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Olympia Fields CC North Course
by Ken Boltz

Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 1488
Release Date CRZ Filesize Par Course Length
2004-09-04  85,803,008  bytes 70  7198 yards
Type Style CRZ Filename
REAL  PARKLAND  OlympiaNorth-FINAL.crz 
Course ID Course Key



Reviewed by: Chuck Clark

Background: This is only the second course released to Links Corner by Mr. Boltz. His first course was called Hunters Wood; and it's probably one of the very best and most beloved 2001 courses ever done. It is obvious that Mr. Boltz is extremely talented and highly detailed oriented. Olympia Fields was years in the making and it shows. Olympia Fields was the site for the 2003 US Open won by Jim Furyk. There is a great deal of additional historical information contained in the read-me. Furthermore Mr. Boltz says in the read-me:

' During the summer of 2003, the golfing world watched as Olympia Fields played host the U.S. Open Championship. The best golfers in the world played a course that features 'tradition with a modern face'. Many of the holes are unchanged from the original Willie Park design. The
course has been lengthened and the bunkers have been made deeper with steeper faces, but
the course still has the look and feel of a golf course from the 1920's.

I have designed Olympia Fields CC - North Course to follow the routing presented at the 2003
U.S. Open Championship. This configuration is altered from the regular member's course played
normally. Holes 1 and 10 remain the same, but holes 2-9 have been reversed with holes 11-18,
i.e. holes 11-18 as played in the U.S. Open are normally played as holes 2-9. Accommodating the
U.S. Open specs on the course made for a bunch of extra work.'

Overall Impression: Olympia Fields is a classic tree-line Midwestern (US) golf course. It is also a classic US Open type golf course; high rough, big trees, deep bunkers and sloping greens. This rendition by Mr. Boltz is very well done. It captures the look and feel of this course perfectly. The textures, planting, blending and elevations appear to be spot-on! If you are looking for a US Open type experience on a classic type golf course then look no further.

Playability/Shot Values: Considering that this is a model US Open type course; it's no surprise that a consummate US Open type player would win here (Furyk). In order to play well at OFCC you must drive it straight and hit good iron shots. The deep rough and big tree's prevent anybody who is hitting it poorly from 'getting away with it'. If you venture off the fairway here you're gonna make some bogies. The greens are generally large and not too severely sloped. As is usual with many real course renditions scoring in Links is not too tough; but playing a real course rendition built as well as this one doesn't have much to do with scoring. It's much more about the experience of playing where the pro's do!

Visuals: This is a beautiful real course rendition. The textures and planting capture the look and feel just perfectly. I am not an expert on OFCC and have never seen it in real life; but from what I remember from watching during the open last year Mr. Boltz has got it recreated perfectly for you. There were also many extra's features which add to the immersive feel and look. The elevations were really well done; and I really like the work on the small creeks that run about the course. It is very hard to get these looking just right; but Mr. Boltz did an exemplary job on them. One small note: I know there were some waffling by some players on the textures; but I thought they were just fine, and fit the course well.

Technique: Beautiful technique here in every way. I didn't see a single error; but then again I didn't really go looking for them. The course was a bit slow rendering on my computer but that just may be me. I was very impressed; it was obvious that Mr. Boltz put a lot of work and effort into making this course. Thanks Ken!

Favorite Hole: I really enjoyed playing the 15th hole. This is a pretty, medium-length, downhill par 3 to a well bunkered green. You have a good view from one of many tee boxes; not only of this hole but others as well. The green is nicely sloped and it's a fun shot to try and get close!

Summary: A beautiful and nicely built rendition of a classic US Open golf course. If you really like real courses and/or US Open type golf courses then this rendition is an essential addition to your collection. Even if you don't I suggest getting and playing this course; it's a beauty! Way to go Ken!

CLIPNOTES by Ben Bateson (ousgg)

Real, woodland/parkland course.
Concept  6/10
Ouch! Olympia Fields gives nothing away. Minute fairways and uncompromisingly heavy rough make this a championship course to be feared. It's been put together for Links with a pleasant if unspectacular style, but the overall impression is of impending punishment; it's no easy ride for the poor golfer. The shortage of Par 5s means a lack of variety and the back nine are getting close to sadism in their inadequate target areas.
Appearance  7/10
Passable, if sometimes stretched textures, but only functional (at best) blending make this course look a bit hard edged from the first tee. You've got to really keep your eyes open to spot the course's beauties, and they're mostly off the beaten track. Check out the woodlands and ditches to see some really smart landscaping.
Playability  4/10
The insistence on deep rough is out-of-character for this sort of the course and makes the gameplay really hard and frustrating work. There will be few greens reached in regulation, and even fewer chances at birdie, thanks to the prevalence of long US Open Par 4s. There are quite a few strategic holes of merit, but that can't allay the problem that this course is a real grinder.
Challenge  6/10
Despite the moans, Olympia Fields is playable, but on Champ level (or, God forbid, Elite), you'd be lucky to break Par. Expect to go a Major-esque several over Par for the round. Good luck with a 4-round tournament!
Technical  7/10
The main problems here, as with the same designer's excellent Hunter's Wood, are on the surface. Hard edges and stretched, unconvincing textures draw the eye far too much. This is a shame, really, as the designer has undeniable skill with lifelike planting and an eye for suitable elevations.
Overall A really tough championship course, thanks to uncompromising rough and tiny target areas. Take bucketfuls of patience out on the course with you. 30/50
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
Ace31 %36
Eagle50 %57
Birdie15 %17
Par4 %5
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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