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Hideaway Lake
by David Howell

Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 1294
Release Date CRZ Filesize Par Course Length
2003-06-14  30,901,520  bytes 70  6684 yards
Type Style CRZ Filename
FICTIONAL  WOODLAND  HideawayLake2001.crz 
Course ID Course Key


This course is my first venture into the APCD. The design of the course is heavily influenced by the golf courses in Michigan I have had the pleasure of playing over the years. Particularly those in Northern Michigan. Glacial activity in our state has sculpted some interesting contours with some large changes in elevation and many courses here take advantage of that. In some ways, you will see that influence in many of the holes on this course.

Some other things I did came from things in Michigan courses:
* Circumnavigates a lake (Majestic at Lake Walden)
* Grass bunkers (Bald Mountain GC)
* Single fairway on adjacent holes (The Orchards)
* Large greens (Indianwood CC)
* Hole style mixture : lakeside, links, woodland (The Lake)

Included with a course is a pin sheet showing all the numbered locations of the holes on each green. Also, hole-by-hole descriptions and tips are included.


Reviewed by Jon Weinrieb July 2003

BASICS: Hideaway Lake is a countryside-style fictional course, designed by David Howell and created in APCD 1.1 (2001). It features 3 sets of tees (6,684; 6,012; and 5,016) and plays to a par of 70. The course download includes: a cameo; splash screen; custom flag; read me file; hole previews (all included as individual files); pin sheets for all greens (all included as individual files); scorecard; recorded rounds; and the initial hole layout map. File size: approx. 31MB.

INTRODUCTION: Hideaway Lake is David's first APCD release. Although his lack of skill is evident in places, there is a good bit of creativity exhibited throughout the course and speaks well of his potential to someday be a solid designer. The course is fun and not too hard, and is fairly forgiving off the tee. There are birdies to be had so if you are struggling with your game, this could be a good pick-me-up.

APPEARANCE: Although I suppose some would characterize this course as a parkland-style golf course, I would say it reminds me of the Northern Midwest countryside or, as the name implies, lakesides up in Michigan and Wisconsin. The heavily rolling fairways, like all of the textures, are stock 2001 grass with average transitions from rough to fairway to green, etc., all of which need some work. They are sharp and not terribly realistic. The grass bunkers that snare stray balls are a nice touch although the transitions from grass-to-grass need help and there do not appear to be mappings anywhere on the course. The sand bunkers, although not too bad generally, desperately need mappings on the lips and smoothing of the sharp, harsh edges. The large lakes are bright blue and unrealistic in that regard with similarly average to poor transitions from dirt down to the water. Furthermore, at least one of the lakes is not properly assigned as water texture, as I was able to play off of it as if it was a fairway shot. The plantings are sparse and somewhat repetitive but not too bad. They seem to have been somewhat of an afterthought, though, and the result is a lack of feel to the course, something that usually comes from expert planting.

PLAYABILITY: Hideaway Lake is not difficult per se, but it is unfortunately a little tricked up and quirky. The course plays fairly short, although a bit longer than the true distance on the scorecard. It is forgiving off the tee and, though giving off the air of creativity, the tricks hurt some holes. The first and second, for example, otherwise decent par 4s, share a stretched out 5-fingered clover-leaf-shaped fairway that basically forces the player off the first to hit a 50-yard slice thanks to a tree that sits 30-40 yards in front of him. See Screens 1 & 4. There are clever and strategic ways to compel a player to work the ball off a tee and some courses champion that style of play -- e.g., Harbor Town. Hideaway Lake tries but fails to some degree in this endeavor, playing more target-like and awkward rather than tactical. Another example of playability problems includes the 10th fairway, which is several hundred yards wide and presents little, if any, challenge off the tee. See Screen 5. It is obvious in this instance that David was just trying to give the player some relief or bail out room to the left with an imposing lake on the right. But the fairway is simply a behemoth and would never exist on a real course. If it did, it would require its own grounds crew. Other fairways have so much slope that the player stands more than a foot above the ball on his approach shot from the middle of the fairway. See Screen 6. Hideaway Lake is a good effort and David's strategic intentions are evident. It just goes a little overboard in places. More detailed hole previews would be somewhat of a help with some of these issues. As they are, they are simply a reverse picture of the hole from the green backward and add little to the player's strategic thinking.

THE BOTTOM LINE: I think David will treat us to much improved efforts in times to come. I would await those times.

This course is available as a FREE download.

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