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Castle Pines Golf Club
by Microsoft

Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 372
Release Date CRZ Filesize Par Course Length
2001-01-18  6,545,884  bytes 72  7559 yards
Type Style CRZ Filename
Course ID Course Key
aaacaf4e21b5418d9a5c9e1731993c5d  747cb6d10082d3779ba152241a90b12d 

CLIPNOTES by Ben Bateson (ousgg)

Real, parkland course
Concept  6/10
I assume the 'castle' of the title refers to the glorious clubhouse, sadly only in 2D. Pines are notably absent, too: this is a fairly standard parkland run-out, from the monster first hole to the trap-laden 18th. The course's selling points are some imaginatively-created fairways and some excellent trademark holes around the turn. Microsoft's version, given its age, is not too bad, although those brought up on an APCD diet would no doubt turn their noses up.
Appearance  4/10
There's some uncomfortable elevation work going on, made all the more obvious by the dull stock textures. Bunkers look carved out, the running water is amateurish, and the course features the most shocking, unmapped brick wall I have ever seen. Plus, I don't really understand why the panorama is completely different from the plot. Keep an eye out for some pretty planting and rockworks to take your mind off the monotony.
Playability  4/10
While the course takes you dramatically up to and around the turn, it's easy to feel tedium set in along the closing stretch. The hole design become noticeably less imaginative and reliant on closing forest areas for their challenge. There's little repeat value to Castle Pines: many holes have a take-it-or-leave-it strategy which doesn't hold up well the second time.
Challenge  7/10
Time has not been kind to the greens, and they would be deemed in urgent need of a makeover. The putting is enough to give you very few opportunities at birdie, and out of odds with the more gentle, rolling elevations elsewhere on the course. Having said this, Par is not an unreasonable score - just get used to making a lot of lag putts, that's all.
Technical  5/10
For its age, Castle Pines is passable if unremarkable. It's easy to see why it was chosen for a Microsoft makeover, and why it has stayed a worthwhile part of many golfers' collections. By modern standards, of course, there's much room for improvement.
Overall Not the worst Microsoft course. A good tournament host which - greens aside - still stands up well. 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.

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