KCFDC Courses => Blue Valley => Topic started by: Big Sky on August 09, 2008, 04:51:49 PM

Title: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Big Sky on August 09, 2008, 04:51:49 PM
Does anyone know what ideas are seriously being considered for changes at Blue Valley? Personally, it is probably my favorite overall course for tournament play, and ranks just below WYCO and Waterworks for a casual round. So I am pretty interested in what changes may be occurring. My hope is to begin attending club meetings, and get heavily involved with the course. That being said, I was curious what others think about various options, and the condition of the current layout. Here are some of my thoughts, just brainstorming:

Hole 1 - Perhaps change the pins. Move the current long one up to the back edge of the flat plateau. This keeps the blow-by down the hill a factor, while making the pin visible from the tee-pad. Scenic, but keeps it a par four. Also, add a placement. A good spot could be in a wooded cove, around the left bend just before the last rise in the fairway. Right-handed and left handed throwers would be required to throw a hyzer and a turnover shot to reach the putting area, just in opposite order.

Hole 2 - Great, fun hole. Very nice tee-pad view and breathtaking downhill shot. No changes.

Hole 3 - Explore a shorter pin placement. The long placement is just about the most demanding disc golf hole I think I've ever played.

Hole 4- Can't imagine changing this hole. Maybe use the long placement from hole 7.

Hole 5 - I want to see how the long placement plays when it is in. It seems like a great hole. Maybe add a shorter placement on the right by the hillside.

Hole 6 - I would like to see the ceiling raised a little bit so there are some lines to the long pin. Perhaps put some sleeves on the other moguls, making the second shot play a bit different each time.

Hole 7 - This is a great tee-shot. I don't know what kind of changes would be good for this hole, but I think it would be awesome to play to the island during a tournament!

Hole 8- Great hole as is. A shorter placement, on the slope of the first hill after the trees would be nice.

Hole 9 - Always needs the mandatory. Shorter pin placement options should be explored. The long one is great, but consider a green cleared in the thick trees, where a player could attempt to throw a shot ~450 feet over the trees to land it on the green. Think hole 11, but with a large, almost horse shoe like fairway.

Hole 10 - Hard to say. Maybe the basket would play nice on top of a mogul.

Hole 11 - This hole has an awesome green. I don't think it should change, but maybe a shorter placement or two would work well. Maybe one up the hill a bit on the right (after a long downhill shot).

Hole 12 - I hate this hole. I don't have any better ideas, though.

Hole 13 - I like this hole; two big drives and a risky green. The approach (or second drive) is tough. Maybe a sleeve on a different mogul and a shorter on the other side of the patch of trees on the right that would lend to going around either side of the trees.

Hole 14 - This is a nice hole requiring control over the break of the disc. Placements in the trees by the hillside might play nicely.

Hole 15 - Does the pin need to be moved closer to the road?

Hole 16 - Eliminate the current position, and make a shorter one between the trees and another one longer up the hill on the flat area with the thinly scattered tall trees.

Hole 17 and 18 - I like both these holes because the finishing holes of a championship course should be very demanding. It just seems like the fairways blend together, especially for hole 18 on the second shot. A pin on 18 past the short patch of trees on the flat plateau might be good. The short placement on 17 is great. The long placement gets criticized by a lot of people, but I have seen people reach a spot to run at it after two throws. Tough call on these.

Junior course - Leave it unless better holes can be made for the championship course in that area. It makes for a nice warm-up area during a tournament.

Who else has ideas or knows something?
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Keizer on August 10, 2008, 11:46:20 AM
I like the idea that's been thrown around regarding splitting BV into two 18-hole courses. Most people I know won't play there because it's too big. I think the wooded area beyond the baseball outfields and wrapping around the park to the south definitely has potential for some Down Under-type holes.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: will on August 10, 2008, 01:54:22 PM
there's plenty of room on all of the holes for more pin placements.  what the course needs is someone with a lot of free time and desire to raise money and dig some holes.

the course was designed to be very difficult, very long and very demanding. 

some pros get hole 3 in 3 strokes.  if we change the course for the average player we'll just have another average course.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Schoen-hopper on August 10, 2008, 04:08:09 PM
I think Jack has some ideas on this course and is looking for feedback from a professional designer.  When you have something as valuable as BV, that is a good idea to maximize the potential of the course.  I think hearing what players think about a course they have played is a good thing, but pro course designers chew over stuff that most of us don't even consider.  Scoring data for 'rated skill levels', scoring spreads, effective drive/approach distances, interference, flow, etc, etc.

