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Comment: Re:Not a fan, but... (Score 1) 297

by gstoddart (#46806203) Attached to: In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

Birdies are going to become very common.

You still need to get the ball to the green.

And, I assure you, for most middling golfers ... they are over par before they're on the green.

Say you're like me, and your longest shot is about 160-170 yards. Assuming I don't flub any shots (ha!), on a 510 yard par 5 hole, that means it takes me three shots to hit the green on a really good day, and slightly more on a typical day. Even with a big giant hole, I'm not going to one-putt most of the time. That ignores sand, water, missed shots, terrible shots, trees, and other things which mean I'm not going to be on the green in the right number of strokes for a birdie anyway.

In my experience, people who are at about my skill level are more likely to take 5 or more shots to even reach the green on a par 5, and that's before they're likely to make 2-4 putts.

You want to know how you can really make golf more accessible, reduce play time, and frustrate people less?

Have more courses put in more forward tee boxes to cut down the overall distance they have to travel to get to the point where they'd be putting, and encourage players to realize they're not as good as they think, and play the forward tees. Have casual players decide that if they're within a club length of the hole it's a gimme or in or otherwise good enough.

Unless you're playing in a tournament, a league, for money, or any reason which requires you to strictly play by the full set of rules ... the average players' score is already a bit of a fiction, and they know it. Stopping pretending that it's anything else.

Unless you're a highly skilled player, just play a loose approximation of the rules, and understand that my score of 115 might not be measured in the exact same way as your score of 73.

And even if you also scored 115 and we're tied, I saw you move your ball on 4, I saw you ground the club in the sand on 6, I know damned well you took a mulligan on 7 and 9 that you didn't count, and thought nobody notice you improve your lie on 11,14, and 16. And I know I did all of the same things.

The scores of amateur golfers don't mean the same thing as when Tiger Woods plays. And the sooner we stop asking them to do that, the more people will just play golf.

Don't change the hole size, just realize that the rules of competitive golf can't be applied to most of us in any meaningful sense of the word, and get over it.

Comment: Re:Nothing to do with hole size (Score 1) 297

by gstoddart (#46805833) Attached to: In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

we came up with a rule. If you can't score a par on at least one hole, you can't come back for 5 years

LOL, I'm a pretty bad golfer ... I've never scored below 100.

There are many many days if I followed your rule I'd have to stop playing entirely. :-P

My principal criteria for selecting a golf course is proximity and price. My home course is a 25 minute drive, and my membership costs about $1000/year for all the golf I can squeeze in, so going for a quick 9 after work is feasible in the summer. The green fees tend to be more like $25 without a cart.

I enjoy playing, but I'm under no illusions that I'm any good. And all of those courses that people yearn to play I just laugh at ... no course that costs that much money to play is worth me even trying. Because, as you said, my skill isn't up to the task, and my pocket book says I'd rather play 5 cheaper rounds than 1 expensive one just to say I did it.

Golf simply doesn't need to be that expensive of a pursuit. If you're a high-handicap golfer and you think you want to play on one of these courses, you're mostly wasting your money.

In the mean time, I'll just keep slogging away at the courses I'm willing to pay for, and slowly get a little better as I go. If nothing else, it makes for a rather good walk (I never play in a cart), and is something the wife and I enjoy doing together and in the company of friends.

Golf can be quite enjoyable (albeit frustrating) if you take a realistic approach to how much it's supposed to cost you.

Comment: Re:Nothing to do with hole size (Score 1) 297

by gstoddart (#46805575) Attached to: In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

While I could probably spend the hours, I just don't find the cost justified. I'd rather take some of the younger ones in our family to a putt-putt/minigolf.

LOL, the course I play at has a par 3 course attached. They'll let a family of four play for something like $25. You see all sorts of little munchkins out there trying it out.

I don't ever pay more than $30/round, but mostly I play at my home course because I have a relatively inexpensive membership and it doesn't cost any more once I've paid. About $1000 gets me all of the golf I can play with no additional fees.

I'm inclined that it's that aspect that they're really trying to save, by making people get less frustrated about balls not going in while they're talking business deals, drinking expensive drinks, and paying up the wazoo to play at a course in the first place.

Hmmm ... I play at what is best described as a rougher public course.

Nobody is talking business deals that I've ever seen. Nobody is drinking expensive drinks (there aren't any). And nobody is paying up the wazoo for the privilege of playing there.

