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Cara Brae
by Mike Jones

Release Date CRZ Filesize Par Course Length
2017-04-16  70,770,688  bytes 70  6909 yards
Type Style CRZ Filename
FICTIONAL  OCEAN  Cara_Brae.crz 
Course ID Course Key
   

COURSE NOTES
A newer version of this course is available.

Here

COURSE SCREENSHOTS

LINKS CORNER REVIEW

Designer: If there was designer that has stood out amongst the rest over the years, it would have to be without a doubt, Mike Jones. Having designed courses for both Links 2001 and 2003, Mike has been at the forefront of the APCDís evolution, with his courses continually setting new benchmarks in both design and technical application. Other designers have released courses of equivalent quality, but nobody has come close to the sheer number of exceptional designs he has released. His course portfolio includes 13 individual designs, with a total of 19 when including updated versions, 13 Links Corner Recommendations, 5 Players Choice and 4 Course of the Month awards, as well as being part of the Augusta National 2005 course design team that received both a Links Corner Recommendation and a Players Choice award.

With Fictional designs consisting of Links, Mountain, Ocean, Parkland and Woodland styles, designing outstanding courses has become second nature to Mike Jones. Even though his course designs alone would be enough to cement Mikeís place in Links history, his contribution to the community by way of textures and tutorials should also not be forgotten. Even though the future for Links is yet unknown, letís hope that whatever may come will include the name, Mike Jones. More information can be found on the designer and his courses at http://www.mikejgolfdesign.com.

Course: Most of Mikes Jones most memorable designs have been an Oceanside Links course, which means that he could have taken advantage of past glory and simply made another one to add to his portfolio, but that is not the case with Cara Brae, where yet again, he has come up with a truly unique design. From the first tee on Hole 1, the player is faced with multiple options as to where to hit the ball, a factor that remains a constant throughout the course. Depending on what tee and view you are using, the experience will be vastly different, so youíll more than likely end up playing this course multiple times over to find the most enjoyable setup catered to your playing preferences.

You might think originally that itís actually a Woodland course youíre playing until you get to Hole 4, which is one of the best features of this course, as youíll find that the layout consists of both open and dense designs. The most central part of the course is probably the bunkers, with variations in their depth and size, as well as a stunning array of colours in the sand texture as you look from the middle to the outer edge of each one. Even though the course itself is so enjoyable, itís important for players to stop and admire the outer environment, as the visuals are an important part of the overall experience, which is something that is most evident when you can see multiple holes in one view. Cara Brae is a wonderful course, and something all players should definitely take pleasure in playing.

Favourite Hole: The Par 5 on Hole 15 is undoubtedly my favourite hole on the course. Off the tee, the player is faced with a drive over the ocean to a tight fairway, which is protected by a lengthy fairway bunker. From there, depending on the conditions, distance and pin position, players can choose a risky shot over two large bunkers, or a safer play staying to the left of the green. With exceptional APCD work, stunning visuals and a frightening layout that will test the abilities of all players, this hole is a true masterpiece.

Playability: There are definitely two ways a player can approach this course, with one being conservative play, and the other a demanding approach off the tee. However, what players wonít realise right away is that playing safe off the tee can actually result in difficult second shots, so sometimes itís vitally important to actually take the more demanding option with your drive, which will often then leave yourself with an easier shot into the green. With various changes in elevation throughout the course, itís crucial to not just instantly hit the club that the caddy recommends, but instead, make sure to compensate for the subtle changes in the height of the hole, or else you will end making a lot of chips or long putts. With each of the fairways and greens masterfully sculptured, players should take advantage of the rolls in the layout of each hole, as if you donít, the bunkers will benefit from your ignorance. Considering that there are always multiple approaches possible off each tee, players have an opportunity to shoot low on the course if they wish with many well positioned pins, but if you donít take any risks and find yourself with long putts all the time, donít expect many of them to drop and get used to Par being the score you get the most.

Each green varies in shape, size and slope, so study them carefully before you hit into them, while even though there are some lengthy Par 4ís found around Cara Brae, unlike other courses where often they are an unwelcome hindrance, in this case it almost seems like an honour playing them. Each of the Par 5ís are reachable, but require a different approach to each one, with danger lurking behind Hole 8ís green, fields to the left of Hole 12 being out of bounds, and Hole 15 having multiple hazards including bunkers and the ocean. One of the most exciting playing experiences will be found on the Par 4 on Hole 17, which in the right conditions is drivable, but considering the tight green is surrounded by bunkers, only the truly gifted players should try to reach it off the tee. Depending on what type of conditions you are faced with when playing, each round on Cara Brae will differ dramatically, so be aware, if you decide to play in high winds, the ocean holes will more than likely punish your overall score.

Technically: Talking about the APCD application and technique found on Cara Brae might almost be seen as rather pointless, especially when a Mike Jones design is most often seen as the benchmark to what other courses are measured against, simply because his designs are about as perfect as you can get. The subtle tee extrusions look great, while the seam blending of the magnificently chosen textures was very well done. The planting and sounds are realistic, while the colours and grasses found around the course just add to the stunning visuals players experience when playing on the course. In terms of the most impressive technical features, itís hard to go past the two that stand out the most, the aesthetically beautiful bunkers and ocean shoreline. The technique used to create the bunkers and the choice of sand textures was amazing, while the cliffside and ocean work that heís done is simply superb. With other inclusions such as tee divots and wooden paths, Mikeís APCD work on the design has created a realistic atmosphere that players will truly appreciate. For a course of such high quality, itís remarkable to have such quick loading and rendering times, all of which epitomizes the brilliance of the designer, Mike Jones.

Other: The course includes all of the high quality extras one would expect to find on a Mike Jones design, including a cameo, custom flags and tees, handicaps, hole previews and a splash screen. For those that like to play without using the top view, on each hole you will find excellent hole previews, while make sure to take notice of the outstanding 3D clubhouse created by Pat Auge when playing on either Hole 10 or 18. With sounds including birds and ocean waves, along with the realistic addition of cart paths found around the layout, Cara Brae offers the same experience to players in Links 2003 as one would find playing a similar course in real life, and for that, the designer should be proud of what he has created.

Download Value: At just over 63mb, this course as with any other Mike Jones design is a very worthy download. Even though the zip file contains just the course and read-me file, if you have enjoyed any of the designer's previous works, you are sure to treasure Cara Brae just as much as his other courses. Whether or not this will be your favourite Mike Jones course is a matter of personal preference, but considering the APCD work included and the courseís magnificent layout, it is a design that will be staying on my hard drive permanently.

Information:

Course Statistics:

2003 - Fictional Ocean - Par 70 - 3 Tees
6909yds (Back) - 6491yds (Forward)
Par 3ís: 5 - Par 4ís: 10 - Par 5ís: 3

USER RATINGS

 Votes cast
Ace80 %94
Eagle15 %17
Birdie3 %4
Par1 %1
Bogey or worse1 %1

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