New Course, Bakersfield CA.

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New Course, Bakersfield CA.

Postby TannerBoyle » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:07 am

Hart Park just northeast of town.


Although we've set up temp courses here for years we're finally installing a full 36 hole, championship caliber course.

When completed the Hart Park course will be one of the most challenging and varied courses in California.

18 holes on the hillside course...huge elevation changes and rugged terrain. 18 more down in the park with the trees and canals to contend with.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=off&client=opera&ie=UTF8&q=hart+park&near=Bakersfield,+CA&fb=1&cid=13311238452356929565&li=lmd&ll=35.445288,-118.906832&spn=0.008705,0.016479&t=h&z=15
The hillside course is mostly south of Hill Road shown in the map above. Look for the dirt bike trails and the two white dots (water tanks).

The park course is located between Alfred Harrell Hwy and River Rd. Hopefully in the sat image you can see the vegetation, the canals and the Kern River itself at north end of the map.

You can get an idea of what the terrain on the hillside course is like below. I'm the studly one in the blue hat on the auger. (sorry for the low res phone cam pics)

Image

More of the same

Image

Steep terrain, rocky soil, water tank mandy, shirtless hippy, and your hero augering the hell out of the ground.
Image

Installing a sleeve on the edge of the park among the trees. You can see some of the trees right behind the guys installing...er, holding beers.
Image

So far we've got 18 baskets installed on the hillside course. No tee boxes poured yet. We've got a little more fund raising to do before we put in the other 18 and boxes.

I know I sound like a homer but this is going to be one kick-ass course. At our last big tournament there we had players from Modesto to Ventura show up to play...and that was with temp baskets. John from disCtribution can vouch for the difficulty of the hillside course.

When all is said and done we hope the course at Hart Park will put us on the DG map big time.
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Postby TannerBoyle » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:27 am

Here are some vids from back in early 2008 when we had temp holes set up.

This is #9 which I think is now #10 or 11. The hanging temp basket has been replaced with a Mach III and placed deeper into the trees.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYf1XjhtABQ&feature=related


This is probably the toughest hole on the course. Used to be #5. Might be #7 now. Too long and you're down a hill. Too short? Same thing. Too far right? Hey look, another hill to roll down. You can't really tell how brutal it is from the video until you see the last guy's (Chuck) shot.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-eZBX3iFPc

Another brutal hole...the Spine hole. The profile view at the start of the clip will give you an idea of the slope. To far left or right on this hole and you're hosed.
The second guy to throw in this clip, the blonde guy, is Cole Ledbetter. Some of you Iowa guys probably know him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXkd1dpvJhk
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Postby Chuck Kennedy » Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:46 am

Just curious who your experienced designer is so the course meets contemporary guidelines for championship courses?
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Postby TannerBoyle » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:41 am

Chuck Kennedy wrote:Just curious who your experienced designer is so the course meets contemporary guidelines for championship courses?


Chuck,

I didn't intend for the phrase 'championship caliber' to mean that it conforms to any official guidlines per the PDGA (or your vast course designing experience).

Would you like me to go back and edit my post?
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Postby Chuck Kennedy » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:46 am

Championship or not, I just like to hear there are experienced designers involved to help people with major course projects like it sounds your team is undertaking. There are several qualified guys in CA and maybe you're already working with one. They can help you avoid some more subtle problems new designers miss.
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Postby some call me...tim? » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:53 am

Chuck Kennedy wrote:They can help you avoid some more subtle problems new designers miss.


As someone who hopes to design a course or billion in the future, I'd be interested to hear what your referring to. I know some basic design no-no's (I seem to find a couple at most courses around here), but what are some of these more subtle ones?
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Postby Chuck Kennedy » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:14 am

Interference issues, sight lines, dealing with blind situations, luck reduction techniques, proper lengths for the skill level being designed for are just a few.
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Postby some call me...tim? » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:31 am

Gotcha. Those seem kind of like more of the main things to look for in course design rather than the more subtle things, but I guess you've seen more poorly designed courses than I have.