Perhaps you don't actually know anything about golf and how it's played in the real world by real people?

Because while there will always be places where you need rather a large amount of money to play, in most places, there's also courses which are affordable, not quite as perfect, and definitely not the domain of people doing business deals.

I know an awful lot of little old retired ladies who get out and play at least weekly. They're by no means well off. They're at varying degrees of skill level. And they don't give a rats ass about their score. Mostly it's about the walk, the company, and spending a few hours outside.

What you're talking about doesn't match in any way my experience with golf ... and I've played over 100 rounds each of the last two years.

Unless you live in an area that has nothing but expensive, high end golf, it's nowhere near as expensive or pretentious as you claim. Not by a long shot.

Comment: Re:Nothing to do with hole size (Score 1) 297

by gstoddart (#46805323) Attached to: In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

How nice and romantic. It's a pity that joining a country club, paying the greens fees, and the expense of the clubs is the only possible way to do that.


You can buy used clubs for around $100.

You can play at a municipal/public course for around $20-$30. My annual membership at my course is less than $1000, and then all of my subsequent golf is free with no additional fees, which means if I play 50 times I'm at an incremental cost of $20/round, and if I play 100 times I'm down to $10/round.

Hell, the course I play at will sell you a pack of 10 plays for $200. So your $100 used clubs and your $200 book of plays is $300 for what for many people is an entire season of golf.

I play with guys who wear sneakers, cargo shorts, and t-shirts, and use 20 year old clubs and cheap recycled golf balls.

I like being around interesting people, not ones who just happen to be wealthy

There will always be golf courses where the people who play are wealthy.

And, equally, there will always be golf courses in which nobody is wealthy, nobody is pretentious, and everybody is much more blue collar in their tastes and sensibilities.

Many many golf courses aren't the old school "golf and country club", exclusivity is a non-existent thing, and while the greens may not be as smooth as glass and there aren't white gloved servers in the smoking lounge, people of all walks of life go and enjoy themselves, and whatever they think they want golf to be.

There are examples of golf being an expensive, snooty, and elitist. That is true of anything. It is also true that there are many many places where you can play which are none of those things.

And that is where you'll find most of the rest of the golfers. And the people at those courses tend to be friendly, down to earth, not overly stressed about their status or how badly you play.

It can be a game for the rich. But it has just as many examples where it's anything but.

You're taking one or two examples of golf, and extrapolating that to the entire realm of golf. And you're horribly wrong because you're generalizing about things you don't know enough about.

Comment: Re:Nothing to do with hole size (Score 1) 297

by gstoddart (#46805143) Attached to: In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

I do get the recreation thing. I just don't get where golfing gets into the recreation thing.

Well, maybe that's more about you, and has nothing at all to do with golf.

Sorry, but hitting a ball and then spending the rest of the afternoon finding it again is not relaxing. It's somewhere between boring and frustrating, depending on how long it takes to find that little white thing again.

Quick, name me your 5 favorite leisure activities.

I bet at least 3 of them I will decree as boring, frustrating, or pointless.

And you know what? It doesn't matter. Because not everybody is the same, and don't always enjoy the same things. That you don't like it or can't understand why someone else would is meaningless. Much like if I said I don't see how you couldn't like golf would be equally stupid and meaningless.

Golf is frustrating when a terrible player thinks he's Tiger Woods and plays every shot, follows every rule, and takes forever looking for balls.

Most recreational golfers streamline their play a little, gloss over a couple of rules here and there, and generally do not subject themselves to the torture of trying to play the perfect round.

I don't spend time looking for lost balls. I just drop another one and get on with my life. Because, really, the extra stroke isn't something I care about, and I'm not playing in tournaments, or for money, or for anything other than enjoyment.

Even golfers accept the tongue-in-cheek line that golf is a good walk spoiled. But, if you're into it and don't stress too much about it, it doesn't need to be that badly spoiled.

It can be a game, or it can be a sport. Played as a game it's far less frustrating. And most of us will never have the skill to play it as a sport and adhere to every single arcane rule.

Comment: Re:Nothing to do with hole size (Score 4, Insightful) 297

by gstoddart (#46805047) Attached to: In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

This kind of proves the first poster's point. YOU cannot play at Augusta National as it is exclusively for the top 1% of the top 1%.

Allow me to explain the idiocy of what you just said.

Cars are evil, because only the top 1% of the top 1% can afford a Lamborghini or a Ferrari.

