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Which PGA Tour events produce the best leader boards?

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Post by McLaren Mon 09 Mar 2020, 12:20 pm

I thought this article was interesting so I have posted it below.

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/which-pga-tour-events-produce-the-best-leader-boards


Shane Ryan and Mark Broadie wrote:It started with an idea from Golf Digest editor Ryan Herrington, who noticed that the past champions at the Sony Open were a list of impressive names and emailed me with a very good question:

“Got me thinking … what is the tournament with the best group of past champs …wonder if there’s a way to get a ranking?”

I loved this idea, and immediately started turning it around in my head. What tournament produced the best winners … or, looking deeper, the best finishers in general? A champion alone, I thought, was a little too volatile, and would yield a small and unreliable sample size. Still, if you could take the top 15 from the leader board over a number of years, and compare the majors with PGA Tour and World Golf Championships using the same data set, you could start to answer the question.

But what was the question, exactly? As near as I can devise it, the simplest form is this: Which tournaments consistently have the best players finish the highest?
Or, less formally: Which events have the most top-loaded leader boards, relative to their field?

From there, you can form your own opinions about what it all means. My reason is that I thought by finding the tournaments where the best players reliably performed well, over time, you could reasonably infer that those tournaments (and courses) were the best at testing the field, and rewarding the golfers with the most complete games. It’s a way of measuring that old cliché: Where do we find the truest test of golf?

However, as much as I love statistics, I quickly realized the scope of the project had gone beyond me. So I turned to the man I always turn to in these situations, Mark Broadie. Mark needs no introduction among golf heads, but just in case, he’s a Columbia Business School professor and golf statistics guru/pioneer/virtuoso who helped develop the strokes gained/putting metric that has revolutionized how we evaluate PGA Tour golfers, and has spread to every part of the game. Mark and I previously collaborated on finding out which players step up the most at majors relative to their “normal” performance, and attempting to find the single greatest round in PGA Tour history by using advanced metrics. And when I say “collaborate,” let me be clear about what that means: I have a shell of an idea (or in this case, I share an idea with my editor), and Mark helps me clarify the idea and then does all the hard mathematical work to see it come to fruition. This kind of “collaboration,” on my end, is truly the best job in golf.
This time was no different: He quickly devised a plan that would attempt to answer this very complicated question. In brief, he looked at the top 15 finishers in every major, WGC, and PGA Tour event dating back to 2012—obviously that eliminates earlier eras of competition but data limitations meant you could gather reliable numbers to crunch in the last seven years. Broadie ranked the players within the field of every event based on Official World Golf Ranking data, placing more value on a first-place finish than a 15th-place finish, and used some statistical voodoo to account for the effect of different field sizes (allowing us to compare the WGC-Match Play to the Masters to a normal 156-player Tour event). He then adjusted it all so the best possible score for any event was roughly 100 … making it easier for people like me to read and evaluate.

I’m afraid even that description is a gross over-simplification of the labor that went into this, as well as the quality checks that validated the approach, but to go much deeper is to get lost in the weeds. So we’ll move now to the great unveiling of results, but first, what to call the new metric? This one was my idea: MOCCASINS.
M easure o f C ourse/C ompetition A ggregate S trength by IN dividual S uccess
Why not? Everyone loves moccasins. And the great thing is that each separate tournament can be measured by its own MOCCASINS rating, which means this is a statistic with plenty of future utility.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the top 46 tournaments measured by MOCCASINS since 2012—the higher score, the better the leader boards:

Which PGA Tour events produce the best leader boards? Moccasins-tournaments-scores-ranking

Before we discuss the results, Mark pointed out a few factors to consider when digesting the list. First, it’s no surprise that the WGC-Dell Match Play was almost dead last—the format is conducive to wild, unpredictable finishes far more than a stroke-play event. It’s also worth taking “secondary effects” into account, such as the fact that while a PGA Tour event features 156 players who all earned their place by performance at the highest level and each golfer can theoretically win, majors include dozens of players with little shot because of different qualifying systems. That means the top of the leader board has a better chance to be clustered with great players. Then there’s length: the top spots in the OWGR are almost all occupied by bombers, and that’s because most courses reward length. Which means that short courses will do the opposite, and typically rank lower by MOCCASINS standards. Finally, even though Mark devised a system that would allow comparison between events with different field strengths, the fact is that the absolute best players in the world are significantly better than those behind them, meaning the difference between No. 1 and No. 10 is a much wider gulf (measured by strokes gained) than between No. 41 and No. 50. For that reason, there will naturally be more variability in weaker fields.

