Teach me about "par"

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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:49 am

Interesting dichotomy that par doesn't exist but a hole must be birdieable...
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby JoakimBL » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:01 am

Par is only irrelevant if you don't care about the rules. Or more acurately the guidelines for sanctioned tounament play, (the Competition Manual). While par is defined in the rules as
PDGA Rules of Play 2011 wrote:Par: As determined by the director, the score an expert disc golfer would be expected to make on a given hole. Par means errorless play under ordinary weather conditions, allowing two close range throws to hole-out.

there is no further reference to it. However in the competion manual, par is referenced in Section 1.5
PDGA Competition Manual 2011 wrote:1.5 Practice Rounds and Beginning Play[...]If a player is not present to throw when it
is his or her turn, the scorekeeper shall allow 30 seconds. If the player has not thrown after the 30 seconds has elapsed, a score of par plus four is to be entered for that hole. This procedure continues on any subsequent holes for which a player is absent.[...]


That renders par relevant. There is a big difference in missing the first hole if it is a legitimate Par 4 or more, if it is labelled as (everything is) par 3 or with the correct par.
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby chainsmoker » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:50 am

The use of "two close range throws" in the competition manual confuses things greatly. In disc golf we recognize a 10 meter circle around the basket as being an area for putts, if the PDGA replaced the word "green" with the phrase "10 meter circle" they could use the commonly used definition of par without a problem.
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby iacas » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:34 am

chainsmoker wrote:The use of "two close range throws" in the competition manual confuses things greatly. In disc golf we recognize a 10 meter circle around the basket as being an area for putts, if the PDGA replaced the word "green" with the phrase "10 meter circle" they could use the commonly used definition of par without a problem.

The word "green" does not appear in the Rules or Competition Manual.
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby keltik » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:49 am

iacas wrote:
chainsmoker wrote:The use of "two close range throws" in the competition manual confuses things greatly. In disc golf we recognize a 10 meter circle around the basket as being an area for putts, if the PDGA replaced the word "green" with the phrase "10 meter circle" they could use the commonly used definition of par without a problem.

The word "green" does not appear in the Rules or Competition Manual.


I guess reading comprehension isn't a big thing in your part of PA.
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby PMantle » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:04 am

AcesAZ wrote:I also dont get naming everything par 3. You need a different term for par if you do that.

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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby Frank Delicious » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:54 am

People who go with "everything is a par 3" are just bad at math and adding; par is pretty useful. While at a tournament you compare your scores with others, you can't do that when playing by yourself or if you are playing casually with someone of a very different skill level than you. Par is there to help you know what score is average, good, bad, etc on a hole. So when you are practicing/playing for fun you can figure out on your own if you played the hole well or not. And really par is useful at tournaments as you can know how you are playing based on your score to par.
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby Frank Delicious » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:56 am

Having accurate pars can also be said to have a mental affect on players. If you have 3 holes that are all 700'+ in a row and have them labeled properly as either par 4 or 5, it will make players feel good to go 3, 3, 3 on those holes as they will see it as playing the holes above average. But if those same players go 3, 3, 3 and those holes are all considered "par 3s" then they might bad or indifferent as they worked really hard on those holes just to get "par".
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby iacas » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:42 am

keltik wrote:i guess reading comprehension isn't a big thing in your part of PA.

Thanks for meaningfully contributing to the conversation. My reading comprehension's just fine, thanks. The post implied that the PDGA currently uses the word green (disc golfers use it all the time). The use of the phrase "commonly used definition of par" doesn't say golf's commonly used definition.

FWIW I've said elsewhere I don't like the use of the word "green" in disc golf - as in "that hole has a fast green" to mean an area around the basket that slants significantly. In golf it has a clear definition and rules that pertain to it. In disc golf there's no such thing in the rules as "the green" or "the putting green" so I have previously said disc golfers should just call it "the circle" or something like that.

