The Games We Play

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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:44 pm

Today I sent out the text invites for an 11am game at Kensington, my home course. We had 11 players show up. 11 is, of course, a weird number. 12 players would make 3 foursomes and an easy doubles set up. But 11 is an odd number. Complicating the situation was that we had mostly battle tested Pros or top Amateurs but we had one low level Amateur guy and one total newbie woman.

After some discussion, we flipped for doubles teams randomly, withholding the woman, who was added to whatever team had the lowest cumulative PDGA handicap rating. All the guys played long pads while the woman played short pads. We set it up to play in two groups, a 6-some (3 doubles teams) and a 5-some (one doubles team and the 3 person team). Three groups (4, 4 and 3) would have been faster but 6 and 5 was more social and time was not a critical issue today.

We could have played 5 teams of doubles and one Cali player (Cali player plays singles with one extra shot per hole). Any time a Cali is used it should be optional for any player to join the Cali flip off. Cali is a big advantage for one of the top players in the group but a huge disadvantage for one of the weakest players. Good players don't miss many shots and giving them a second extra shot per hole means their rare mistake usually gets erased. The weaker players are better off hoping to flip for a good partner than being Cali (an extra shot probably only gives the weak player a par on a hole but best shot doubles requires deuces to succeed).

Another issue is how a beginner woman fits into (and enjoys) the round. She was far and away the weakest player of the group. If we played random flip doubles then whoever draws her as a partner has little chance of success against the stronger teams, making her the weak link. But by adding her to the weakest team she is merely an addition to the team (an added advantage) and by giving her the short pads it increases her chance of helping the team.

If making a newbie feel welcome is important to the group then giving that player a substantial advantage of some type works well. If the advantage is set before the flip for teams occurs, then no one can rationally object. After all, that newbie might end up to be anyone's partner.

If the group had preferred 5 doubles teams and one Cali then I would have advocated the Woman be afforded a special advantage. There are various ways to do this: give her short tee pads, or mulligans or subtract strokes for the teams scores. Always decide the advantage given before the team flip off.

Any time there is an odd number of players and a doubles format is contemplated, one solution is to team the two weakest players together and count them as one (so they will be on the only 3 person team). The other simple solution is to make one player Cali. Looking a the skill level of the players involved usually results in one of these remedies making the most sense.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby discraft » Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:04 am

We change our doubles sometimes to Californication.Everyone plays Cali.It gets a bigger draw when the ace pool gets high.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:51 pm

We played Independence Lake Park today (Whitmore Lake, Michigan). 6 players attended, we engineered teams to make them as equal as possible and played best shot doubles. We made up two Safari warm up holes then played the course in a "Longs and Shorts" format.

Indy Lake has long pads and short pads, both of which are challenging and well designed. In a "Longs and Shorts" format you play the long, tough holes from the longs and the short, easier holes from the shorts. We made the cut at 350 feet. So any hole where the long pads played 350 feet or more was played from the longs. Any hole where the long pads play less than 350 feet was played from the shorts.

This format is interesting because it puts maximum pressure on the team, either to make the tough par (from the longs) or deuce or die (from the shorts).
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:17 pm

Indy Lake today with a group of five. One Pro, two Am 1's, an Am 4 and a non-tournament playing woman.

We split up the guys, teaming the Pro and Am 4 together versus the two Am 1's in a Best Shot format. We rotated the chick between teams. By random flip she started with one team and stayed with that team until they used her shot. Then she went to the other team until they used one of her shots. Since by using the chick's shot, you gave her to the other team, there was some strategy and tough choices involved.

We played "Longs and Shorts" as described in the previous post. There were a couple holes where the difference in distance and difficulty between the long and short pads was substantial (350 feet or so). On these holes having the chick on your team was a huge potential advantage. Normally a non-tournament level woman might be irrelevant to the outcome but in this format she was pivotal.

