House on the Cliff – Arctic Fury – Low 4
Great sculpting and elevation work. As you near the water there are loads of detail, which is to be expected with an Arctic Fury course. I don’t necessarily love lots of drastic elevation change in a course, any previous reading of my reviews will show I prefer realistic-style courses, so this is a biased review warning. In one instance I got stuck down a hill and took an 11 trying to get out of a ravine. Just a tiny oversight, probably should have been OB. Despite my preferences, I try to recognize courses that present a good video game golf challenge, and this one is certainly likely to be an interesting and fun course for those who like an out of this world experience.
The Club at Montecito – SAM – Solid 3
Honestly, I didn’t think this would pass the 3 hole test, but I happened to be feeling patient on the night I was playing it. There is lots of inconsistency in hole design styles and bunker styles and depths, which is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. It’s kind of like a whole bunch of different ideas were thrown out, never establishing a real theme or identity. With that said, some good design ideas did shine through. The course was forgiving with a lot of risk reward opportunities. A lot of video game courses provide the risk route, and occasionally deliver a reward, but also brutally punish the safe route. This course is unafraid to really reward risk, and challenges the safe route without punishing, meaning you actually get to make decisions off the tee. On another note, the detail work, especially the church, was extremely creative and fascinating to uncover throughout the round.
Cloudcrest Country Club – Kevin Cotter – High 3
A great looking course using the delta theme, provided a unique look and feeling. I particularly enjoyed the bunker designs. This may be the curse of the single play, but I found that the hole designs didn’t stir my emotions in either direction. There is definitely talent here to work with, but a rather indifferent experience for me produced a rather indifferent review.
Briarcliff Hollow – Joegolferg – High 4/Low 5
I’ve seen photos of the 16th hole at Sleepy Hollow so many times, that I could not wait for someone to produce a rendition in the game. Joe delivered here, with spectacular views at the Punchbowl 15th hole and Short 16th hole. The theme of the course, along with the MacRaynor-style template holes, is wide fairways and large greens. It’s a very generous course and setup, although it has the room for added length and pin placements near the steep greenside bunkers to really be a challenge. As is, it’s a joy to play for mediocre players such as myself. The only drawbacks that I found were that the high points, the Redan, the Biarritz, the Punchbowl, and the Short, to a name are few, are so high that the connecting holes in between can be a letdown and blend together a little bit.
Caramel Creek – tastegw – Solid 4
This is a very approachable course with generous open green fronts. There are a handful of holes where tree placement has a major effect on strategy, some times for better and some times for worse. Throughout the entirety of the round, though, these holes are fairly major departures from the rest of the holes, which nail the parkland country club design pretty regularly. Areas in between and around each hole utilize an uncommon abundance of dirt texture, which is very well done. As expected with this designer’s courses, the attention to details will not be lost on many players. Just an all-around solid course and experience.