|Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 1596
LINKS CORNER REVIEW
|Reviewed by Chris Gormley
This is the 1st complete design released by Noah Neumann with the first release being a beta course. Brierwood is an interpretation of a real course based in a woodland area in North Carolina. Noah mentions in his readme that the main goal of this course is to provide Links Players with a course that resembles the public courses that most of us play IRL. This is a refreshing concept and one that I wish more designers, especially the newest ones, would take a hold of when creating their first courses for public release. To many first time designers try and duplicate what the masters of the APCD can create, and until the skills are developed this is not possible. Here is a little excerpt from the readme:
'Brierwood Golf and Country Club
by Noah Neumann ("69king")
June 26 2005
This is an interpretation of a real life course in North Carolina. All I
used was a black and white aerial photo of the course for the hole layouts.
All of the elevations and planting are my own interpretation. I am releasing
this course as a final version even though there may be a few things which could still be added.
There are no hole previews but the course is very straightforward and you should have no troubles figuring the holes out. There are no cart paths because the
course is too cheap to buy carts. There are no spectators because nobody would
ever hold a tournament big enough at this course. The basic idea I had in designing
this course was to recreate a low-end style of course, the kind that most of us
play at IRL anyway. There are very few courses like this available for Links.
I made the fairways a little tighter than they would probably be and the greens a
little smaller and more sloped in an effort to at least make the course somewhat
challenging. Having said all that I do like the course and I find it quite fun!
Personally I find that the green texture makes the break grid a little difficult
to read but I decided to leave it that way because IRL the greens on a course
like this would be hard to read anyway!
The course is playable with the mod and is actually very challenging because of
the small greens.'
After playing a couple of rounds on Brierwood I must say that I am pleasantly surprised at the level of refinement that has gone into this course. Usually with 1st designs there are a lot of technical problems with the construction of the course, but there are none of these errors present in this design. My compliments to the designer for mastering the various APOCD techniques needed to create a wonderful design. There are some problems with the course which I will mention later in the review but overall I must say that I am impressed with Noah's technical abilities with the APCD.
Noah stated in his readme that he wanted to create a 'low-end' course that resembles most public courses that people play and I think he has done this with Brierwood. The course is not overly hard to play as a lot of the holes were pretty straight and easy to navigate. There were a couple holes(#5 is a prime example) where the hole design does dictate what club a player can use off the tee but for the most part the hole designs allow the player freedom to choose which clubs to use. Because of the hole layouts there are not a lot of opportunities for Risk/Reward but that is not always a negative thing. Noah achieved the goal he set for Brierwood, and because of this the R/R factors are few in number.
Normally I would have liked to have seen more variety applied to the hole layouts but since Noah used actual overhead photos of the course to layout the holes I will not hold this against the design. This is one of the downfalls of recreating a real course, the designer has not the leeway on the hole layouts as a fictional design would allow.
The terrain of the course is for the most part flat with few contours, but it is very natural looking for the most part. The only area of the course that could have used a little more tweaking would have been the areas around the tee boxes. There are some sharp edges in the terrain surround these areas and with a little more tweaking they could have been smoothed out a bit to create a more natural feel for the area. But other than that the course is very natural looking and I could see it really existing in North Carolina.
The APCD work on the course is done pretty well with very few visual problems to be seen by the player. Brierwood is very technically sound which is a rarity with 1st designs. The only area I would have liked to seen more would have been around the water hazards. I would have liked to see a dirt bank applied to the hazards but that is just a little nitpicky thing and what Noah has done works very well with the design.
The fairways are mostly open and straight with ample areas to land shots off the tee. The terrain is smooth for the most part and should allow a player to make quality 2nd shots without having to worry about any contours affecting their shots. There were a couple of narrow spots throughout the 18 holes but most of these are really not in play, unless a player makes a mistake off the tee.
The greens are large and contoured very well. They are pretty much MOD friendly but there would be a few holes where a player would really be challenged if they are not close to the flagstick with their approach shot. I did not check all the pins but the ones that came up during my test rounds were fair at the M/F conditions that I used.
The hazards throughout the course were placed well and constructed well. I like the use of water throughout the course and I thought it added a lot to the realism of the course. I would have liked to seen the banks along these areas but what is there works very well indeed. The bunkers are placed well to protect the greens and should really challenge a player when playing with windy conditions.
I thought the textures that were used worked well and looked good together. They just add to the realism of the course.
The planting of the course is great in one aspect and a little lacking in another. The tree planting throughout the course was wonderful. It was very natural looking and I found only a couple of cloned trees, which unless you were looking for them you probably would not have seen them. The under planting of the course was very sparse and I would have liked to seen more done with this part of the design, especially around the water features and the wooded areas. Planting that is done well in these areas just makes the course feel so much more real, and without it the course looks a little plain to the eyes. What Noah has done though does work well for the course and he should be commend for not falling into the 'plant like crazy' mode that so many first time designers fall into.
Brierwood Golf and Country Club is a great little course that is constructed well. The designer set a goal for the course and it was achieved. The APCD work is pretty good and I think a lot of players will enjoy many rounds on this course as it is really fun to play. I recommend that all Links Players download this course and give it a try. It's basic design may not be to everyone's liking but that will be up to the player to decide for themselves, I personally really enjoyed my rounds here and will be keeping this course on my hard drive for quite some time as a place to play a relaxed round of golf.
"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."
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