Starting an Update of Munchen Nord Eichenried

Announce and discuss forthcoming and recent course releases or request beta help from members.
User avatar
Adelade
Posts: 1050
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:24 am

Starting an Update of Munchen Nord Eichenried

Post by Adelade »

Inviting anyone to give their opinions on what should or shouldn't be updated, before I start on my update. I also have a couple specific questions.


I emailed Günter Kujat a few weeks ago, to ask if he was ok with me making an update of his classic course Munchen Nord - Eichenreid (last release came in 2002). He gave me the go-ahead, and also said it was nice to see that the Links community is still active :smile:


Planned Edits
Some might be asking whether this course even needs an update. I know the course is a great classic and very nostalgic to a lot of Linksters, and I agree that it is an extremely great course for having been made in 2002. There are, however, sadly a few things about it that makes me and some other Linksters unable to enjoy this otherwise magnificent course in our seasons. Mainly, a few greens leave very few options for pins that are fair and realistic on the modern realistic pro tour green speeds. One green (8th) doesnt even feature a single acceptable pin for people with a taste for realistic pins.

There were a few other things I had in mind to perhaps update as well:
-A few areas are currently left without seamblending (mainly the greens and fringes), and while the fringes might be a little tricky because of the structure of the mesh, I have an idea that I think will give adequate results, without messing with the mesh too much.
-I think the current textures are pretty nice, but I think some new 1024x1024 ones for the main surfaces could be an improvement. It can be achieved without the colours of the course being changed.

In my original message to Günter Kujat, I invited him to let me know if he had any thoughts or preferences about these type of details of the update, including a few specific ones, which he didnt say anything about, so I take it he leaves that for me to decide. Naturally, my goal - as always when I make updates - is to change as little as possible while still making an update which I (and hopefully others) will be satisfied with. After having a closer look at the course, I found a few other things that I would like to tweak:
-The greens currently have very few verts inside of them (average 8 per green), which would both have an irregular-appearance impact on the upcoming green seamblend, and also tends to make greenslopes less naturally flowing. Therefore Im going to need to make more verts on the greens, which will inevitably change the greenslopes somewhat, but my goal is to do it in a way that will change them as little as possible, while still producing realistic greens and making the seamblends look even. I can say that I want to avoid making the greens easier overall.
-I want to change the default wind direction, to what is more common according to wind data sites for the Munchen area (specifically in June, when the tour event tends to be held).
-I think the planting on the course is its greatest strength, very admirable, not least because of having been made in 2002. So initially, my plan was to not touch the planting at all. I quickly realized that there are tons of objects set as 'tournament objects' on this course, and those tend to revert to non-tournament objects when saving a course with a different APCD, so I will have to carefully go around and re-plant all those in order to not change them, but that should be doable with some patience. I did spot some bushes that seem to have somewhat glitchy shadows when seen from certain angles (at least on my end), for example the ones by the ditch/creek which you hit across on 18th. I think I will be able to re-plant those the same way they were, except for removed shadows (those bushes dont look like they need any shadows).

Now we get to the main thing I am looking for opinions on.

About Layout Changes in Real-Life Since 2002
Initially, my plan was to leave the layout exactly like it was. I knew that the course was likely to have changed at least a little bit here and there since 2002, but I didnt feel like there was a need to change that, the course plays really fun the way it used to in 2002 if you ask me. Anyhow, I still went ahead and compared some historical satellite images on Google Earth Pro, mostly just out of curiosity. I found that the layout has changed very little since 2002. A few bunkers added, some removed, some bunker shapes changed a little. Most of those changes are in areas where they wouldnt really effect gameplay in Links, so I dont think such changes really matter to anyone. As usual with courses in real life, fairways tend to be mowed in different widths and shapes from year to year, and some have indeed changed a bit, but I dont see the need to mess with that since the 2002 version of the course was so well-liked in the first place. You can make the fairway areas accurate for a certain year, but then they might be all wrong next year again anyway... Trees, well they grow and sometimes fall or get removed. I havent looked into them that closely, but I personally dont see the point in messing with them.

On two or three holes they seem to have built a further tee area since 2002, I looked at those holes and thought "well, I dont think those further tee areas would make the course play more fun with Links standard club distances..." They seem designed for modern real-life long hitters, and might only serve to make the tee shots less strategical for Linksters. On hole 6 however (a par 5 that can currently be reached even with a Driver + 5 Iron), I think the newer, longer tee could be pretty nice for Links, because Im pretty sure the hole would still be reachable in two. When comparing a modern BMW International Open scorecard to the 2002 Links Scorecard, there are some other differences here and there, where they didnt build a new tee area, but simply put the tees on a different spot compared to the 2002 version. I dont particularly feel a desire to change those personally, because I've looked at them and I feel like most of them would not make the layout play more fun in Links. Obviously that can be subjective but that is my spontaneous feeling. So the tees Im a little torn about what to do with. On the one hand, it might be a little weird to change them only in SOME places, while leaving others as they were... But honestly that is what I think would make the course most fun. Would love to hear what others think.

