from the green tees) and the prevailing 15-20 MPH wind, it is effectively playing ~ 500 yards to an elevated green that repels low running shots. For most good players, it's unreachable.

The rest of the course plays significantly shorter so this hole, irrespective of what tees are being played, is out of range. It's not quite as bad as a hole with a forced carry well beyond what anyone from that tee can manage (e.g., 260 from the member's tee)

Most of the caddies there think it's, by far, the worst hole on the property.
And most golfers hate the concept of the half par holes when it is the harder version/love it when it is the easier version and most caddies tell players what they want to hear.  That hole, per Jim Urbina himself, is a par 4.5 in the prevailing wind.  It is meant to be very difficult to make a par on and that's ok.  Just like it is ok that Sahara is clearly a par 3.5 (easily driveable with a 3 wood in the prevailing wind, just did a few weeks ago).

All IMHO, totally understand if you feel differently and in no way mean to indicate that you are wrong, just presenting what Jim himself told me so you'll know that it is with intent.

Fair enough on the half-hole concept, but IMO, a hole must be reachable with two great shots for it to be a par 4. We could make all par 5s into par 4s based on your point (which, again, I understand).

Let me think some more on whether I would view it differently as a par 5; first thought, is probably, although it's far less interesting as a par 5.

Not being facetious, but do you regularly play in calm conditions?
Playing in wind regularly you will regularly see holes that have their par designation stretched and others shrunk, to the point where I think it genuinely helps the golfer see past whether a hole is a 3/4/5, and just attack the next shot as best you can.
Yes the course should be designed with that in mind where it can in regards to prevailing conditions, but the wind will do what it wants :)

As an aside with that N->S on Old Mac, I find #2 can be turned into much more of a beast than the road hole. Or at least it does for my middling game.

No worries, Duffer. I am lucky to play a lot on a variety of course and play in wind frequently. Perhaps not 20 mph every week but usually enough to alter club selection each shot.

When many of the caddies say the same thing, I'm inclined to believe them. No one has ever reached that green in two from the dozen times I've played it. Maybe we're unlucky with the wind over the years/seasons and the caddies are misleading us.

Edited by dhc1, 13 September 2017 - 05:02 PM.


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#52 duffer987

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 05:14 PM

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 04:48 PM, said:

View Postduffer987, on 13 September 2017 - 11:43 AM, said:


Not being facetious, but do you regularly play in calm conditions?
Playing in wind regularly you will regularly see holes that have their par designation stretched and others shrunk, to the point where I think it genuinely helps the golfer see past whether a hole is a 3/4/5, and just attack the next shot as best you can.
Yes the course should be designed with that in mind where it can in regards to prevailing conditions, but the wind will do what it wants :)

As an aside with that N->S on Old Mac, I find #2 can be turned into much more of a beast than the road hole. Or at least it does for my middling game.

No worries, Duffer. I am lucky to play a lot on a variety of course and play in wind frequently. Perhaps not 20 mph every week but usually enough to alter club selection each shot.

When many of the caddies say the same thing, I'm inclined to believe them. No one has ever reached that green in two from the dozen times I've played it. Maybe we're unlucky with the wind over the years/seasons and the caddies are misleading us.

Wow! I can see how that might grate after a while; however, that must mean #4 is always gettable, especially as it can run a ways of the side of the hill?
I know the prevailing switches between seasons. N>S summer and S>N winter, all things being equal. Are you guys there mainly in the summer?

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#53 dhc1

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 05:29 PM

View Postduffer987, on 13 September 2017 - 05:14 PM, said:

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 04:48 PM, said:

View Postduffer987, on 13 September 2017 - 11:43 AM, said:


Not being facetious, but do you regularly play in calm conditions?
Playing in wind regularly you will regularly see holes that have their par designation stretched and others shrunk, to the point where I think it genuinely helps the golfer see past whether a hole is a 3/4/5, and just attack the next shot as best you can.
Yes the course should be designed with that in mind where it can in regards to prevailing conditions, but the wind will do what it wants :)

As an aside with that N->S on Old Mac, I find #2 can be turned into much more of a beast than the road hole. Or at least it does for my middling game.

No worries, Duffer. I am lucky to play a lot on a variety of course and play in wind frequently. Perhaps not 20 mph every week but usually enough to alter club selection each shot.

When many of the caddies say the same thing, I'm inclined to believe them. No one has ever reached that green in two from the dozen times I've played it. Maybe we're unlucky with the wind over the years/seasons and the caddies are misleading us.

