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Bill_Yates

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Re: Are par 3 opening holes a good or bad idea?
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2008, 12:13:32 PM »
Adrian,
I need to directly address your post.  Your beliefs are held by many people and I want to ask you to entertain a new position on the subject.

First, when applying Pace Rating formula to your proposed 110 yard first hole, it will take the average foursome around 7 minutes to play the hole (from first ball in the air to flag-in).  This will most likely overcrowd the course and cause backups on the following holes.  Better would be to start with a hole of approximately 180 yards which will take approximately 9 minutes to play, thus better separating the groups from the start.

Also, your comment regarding the need to have 8 minute intervals or smaller in order to make money, only works on paper.  In reality, today courses with 8 minute intervals or less tend to backup on the first tee.  That is why so very many courses have their starting times fall behind schedule after the first hour of play while round times grow longer as the day wears on.  What you end up with is a playing product of inconsistent quality, a reputation for "slow play" and lost revenue. 

Ken,
You are absolutely correct!  The best approach to managing play is counter-intuitive; on this subject stick with your guns.   

Jason,
Regarding Pacific Grove, the first hole, a par 3 is approximately 140 yards and takes less than 8 minutes to play.  The second hole, also a par 3, is approximately 200 yards and plays in approximately 9 minutes, that is why there is always a backup on the second tee.  If the holes were reversed, play would not back up on #2.  This is an example of the point I was making to Adrian above.
Bill Yates
www.pacemanager.com 
"When you manage the pace of play, you manage the quality of golf."

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Are par 3 opening holes a good or bad idea?
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2008, 12:55:33 PM »
I am glad Bill chimed in. As you can see, he clearly knows his stuff.

On the matter of what architects find "acceptable" for whatever reason, I have always enjoyed courses that reserve the par-3 for number 4 or later. The reason for this is that I truly enjoy par-3s more than most other holes, and I am inclined to be better prepared for the par-3 after a few holes to warm up. I think golfers, overall, also like par-3s best. The reason is that this is the only type of hole where we have the chance, realistically, to make a "1" during the round. Also, it is the only approach to a green where the golfer must begin from a set location not one devised by his/her round, but set in stone by the golf architect, the superintendent and the order of rules.

My ideal opening hole is a relatively open design with all hazards in clear view. I also like a beacon, or aiming device, such as a lone bunker or landmark. At the green I prefer a wider green than usual, and nothing too out of the ordinary. I do not mind a dog-leg. In fact, a bending hole can be nice because it has a sense of leaving and getting out of visual range from the clubhouse.

I also think golfers, in general, enjoy the good par-5. So, when possible, I try and hold off for a few holes before unleashing the first par-5.


Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

Ken Moum

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Re: Are par 3 opening holes a good or bad idea?
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2008, 04:49:47 PM »

The club I am considering joining has a par 3 at the SECOND hole and I have been thinking lately that this is somewhat unusual, though not as unusual as a par 3 opener. The more I thought about it, it doesn't matter to me

From sad experience, I can tell you that if the course is busy at all, it better have tee time intervals  of 10 minutes or there will be a backup at the 2nd tee.

Most private clubs have 10 minute intervals, if they have tee times, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Ken
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Forrest Richardson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Are par 3 opening holes a good or bad idea?
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2008, 05:05:24 PM »
Ken,

I am curious how you would know that without an in-depth pace rating analysis?
Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
    www.golfgroupltd.com
    www.golframes.com

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