Oakland Hills Country Club (South Course) RCR~ TGC2 update

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Royce

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« on: February 11, 2016, 01:04:57 PM »
Oakland Hills Country Club (South Course) Bloomfield Township, Michigan

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The Oakland Hills Country Club, South Course (ranked #25 in the world), was originally designed by Donald Ross in 1918. Walter Hagen was the first head pro at Oakland Hills. The South Course has played host to the U.S. Open six times: 1924, 1937, 1951, 1961, 1985 and 1996. It also hosted the 2004 Ryder Cup and the PGA Championship in 1972, 1979 and 2008.  The course hosts the 2016 US Amateur championship this August.

Oakland Hills is located in the affluent Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills. The club has two courses - the South Course which hosts the championships and also a North Course across West Maple Road. Oakland Hills is similar to several other championship venues that play host to major championships: two courses, a big clubhouse and a lot of property for tents, concession stands, etc. I found it similar in this regard to Oak Hill, Winged Foot, Medinah and Baltusrol. The memorabilia in the clubhouse attest to its esteemed place in the golf world, especially the walk down the long white corridor between the grill room and the pro shop, lined with pictures and signed competitor displays.

Near the first tee of the South Course are plaques of all the players who have won championships at Oakland Hills. The most famous, of course, was Ben Hogan's victory in the 1951 U.S. Open when he famously said, "I am glad I brought this course, this monster, to its knees." He also said that it was "the greatest test of golf I have ever played and the toughest course." Oakland Hills was an early example of a real estate development linked to the building of golf course. When originally conceived in the early nineteen-teens lots were laid out for sale encircling the golf course.

Robert Trent Jones made significant changes to the course prior to the '51 Open and is credited with making the course a lot more strenuous. The sixth hole, seen below, is representative of what makes it a difficult course: its well-placed bunkering, along with its length and tough greens. This hole also has a two-tiered green. As you would expect at a championship course of this caliber, the greens are very fast and have many challenging pin placements.

I've been working on a recreation of Oakland Hills South for some time.  I have scrapped the project and completely restarted twice because of poor plot layout and other various rookie mistakes (I'm really a novice in the GNCD).  From watching some great YT design videos from various TGC'ers (taste, canuck et al) and practicing on my two scrapped attempts along with numerous standalone practice holes I feel fairly confident working within the designer now.

Finally I have a system down that I feel fairly comfortable with, taking measurements from Google Earth Pro along with the StrakaLine book and any/all blog info and photos I've been able to find.   Greens won't be able to be completed (not that I'm anywhere close yet) until they are added to Straka, but that's a long long way off considering I'm only 3 holes in. 

I'm designing this on xBox.  I will post screens as I progress.  The first content I have is via a video capture showing the first 3 holes laid out with tee boxes, fairways (no intermediate rough yet), bunkers & relevant trees, no elevation work has been done at all yet....my plan it to lay out the complete 18 and then start the elevation working my way up from the lowest point.  I am looking for any/all advice, comments, tips, critiques, etc…..lay it all out there for me, it will only help me create a better course in the end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF41jX8zjbU

So far I've been using Rustic theme, but I'm not in love with the gigantic size of the trees, not sure how that will look as I progress through more holes and fill the already tight plot canvas (entire 18 fits in roughly 1/4th of the plot size ~ will give me nice room to add in a few visible holes from the North Course that sits across Maple Road).  I wish Countryside had some pines, but alas.  Boreal may be an option also, haven't really investigated that one yet.  Curious on community opinions of how the course looks so far in Rustic with current texture selection.


Some pics from the 2008 PGA:




No idea how to handle the rock retaining wall on the famous 16th.



« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 07:42:00 PM by Royce »
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TGC2 Completed Courses:
Augusta National Golf Club (members) - (voted 2017 TGC2 course of the year at TGCTours.com!)

TGC2 Works in progress:
Oakland Hills South redo
Pine Valley Golf Club

rdh

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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2016, 01:10:43 PM »
HB really needs to add that ability to scale trees below 1:1 that Paul said should be easy to implement.

Williamhotel69

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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2016, 03:03:29 PM »
Royce,

You are never going to have a GNCD RCR come out exactly how it is in real life. Sometimes you just have to go with what you got.

There are a couple rocks that kind of look flat on top.

I suggest just playing around a bit to find something that looks close. You may want to create a retaining wall there and throw some rocks on top.

Just have fun doing it. You can always ask for help on this forum. Lots of talented designers now.

You live up in Detroit? I live just south of Detroit in Toledo. Working on Inverness Golf Club now.
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Royce

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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2016, 04:08:00 PM »
Royce,

You are never going to have a GNCD RCR come out exactly how it is in real life. Sometimes you just have to go with what you got.

