I figured, since I did not include my own courses in my rankings, that I had to do this list at least once. I’ve been around The Golf Club since the Early Access days, so my list of courses goes back to when the tools within the Course Creator were quite limited. Several of my older courses have since been redone and replaced by newer, (somewhat) more polished versions.
In honor of the Shameless Self-Promotion List, feel free to plug your own course in the comments section!
1. Magnolia National 2016
This was my second real course that I created, and really without the success of Pinehurst #2, I’m not sure if I would have believed that this course could be made. The total number of plays to date has blown me away.
The addition of pine straw and the ability to select textures has recently given this course even more life with the 2016 release. The Sunday pins also now reflect that actual pins from the 2015 Masters. Only a greater selection of plants, trees, and buildings, and improved water table flexibility would make this course better.
2. Merion East – Ardmore, PA
This one is a heartwarming story of perseverance. Construction on this course started in Early Access, and was not finished until 16 months later, including 3 complete restarts. The purpose of building the course to was to able to play it for the first time in video game golf (apologies to the Links 2003 and WGT versions, which just don’t quite do it for me) , and now I can and I’m happy with it.
3. Pinehurst #2 (’16 Edition)
This was my first real course creation, and still one of my favorites. It’s also an argument, in my opinion, for the continued development of new themes and features for the GNCD. This course started in the Rural theme and was then switched to the Alpine theme. The Boreal theme was released shortly before this course was finished, so it was switched over to Boreal. The ’16 Edition now also features improved textures and added pine straw.
I can’t stress the implications of these new themes and features enough… Pinehurst could have been an Alpine course people!
4. Chambers Bay, WA
This course was built on a deadline to, first, try and host the U.S. Open in TGC Tours (failed) and second, in time for the real U.S. Open (success!). What this experience taught me is that I will never build a course on a deadline again! Those were seriously some tenuous times in my household.
Stay tuned for a 2016 update, coming soon!
5. Leelanau Bluffs
This is my most recent fictional design, and also pays homage to some of my favorite features of northern Michigan. It’s somewhat of a dream of mine to build a course somewhere up near the Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan, and while that is unlikely to become a reality, this course is probably as close as I will get.
Non-golf features included are a vineyard, an orchard, a lavender farm, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and a lake with a state park beach. Golf features include 13 holes that are heavily influenced by holes at Merion East, Whistling Straits, Shinnecock Hills, Bethpage Black, Valhalla, National Golf Links of America, The Olympic Club, Pebble Beach, and Crystal Downs. Only one hole in Michigan (Crystal Downs), but several from the other side of Lake Michigan (Whistling Straits). The other 5 holes are all original creations, if such a thing exists.
This is a par 71, 6890 yards. Greens are very medium-ish, with mostly moderate pin positions. I would rate it in the medium-easy range, easier for some, harder for others. I think it is scaleable in both the easy and hard directions, should anyone care for such a thing. Most of all, I think it’s a good looking course.
6. Doak Valley
This course was probably the most fun to build. It went through an original creation, then a more thorough re-do. This thread was put together during the re-do of this course, and was incredibly enjoyable. I think this idea might get a reboot with nothing but Coore & Crenshaw holes… if I can get to it.
7. Wildfire Ridge
The first edition of this course was known as Coyote Run Resort. Not a bad course in itself, but it needed an update with the new terrain tools. I actually really enjoy re-dos… like a lot, so this one was also fun. I consider this my best fully fictional course.
8. Magnolia National 2016 Par 3 Contest
The ANGC/Magnolia National experience is not complete without the Par 3 Contest.
9. Copper Creek National
This was the original hard course. Perhaps the first course designed for a major, and later re-designed for the TGC Tours Q-School. Such a divisive course. Some hate every single inch of this course, others enjoyed the original (Major) version and still do to this day, even being against updates to make the major version easier. Either way, it may have started the trend of hard course designed for majors, so you’re welcome everyone!
10. Boulder Pointe
This was my second original course, and for a long time my highest-rated. I gave it a reboot in early 2015, but the Alpine theme is pretty rough in comparison to the newer themes, making it hard for this course to compete.
11. McArthur Village
This was my original course, and has since been updated twice. Even with those updates, this is still easily my worst course. I recently tried to flip it to Highlands for a re-do but this course is just shot. The HD version is still good for a trip through the Rural theme once a year, but that’s it.
Videos posted below (Updates coming in the future):
Boulder Pointe Golf Club 2015: http://www.twitch.tv/theclv24/c/6153597
Chambers Bay, WA (Thursday): http://www.twitch.tv/theclv24/c/6839698
Doak Valley (Tournament Links): http://www.twitch.tv/theclv24/c/6349615
New! Leelanau Bluffs Golf Club: http://www.twitch.tv/theclv24/v/18264493
Magnolia National (Sunday): http://www.twitch.tv/theclv24/c/6153565
Magnolia National Par 3 Contest: http://www.twitch.tv/theclv24/c/6439074
McArthur Village Golf Club (My very first design): http://www.twitch.tv/theclv24/c/6522493
Pinehurst #2 (Blue Tees): http://www.twitch.tv/theclv24/c/6534629
Wildfire Ridge: http://www.twitch.tv/theclv24/c/6719323