The Games We Play

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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Thatdirtykid » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:20 pm

yeah, frisbees were made to fly. If they didn't they would have tires on the rims. . . Hey MVP want to make a dedicated roller disc?

Rollers are great shots. My wife has been playing a second on a lot of shots and throwing a forehand roller, has yeilded her some awesome par saves on the last couple rounds we played together. shes getting pretty accurate
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby riverboy » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:33 am

Thatdirtykid wrote:yeah, frisbees were made to fly. If they didn't they would have tires on the rims. . .

*Cough* The wheel. *Cough*
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:02 am

In the Fall with the tournament season winding down (it never ends, of course), I always get a yearning to play and develop different shots. Lately I have been playing a game to work on both Backhand and Roller drives.

I have a buddy who has only been actively competing for a year or so. His strengths are putts and upshots. His weaknesses are drives, both accuracy and power-his good drives go about '300. So this is the game we have been playing:

We play the short tee pads and each player drives twice. He throws any drives he wants (his backhand and forehand drives are equally proficient). I must throw one backhand and one roller drive. We play out our best drives. A buck for the front 9, a buck for the back 9. The short pads put the baskets within reach for his drives and some of my backhands. It doesn't help me much to practice backhands on long holes as my range is only about '250.

The first time we played my right knee hurt the next day ( I gave up backhand drives about 15 years ago due to right knee issues and switched to forehand driving). It hurt but wasn't screaming. I waited a week and played the same game again, trying to be smooth and not plant too hard on the knee. My backhand driving was worse but my knee survived better.

Before playing the 2nd match we spent an hour fooling around with roller games from putter, mid and driver distances and my rollers in the round were much better-Yay!! Rollers are fun but so touchy.

In our two games we have split, me winning the front 9 and him winning the back 9. From the shorts my buddy has a decided driving advantage, he probably has the CTP over me 2 to 1. Since neither of us should (and seldom do) bogey any hole the games turns into a deuce or die contest.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:41 pm

Roller/Putter Games.

I was at a friend's private course a couple hours early for a league night. This course is a short, tight tunnel course with crisscrossing fairways (which is ok on a private course) and lots of mature trees, including pines and other Christmas-tree-looking-things (spruces?) which grew thickly down to the ground.. We played a roller/putter game. One player (me, since I invented the game) picked the first spot and dropped a mini somewhere 50 to 150 feet away from a basket. Both players played two discs out to completion with the tee shot a mando roller. The second and third rounds were from new spots, which completed one game.

If the description above is difficult to follow, basically we threw 6 short rollers then putted out. As a roller ace is virtually impossible a "perfect" round would be 6 deuces, which, btw, no one did. There were lots of weird putts, lean outs, straddles, forehands, etc.

A short roller may sound easy but from tricky spots and baskets surrounded by thick trees it wasn't, at least given our proficiency. We played this game for an hour then switched the rules so rather than putting out we played CTPs on our second rollers (so closest to the pin after 2 rollers) for each disc.

As we had time left before the league started we played a 4 hole loop where we had to drive from our non-dominant side (so I had to drive backhand and he had to drive forehand).

Little made up games dealing with short trick shots are essential for the time you end up with those kinds of shots during rounds. If you haven't practiced those shots you might be in trouble.

The biggest problem I have with games is finding someone willing to play them with me. Most golfers want to play rounds, not games. The other night I proposed a game to a couple buddies. One replied, "I want to get a round in." I asked "Why?"

What is so compelling about a round? Can someone explain this to me?
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby money 21 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:46 pm

we play a pairs game around here the local call yo-yo (i have not heard of others playing it but they could). it is a pairs game and on odd holes you lay best lay and on even hole you play worst lay, or vice versa, until you hole out (once one player holes out the teams hole is over). his game forces you to take some shots you normaly wouldn't nd is good practice for recovering from those bad holes.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Dogma » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:07 pm

Mark Ellis wrote:What is so compelling about a round? Can someone explain this to me?

I cannot. I think games are way more fun, and offer all sorts of advantages (focus on specific throws, equalize ability levels, etc.). I get bored playing doubles every week. But if people want to play a backwards round, made-up mandos, safari golf, etc. I'm always in.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:49 am

Yesterday the group was waiting for the last guy to arrive so we had 15 minutes to warm up.

We played a DARREN HOLE. A Darren hole is named after Darren Harper, who invented the concept. A Darren hole starts at a basket and plays back to the same basket with however many mandos the group wants to create. It is one kind of a safari hole.

