Wagga Wagga Country Club
by Wayne Hewitt
|Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 1448
LINKS CORNER REVIEW
|Reviewed by Chris Gormley
This is 4th course released by Mr. Hewitt with the others being: ]Autumn Valley Golf Club, Kylane Country Club, and Tall Pines Estate (which is probably what he is known best for around the Links Community). All of his previous courses were very well received throughout the Links community and Wayne is considered to be one of the community's top designers. Here is a little excerpt from the Wagga Wagga CC readme:
'The course is a real course situated in the city of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia. It is also my home course.
I have wanted to do this course since the first day I used the APCD (Arnold Palmer Course Designer). I was initially just going to do a rough version for myself and one of my best mates Gus Green. Due to it being a real design, I sent a letter to the board of directors at the club asking for permission to do it. In the letter I gave a little bit of my history with the game and designer thinking it would help my chances in gaining their approval. I had just released Tall Pines Estate, my third fictional design, so I also sent a link to the review that was written at Links Corner (www.linkscorner.com).
I wasn't prepared for the response that I recieved. Jason Russell, the Secretary of the club, called me the day he received the letter asking to have a meeting with me. At that meeting, Jason enquired as to how long the project might actually take, the date of the meeting was the 17th Febuary, 2003. I guessed it would roughly take me 6 to 8 months, boy did I get that wrong :). It is now almost 16 months later. The reason for so much time being spent on it was a result of that first meeting. Jason wanted to know because the club was starting a new advertising campaign at the start of 2004, involving TV ads. For the last few years, they have had local businesses sponsor a hole and then use that as the base of the add. Up untill this year the add consisted of showing an aerial fly-by of the hole (by helicopter), then have the sponsors add following. Jason was wanting to try something different, and my letter was the thing that set things in motion. Once he and the directors had a look at how detailed the courses were becoming, they thought, what a great opportunity, lets use a computer based animation at the beggining of the add. The only problem was, you cannot generate fly-bys with the APCD or the game itself.
I started the project, now with this in mind, so it had now become a full on effort to create the course as accurately as possible. A few months into it, I had a thought on how we could use them for the TV ads. I hooked up my digital video camera to the video out jack on my graphics card, and hey persto, I could record everything that was happening on the screen. I then started a practice round using the Powerstroke swing style. Powerstroke replays are void of any other graphics on the screen except the course name. This was a perfect setup, I recorded the replays hole by hole then sent the footage to the TV station. They then ripped out what they needed to give a TV broadcast effect, making it look as though the shots were being played in real time, changing camera angles like you would see in a real life tourny. The only thing they had to fix was the course name up the top of the screen, which was neatly covered by a Top 100 Courses banner. When they are all done, I will be making mpeg files for everyone to download so they can see how it was done. These will eventually be available at www.apcd-courses.com and my own website www.hewisgolfdesign.com.
The course also did not have a current yardage book. So with this in mind, I suggested we use the hole previews from the game and print them into a book. As I am very graphically challenged, I enlisted one of my best friends, Gus Green, who is a Graphic Artist by trade. If you would like a copy of it, please contact Ian Ferguson in the pro shop or any of the directors of the club.
Situated on the banks of Lake Albert, the course is fully watered with Kikuyu fairways and Bent greens. It is flat to undulating with a variety of established native and European trees and scrub. A tight championship layout. Rated in Top 100 country courses in Aust. by Golf Digest.
Total build time : 1200 hours - approx, ( includes trips to the course taking notes, measurements and photos)
Number of photos taken : 1700 approx
Courses stats, taken from the APCD.
Verts : 42,187
Faces : 81,847
2d Objects : 331,079
3d Objects : 1170
Sounds : 23
Shapes : 20 (after all unused shapes were deleted)
Textures : 130 (that is not a typo, hehe)
Mappings : 1333
Having played all of Wayne's previous courses I knew to expect a very nice product when I first started a round at Wagga Wagga CC in Links, but I was not expecting what I saw. This course is absolutely beautiful to look at and is probably one of the most 'life-like' courses I have seen available for the Links Series. The 'bar' for the design of real courses has now been raised to new level.
Every aspect of the APCD has been used on this course with attention being paid to even the smallest of details. The amount of work that Wayne put into this course so that it would be as 'close to the real thing as possible' is just staggering. As mentioned in the readme over 1700 photos were taken from the real course to recreate this masterpiece for Links. The beauty of this course is even more evident when you rotate your player around the course, you can see so many different parts of the course it is unreal. From just about every fairway you can look around and see all the different holes that surround you.
The APCD work is very meticulous and the planting and textures are very lifelike. I would have to say though that the strongest point of this course is the planting. Everything from the trees to the undergrowth planting is almost lifelike, and especially the creek that meanders throughout the course. The planting here is almost perfect. To demonstrate how meticulous Wayne has been on this design look in front of the tee box on Hole #7 he has included the concrete culvert for drainage and he has even named the water texture for the lake so that it reads the name of the lake. These are things you do not see in an everyday design and shows that Wayne has gone the extra mile to make things as close to the real course as possible. There are even 12 3D houses made from the terrain that run along the side of the 15th hole.
