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2009 Disc 'n Dat Bluegrass Open Options
Posted: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 1:07:43 PM

Rank: Regular

Joined: 4/15/2008
Posts: 58
Location: Columbus, OH
Yea, we all know your stance Rob. I think most of us are probably also getting sick of hearing about it.

Thanks for the awesome tournament Dan, I had a great time. A big thanks to all the spotters and helpers as well!
Posted: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 2:14:35 PM

Rank: Tree Hukker

Joined: 3/19/2008
Posts: 18
Location: Florence
I posted over in the Idlewild course link on some of my 2 cents, Idlewild is a great course. The designer(s), parks dept. and Course Pro have done a very admireable job with layout, difficulty and sheer fun. All the arguments about OBs, mandos, drop zones, etc. are great for debate. I agree that when 'records' are set there needs to be consistency for year to year comparison. Idlewild has been continuosly evolving and changing over the past couple years. Team BGO has made the decision to relax OBs but still maintaining the PDGA OB guidelines and rules. There has been no disrespect to the designer(s) or course pro in this decision. It has been the format we have chosen to appeal the broad spectrum of participants to speed play. If this were a Pro only event that would be a 'Gold' level format (mentioned in my post on Idlewild). Our format has definitely been a 'Silver' level format. In agreement with Dan, no matter how you score it, records or not, designed OBs or relaxed, Idlewild is an awesome, challenging course.
Posted: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 2:53:47 PM
Rank: Regular

Joined: 10/14/2008
Posts: 67
i think the only debatable ob on the course is the island green on hole 11. its just too shallow.
Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 7:02:01 AM
Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 2/22/2003
Posts: 160
Rob J wrote:

Paul, the speed of play has to do with subsequent throws.  you pretty much have to walk back to the drop zone area regardless. 

also, why not confer with the Hall of Famer who designed the course and find out his reasons for putting in the drop zone?

Ok, I understand your reason but still disagree  shrug   If it improves the lie on subsequents throws, isn't making the course easier by rescuing them from the "rough"?  No thanks.  Just interested since it was your statement and what your reasons were not someone else's.
Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 11:38:28 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/8/2009
Posts: 3
Greetings from Pittsburgh!

This was my first BGO, but I am quite familiar with Cinci disc golf......1995 Am Worlds, 1997 EE, 1998 Pro Worlds, 2006 Masters @ Idlewild, 2007 Masters @ Idlewild, 2008 Masters @ Idlewild.....and throw in a KY State Championship for good measure!

First off, Banklick was FABULOUS! I last played there many years ago when it was still 18 holes. I like the new holes and I really like how the course has been maintained and dressed up with mulched pathways, putting greens, tee areas, etc. Hats off to everyone who puts their time and effort into that course as it looked top-notch! Everyone has a favorite disc golf course. Mine is Idlewild. I heard about the design concept back in 2001, but I didn't have a chance to play it until the 2006 Masters at Idlewild tournament. I fell in love with it immediately as that is the type of golf I like to play.....true par 4's and 5's which are designed to challenge today's top professionals. Red Whittington (2x Worlds Champion) traveled with me to the Masters event that year and he called the course a "masterpiece". I couldn't agree more.

That said, I was disappointed we didn't get to play the course the way it has been designed. There's not many gold-level courses out there and, quite honestly, Idlewild is the sole reason I drove 5+ hours from Pennsylvania to play in this year's BGO. I find it somewhat comical that the masters-aged players contested the gold-level design during all three of the Masters at Idlwild events (b-tiers), yet the premier A-tier event challenged regional top-rated open players to a lesser degree. I would understand offering "Idlemild" to the ams on Saturday, but the professionals should be contesting the Idlewild course at their level. After all, the course was designed to challenge the top-rated players in the sport. During Sunday's rounds at Idlwild there were a couple of players on my card who scored birdies on holes where the OB had been eliminated or reduced. I questioned these particular players if they would have executed their shots differently had the OB been in effect. They answered "yes" on the three occasions I presented the question.

I did hear some locals talk about "artificial OB" and I read up-thread mention of "man-made" OB. Let's get something straight.....there is no such thing as artificial OB. It's either in bounds or out of bounds. In fact, everything on or around a course is "in bounds" until the course designer designates it otherwise. A good course designer doesn't just stick tees and baskets in the ground and leave it at that. A good designer will look to develop a course over time. If a hole is designed as a par-4, but the scoring average is coming in around 3, a good designer will modify the design of the hole to achieve the attended par (I believe holes 8 and 11 are good examples of this......for the record, I wouldn't mind seeing the island green on 11 widened up a bit, preferably on the fat-end of the green near the foot bridge.....if a player wants to dunk onto the green, give him a wider area further from the basket). Likewise, if a hole doesn't create a decent scoring spread, a good course designer will look for ways to tweak the design in effort to yield a better scoring spread amongst players who the course was designed for. Here in PA, we (the Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society) are continuing the tweak the design of our par 66 gold level course at Moraine State Park. We pride the fact that Moraine's SSA is close to the designed par of the course. There's not many courses that can lay claim to that statistic. In my humble opinion, I think that's something to be proud of.

