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Kansas National Golf Club
by Paul Woodbury & Kevin Tobin

Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 1625
Release Date CRZ Filesize Par Course Length
2005-11-08  136,777,728  bytes 72  7216 yards
Type Style CRZ Filename
FICTIONAL  WOODLAND  KansasNational-final_locked.crz 
Course ID Course Key
   

COURSE SCREENSHOTS

LINKS CORNER REVIEW


This is the 6th course designed by Paul Woodbury two of which have achieved Links Corner Recommendations both also achieved Players Choice Awards, Kansas National carries on the tradition by also attaining both awards.

This is Kevin Tobins first association with course design that I can find.

The Players Point of View

Right from the first tee it is plainly obvious that you are about to take part in a full on golfing experience, the transitions between textures look very natural, bunkering is very sharp and realistic, the waste bunkers are so well done they make you want to hit a ball into them, just to have a closer look. The fairways are nicely sculpted and follow the terrain superbly; there are very few flat lies here, a lapse of concentration can cost dearly, the placement of trees around the track can leave you with some unexpected problems blocking the path into one or two of the greens, sometimes it is wise to take the longer path rather than cut a corner to find you have a difficult shot to a pin blocked by a tree. This is a course that needs to be learned to score well, superb elevations around the greens can also cause problems for the player straying too far. Bunker placements have also been well thought out, there are no unfairly narrow parts to the fairways forcing difficulty; rather the bunkers have been placed in such a way to gather the overly brave or poor shot, very true to life.

The views as you play round are stunning, try rotating the golfer during a quiet round on your own sometime, just to have a look at the scenery, planting is spot on and compliments the course beautifully, I have no idea how many different grasses, flowers, flowering grasses, bushes and shrubs that were used but there are an awful lot, to get the effect of realism by mixing up so many plants is near on impossible, if you look really hard with a really critical eye you can pick out the odd clone, but who does that during a round of golf, the clones are unnoticeable to all but the very sharp of eye and even then they do not detract from the visual beauty of the course.

Texture choices are spot on, though I'm a little unsure about the bright green scruffy rough. From a distance the texture looks really good, if you find yourself in amongst the thick stuff you will see that the texture looks a little blurred and it's also extremely punishing, but thick rough should be punishing. I have mentioned the waste bunkers before but the texture combined with the planting within these come together to give the most realistic and natural looking bunker work I have seen.

The layout of the course is also very well done, looking from above the planning of the holes run as you would expect them to run in real life fitting into the terrain beautifully, each hole is different offering differing risks and rewards and plenty of choices to the golfer. Holes vary from long; hole three is a 611 yard par five, hole four a short 136 yard par three which plays up hill to a two tiered green, club choice is paramount here as it is around most parts of the course. Hole ten a short par four, gives the brave a chance; in the right conditions; to go for the green; miss it and your'e in serious trouble though, an ultimate risk reward hole.

The big downside to the playability of the course is the rendering times, I found myself getting really bored waiting for my next shot. With the crowds, tournament objects and the dyno cam switched on I found the course unplayable, even with all these switched off the course still rendered very slowly, I guess that's the price you pay if you want to play one of the most beautifully made, no holds barred courses available to the Links community.

Personally the rendering times were a little too much for me, even with a way above average computer.

The Designers Point of View

Looking at the course from this angle I found myself wondering how such accuracy and beauty was achieved; there are no sharp edges or obvious design faults to be seen.

Every single texture is blended, even the ones the normal player will never see. The attention to detail is mind boggling; the 3D work is up there with the best. Check out the bridge near to the green on seven and the steps running up to a building on nine, there's lots more to look out for, but these two really stuck out to me as masterpieces. I did think the extrusions around the tee edges were a little sharp, but that one minor gripe is just about all I can find to complain about.

Planting has been done with great skill and flair.

The contouring of the course from start to finish has been achieved beautifully, the greens can be quite scary, but the pins have been placed with extreme care so you will find nothing unfair.

Everything the designers have done here has been done incredibly well; the design shows that they both have a great understanding of the APCD as well as a great understanding of real course design and what it takes to make a course fun, playable and beautiful to look at.

All in all from the first drive to the last put I could not find anything wrong with the design of the course.

Extras

The course contains everything you would expect in a course of this calibre, Hole previews, custom tees, hole signs, custom flag, custom 3D work, Custom 2D work, beautiful splash screens and logo. I apologise to the designers if I have missed something here as there is so much to take in.

Download value.

At over 141 Meg this is a massive download by anyone's standards and should only be considered by those with high end graphics cards and top of the range computers. Rendering is extremely slow to say the least so I would advise caution before downloading, especially on dial up.. If you like to play with dyno cam, crowds and tournament objects, then you might find Kansas National a struggle you don't want to take on.

Ultimately it's your decision, this course is one of the most beautiful, playable courses I have ever seen with one major flaw that could put off quite a few.

CLIPNOTES by Ben Bateson (ousgg)

Description
Fictional, desert course
Location
Kansas, obviously
Conditions
Plays OK up to M*/M* and possibly faster
Concept  4/10
Possibly the most lavish course ever created with the APCD, but in all likelihood one of the most frustrating too, Kansas National is isolated, meticulous but also a little bamboozling. Why does the 'dry grass' hazard look like bunker and play like deep grass? Why does such a desert-like course have so many water features? What exactly were the designers thinking? All these, and several more questions remain not fully answered: like so many Paul Woodbury courses, Kansas National is something of an unsatisfying enigma.
Appearance  8/10
Planted with delightful care and almost unbelievable variety, this course is a seller based on its grasses alone. Elsewhere, however, it's not quite so satisfying. The texture transitions are rough, and some of the trees are unclear. There's no sign of civilisation, which barely helps in keeping the course believable. Despite the high-res, some textures look blurry, and you sense that as much time needed to go into the surface as into the planting.
Playability  3/10
Much has been made of Kansas National's inordinate rendering times, and players would be well advised to slide the Graphics Detail down to halfway for acceptable pauses. Even then, it's something of a wrench having to wait that long. The rendering times pale into insignificance, though, by what has been done to the layout. There are too many blind tee shots, and the hole previews are unhelpful. This is little more than a frustration.
Challenge  5/10
Narrow fairways, inescapable hazards, and some surprisingly tough pin positions are a miserable combination. The game of golf has come out second to artistic endeavour, and holes are over-planned and over-elaborately constructed. The deep grass hazards proliferate and yet are almost entirely impossible to escape from. The final hole is the perfect illustration of precisely what is wrong with the course, and makes for a miserable end to a round which may well be pushing 80.
Technical  6/10
Despite the inherent problems for the player, it has to be admitted that the course is immaculately constructed, and probably not a million miles away from the designers' intent. But there are still one or two technical issues readily apparent, including a persistent crash problem, and perhaps it's best that this isn't played too regularly.
Overall Great to look at, but almost unplayable. Perhaps if you drop down to Pro Click and adjust the level of graphic detail, it might be worthwhile. But that would be a departure from almost anyone's normal game. 26/50
Please remember that Clipnote reviews are the opinion of one person and do not constitute an 'Official' Links Corner review of the course.

USER RATINGS

 Votes cast
Ace46 %74
Eagle29 %47
Birdie15 %24
Par7 %11
Bogey or worse4 %6

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.

This course is available as a FREE download.


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