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How much difference does course length make?

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7 hours ago, ChasingScratch said:

 


I love this idea! Not a bad idea for adults either. This concept was mentioned earlier by another member. Basically you play the farthest forward tees until you can shoot par then work your way back one box at a time.


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Yep, except this starts you even closer than the forward tees.  Making sure that people can consistently get down in four from inside 100 yards would undoubtedly help some pace of play issues.

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Great thread! One thing I haven't seen mentioned is mixing tees based on conditions. Many don't notice it, but if you watch pro tournaments, they don't always hit from the rear tee box. The tournament committee often adjusts the teeing areas based on the conditions of the day (high winds, rain, etc). Once I noticed this, I started doing the same thing. Nothing's more frustrating than standing on a tee and knowing you can't clear a hazard or reach the fairway/green because the winds howling. So when I'm planning to play a course, I check what the wind is doing and adjust the tees I plan to play. I may play back tees downwind and a more forward tee into the wind. Makes the game a challenge without making it impossible.

BT

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15 minutes ago, RI_Redneck said:

I may play back tees downwind and a more forward tee into the wind. Makes the game a challenge without making it impossible.

This does make it impossible for you to post your score for handicap.

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On 6/14/2019 at 5:31 PM, GolfSpy MPR said:

So in asking this question, I know there are about a million variables that can change the answer (which should make it an interesting discussion).

This past week, I got a chance to play two different courses, which is unusual for me, as I play nearly all my golf at my home course. As I've noted in other threads, our course is short: it barely cracks 6,000 yards from the back tees. It's a par 71; my scores cluster pretty tightly around 90. My best round has been a 77.

The first course I played this week is 6,297 yards from the back tees. The second course, SentryWorld, offered a mixed tee option that I expected to suit my game; the blue/white tee comes in at 6,401 yards. With those extra yards, I shot a 92 (+20) at Trout Lake and then a 91 (+19) at SentryWorld; that is, pretty much exactly what I shoot at 6,000 yards.

In fact, over my last 8 rounds at my home course, I've been averaging closer to 21.6 over. So there's a strong argument that I played better with an additional 300–400 yards to navigate.

This is an interesting question for me, because I normally play such a short course, and want to have a decent understanding, objectively, where my game stands.

So in your opinion, how much do you expect that adding yardage changes your expected scoring?

With courses ranging from 6,000 - 6,300 yards I tend to break 80 a lot more, and if it's around 6,000 yards I can typically get into the lower 70's.  But push me back to 6,300 - 6,600 and I'll probably be right around 80.  Anything more than 6,600 yards and I'll shot 85 and up.

The difference in course lengths is what club you have into most par 4s.  Today's course is a great example of this for me, as I played a course that maxed out at 6,000 yards and change.  I had a wedge into pretty much every par 4, and shot 77.  That was with two three-putts on birdie putts from inside 6 feet of the hole, so in theory if you make those bogies, pars at minimum I should have shot 75, and possible a 73, as I should have made those birdie putts (the game is mental, remember?).  Most of my scores of 74 and lower have been on courses no longer than 6,300 yards, just as a barometer, and it's simply because the approach shot is typically a wedge of some sort.  I was throwing darts today all day long on par 4s with this scenario.  Everything was within 10 feet of the hole, all day long.  Easy to go low when that happens.

Now my home course is right around 6,500 yards, and it's one of the toughest layouts I've ever played, regardless of the length.  But my best score there is a 77, and lately I've struggled to break 80 there.  This course is a mental workout, and you have to hit your ball to correct sides of the fairway and all of that, and if you miss the fairway, just write down the bogey or worse.  But most par 4s at this course I have a mid iron into greens.  My proximity to the hole is probably well over 20 feet on GIRs, IF I hit the green at all.

Stretch me out beyond 6,600 yards and chances are I'll have a long iron into most par 4s.  Well, my GIR will go down in that scenario, IF I hit any greens at all.  That's why I'll struggle to shoot 85 or so.

I may be the only one with this going on, but the longer the par 4s on the approach shot, and the higher my score will go.  I played one course where it was driver, 3 or 4 iron all day long, and I think I struggled to break 90.  The game ain't fun when you are 190+ out on a par 4 for your approach.

But generally speaking, it's all about the irons and wedges for me.  If I am firing those well I go low.  If I am not, well, mid 80s here I am.  Now, if I could ever figure out how to putt......  😞

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... The only thing I dislike more than hitting wedge into every green, is hitting 3 and 4 iron into every green. Somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot. I like having wedge into several holes as well as having a long iron or two and maybe even a 5 wood into one difficult par 4. I think the best layouts give you and opportunity to use those two clubs but the majority of the par 4's should have mid iron approaches. 

... The game is best played and enjoyed using your entire bag, which challenges you the entire round. 

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I agree with chisag, the courses near me have enough variety on par 4s that if I hit a good drive I might have a wedge to some, long iron or hybrid/wood to others. Theirs one I have only been on in regulation twice this summer, took a 5 wood both times. I also like playing my hole bag. 

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... The game is best played and enjoyed using your entire bag, which challenges you the entire round. 


That's often the measure of a good course for me - have I played the whole bag? I played a course today that was just a hair under 6500. The wind was a factor today but regardless I hit every club but PW. I had one shot where I was torn between 9 and PW and went with the 9 but I thoroughly enjoyed the round. It had some good long 4's and 5's and a few short 4's that required a good iron off the tee. It had some tough par 3's over water (195 into wind) and short 3's over water (131 down wind) and everything in between. It made me think and hit quality shots and it was not quite 6500 yards - that's a good track IMHO.


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11 hours ago, chisag said:

... The only thing I dislike more than hitting wedge into every green, is hitting 3 and 4 iron into every green. Somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot. I like having wedge into several holes as well as having a long iron or two and maybe even a 5 wood into one difficult par 4. I think the best layouts give you and opportunity to use those two clubs but the majority of the par 4's should have mid iron approaches. 

... The game is best played and enjoyed using your entire bag, which challenges you the entire round. 

Agreed.  One course I've played several times where after I played it the 2nd time it dawned on me that every par 4 was driver, 6 iron.  So I looked at the lengths on all the par 4s and they were all basically the same.  I guess I overlooked that the first time I played the course, because otherwise it was a great course, but after playing it the 2nd time and realizing that was the situation I haven't been back to play it since.  Variety is the spice of life as you say, and without it, it's somewhat boring.

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20 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

This does make it impossible for you to post your score for handicap.

Yup. We have some courses in the area that have a mixed set of tees rated so one could do this easily on those courses. The scorecard shows what tees to play for the particular hole.

if not rated then not really able to enter for hdcp 

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