I was blown away as most were, when I first experienced this course.  Those tee pads and signs were espescially incredible.  Did the benches get finished?  Those are great too.

The bigger part of the amazement factor was the course itself.  Elevation + Length + Trees = a true pro calibur test to one's golf game.  Just as in ball golf, though only pros will have a decent shot at breaking par, it can be fun for everybody.  Gotta remember that this course is designed for the pro golfer, where most courses out there are for advanced or lower.

It is easy to critique an existing design.  It is something else to come up with new and better ideas.  I love a lot of the holes out there and wouldn't change a thing.  Others I really don't like much.  It is always harder to change up a configuration on just part of the course.

Just a few thoughts.
I love holes 2, 4, 7, 11 (downhill theme here).  6 is pretty crazy good too.
Hole 1: Starting with a blind hole isnt' good.  If you wanted to see where you were throwing, it might take you 10 minutes or so just to get back up to the tee.  Puting a pin on the hilltop itself does sound like a good one.
Hole 3: I another line should be opened up to make this one better.  As it is, it's crazy tough for righty and impossible for lefty.  A good course, to me, has to have some righty/lefty balance.  I've played so many courses that are rediculously tough on lefties and righty's always have a way of throwing some type of hyzer and if there is a hole that forces a lefty shot, it is short enough where righty can deal with it.
Hole 9:  I haven't seen this one since a short cut was cleaned out.  I love holes, espescially long ones, with dual routes.  There should be a risk/reward balance that is porportioned correctly so that both routes are considered and used.
Hole 12:  This one would be a par 3.5.  Most good pros should throw a drive and a decent approach to get the 3 though.  While the 2nd shot is just as important as the drive, I think this hole would be a much better par 4 if it could involve some trees on the steep uphill route.
Hole 13: Ditto the last hole.  Some more trees to shape some different shots (over or between?) would make this a much more interesting par 4.
Hole 14: If the difficulty of the over the road shot can be maintained, I guess this hole is a good one.  We just aren't used to being forced to settle for par at best.  A par 3.5, but getting a 4 here just irks the player.  That is good, we should have some holes where the 2nd shot is more important than the drive.
Hole 15:  Looks cool, but other than some of the shorter pins out there I haven't played, this could be the easiest hole on the course.  If you had to go under and then over, it would be better than just throwing another righty hyzer.  Or maybe something could be done on the green end.  Place the basket on a downslope so the shots that go long are punished.
Hole 16:  Another par 3.5.  A 3 here just doesn't feel as good as a 2 does on a par 3, yet a 4 does feel bad.  While the tweener holes aren't bad, shorter and trickier or longer with more trees would be more fun and introduce more different scores.
Hole 17:  Another hole that gives too much advantage to the cannon.  On a course this huge, you don't want people to say this kind of stuff.  Rather, you want to give a chance to the players that play it smart to score well.  I don't think there is much to this hole.  The uphill rise after half the hole makes the drives collect in roughly the same area (for those throwing 350-400), so the drive becomes somewhat unimportant.  Some trees could change all of this.
Hole 18:  This hole is pretty visually stunning, but I don't like it.  What at first appears to be several different routes on this hole turns out to be an imbalanced situation.  The best bet is to throw your gently hyzer drive into the hill, throw another hyzer and a hyzer upshot for hopefully an easy put at a 4.  Taking other routes is way more likely to get you a 5 or worse than get you a hope for a 3.  You just can't mess with that hill.  Perhaps it's potential could be used in another way?

Like I said, not too many new ideas, just criticism.

