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When will we see 550+ par 4's and 750 yard par 5's on tour?


LimaSierra
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I don't think we are that far off.

 

At the US Open, there have been some par 4s like that already

 

Granted, a lot of those par 4's at Chambers Bay were downhill and likely only played 480.

 

But the 4th at Pinehurst in 2014 played a legit 542 yards. And the closing hole at Merion in 2013 was 530 yards on Saturday's round.

 

The European Challenge Tour played a Par 6 that was 783 yards a few years ago. And it wasn't all that difficult. It averaged 5.30 strokes, so while difficult for a par 5, the PGA tour plays par 5's that are harder each year. (14th at Pebble Beach etc) 

 

Just this week, the tour is playing a course that has 2 par 4's over 520 yards

 

I think in the next 5 years a 8200+ yard course will be seen. It just seems you could put these pro golfers on a 9000 yard course and they'd go low

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I think the sweetspot for par 5s for these guys is 580-620 range. Anything shorter and they are likely to eat it up. Mixing in a longer one can be interesting if it's a challenging layup, otherwise it's just a wedge shot which isn't that exciting. I don't think 750 is coming unless at altitude. 

 

As far as the par 4s go, you almost have to have some that long, or at least the option to play it that long if the conditions allow. 480 in benign conditions is driver 7 iron or less for those guys. 

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Fortunately, only when they have the real estate to even consider it.

 

Unfortunately, I think they will when they have the real estate to even consider it.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, dalehead said:

Don’t know exactly when it will be but 8000 yard courses are only a matter of time. Problem is many existing courses don’t have the room to go to those lengths.

 

https://thepfaucourse.com/golf-course/

 

7900 on the scorecard.  When this was being built it was rumored to be around 8042 from the tips.  I guess they didn't quite get it that long.

 

Oh, yeah, it is a par 71.

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Usually when a par 5 is close to or over 580, there's helping factors such as a "speed slot" where the slope drops off and they cut the fairway really short.  The balls roll out anywhere from 20 to 70 yards.  Those holes will usually be down wind as well, unless the wind swirls or the wind pattern changes.  Most of these so called "long" par 5's tend to play much shorter than their stated yardage.  You have to consider these factors when you mention long par 5's.  A long par 4 or 5 isn't going to be difficult if it's relatively straight, benign and not quite as penalizing. 

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Honestly I’ve never found courses to be more difficult because of length as the main determinant. Personally I think weak course design and easy playing conditions are the problem. On a week to week basis you rarely see rough, the greens run around 12.5, and the fairways are cut to green lengths for extra roll. Even good amateurs will tear up courses in those conditions.

 

With regards to course design: greens are generally way too big in size, tee shots require little to no shaping, and OB/other penalties aren’t prevalent. I don’t blame course designers because at the end of the day they’re pandering to the masses. 
 

Honestly my solution would be simply to adjust Par … which is commonplace at US Open Venues to 70 as opposed to the standard Par 72. Even the NCAA, awful organization, changed Par from 72 to 70 for the Men’s Division I National Championship.

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5 hours ago, Titleist84 said:

A round of golf should be a test of all 14 clubs in the bag. 

Sounds great in theory however it's quite difficult to produce in reality. How many courses do you play that make you use all 14 clubs in a given round? Likely not many if any. It's been that way regardless of the skill level of golf played for a very long time.

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14 hours ago, Teekman said:

Honestly my solution would be simply to adjust Par … which is commonplace at US Open Venues to 70 as opposed to the standard Par 72. Even the NCAA, awful organization, changed Par from 72 to 70 for the Men’s Division I National Championship.

 

How does that change score or how they play the course?

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Just now, smashdn said:

 

How does that change score or how they play the course?

It's a psychological effect more than anything. For example, I'm sure very few people realized that Winged Foot is a Par 72 Course traditionally and yet by setting it to Par 70 helped create a narrative that only one person broke Par last year bolstering the story to viewers. The reality was 16 golfers broke par that week.

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8 minutes ago, cristphoto said:

Years ago the men's US Open had a 300 yard par 3.  Cut a little 5-iron to the back pin?  😆

 

I hit 7 but you know, each to their own.

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Unless pro golf wants 7 hour rounds, that kind of stuff won't happen.  Besides, the amount of land needed to do that kind of thing probably doesn't exist either.  Most courses that have been re-done or lengthened are already about as long as they can be.

 

Courses don't need more length.  They need more angles.  

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1 hour ago, JaNelson38 said:

Most courses that have been re-done or lengthened are already about as long as they can be.

 

Given this^

 

1 hour ago, JaNelson38 said:

Courses don't need more length.  They need more angles.  

 

How this^?

 

A complete re-model or maybe start teeing off from the boxes of different holes to play to different greens?