Now let's walk through some holes on the course:
Hole 2: This is a relatively short par 3 hole that measures almost 133 yards from the tee to the pin depending on the pin placement. There are 2 greenside bunkers located at the front of the green to gobble up any tee shots that are not hit long enough. The green is rather large and it slopes from back to front so any shots hit with much spin will most likely roll off the front of the green if the conditions are right and the player is not careful. Putting on the green can be a challenge if you let your previous shot get away from the pin with anything hit short being more complicated than staying on the high side of the green.
Hole 5: This hole is a medium to long Par 4 that measures just over 444 yards from tee to pin depending on the pin placement of course. There is only 1 bunker on this hole and it is on the right side of the green and should not come into play unless your approach shot has gone astray. The big difficulty here besides the length of the hole is the creek hazard that dissects the fairway about half way to the green. This creek will either cause a person to lay up short using a 3W or force the player to make a difficult shot to carry the creek on your drive. The approach to the green would be further complicated if your tee shot is to the left of the fairway because the left side of the green is protected by trees. Any approach shots that can be found on the right side of the fairway would find an easier time getting to the green and close to the pin. The green is rather large and somewhat flat so if you can make a close run at the pin on your approach shot you stand a pretty good chance of 1 putting this green.
Hole 7: This is another Par 3 hole but one that is slightly longer at 152 yards. There are numerous hazards here to keep the player on their toes. There are 2 bunkers that guard the right side of the green while the left side is guarded by that creek again that was mentioned earlier. The green is rather large with moderate contours but any pin placement that is placed at the front of the green will prove far trickier than ones placed towards the back of the green. If I had to choose the best hole on this course I would have to go with this one, but that is just the problem all the holes on this course are good.
Hole 11: This hole is a tricky little Par 4 that is around 337 yards long. The player has 2 options off of the tee, hit a lay-up shot at about 230 yards out or try a tricky draw tee shot to navigate around some trees. The green is protected by 3 greenside bunkers and the creek again for any shots that end up short of the green. There are also a few smaller trees and one larger one that protect the back side of the green as well thus forcing the player to be accurate with their approach shot or they could find themselves in trouble. This green is large as well and has a slight slope from back to front. Pin placements that are at the front of the green will provide much more difficult putts than those that are located at the back of the green.
Hole 17: This Par 4 can be a grip and rip type of hole if the player has an accurate driver. The fairway is protected by trees on both sides with the green lying about 30 feet below the middle of the fairway. The green is protected on both sides by bunkers and the rear of the green is protected by a large tree. The bunker on the right side of the green should be avoided if at all possible as it is quite ominous looking if you are unlucky enough to end up in it. The green is rather large with slight contours that will make any putts a little difficult.
These are just 5 of the holes on the course. There are 13 other really good ones that I could have listed here but I decided to just chose a couple of my personal favorites.
Like I stated above this is probably one of the best real course recreations I have seen for Links. Wayne has put 100% into this design and it shows. He has done an excellent job in every aspect of the APCD from the mesh to the planting, everything is top notch. I recommend that everyone should have this course in their library of courses. Now it is a large download +110MB but it is worth it believe me. If you have not tried this course yet you need to, you will be satisfied and have many pleasurable rounds at Wagga Wagga C.C.
"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)
Please remember that Clipnote reviews are the opinion of one person and do not constitute an 'Official' Links Corner review of the course.
Real, parkland course.
Perhaps this isn't the most technically advanced course, not is it the most
imaginatively designed. But the sheer joie de vivre with which it has been
brought to life, every stone, fold and grass brought lovingly to life, is
undeniably brilliant. Even a mediocre course, in the hands of a loving
wizard, can be superbly done, and this is just the case at Wagga Wagga.
Should you encounter many of these tree-lined, bog-standard holes
elsewhere, you might catch the whiff of unimaginativeness, but surely
there is nothing else that holds the course back.
Flawless. From the immaculate textures, through the well-crafted bunker lips, to the oh-so-real lake, there is not a moment at Wagga
Wagga when you do not believe you are playing a real life course. The planting is diverse, but looks very realistic, and the panorama is
beautifully carried off without for a minute taking attention away from the course. A joy to look at.
A joy to play. The photo-realism helps enormously, as do the little touches, such as grass paths and the
roadside areas, that help you feel really immersed. Perhaps the course is a little lacking in holes of genuine strategy, but it's only a
minor point against something that is (unusually) refreshing to play as a straightforward set of 18.
Despite the hard hours that have evidently gone into the course, it really doesn't present too much of a golfing challenge in Links. A
satisfactory handful of holes have cleverly placed hazards and tricky pin positions, but sadly for the rest there is little to really push a
Cannot possibly be faulted. Flawless in everything from some very neat custom sound, to the excellent multitude of textures and
blends. Wayne Hewitt is someone who has taken APCD imitation to a new level through careful observation and reproduction, and
Wagga Wagga is a stunning technical achievement.
||A stunning technical and visual achievement. A shame that the golf has to be
ordinary, but under this sort of style even ordinary courses achieve the level of
|This course is available as a FREE download.
Please support Links Corner