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Does lengthening a course really make it harder for long hitters?


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#1 MaddMaxx

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 12:36 PM

Lengthening courses only makes it harder for shorter hitters
If it were up to me I would shorten the courses.
The big hitters would be able to drive the par 4's but make the risk/reward very penal.
Hit it short, left,right or long and make them pay around the greens. Water, pot bunkers, domed greens, run offs into trouble.
Any landing spots in short iron range should be undulating so they never have an even lie and have unpredictable kicks.Pot bunkers put the fear into anyone
Make the most favorable landing areas for approaches reachable by even the shortest hitters.

As a bonus you get the big (name)hitters able to go for it if they need to make up stokes. No guarantee of winning by parring in when you have a few stoke lead.
TV audience would love the added excitement of this go for broke game.


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#2 disco111

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 12:45 PM

In truth, this is exactly what the tour needs / should gravitate to.............. :fan_1: :yahoo:

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#3 Z1ggy16

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 12:49 PM

Stats show being long isn't even that big of an advantage. I can't ramble off specifics but one that sticks out is something like how the top ten in money made 2017, only 2 were top 10 in driving distance average.
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#4 Lijka

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 01:07 PM

I agree, there are a lot of ways to make golf more interesting. We don't have to tack on a few hundred yards onto every course just to make par a bit harder to reach. There are all sorts of ways to make things more intellectual and tricky in order to make it more entertaining and/or difficult (if that is really the goal). I do think though that regardless of course set up and all other things being equal, being a long hitter will always be a natural advantage and the goal shouldn't be to punish those that are.
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#5 Petunia Sprinkle

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 01:17 PM

Yup, making courses longer makes it easier for long hitters and harder for short ones. If you want to make it hard for long hitters, get the driver out of their hands by making more severe doglegs at about 260, or put giant willow leaf oaks in the middle of the fairway.


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#6 cardoustie

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 01:28 PM

The other part you're missing is that these big courses are longer but ALSO wayyyyy WIDER.  Definitely easier for bombers.  Big targets and HUGE greens

I keep using this example.  Merion GC at 2013 US Open that Rose won ... 6,996 yards.  High rough, small tilted greens, narrow fairways = higher scores (another toss away by Phil)

Rose finished +1 over 4 rounds

Scoring avg was over 74

It's another reason why you see a lot of scratch players play out of courses rated 74-76 that are big courses at 7300-7700 yards

Tighter courses are harder, but that's not conducive to fans or the PGA tour

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#7 new2g0lf

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 01:40 PM

View PostPetunia Sprinkle, on 19 December 2017 - 01:17 PM, said:

Yup, making courses longer makes it easier for long hitters and harder for short ones. If you want to make it hard for long hitters, get the driver out of their hands by making more severe doglegs at about 260, or put giant willow leaf oaks in the middle of the fairway.

I agree with this but the doglegs have to be penal to avoid the big hitters from cutting the corners without fear.
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#8 Petunia Sprinkle

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 01:47 PM

View Postnew2g0lf, on 19 December 2017 - 01:40 PM, said:

View PostPetunia Sprinkle, on 19 December 2017 - 01:17 PM, said:

Yup, making courses longer makes it easier for long hitters and harder for short ones. If you want to make it hard for long hitters, get the driver out of their hands by making more severe doglegs at about 260, or put giant willow leaf oaks in the middle of the fairway.

I agree with this but the doglegs have to be penal to avoid the big hitters from cutting the corners without fear.

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#9 Lacey Underall

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 01:55 PM

Shorten the courses = more big hitters using driving irons off the tee.
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#10 wildcatden

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 01:56 PM

There are other ways to make the courses tougher.