 

I am questioning with the issues you bring up that preclude adding length how would a course or architect inject more angles.  Furthermore, how would you create more angles that cannot be "cut" thus reducing the playing length of the hole even more?  If the answer is trees, it seems fair to point out that many courses are removing trees for a number of factors and I haven't read many accounts lamenting a tree-removal program as a bad thing for golf.

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On 6/8/2021 at 9:12 AM, TLUBulldogGolf said:

I think the sweetspot for par 5s for these guys is 580-620 range. Anything shorter and they are likely to eat it up. Mixing in a longer one can be interesting if it's a challenging layup, otherwise it's just a wedge shot which isn't that exciting. I don't think 750 is coming unless at altitude. 

 

As far as the par 4s go, you almost have to have some that long, or at least the option to play it that long if the conditions allow. 480 in benign conditions is driver 7 iron or less for those guys. 

 

Agreed. There are plenty of great par 5's in the 520-550 range out there, but they are on very old and shorter layouts not capable of hosting tour events. 

 

Uphill/downhill is always a factor, same as the level of wind and altitude on the course. A downhill 560yd par 4 would be doable on a mountain course for those guys. 

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I played a hole in Winchester, Virginia at a course called Rock Harbor on the Boulder course and there was a 715 yard par 5 and it was an awesome hole.  It does look like a ski slope for sure but I hit a 415 yard drive and still had three bills left!  It was a great hole though and that course had the best front nine that I have ever played. 

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When you are talking about the top 0.005% of golfers in the world and you have a piece of land that is flat, pretty non-descript, without a ton of trees and water, yes.   

 

When you have the top 0.005% of golfers in the world and you have a good piece of land, that has hills, plenty of water or other obstacles, and fully mature trees there is no reason you have to make a course that long.

 

It is all about design and course conditions.  If you have super fast fairways, giant greens, few little penalty for hitting tee shots offline, then yes even at 7,800 yards the pros on their game that week will shoot under par, and some quite a bit under par.  Take that same course, with trees blocking out starting lines over doglegs(so they have to actually move the ball with the hole), fairways on straight holes that aren't running at a 9 or 10 on the stimp meter, actual penalty for being too far off with your tee shots (hazards, or when a lack of hazards are there severe greens with run offs to severe elevations).  Then no.

 

The problem is making a course for the masses and one that will challenge the pros at the same time, or can be made to challenge the pros.  

 

Start lines off of tee boxes are one of the biggest thing I see with pros, they can hit tee shots so quickly up in the air that carry a long way.  Amateurs cannot.  We know that unless the ball plugs most bunker shots for pros are pretty easy.  We watched tour pros get really good at hacking out of rough near the green and making par too.  

 

When you make a fairway bunker so deep that a pro cannot go at the green because of the lip and the amateurs have to play it they will hate it and call it too severe and it will not receive a ton of play.  The problem is balance, one week a year the pros play it, the other 51 weeks it is a bunch of amateurs.  Having length for the pros is one answer, the other is start lines off of tee boxes on doglegs.  If they can hit it 330 or 340  with a controlled cut/slice or draw/hook into a contoured fairway they deserve a good look at birdie.  Blasting one over the dogleg at 340 where a cut or draw still finds the corridor is not as skilled a shot as the ones above.

 

Hitting a specific shot shape required at 340 is more of a skill than hitting one 340 that it doesn't matter if it cuts or draws because they have 9 iron in and in the rough that is fine for the bombers.  If you mandate start line and allow any shape that goes 240-270, or require start line and shot shape for anything over 280 or even 300 to get the short iron and the 240 to 270 requires a 6 or 7 that holes scoring average goes up.

 

 

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Golf is so dependent on the condition of the course, the average weather conditions and other factors. You could make a course below 7,000 yards feel "longish" for pros, if you split fairways at a certain point, add numerous hazards at regular landing areas, mow the fairways a certain way, play into a wind, water the fairways and rough.

 

Meanwhile if you make a course a runway fairway where distance is the only obstacle but you allow players to hit it as hard as they can without thinking, even 8,000 yards won't be enough. We saw that with the 7,800 yard Erin Hills that was one of the weakest US Open tests in recent history.

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Definitely not.  I tell ya, country clubs and cemeteries, the biggest wasters of prime real estate

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I really believe no courses need to be lengthened for PGA golf. The set up needs to change to more accuracy demanding conditions. Really tough accuracy conditions.

 

Water the hell out of it so there is little to no roll.

Grow the rough - long thick rough - staged at 3“ to 5”

Contour and pinch the fairways tight in all the right spots, so that accuracy and the rough is a challenge.

Play all bunkers raw, without any grooming.

Stimp the greens at 8-10 so that a premium is on short putts - accuracy again.

 

These conditions are conducive to seeing much more variety of club selections.

 

 

 

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