It was a fun and close match. Then we drank cold beer.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Steady 26542 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:02 am

Sounds like fun. I especially like the last part. :mrgreen:
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:30 pm

Today was an early round at Kensington Metropark (Milford, Michigan). We had a group of 3: One Pro, one battle tested Am Master and one Am 3.

The group was totally open minded and happy to play whatever crazy game I created. The nice thing about a small group is that it opens up the possibilities, including multiple drive games. In multiple drive games you throw more and walk less.

So we played 18 holes from the short pads. Every player threw 2 drives on every hole and chose which drive to play out to completion (so best drive then single shots).

There were special driving rules. On every hole I was required to throw two rollers (I was the Pro). On every hole the Am 3 threw one roller and one air shot. The Am Master threw two rollers on every hole except he was allowed 3 air shots during the round of his choosing.

Because the short tee pads we played were usually under 300 feet were we throwing medium range rollers, sometimes making it a tough choice between driver rollers and midrange rollers.

I seldom throw rollers during a tournament round because I am well aware of the danger involved. But if you might throw a shot then you should give it some practice, especially rollers. So today was a good day of roller practice.

The Am 3 guy played really well and handily won the round (betting a trillion dollars per stroke per man). He kept on parking short holes on air shots while we had long putts from our rollers we failed to convert. I learned (again) how difficult rollers are. Controlling the finish of a roller must involve magic. Magic I don't have because I kept on throwing promising looking rollers which refused to finish well. Time after time I was left with weird, under the bush, over the bush, lean out forehand or turbo opportunities. And since I was throwing rollers on every hole, no matter the wind or the topography or the direction of the dogleg, I learned that a roller is not a universal answer for all drives.

By the end of the round it was emotionally draining. I kept on looking at short, easy holes but had to throw rollers and nothing else. I guess humility builds character.

Then we had a cold one. I felt like I had earned it.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby discspeed » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:54 pm

We have this hole @ Cliff Stephens park in Clearwater that is just over 300' with a hill sloping to water on the left, trees lining the right side of the fairway (that kick you into the water), and a limited ceiling. The basket is either in the middle (10' from the slope), or 20' longer and to the right. Anyway, I watch the top pros play this hole every year (Climo, Feldberg, Nikko, etc), and much of the time they throw rollers. The ground is sand in places with sticks and Spanish moss and slopes to the water...I just don't get it. They do it and get birdies though. I just throw a Buzzz and birdie it most the time, it seems pretty straight forward...But the top guys roll...
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:22 pm

More roller games today. So, miraculously, on back to back days, I talked my group into playing roller games.

At Kensington with a group of 4. 2 Pros and 2 Ams. We did a Pro/Am teams for best shot. Everybody did a mando roller drive from the Long Pads. Then each team did one additional drive per hole. If the Pro took the extra shot it was mando roller. If the Am did the extra drive it was an air shot. Every other hole the extra shot opportunity switched off between the partners.


My rollers were closer to the lines I hoped for than yesterday but still left much to be desired. How do the roller masters do it?
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Star Shark » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:34 pm

Mark Ellis wrote:More roller games today. So, miraculously, on back to back days, I talked my group into playing roller games.

At Kensington with a group of 4. 2 Pros and 2 Ams. We did a Pro/Am teams for best shot. Everybody did a mando roller drive from the Long Pads. Then each team did one additional drive per hole. If the Pro took the extra shot it was mando roller. If the Am did the extra drive it was an air shot. Every other hole the extra shot opportunity switched off between the partners.


My rollers were closer to the lines I hoped for than yesterday but still left much to be desired. How do the roller masters do it?