Houses are evil because only the top 1% of the top 1% can afford lavish mansions.

Boats are evil because only a select few can afford giant yachts.

Restaurants are evil because not everybody can afford places which serve foie gras, caviar, and thousand dollar bottles of wine.

I'm a fairly avid golfer. I have neither the interest, skill, nor the money to play Augusta.

And do you know what that does in relation to where and when and how I actually do play golf? Not a damned thing.

Augusta is an extreme example, and while there are some places which are still the domain of rich old white men ... that has nothing at all to do with my ability to play at an affordable course whose price and skill level more closely matches what I can manage.

You can readily take up golf with $100 worth of used clubs, and play on courses which cost the $20-$30 the poster you replied to mentioned. I know someone who until a year or so ago played on the same clubs he'd gotten as a teenager.

I have no interest in playing Augusta or any of the crazy courses the pros play -- because they're way beyond my price range and my skill level.

That there exists examples of courses that the average player will never play on has nothing to do with the rest of golf. And for the rest of us, there's actually quite a lot of affordable golf in many communities.

For most of us, golf is a game, and a leisure activity. We ignore or are unaware of half of the rules. We play for fun and a little exercise, and to hang out with friends. We watch the pros to realize just how well the game can be played, and then we laugh and go about our business of playing it our way.

What your saying is akin to saying you shouldn't take up jogging because you'll never make it into the Olympics. The one has nothing at all to do with the other.

Comment: Re:Is it dead? (Score 3, Insightful) 110

by gstoddart (#46770943) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

same endurance as ARM-based tablets with similar battery capacities while running a full-fat desktop OS rather than a phone OS with delusions of competency.

I don't know about you, but the last thing I want on a tablet is a "full-fat desktop OS".

It's not a freaking desktop. I don't use it like a desktop. I don't need the bloat and overhead of a desktop or a desktop OS.

If you want a full-fat desktop OS, get a Windows tablet or a laptop. Because until I can get a tablet with 1TB of storage, I'm not wasting several hundred megs of it on a piece of software which has been steadily growing bigger for the last decade.

The average app I download on Android is well under 30M. And, for me, that's a selling point.

And, really Android is essentially Linux. Are you suggesting Linux is lacking competency? Because Linux has been running efficiently on smaller systems for 20 years now.

Comment: Re:Is it dead? (Score 0, Troll) 110

by gstoddart (#46770813) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

They may be power-hungry (although not that much anymore), but from my experience in doing ports, the best ARM SoCs barely have the performance of 12-year-old x86 processors.

Meh, one of the things I like about tablets is that it finally forced people to scale back the bloat and make leaner software.

A full featured piece of software in 25MB? Count me in. Your 4GB bloated install, not so much.

And, really, my now 1.5 year old Android tablet is a dual core CPU with enough juice for what I need it to do.

The last thing I want is Intel ushering in the new era of going back to bloated software which demands absurd resources. Microsoft is already doing that.

Seriously, design something new and interesting. Don't just keep shoe-horning the x86 architecture into everything because you don't have anything else.

Comment: Re:Is it dead? (Score 2, Interesting) 110

by gstoddart (#46770623) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

No need to run x86. So why push x86 into the portable space?

Kinda what I was thinking. x86 is now ancient, and unless things have changed a lot in the last few years, tend to be pretty power hungry.

So, I guess if I want to run Windows on it, or legacy software, or have no real battery life this could be a good thing. And, really, who expects to run legacy software on a tablet?

Or, Intel could actually try to make a lightweight/low power chip meant specifically for tablets and not try to further saddle us with an architecture which is already long in the tooth. But, apparently they've grown beyond the 'innovating' phase of a company, and are well and truly into the 'flogging a dead horse' phase.

If you're going after Chinese white-box tablets, you're not aiming very high.

Me, if I saw a tablet which said "Intel Inside", the tablet would still be inside the store when I left. Because, right or wrong, my perception is it's going to suck power, and it's probably going to be geared to people who want to install Windows applications.

No thanks.

Comment: Re:WTF?? (Score 1) 794

The police didn't force the destruction of evidence. It was the principal that told the student to delete the recording.

You know, to a highschool student, I'm not sure there's a whole lot of difference.

Because when the principal, the administrators, the teachers, and the cops are all standing around telling you that you must delete it or face consequences ... which entity is it which is forcing you to delete it?

And since the police then subsequently charged him with something, pretending like they didn't play a role in this farce is pretty naive.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten