Firestone C.C. - North Course
by Ed Balaun
|Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 677
LINKS CORNER REVIEW
|Reviewed by Joe Turner `Loner'
This being a real course usually hampers the designer, he has to use only what's at the course and if it isn't a particularly interesting course the game is over before it starts. Not in this case, it is an interesting course and he does a fantastic job of showing it to you. From the heavy, dense trees interspersed with color to the excellent contrasting shades of green used for the tee boxes, the mowed fairways, roughs and greens. The gentle slopes of the fairways and greens were most impressive.
The elevation was and had to be perfect, I had a few differences with the caddie but there weren't any major problems. The putting at times was very easy with slight breaks but a few times it had a slope you had to allow for. Firestone being Firestone had the usual narrow fairways but he had a way of making them enjoyable. The bunkers and water hazards didn't seem to present much of a problem. This course looked, played and felt like a real golf course in the style of the old Microsoft days when you knew you were playing the real thing.
5th hole, par 5, 530y, a long straight narrow fairway with a heavily guarded green. My drive of 287y left me with 243y to the flag; my 3w flop shot took me close to pin high on this narrow green and close enough for an eagle.
6th hole, par 3, 212y, the caddie suggested a 2 iron but I decided to go with a 3 iron and had a very easy birdie.
17th hole, par 3, 217y, with a 21.5 drop, I again ignored the caddies 2 iron and used a 3 iron adjusted for extra length. It proved to be the perfect choice, pin high 4.2ft from the cup. Why can't I play like this all the time?
I can't say enough about how perfectly Ed designed this course. Just last night I played Firestone south and it did not compare to today's experience. The course was laid out in a way that if you ever played the south course you would know that this is it's companion course without looking at the name. The hole shapes, the old tree growth, the perfect elevations combined with the fascinating fairways made this one of the most pleasurable courses that I've played in a long time. If you are looking for an enjoyable game on a perfect course, download and keep this one. He did more with only a slightly larger download than Microsoft did with the south course. I not only hope but I know you will enjoy your stay here
I am a player not a designer and therefore rate a course as a player for other players.
Included: readme (WordPad with scorecard), cameo, splash, hole preview, custom flag, ball washers, cart path, tents and a clubhouse with satellite TV.
Not included: custom tees, hole signs or numbers.
Statistical information: par 72, 7092y, 3 sets of tees, 4-par 3's, 10-par 4's, 4-par 5's.
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, lakeside course
The North Course is very reminiscent of an alpine course in its rolling
terrain and use of drop-offs as hazards, and it wouldn't be a surprise to
find that the designer has modelled the appearance of the course to
accentuate this aspect of the course. Once you dig a bit deeper, of
course, there are quite a few course design trademarks being thrown
into the mix, which - if it weren't for the fabulously confrontational Par
5s - might spoil the ambience somewhat. Happily, Firestone carries off
this meshwork of styles reasonably well.
With the famous Firestone giant golf ball as a reassuring customised presence, there is little doubt about the hard work that has gone
into parts of this course. The textures are a break from the norm, the planting deftly carried out (with maybe just a hint of a clone or
two), and the elevations smoothly handled. There are suspicions that the hole widths have been slimmed down a little, which is a
distraction from something that could have been very, very good.
There's an effortless enjoyability about this track which isn't found too often in the tougher Real courses. The use of water keeps the
golfing brain constantly in gear, and the hazards feature in quirky, if not completely unexpected, fashion. The variety of challenges
playing on different conditions gives the course legs in a tournament, too.
The greens are a bugbear. They appear to be tilted rather than moulded, and are consequently rather frustrating. The fairway
narrowness has been mentioned, but there's not too much to worry the golfer by missing them. Careful hitting will take the majority of
hazards out of play too. A reasonable balance, even if not quite the overall package.
The large amount of customisation is worthy of appreciation and generosity, as are the imaginative approaches towards textures and
the panorama. For all that, Firestone North still hasn't quite escaped the 2001 disillusionment which several other courses of the period
seem to have elevated themselves beyond.
||Unusually, an APCD partner to an MS course. Better than the South Course almost
by default, but that shouldn't mean it isn't worthy of the golfer's attention.
|This course is available as a FREE download.
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