How about the pin placments?  I've only seen the original configuration.  I believe that is everything long except for holes 5 and 7.
Designers will tell you that difficulty should be mostly decided by the tees and not the pins.  Unlike ball golf, we do have the option to put a pin several hundred feet from another.  I think it is too late in the game to consider dual tees at Blue Valley, unless you want a completely new course design.  Since this is a pro course, it really isn't necessary.

It seems out at BV, the pin placements are a huge factor in course difficulty.  They even change the pars on individual holes.  If this is going to be the theme for the course, hear is what I think.
There should be some kind of pattern used for how the course is set up.  I'd minimize the distance differences so that the course doesn't play so drastically different in course par.  Once all the pins are in, I'd label just a few different set-ups that would be considered regular setups so that scores on the course would actually mean something.  And I'd make at least 2 of these regular configs. roughly equal in difficulty.  Pin numbering could be used to make this more evident.  Rotating pins, while keeping overall difficulty the same is something that ball golf has done sucessfully.  While 2 or 3 pins would be optimal for each hole, the big problem with adding pin placments on holes is that one of them just isn't as good as the other.  The original is usually the best.  If a creative green or something could be created to make another pin of equal interest, that would be good.  But puting in a placment 400 foot shorter than the original, just for the sake of difference, wouldn't be a good thing.  This is usally a bigger problem with small parks with limited space.  There is tons of potential at BV though.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Keizer on August 10, 2008, 05:15:05 PM
Definitely agree that a larger, pro-style course is needed. And it's good that there is one there now, and it is permanent, so anyone with a jonesing to throw long can go there if they want to. However, I think there is more than enough land at BV to also have a more typically-sized 18 holes in addition to the big course, instead of just a junior 9.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: dickthediscparker on August 10, 2008, 10:59:10 PM
Now I didn't read your guys threads cos you write WAY TO MUCH.  but, BV is a good course though the lack of TRUE par threes is ridiculous.  THe best idea is Shorten up the stupid holes and lengthen the dumb ones.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: dickthediscparker on August 11, 2008, 01:56:36 PM
I dont think the design is so far fetch, I believe the design was tryin to utilize more of the elevation rather than the trees.  Though I do believe there should have been more thought incorporating the trees.  BV's layout has seemingly been very widely discussed since its erection.  I think the only puzzling thing about it is the fact that there is NO HOLE UNDER 300ft.  YET you call them par 3's.  When if you look at the SSA on most of those supposed par 3's you'll find they rank around 3.5.  Which to a pro is a scratch three.  Or in other terms... BORING.   In the reconstruction I ask only one thing.. Be a true "golf" course and give it 7 REAL par 3's  And I dont mean hole #10's version of a par three.

If your going to wear people out playing at least make it a fair course which allows golfers to walk away saying MAN that was a challenge but boy was it fun to play.  Most of the time people walk off and say... Well nothing cause they are tired and ready to sleep.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Timko on August 11, 2008, 05:46:23 PM
West Lake in the Quad Cities is a great example of a really long, really tough course with plenty of opportunities to score.  24 Holes, 10,000+ ft, par 89ish with some nasty nasty par 4's and 5's, but about 10 holes in the 330' and under from the long tees.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Kevin Montgomery on August 11, 2008, 06:20:29 PM
West Lake in the Quad Cities is a great example of a really long, really tough course with plenty of opportunities to score.  24 Holes, 10,000+ ft, par 89ish with some nasty nasty par 4's and 5's, but about 10 holes in the 330' and under from the long tees.

I'm not sure how this compares since BV is only 18 holes and over 12,000'. Similar while being quite different perhaps.... ::)
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Timko on August 12, 2008, 10:40:54 AM
West Lake in the Quad Cities is a great example of a really long, really tough course with plenty of opportunities to score.  24 Holes, 10,000+ ft, par 89ish with some nasty nasty par 4's and 5's, but about 10 holes in the 330' and under from the long tees.

I'm not sure how this compares since BV is only 18 holes and over 12,000'. Similar while being quite different perhaps.... ::)

Perhaps 27 (or 36) holes is the way to go then.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Schoen-hopper on August 12, 2008, 11:06:45 AM
Adding holes will only compound any design problems.  On many levels.

