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TPC of Scottsdale-Stadium 2004
by Jess Gagnon & Ross Mackenzie & Eric Dorsey

Release Date CRZ Filesize Par Course Length
2005-03-23  87,822,336  bytes 71  7149 yards
Type Style CRZ Filename
REAL  DESERT  TPC-Scottsdale2004_final.crz 
Course ID Course Key
   

COURSE NOTES
Original designer for Links 2001 Ė Jess Gagnon
Update designers Ė Ross Mackenzie and Eric Dorsey

This update features new rough, sand, tee, fairway, fringe and green textures, and all these are seam blended with a mown cut look. There has been a number of changes to the terrain. The evidence creating these changes were found in some excellent photos of the 2004 course courtesy of Jess Gessler. Most of the terrain changes are in the surrounding hills and mounds in the rough, however some fairways and greens have been adjusted and some bunkers reshaped reflecting the changes as of 2004. The pathway texture has been changed.

There has been some planting changes including some great 2D tee signs by Eric Dorsey and some tree changes to better reflect the season look at the time of the tournament. Many 3D tournament objects have been mounted on 3D canvas boxes made from the terrain just as they are in the real tournament. Due to this some of these objects cannot be turned off. Crowds have been adjusted and generally increased.

There is still plenty more I could do with this course. Time permitting I will update again next year with the aim to seam blend more of the outer areas, more planting changes, some more terrain detail and a real panorama.

COURSE SCREENSHOTS

LINKS CORNER REVIEW

Reviewed by: Chuck Clark


Background: The TPC at Scottsdale is an incredible real desert golf course in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is the home course for the annual Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour. Itís a fun and exciting golf course where huge crowds come out every January (usually on Super Bowl weekend) to watch golfís best. The 16th hole is probably the scene of the craziest golf crowd anywhere. Surrounded by thousands of drunk college frat boys the scene here takes on the feel of a football game (or football match for you Europeans). Combine the crowds with the exciting risk-reward holes on the back nine and this is a really fun place for a tournament. This (Links 2003) update version of the TPC at Scottsdale captures the look and feel of this golf course very well. I played this golf course in real life once and this version seems to be very close to playing the real thing. The following is from the read-me:

ĒIt has been a pleasure to take this brilliant 2001 design by Jess Gagnon and update it for Links 2003. TPC of Scottsdale is a regular PGA Tour stop and is a spectacular course set in the Arizona Desert with contrasting colours. This is a fun course to play, pleasing to the eye and is open for some good scoring, yet will punish the poor shots.

This update features new rough, sand, tee, fairway, fringe and green textures, and all these are seam blended with a mown cut look. There has been a number of changes to the terrain. The evidence creating these changes were found in some excellent photos of the 2004 course courtesy of Jess Gessler. Most of the terrain changes are in the surrounding hills and mounds in the rough, however some fairways and greens have been adjusted and some bunkers reshaped reflecting the changes as of 2004. The pathway texture has been changed.

There has been some planting changes including some great 2D tee signs by Eric Dorsey and some tree changes to better reflect the season look at the time of the tournament. Many 3D tournament objects have been mounted on 3D canvas boxes made from the terrain just as they are in the real tournament. Due to this some of these objects cannot be turned off. Crowds have been adjusted and generally increased.Ē



Overall Impression: The TPC at Scottsdale is a very colorful golf course. From the green grass, to the yellowish (dormant) Bermuda rough, to the blue water, the white sand in the bunkers, the green bushes and cactus, to the sandy brown desert areas to the surrounding rocks and mountains; this is quite a site to see. This version captures this look quite well. This is your first/main impression when you play this course. Since Iíve played this course (and watched it on TV) I can tell you that this is the way it actually looks in real life too. Besides the appearance; it also appears to me that the elevations are pretty close to the real thing. Therefore, the golf experience playing this Links course is very close to the real thing. What else can you ask for from a real course recreation.