There are a couple rocks that kind of look flat on top.

I suggest just playing around a bit to find something that looks close. You may want to create a retaining wall there and throw some rocks on top.

Just have fun doing it. You can always ask for help on this forum. Lots of talented designers now.

You live up in Detroit? I live just south of Detroit in Toledo. Working on Inverness Golf Club now.

I've never really worked with retaining walls or rock formations, but I certainly look forward to playing around with it in the GNCD (I'm sure it won't be frustrating at all!)....

I live outside of Ann Arbor, have for many years after attending University in East Lansing.  I'm hoping one day there will be an urban/city theme so I can tackle the University of Mich course (Alister MacKenzie design).  I'm not familiar with Inverness, but I've heard the name.
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TGC2 Completed Courses:
Augusta National Golf Club (members) - (voted 2017 TGC2 course of the year at TGCTours.com!)

TGC2 Works in progress:
Oakland Hills South redo
Pine Valley Golf Club

BoomBoom

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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2016, 09:49:25 PM »
You could easily make the rock retaining wall, there's a couple rocks that will suffice, just remember to rotate and scale them a bit up and down and I'm sure you will make it look great.

Looking forward to this, TY for your work on this project.
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theclv24

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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2016, 09:58:10 PM »

I live outside of Ann Arbor, have for many years after attending University in East Lansing.  I'm hoping one day there will be an urban/city theme so I can tackle the University of Mich course (Alister MacKenzie design).  I'm not familiar with Inverness, but I've heard the name.

Not if I beat you to it!

I played it a ton in college, and just played it this past fall after many years. The tree removal and green restorations they have been working on looked insanely good, way better than I would have imagined.

If you beat me to that one you better believe I won't let one detail slip!

Royce

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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2016, 11:16:52 PM »

I live outside of Ann Arbor, have for many years after attending University in East Lansing.  I'm hoping one day there will be an urban/city theme so I can tackle the University of Mich course (Alister MacKenzie design).  I'm not familiar with Inverness, but I've heard the name.

Not if I beat you to it!

I played it a ton in college, and just played it this past fall after many years. The tree removal and green restorations they have been working on looked insanely good, way better than I would have imagined.

If you beat me to that one you better believe I won't let one detail slip!

I love it!  At the rate I design (which is very slow) you'd win that race.....but it's just a lovely course, one of my favorite locals, but I haven't played it in over 10 years.  Views like this just beg for a city/urban theme.


The Pete Dye course would also be on my list, as I live 15 minutes away and could get on property relatively easy, which would be insanely helpful.
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TGC2 Completed Courses:
Augusta National Golf Club (members) - (voted 2017 TGC2 course of the year at TGCTours.com!)

TGC2 Works in progress:
Oakland Hills South redo
Pine Valley Golf Club

TaS

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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2016, 03:40:57 AM »
Both the u of m course and radrick farms are vey hilly.  They would be tough to pull off, especially the greens.  But man, I love the u of m course and it would be great to play it virtually.  I'd skip the city.

Royce

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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2016, 10:13:19 AM »
Both the u of m course and radrick farms are vey hilly.  They would be tough to pull off, especially the greens.  But man, I love the u of m course and it would be great to play it virtually.  I'd skip the city.

The city of AA could burn to the ground, just leave the course and Big10 burrito for me to enjoy.  Sparty On!


I've finished hole 4.  Will post a vid when I have a chance.  This hole took me all day yesterday, probably at least a solid 6-8 hours of work.  I think I'm taking too many measurements to plot the fairway shapes, need to concentrate on the driver landing zone and green complex areas.  I decided to measure 5 yards on this hole, which was way too much.  Live & learn.

I wish the trees in this rustic theme were smaller, or (as someone mentioned) Paul @ HB would add the ability to downscale the size.  I hope I don't back myself into a corner and end up with a course that feels to claustrophobic.  I've already had to deviate the position on a few trees from their real life location, just to try to make it feel more open in areas.  Unfortunately I feel like I need to keep plugging along and get more adjacent holes laid down to really see how it looks & feels.

I think I'm going to jump from the 4th to the 7th next, since the 7th has the first water I need to deal with and it runs next to the 2nd heading back toward the clubhouse, so I can start to see how tight space is going to get and use the 2nd hole to position the 7th.

My overall plan is to get each hole laid out with tee boxes, fw, bunkers and important trees, then come back and lay down cart paths (easier to do once I have everything positioned, then I can just eyeball most of the paths using landmarks), or do I do cart paths last, after elevation work is complete?


