*Heatherfield Ponds Golf & Country Club* - NOW WITH PHOTOS! - Feedback welcome!

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BadJobAce

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« on: June 11, 2015, 03:59:44 PM »
**SCROLL DOWN TO THE FIRST REPLY FOR PHOTOS OF ALL FINISHED HOLES**

As some of you may already know, I'm currently in the process of developing my first real attempt at course design.  I've made a couple piles-o-junk with auto-gen fairways etc, but I decided to finally "give it a go".  This project has been in the works for a while now, but here's a quick synopsis of what's transpired so far.

1) Start making course, get frustrated and delete the whole thing.
2) Start again, get 5 holes in, realize you've already designed yourself into a corner (literally), rage quit and start over.
3) Come up with some brilliant ideas, get them laid out........come back the next day and HATE it, start over.
---I have OCD, if you haven't picked up on that yet---
4) Get into a GROOVE, lay out the entire course, sculpt, start working on holes one by one, really dig where you're going. You had an issue with an "island fairway" you were plotting for the 4th hole, but you worked through it.
5) Wife lets your 8 year old nephew play your game, who proceeds to delete your pending masterpiece.
6) Start over again.

This is where I'm at now.  After all the issues I was having with it before, maybe the "nephew incident of 2015" wasn't so bad, because I feel like I'm really on a roll now.  Don't get me wrong, this track is no Kate Upton, but it's leaps beyond anything I've ever attempted.

This is a fictional course, based on my experience with Mid-Michigan golf courses from 30+ years as a Michigan native.  As the name would suggest, the course features water IN PLAY on most holes, and LOTS of tall Heather Grass.  I'm trying to stick with the natural flow of terrain, and keep "sculpting" to a minimum.  There will be easy scoring holes, as well as holes (including the first par 3) where you should just be playing for par.  Better players are going to rip this course to shreds, and that's fine;  I build my courses for me, the way I like them and the way I like to play!  :)  I've tried to keep the course FUN TO PLAY, but still a FAIR challenge!

The entire course is plotted out, and I have ideas for them all.  So far I have 7 holes completely done.  I prefer to do one hole at a time and then move on, only coming back if I notice something during play test that bugs me.

Hole 1: "Heather" -  This is a long par 4 with a water hazard short of the green.  You want to hug the fairway bunker as much as possible with your drive, as the further right you go, the more "blind" your approach shot becomes, with water coming into play.

Hole 2) "Prayer" - A LONG par 3 to an Island Green.  Depending on winds, you may want to lay up in the fairway area and pitch close for par. A blind (from the tee) bunker will *hopefully* catch long shots before they get wet, but leave a tough up and down with a green that slopes away from you.  You're playing for par, anything less is a bonus.

Hole 3) "Snake Pit" -  An "S" shaped par 4 with two options off the tee.  You can hit fairway metal, but will be left with a LONG approach over water and waste area to a pin that will be near impossible to get close to from this angle.  OR, you can opt for Driver, but you will be forced to "cut" the ball to avoid water.  This will leave you a short-mid iron into the green, with a great angle for getting close.  Played well, this is an easy birdie!

Hole 4) "Pitch" - (My favorite of the holes I have finished)  This is a shorter par 4 with a scenic tee shot over water (not in play, only 100 yard carry) to a narrow fairway, leaving you little more than 100 yards to hit a well protected green.  The landing area is small, and there is no such thing as an "easy" putt on this hole. Miss the landing area and you're trying to save par.  Missing the green completely can almost guarantee a bogey.

Hole 5) "Split" - Do you take the "high road" with the winds in your favor and try to reach this monster par 5 in two?  Or do you take the conservative "low road" and suffer a blind second shot, and a longer 3rd shot into this green?  Rest assured, the only way to reach this hole in 2 is with helping winds from the "high road", but trouble will await the wayward approach!  One of the few "dry" holes in play, with water off the tee that does not have to be carried.  An easy birdie, but an eagle is a miracle!

Hole 6) "Squeeze" - The second par 3 on the front nine.  Plays into a short to mid iron, with bunkers "squeezing" the front and back of the green.  Imagine a green shaped like an "8".  There are birdies to be had if you can navigate the bunkers and stay below the hole, but go above, and bogey will surely come into play.

Hole 7) "Link" - The only hole on the front nine with no bunkers....this hole features a tight, undulating fairway that molds with the surrounding landscape, with two partially blind shots to find this green in two.  If you find the fairway, your approach to this medium-sized green will require shot shaping to hold the green.....PROTIP - Look to the right edge of the green for a little help!  This hole may very well play as the hardest hole on the course, which is funny since it has nearly NO trouble to find.

This is the list of what is DONE so far.  I have fairways/greens on 8/9 and solid ideas for the remaining 9, but they're a long way from complete. 

Not to be a total jerk, here's just a small teaser of the 3rd hole, "Snake Pit"



« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 10:38:10 AM by BadJobAce »
My published designs:

Makwa Jiigashkiig:  Ojibwe Tribal Grounds (TGCTLive! Par 3 Contest WINNER)

BadJobAce

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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 01:54:46 PM »
I've made some decent progress since my initial post, with 10 1/2 holes now mostly finished.  After all 18 holes are done, I will go around and tidy up the edges, do some planting, add OB and polish everything before publishing, including extensive play-testing.  Here's what we have so far in my first "from scratch" course... 

