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Links Country Club

Sorento Golf Club
by Steve Pope

Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 1337
Release Date CRZ Filesize Par Course Length
2003-09-21  39,655,424  bytes 72  7117 yards
Type Style CRZ Filename
FICTIONAL  DESERT  Sorento Golf Club_locked.crz 
Course ID Course Key



Review by: Chuck Clark

Background: Steve Pope is well known throughout the Links community. His previous courses include Firefighter Memorial and Prestige. Sorento Golf Club has already received an LC Recommended award as well, so my expectations are pretty high!

Overall Impression: This is a gorgeous desert golf course with an unusual look and feel. It has lots of desert plants and textures, but it also has pine trees and pine straw! Strange you say? Well, if you've never been to Las Vegas like I have you might think this unusual. But I happen to know that anything is possible around there. This is a very colorful course with lots of different textures, plants, flowers, rocks, bunkers, waste areas, water and cactus. I have seen attempts to create this sort of look before and if the designer is not very talented and very careful the look can get too busy and wild very quickly. However, Mr. Pope has done a masterful job of creating this environment. It is all very beautiful and believable looking. Altogether it is a feast for the eyes! Oh, and the golf course itself is not half bad either. It is a fun but playable course with lots of interesting holes.

Playability: This course is quite playable. The fairways and greens are ample and playable. The bunkering is beautiful to look at, but not too threatening to play from. There is water in play here and there, but it is not too difficult to avoid. The one issue I had with playability was with the waste areas. These areas were marked as hazards; which means that if you hit into one of these areas you had to take a drop and add a stroke. This did not make any sense to me, since every waste area I have ever played in real life has been playable. The main trouble with this is when the waste area is surrounded by desert areas which are also hazards. I was given the option of dropping on the dirt lip of the waste area. This left me with a very unplayable shot. Oh well, I guess next time I will know not to hit into there, won't I? One other unusual thing I noticed was that the first par 5 isn't until the 7th hole. No big deal; I had just started to wonder if this course was without them when I got to the 7th.

Shot Values: A fun and playable golf course which doesn't tax your mind too much. On most holes you can just pull out your driver and pound away. There are some interesting dog legs with choices to be made on cutting some corners. There are also some nicely sloped greens and fascinating bunkering which causes you to plan your angle of attacks. This course usually gave you some bail out areas though, if you missed the fairway. The greens were usually down in a hollow. There wasn't one shot that I would say was terrifying, but lots of nerve tinglers just the same.

Visuals: As stated above this course visually stunning. It is quite beautiful in fact. The use of colorful textures and plantings keep you wanting to go from hole to hole. The combination desert/pines look is very unusual, but very well done. It looks very natural in an unnatural kind of way. By that I mean that it looks just like a fancy resort course in Las Vegas. The kind that is owned by some big shot casino owner who told the golf course architect that his budget was unlimited! There is a lot to look at here so I suggest you stop and smell the roses. There was only once or twice where I thought the look got a bit too busy. As an example there were a few too many ball washers (5) on the 18th tee for my taste, but what do I know?

Technique: The technique displayed here was flawless. I could not find one serious or not too serious error. The only small quibble I could come up with (gotta find something right?) was the mapping on the mower strips in the fairways and green surrounds. These could have been aligned a little bit better, but this is pretty small potatoes!

Summary: A beautiful and unusual looking golf course that is also a lot of fun to play. If you like desert golf courses than this course is a must. It is well worth your time and (in this case) your money. Check out the pictures though just in case this look is not your cup of tee. I enjoyed it a lot and recommend it heartily!

CLIPNOTES by Ben Bateson (ousgg)

Imaginary, desert course
Concept  4/10
There's very little at Sorento that you could ever credit appearing on a real golf course. Plantings of every type, from boreal to desert to scrub to garden make uneasy bedfellows, and the huge wasteland hazards don't ring true. The holes aren't particularly extravagant, but you do realise that they belong strictly in fantasy world. It's an uneasy and unconvincing selection that doesn't do the course as a whole many favours.
Appearance  6/10
I found the texture set to be overwhelmingly jarring in the broad range of colours and lies that had been created. The flowerbed planting suffers badly from clones - lined-up clones at that - and the planting of rocks and low grasses is inconsistent: excellent in many places, but determinedly random in others. If I'm to be honest, it's not all I've come to expect of a P2P course.
Playability  8/10
Sorento is certainly not without strategic merit, and there's plenty of flexibility to the course, depending on the player's preferences and, of course, the conditions. The pinpoint bunker placement and facility for playable lies coursewide are evidence enough of the amount of planning required to have a course play this smoothly, and some capable ambient sound is the finishing touch. Sometimes, it does feel a little calculated, but it's not difficult to enjoy yourself here.
Challenge  6/10
It's surprisingly easy to hit the greens here, although you will inevitably find sand on the way, and there are some wide-open landing areas segueing into only moderate rough. Scores may be affected somewhat by some tricky putting problems, but there's nothing else to suggest that birdies aren't possible.
Technical  8/10
The main question has to be: to what extent would this be considered overkill? The texture set, in particular, could benefit from being much more conservative, and the planting is just too varied. There's no questioning the visual properties of the course, but some more restraint would probably be in order.
Overall An almost grotesque vision of piling as much into eighteen holes as possible. Effective, but not dazzling. 32/50
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
Ace13 %6
Eagle67 %30
Birdie18 %8
Par2 %1
Bogey or worse0 %0

The User Course Reviews and polls have been removed from the forum due to the low numbers of members. The information above is presented merely for historical interest.

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