Playability/Shot Values: As is the case with many real course renditions the TPC at Scottsdale is very playable bordering on a bit too easy (if you donít play with the Mod). The fairways and greens are generous, the rough not too demanding and the course is fairly level. But if you do stray a bit you can get into quite a lot of trouble. There are many deep bunkers and lots of water (especially on the back nine). As for shot values this is a pretty classic risk-reward type golf course. You need to fly it high and land it soft. There are many deep bunkers and lots of water to fly over. This is not a course where a ground game helps you too much. The only issues I had pertaining to playability was a few pin positions on a green or two. There was a back pin on 14 that was right on a severe slope. I thought I had hit an approach shot stiff here; only to watch the ball trickle and trickle right off the green. Pinehurst this isnít!

Favorite Hole: This is an easy one. The 17th hole at the TPC at Scottsdale is a great reachable par 4. The pros have made everything from 1 to 10 on this hole. When it plays downwind you can get there pretty easy but donít go left (into a lake) or right (down into a hollow leaving a tricky chip back towards the water). When the pin is in the tiny little corner in the back left a deep bunker also comes into play. This hole is a ton of fun to play; and itís great to watch the pros trying to go for this green. This rendition is lots of fun to play in Links as well.

Visuals: As stated above, this rendition captures the look very well. However, the textures used on this course were not terrible attractive. The rough textures (regular and dormant) were bland and a bit blurry. They reminded me of Links 2001 textures. With some newer and more attractive textures (like Mike Jones seems to make) this course would look so much better. The other main quibble I have with the look is the pano. In real life the TPC at Scottsdale is near a number of high rocky peaks. The scenery is gorgeous here; which may explain why so many people have decided to make their homes here (it sure isnít the weather in the summer). The pano used for this rendition is quite weak and uninspiring. Now I fully understand that getting good photoís for panoís is almost impossible. I donít blame the designers here; itís just about impossible to make a great pano. You really need some professional photographer quality photoís to really do it right. Maybe some day we can get some great shots and fix up the pano. This would really help the visuals for this golf course.

Technique: This is a very well done course. The planting, elevations, seam blending, tourney objects and extras are very well done. I didnít see any apcd errors to speak of. As mentioned above I wasnít too thrilled with the textures but the course was beautifully built nonetheless.

Summary: This is a very well done real course rendition of a PGA Tour golf course. The textures and the pano were a bit off; but these are minor quibbles. If you love to ďplay with the prosĒ then this is a wonderful golf course for you. I have played this course in real life and this version captures the look and feel pretty darn well. With some top notch textures and a great pano this course could be one of the best! But in the mean time I still heartily recommend downloading and playing this course!

CLIPNOTES by Ben Bateson (ousgg)

Description
Real, desert course.
Location
TBA
Conditions
TBA
Concept  4/10
An odd course, this. Ostensibly desert, it is instead lush and green and clearly has had care lavished upon it. The actual desert regions seem to have been banished to the background and appear as something of an afterthought. Hole design isnít much to write home about, the impressive 15th apart, and sadly the course leaves you shrugging and saying Ďso whatí?
Appearance  5/10
I think thereís more to be done here. The texture choices are poor, the planting looks overwhelmingly random, water hazards look unnatural and poorly-lined; the panorama is laughable. Only some decent work with the buildings around the course helps hold it up.
Playability  4/10
Most holes offer little option and even the harder pin positions do not give you much to think about. The desert is easy to escape and thereís not enough variety in the hole length (far too many mid-length Par 4s, for example). Itís mostly a mindless round of golf and surely not half as good as playing the real thing, no matter how bad your game.
Challenge  6/10
Some tricky approach shots and hard-to-read greens are the main difficulties on this course. Fairway shots will often have to carry desert or bunkers and all the Par 5s are very tempting to go for in two. Because of the intrinsic flatness of the course, scores will generally be low, although not so low as to make the course a pushover.
Technical  4/10
A good, detailed panorama would set this course off a treat, as would some time and care taken over texture choices. The planting is crying out to be refined, especially around the water regions, and the whole course could do with being a bit less green. The re-design has taken time and care of the use of multiple grass textures: now more needs to go into applying some advanced APCD-work.
Overall A somewhat underwhelming round of golf on an easy and Ė to be honest Ė fairly uninspiring real life course. Just about worth a round for a couple of great moments, but thatís all. 23/50
Please remember that Clipnote reviews are the opinion of one person and do not constitute an 'Official' Links Corner review of the course.

USER RATINGS

 Votes cast
Ace20 %18
Eagle54 %48
Birdie22 %20
Par2 %2
Bogey or worse1 %1

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