Designer: Rod Simpson
Firm / Speed: Med/ Fast
Top 100 Ranking (February ’16): 5th
Designer Showcase: Rod Simpson
What was the motivating factor behind choosing Congressional to re-create?
With the course having hosted US Opens and regular tour stops, it put it high on my list and also the fact that 18 is one of the great finishing holes in golf. Also there was a wealth of great info to do this course really well, ie. StrackaLine for the green topography and WGT for total course elevations and contouring, both of these gave me the confidence to do a job well done with the recreation as my skills in the GNCD have evolved to a point where I knew I could replicate it with great accuracy.
What was the hardest aspect of the course to re-create?
Having only the PS4 at my disposal meant the whole process from layout, contouring, planting and fine tuning was a slow and laborious undertaking, I was confident that I could get everything spot on but it was the process that I was really battling with, the front 9 was ok bit after I published that front 9 test I needed a break before hitting the back 9. I got to a point where I wondered if I could be resilient enough to complete the project. I’m glad that I did because I’m truly proud of what I achieved….
In regards to an aspect that was challenging though I would have to say that I spent a great deal of time settling on a theme, TBH it wasn’t far away from being a Highlands themed re-creation but I’m glad I settled on Boreal as the mulching really brought the course to life and enhanced the look a great deal.
I definitely spent the most amount of time on the greens here than any other element, some holes quicker than others but some where upwards of 4hrs for the really technical ones which might shed some insight into the volume of work invested here
There are a few that stand side by side in my views, obviously 10&18 are now iconic but I love the design of 5 and 12 and how can you not mention the other 2 tough par 3’s in holes 7&13. Splitting hairs though I’d have to go with 18 as it has everything, it’s long (520+yds), features a right to left tilted, downhill fairway that sets up for a seriously challenging approach shot to a diagonal peninsula shaped green surrounded by water and sand and requires an accurate strike to find the putting surface in 2. The job doesn’t end there though with the steep ridge bisecting the green that can turn birdie putts into a couple more if your attention isn’t maintained until the final putt of your round. Throw in the vistas off the tee and the approach looking down on the green site with the clubhouse and 10th tees off in the distance and it’s a pretty special place to behold.
A rest from the designer for now and focusing on playing some of the great courses that continue to come out everyday it seems and also to work on my game and keeping my WGR heading in the right direction. Missing 4 weeks out of 6 due to my focus on construction of this course has taken it’s toll a bit with my gameplay, ha!
Who knows what project I will tackle in the designer next tho, I’ve got a few ideas for fictional designs but I’m open to suggestion for another RCR in the future at some stage too, so yeah we’ll leave it at that