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Aka, Righty-Hyzer-Tunnel-Love-Fests

Over the weekend I played on a new course for a tournament.  The property was lovely.  It had water, elevation, mature trees and plenty of space.  There were many tight, technical shots but not a single dumb hole.  The tee pads sucked but this is totally forgivable on a new course.  Many players mentioned how much they loved the course. 

The course was righty hyzer dominant:  a not uncommon condition in courses everywhere.

Hyzer dominant courses are the fast food of disc golf.  They may be popular but they are an evil treat because they don't force players to learn the hardest shots.  A course which has too many righty hyzer shots is not even worthy of a "fast food" label.  It turns into a non-stop TWINKIE DIET.  It builds no muscle.

Great courses build great players.  Weak courses don't.  Course designers do no favor to the players when they build hyzer courses. 

Eat nothing but Twinkies for the next year and tell me how you feel.


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Yeah great point. Ironically our first course here in Johannesburg is forehand right hand hyzer dominant, because thats the drive most of the players use. I cant drive a forehand (hurts my elbow), so ive developed a pretty decent anny, glad to say our second course is a bit more balanced.
You guys should just move to the desert and call it a day. ; )
Gosh, you guys sure know how to take the fun out of the sport! Can't you just be thankful for a new course in your area!? And let's hear it for going out and making up your own object golf course at your local park. Then you can make it as easy or hard as you like ;-)
Well I do agree with Mark that it is a highly righty shot (whether hyzer or not) biased course, it is on the same level righty biased as I say Black Locust is lefty biased. I just played it yesterday for the first time and could recount more than one hole that practically blocked any lefty/sidearm route just based on trees in the way by the tee or right off the pad, forcing an akward stance/no chance at a good drive. There were 3-4 sidearm favoring holes, but most, and especially the long or challenging shots, highly favored a rhbh flight path, hyzer or turnover (rhbh turnover is not the same as rhsa in all cases). Decent fun course, I really wish they had NOT put the last few holes in a poison ivy filled area (with 3 warning signs) and used plenty of the other available space that had none..but that's me
Too much of anything can get lame. Ive never played the course so I cant speak on that but Im a LHBH and I dont mind tossin some crazy anny's. My home courses are great for having to toss a little of everything, so I get mixed practice at all shots and that helps me improve at all aspects of my game. I agree that courses tend to favor that righty hyzer but Im learning to believe that they favor my crazy anny over the righty hyzer. If I look at it like that, then it automatically makes my a more confident player and I always appreciate a challenge. I just love this game, whether Im practising at home or on my local courses, or on a weekend road trip to play new courses.........thanks to that kick ass book called, "Discgolf Michigan".
thanks keith, im a lefty and i think what they meant about a hole going to the right isnt always a great lhbh shot depending on the fairway layout. hole 5 at my home course goes out a hundred and fifty feet, turns right and then turns back left. this shot for me as a lefty causes me to fall short of the pin because the hyzer glides out. for a righty tossing an anhyzer, he can turn right and fade back left to nail the pin. Its apples to oranges and im not complaining one bit, i love it all. if all courses were ideal for one kind of shot then discgolf wouldnt even be cool. i think 666 is a great fundemental idea for course design and BTW, good job on making those courses. some find it easy to complain but wont pick up a weed wacker and help me cut our home courses when they fill in too much. Keep up the good work bro!
Keith Aten on July 7, 2010 at 9:33pm
Do I respond to this or not ? Looks like I am.
I was 1one of the designers of Deerfield and am the designer of Reed. The two courses in question or debate.
I respect Mark and Erik's feelings on these courses.

When designing both I went with the 666 route, 6 straight 6 to the right and 6 to the left. Both of these courses do that. After the Reed tourney I heard of Marks feelings. I walked the course with a lefty and got his opinion. I found that I did do the 666 but the LHBH holes were much easier for a RHBH than the RHBH were for the LHBH. (that make since). I have plans to fix this at Reed.

One statement that really confused me was that just because it goes to the right it is not a LHBH hole ?!?!? What.
By that reasoning then a hole that goes to the left is not a RHBH hole. Correct ?!?!

I do wish these courses were not named in this discussion, due to the passion and love of Deerfield by the Mt Pleasant club . This course was paid for, built (we cleared those damn pricker bushes by hand. No power tools were allowed.The club put in over 300hrs of work to create it and are very passionate of it) and maintained (lack of mowing on parks part had the club out with blades on a stick wacking down the grass and weeds) all by the club.