We split up into teams of two and played from the practice basket at Kensington Metropark (Milford, MI) around a baseball diamond backstop and back to the basket, making it somewhere around a 2,000 foot hole. It took 3 good shots to get past the backstop and 3 shots to return to the basket, plus the putt in.

The hole played across a park road (the park was empty so traffic was not a problem) into a picnic area, nicely mowed with lots of well spaced trees. The winds were screaming and we got to play against them on the way out and with them on the way back.

The mando we chose (backstop) worked well. Any mando can work, of course, but it is more difficult to judge whether a shot passes a mando and to which side, if it is thin, like a telephone pole or a trash can. If a tree is chosen as the mando a shot can go through the limbs of a tree and cause arguments whether it went to one side or the other of the trunk.

The key shots in a Darren hole are always the ones which have to navigate a mando. So the 3rd shots in our game needed to fly past the backstop (but not fly too far) and bend enough to allow the next shot to return in the direction of the basket.

Darren holes are good warmup holes and keep the group within sight of the basket so the late arriving player can find the group.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby isobar » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:55 am

We've played a game in Frankenmuth that basically came out of not having enough time to complete the round.

We got to around the back 9 holes and realized we had to leave in about 20 minutes. So we decided to just play from where we were to the basket of hole 18. Everyone took different routes to get there, as you had an option of going around the small wooded area, or just throw through them. In the end the person who won was the guy who had a very good thumber shot over top the trees to cut a stroke or two off of playing through or around them.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:27 pm

A couple days ago I was at my home course with 3 of the regulars, all experienced players.

When you are at your home course and know every blade of grass there isn't much more to learn about the fairways. Sure you might throw relatively well or poorly but there is no mystery to the holes. Since the course was empty and the group was willing we played the back 9 holes Skip-a-Basket. In Skip a Basket you tee from, for example, 1's tee pad and play to 2's basket. Then 3's tee to 4's basket, etc.

Kensington has a front 18 and a championship back 9, each of which plays in a loop starting and finishing at the parking lot. The back 9 is both long and difficult with 2 holes in the 500's and 2 holes in the 600's. Playing then from 19's tee to 20's basket is a 900-some-foot hole including untamed areas. The transition areas from any basket to the next tee pad, areas where normally you walk but don't throw are the hardest spots to cover in Skip-a-Basket as usually there are no open routes (fairways).

When you play Skip a Basket the holes usually play longer but sometimes much shorter. When fairways are parallel, like 23 and 24 are at Kensington, the hole ends up about 100 feet long. 100 feet where there is no real fairway, but multiple tiny lines on an overhead through the trees.

Skip-a-Basket is good practice for trouble shooting and overhead skills but easy to lose discs so spotting is essential. For any of you doing the math, we played the last hole from 27's tee pad to the practice basket out by the park road (1000 feet or so). To play it to 1's basket would have added another 500 feet to the hole, most of it untamed and very risky for losing discs.


Today I went out with a buddy to a new, small course (Marion Township, MI). It looked like the rain had cleared when we set the game up but by the time we arrived it was raining again and windy in the low 50's: pretty cold and miserable. We were joking how in a couple months these same conditions would feel like summer. So we played Pavilion Games.

Pavilion Games require a pavilion, an open air shelter with a roof but not sides. This particular pavilion was surrounded by 8 baskets (and one pond) all within a few hundred feet. So using the pavilion as a base-and throwing from under it we created upshot games or safari holes, always returning to the pavilion to dry off. In the couple hours it would have taken to play the course we ended up playing none of the original holes but throwing many more shots.

Just as an example, we dropped a mini at one end of the pavilion (under the overhang) and picked a basket 150 feet
away. Using the posts of the pavilion and trees to make up mandatory lanes we played CTPs ( 7 shots from each player including 2 rollers). Then we picked them up and brought them back to the pavilion to dry them off and create a new game.

The games were fun, we stayed dry (mostly), got in a lot of practice and saw no other golfers the whole time.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:11 am

There were 4 of us at Independence Lake Park ( Whitmore Lake, MI), 3 Pros and 1 Am3. We were trying to devise a game and due to time constraints we decided to play the short pads and singles.

I proposed we offer the AM player a mulligan each hole. He declined, saying that from the short pads he should be able to hang with the group. We scoffed but he said he could reach the holes so he didn't need a spot.