As mentioned, this is a pro-calibur course.  If this isn't your level and you don't enjoy this type of challenge, you can play any other course.

It was a good point though, that some of these holes need to be longer or shorter, and definitely more in the trees.  They do need a few short & technical holes to balance the course out.

You could just go in and put some shorter pin placements for this (I think many of these are already installed).  But having drastically different lengths on pins complicates the course.  You need to have some regular layouts.  If you are using short pins, obviously the par isn't going to be 68. 
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: dickthediscparker on August 12, 2008, 12:20:45 PM
No adding holes.  And I'm not saying the course won't be pro caliber.  I think we need to get out of the midset that you have to be able to throw 400+ consistantly on every hole to be a pro.    Also you can make a 340ft hole very challenging while at the same time giving a break from throwing your longest driver.  Golf is a game of the brain not of the arm.  If that were so ball golfers would use at least a three wood on every hole.  I know disc golf wants to distance itself from ball golf and be it's own self but you can't take away the mental game.   It has to be FAIR.  Not "maybe it's not your type of course".  That in itself is ludicrious.  You should never design a course with one style of golf in mind.  Understand where I'm coming from.  This piece of land could be just as long in footage and play MUCH more like a "pro-caliber" course.    It's one of the rare occasions where we as disc golfers have this much land to play with.  Utilize the course better and create more of a balance between physical and mental.

Not "my" kind of course... pfft

"Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course - the distance between your ears."  ~Bobby Jones
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Schoen-hopper on August 12, 2008, 01:42:59 PM
I wasn't disagreeing with you Dick.  Just saying that adding a bunch of holes, requiring a complete redesign, and making the course as short as any other is not the answer.

I think you are right about needing some holes that are shorter.  If they are shorter, they need to have some other type of challenge though. 

Now how would this be accomplished?  Seems that the easiest way would be to add some short pins.  Put them in the trees as much as possible.  For those in the open and if the tees can't be moved around, adding some trees would be needed.  It may take 10 years or more to get what you want from them though.

Once you have some shorter pins, perhaps you could move some of the long ones even longer or at least make them trickier with more trees in play.  After that, you could play half the holes short and half long.  Then you have the right amount of each.  Don't play the course all long, even for tourney play.  Try to figure out some layouts that are roughly equal in difficulty.  Give them a color code or special name or something.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Big Sky on August 12, 2008, 02:39:20 PM
I do not know that adding holes to the course is the answer. Adding holes at the park, which would not be part of the basic 18, now that would be fine. It would supplement what's already there. But the original 18 should remain intact (given some needed modifications on certain holes) because the course is, in fact, quite incredible.

Now I do not throw more than 400 feet, probably cannot throw it farther than ~360. But I have scored a 3 on 17 long and had 45 ft looks at a 4 on 18. That is not to say that the design cannot be better, but enough of this "too long" crap. Some people are simply more talented than others, can throw farther, hit farther, shoot 3's from 10 feet behind the arc, etc...

A course should be set up to where players all have a fair shot at scoring well (if their talent level allows), but this is a pro-level course where one is not likely to score great unless they are a pro. Pro's typically work their tail off to become as good as they are (in any sport) so it is their reward to be able to park a 500 foot shot where an amature player cannot.

So yes the course has room for improvement (doesn't everything/everyone?), but come-on, some people need to quit criticizing a place just because it puts a hurtin' on them everytime they try to conquer it.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: dickthediscparker on August 12, 2008, 03:08:57 PM
Well in 500 words or less you just reitirate what I'm saying.  I would love to see a par 70-71.  Not in the current way it is illustrated at BV.  Though please no one misunderstand me. I love the course for what it is.  Dan has done a great job in cleaning up that park and making it one of if not the most beautiful disc golf course on the map. 

One thing I dont like is the Chuck F#&k which is the bunker in highbridge hills that sits next to the basket and if you land in it you go 30ft back.  That doesn't reward good shots.  and it's silly.  Now maybe do that 30-40 ft left right or behind the basket and then you make the hole riskier to a point, while still rewarding excellent shots.

boy I love this topic.  Sparks alot of discussion.  Who wants to ride a bike?
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Schoen-hopper on August 12, 2008, 03:46:27 PM
It is funny how it is the good courses that get the most critique.