Practice the hell out of them. Obviously it helps to have your home courses suited to rollers. Can't really do it at Sylmar much. I don't know DC plastic as well but the discs I imagine would be good for rollers are -

XL
Stalker
Surge <or surge SS>
DGA Rogue might work also
Nuke for roller bombs could do

Obviously forehand rollers require a bit more stability.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby riverboy » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:10 pm

Certainly not a complex game, but yesterday I played standard doubles with some buddies. It was a fun and interesting round, and it helped that I was LHBH while my partner was RHBH. :wink: Still came up a stroke short at the end of the round against the lead team though.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Coldpunk » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:56 pm

A buddy of mine and I used to play a game we called throw run catch golf. Every shot you throw has to be caught unless within 10m of the basket, and your next throw is from wherever you caught the last. I used an old condor I bought at pias, and he was using a whitler most of the time and he sometimes switched it up and used an old comet. We usually only played 9 holes out of 18 bc not all the holes at our home course were easily played this way. We had an absolute blast though.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Tue May 04, 2010 5:04 am

I designed a new practice game last weekend which worked well, mostly because the players liked it. We played in a group of 3 and later added a player to get to 4. This game will work best in smaller groups like these. Any practice game which is fun encourages us to practice more.

This is an upshot and putting game. There happen to be two baskets which sit about 140 feet apart, both resting on top of narrow berms, right in the area of the parking lot (convenience is good) of the Chuck D Memorial course (Independence Lake Park in Whitmore Lake, Michigan). Each player has 3 putters. Starting at one basket we throw at the other : one backhand, one forehand, one roller.

One disc gets putted out, whichever one is chosen by the thrower. The game is based on the principle of Trumps, another game I invented, for those who may be familiar with it.

If anyone makes a putt and everyone else misses then the made putt wins. If more than one player hits a putt then the winner is the player who putts THEIR farther away putt. This is where the rules get a bit tricky.

After all the upshots are made, before anyone putts, the group decides which of each player's upshots are the closest, the second closest and the farthest away. Let's call those discs the Best, Middle and Worst lies. If you make your putt from your Worst lie (farthest away) then it TRUMPS any putt made from the Middle or Best lies by the other players. So if you hit your putt from your Worst lie then I need to hit my Worst lie in order to tie.

So Worst lie TRUMPS Middle lie and Middle lie TRUMPS Best lie.

Whichever lie is farthest away declares first then in order of proximity. So if the farthest away upshot of the group is my roller which is 40 feet away then it is up to me to decide if I will choose that lie to putt from. If I decline to putt my Worst then it gets picked up and the next farthest away lie has to declare.

This rule creates strategy choices. If one of the group parks ALL of their upshots then the rest of group has to try to hit their Worst lies in order to tie. But say each player parks one upshot and leaves their Middle lie around 30 feet away and their Worst lie at over 40 feet away, now the decision is based on a guess of your opponents putting abilities.

Each round only takes a few minutes and creates pressure on every upshot and putt (unless your opponents miss their putts and you have a drop in left).
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby DiscinLeopard » Tue May 04, 2010 10:27 pm

whats a soft mulligan compared to a muligan i would normally take?
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Wed May 05, 2010 5:33 am

DiscinLeopard wrote:whats a soft mulligan compared to a muligan i would normally take?


A Soft Mulligan is what you normally think of as a Mulligan. You get an extra shot but can use either one.

With a Hard Mulligan, if you choose to throw an extra shot you are stuck taking that shot, you cannot take the first one.

So, for example, you throw a drive giving yourself a 40 foot putt for deuce but in a thick bush. You decide to take a mulligan (when the game allows-this might go over well in a traditional singles tournament :D ) but your second drive rolls OB. If you have a Soft Mulligan you take your 40 foot putt. If you have a Hard Mulligan you are OB.

I have before played in Pro/Am doubles where each team gets a mulligan per hole. If the Am takes the mulligan it is a soft mulligan. If the Pro takes the mulligan it is a hard mulligan.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Jaysus » Wed May 05, 2010 7:40 am

Mark Ellis wrote:
I have before played in Pro/Am doubles where each team gets a mulligan per hole. If the Am takes the mulligan it is a soft mulligan. If the Pro takes the mulligan it is a hard mulligan.


That is a neat idea
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