Always a par 3?

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Always a par 3?

Postby BHW » Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:18 am

Just curious, everybody around here plays every course as a par 54, or 3 per hole. Some courses have hole markers that state the length and par of that hole, and they vary from par 3-5, but in tourny play, every hole is a par 3. Is this normal or a local phenomenom? I understand that Kentwood in Raleigh is nothing more than a "pitch & putt" par 3 course, but it's the only course around here that should be considered a Par 3 course.
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Postby Rooster » Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:26 am

some courses have actual pars but most do not. everything is a three at any other course. which is stupid becuase there are a few 1000+ ft. holes around here that are impossible threes.they need to have pars set up for each course. generally if its under 350 i see that as a par three(barring any crazy huge turns or walls).
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Postby coogs » Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:28 am

Every course in Delaware has a par listing for each hole depending on length, but every local pro deals with each course as a par 54.

So at least the option is there for rec players.
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Re: Always a par 3?

Postby The Clergyman » Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:29 am

BHW wrote:every hole is a par 3. Is this normal or a local phenomenom?


Normal but unfortunate. My understanding is that this is the next wave of growth for the sport and it's certainly beginning to happen at new or revamped courses. I think the question people are working through is what exactly constitutes a par 3, par 4 or par 5. I suppose there are tons of factors that need to be considered.
John Houck had a great article in DGWN a few years ago (perhaps #66?) called "Dumb Holes" and it's really good exploring things related to this idea.
As for me, I love it when I come across an interesting par 4 or 5.
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Postby Glock23 » Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:44 am

Personally,
I think it makes sense. How many of the courses we play have had their tee signs trashed, or there aren't any at all. I know my local courses only have a few holes posted with the pars and distance. Playing everything as a 3 gives you a good reference point, and is honestly easier to track in your head during a casual round. Par is there as a marker for tracking your progress anyway, so if 8 over is a great round for your course, just aim for that. It can be frustrating when you play a hole that seems impossible to hit in 3 (or 4 or 5), but think of all the holes that are easy 2's.
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Postby GetMuddy350 » Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:10 am

Playing everything as a 3 gives you a good reference point, and is honestly easier to track in your head during a casual round


Exactly! When I first started playing I would hear everyone talking about this "Pro-Par". I am glad I had someone explain to me what it was. Counting my scores with all 3's as par eliminated my need for a score card during casual play.

It shouldn't matter what course par is...You'll shoot the same score if that 1000' hole is a par 3 or a par 5.

In Maine (all private courses) each course has its own course par, and its NEVER a good reference point.
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Postby Blake_T » Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:18 am

this was discussed in a thread from about 2 months ago
http://www.discgolfreview.com/forums/vi ... .php?t=564

imo, any hole you can reach with 2 accurate 350' or under drives and leave yourself a 50' putt is a par 3. that gives holes up to 750' (assuming they don't have multiple extreme doglegs) a par 3, and holes up to 1100' a par 4.

the thing that ssa/wcp measures is difficulty... that is, if you miss your target landing zone on an easy hole, you are likely looking at a 3 instead of a 2. on a hard hole, it's more of a 4 or 5 instead of a 2 or 3.
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Postby BHW » Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:49 am

I tend to disagree with the "all are par 3" mentality. Of course, east coast wooded courses are VERY different from what many other places tend to have. "Wide open" here means 25ft between the trees. Holding every player, from the casual rec player to the tourny playing amatuer oir pro, to the same par 3 standard is lazy and taking the easy way out. Most courses are labeled with par 4 and 5 holes. Why did the builder even bother if nobody is going to use that score card? There are plenty of sub 1000ft holes around here that are not par 3 due to course layout, trees, water, etc. Disc golf is nowhere near as difficult to play as ball golf. You can have someone shooting par in disc golf in a couple of months...and it not shock anyone. That does not happen in ball golf.

Telling a rec or beginning player that the par on holes 4 & 16 at Buckhorn is a "3", is demoralizing. Have a look:

http://www.radl.biz/Courses/BUCKHORN/main.htm
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Postby sleepy » Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:09 am

That is a sweet website, BHW. Do you know who designed it and how?


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Par Shmar

Postby trogdor » Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:39 am

To me, Par is just a more convienent way to keep score and not really a measure of what I should be shooting.

"All holes are par 3" means I'm generally -1, even or +1 on every hole. This makes counting the score easy.

Are there holes that I feel I should hit in 2? You bet.
Are there holes that I feel I've done OK if I hit it in 4? Yep.

Does it bother me that both are "Par 3?" Not a chance. How I play a hole compared to the players in my group in the same weather conditions and compared to how I've played it before means much more to me than a number that someone says is par.
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Postby The Clergyman » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:00 pm

I don't disagree with these last few comments but there are certainly holes that by length or difficulty require something more than a three. I think that the variety is fun. When I walk up to a tee that says par 4 I know that something a little extra is required. I might not know what that is unless I'm familiar with the course, but that makes it exciting for me. Sure, if you have 17 par 3's and one par 4 it messes up the ease of keeping track in your head - but I'd rather see a course with 2 5's, 2 4's and the rest as 3's (or something like that).
Don't you think that unless we develop this system a little more than having everything defer to a 3 will root us in the past and regress the sport in general? I don't know the answer to my question - but what do you think?
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Postby trogdor » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:24 pm

Ooo, interesting question.
I guess my answer would be "Perhaps, but only if you replace the word will with could."

