Prototype Links 0.5 - On course difficulty and strategic design for TGC

  • 0 Replies


  • *
  • GroupMember
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4728
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:31:11 PM »
This one is a bit special. It's not a course so much as a proof of concept and experiment. Still fun to play hopefully.

There has been some discussion on course difficulty and also some excellent threads on strategic design lately. So I cooked up a 9 holer (or actually six, see below) that is focused on showcasing strategic hole types and ways to defend against birdies while allowing for pars. This is a "novelty course" and will likely never be released as a proper course, but I hope it can spur a strategy discussion and maybe inspire some designers to incorporate elements of these holes into their own creations. The holes are a bit exaggerated in order to make the design point clear. Looks is not a priority for this course and it is not refined. It's for people who want to explore ways to make challenging but playable designs.


This is a firm and fast course. I think it pulls it off through the use of large greens and slopes.

1 and 2. 100 yds wide fairway without clear aim-point. Where are you going to put your drive? You get to play this twice as I guess most people will want a second try. Really, this hole is a good birdie opportunity and correctly executed a <20feet putt should be easily achievable.
3 - Coming back over the same fairway, this hole is a bit simplistic. Approach needs to be considered as a long putt
4 - A "cape" type hole. Blind shot if you want to cut the dogleg. Bunker straight where most people would want to hit their drive forces a decision. Large angled green with irregularities mimics the decision making of the tee-shot. It's defenseless if you have a tail-wind, but course will claw that back on the next in that case.
5 and 6. Par five with many many options. This is the jewel of the course. There are three distinct landing areas. All three are viable choices depending on wind, skill and confidence. Huge risk reward shot if you want to get on in two. Lay-ups depends on tee-shot and if you are lucky enough to be able to go for it you have to pick to go left or right.... So many options that you get two goes on this as well.
7 - Short par 3 with large green but small landing areas. Missing your mark here has larger consequences than we usually see in TGC. Fairly penalizing hole, but does give a chance of redemption through short game heroics if the tee shot is off.
8 and 9. Another hole played twice, with very different flag placements. Split fairway and a three tier L green. Make sure to pick the right fairway. This one is not very subtle, but I want to make the design point clear.

The course should not easily let people go any deeper than -3 to -4 even in low winds, but greens may still be too easy. Would be fun to see some elite players try to crack it to see where I need tweaking....

If this can spur some discussion I will probably continue the work trying to capture the essence of some classic hole types like the alps, postage stamp, biarriz, eden etc. in a TGC context.

so - PROTOTYPE LINKS 0.5. Published now. Comments below.