And with those disclaimers out, let’s look at some of the most interesting results:

1. The major championships do very well, with the PGA (74.9), Open Championship (73.1) and Masters (72.4) holding the top three MOCCASINS spots. The U.S. Open is lower at No. 15 (62.9), but maybe that’s not so surprising when you consider how many top players struggle when facing the USGA’s setups.
2. The RBC Canadian Open is the highest ranked PGA Tour event (No. 4 overall), while the WGC Invitational (RIP Bridgestone) was No. 1 for WGCs and No. 8 overall. It will be interesting to see how and if that changes with the new location in Memphis.
3. The email that started it all proved prophetic: The Sony Open reliably produces great finishing fields, and sits at No. 5 overall with a 69.1 MOCCASINS average.
4. The Players Championship is low, at No. 41 with a 50.3 MOCCASINS average, but that’s no surprise when you consider the factors working against it. First, it’s the toughest field in golf, which means it doesn’t get the artificial boost of having qualifiers who can’t win, the way the other majors do. Second, it’s a (relatively) shorter course, which penalizes it for the reasons stated above. Even so, the number is low enough that it goes beyond certain inherent disadvantages, and shows that compared to other tournaments, the best players are not near the top of the leader board with the same regularity.
5. Last on the list is The Greenbrier Classic, which boasts two of the five lowest MOCCASINS averages from individual events in the last decade, from the 2012 and 2013 events (champions, respectively: Ted Potter Jr., and Jonas Blixt).
Which brings us to a fun part of MOCCASINS—looking at isolated events. Here are the 10 events with the highest MOCCASINS numbers since 2012:

Which PGA Tour events produce the best leader boards? Moccasins-individual-tournaments

As you see, the 2013 Open Championship comes out on top with an astounding 93.7 score. A look at the top 10 tells the story: Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Adam Scott, Lee Westwood, Zach Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Tiger Woods, Hunter Mahan, Francesco Molinari. They were the best of the best at the time, and they all finished near the top.

Close behind in the No. 2 spot, and first among PGA Tour events, is the 2014 Sony Open, won by Jimmy Walker and featuring Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Adam Scott in the top 15. The field itself wasn’t as strong as you’d find at a major, but the best players at the course that week performed quite well. The 2017 Sony Open with a Justin Rose/Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth top three, is just a few spots behind, and one of only eight tournaments with a MOCCASINS number greater than 90.
Other notable events in the top 10 include the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (92.5 on MOCCASINS) featuring Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Louis Oosthuizen, Tiger, Jason Dufner, and the 2017 Masters (91.4) featuring Sergio Garcia triumphing over Justin Rose … and Paul Casey, McIlroy, Scott and more. The highest ranked event from last season was the Farmers Insurance Open, won by Rose (there he is again!), and with Scott, Matsuyama, Jason Day, McIlroy and Jon Rahm close behind.
With caveats, MOCCASINS gives us our first statistical look at what courses and events most often give us a “true test,” and where the best players tend to succeed the most. As sample sizes get larger, and more results come in, it will only get better at telling us where to find the best leader boards … for a single weekend, or an entire decade.
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 09 Mar 2020, 7:04 pm

Mac,
I don't know what to make of this!

Except to say that I might feel, if I was tempted to argue about it which I'm not, is that the Majors are more highly competitive than most of the Podunk Opens. Which seems to contradict the values expressed by robo and GPB on behalf of the PGA Tour and Mr. Azinger on another thread. Funny that . . . . . . .


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Post by ralphjohn69 Tue 10 Mar 2020, 12:14 am

It seems to suggest that Muirfield (Open 2013 venue) is the fairest & best test of the best players; having played it 3 times I think this is absolutely true. Look beyond the furore re lady members and Muirfield should be the course, rather than the Old Course, which is most used on the Open rota. I know this is a small sample (only 1 Muirfield Open in the data analysed) but every Muirfield Open seems to be extremely exciting and, almost without exception, produces a great winner. (Mickelson, Els, Faldo, Faldo, Watson, Trevino, Nicklaus, Player, Cotton the last 9, I rest my case).