Wow! I can see how that might grate after a while; however, that must mean #4 is always gettable, especially as it can run a ways of the side of the hill?
I know the prevailing switches between seasons. N>S summer and S>N winter, all things being equal. Are you guys there mainly in the summer?

4 is certainly as easier hole and can be hit with two very good shots (like many good par 5s).

We've never been there in winter but have been there the other four seasons. OM is the most fun course out of the four to play IMO but it's not a course I'd want to play every day if that makes sense.

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#54 duffer987

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 05:57 PM

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 05:29 PM, said:

View Postduffer987, on 13 September 2017 - 05:14 PM, said:

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 04:48 PM, said:

View Postduffer987, on 13 September 2017 - 11:43 AM, said:

Not being facetious, but do you regularly play in calm conditions?
Playing in wind regularly you will regularly see holes that have their par designation stretched and others shrunk, to the point where I think it genuinely helps the golfer see past whether a hole is a 3/4/5, and just attack the next shot as best you can.
Yes the course should be designed with that in mind where it can in regards to prevailing conditions, but the wind will do what it wants :)

As an aside with that N->S on Old Mac, I find #2 can be turned into much more of a beast than the road hole. Or at least it does for my middling game.

No worries, Duffer. I am lucky to play a lot on a variety of course and play in wind frequently. Perhaps not 20 mph every week but usually enough to alter club selection each shot.

When many of the caddies say the same thing, I'm inclined to believe them. No one has ever reached that green in two from the dozen times I've played it. Maybe we're unlucky with the wind over the years/seasons and the caddies are misleading us.

Wow! I can see how that might grate after a while; however, that must mean #4 is always gettable, especially as it can run a ways of the side of the hill?
I know the prevailing switches between seasons. N>S summer and S>N winter, all things being equal. Are you guys there mainly in the summer?

4 is certainly as easier hole and can be hit with two very good shots (like many good par 5s).

We've never been there in winter but have been there the other four seasons. OM is the most fun course out of the four to play IMO but it's not a course I'd want to play every day if that makes sense.

Makes total sense, you've been drinking ;)
But yes I can see if you'd rather have a few more 40yd pitches day in/day out, instead of 40yd putts/bump 3Ws & hybrids. Just generally speaking have something a bit more 'traditional' all things being equal, if it was your home course you played twice a week every week.

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#55 Cwebb

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 06:04 PM

A hole can be tricked up and gimmicky, without being "unfair"


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#56 dhc1

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:34 PM

View Postduffer987, on 13 September 2017 - 05:57 PM, said:

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 05:29 PM, said:

View Postduffer987, on 13 September 2017 - 05:14 PM, said:

View Postdhc1, on 13 September 2017 - 04:48 PM, said:

View Postduffer987, on 13 September 2017 - 11:43 AM, said:

Not being facetious, but do you regularly play in calm conditions?
Playing in wind regularly you will regularly see holes that have their par designation stretched and others shrunk, to the point where I think it genuinely helps the golfer see past whether a hole is a 3/4/5, and just attack the next shot as best you can.
Yes the course should be designed with that in mind where it can in regards to prevailing conditions, but the wind will do what it wants :)

As an aside with that N->S on Old Mac, I find #2 can be turned into much more of a beast than the road hole. Or at least it does for my middling game.

No worries, Duffer. I am lucky to play a lot on a variety of course and play in wind frequently. Perhaps not 20 mph every week but usually enough to alter club selection each shot.

When many of the caddies say the same thing, I'm inclined to believe them. No one has ever reached that green in two from the dozen times I've played it. Maybe we're unlucky with the wind over the years/seasons and the caddies are misleading us.

Wow! I can see how that might grate after a while; however, that must mean #4 is always gettable, especially as it can run a ways of the side of the hill?
I know the prevailing switches between seasons. N>S summer and S>N winter, all things being equal. Are you guys there mainly in the summer?

4 is certainly as easier hole and can be hit with two very good shots (like many good par 5s).

We've never been there in winter but have been there the other four seasons. OM is the most fun course out of the four to play IMO but it's not a course I'd want to play every day if that makes sense.

Makes total sense, you've been drinking ;)
But yes I can see if you'd rather have a few more 40yd pitches day in/day out, instead of 40yd putts/bump 3Ws & hybrids. Just generally speaking have something a bit more 'traditional' all things being equal, if it was your home course you played twice a week every week.

I'm confused as to what you're saying wrt to pitches vs. on the ground. This is a hole which needs to be played in the air from a second shot perspective.

As far as every day play, I think that OM is a great resort course but resort courses are not my cup of tee for an everyday course. Feel that way about almost all Doak designs. YMMV.