Well, of course, he was wrong and got crushed. The biggest difference between Pros and Ams scoring is not based on power (though there is often a noticeable difference), it is control and putting.

It is not uncommon for a weaker player to decline a spot. This is usually a mistake for the whole group including the better player(s) as it diminishes the competitiveness of the round.

If I am playing an Am level player, I expect to win so I am playing under little pressure. But playing under low pressure in practice will not help me under the pressure of a tournament as they are different worlds. Nor does it help the AM player much. They expect to lose and if they get behind early (the norm) the match won't even be close.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby money 21 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:25 am

I can understand the guy not wanting to take mulligans I don't like that either. I play with a couple players that are a lot better then me all the time. they used to have me take mulligans but that doesn't prepare me for a tourney at all so now one gives me 8 strokes and the other gives me five and that balances the round and makes everyone work. i like this better because i just forget about the strokes once the game starts and play my game. With mulligans i am reminded every hole that i am not as good as the guys i am playing.
Mark Ellis wrote:There were 4 of us at Independence Lake Park ( Whitmore Lake, MI), 3 Pros and 1 Am3. We were trying to devise a game and due to time constraints we decided to play the short pads and singles.

I proposed we offer the AM player a mulligan each hole. He declined, saying that from the short pads he should be able to hang with the group. We scoffed but he said he could reach the holes so he didn't need a spot.

Well, of course, he was wrong and got crushed. The biggest difference between Pros and Ams scoring is not based on power (though there is often a noticeable difference), it is control and putting.

It is not uncommon for a weaker player to decline a spot. This is usually a mistake for the whole group including the better player(s) as it diminishes the competitiveness of the round.

If I am playing an Am level player, I expect to win so I am playing under little pressure. But playing under low pressure in practice will not help me under the pressure of a tournament as they are different worlds. Nor does it help the AM player much. They expect to lose and if they get behind early (the norm) the match won't even be close.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby isobar » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:47 am

I agree with Money, when you are playing with a mulligan, it takes a lot of the pressure off of each shot, because you know you always have a backup shot to fall back on if you screw up. So while it might make the round more competitive, in the long run it hurts the AM more than it helps them.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby Mark Ellis » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:16 pm

isobar wrote:I agree with Money, when you are playing with a mulligan, it takes a lot of the pressure off of each shot, because you know you always have a backup shot to fall back on if you screw up. So while it might make the round more competitive, in the long run it hurts the AM more than it helps them.


Sorry, you guys are finding irrelevant distinctions. A spot is a spot no matter the form it takes.

There is no tangible difference between mulligans or any other kind of spot given to the weaker players. Players with experience in equalizing games (where spots are given) will soon realize there is NO DIFFERENCE in the kind of spots, only the degree of advantage given.

So if a player is given a 6 stroke advantage in a round it is the rough equivalent of 5 to 8 mulligans (depending on the kind of course and how wisely the mulligan are used). A smart player given strokes off their score will play more conservatively, knowing that mere pars are sufficient until their opponent proves they can consistently make deuces against them. A smart player given mulligans will use them only when doing so takes a stroke off their score.

What is very valuable to the weaker player is to observe how a better player plays under pressure. In a heads up game (no spots given) the stronger player never has to pull out their "A" game. The stronger player can coast, secure in the knowledge the weaker player will make mistakes or, if not, the stronger player will pull off the victory in the end with superior skills. BUT, if the stronger player has to give spots then they are under the pressure to perform. That equalization also helps the weaker player, placing them in a position where their shots at the end will give them a victory or a defeat.

When the stronger player has no pressure it is no matter that they hit fine shots. It is like putting great in practice. It is irrelevant. Who cares? It is like emptying your bag time after time on a short, easy hole and celebrating an ace on the 50th drive. Any shot made without pressure doesn't matter. That is why Pros can play like GODS against AMs then play like MORTALS against other Pros. Pressure matters.

A player who is starting to compete in leagues or tournaments has no experience to rely upon. The first time they find themselves in the lead group during a final round they will be under a kind of pressure they aren't ready for-unless- they have been practicing under pressure.

What is hugely beneficial is to have a putt on the last hole which will either win or lose the match. Every game I devise is geared to make that ONE CRITICAL PUTT possible at the end of the round, if everyone plays up to their skills. I always hope that I can play a superb round to get to the last putt tied and the putt falls on my shoulders (and I make the putt, of course). To do that some kind of equalization is needed when the skill levels of the group vary.