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Post by super_realist Tue 10 Mar 2020, 8:16 am

Muirfield is certainly one of the best courses, but I don't really care about the best Leaderboards in regards to who is on them, I'm more interested in whether it's an exciting and interesting event to watch, which is why TOC Opens fails so often because it's so dreary for a major event with the most dull last 6 of all the major courses.
Therefore it depends on your definition of what "best" means. I'd rather watch an exciting Open where the leaderboard is constantly changing on the final day like Carnoustie where a large number of players could win, than someone who is on a processional final 18 like TOC.

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Post by JAS Tue 10 Mar 2020, 9:56 am

ralphjohn69 wrote:It seems to suggest that Muirfield (Open 2013 venue) is the fairest & best test of the best players; having played it 3 times I think this is absolutely true.  Look beyond the furore re lady members and Muirfield should be the course, rather than the Old Course, which is most used on the Open rota.  I know this is a small sample (only 1 Muirfield Open in the data analysed) but every Muirfield Open seems to be extremely exciting and, almost without exception, produces a great winner.  (Mickelson, Els, Faldo, Faldo, Watson, Trevino, Nicklaus, Player, Cotton the last 9, I rest my case).

That is certainly a pretty unique stat about Muirfield insofar as all the winners have at least 4 majors, NO other venue comes close to matching that stat. So you’d have to say it favours the more complete and accomplished players of the era.

Every course can produce exciting dramatic finishes though, Troon was epic 3 years ago Turnberry has experienced that as well and obviously Carnoustie is final day drama personified. The Troon and Turnberry ones were very much player made, 2 greats at the top of their game going flat out. With Carnoustie on the other hand its very much the closing set of holes that sets up the drama.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 10 Mar 2020, 9:59 am

ralphjohn69 wrote:It seems to suggest that Muirfield (Open 2013 venue) is the fairest & best test of the best players; having played it 3 times I think this is absolutely true.  Look beyond the furore re lady members and Muirfield should be the course, rather than the Old Course, which is most used on the Open rota.  I know this is a small sample (only 1 Muirfield Open in the data analysed) but every Muirfield Open seems to be extremely exciting and, almost without exception, produces a great winner.  (Mickelson, Els, Faldo, Faldo, Watson, Trevino, Nicklaus, Player, Cotton the last 9, I rest my case).


ralph,
In news reports following the selection of Troon to host in 2023, there was comment that Turnberry & Muirfield have been by-passed (pun not intended) because of inadequate access to the courses.

The only Open site I've been to is Royal St.George's and I can't imagine a more inacessible venue - is Muirfield really that bad? Or is it just a red herring to delay Turnberry for a year or two and take a sacrificial lamb (Muirfield) along with it?

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Post by JAS Tue 10 Mar 2020, 10:19 am

kwinigolfer wrote:
ralphjohn69 wrote:It seems to suggest that Muirfield (Open 2013 venue) is the fairest & best test of the best players; having played it 3 times I think this is absolutely true.  Look beyond the furore re lady members and Muirfield should be the course, rather than the Old Course, which is most used on the Open rota.  I know this is a small sample (only 1 Muirfield Open in the data analysed) but every Muirfield Open seems to be extremely exciting and, almost without exception, produces a great winner.  (Mickelson, Els, Faldo, Faldo, Watson, Trevino, Nicklaus, Player, Cotton the last 9, I rest my case).


ralph,
In news reports following the selection of Troon to host in 2023, there was comment that Turnberry & Muirfield have been by-passed (pun not intended) because of inadequate access to the courses.

The only Open site I've been to is Royal St.George's and I can't imagine a more inacessible venue - is Muirfield really that bad? Or is it just a red herring to delay Turnberry for a year or two and take a sacrificial lamb (Muirfield) along with it?

Ah the old Maybole bypass excuse for Turnberry (they were told that after ‘94 and I thought it was going to be built and open before 2009 - still waiting). Maybe in preparation for the pie in the sky bridge (or tunnel) to NI they’ll motorway the A77 right down. Then there’s Turnberry station which they could reopen (trouble is outside an Open week it would get virtually no use so it would have to be shuttle buses from Maybole or Girvan.

I guess Muirfield has similar issues being so far off the A1, I suppose they have shuttle buses from North Berwick?

Have to say, thinking back to the Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor I thought the R&A would have learned a bit more about the logistics of getting 1000’s of people into a venue. Ok the CM isn’t that far off the M4 but the whole set up was very impressive and should be serving as a model to open venues.

