Here are the statistics from our event which does not feel like almost two weeks ago. From my point of view I really thought the scores would be lower across the board, luckily the weather was outstanding and near perfect on Sunday. I'm not criticizing anyone but myself, obviously the course is harder than I thought. I believe by Sunday most of the players involved had begun to pick the lock on the course design with a better understanding of how to play a wooded course. From the lack of bark on a few trees nearest the tee pads I can tell the learning curve was not pleasant for some :)
The idea behind this evolution of Bluebell Woods was to prepare a challenging course but not forget that we all play disc golf to have fun, and birdies are fun. I think that is an aspect easily forgotten in today's course designing. It will come as no surprise to the players involved that I have a minimalist approach to course design. There are plenty of opportunities to add Mando's or OB to our course but I don't feel it adds to the enjoyment of a round like having free scope to attack the hole.
When compiling this data and cruising through the scorecards what struck me as the most surprising is how many players were able to respond after a bad hole, following a bogie with a birdie. This is a real testament to the caliber and determination of the field of players. Speaking of birdies there were some beauties, I don't think it's a stretch to call a few of them fairway aces.
The real purpose of compiling this is see about making changes for next years event either replacing the boring holes with something a little more dynamic or trashing the hole altogether. For starters Hole 1 will need to change, it produced the most pars (66% of the field) and proved to be fairly pedestrian. This data tells me very few players were tempted to attack the 345ft (105m) hole, either it is too long or there was too much risk involved to go for it. Also Hole 4 might really be a par 4 even though the distance denotes otherwise. I did not expect any birdies on this hole but with only 13% attaining the Par 3 and 77% carding a 4 or 5 a change beckons. We may look to harden the Tee pad and move it a few meters closer, or just call it a Par 4. I still think its a good hole that separates players regardless of the Par, Hole 4 is called "Tri Gu Leth" which means 3.5 in Gaelic.
I believe a wide even spread in scores is the best marker for a challenging disc golf hole that balances risk and reward. I understand the previous statement is just a generalization and there are many factors involved when orchestrating a decent disc golf course. For instance Hole 10, although easy on the eye it is a fairly boring hole at 237ft (72m). It is straight with enough fairway to shape most shots. I was very surprised this hole only produced 55 Birdies, 35% of the field. I think the importance of this hole lies heavily on where it is on the course, most players see it as one of the last birdie opportunities in the round so it might have knocked everyone off stride. One of the best examples of what I wanted to see was Hole 9, a simple uphill hole with a narrow bit off the tee and some trees guarding the basket. The scores were fairly evenly split as can be seen in the data and did not generally produce a card with the same scores. There were more birdies on Hole 9 than I'd expected.
Then there is Hole 18, from the data it might seem boring to some but I believe there were a number of OB 4's that made this hole a keeper. This hole was a great example of your ego not being able to handle the risk. At 451ft (138m) Hole 18 produced no birdies although many tried and 40% bogie or worse.
Some notes from scorecards:
- I applaud the artistic freedom of whoever drew an apple to denote the cider winner from hole 1, Thank You!!
- The hot round was Seppo Paju with a 49 on Sunday.
- Hamish Blair posted the most birdies in a round with 8 & Vanessa Van Dyken in FPO with 5 birdies.
- The longest Birdie train was assembled by Sander Bahnerth carding a deuce on 5/6 holes; Holes 6,7,8,10 & 11 with a 3 on Hole 9.
- All the Ladies on the Lead card birdied Hole 7 in the final round.
- Martin Rotmeister was the only player to birdie Hole 3
- Three players Sander Bahnerth, Mikael Birkelund & Markus Dvinjaninov birdied Hole 8.
- The Junior card of 4 produced 2 Birdies and 2 Pars on Hole 14 in the final round.
Finally for me the one of the most impressive aspects of our event was how respectful everyone treated the Bluebells, it really is a testament to the nature of our sport. Almost 200 rounds of disc golf were played right through these flowers.
Thanks again to everyone involved, players, volunteers, family and friends, we hope to see you all in 2017.
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"I have all my wisdom teeth, two up top, two beneath and yet I recognize my mouth says things that aren't so wise" CTD