Finally, here is the big one: I did see a couple changes they've made to the design (around the years 2005-2016 I think it was), where they made a few ponds come into play more by making them larger and closer to the greens on holes 11, 16 and 18 (and perhaps to a tiny extent hole 12 - the short par 3). See the picture below.

MunchenWaterChanges.jpg
MunchenWaterChanges.jpg (459.37 KiB) Viewed 467 times

I admit it, Im a great sucker for holes with water hazards close to the greens. Especially on par 5 holes. It makes for such excellent risk-reward strategic choices. I am extremely tempted to make those particular changes to the course, I think it would make at least holes 11, 12 and 18 a lot spicier and fun, because they are rather easy holes normally. Hole 16 is a driveable par 4, and Im less certain about that one. It is already pretty difficult and somewhat risky to try reach with Links' club distances from the Back tees, and the water change (together with the default wind direction change) might make it too difficult and risky to try reach, so as to not make that option at all worth considering anymore unless playing from the shorter tees.

So... to summarize about the layout, here is where Im at currently: If I was making this update only for myself, I would just add the tee on hole 6 and change the water on holes 11, 12 and 18, and not change anything else. But Im not trying to make this course only for myself, and I dont know whether anyone else thinks it is too weird to only change certain things, or what preferences people might have. Perhaps some of you even hate water... :tongue: Opinions and suggestions on other things are of course welcome too. Now is your chance to be heard. Disclaimer: I do not promise to go along with anyone's opinions or suggestions, but of course I will always strongly consider it.

One idea might be to split the update into two versions - one Classic, unchanged layout. And then one Renovated. Honestly, Im not too keen on making different versions unless it is really necessary. I also dont feel particularly keen on going through and renovating every single little layout change. But if enough people would enjoy that, then maybe...


If anyone considers it heresy to even consider updating the course in the first place... the original versions will still always remain available... no one's going to force anyone to play the update...
Finished main APCD Projects: Amedal (own design), Nine Bridges (real course)
Other: Austin, Kauri Cliffs HD. Updates: Whirlpool, Royal Lytham, Royal St George's, Chicago, Chambers Bay
Working on: 2 fictional courses + a couple things...
User avatar
Paul44
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:12 pm

Re: Starting an Update of Munchen Nord Eichenried

Post by Paul44 »

Great
The toughest shot in golf is your next one.
ColinC
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:14 pm

Re: Starting an Update of Munchen Nord Eichenried

Post by ColinC »

This sounds like a great plan Adelaide!
User avatar
MrT
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon May 24, 2021 5:48 pm

Re: Starting an Update of Munchen Nord Eichenried

Post by MrT »

I never played this course before and went to try it after I read your post. You are right: it is actually a remarkably good course for 2002.
Like you wrote, if I have to find defects, that has to do with pin placements. I played at my usual settings and never really had much of an issue on stopping the balls but, given my choice of pin placements, 2/3 of the putts ended up downhill or uphill with no flat spot around the flag. That looks a bit off to me. Still, green speeds were not a problem even at M/Fc.
As for the number of verts, that is outside my "areas of expertise", but I concluded (even before reading your notes) that there were a few irregularities, nothing major for me, but I detected a few.
If the holes have changed topography and looks, I think you should go for the new layouts if you feel inclined.

It is indeed a great course. I wonder why I never found out about it. Perhaps the crowds do not look too German to me. You should change the looks of the people! :laugh: :whistle:

As for the water.. I hate water and prefer beer or wine instead... but, jokes aside, .. I do not like water.. when the ball goes in it. Otherwise :thumbup:

Cheers :tiphat:
User avatar
Titus
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:26 am
Location: Freiburg Blackforest Germany

Re: Starting an Update of Munchen Nord Eichenried

Post by Titus »

Hi Adelade,
as this is one of the few golf courses I've seen live I'd love to get an update from you, however you approach it.
I actually think water and trees are good, you don't always have to take all the risks.
:thumbup:
User avatar
Adelade
Posts: 1050
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:24 am

Re: Starting an Update of Munchen Nord Eichenried

Post by Adelade »

Thanks for interest and comments (I liked the beer joke). It seems like no one really cares about the changes though, so I will just go ahead and do as I like about it then. Giving everyone a final chance to speak up until next week though, before I start.

Planning on having a public beta upload for this project.
Finished main APCD Projects: Amedal (own design), Nine Bridges (real course)
Other: Austin, Kauri Cliffs HD. Updates: Whirlpool, Royal Lytham, Royal St George's, Chicago, Chambers Bay
Working on: 2 fictional courses + a couple things...
User avatar
migolfer
Posts: 168
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:40 pm
Location: Northern Michigan

Re: Starting an Update of Munchen Nord Eichenried

Post by migolfer »

Trees, well they grow and sometimes fall or get removed. I havent looked into them that closely, but I personally dont see the point in messing with them.
Would you at least consider what to do with the trees which come into play on #8 and #12?