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Post by McLaren Tue 10 Mar 2020, 11:10 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Mac,
I don't know what to make of this!


Me too. My thought was that the courses and set up must be what determines this, Muirfiled for example as discussed above. Making the course too brutal like the US open seems to open the event up to a more random outcome.
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Post by George1507 Wed 11 Mar 2020, 10:38 am

JAS wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:
ralphjohn69 wrote:It seems to suggest that Muirfield (Open 2013 venue) is the fairest & best test of the best players; having played it 3 times I think this is absolutely true.  Look beyond the furore re lady members and Muirfield should be the course, rather than the Old Course, which is most used on the Open rota.  I know this is a small sample (only 1 Muirfield Open in the data analysed) but every Muirfield Open seems to be extremely exciting and, almost without exception, produces a great winner.  (Mickelson, Els, Faldo, Faldo, Watson, Trevino, Nicklaus, Player, Cotton the last 9, I rest my case).


ralph,
In news reports following the selection of Troon to host in 2023, there was comment that Turnberry & Muirfield have been by-passed (pun not intended) because of inadequate access to the courses.

The only Open site I've been to is Royal St.George's and I can't imagine a more inacessible venue - is Muirfield really that bad? Or is it just a red herring to delay Turnberry for a year or two and take a sacrificial lamb (Muirfield) along with it?

Ah the old Maybole bypass excuse for Turnberry (they were told that after ‘94 and I thought it was going to be built and open before 2009 - still waiting). Maybe in preparation for the pie in the sky bridge (or tunnel) to NI they’ll motorway the A77 right down. Then there’s Turnberry station which they could reopen (trouble is outside an Open week it would get virtually no use so it would have to be shuttle buses from Maybole or Girvan.

I guess Muirfield has similar issues being so far off the A1, I suppose they have shuttle buses from North Berwick?

Have to say, thinking back to the Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor I thought the R&A would have learned a bit more about the logistics of getting 1000’s of people into a venue. Ok the CM isn’t that far off the M4 but the whole set up was very impressive and should be serving as a model to open venues.

Access to Opens at Muirfield from North Berwick and the south is very good. From Edinburgh and the west it used to be a pain with traffic tailing back through Gullane all the way to Prestonpans. Parking used to be in that field between the 9th and the North Berwick road, and spilled over into another field between Muirfield and Archerfield. To alleviate all that the R&A hired a giant field near Drem and laid on buses to the course. It's pretty close to the A1. You could park there and then get the bus to the course. People arriving on the train to Drem station caught the bus too. Then the bus took you back again at the end of the day. It did work pretty well traffic wise but it turned Gullane into a ghost town with double deckers hurtling through. What used to be the best week of the decade for shops, restaurants and pubs turned out to be the worst week of the decade. This coincided with the R&A deciding that you couldn't leave the course and come back. So Gullane became superfluous. The HCEG has approached the R&A to see if the balance can be moved it a bit back in favour of the town without creating the traffic jams of previous Opens. What happens at the next remains to be seen.

Turnberry is unusual because pretty much the only access to the course is by car. There isn't much accommodation in the immediate area, and the railway was torn up in the 1940s. Out of all the Open courses it has the best on site parking - on the old runways - but the traffic jams going north back towards Ayr and Glasgow were terrible at the end of the day. So the jury is still out on when - if ever - the Open goes back to Turnberry. With Trump as the owner, it's an easy decision to kick into the long grass for at least another 5 years. Maybe there will be a new road at some point, but it's been mooted for years with no progress.

Sandwich is indeed a nightmare to get to, and from. As the first English course to host the Open, it's on the rota for sentimental reasons rather than practical ones. It's the only Open course accessible from London though, so the R&A is persisting. There's been a lot of investment at the station, and a new walkway to get from the station to the course so railway access is favourite. Nevertheless the worry remains that the whole area could grind to a halt this year. If it does then Sandwich could leave the rota for a long while.

So the Open is likely to rotate regularly (say about every 10 years) between Hoylake, Birkdale, Lytham in England, and Troon, Muirfield, Carnoustie in Scotland, with Sandwich, Portrush, and Turnberry appearing about every 20 years, and St Andrews every 5.

Until someone builds a links course near a station, near a city, with dual carriageway access from at least two directions, that's the way it will stay.

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Post by super_realist Wed 11 Mar 2020, 10:58 am

St Andrews isn't that accessible, yet they persist with that. A single carriage A Road from around 20 miles in all directions, and a small railway station 5 miles away.