And I support the idea of having par fours and fives in disc golf. I've liked a lot of what John Houck has written on the subject. Those who say it's easier to keep track of your score when you think in terms of threes should think in terms of relative to par: E E E -1 -1 -2 -3 -1 -2 -1 E E E -1 -1 -1 -1 -2 isn't hard to keep track of either.
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby PMantle » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:05 am

I just want to thank everyone for such a civil discussion. That did not happen on the Southern National board.
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby allsport1313 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:08 am

Thanks Frank, good responses :)
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby chainsmoker » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:25 am

iacas wrote:
keltik wrote:i guess reading comprehension isn't a big thing in your part of PA.

Thanks for meaningfully contributing to the conversation. My reading comprehension's just fine, thanks. The post implied that the PDGA currently uses the word green (disc golfers use it all the time). The use of the phrase "commonly used definition of par" doesn't say golf's commonly used definition.

FWIW I've said elsewhere I don't like the use of the word "green" in disc golf - as in "that hole has a fast green" to mean an area around the basket that slants significantly. In golf it has a clear definition and rules that pertain to it. In disc golf there's no such thing in the rules as "the green" or "the putting green" so I have previously said disc golfers should just call it "the circle" or something like that.

I didn't say that the PDGA uses the word green.
Sorry I didn't know that there are other sports that use the term par. I don't know why people fight it so much but we are in fact playinig golf, we use discs, but it is golf. Steady Ed could of called it frisbee chain chuck and all drives could equal 6 grams and putts could equal 2 ounces and the first person to a pound in less then 14 chain chuck courts wins.
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby iacas » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:48 am

FWIW in golf we've seen discussions, typically around the U.S. Open or PGA and occasionally (not often) around the British Open when a par 72 course is converted to a par 70 or 71 and includes, say, a 500-yard par four hole. Some faction of golfers will say "that's ridiculous and the USGA (or whomever) is just trying to protect par" while others will say "who cares what par is - just shoot the best score possible and move on."

That doesn't change the fact that the difference between a bogey and a par and a birdie is often quite a big deal psychologically, as some have said above. If you get a 5 on a 500-yard par four, that's a bogey. If you get a 4 on that hole, you've survived it, but it's still something about which you can be proud, even if the scoring average for the day is 4.8 (so you have still picked up almost a full stroke on the field with your "par"). The opposite's true of calling the slightly longer 550-yard hole a par five: if you get a 4 you feel okay but not great about yourself, because the scoring average is probably 4.3, but if you get a "par" five you probably feel like you've bogeyed the hole.

It's a very weird thing. A 5 on the 550-yard hole is better than a 5 on the 510-yard hole simply because of the par designations. The reason, according to those who have studied it, is that golfers who get into trouble off the tee on the par four feel the need to get the ball close to the green, or try to. They take on unnecessary risk because they're supposed to take two putts for their par. Call almost the same hole a par five and golfers will pitch out to the fairway or get the ball to a good wedge yardage, then often hit it close and "save" a birdie.

It's an extension of the idea of how loss avoidance works in golf. Consistently golfers miss more birdie putts from the same exact distances and locations on greens than they do par putts. If they miss their birdie putt and tap in for par, they feel they haven't "lost" anything. But they damn well don't want to bogey, so they try harder on their par putts. It's one stroke all the same, but the internal nature of "avoiding loss" is more important to us than "gaining."

And that speaks to why accurate pars are so critical. Imagine a 450-foot hole in disc golf. It's not super wide open, but it's got a few bends such that you can't just wing it there in one. It takes a good player two throws to have a look at the basket with a putter and an average player three throws. It could be a par four or a par five.

Depending on the setup of this hole, the same hole, you'd see scoring averages change when you call it a par four or a par five. If you are near the green in three, you're more likely to miss the 20-foot putt if the hole is a par five than if it's a par four.

Accurate, good pars should test the best and apply a reasonable standard. I think I heard Greg Barsby say on a DGTL Radio show that it's ridiculous that disc golfers are shooting -40, -60, even -100 (Feldberg somewhere IIRC). It makes the sport look like a joke. If everyone is birdieing every hole, the drama goes down. The excitement of a birdie is diminished. Birdie becomes the new par. Boredom reigns.