I think a courses with distance variety are great and pretty rare.  In addition to tweaking some holes shorter out there, you can make a few perhaps even longer and tricker to take them to a true par 4 or 5.

Shot variety is the other part that I think makes a great course.  It is true that those who throw the disc far are doing a lot of things right.  If a course is nothing but chuck it as far as you can on every hole, there isn't much shot variety.  Or much risk/reward.  You want to have holes that even make the big arms think about it.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: dickthediscparker on August 12, 2008, 04:26:31 PM
Well I'm glad you guys see it my way. 8)
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: jack on August 18, 2008, 10:05:10 AM
City of fountains will be played on a different layout for the Worlds preview.  We will not run a tourney of that caliber without data.

Changes will bve made, and I will announce them.  Realizing that before BV went in, I had over 60 different hole configurations.  Of which maybe 3 holes are in the current design.

Some holes will be LONGER, like #9, will be much longer, probably another 250', and will try to bring in a few short technical shots, and 17-18 as it is now, will vanish, and be practice fodder probably for the worlds.

Flame away.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: will on August 18, 2008, 11:29:41 AM
i was thinking 9 needed to be a little bit longer.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: jamidanger on August 18, 2008, 12:01:34 PM
Blue Valley kicks ass AND rocks as is, 1 - play SAFE, 2 - be COURTEOUS, 3 - all  holes are PAR 3
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Schoen-hopper on August 18, 2008, 01:05:44 PM
Whoa!  We were doing pretty good with #1 & #2.

Thanks for looking out Jack!
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: jack on August 18, 2008, 01:14:21 PM
Basically there are items that many people are unaware of in regards to the land, and what plans there are in the future.  It is still in its infancy, people are attached to it, and by all means those that have spearheaded it from its early days need to be counseled with those that want to make some changes.

A Reconfiguration at the course is not really realistic, but some tweaking that would make the course more representative of challenges that players need can be done hopefully minimally and then also creating an even better venue.

No changes at this point will be in play until after I have a chance to work it out with others in the process.


Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Keizer on August 18, 2008, 03:18:08 PM
I played BV yesterday, and ended up doing rather well. (Lots of 4s-- that's good for me.) The course is freshly mowed and is playing great.

I was wondering if or when there are plans to finish the bridges. Not sure if that's going to be done on a planned workday, or if Dan is working on it, or what. If that's something that will be done on a workday, count me in, as that looks like a fun project.
Title: Re: Course Re-configuration
Post by: Greenwood17921 on August 28, 2008, 03:30:46 PM
Well, I finally got to play Blue Valley for the first time last weekend.  It's tough to get away to play casual golf when you're just in town for the weekend for a family visit, but that's another story altogether.

Overall, I guess I give BV a 6.5 on a 1-10 scale.  I'm glad to hear that 17-18 are going away.  The last 4 holes left a pretty bad taste in my mouth.  I thought they were a bit stupid, not really fun, repetitive, long holes.  They don't really offer anything except length.  That alone doesn't necessarily make them good holes.  That being said, I don't think that the course is all bad for being long.  I like the course for what it is, champ length and all---drive with the need to land in a certain area, so you can drive again, maybe have a putt.  It's tough to break the mindset that every hole should be duecable to a certain extent, or at least by a top pro, but I've been working on it.  I like two/three shot holes, but I like them on disc golf courses when there are obstacles or something else to make them interesting (like hole 3 or 4).  Wide open 900 foot holes = not fun, IMO. 
There are several holes out there that I do like.  I thought 1-4 were awesome, although I think that the length on hole 2 should be tweaked just a little, so good shots get rewarded a little more.  Maybe someday I'll be able to throw 540 downhill, lol.

All in all, it's a good championship course that will definately separate the men from the boys.  I'll be very interested to see the changes, and the layout used for worlds next year, and even more interested after the fact to see the scoring statistics after all is said and done.  Good job to all that worked on this course.  I love the signs and tees, although I do not think that the tees were brushed enough.