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Post by George1507 Wed 11 Mar 2020, 11:45 am

Yes, but somehow St Andrews manages. And it's the Old Course, the R&A, the home of golf, the oldest course on the rota, big crowds guaranteed, the auld grey toon, and all that.

And the SALT is trying to make the Old Course a good 21st century test. That tee shot off the back on the 14th is really intimidating if the wind is into or off the left. Ditto the drive on the 17th. And the number of times I've come to grief on Agnes Grainger's bosoms on the 15th is depressing.

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Post by super_realist Wed 11 Mar 2020, 12:00 pm

George1507 wrote:Yes, but somehow St Andrews manages. And it's the Old Course, the R&A, the home of golf, the oldest course on the rota, big crowds guaranteed, the auld grey toon, and all that.

And the SALT is trying to make the Old Course a good 21st century test. That tee shot off the back on the 14th is really intimidating if the wind is into or off the left. Ditto the drive on the 17th. And the number of times I've come to grief on Agnes Grainger's bosoms on the 15th is depressing.

SALT aren't or more likely can't make TOC a good test for the 21st century. Its not penal enough and you wouldn't be able to make it so without a significant revamp, and that's not going to happen. 17th isn't an intimidating drive really, there tons of room to bail out left if you're a complete chicken, or you can go much closer to the hotel than people realise.

All SALT are currently doing on the course is changing some of the edges of the rough to build them up to make it less of a terrible venue for viewing. They aren't making changes to any of the holes for next year other than there is a new tee on 8 which is slightly further back. If anything it's easier because they've ripped out a ton of bushes and gorse.

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Post by JAS Thu 12 Mar 2020, 8:34 am

George...”but the traffic jams going north back towards Ayr and Glasgow were terrible at the end of the day. “ I must have been spoilt in 2009 with local knowledge ;-) Out the car park and turn toward the Maidens rather than try to get back to the A77. To then avoid Maybole either take the Dunure/Electric Brae coastal route or single track roads, not sure how congested the northbound A77 would be beyond Ayr but again there would be other options. Trump aside I do think it’s a bit of a shame the Turnberry doesn’t get it more often, it is one of the better spectator viewing courses and it always produces drama, as in great drama!!

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Post by George1507 Thu 12 Mar 2020, 9:59 am

JAS - I was at that Open too. I stayed in New Cumnock and managed to find a cross country route through Dalmellington that brought me out somewhere north of Girvan. It was pretty easy to get to Turnberry from there. The big problems were days 3 and 4, when everyone left pretty much simultaneously, most of them headed up the A77. It eased a bit at Ayr, after the A70 junction, but some were there for hours.

I agree, it's a great course, really good to watch there, and all other things notwithstanding, it should be on the rota.

I don't know if the changes Trump and co have made have improved it, or whether they've made it worse, but for as long as Trump is in the White House then it'll be pretty easy for the R&A to ignore Turnberry.

It's a shame because just improving the A77 - or building a new road from Stranraer to Kilmarnock would solve most of the traffic issues. If this bridge or tunnel to Northern Ireland ever happens then that road will happen.

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Post by JAS Thu 12 Mar 2020, 10:28 am

George1507 wrote:JAS - I was at that Open too. I stayed in New Cumnock and managed to find a cross country route through Dalmellington that brought me out somewhere north of Girvan. It was pretty easy to get to Turnberry from there. The big problems were days 3 and 4, when everyone left pretty much simultaneously, most of them headed up the A77. It eased a bit at Ayr, after the A70 junction, but some were there for hours.

I agree, it's a great course, really good to watch there, and all other things notwithstanding, it should be on the rota.

I don't know if the changes Trump and co have made have improved it, or whether they've made it worse, but for as long as Trump is in the White House then it'll be pretty easy for the R&A to ignore Turnberry.

It's a shame because just improving the A77 - or building a new road from Stranraer to Kilmarnock would solve most of the traffic issues. If this bridge or tunnel to Northern Ireland ever happens then that road will happen.