I've heard some people talking about how putting is too easy (not here, necessarily). Perhaps that's a big part of it. I don't think you can just keep stretching out holes, because in golf even most hackers can "reach" the holes. The trouble is in getting it into the hole in two putts. PGA Tour pros make only 50% of their putts from 7'10". That's the 50/50 spot. In disc golf, where would the 50/50 range be? It's probably outside of the circle! That's a pretty big area, and perhaps serves to make "par" a little higher than it should be in golf.

Perhaps disc golf relies too much on luck - it may be the very nature of playing THROUGH trees instead of limiting them to the sides of the fairways as we see in golf. But either way, something tells me that "par" is too easily attained in disc golf when we have beginners getting a few of them per round and pros birdieing almost every hole and finishing third in an event. :) The answer is not to make holes par 2s or to make everything a par 3 - it's just to design better, fairer holes. Sometimes that will mean more length (and fewer trees - emphasizing skill and de-emphasizing luck), and other times it might mean almost the opposite - more trees on shorter holes as a way of providing a clear and defined fairway and more trouble OFF the fairway. A 400-foot hole could easily be a par four if you had to throw 240 feet to the corner of a fairway, then turn 90° to the right and throw another 160'. The pro will birdie a good bit of the time, while the beginner will throw it into the junk one or two times and struggle to make a 5.

/rambling

P.S. chainsmoker, I disagree that you're playing golf. IMO disc golf has borrowed entirely too much of the language and whatnot from golf and I think the sport would have done better to form its own identity and not confuse things by using so many of the terms from golf. One could probably argue that miniature golf has more in common (same equipment, same "target," etc.) with golf than disc golf.
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby Frank Delicious » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:23 pm

iacas wrote:Accurate, good pars should test the best and apply a reasonable standard. I think I heard Greg Barsby say on a DGTL Radio show that it's ridiculous that disc golfers are shooting -40, -60, even -100 (Feldberg somewhere IIRC). It makes the sport look like a joke. If everyone is birdieing every hole, the drama goes down. The excitement of a birdie is diminished. Birdie becomes the new par. Boredom reigns.

I've heard some people talking about how putting is too easy (not here, necessarily). Perhaps that's a big part of it. I don't think you can just keep stretching out holes, because in golf even most hackers can "reach" the holes. The trouble is in getting it into the hole in two putts. PGA Tour pros make only 50% of their putts from 7'10". That's the 50/50 spot. In disc golf, where would the 50/50 range be? It's probably outside of the circle! That's a pretty big area, and perhaps serves to make "par" a little higher than it should be in golf.


I agree with everything you said but this stood out to me. Disc golf has entered a phase where there are a dozen or so "super-pros" out there that can just break courses. Think about how ball golf was when Tiger and a handful of other guys really started hitting the ball longer and breaking courses forcing a lot of courses to move tees back, narrow up landing areas, letting greens get really fast, etc. Ball golf courses adapted faster to this new class of players because the courses they played on had money to re-design. Disc golf courses usually don't have the resources to re-design holes in a big way which is why you are seeing those crazy scores. People are thinking about making putting harder because it is one of the easier ways to make a hole harder without having to re-design it. You put a bullseye basket in there and all of a sudden the hole plays a half stroke to a stroke harder in a tourney.

I think we will see the same kind of progression that ball golf had when they went through this phase. A bunch of other pros or high level players will also raise their game and eventually courses are forced to adapt. Of course I think the whole process will be much slower than the ball golf one was.
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Re: Teach me about "par"

Postby chainsmoker » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:01 pm

I'm not getting any work done. :)
There is a ton of stuff going on in this thread now, but I do think I am playing golf.
Some of the stuff in the last post by Iacas I agree with and some I don't but I do take exception to iacas saying that there is too much luck in disc golf. If you play courses that luck plays a major role I'm sorry but you are not playing good courses. Trees in fairways of well designed courses are selectively left in place because discs can be made to fly on many different lines and it shows skill to be able to hit those lines.
I am lucky because I don't live too far from Idlewild which is one of the best courses in the country.
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