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Kalusa Lakes v2
by Gary A Turner

Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 1605
Release Date CRZ Filesize Par Course Length
2005-08-07  49,573,888  bytes 72  7064 yards
Type Style CRZ Filename
FICTIONAL  WOODLAND  Kalusa Lakes v2_locked.crz 
Course ID Course Key

Kalusa Lakes Update
1. Fixed problem with 1st cut texture properties causing Caddy to suggest wrong club.
2. Fixed 16th tee so that player is Not tempted to take shortcut to the 17th fairway.



Reviewed by Chris Gormley

Background Info:
This is 3rd course released by Gary with the others being Pine View and Florida Palms. Kalusa Lakes v2 is a Fictional woodland design. Here is a little excerpt from the Kalusa Lakes v2 readme:

“Kalusa Lakes started out as a test to see how a lake would look with a deep rough texture border. Then I decided to go ahead and lay in a green next to the lake and after eight months of work, the rest is what you see in the course. The test lake is the one to the right of hole #1.

I have learned a lot from doing this course. The main thing is seam blending that I didn’t know much about until I decided to go ahead with this course. I got a lot of tips and tricks from reading the forums in The Links Corner and”

Overall Impressions:
I was very glad that I had “won” the draw for this review as I was not really familiar with Gary’s earlier designs and was anxious to see how Kalusa Lakes looked as I had heard a lot of good things about it around the Links Community. After playing my 5 review rounds on this course all I can say is wow!! I have had the pleasure of reviewing some very good courses in my time and now I can add this one to my list.

The course from the first tee to the last green is solid in every way. The course is very lush looking throughout, but Gary does not go over board here which is very nice to see, because this gives the course an almost “real” look to it that many designs today lack. For this reason alone Kalusa Lakes is near the top of the list IMHO. Each hole is designed differently with different aspects being used, but the best part of the hole designs are the strategic decisions that a player is forced to make on each hole. This course has plenty of Risk/Reward on every hole and the player needs to decide whether to go for that big shot or to play things safe. A lot of the time a designer wants to challenge a player on every shot which causes their design to take on a “target golf” mentality but that does not happen on Kalusa Lakes. There is a great mix of when to play risky and when to play things safe. Another aspect of the course that adds to is realism is the terrain of the course itself. The terrain is very smooth and real looking without any particular part of it being extreme. I commend Gary on this as he has taken the time to make sure every part of this design is in the correct place and looks good from all angles.

The APCD work on Kalusa Lakes v2 is great. I could not find any problems throughout the course and I also need to mention that all the advantages of the APCD 1.5 have been used on this course. Some serious seam blending has been done on this course and it really makes the course look great.

The fairways are planned very well on this course and will challenge a player both off the tee and on the approach shots as well. The contouring of the fairways is done very well and will allow for some very realistic bounces. Although this is a woodland course the fairways are pretty open but the trees do come into play on some holes but nothing that a well planned shot cannot overcome.

The greens throughout the course are large and roomy. Most of the greens are contoured nicely but there are a few that will caused 1.06 MOD users some problems if the faster conditions are used. But for the most part they are MOD friendly but will be a challenge.

The hazards that are spread throughout the course are placed very strategically. I don’t think there was one hazard that I saw that did not have a purpose. There was also a great variety of hazards used, not only bunkers but plenty of ponds and streams as well. I especially liked the ponds that were scattered throughout the course, very real looking and ready to gobble up any shots that try to cross them. A lot of though has been put into the placement of the hazards so be careful, but I must say that everyone should take a practice round just to check them out as they are done very well, especially the water hazards.

The textures and the planting are probably the 2 strongest areas of this course IMHO. The textures that were used are great. They blend well together and just seem to fit the course and the overall design. Things are lush looking without going overboard and some of the blending of the textures is just awesome. The planting on the course is some of the best that I have seen, especially around the water features. Some serious time has been spent getting this right on the course and Gary is to be commended for the time that he has put into this part of the design. Planting a course is so hard to do but Gary has gotten it right on this course. If I had not know that this course was planted by Gary Turner there are spots where it looks like one of the planting masters(Jones, Hewitt, or Campbell) had done some work.

Normally I pick a couple of holes to “spotlight” as my favorites but I am not going to do that on Kalusa Lakes v2 as every hole on this course has something unique to offer a player and all 18 should be listed here. Everyone should just decide for themselves which are their favorites because I personally have 18 favorites on this course.

Closing comments:
Kalusa Lakes v2 is one of the best courses released in the last 6 months IMHO. The design is strategic, beautiful to look at and is put together very well. I commend Gary on all the time that he has spent making this course for the Links Community. I highly recommend that everyone download this course and give it a spin. This is one great course. Congrats Gary on a top notch design.

"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 my review is simply how I as a player/Tour Director would view this course."

CLIPNOTES by Ben Bateson (ousgg)

Fictional, lakeside course
Concept  7/10
Subtly tricked-up with hazards and tight landing areas, this is a course that will push you without being overtly unfair. It’s a wholesome and utterly believable set of holes and, for something that has grown out of a technical experiment, is remarkably convincing. But there’s a spark; a certain charm lacking, which means the course never incites you to play it over and over again.
Appearance  9/10
With the muddy, low-lying lakes immaculately blended in the landscape, this could never fail to impress. The excellent use of textures and planting extends to the deep rough, which is extremely realistic both in appearance and attributes. A suitable variety of planting helps to complete the overall effect. Given the tricky nature of the hole design, views are clean, clear and accessible.
Playability  6/10
You’re always being pushed at Kalusa Lakes: whether pushed to land your drive on target; pushed to avoid the awkward hazarding; or pushed to sink some tough putts. It’s frustrating to land in the heavy planting, too. But thankfully, it’s not depressingly hard in the same way that certain other courses are, and there’s a lot of reward to be had in a close recovery or a successful middle-length putt…
Challenge  5/10
…But never let it be said that it was easy. Any Mulligans you take out onto the course will inevitably be snapped up on the front nine. Greens are tough to read and feature some nightmarish elevation changes. Bunkers, too, are deceptively sloped and an accurate recovery is surprisingly hard even for the best sand players. Anyone would be pleased with a sub-par round.
Technical  9/10
The only flaw, if flaw it is, on this course is the neglect to provide some recompense to the player. Once in a while at Kalusa, it would be nice not to be forced to hit arrow-straight drives, or make nigh-impossible recoveries to save Par. It detracts from the realism of the course and does it no favours. Elsewhere, such difficulties as planting, texture choices and course elevations have been brilliantly handled: the latter, in particular, a shining example of sufficient model of restraint and prudence.
Overall Technically great, but lacking the fizzle and warm embrace of some less daunting courses. 36/50
Please remember that Clipnote reviews are the opinion of one person and do not constitute an 'Official' Links Corner review of the course.


 Votes cast
Ace43 %52
Eagle46 %56
Birdie9 %11
Par1 %1
Bogey or worse2 %2

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