Originally Posted by ChaseTheAce
more importantly, holes on a course should have score separation
This is probably the most overlooked aspect of tournament layouts. And that's because it's probably one of the the most difficult aspects to correctly design.
A hole with good scoring separation will separate the top 1/3 of the players from the bottom 2/3. That's the established rule of thumb. So you're looking for holes with average scores of X.6 to X.8, e.g. 2.6-2.8 or 3.6-3.8.
What makes this difficult is that it really only works for one skill division. If you design a 340' hole on which MA1 players average 2.65 that's a good birdie hole for them. But when MA2 players play that same hole and average 2.95 then it's a very bad tournament
hole for them. MA3 players might average 3.3 on that hole and it's a bad tournament
hole for them too. Now you might get lucky and MA4 players average 3.7 and it ends up being a good tourney
hole for them too, but that's lucky it happened that way.
You can deal with that utilizing separate tees for each division, but that becomes a logistical nightmare and subject to course misplays by the players. So everyone typically plays from the same tees, or maybe you utilize two sets of tees. But the end result is that some group of players are more than likely playing a less than ideal tournament layout.
If courses are designed for 1000-rated player tournament play they have a probability of being poor tournament courses for lesser skilled players. That's not to say they won't be fun courses, they might be. And certainly not saying they won't be challenging courses, they certainly will be.
To get scoring separation data you have a chicken vs. egg problem. You need to play the course a decent bit to get that data. Often courses are designed and installed without any significant play to gather such data. The Windwood guys did a good job of installing the course necessities and letting the course get some play, analyzing the feedback, and making changes. When they got the course they wanted then
they poured the concrete tee pads.