Every good game will allow a player to develop good shots AND perform under pressure commensurate with their skill.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby 7ontheline » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:37 pm

We play a putter warm-up game called "21". The goal is to score exactly 21 without going over. If you go over 21 your score reverts back to 15 and you are forced to work back to 21 again... similar to basketball 21.

Players must putt from outside the circle (or further I guess for Pros like Mark). The exact spot from where everyone playing must putt during a given round rotates in a set order thus everyone eventually gets a turn to determining where that particular round's putt will start. Every player putts two discs in a row and calls out their cumulative score after they've putted. A made putt is worth 3 points. A putt that hits chains is worth 2 points. A putt that hits the number, if applicable, the top of the target or just the basket is worth 1 point. Finally, a putt that falls short and hits the pole is scored minus 1 point. After a player reaches 15 points they no longer get to determine where the putts for that round originates but instead the set rotations continues with players with less than 15 points getting to pick the putting spot for the group. When a player gets exactly 21 the player(s) later in that round's rotation get the opportunity to match the 21 score during that round as well. If that results in a multiple score of 21 tie then only the tieing players go back to 15 to race again to 21 and determine a winner.

Its a quick game and our practice basket has several nearby trees that often come into play. When a guy has 18 points you better bet that the next putt spot is a 70' no gimme jump putt or a 40' stretch around the tree... let 'em hit metal just please don't hole out.
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Re: The Games We Play

Postby money 21 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:25 pm

i think you contradict yourself on this on. when the pro spots me 8 stroke rather then mulligan i have to make that putt. When i play with a mulligan i almost always save it for putts and when i have a mulligan i get 2 shots at the putt which does nothing for my tourney practice.
Mark Ellis wrote:
isobar wrote:I agree with Money, when you are playing with a mulligan, it takes a lot of the pressure off of each shot, because you know you always have a backup shot to fall back on if you screw up. So while it might make the round more competitive, in the long run it hurts the AM more than it helps them.


Sorry, you guys are finding irrelevant distinctions. A spot is a spot no matter the form it takes.

There is no tangible difference between mulligans or any other kind of spot given to the weaker players. Players with experience in equalizing games (where spots are given) will soon realize there is NO DIFFERENCE in the kind of spots, only the degree of advantage given.

So if a player is given a 6 stroke advantage in a round it is the rough equivalent of 5 to 8 mulligans (depending on the kind of course and how wisely the mulligan are used). A smart player given strokes off their score will play more conservatively, knowing that mere pars are sufficient until their opponent proves they can consistently make deuces against them. A smart player given mulligans will use them only when doing so takes a stroke off their score.

What is very valuable to the weaker player is to observe how a better player plays under pressure. In a heads up game (no spots given) the stronger player never has to pull out their "A" game. The stronger player can coast, secure in the knowledge the weaker player will make mistakes or, if not, the stronger player will pull off the victory in the end with superior skills. BUT, if the stronger player has to give spots then they are under the pressure to perform. That equalization also helps the weaker player, placing them in a position where their shots at the end will give them a victory or a defeat.

When the stronger player has no pressure it is no matter that they hit fine shots. It is like putting great in practice. It is irrelevant. Who cares? It is like emptying your bag time after time on a short, easy hole and celebrating an ace on the 50th drive. Any shot made without pressure doesn't matter. That is why Pros can play like GODS against AMs then play like MORTALS against other Pros. Pressure matters.

A player who is starting to compete in leagues or tournaments has no experience to rely upon. The first time they find themselves in the lead group during a final round they will be under a kind of pressure they aren't ready for-unless- they have been practicing under pressure.

What is hugely beneficial is to have a putt on the last hole which will either win or lose the match. Every game I devise is geared to make that ONE CRITICAL PUTT possible at the end of the round, if everyone plays up to their skills. I always hope that I can play a superb round to get to the last putt tied and the putt falls on my shoulders (and I make the putt, of course). To do that some kind of equalization is needed when the skill levels of the group vary.

Every good game will allow a player to develop good shots AND perform under pressure commensurate with their skill.

i think you contradict yourself on this one. When the pro spots me 8 stroke rather then mulligans i have to make that putt. When i play with a mulligan i almost always save it for putts and when i have a mulligan i get 2 shots at the putt which does nothing for my tourney practice.
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