#8 requires a draw to a long, narrow green which isn't very receptive to curved shots.
number8.jpg
number8.jpg (84.72 KiB) Viewed 81 times
#12 the trees are right in front of everything, those kind of demand either a custom shot to hit above them or very curvy shots from either side. I only played the course once (I never downloaded it in 2002 nor since, until you mentioned it :smile: ), so there's a chance they aren't in play as much as it would appear.
number12.jpg
number12.jpg (90.58 KiB) Viewed 81 times
This appears to be #12, I don't see any trees in front like that:
h12.jpg
h12.jpg (23.15 KiB) Viewed 81 times
BTW, these might make good hole previews (click on the desired hole, see preview like above): https://www.gc-eichenried.de/anlage/27-loch-platz
User avatar
Adelade
Posts: 1050
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:24 am

Re: Starting an Update of Munchen Nord Eichenried

Post by Adelade »

Thank you for that excellent post migolfer :smile:

I know there are a bunch of trees on the 2002 version that are borderline in play from tee, but they never seemed particularly unrealistic to me when I've played the course, so I always thought they were fine or close enough to fine, personally. I should also point out that I havent played the course a whole lot either, I think once 3-4 years ago and once again last year.

Looking at your #8 screenshot, and before comparing with real life, I think it is one of those borderline cases, one might get away with a straight shot, at least if teeing up a bit to the right. However, I see that the Mid and Fwd tees (Gold and Black, they're at the exact same spot so only the Black one shows up in Links) look rather questionable, it looks like the tree is completely in the way for those.

After comparing with real life in Google Earth and the "flyovers" at https://www.europeantour.com/dpworld-to ... 022/course (they're digital renderings obviously, not real-life video footage, but since they are from the official European Tour side, I think those are most likely accurate enough), and comparing with historical imagery in Google Earth, it looks to me as if the tree was probably never that much in play in real life. It looks like the tee area indeed was positioned a tiny bit more to the left back in 2001 and 2003, but I dont think it was quite as much as in the Links version. Google Earth satellite imagery for the area doesnt go back further in time than 2001 (except for a very blurry 1985 image where one cant see anything at all). And I believe the original course for Links was based on how things were in real life before 2001 (The review for the 2001 version mentions that that was the 3rd version). Back in those days, it was obviously also much harder than it is today to find information on the internet about how the real course is like.

Now, I believe that some people actually like when they have to slightly navigate around trees, and some might think that is part of the nostalgic appeal of the course. They might not like it if I move, resize or remove the trees. At the same time, I have to conclude that, slightly moving the tree(s) to the left, and perhaps moving the planted tees (at least Mid and Fwd) slightly to the right, seems like the most realistic and reasonable thing to do. Especially since I now have evidence of at least one person who probably would like that, and so far no evidence of anyone who would oppose it. Either way, I invite everyone to voice their opinions before I make final decisions. If no one hints they would like the trees to remain as they are, I think it is safe to say I will at least slightly edit it.

About hole 12, it looks like pretty much the same thing, even if my guess is that those trees dont actually come into play with Links' default club distances, I think you go safely above them. When looking at historical imagery, I cant see that there ever were trees there since 2001, only what looks like smaller bushes. Again, it is possible that there were trees there before 2001, but either way, the reasonable thing here as well seems to be to remove the trees. Unless someone speaks up and would like otherwise, at least.

About using the images for hole previews, that is a good suggestion, they look excellent, but I tend to avoid using official graphics to avoid copyright issues (at least I avoid adding them myself). Not that I think anyone would realistically come complaining, but I like to be on the safe side. I know there already are hole previews, my plan was to let them be, except possibly see if I could slightly edit them with the water changes, since those otherwise would stand out.
Finished main APCD Projects: Amedal (own design), Nine Bridges (real course)
Other: Austin, Kauri Cliffs HD. Updates: Whirlpool, Royal Lytham, Royal St George's, Chicago, Chambers Bay
Working on: 2 fictional courses + a couple things...
User avatar
migolfer
Posts: 168
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:40 pm
Location: Northern Michigan

Re: Starting an Update of Munchen Nord Eichenried

Post by migolfer »

slightly moving the tree(s) to the left, and perhaps moving the planted tees (at least Mid and Fwd) slightly to the right, seems like the most realistic and reasonable thing to do
As expected, you seem to have this all well considered (knowing what Links players like, what the course is actually like [that's cool that you've actually played there], etc.) so I trust you'll do the right thing. Your decision suits me just fine (FWIW), I will look forward to playing the new version when it is ready.
the reasonable thing here as well seems to be to remove the trees
Works for me also. I like the course flyovers link you sent, watching those makes me feel even moreso that these are good decisions.

Fair enough re. copyright concerns.
pmgolf
Posts: 834
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:41 am
Location: near Richmond, VA

Re: Starting an Update of Munchen Nord Eichenried

Post by pmgolf »

It's just so wrong to remove trees because someone like you with your limited skill would have trouble playing over or around them. Not only would it be easy for a pro golfer to play over or around them - it's a hundred times easier for someone who is playing a golf video game to do it! Rather than doing away with trees, why not move them to the side* a bit to provide a outer boundary to the green that is the target. It's better that they are there to give the golfer some challenge.

* or forward 10-20 yards and then to the side if they're on the edge of a lake.

Pete
Post Reply