New Cumnock??, crikey have they got any hotels, apart from Lochside? Cumnock is my old home town. I know those backroads well around and through Dailly, Straiton etc as I used to salmon fish the River Stinchar in my younger days. Once you get below Girvan it’s pretty remote but lovely part of the country, whether you go inland toward GlenTrool or down past Ballantrae on the coast road. Not sure if the volume of traffic would justify dualling all the way to Stranraer. Sure a bridge/tunnel wouldn’t be economically justifiable either but political vanity projects are political vanity projects. If such a link ever did get beyond speculation then yes extending the M77 to Stranraer (and indeed upgrading the A75 to an M75 from Stranraer to Gretna would be precursors).

100% agree re Turnberry as a venue and from what I’ve heard the Trump changes have been very well received.




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Post by George1507 Thu 12 Mar 2020, 11:14 am

New Cumnock - I liked it. Looks like it's on the up and up too, the station seems busy with people commuting to Glasgow. We stayed at the Lochside - think it was called the Hunting Lodge or something like that then. It was about £90 per night including breakfast if I recall correctly. And really nice food too. It took about 50 minutes to get to Turnberry from there, of which 10 minutes was the last couple of miles to the course. The weather had been hot and sunny for a while, including the first day of the Open. After a day clambering around those dunes I was FILTHY. Nearly couldn't find the car because it had changed colour from shiny green to matt grey after a day in the dust. We went back to the hotel and showered - the water coming off me was black!

One thing I hadn't clocked when I booked it was that there's a golf course next door to the hotel. Only 9 holes, and not Augusta, but really good fun when you've had dinner and a few beers. Great course for one of those 3 clubs and a putter comps. Just an honesty box system for green fees, and nobody else there. Great times.

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Post by JAS Fri 13 Mar 2020, 10:20 am

George1507 wrote:New Cumnock - I liked it. Looks like it's on the up and up too, the station seems busy with people commuting to Glasgow. We stayed at the Lochside - think it was called the Hunting Lodge or something like that then. It was about £90 per night including breakfast if I recall correctly. And really nice food too. It took about 50 minutes to get to Turnberry from there, of which 10 minutes was the last couple of miles to the course. The weather had been hot and sunny for a while, including the first day of the Open. After a day clambering around those dunes I was FILTHY. Nearly couldn't find the car because it had changed colour from shiny green to matt grey after a day in the dust. We went back to the hotel and showered - the water coming off me was black!

One thing I hadn't clocked when I booked it was that there's a golf course next door to the hotel. Only 9 holes, and not Augusta, but really good fun when you've had dinner and a few beers. Great course for one of those 3 clubs and a putter comps. Just an honesty box system for green fees, and nobody else there. Great times.

As it happens one of Scotland’s richest (Sir Tom Hunter) was brought up in New Cumnock, not sure if he still lives there. As a town it was utterly devastated like most towns around it after the miners strike. I used to frequent Lochside quite a bit, there’s some very big pike and perch in that wee Loch!! :-p

As for the 9 hole course that was the first course I ever played as a 12/13 year old kid, they used to let sheep graze on it in the winter months. I remember once thinning a 3 wood on what was the 1st, the ball smacked into a sheep and wedged itself in the curly horn. Forlornly tried to chase it, farmer would have went berserk if he’d seen the shenanigans.
There was talk of Robert Kyle (the owner of Lochside) buying the golf course and getting another 9 holes built, don’t think it ever materialised though.

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Post by George1507 Sat 14 Mar 2020, 8:10 am

JAS - good story. Takes real skill to get your ball stuck in a sheep's horn!

That course at New Cumnock is the sort of course that suits the 2020s. It's compact, probably easy to maintain, quick to play, unpretentious, simple clubhouse and open to anyone.

I despair that the only courses that open these days are 7500 yard "Championship" monsters, with giant clubhouses. Then they struggle and go bust.

I know tv has a lot to do with stoking expectations but the fact is that golfers and clubs need to change their expectations if golf is to survive like we know it now.

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Post by super_realist Mon 16 Mar 2020, 7:49 am

George1507 wrote:JAS - good story. Takes real skill to get your ball stuck in a sheep's horn!

That course at New Cumnock is the sort of course that suits the 2020s. It's compact, probably easy to maintain, quick to play, unpretentious, simple clubhouse and open to anyone.

I despair that the only courses that open these days are 7500 yard "Championship" monsters, with giant clubhouses. Then they struggle and go bust.

I know tv has a lot to do with stoking expectations but the fact is that golfers and clubs need to change their expectations if golf is to survive like we know it now.

