Top Real Course Recreations – December 2015

As some may know by my design tendencies, I have a soft spot for real course recreations. This might be my favorite list to maintain, and it’s a tough one to judge one course against another. Here are things that I consider when evaluating a course:

  • The quality of the real course. The classics are always the classics.
  • The technical quality of the course. It doesn’t matter if you are making Pebble Beach or your local muni, a well-designed course in the GNCD will stand out.
  • The accuracy of the recreation. This comes last, because not all RCR’s are of famous courses. If you are tackling one of the greats, though, I expect you to pay attention to every detail.


I am excited that so there so many real courses that I either have not reviewed yet, or are currently in production, and I can’t wait to update this list in the future. Without further ado…



Pebble Beach Golf Links (blacks) by Brandon Pugh


Top Real Course Creations – December 2015

Real Rank Overall Rank Name Designer
1 1 Whistling Staits, Sheboygan Craig Frey
2 2 Pine Valley, New Jersey Craig Frey
3 7 Pebble Beach Golf Links (blacks) Brandon Pugh
4 9 Muirfield Yeltzman
5 14 Firestone CC South Brandon Pugh
6 17 Spyglass Hill 2015 yeltzman
7 19 Le Golf National Dean Lowden
8 20 Vallentuna Golfklubb – Sweden Mikael Thunberg
9 21 Tobacco Dunes Steve Pope
10 25 Royal Birkdale 2015 Yeltzman
11 26 TGC @ the Engish Rose (Thurs) Wendy Airey
12 35 Mistwood Golf Course William Bradford
13 43 PGA West (Palmer) [Sunday] Rod Simpson
14 47 Royal Troon Old Course 2015 Yeltzman
15 49 Chicago Golf Club JELindholm
16 50 Cohutta Country Club Todd Driver
17 52 The Walker Course Clemson, SC William Bradford
18 53 Turnberry Kintyre Course Alan McSpadyen
19 86 Kapalua Bay Golf Club Bryan Boomer
20 87 Fishers GC – Fishers Island, NY Matthew Essig
21 92 St. Andrews Old Course 2015 Colin Marriott
22 105 Turnberry Ailsa course 2015 Colin Marriott


Honorable Mention

Since the inception of my Top 100 I’ve Played lists, I’ve decided not to include my own courses for ratings to maintain objectivity. I think my real course recreations are fairly good, though, if I may say so. Therefore, I will include my courses here just for reference:



Merion East – Ardmore, PA (17th Hole)


Magnolia National, Georgia (Magnolia National 2016 coming soon)

Magnolia National 2016 Par 3 Contest

Pinehurst #2 (’16 Edition)

Merion East – Ardmore, PA

Chambers Bay, WA


  1. Craig LeVasseur on December 29, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Have an idea for another kind of list that you would like to see? Let me know!

    This could be something like Top Desert Courses, Top Fantasy Courses, Top Easy/Hard Courses, etc. If you can name it, I can probably compile a list for it!

  2. MLT24 PSN on December 30, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Your Magnolia National is the best. Amazing acuracy to real course.

    • Craig LeVasseur on January 1, 2016 at 10:04 am


  3. DoGgs on January 1, 2016 at 4:44 am

    TPC Boston not good enough for this list? please tell me why! 🙂

    • Craig LeVasseur on January 1, 2016 at 10:03 am

      I have not played it yet. But I featured it in Real Course Tour v3, and will play it soon.

  4. Elz_41 on January 5, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Great list.

    One you should look at it you haven’t already is FriendBOMBER’s Hobble Creek GC.

    • Craig LeVasseur on January 5, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Yep, that’s a good one! It’s on my list of played but not reviewed or rated. Also featured on Real Course Tour v2, I believe.

  5. Mark Chapman on January 5, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Craig what yourself and others are creating is exceptional. Is it hard to do what you are doing? It seems so ? I’ve seen some people use buildings in their golf designs like skyscrapers etc in the background. How is this achieved please? It really is exciting how this superb game has such an amazing course creator. Keep up the great work my friend. Thanks

    • Craig LeVasseur on January 5, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Mark, thanks for the comment!

      I’ve seen the new course with the skyscrapers, but can only guess at how that was made. I don’t think using the course creator is hard, but it does take patience, concentration, and attention to detail. Thankfully, those are things that I am good at!

      If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to visit the Greg Norman Course Designer forum over at the HB Studios page. There are lots of great tutorials there from good designers to help with designing. Once you’ve mastered the GNCD, the rest is just up to your imagination.

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