"NAGS" Zone

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"NAGS" Zone

Postby keltik » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:03 am

So I've been reading the latest Disc Golfer magazine, and the John Houck article about designing par 5 holes mentioned the NAGS zone. NAGS stands for Not A Golf Shot. Houck asserts that shots from 100-150 ft away from the basket are NAGS. I don't know that I necessarily agree with this sentiment. You still have to throw a disc at the basket.

What is so bad about a short up shot on a long hole? Do I need to be a 990 rated player to understand what he's talking about?
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby swel304 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:08 am

I would think he is talking about super short tee boxes and not upshots but IDK. Have not read it.
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby keltik » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:22 am

His article started off examining a flat and relatively open 900ft hole and how pros of varying distance levels would attack the hole. He used examples of 300, 350, 375, 400, & 450. The pros throwing 375 & 400 landed in his fabled NAGS zone. He was definitely talking about short upshots.
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby Flipflat » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:44 am

hmmmm.....is this article online yet?
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby zj1002 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:47 am

As someone that plays a lot of Houck courses in texas he definitely designs his courses this way.

The shot he is describing is a flat open "boring" 150ft. I think with most of his hole designs he starts from the basket and works back to the tee. Plenty of the holes he designs can result in a par or birdie shot being within 100-150ft but they aren't "boring". The shot will still require you to land on an island, hill, or avoid some sort of OB. Considering he designs courses for "Championship level" I think the mentality is that every pro competing on the course will excute the wide open 100ft upshot 99.9% of the time.

MetCenter in austin is a perfect example. Half the course is 250-350ft par 3s running along a creek bed. The other half is par 4/5s where every shot needs to be placed or you will go OB. Houck golf is all about placement. placement = golf shot. wide open, no OB = NAGS

I am sure some of the other Austin folks can elaborate on some of the holes we get to deal with
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby ferretdance03 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:57 pm

keltik wrote:...You still have to throw a disc at the basket...

That in and of itself doesn't make it a golf shot. It's a throw, yes. And it's a stroke on your card, yes. But that doesn't make it a golf shot. When you walk up to your lie, and there's almost no chance you're going to hole out, but also almost no chance you're not going to put it close enough to make your next putt, that's a throw but not a golf shot.

zj1002 wrote:...placement = golf shot. wide open, no OB = NAGS...
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby keltik » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:59 pm

I can see the validity in this argument. I guess this time I do need to be a 990 rated player to understand this logic.
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby money 21 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:03 pm

some shots are easy some are hard i don't seeanything wrong with upshots that are open.
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby himynameismatt » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:19 pm

I read the same article and found it pretty interesting, as I do pretty much all his articles on course design.

The way I comprehended it is that not every hole has a "NAGS" zone mostly just the poorly designed old style par 5's.

Take an imaginary 900' Par 5. A 450' thrower can essentially throw the same shot twice and be putting. A 300' thrower essentially throws the same 300' shot 3 times and is putting. However the 375'-400' driver throws two identical shots before landing in the "NAGS" zone 100'-150' away. It all comes down to consistency it's much easier, safer, smarter? To throw walk up and throw the same 300' shot 3 times as opposed to throwing the same 350' shot twice and and leaving yourself with 100'-150' upshot.

Another way to look at the "NAGS" zone is what Houck calls "Dumb" Holes. The par 3's that are just out of birdie range for most people but short enough that only a mistake costs you par. The "NAGS" zone is exactly such just out of birdie range, but short enough that only a mistake on your part will cost you par.

He goes on to encourage Par 5's designed to play like 3 individual holes from teebox to first landing zone, first landing zone to the second LZ, the second LZ to pin. Also saying that it should be the second LZ to the pin that offers the risk/reward opportunity for eagle/birdie and safer route for par. By forcing landing zones you can get par 5's that even that the imaginary 300' thrower will have an opportunity to shave a stroke on if played smartly.

I can see how it is confusing though I know a lot of players who'd rather throw the 100'-150' upshot than 3, 300' shots to reach a 900' hole.
Last edited by himynameismatt on Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby Dag » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:34 pm

money 21 wrote:some shots are easy some are hard i don't seeanything wrong with upshots that are open.


I don't so much think of this in terms of right or wrong, more so a shades of grey 'coulda been better'. The 100'ish wide open upshots don't really add anything to a hole much in the same manner as those 800' 'throw across a big ass open field' par 4s, the extra shot is kinda pointless.
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby Frank Delicious » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:14 am

As a person who just played a temp course on a ball golf course that half the holes had NAGS shots as the second shot I can def see what Houck is talking about. In Adv most of us throw 350-400' and a lot of the holes were 500-600' long. So we would throw our drives and have a fairly boring 100-150' upshot at the basket. The score separation in the division didn't come from those shots as we would all (except for a brain fart every now and then) execute those shots and tap in and move on. The holes that did cause score separations were the ones that required a difficult second shot where OB was in play or an obstacle had to be avoided to have a putt.

Talking to other players of all skill levels, they all disliked the holes that had NAGS on them and liked the holes that required some skill on the approach.
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby Wyno » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:59 am

Dag wrote:
money 21 wrote:some shots are easy some are hard i don't seeanything wrong with upshots that are open.


I don't so much think of this in terms of right or wrong, more so a shades of grey 'coulda been better'. The 100'ish wide open upshots don't really add anything to a hole much in the same manner as those 800' 'throw across a big ass open field' par 4s, the extra shot is kinda pointless.

We had a hole like that, ended up cutting it down to a par 3 as people started playing it like that all the time in casual rounds. I guess some people like doing the same, simple stuff over and over but not our crowd obviously
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby money 21 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:17 am

i guess i misunderstood i looked at having the easy upshot as the reward for the good drive. most of the courses i play are very wooded so get the open upshot is how you can score with out getting a birdie.
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby rehder » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:59 pm

I wish you could buy these individual articles as pdf's (or the magazine)
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Re: "NAGS" Zone

Postby keltik » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:22 pm

Would it violate copyright laws if someone scanned the article into a pdf and distributed it on a message board for free?
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