Pin-Golf difficulty check, please?


You’e right, its kind of unfair to play in an event that you are hosting. (When I made my suggestion, I didn’t know that you were also going to play)


Event starts at 5:00, but people are free to come and play/practice starting at 3:00. Everybody should get a couple of practice runs at the goals. These guys have almost all played my games multiple times before. I don’t think this will be anybody’s first time on them, save maybe a couple of unexpected late entries. But I get what you’re saying.

Remember, these are all set to 5 ball play, not 3 ball. We are expecting 22 players as of right now, so we can go 5 ball and not be there all night.


All my goals in the other thread, and the average strokes taken to reach them, were for games set on 5 ball.

This should help. But still, goals that require 12-20 shots are going to be difficult.

I’ll repeat what I said in the other thread…I’ve never played a pin-golf event where the goals were set too easy.

Whatever you decide…come back and report the results! :slight_smile:


Will do, and I appreciate all the insight and recommendations!


Setting games to five balls will help with the points spread a little, especially if the goals are hard. You’ll have more players walking away with a 6 :slight_smile: Besides, five balls on DI don’t really make the goal easier to reach because uncollected SIM cards disappear at the end of each ball. So, the five balls give players two extra attempts, but they are just as unlikely to reach it on each ball because they cannot build progress.

Personally, I prefer pin golf with achievable goals and three balls. With five balls, the problem is that, in a match play final, a single bad hole with a 6 can put me so far behind that it is impossible to recover. If the worst score is a 4 instead, it hurts, but it’s still possible to make a comeback.

Never mix three-ball and five-ball machines in the same event, unless everyone plays exactly the same number of games and exactly the same machines. If some people play 5-ball machines while others can play 3-ball machines, scores are no longer comparable because of the two-point worst score difference.


All the games will be set to 5 ball for the event. In the case of Dialed In, I turned on SIM card memory (if you complete a mode, it stays lit after a drain) and will turn it off when I set it back to 3 ball after everybody goes home. My guess is that people will use Big Bang to complete a mode and then spend the next ball or two trying to collect the SIM. I expect sixes on that game, to be honest.

I’m hosting, but not running the event. I was told to set everything at 5 ball, but was given freedom to choose the objectives, so I skewed difficult but achievable. We’ll see if that ends up being a good or bad idea in the end.


Oh then you’d really love Pinmasters format with a 10 stroke limit! I think it adds to the excitement though. You’re never safe in the finals and rarely out of the running.


It’s funny how perspectives differ, because AfM was one of the ones I thought was OK (I played in a Pin-Golf before where that was one of the holes and I succeeded – and I’m only an average player). The one that really seemed rough to me was the Bride of Pinbolt hole. Well, and Dialed In.


Ah, OK, that makes the goal considerably easier. I assumed that it would be on standard settings. It’s still difficult because the bloody SIM card hole is so hard to hit. But at least, with those settings, many players will manage to get a mode done on ball 1 and then spend the rest of the time desperately shooting for the SIM card :slight_smile:


FWIW here’s my thinking.
Hole 1: Par 1
Hole 2: Par 3
Hole 3: Par 1
Hole 4: Par 2
Hole 5: Don’t know Woz so can’t comment
Hole 6: Par 2
Hole 7: Par 4
Hole 8: Par 1
Hole 9: Par 1

All of the above can be depend on how the machine is set-up, and you will know that from your testing and experience of machines.

The fact that people won’t have gone for Total Annihilation in normal play is a factor that shooting to destroy cities is the way to score for most, not that it’s too hard to set as a goal.

With that line up of machines I’d go for

Hole 1: Light EB
Hole 2: Start TA
Hole 3: Score a million shot on the centre/Heartbeat ramp
Hole 4: Start Disc
Hole 5: Still don’t know Woz :confounded:
Hole 6: Start a ‘BOB’ Multiball
Hole 7: Light 3 songs
Hole 8: Light Super Pops
Hole 9: Battle the power.

To me PinGolf tournaments should be about getting the player to shoot for something they wouldn’t usually when playing to achieve a high score, making them shoot for other areas of the table.

For example: In Bride, the go to / only strategy is shoot the left ramp all day - your goal doesn’t change from that.


That, or going about objectives in a bizarre or fun way. TZ’s Pittsburgh Classic is X (usually 3) Hitchhikers, Y (3-5, depending on if EBs are disabled) Door Panels. Forces you to work the skill shot for Hitchhikers with the bonus incentive that you can skill shot a door panel if you plunge yellow.

Dialed In is hard with that philosophy because most of the table is useful - I’d say BOB is slightly more important than modes, even. That’s where you pull out a useful skill or wild objective, like BOB Multiball (learn to clear BOBs), Overcharge (QED), Reach a Theater Mode (Wild, and Bonus), etc.


I thought the number of white arrow shots was random for each player at the start of the game regardless of competition mode or settings?


They are all lit. You have to hit all the major shots, then an orbit to start a mode.


You are correct. I think there are randomly 4 or 5 shots lite for the first mode. There may be a difficultly setting to make all six lit.


When doing goal-based pingolf, don’t forget to check if the goals require more shots on 5-ball play than they do on 3-ball play.


Yeah, I was certainly wrong on that. I think I had been playing on one with a light or two out recently, so you had to assume you needed to hit everything. A quick look at some tournament videos shows that the shots are at least the same between players in multi-player games.


Stock 5 ball settings require all 6, or there’s an adjustment in the settings. Played a 5 ball on location and it required every shot from the start.


All the SMs I play on location (3-ball) start by requiring 4 white spider arrows (which ones are lit changes, I assume randomly) and then an orbit shot to start the mode. Each subsequent mode is more difficult to light until all shots are required. I believe this is the default 3-ball difficulty setting.


Ok, so update on how it played out.

I was the top qualifier with a 25, and that was with me taking two sixes (freaking BoP and DI). The others that made finals were at 31 or under. We even had a couple of kids attend, including a 9-year old girl who was at her first pinball event and she was able to complete a handful of the challenges and was literally jumping for joy each time. It was quite fun watching her.

After the event, the common sentiment was that the goals were challenging, but all achievable. Given how well it went, I think I’m going to lean more on the challenging side in future events. The feeling of satisfaction on a hole-in-one or a two was great.

I ended up getting 1s on Tron, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Wizard of Oz.


So you went with your originally listed goals? What were the averages?