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#11 03ki11erag

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 02:10 PM

View Postcardoustie, on 19 December 2017 - 01:28 PM, said:

The other part you're missing is that these big courses are longer but ALSO wayyyyy WIDER.  Definitely easier for bombers.  Big targets and HUGE greens

I keep using this example.  Merion GC at 2013 US Open that Rose won ... 6,996 yards.  High rough, small tilted greens, narrow fairways = higher scores (another toss away by Phil)

Rose finished +1 over 4 rounds

Scoring avg was over 74

It's another reason why you see a lot of scratch players play out of courses rated 74-76 that are big courses at 7300-7700 yards

Tighter courses are harder, but that's not conducive to fans or the PGA tour

FULL DISCLOSURE:  My course is like Merion GC and our caps travel EXTREMELY well

I completely agree.  The Colonial winner this past year would have finished +2 to -3 if they grew the rough and shaved the greens.  A dogleg is pointless if DJ or Jason Day can cut 100 yards off the hole by hitting it over the corner.  Stop playing US Open courses on links style courses.

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#12 fillwelix

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 02:42 PM

And don't SHAVE THE ROUGH DOWN ON WEDNESDAY OF THE US OPEN
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#13 Bad9

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 02:52 PM

View Post03ki11erag, on 19 December 2017 - 02:10 PM, said:

View Postcardoustie, on 19 December 2017 - 01:28 PM, said:

The other part you're missing is that these big courses are longer but ALSO wayyyyy WIDER.  Definitely easier for bombers.  Big targets and HUGE greens

I keep using this example.  Merion GC at 2013 US Open that Rose won ... 6,996 yards.  High rough, small tilted greens, narrow fairways = higher scores (another toss away by Phil)

Rose finished +1 over 4 rounds

Scoring avg was over 74

It's another reason why you see a lot of scratch players play out of courses rated 74-76 that are big courses at 7300-7700 yards

Tighter courses are harder, but that's not conducive to fans or the PGA tour

FULL DISCLOSURE:  My course is like Merion GC and our caps travel EXTREMELY well

I completely agree.  The Colonial winner this past year would have finished +2 to -3 if they grew the rough and shaved the greens.  A dogleg is pointless if DJ or Jason Day can cut 100 yards off the hole by hitting it over the corner.  Stop playing US Open courses on links style courses.

By and large I agree with you but would say a dogleg is pointless if 50%+ of the field can cut the corner. DJ and Day are better with a driver than most of their peers(distance and direction).
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#14 rawdog

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 02:54 PM

View PostZ1ggy16, on 19 December 2017 - 12:49 PM, said:

Stats show being long isn't even that big of an advantage. I can't ramble off specifics but one that sticks out is something like how the top ten in money made 2017, only 2 were top 10 in driving distance average.

I'm not sure those stats are the best way to look at it. We had a good debate going over in this thread, which prompted me to make the following charts.

http://www.golfwrx.c...e/page__st__210

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#15 augustgolf

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 02:59 PM

View Postrawdog, on 19 December 2017 - 02:54 PM, said:

View PostZ1ggy16, on 19 December 2017 - 12:49 PM, said:

Stats show being long isn't even that big of an advantage. I can't ramble off specifics but one that sticks out is something like how the top ten in money made 2017, only 2 were top 10 in driving distance average.

I'm not sure those stats are the best way to look at it. We had a good debate going over in this thread, which prompted me to make the following charts.

http://www.golfwrx.c...e/page__st__210

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#16 QuigleyDU

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 03:03 PM

View PostLijka, on 19 December 2017 - 01:07 PM, said:

I agree, there are a lot of ways to make golf more interesting. We don't have to tack on a few hundred yards onto every course just to make par a bit harder to reach. There are all sorts of ways to make things more intellectual and tricky in order to make it more entertaining and/or difficult (if that is really the goal). I do think though that regardless of course set up and all other things being equal, being a long hitter will always be a natural advantage and the goal shouldn't be to punish those that are.

While i agree, i do not like "tricky" course. you should be able to hit a good shot and be rewarded. I will say that i dont think it would be hard to set up a course at a reasonable length where the difference between success and failure is narrow and you have to hit a good shot if you want to take the risk, but if pulled off you should be rewarded. you should be able to see the risk and the reward in other words.
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#17 Pepperturbo

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 03:22 PM

Depends on whether the big hitter has iron and short game skill to go with big-dog distance.  Generally "NO".  Lengthening a course hurts the majority of golfers that are not big hitters.  The great equalizer is course difficulty.

