The pros weigh in.
October 4, 2018 by Charlie Eisenhood in Coverage, Recap with 0 comments
The biggest change to the layout of this year’s United States Disc Golf Championship is a complete overhaul of Hole 9. What was before an easy birdie — and for many an easy eagle — is now a lot more challenging, but also arguably a lot more gimmicky. What was last year the second easiest hole on the course played as the sixth hardest yesterday. Here’s a look at the changes side-by-side:
We asked every player we talked to yesterday about their thoughts on the new design. Opinions varied widely. Here’s a look at what the pros think.
“Everybody’s got to play it, so I can’t say that I like it more or less than the previous holes. We’re all playing the same course out here, so I’m just going to try to keep it in the ropes and make my putts.” – Nikko Locastro
“It’s terrible. I don’t like it at all. Have you ever heard of a triple island hole being good? I just don’t like how the first shot — the landing zone’s not that rewarding — and then the second shot is very demanding. For me, I’m just going, pitch, pitch, island hop. It’s just not a very good look, in my opinion.” – Eagle McMahon
“It’s definitely a tougher hole than what we’ve been doing in the past. The three islands and then it being stroke and distance if you don’t land safe can definitely leave more room for big numbers than the previous hole 9 did. It’s a good thing. I’m not opposed to it. I think the landing zone could be a little more fair for both righties and lefties.” – Philo Brathwaite
“I think that it’s actually a really interesting design concept. I like when you force people to make decisions. You’re going to see a couple of different styles of play there. The green’s challenging enough that not everybody’s firing at it. I think it offers several things that offer a more unique challenge than what you’ve seen in past years. It’s still pretty lefty-friendly. And on a lefty-dominant course, that’d be my only knock on it. But I think it’s probably the most challenging version of the hole that we’ve had. I also think it’s going to be a hole that you see a lot of big numbers on.” – Steve Brinster
“There has never been a good hole with three islands. I think they should go back to the very old design. I think that’s difficult enough and it’s clear and it’s just better.” – Seppo Paju
“It’s not the best and it’s not the worst. It’s harder than it has been in years past, so if that’s what they wanted to do then they succeeded, but I think I’m a fan of past layouts on it.” – Zach Melton
“The hole itself is good — I think it’s going to create a lot of stroke difference. But I think the easiest way to describe it, and if I was ever a course designer, I’ve never played a hole with three islands that I liked. And it’s not changing this week.” – Paul McBeth
“I think it’s very interesting. It can be tricky. Luckily, I’ve got a real good sidearm there so I don’t have to think too much on it. As long as I hit the shot and throw it the proper distance, I’m good.” – Gregg Barsby
“I like it. I had only played it once. Gregg threw a sidearm — I was going to lay up but he made it look easy so I went for it. I thought the OB was backwards yesterday. I was like, ‘What’s the big deal on this hole?’ I like it. I like it better than the old one, a lot more. There’s not many turnovers out there on tour no more, so to actually have one, or kind of like that, that’s cool.” – Matt Orum
“Toughest hole nine we’ve ever seen. I don’t mind it…I think it’s better than last year’s hole nine. Last year’s hole nine was too easy.” – Nate Sexton