Not much to add here, as I’m starting to settle into a routine. My swing continues to come and mostly go, but I am trying to keep an open mind on these courses at all times. Also, I know I mentioned in the last post that I would call out any TGC2 pics that I used, but I’ve been trying to find time here and there to work on articles and really don’t remember where I got these. Let’s assume they are all TGC2, but all look great in 2019.
Attaturk GC at Cappadocia – David Dix – High 3
An interesting environment around the course, with lots of small details to discover throughout the round. The design philosophy leans heavily towards risk/reward off the tee, so would work well as a match play venue. Some of the concepts work well, while others such as the split fairways with trees and vegetation in the middle do not. The greens tend to be either narrow or shallow in design, and occasionally not quite matching up to the distance of approach required in, so I would recommend a green setting of medium or lower firmness. Definitely some good stuff to work with here, but not all of the holes hit their mark with me.
The Olmsted- South Course – David Dix – High 3/Low 4
A testament to David, I played these courses back to back in my society and didn’t even know it was the same designer. The trend I see is a great designer of environments, with good but hopefully continually improving hole designs.
Really good, realistic city environment. Never been, but reminds me strongly of what I think Central Park looks like in NYC. The hole designs were mostly pretty good, with a lot of holes really narrowing where a driver would land, but offering a wider landing for shorter tee shots. This worked well on most holes, minus one or two tree issues and maybe just a slight bit of repetitiveness. The greens had large undulations with deep runoff areas around the perimeter. These undulations can and did punish my shots often, but occasionally funneled shots to ideal locations. I like greens like this.
Royal Ethalwind – Arctic Fury – High 4/Low 5
Imagine if this articfury guy ever learned how to plant objects in TGC, he might really be on to something.
Kidding, of course. Impeccably done, as usual. The amount of small rocks along the coastline always blows me away. With any arcticfury course, this difference between the kind of great and really great comes down to the hole designs, and I feel like he keeps getting better in that department. Some really interesting holes here, but nothing over the top, and plenty of variety throughout the round. In particular I liked having a go at the short 17th hole in between the incredible pot bunkers (pictured). Really well done, I’m glad HB didn’t screw it up in the porting process (other than a couple questionable bleachers on tee boxes).
West Country GC (Championship) – joegolferg – Solid 4
The eye-catcher here will always be the great, somewhat sandbelt-style bunkers. Many of the holes feature tight doglegs, which make setting up proper approaches to these raised, slippery, greens difficult. The course environment is nice and simple, without much eye candy (this could be good or bad, depending on what you are into). I also have to point out the very good tournament planting, I totally bombed on this course during a swing meltdown, but never felt like quitting. I am guessing it was due to a realistic-feeling design, which I can tolerate a little better during a bad round.