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The Canyons Course at Bighorn (2003)
by Microsoft

Release Date CRZ Filesize Par Course Length
2002-08-21  35,491,735  bytes 72  7083 yards
Type Style CRZ Filename
REAL  UNCLASSIFIED  BhCyn2k3.crz 
Course ID Course Key
16f75e1efab04803af16a101cb8ad1da  e6e305bce552e1654099fea468fd4d65 

CLIPNOTES by Ben Bateson (ousgg)

Description
Real, desert course
Location
TBC
Conditions
TBC
Concept  8/10
A nice course, this, with roads of green winding through a rocky outgrowth. Sometimes the bright fairways look a little at odds with the desert surround, but the individual holes are interestingly enough designed to overlook this. Elevation changes, cacti and USA South buildings abound, and the overall perception is of a golf lover who has set up camp in some pretty unwelcoming terrain.
Appearance  7/10
There are some spectacular views on offer here, but – as sometimes happens with Microsoft – they are spoiled by the panorama which is pixelated and coarse. Only in the centre of the plot (as the screenshot) does it look reasonable. On the way round, there are interesting features to steal your attention, buildings in particular, but more could have been made of custom objects, and some tidier planting wouldn’t have gone amiss, either.
Playability  7/10
Due to the elevation changes, risk/reward potential, and the opportunity to play exciting trick shots off the rocky outgrowth, this has a generous lifespan. Most players will be keen to see what the next hole has to bring, and keep clicking on regardless. It’s worth playing round several times to discover the range of lies and potential for various approach shots on a non-woodland course.
Challenge  4/10
If this is a faithful representation of the original course, then Microsoft aren’t to blame (shame!), but I found this course rather easy. Only the testing final stretch prevented me breaking double-minus figures. The greens aren’t too testing, and I think more could be made of the risk/reward opportunities. Good Links players, might want to use a skill-based MoP on this course in order to extract the very best from it.
Technical  6/10
This is better than some of Microsoft’s variety of LS converts, and the style of the course suits the sharp edges of the fairway, yet more could still be made of it from the alleged professionals. The pano is weak, and the planting seems determinately random. But to create such a variety of rock faces must have taken considerable skill, and the hazard-work is a definite improvement on other commercial courses.
Overall One of the better Microsoft courses, with plenty to look at and lots to do. It might prove a bit of a pushover for the better players, though. 32/50
Please remember that Clipnote reviews are the opinion of one person and do not constitute an 'Official' Links Corner review of the course.

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