Played a challenging course with a friend that's a good golfer and hits the ball longer by 30-50yds than me.   He's used to wide open easy courses where he can bang it and not worry much about where the ball lands.

At this course when he missed the fairway in the junk he struggled executing, often coming up short landing in a greenside bunker.  Skulled a few balls over the green, back and forth.  When he landed in a fairway bunker, even though he got out, he didn't have the next shot inside of 75yrd to get tight on the pin and save par.  When he faced long carries and I said you might want to rethink the big-dog; he seldom stopped to think about consequences.  As a result, tended to overcook some hard left and right to OB's.  His score wasn't nearly close to normal on his long wide open course.

Though he's plainly an amateur example, its typical food for thought when it comes to length vs. the importance of iron & short game skill.  Last, lengthening courses for tour events is a waste of money.  Make them tight and difficult forcing gamble and more creativity with irons.  Its even more ludicrous making courses longer for amateur play.   :beach:

Edited by Pepperturbo, 19 December 2017 - 03:29 PM.

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#18 downthemiddle22

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:01 PM

Grow the rough up and put a premium on hitting the fairway. Making golf courses over 7,500 yards is taking away from the game. It's not the home run derby.

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#19 PGArox

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 12:49 AM

View PostMaddMaxx, on 19 December 2017 - 12:36 PM, said:

Lengthening courses only makes it harder for shorter hitters.

How did you ever arrive at that logic?

So let me get this straight- Dustin Johnson hitting driver-3I into a par 4 is just as easy as if he needed driver-wedge?  Makes perfect sense to me.

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#20 mallrat

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 02:33 AM

The issue with lengthening isnít as simple as people make it sound. This is where many courses fall short in thinking just adding yardage is going to make it tougher.

When adding yardage many courses just move tee boxes back and donít touch the rest of the hole when everything should be renovated. Bunkers should be moved, fairways widened or narrowed, trees replaced but that is not cost efficient.


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#21 Petunia Sprinkle

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 03:34 AM

View PostPGArox, on 20 December 2017 - 12:49 AM, said:

View PostMaddMaxx, on 19 December 2017 - 12:36 PM, said:

Lengthening courses only makes it harder for shorter hitters.

How did you ever arrive at that logic?

So let me get this straight- Dustin Johnson hitting driver-3I into a par 4 is just as easy as if he needed driver-wedge?  Makes perfect sense to me.

It makes it harder for everyone, but it increases the advantage of the longer hitter over the short hitter rather than decreasing it, the original intent of lengthening the course...you see.

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#22 Dave230

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 04:58 AM

A long straight drive should still be rewarded, but there's nothing worse than seeing players constantly 30 yards offline and getting a free shot to the green.

When it's easier to play 6 iron from the middle of the fairway than an 9 iron from the second cut of rough, you've got a good balance. Most courses pros would take the 9 iron though and that's the problem.

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#23 ray9898

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 06:23 AM

Simply adding length penalizes everyone and may be tougher on the short hitter as it leaves them with long clubs.  Sure, the big hitter may now be driver/6 iron instead of a flip wedge but the normal hitter is now driver/3 iron.  

Doglegs, tree placement, rough length and breaking up fairways with creeks and bunkers and narrowing landing areas are all options.

Edited by ray9898, 20 December 2017 - 09:03 AM.


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#24 MattyO1984

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:12 AM

To answer the question posed in the topic, lengthening the course does make it harder for longer hitters but it makes it harder for shorter hitters as well.

It will have more of an effect on the shorter hitter as well. If the longer hitter is now hitting 6 iron for a second shot, the shorter hitter is now hitting a 3 or 4 iron. What would you rather be hitting as a second shot?
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#25 bladehunter

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:51 AM

View Postcardoustie, on 19 December 2017 - 01:28 PM, said:

The other part you're missing is that these big courses are longer but ALSO wayyyyy WIDER.  Definitely easier for bombers.  Big targets and HUGE greens

I keep using this example.  Merion GC at 2013 US Open that Rose won ... 6,996 yards.  High rough, small tilted greens, narrow fairways = higher scores (another toss away by Phil)

Rose finished +1 over 4 rounds

Scoring avg was over 74

It's another reason why you see a lot of scratch players play out of courses rated 74-76 that are big courses at 7300-7700 yards

Tighter courses are harder, but that's not conducive to fans or the PGA tour

FULL DISCLOSURE:  My course is like Merion GC and our caps travel EXTREMELY well


I agree with this 100% too.  My home course is a narrow older tree lined course.  And everyone I know who is a member here plays to or below his cap when we go anywhere else around here.  I enjoy going other places where I can hit Driver and not worry about OB.  Game feels easy when there isnít any real panelty off the tee.