Ultimately, I think that if the course designers are stuck in a rut of making par 3 holes, this danger exists. However, I'm lucky enough to be in Denver where numerous new courses have popped up in the last couple years. These courses have holes that could be par 2, could be par 3, could be par 4 for Open and Adv players. Indeed, it could be said that if a course designer starts out with a need to make 2 par 5s, 2 par 4s and the rest 3s, it is also limiting. I don't think a course should be designed with how many strokes each hole should take, but should instead be designed around the landscape.

"Wow, I have a dogleg to the right with the pin on a downhill slope going into a stream," could be missed if the designer is thinking, "I need to have a par 5 on this hole because the last for have been par 3."

Again, I think of par as a scorekeeping mechanism and not an indication of difficulty. By extension, I believe par should follow the courses. My ego can take a +2 on a 1300' par 3 just as well as my ego can take a -1 on a 200' wide open hole.

If the typical Open/Adv player plays an 18 hole course between -9 and +9, keep everyting par 3. If the typical player shoots +10 and above, move the whole course up to a par 4.

Can you still determine the difficulty of a course? Sure. Instead of that's a tough course, par 60. Why not, that's a tough course. Most people shoot 4 over.

I know this goes against ball golf thinking, but one of the differences between the sports is that ours is free (usually.) When you pay, you get a printed scorecard with par for each hole. If you get a printed scorecard, then yeah, set a par for each hole. Without the scorecard, keep it simple and have the same par regardless of toughness.
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Re: Par Shmar

Postby Rob » Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:19 pm

trogdor wrote:To me, Par is just a more convienent way to keep score and not really a measure of what I should be shooting.

"All holes are par 3" means I'm generally -1, even or +1 on every hole. This makes counting the score easy.


Thats exactly what i do. At the end of the round ill say oh im 4 over. 54 + 4 = 58. Then i just check to what the par is. To be honest i dont know which holes are the par 4's or 5's at my home course but i know the overall par.
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Postby Frank Delicious » Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:15 pm

BHW wrote:I tend to disagree with the "all are par 3" mentality. Of course, east coast wooded courses are VERY different from what many other places tend to have. "Wide open" here means 25ft between the trees. Holding every player, from the casual rec player to the tourny playing amatuer oir pro, to the same par 3 standard is lazy and taking the easy way out. Most courses are labeled with par 4 and 5 holes. Why did the builder even bother if nobody is going to use that score card? There are plenty of sub 1000ft holes around here that are not par 3 due to course layout, trees, water, etc. Disc golf is nowhere near as difficult to play as ball golf. You can have someone shooting par in disc golf in a couple of months...and it not shock anyone. That does not happen in ball golf.

Telling a rec or beginning player that the par on holes 4 & 16 at Buckhorn is a "3", is demoralizing. Have a look:

http://www.radl.biz/Courses/BUCKHORN/main.htm


Since Buckhorn is the course I play the most I got to say that any rec player should probably be playing from the white (am) tees at buckhorn until they can shoot under par from there. Only then should they move back to the blue (pro)where those two holes could be considered a par 4. Buckhorn is a hard course no matter what tees you play from and unless you are pretty good, you shouldn't subject yourself to playing from the blues unless your at least an Advanced player.

And as a guy who plays the blue out there sometimes I would say that every hole there is a par 3 since I can get par on all the holes from the blues (not consistantly)
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Postby Blake_T » Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:25 pm

the only times i find players that feel that not being able to reach par on a difficult hole are players that tend to believe their games are better than they really are.

both of the buckhorn holes you named are par 3. they can be reached with an accurate placement shot, an accurate approach, and a putt. that doesn't mean they are easy, but that doesn't make them a par 4 either.

i see difficult holes and reaching par/birdie as a GOAL. my GOAL is to reach par on an 800' hole. that doesn't mean i will tomorrow... or next week... or next month. the knowledge that the top 100 pros in the world can all par that hole keeps me going in my quest.

i play very wooded courses and at some of the courses, the course record is in the realm of -11 to -13. my personal best on two of those courses is -2. if someone can get hot enough to hit 13 of the 16 available deuces (16 available if you can throw an accurate 450', 9 available if you can only throw 350'), that is one hot round and they deserve to have the course record. the fact that someone can deuce 16 of the holes says to me that there are 16 par 3's or lower, and both of the two longer holes are reachable in 3 for anyone who can throw 350', hence, par = 54 (SSA calculates out at like 53.8).

a 200' shot down a 10' wide tunnel with 20' tall thorn bushes lining each side is a par 3 (or arguably a par 2), but a 200' shot in the wide open is also a par 3 (or arguably a par 2). no one will argue that the open hole is harder than the tight hole, but no one will say that you should take worse than a 3 on either if your first shot leaves you anywhere in the fairway.
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