I see a different thing. Courses that have opened up near me recently e.g. The Castle, Dukes, Kingsbarns, Dumbarnie all have massive amounts of tees for all abilities.
Also on the tee front, St Andrews have introduced a new tee system where the traditional "wummens" tees have been replaced with a different colour. The tees are no longer specified as gender specific on the scorecard (which will please Mac, Owen Jones, Sam Smith etc). Hopefully we'll see some of the hackers swallow some pride and start teeing off further forward.

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Post by pedro Mon 16 Mar 2020, 8:46 am

super_realist wrote:Also on the tee front, St Andrews have introduced a new tee system where the traditional "wummens" tees have been replaced with a different colour. The tees are no longer specified as gender specific on the scorecard (which will please Mac, Owen Jones, Sam Smith etc)
But no rainbow coloured tees yet?

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Post by beninho Mon 16 Mar 2020, 9:21 am

I've always liked the idea of basically planning your own course from all the available tees. Choose what you want to play from the outset.

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Post by super_realist Mon 16 Mar 2020, 9:27 am

beninho wrote:I've always liked the idea of basically planning your own course from all the available tees. Choose what you want to play from the outset.

You could certainly choose to play each hole from a different colour of tee, for instance if you're too short to make a carry.
Given how quiet the courses might be you can play from different tees to different greens.

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Post by Plunky Mon 16 Mar 2020, 12:23 pm

How does the mix and match tee approach affect posting your handicap over there ?  Some of the  guys I play with use the regular white tees for most holes, the green (senior) tees for a couple of long holes but then post their scores as if they played from the white tees.  Not a big deal since they don't actually use their handicaps for anything but technically i suppose they shouldn't be doing it.  One of the Bermuda courses we play has actually added a "hybrid" option to their scorecard.  It allows you to play a slightly shorter hole on about half a dozen holes but still post a handicap.  It's used more by tourists than by members and they say it definitely helps pace of play.

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Post by beninho Mon 16 Mar 2020, 12:36 pm

I would guess it's not going to be counted for handicap purposes. But just to make it a bit of fun. Play a shorter par4 or longer par 3.

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Post by McLaren Mon 16 Mar 2020, 12:53 pm

I sometimes play par 5's from the more forward tees to get practice playing longer par 4's. Most par 5's will have some sub 450 tees.

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In the UK you only hand cards in from counting events or nominated rounds. To do either you would have to play a course (set of tees) for which there is a standard scratch (or CSS) available.
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Post by super_realist Mon 16 Mar 2020, 1:05 pm

Plunky wrote:How does the mix and match tee approach affect posting your handicap over there ?  Some of the  guys I play with use the regular white tees for most holes, the green (senior) tees for a couple of long holes but then post their scores as if they played from the white tees.  Not a big deal since they don't actually use their handicaps for anything but technically i suppose they shouldn't be doing it.  One of the Bermuda courses we play has actually added a "hybrid" option to their scorecard.  It allows you to play a slightly shorter hole on about half a dozen holes but still post a handicap.  It's used more by tourists than by members and they say it definitely helps pace of play.

Obviously it wouldn't work in competition as they tend to stipulate which tee to play from, but I think most games are gash games anyway, so it wouldn't matter. One of my clubs tends to alternate comps between whites and yellows to be more of Mac's favourite word "inclusive"

Mac, that's a good idea re: longer par 4's as they are a tricky proposition around the 450 yard mark. Definitely the hardest holes on a course as two very good shots are required whereas you can definitely get away with a bad shot on a par 5.

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Post by George1507 Tue 17 Mar 2020, 9:37 am

super_realist wrote:
beninho wrote:I've always liked the idea of basically planning your own course from all the available tees. Choose what you want to play from the outset.

You could certainly choose to play each hole from a different colour of tee, for instance if you're too short to make a carry.
Given how quiet the courses might be you can play from different tees to different greens.

I really like cross country golf comps. Lots of clubs used to do them, but the H&S people tend to frown on them because balls tend to appear from unexpected directions. Great fun though.

Also greenkeepers' revenge comps are good - trailers and gang mowers left strategically around the course so you have to navigate past them, and pins put in really ludicrous positions. Half way up a slope, or an inch from the top of a slope, or between the green and a bunker.

And two cups on one hole - one in the easiest place possible, the other a stupidly difficult - or nigh on impossible place - double points for the difficult one.

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Post by super_realist Tue 17 Mar 2020, 9:42 am

Been involved with a couple of comps when you play the course backwards. Really interesting way to play golf.

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