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, canyon course
The rockiest of all desert courses features immaculately designed holes,
making maximum, clever use of natural elevations and hazarding. There
really is a perfect blend here, from the knockout Par 3s to the lengthy and
strategic Par 5s, and everything in between. Itís been brought to life
effectively, stretching the Microsoft design norms to some extent and
retains an offbeat appeal. If youíre looking to spend a little cash, you could
do far worse than this.
Large numbers of rocks have been used, and although some attempt has clearly been taken to avoid cloning, the occasional duplicate
is still visible. Elsewhere, though, thereís fine use of elevations to produce some unusual effects, a less glaring than normal texture set,
and a dramatic panorama to round off the visuals nicely.
There are some subtle but very clever fairway shapes here, and a lot of intelligent merit, unusually for a desert course. When you
combine this with the elevations use and the trademark Par 3s, thereís a stimulating and constantly engaging round of golf on offer.
This is definitely one to add to your tournament rotation.
Suffering heavily from Real Course syndrome, Stone Canyon has not brought much of its challenge to the Links game. The desert is
more scenic than penal, and the designer has not relied heavily on hazards. Contrary to appearances, the greens are not at all difficult
to hit, and birdie putts will be inevitably forthcoming.
I have to say Iím quite impressed with this step up in terms of both vision and visuals. Yes, todayís APCD legends would put any
Microsoft course to shame, but Stone Canyon is certainly one of the most ambitious and least-flawed releases out there, and deserves
a high mark.
||A very impressive desert-style course, and certainly one of the best of the genre out
there. One of the best from MS, too.
|This Microsoft course is available for purchase from RegNow.