Hole 4 design video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMs8miEijdM
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 11:37:20 AM by Royce »
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TGC2 Completed Courses:
Augusta National Golf Club (members) - (voted 2017 TGC2 course of the year at TGCTours.com!)

TGC2 Works in progress:
Oakland Hills South redo
Pine Valley Golf Club

Royce

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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2016, 10:34:35 AM »
Curious if anyone has any tips or advice for this issue I ran into yesterday.

I spent an hour getting my fairway edges to look smooth and neat, which was a difficult task.  Once I had them looking nice I started laying in my bunkers and noticed that placing a bunker near the fairway would sometimes cause the fairway edge to become wavy, even though I'm 1-2 meters from the edge.  It's not a huge deal as I assume adding in rough & elevation changes will mask it a bit, but if there's some way to avoid this I would be interested.

The pic below shows an example.

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TGC2 Works in progress:
Oakland Hills South redo
Pine Valley Golf Club

HB_KeithC

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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2016, 10:59:02 AM »
Bunkers overwrite fairways so when it gets too close, it will cut into it like that.  When the bunker goes down, it adds a little rough buffer around it so it is pushing in the fairway due to that buffer.

Royce

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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2016, 11:35:44 AM »
Bunkers overwrite fairways so when it gets too close, it will cut into it like that.  When the bunker goes down, it adds a little rough buffer around it so it is pushing in the fairway due to that buffer.

Thanks for the response.  Does that mean I should lay my bunkers a bit further away to avoid this from occurring?  If I do a multi-select and move the bunker will the fairway edge return to it's original position?




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TGC2 Completed Courses:
Augusta National Golf Club (members) - (voted 2017 TGC2 course of the year at TGCTours.com!)

TGC2 Works in progress:
Oakland Hills South redo
Pine Valley Golf Club

HB_KeithC

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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2016, 11:58:08 AM »
Yes, it should.  You can always try moving it and if it doesn't smooth the fairway back out, just undo to put the bunkers back where they were.

Royce

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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2016, 10:58:07 AM »
Just ran into my first area of real frustration doing the 7th hole (decided to skip 5 & 6 to work on holes adjacent to the one's I've already laid out).

My issue deals with the pond I diligently mapped out and sculpted into the terrain.  I then laid down the fairway with a 2 yard gap between the pond and fairway, but when I was experimenting with adding in a light rough boarder between the fairway & pond I realized it looks like crap because the actual visible light rough is awful looking, narrow in some parts and nonexistent in others. 

Then I tried to raise up the outer lip of the pond hoping that would fix the rough width issue, but it did not.

I'm looking for tips on how to handle laying a fairway down adjacent to water.  Below is a pic of what I'm attempting to do.

Is it possible to create a body of water lined with light rough nearly directly to the edge of the water?



If dealing with the light rough is a chore, and I feel like it will be a massive one having to tediously line every tee box/fairway/green, my other thought is no intermediate cut, just heavy rough everywhere like Rod's Congressional.
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TGC2 Completed Courses:
Augusta National Golf Club (members) - (voted 2017 TGC2 course of the year at TGCTours.com!)

TGC2 Works in progress:
Oakland Hills South redo
Pine Valley Golf Club

Rod81simo

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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2016, 11:07:23 AM »
Just ran into my first area of real frustration doing the 7th hole (decided to skip 5 & 6 to work on holes adjacent to the one's I've already laid out).

My issue deals with the pond I diligently mapped out and sculpted into the terrain.  I then laid down the fairway with a 2 yard gap between the pond and fairway, but when I was experimenting with adding in a light rough boarder between the fairway & pond I realized it looks like crap because the actual visible light rough is awful looking, narrow in some parts and nonexistent in others. 

Then I tried to raise up the outer lip of the pond hoping that would fix the rough width issue, but it did not.

I'm looking for tips on how to handle laying a fairway down adjacent to water.  Below is a pic of what I'm attempting to do.

Is it possible to create a body of water lined with light rough nearly directly to the edge of the water?



If dealing with the light rough is a chore, and I feel like it will be a massive one having to tediously line every tee box/fairway/green, my other thought is no intermediate cut, just heavy rough everywhere like Rod's Congressional.
I went with no light rough for 2 reasons
1. It was a pain to 4 or 5 click every piece of fairway that I layed down....
2. Being an RCR the fairways are much wider than I'd like so to make it more penal and to add some thought into a drive I maxed fairway firmness and decided upon no light rough

I did want to add it around greens, bunkers and so forth but it wasn't looking right so flicked if all together, and to answer your question, no you can't have light rough meet a body of water, it's a nuisance too as it hinders balls running off into water greatly, shame that but it is what it is.

Good luck with the course, have been and will keep following this and all RCRs closely, props mate
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