TPC at The Woodlands 2005
by Alan Price, David Russell & Ross Mackenzie
|Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 1585
|The main purpose of this upgrade was to re-insert the 2D tree top views to bring back the tree shadows. In addition to this some duplicate trees that are not pines have been replaced, hole signs enlarged and adjusted, new leaderboards and one added to the 9th. Some tees have been moved back, holes tightened slightly and general rough now plays as normal rough. There are some deep grass areas which are not easily identified but if you just miss the fairway you won�t be in deep grass. A panorama has been added and pin placements increased from 9 to 18 locations.
LINKS CORNER REVIEW
|Reviewed by Chris Gormley
This is the 3rd APCD 1.5 update of this course over the last couple of years. With each update more and more are done to the course to make it as close to IRL as possible. Ross has done a magnificent job on this latest update. Here is a little bit from the readme, specifically what has changed since the last release of this course:
The 2003 version has the following features :
New textures, Hole previews, Much fuller tournament crowds, An additional start-up screen, Grass planting for effect, Tree changes to reduce the more obvious duplications and ensure more shadows are created, and a little tidying up here and there for visual appearance.
In 2004 Ross Mackenzie added some more new textures and has blended all the edges of the course, also improving the overall smoothness of the design and the bunkering.
Ross has further upgraded the course for 2005. It includes Wayne Hewitt's textures for fairways and greens from Tall Pines Estate with some slight modification to blend with the 2003 rough texture. The main purpose of this upgrade was to re-insert the 2D tree top views to bring back the tree shadows. In addition to this some duplicate trees that are not pines have been replaced, hole signs enlarged and adjusted, new leaderboards and one added to the 9th. Some tees have been moved back, holes tightened slightly and general rough now plays as normal rough. There are some deep grass areas which are not easily identified but if you just miss the fairway you won't be in deep grass. A panorama has been added and pin placements increased from 9 to 18 locations.
TPC @ Woodlands 2005 is a great update to the previous versions with some nice touches being added. People will wonder if the update is worth another download and I have to say that it is. Just seeing the shadows added back is enough for me.
As with the previous releases of this course there are some very nice views from hole to hole creating the effect that you are really there playing the IRL course. The new textures that have been added for this release also make the course feel even more real than with previous versions. The risk/reward is still here, offering players many chances to push the envelope and go for that big shot.
The fairways are fairly open and contoured nicely to create some very realistic bounces around the course. Most of the landing areas are placed wisely to challenge a player without the player feeling like they have to play 'target golf' to put them in place for a high percentage 2nd shot.
The greens are tough but not unfair IMHO. Most of them are large and roomy but they are contoured to make them play tougher than they look. These greens are tough but I think it has to do more with the placement of the pins than with the actual contours of the green. Some thought has been put into these new pin placements to challenge a player without going overboard and making things unplayable on the firm/fast conditions.
The water and bunker hazards are placed well to challenge a player to make the right shots from the tee or they will have a tough time making par on this course. I have especially enjoyed how the water has been used throughout the course. Sometimes designers go over board with water hazards and the course ends up turning into a lesson on island hopping to get to the green, but not Woodlands 2005. This course is very balanced when it comes to the hazards.
The planting throughout the course is done very well and I must say that the tree planting is some of the best I have seen in recent months. Things look very natural all through the course. The underplanting is also done pretty well although I would have liked to have seen a little more done around the water areas to add a little bit more realism to these areas. But other than that little nit-pick the course is planted very nicely.
What more is there that I can say, TPC @ Woodlands 2005 is a great update to an already great course. Ross has really pushed the design to its limits and given us a great course with which to enjoy. I highly recommend to everyone to download this update. It is worth the time IMHO.
"I am writing this review from the viewpoint of not only a player but as a Tour Director. Although I am not a designer I understand the work that goes into a design as I have beta tested many courses and look at every course that is released. M review is simply how I as a player/Tour Director would view this course after a couple of rounds."
CLIPNOTES by Ben Bateson (ousgg)
Please remember that Clipnote reviews are the opinion of one person and do not constitute an 'Official' Links Corner review of the course.
Real, estate course
A delicious and unjustly-overlooked tournament course, The Woodlands
has received a series of gentle updates over the years and is exceptionally
good for it. An excellent all-round test of strategic golf set in an
environment richly customised, it requires every club in the bag to play
well, and features a fair handful of standout holes, not least the excellent
selection of Par 3s. This is one you'll go back to time and time again, not
least to catch the nuances of the course.
The custom work is the stand-out here, from the real estate that lines the course, through the excellent flowers and fences to the tee
boards. It's the fine detail that really brings life to the course, and is marred only by some uneven elevation work which makes the
fairways look like they were designed on a switchback principle.
The range of pin positions and some demand for daring shots make this compulsive golf, and the finely-tuned environment is nothing if
not helpful. There's plenty of putting practice to be had without worrying about unfair greens, and several holes are pretty bunkerheavy.
Overall, then, it's a pretty perfect all-round test of your game.
With Par 5s readily open for eagle opportunities, and a course wide open with opportunities, there are a fair few chances to take the
numbers here. It's not all a pushover, and the water holes and the murderous 18th will take its toll, but a competitive score is expected,
if not demanded, at The Woodlands.
There's plenty of excellent work in the fine detail, which does make one wonder why the larger scale problems, such as the elevations
weren't fixed. The bright green colour set can be a bit jarring for a course which lends itself so well to autumnal play, and the jet-black
water features do not stand out well. Given the variability in the design, it's perhaps not the easiest to settle on a final score.
|A very creditable round of golf in one of the best re-created settings we've seen.
Shame that the workmanship is starting to look a little dated.
|This course is available as a FREE download.
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