Keith"

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Do I respond to this or not? I guess I am.

Nothing in my posts was intended to belittle the efforts of any disc golf club in developing or installing a course. I didn't name any course initially because the course I used as an example was only a common example of an unbalanced course and not an especially severe example at that. Most courses are imbalanced: sometimes by preference, sometimes by inadvertence and sometimes due to limitations beyond their control.

A balanced course builds better players because it teaches them better shot-making skills. 666 is only a starting principle in the pursuit of course balance. A course could be 666 ( 6 straight, 6 right and 6 left turning holes) and be drastically unbalanced. The question is which shots are favored by how much.

A player walks up to a tee pad. That player will either throw a clockwise air shot (rhbh or lhfh), a counterclockwise air shot (lhbh or rhfh) or a roller (with either spin). There are no other choices. A course designer should look at every hole from the eyes of each of these shots, both for balance and safety considerations and for exact placement of tee pads, tee sings and obstacles. There is no logical reason why a clockwise shot should be favored over a counterclockwise shot, except that most course designers throw clockwise. Roughly 10% of the population is lefthanded and roughly 20% of tournament players are forehand dominant, making about a quarter of the players counterclockwise dominant. But the more balanced a course is, the more players who will learn and eventually master the opposite spin and become more accomplished players due to this.

I have great respect for Keith Aten as a player and as a man and as a volunteer to the sport. This thread was not aimed at him but every player who has any influence on present or future course designs. Keith and I played recently at Hickory Hills in Traverse City, Michigan. The 23rd hole is a good example of a hole which gives a big advantage to one spin having nothing to do with the 666 formula. The 23rd hole is a long, two drive hole with an OB road along the entire left edge. The fairway is straight as an arrow but narrow with a stream, trees, thickets and rough on the right. So while the drive is STRAIGHT a counterclockwise shot can fly over the OB road, easily gain distance, then hyzer safely back in bounds. The poor righty backhander has an extremely tough drive. If it flies too far to the right it gets caught in the rough before it can hyzer back out. If it flies down the middle it tends to hyzer out into the road. So it needs to go far yet be controlled either dead nuts straight on on a slight anhyzer. It is such a tough hole that it plays almost 2 strokes easier for a lefty (or rhfh) than a righty. So balance isn't just about 666, it is also about the degree of advantage gained.

What makes the 23rd hole unusual is that it benefits a counterclockwise spin. The longest, trickiest holes on most courses are righty favorable. The toughest hole at Deerfield is #13, a long, 2 drive hole where the last 200 feet or so is a tight tunnel. There is a large pond along the entire right side of the fairway. There are two favored landing zones for the drive, both relatively easy righty hyzers and darn near impossible anhyzers. The degree of advantage for righties is huge.

The other flaw of the 666 formula is the "Traitor" hole. A hole which turns in the favored direction but gives no advantage to that spin. Keith mentioned he was confused by this concept. No surprise because righty players don't see these kinds of holes designed against them. A counterclockwise shot hyzers to the right, so a hole which bends to the right must be lefty favorable, right? Not if the shape of the hole doesn't conform to the flight path of a hyzer.

A counterclockwise hyzer (lhbh or rhfh) does not fly the same way as a clockwise anhyzer (rhbh or lhfh). The hyzer goes out straight then bends toward the end of its flight. An anhzer can start bending early in its flight and hold that line. Hole #2 at Deerfield does this to some degree. There is a hole at Reed Park which does an even better job of illustrating this. Both are short (200' or so) holes which go out straight for a short distance (60 feet or so) then bend sharply to the right. A perfect, soft, high, sharp hyzer can barely bend enough to get close to the hole from a counterclockwise spin. But a righty can easily bend a high, soft anhyzer with a putter around the corner. While the hole bends to the right, it is actually easier for a righty.

Why don't these holes happen for righties (or seldom so)? Because righty throwing course designers would look at the prospective hole and decide it made no sense. If a disc doesn't fly that route, why should a fairway? But if a shot is only viewed from the perspective of the shot the designer would personally attempt then imbalanced holes and courses result.

Finally the placement of tee pads can make a hole imbalanced. Consider #17 at Deerfield, a straight, tight 200' tunnel. If the tee pad were built a couple feet to the left of where it sits it would not change the difficulty of the hole for righties at all. But where the pad sits a lefty has to throw in a contorted position on the extreme left edge, making the shot substantially more difficult. So it is a straight shot yet 666 tells none of the story.

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