My aim here is to make realistic courses that are challenging, but FUN above all else.  I want people to enjoy their rounds on my course.  That being said, I'm not big on the hockey-rink greens, so this will likely stay close to the default "harvest" settings for medium speed/firmness.  I tried to add challenges to the course without "tricking up" the greens and fairways to do it.  The best players are going to pick this course apart, but average guys like me will score well if we play smart (not my forte).

Hole 1 - "Heather"
-Tee shot with view of MASSIVE fairway bunker, and second section of 9th fairway in background across pond (right)


-1st Green with 9th hole tee landing area in background across the pond


Hole 2 - "Prayer"
-Tee complex


-Green Island - The green CAN be held, but in high wind the smart play is short left and pitching up close.  You're pretty much playing for par on this hole.


Hole 3 - renamed "Swerve"
-Green looking back towards tee box.  You can really see the "S" shape in this one.


-Tee shot.....if you INSIST on hittting more than 5 wood off the tee, this is what you're going to have to do to keep the ball in play.  Keep in mind, 5-wood will leave you 190ish into a green with a nice false-front  ;D


-Waste area to avoid off of tee


Hole 4 - "Pitch"
-Tee shot


-Landing area with angle to green


Hole 5 - "Split"
-Fairway options with "high road" on right, "low road" on left having to carry water 200+ yards


-View from tee


-Green & Bunkers


Hole 6 - "Squeeze"
-Green with it's "bodyguards"


Hole 7 - "Link"
-Long, narrow fairway through the trees


-Well protected green.....as previously mentioned, this MAY play as the hardest hole on the course, even though it has no bunkers or water in play.  It has a few tricks up it's sleeves ;)


Hole 8 - "Trap"
-Bird's eye view of the hole.  This one has A LOT of bunkers, and options off the tee. 


-Green looking back to landing areas


-Approach from landing areas


Hole 9 - "Karma"
-Green looking back towards first landing area (around dogleg)


-Tee shot landing area, looking back towards tee box


Hole 10 - "Oasis"
This hole leaves you a risk/reward scenario off the tee, with the safe option leaving a longer approach that's hard to get close to a tucked pin, where as the high risk option leaves you a short pitch to the pin for a nice birdie shot.
-Options off the tee


-Safe approach


-Risky approach


-Possibly my best green yet


Hole 11 - "Touch"
This hole is only 371 yards, but it's tough.  There are at least 4 different ways to play this hole, and only one will leave you a realistic chance at birdie.  I finished this hole and went 'woah....this is alot tougher than I thought it would be"...

-Approach into green from fairway hazard


-Looking back towards the tee box from the end of the 2nd peninsula....what you can't see in this photo is the first peninsula, which will rarely come into play unless there are high winds.


-Green, looking back towards fairway


And that's what's "finished" so far.  As I said, I like to do MOST of the work on a hole, then move on.  This is what seems to be working for me.  I figure I'll come tidy everything up after all 18 are done. 

I like to build courses the way I like to play, so I make no apologies for "difficult" holes like the long par-3 second.  This course has false fronts, bunkers in fairways (within reason), and LOTS of tiered greens with demanding approach shots.  It has pin placements that will punish you if you miss your mark, but allow for realistic birdie opportunities if you play the hole correctly.  Some teeshots are placed by default into bad areas PURPOSELY, so that you will stop, think, and pick your route before swinging away.

As I said before, this is designed on a risk-reward style of play, with options available on MOST holes. 

I don't intend to sound crass, and I am ALWAYS open to comments, suggestions or constructive criticism!  I'm only looking to get better as I keep going, so this has been a learning experience for me :)

Let me know what you guys think!
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 02:14:26 PM by BadJobAce »
My published designs:

Makwa Jiigashkiig:  Ojibwe Tribal Grounds (TGCTLive! Par 3 Contest WINNER)

Cally

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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 02:09:21 PM »
Based on the pictures I was going to say nice job for a first attempt, but after reading about your trial and tribulations this is not your first crack at the designer  :)
Looking forward to playing it once you are complete

BadJobAce

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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 02:31:40 PM »
Based on the pictures I was going to say nice job for a first attempt, but after reading about your trial and tribulations this is not your first crack at the designer  :)
Looking forward to playing it once you are complete

Thank you!  I'm really excited about this one.  It won't rank up with the "best" courses, but I hope people enjoy it once it goes live!
My published designs:

Makwa Jiigashkiig:  Ojibwe Tribal Grounds (TGCTLive! Par 3 Contest WINNER)

BadJobAce

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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2015, 10:28:33 AM »
*I've gone against my better judgement (perhaps from too much beer?) and entered CrazyCanuck1985's par 3 design contest, so until that is over, development on Heatherfield Ponds Golf & Country Club has been put on hold.*
My published designs:

Makwa Jiigashkiig:  Ojibwe Tribal Grounds (TGCTLive! Par 3 Contest WINNER)

Cally

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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2015, 01:11:23 PM »
Have fun with the Par 3 challenge. I entered their first one and had fun creating the course

BadJobAce

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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2015, 01:49:39 PM »
Have fun with the Par 3 challenge. I entered their first one and had fun creating the course

Well thank you for the well wishes! :)
My published designs:

Makwa Jiigashkiig:  Ojibwe Tribal Grounds (TGCTLive! Par 3 Contest WINNER)

 

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