I don't think that you necessarily have to have an experienced designer though to make a good course. Here in the Seattle area, SeaTac is our "manly" course, and my favorite around. As far as I know, the guy that designed it didn't have any prior experience, but put together a great layout, in my opinion. My only gripes with the design are that he considers all holes par 3 when there's at least 6 or 7 legitimate par 4s on it. That and one hole has too much of a luck factor in play, but besides that, it ranks up as one of my all time faves.
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Postby TannerBoyle » Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:52 pm

Chuck Kennedy wrote:Interference issues, sight lines, dealing with blind situations, luck reduction techniques, proper lengths for the skill level being designed for are just a few.


Thanks for your input.

The guys that designed the course are people that have played these lines for at least the last decade. While they definately lack the expertise that you and many others have they did take into account the factors you listed below.

Thanks again.
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Postby Chuck Kennedy » Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:54 pm

Very few have the expertise to actually design a course from scratch for particular skill sets defined by the designers and adopted by the PDGA and then take the time to make the changes needed based on actual hole scoring stats cross referenced to ratings. Lots of people think they can design just because they've played a lot of courses. Jack Nicklaus quickly realized he knew very little when he switched into course design and learned from the ground up. Tiger has said the same thing.

In my experience, less than 50 courses anywhere have really been "completed" in terms of taking the hole scoring data and making adjustments accordingly. Most designers and even those with experience focus on the beauty and coolness factors and discount the technical underpinnings of the holes. That's mostly because they don't know how to do it. There's no book to read. It's mostly learning from others for now.

If you actually work with an experienced designer, you 'll be surprised at what's being missed. Those who have worked with Houck, Monroe, Gentry, Doyle, Duvall and several other veterans understand the things that were missed or could be done better, especially using the new technology we have developed that's not available outside our designers group. I'm hopeful that more people will take advantage of this experienced designer resource. I'm trying to get out there more and travel again to work with new designers and do more teaching than designing.
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Re: New Course, Bakersfield CA.

Postby Jerry R » Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:30 pm

TannerBoyle wrote:Image


Hmmm ... hot day, big water tank, I got an auger...hmmm...

Congrats on the new course and Kudos for putting in the work.
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Postby gordon » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:18 pm

I've been playing this course for a few years, and helped install the baskets with the OP. Our designers are very proud of the course and want to make this a venue that will host large PDGA events. I'm going to do what I can to help them.

I haven't been playing long, but I've played Oak Grove, Sylmar, La Mirada, Huntington Beach, Lake Casitas, Santa Maria, etc. One thing I can say is that Hart Park has holes that are different than anything else I've played. That alone will make it a place you'll want to play when you have a chance.

There are maybe 2 holes where you can miss a short putt, and end up 100 feet down a steep hill (cliff). These are maybe some of the things Chuck is talking about, but we love it and whether you make the putt or not, you'll love the challenge.
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Postby Mr.SmOOOth » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:31 pm

I love the sound a disc makes when it glances off the water tank! I went down there about 4 or 5 years ago for the CVS. First round, throw a Buzzz, park the hanging basket. Second round, turn my Buzzz over and land in the maze of gnarly trees. Had to literally crawl to my disc. Take a 6, or was it a 7?
Glad to hear the course is going to be permanent.
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Postby Chuck Kennedy » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:58 am

There are maybe 2 holes where you can miss a short putt, and end up 100 feet down a steep hill (cliff).

Since I haven't seen these holes I can't really comment on them in particular. The following comments may have no bearing on this particular course project but are cautionary notes for many projects we've seen:

Good design, safe design and "fun" design unfortunately are not always the same thing. Windmills on putt-putt courses are fun but not found on ball golf greens. Less experienced designers are likely to be more unfairly punitive and have more luck elements in courses than experienced designers all in the name of fun or "that's how we've always done it, we like it and are doing the work so we get to make the call."

It's not uncommon to find popular courses that have some poor design issues. Dela is a good example out your way. But locals will defend it to the max. However, if there's any fundamental rule in course design, it's not to have crossing fairways. I doubt there's a single ball golf course with crossing fairways. Popularity and course design are almost independent aspects of a course. Playing on cool terrain wherever the baskets are located blinds most players to weak design issues.
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Postby gordon » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:50 am

There are maybe 2 holes where you can miss a short putt, and end up 100 feet down a steep hill (cliff).

Let me correct my statement and say that there are no cliffs on the Hart Park course. There are slopes. I once missed a short putt at Sylmar, and the disc rolled over 200 feet from the basket. Sylmar has no cliffs either.
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