Firestone CC South (Harvest) – Friendbomber – Tier 3
(Rustic version pictured)
Most here will know that I have a soft spot for real courses, even those that I am not particularly fond of. I’ve never been a huge fan of this course, mostly I think due to the narrow tree lined fairways taking away some of the course strategy, but this was a decent if not brutal course in TGC1. Like most RCR’s so far, I think this one plays much better in TGC2, and I found myself having an enjoyable round here. It’s still quite brutal, I had to get myself readjusted to max speed greens, but approach shots feel a little fairer. Mostly, though, the parkland setting that I grew up playing in comes across really nice here in a well designed RCR.
Montreux G&CC – NevadaBallin – Tier 1
I’ve seen very little of the real course, but the design work here is nice and gives a legitimate feel of a real course in a mountainy setting. The elevation changes are huge here (thankfully with huge fairways to match), but the greens are extremely severe. I’m not sure on the green accuracy, but in the game they certainly give Augusta’s greens a run for their money. Overall it makes for a very challenging round. In terms of design, there are some unique, fun holes here, but others rely strictly on elevation changes, without much else to hang it’s hat on strategically. In summary, it’s a fine real course recreation by the designer, but like Banff Springs, maybe not a course that provides a similar experience in-game as it does in real life.
Carolina Shores – grayson103015 – Tier 2
This is a pleasant looking tropical course, with a couple nice waterfalls and a cityscape in the distance. Other than that, though, there isn’t much fuss to the layout, with lots of heavy rough and smooth lines throughout the course. There are a few interesting dogleg tee shots where judging elevation is key, but the greens here really defend the course. You aren’t likely to find many straight or uphill putts here, but you’d do well to try your best to locate one on your approach. I think I burned more cup edges here than I ever have in a single round.
Olafsen Skerries – Tournament – reebdoog – Tier 3
This course has some of the best sightlines of any property in the game, especially on the front 9 with so many holes in view. The planning here is fantastic, and it’s highlighted by lighting settings that fit the course perfectly. Nearly every hole here gives you countless options off of the tee, so no two rounds here should ever be the same. The greens don’t have severe slopes, but do have a ton of moment all over the place thanks to humps and bumps. Choosing the right line from tee to green and converting here is a tricky proposition.
Shaliath – CrazyCanuck – Tier 3
At 6800 yards from the tips, you don’t have to worry about bringing your long game here. Strategic tree placement and doglegs will give you plenty to handle as you navigate to the green. For the designer’s track record, these greens are pretty tame, so you will have plenty of chances to score. The course looks great, as usual, with excellent sightlines throughout the round. The lighting is a little on the dark side, which is not surprising considering it was an early release in TGC2, so it works great on some holes, and not as well on others. Regardless of how you feel about the lighting, it will still be one of the better looking courses that you play.
My Latest Releases
Leelanau Bluffs (Par 71)
A fictional design originally released in TGC1, this one received a pretty decent overhaul. Green sites were redesigned to provide more interest and to accommodate 4 pin locations, and new tees were added to provide a wide distribution of lengths and shots to be played throughout the round at this 6900 yard layout from the tips. Please enjoy this trip through my favorite summer getaway, northern Michigan.
Pinehurst No. 2
This is another RCR port from TGC1. For this one I eliminated some of the bunkers that I originally added to represent the sandy waste areas, and instead opted to cover the entire course in pine straw, along with some scrubby native planting. Overall I like the look better than I did previously, although it still doesn’t fully capture the native areas at the course. The tips play at US Open length of 7400 yards, along with the par 70 layout, so the Blue tees at 6900 yards might provide a more ideal playing experience for some.