Lastly, I know that it is a tournament director's prerogative to modify the layout of a course. Heck, I've done it for tournaments I've run in the past. I hope the folks involved with future events at Idlewild will take my comments merely as constructive criticism. I had a wonderful time in northern Kentucky (as usual) and I am already looking forward to my next visit to my favorite disc golf course on the planet. Thanks again for your hospitality and hope to see you on the links again soon!


Jerry Gotcher
Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society
Moraine State Park ~ Course Promoter
Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 12:48:27 PM

Rank: Expert

Joined: 3/1/2003
Posts: 1,612
Thanks for attending our tournament Gerry and thanks for coming to Idlewild every chance you get. Also, thanks for giving us your contstructive criticism - you have to have it or else you're always relying on your "own"ly voice.  We will take it into consideration for future events. One difference for the Masters and BGO is the TD's - and we differ in many opinions and ideas. This is one. You mentioned the "island green" on 11 could be tweaked. That's probably the biggest difference in opinion I have with Fred on the course. We change that hole, hole 16 (already a very "lucky" hole without the extended OB around the long basket) and hole 5's OB island. These changes were agreed upon by the BGO Team, not just myself, so that's how that was decided. Many people think hole 11, in it's original position, on this side of the creek was a better hole and actually more challenging than lucky. Hole 5's OB island - you're already in a bad place - let's see you get out of it with only the loss of the OB stroke, not just slide up to the mildly placed "drop zone".  This is just some of the thinking that went on for the decision.

Thanks again for your thoughts on this and again, we will definitely re-visit the course format next time we run a tourney there.  Come on back for the Flying Pig October 17-18 - you get to play Mt. Airy and the Big H (harbin).

Anybody else want to chime in? It really helps to hear what others think.
Rob J
Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 9:37:18 PM

Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 3/1/2003
Posts: 461
Location: Indianapolis
woottebs wrote:
i think the only debatable ob on the course is the island green on hole 11. its just too shallow.

Matt Blakely made the same point two years ago and was given the go ahead -- if he would do the work and he agreed to do it -- to enlarge the green and install the cores further upslope.  As far as i know we are still waiting on Matt...   Initially we were going to make the island bigger but the roots and terrain there made it very difficfult.  When this was told to Matt shortly after we had moved the pin, he said he would do the work.  Not sure if he tried and found it too difficult or forgot about his having volunteered... Matt?
Rob J
Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 10:07:49 PM

Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 3/1/2003
Posts: 461
Location: Indianapolis
osu_buckeyes wrote:
Yea, we all know your stance Rob. I think most of us are probably also getting sick of hearing about it.

i posted because Paul called me out on my stance on hole 5 and to share Open World Champion Johnny Sias's position since he asked me Saturday before the tournament why we weren't playing the [designed] OB's.   perhaps the difference in stances is based on whether you are looking  to set the course up for the majority of the participants (median rating being well below 1000), or to set it up for Gold level players.  The intent of Idlewild's design is to seriously challenge 1000 and above rated players.  That is why I like playing it so much -- being only a wannabe Gold level player it gives me a chance to try and shoot for the stars.  I also want to see top-tier PDGA events be structured with the most skilled players in mind (when it comes to the Pro field). 

lest it be misunderstood i am thankful to Dan and everyone else involved in running the Disc n Dat and do not go so far as to make the disagreement personal.  life is way too short for that, and a TD is (and should be) free to do what he or she wants. 

one other comment -- and this is intended constructively -- is that i think it would have been better to have 2 (rather than 3) spotters on 15 Sunday and to have put the third one on 5.  In the 4th round, every Pro on the lead card went over the top and if Nick and I hadn't been spotting Tyler probably would have been looking at stroke and distance (lost disc penalty -- which Tyler mentioned when he thanked me)...  Most Open players go over the top there.  that said, i know spotters are hard to come by and it was great to see them out there on 15.  thanks guys.

Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 10:16:52 PM
Rank: Regular

Joined: 5/4/2008
Posts: 59
Location: Columbus
I was not there, but I personally think the layout Dan played is a better course. Hole 5 if you are on the right side of that creek, you are dead either way. The drop zone seems silly to me....as for hole 11, I am one who thinks the original hole was a better hole. You could get a 2,3,4,5,6.....and if you got that 2, you were risking a big putt usually. Heck, many times the lay up on that basket was tough. I just don't like the island green, maybe if it was bigger I would think differently? On hole 16, I really don't know what to say about that hole regardless of the OB. There really is not strategic way to play that hole from what I see. Now I take the Matt Blakely approach and throw it as hard as I can and close my eyes, hoping I don't get kicked in the water. There is enough O.B. on that hole and making more is just a slap in the face? :-) I just don't see the skill in a hole like that, but that is just me. It is still one of my favorite courses, I can't imagine the hours of work and volunteers it takes to maintain that place. Please don't take this message personal, for each one that thinks like I do, there are five others who think something completely different!

As for course records, I agree that in the years I have been there the course has never been the same!
Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2009 8:34:12 AM

Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 11/18/2003
Posts: 944
Location: Fairfield, OH
Brad, if you're not in the hall of fame or a former world champion your opinion doesn't count. Oh, wait, you're a 1000 rated pro. The kind of person the course was designed to challenge? Now I'm confused.

course record is 58, shot 3 times.
Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2009 7:18:15 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 5/9/2007
Posts: 2
   First I want to say, Idlewild is may be my favorite course. Most people don't have a clue as to how much time and work has been put into this course. When I asked Rob about the OB's, I was just curious as to why we weren't playing the OB's marked. I myself would have liked to played them.
    My opinion  on some of the holes are that the Island green on Hole 11 should be a little bit bigger, not a whole lot. If you don't have OB behind the hole and the same goes with hole 15. It makes the holes easier. You can crash it into the hill and have an easy putt. Actually I'm not sure about the OB on 5, it might even make people try to go over the top more. I don't think that is what Fred and Bob want. Maybe make it a mando to the left down low just before you get to the OB. With all that has been said let me say this. I think that it is the TD's decision to play the course, mando's, OB's 2 meter rule ever how he or she wants. It is a big headache to run a tournament and I appreciate and applaud anybody that does. Unless I am hurt I will be back next year. Oh! it's not a record, but a 64 in the last round wasn't too bad for an old man.
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 12:48:23 AM

Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 8/10/2004
Posts: 455
I think the discussion of "course record" is way "over discussed".
All courses change with the seasons because of growth of trees, erosion, and of course, changes/improvements to the course.
With the number/variety of possible shots at Idlewild, the course could actually change in difficulty from week to week, especially during the Spring.
When Fred and I discuss changes at Idlewild, I almost always say "if it makes the course more challenging, consistent, or safer to play, let's do it".
I helped Fred design the course, but he has worked on the course about 100 times more than me over the years. Although, when Fred calls me, I will take a vacation day just to work on the course. Many of you posters out there could improve your perspective with a few volunteer hours, especially at the courses you criticize. With the right attitude and some hard work you could help make changes yourself, and enjoy the course more too!

Someone does need to be in charge and make final decisions (avoid chaos), and I trust (and respect) Fred to be that person.
You folks don't even want to know some of the changes I would like to make...

BTW, the previous poster is Johnny Sias, 1986 World Champion, designer of many courses, a hard worker, a really nice guy, and still a very tough golfer. It is wonderful to have you play our course Johnny.

Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:27:15 PM
Rank: Tree Hukker

Joined: 5/18/2008
Posts: 17
Bob, The one thing that is the most memorable to me were the times we all worked putting in Idlewild. When I Think back to those days It makes me feel good inside. It was hard work but, we all had good times and dark chocolate. I knew Fred & you were trying to mold a premier pro course but, at the time I did not foresee the buzz it (Idlewild) has now. And as you have stated above Bob, perspectives would improve. On hole #16 there is a lot of ob because of the creek and, it may very well be a toss of the dice; but what I recall is the design of hole 16 was to force one to make accurate throws to specific landing areas, not pitch&putt. Im sure Fred knew that innovation may not be ready for that days golfer and, apparently todays either.
Fred Salaz
Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2009 8:28:45 PM
Rank: Expert

Joined: 2/27/2003
Posts: 1,240
Dan, I was out at Idlewild today and noticed that all the string has not been pick up and the string that was picked up was dumped by the tee signs of #4 ane #5. Please have this taken care of asap. Next year you may consider using spray paint. It's quicker to apply, more visible and you don't have to worry about pulling it up after the tournament. Thanks
Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2009 8:52:57 PM

Rank: Expert

Joined: 3/1/2003
Posts: 1,612
thanks fred
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