TPC Sawgrass – HB Studios – Solid 4
TPC at Sawgrass – friendbomber – Solid 4
These two courses got a little more than my normal blurb review. Check out the Sawgrass Showdown here.
The Links at Lochlan Bay – Ryan McConnell – Low 3
If I had been asked to take a look at this course and provide my thoughts for the designer, this is what I would say. There are some decently creative and quirky hole designs here, but they maintain a realistic enough feel to always be playable. The rock planting around the course is nicely done, and the retaining wall work falls somewhere between competent and good. These together are pretty nice achievements, which makes it hard to explain why the fairways are autogen and not custom-built, and the bunkers are pasted to the ground with no depth, and cut unrealistically into greens, which I believe may also be autogen. With these givens, I would normally encourage the designer to continue on and improve his texture and sculpting techniques.
That’s not the type of feedback I would expect to be giving to a course featured in HB’s PGA Tour mode. An odd selection, to say the least.
Holyoke Links Club – mattf27 – Solid 5
For a full profile of this course, please visit the OG Showcase for Holyoke.
After getting to play this course 3 times, I’m ready to give it my first Solid 5 rating. There are just so many things that I like about this kind of design. The variety of holes is hard to match, with long par 3’s, long par 4’s, and just a tremendous set of several short par 4s. I initially thought that the undulations on the greens could actually be cranked up even more, but that was before I played the tough 4th pin set. With those pins in mind, they present a pretty nice balance, with the ability to use slopes to your favor, provided you find the right areas of the greens. The fairways are quite wide and fairly difficult to miss, so positioning is key to approach the right areas of the greens. There are a few holes, however, with perfectly placed central hazards to enhance the decision-making aspect of the round. Just a great, fun round of golf!
The Heritage – JoeGolferG – High 3
Here’s yet another round where I had a brutal time hitting the ball straight and at 100%, so I was all over the course in a frustrating round. I feel part of it might have been due to lag, which is something I rarely experience on a course. That is likely due here to the dense amount of trees. Too me, even since the TGC2 release, the trees have felt too dense here. That is likely the product of the lack of a theme and tree combination to replicate Hilton Head, and the narrow corridors that each hole plays through. Despite that narrowness and lack of width, there is still a good amount of strategy and positioning required on each hole. It’s a good design and evokes the spirit of Pete Dye, but the trees just really make this a tough one for me to play.
Steamshovel Golf Club – Pete Kohelis – High 4/Low 5
I was happy to see this course ported over, as it was one of my favorites from TGC2. As I’ve learned more and more about the template hole styles over the past year or so, these holes really stick out to me as solid representations. They are loaded with strategy, and feature big bold shapes and contours that really highlight the work of Banks and Raynor. These bold shapes are nicely executed in terms of sculpting, which really brings the course to life, and evokes a bit of a Chicago Golf Club type of feel. There isn’t a ton of eye candy here, but plenty of quirk to keep your imagination occupied. The implementation of the boundary wall, especially on the second hole, is fantastic.