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#26 Hawkeye77

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 07:53 AM

This thread makes me think of one of Iowa's greatest philanthropists, Roy J. Carver.

A lot of his fortune came through his expertise in tires - retreads.

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#27 PGArox

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:01 AM

View PostPetunia Sprinkle, on 20 December 2017 - 03:34 AM, said:

View PostPGArox, on 20 December 2017 - 12:49 AM, said:

View PostMaddMaxx, on 19 December 2017 - 12:36 PM, said:

Lengthening courses only makes it harder for shorter hitters.

How did you ever arrive at that logic?

So let me get this straight- Dustin Johnson hitting driver-3I into a par 4 is just as easy as if he needed driver-wedge?  Makes perfect sense to me.

It makes it harder for everyone, but it increases the advantage of the longer hitter over the short hitter rather than decreasing it, the original intent of lengthening the course...you see.

1) Exactly

2) Can you find a quote or a written statement from any course architect that says the intent was to make things more difficult for a specific player or type of player, over another?

The "intent," when lengthening courses, is to hopefully restore lost playing characteristics, nothing more.

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#28 bladehunter

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:17 AM

View PostPGArox, on 20 December 2017 - 08:01 AM, said:

View PostPetunia Sprinkle, on 20 December 2017 - 03:34 AM, said:

View PostPGArox, on 20 December 2017 - 12:49 AM, said:

View PostMaddMaxx, on 19 December 2017 - 12:36 PM, said:

Lengthening courses only makes it harder for shorter hitters.

How did you ever arrive at that logic?

So let me get this straight- Dustin Johnson hitting driver-3I into a par 4 is just as easy as if he needed driver-wedge?  Makes perfect sense to me.

It makes it harder for everyone, but it increases the advantage of the longer hitter over the short hitter rather than decreasing it, the original intent of lengthening the course...you see.

1) Exactly

2) Can you find a quote or a written statement from any course architect that says the intent was to make things more difficult for a specific player or type of player, over another?

The "intent," when lengthening courses, is to hopefully restore lost playing characteristics, nothing more.


yes harder for all... BUT easier relatively to that for the longer hitter. When you take driver out of the longer hitters hands you even the field.. make everyone hit driver on a wie open course and the long guys lick their chops....
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#29 Petunia Sprinkle

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:29 AM

View PostPGArox, on 20 December 2017 - 08:01 AM, said:

View PostPetunia Sprinkle, on 20 December 2017 - 03:34 AM, said:

View PostPGArox, on 20 December 2017 - 12:49 AM, said:

View PostMaddMaxx, on 19 December 2017 - 12:36 PM, said:

Lengthening courses only makes it harder for shorter hitters.

How did you ever arrive at that logic?

So let me get this straight- Dustin Johnson hitting driver-3I into a par 4 is just as easy as if he needed driver-wedge?  Makes perfect sense to me.

It makes it harder for everyone, but it increases the advantage of the longer hitter over the short hitter rather than decreasing it, the original intent of lengthening the course...you see.

1) Exactly

2) Can you find a quote or a written statement from any course architect that says the intent was to make things more difficult for a specific player or type of player, over another?

The "intent," when lengthening courses, is to hopefully restore lost playing characteristics, nothing more.

And why do they have to lengthen courses to restore lost playing characteristics? Because of longer hitters. Lengthening the course still affects the short hitter more.



29

#30 PGArox

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:30 AM

View Postbladehunter, on 20 December 2017 - 08:17 AM, said:

When you take driver out of the longer hitters hands you even the field.

Sounds like you want to penalize one group of golfers over another. :)

A good golf course should never take the driver out of anyone's hands.


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