Edited by dhc1, 14 September 2017 - 02:45 PM.


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#57 duffer987

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 04:06 PM

View Postdhc1, on 14 September 2017 - 02:34 PM, said:

As far as every day play, I think that OM is a great resort course but resort courses are not my cup of tee for an everyday course. Feel that way about almost all Doak designs. YMMV.

Ah OK, gotcha. Yes it's fun to have some pressure on tee shots now and again.

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#58 Roadking2003

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 06:40 PM

View PostTim Gavrich, on 12 September 2017 - 02:54 PM, said:

View PostRoadking2003, on 10 September 2017 - 04:58 PM, said:

View PostTim Gavrich, on 09 September 2017 - 01:19 PM, said:

These terms seem to come up a lot when people are describing golf courses, holes and features that they don't like. I have my own thoughts on these, but I'd be interested in people's definitions of this basket of terms, and some examples.

I will say up front that the one that bugs me the most is when someone says "That hole is unfair...I hit a good shot but it ended up in trouble."

This makes no sense at all to me. If you ended up in trouble, how is it possible to conclude that you hit a good shot?

Maybe you hit a good shot but not a perfect shot.  Perfection shouldn't be required to par a hole.

I agree with you in principle here, but what you're implying is a situation where one specific, professionally-hit shot is the only option for success on a hole. I can't think of a possible example of that among courses I've played or seen on TV. The only exceptions would be setup failures, like #7 at Shinnecock in the 2004 U.S. Open or #18 at Olympic in 1998.

I think a big issue is that golfers who throw the words "unfair" and "gimmicky" and "tricked-up" all the time have an unrealistic sense of entitlement, where they expect a shot they've grooved on the range to be applicable on any hole. And when a different sort of shot is needed, they cry foul.

I thought there was a perfect example of this sort of thing a couple years ago at Doral. JB Holmes (I think it was him) had hit a very long tee shot just into the left rough of the first hole, a par five with a skinny green that slopes forward and right into a pond.

Holmes drew a decent lie in the rough, and he decided to lash at it with a long iron. The ball flew on a line right at the hole, hit on the front part of the green and rolled forward and right, into the pond. I recall one of the commentators (and some people on Twitter) declare that "unfair," saying "a good shot should not be punished like that."

Those people are dead wrong, of course. Holmes left himself the most dangerous angle, and he was in the rough, with no guarantee of even his best-struck shot stopping comfortably on a green he knew to be firm and fast. He simply chose too aggressive a shot to play, and he was rightfully punished for his greed. If he had wanted to have a better shot of hitting the green, he should have hit the fairway or hit it right off the tee, rather than left, leaving himself more margin for error re: the angle and the green slope.

He could have laid up and made a one-putt birdie all day long. It's not the golf course's fault that he misplayed that shot; it's his. I am inclined to think that a lot of golfers would not take responsibility for an error like that, and instead mistakenly curse the architect and/or superintendent.

Am I missing something here?

No, you are not missing anything.  I would never evaluate a hole from the perspective of the rough.  What I'm talking about are holes with pins on very small landing areas, so you are required to hit a perfect shot.  An example is a very short par 3 on Kingsley Club (#9, I think).  The pin was on the front shelf with a very high "backstop" behind the pin.  Our caddie said don't go long and If you do, the "backstop" would shoot the ball back off the green.  One in our group hit 10 feet left of the pin and the hill took the ball all the way off the green into a bunker.  I hit what I thought was a perfect PW that landed 4 feet left of the pin, went almost straight right just by the pin and stopped in the fringe on the right side of the green.  The only way to get near that pin is to hit a high draw at the hole.  That pin requires a perfect shot.  I call that tricked up.

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#59 George1174

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 07:00 PM

View Postcaniac6, on 10 September 2017 - 04:54 AM, said:

How about #17 at St. Andrews. Need to hit over a building.
No, you don't. It's what everyone thinks is required (of course it's the most fun), but it is not. You can approach the green from the left side and Par the hole. Totally feasible.
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#60 Roadking2003

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 09:46 PM

View PostGeorge1174, on 14 September 2017 - 07:00 PM, said:

View Postcaniac6, on 10 September 2017 - 04:54 AM, said:

How about #17 at St. Andrews. Need to hit over a building.
No, you don't. It's what everyone thinks is required (of course it's the most fun), but it is not. You can approach the green from the left side and Par the hole. Totally feasible.

Yes, it's not required.  But if you go left of the shed you will have a very long approach to the green (very likely from the rough) with a wicked bunker to contend with.


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