APCD Courses

The Fictional Courses 1-6

   
Burn's Old Links
Mike Jones
7118 yards. Par 71.
Difficulty Medium/Hard

Scottish Links

Sep 2003

2003 Course of the Year

Overall Rank 1st

Burn's Old Links is the 9th course design by Mike Jones and is a traditional 'old' style Scottish links course, moulded amongst the coastal dunes, and situated close to an old town. Its roots lie in the famous courses of St Andrews and Prestwick, and it becomes the closest simulation of links golf ever seen. Your round begins close to the old town, with a scary opening tee shot if you decide to take the shortest route to the flag. You then follow the road at the 2nd tee, before driving over the edge of the bordering buildings at the 3rd in true St Andrews style. Progressing to the 6th you meet the magnificant wooden faced bunker guarding the green, leading you towards the 'Bunning' burn which splits the fairway at the 8th and 12th holes. The design is just awesome, the course simply flows around the landscape and hazards, with dips and valleys, dune peaks, and greens that perfectly follow the contours of the surrounding fairways and rough. The texturing is both outstanding and groundbreaking, again exceeding his previous releases, with dry ground, worn patches, sand speckles, humps and bumps all blended seemlessly together. Planting is lower key here, formed by natural low level bushes and grasses, and looking so realistic and natural, but the real beauty here is more in the rolling landscape of textures than bold colours. In lay out terms this is the closest course seen in style to St Andrews, with wide open views and many route choices to the flags, it is a course to learn and admire and i feel certainly best played without aiming using the top camera view. The type of play offered here is different to any other apcd course, as there are so many decisions to make, weighing up the risk between routes, hazards, distances and topography. The atmosphere created by this design is excellent, the old town buildings are just right for the location, the custom global sounds of the birds, backed by the distant sea rumble add ambiance, a driving range is evident, the Burn's new course runs alongside the 5th and 9th holes, and all the hazards are named for added realism. This design is special and should be admired, there are many extra special techniques used in this course design, many that you will not even realise are there. Playwise it is links at its best and the ball lies will offer up a tricky challenge. It is simply the cleverest course i have seen.
Hole Previews : Excellent Tournament Option : Excellent

Download this Course at > Mike Jones' Links Course Designs

     
Tall Pines Estate
Wayne Hewitt
7185 yards. Par 72.
Difficulty Medium/Hard

Pine Forest

Feb 2003

2003 Course of the Year Runner Up

Overall Rank 2nd

Wayne Hewitt has previously designed the courses named Kylane and Autumn Valley; both were great in their own right, but in some respects simply seem as stepping stones to the creation of Tall Pines Estate. Every now and then a course design comes along which sets new high standards in its execution, looks or playability. This course is definately one of these, it is breathtaking its its beauty, immaculate in its attention to detail, and strategically impressive, with holes that will become instantly memorable. The course is set within a pine forest location, its best real life comparison must be the immaculately planted and well kept Augusta National course, and when you step out onto Tall Pines Estate you know that the groundsmen have done their job to perfection. At times you will almost feel the need to gasp, as patches of coloured flowers border the fringes of the holes, or a covering of wild grass extends into the shaded pine forested areas. No detail has been missed, smooth paths wind through the trees, benches and hole signs stand to the side of tee areas, and even the lilliepads on the lake contain pink flowers. The views across the course are often amazing as you can peek through the trees to see other fairways or natural features. The texture blending makes this a real treat, just take a look at where the pine areas meet the rough. Other great points of interest include the lovely stone bridge at the 16th, the river creek at the 14th which is a reachable par 4, and the superb custom clubhouse at the back of the 18th. The faint chit chat of birds will follow you throughout this stunning course. Playwise the course is always fair, it offers some great shot choices, and the par 3's really do shine out as beautiful set pieces. Hole previews are lovely and provide the information you need including the green slopes, and the tournament option is complete with crowds and advertising boards. For overall visual beauty and a manicured finish this arguably remains the number one choice. It is the fictional Augusta and the holes quickly become like old friends which you regularly will return to.
Hole Previews : Excellent Tournament Option : Excellent
     
Crystal Pines
Mike Jones
6682 yards. Par 71.
Difficulty Medium

Mountain Forest

May 2004

2004 Course of the Year Runner Up

Overall Rank 3rd

Crystal Pines is the 10th course design by Mike Jones, and is a visual masterpiece. Amazingly the designer still manages to offer something new and interesting to players, this time a fir tree forest course, backed by the snow capped mountains, and remeniscent in style of say Banff Springs. At the opening tee you overlook the course, a majestic view with a stone wall running along the left of the hole. The textures are soft green and look fantastic. The 2nd hole offers a testing short par 3 over a crystal clear lake, before the 3rd wraps around the lake to produce an amazing drive choice in true Bayhill style. After the 4th hole, you leave the lakes behind for a short while, and view the beautiful splashes of colour and customary amazing planting down the rest of the back nine as you rise up into the hills. Bunkers will shield many of the approach shots, and watch out for the lovely clubhouse building at the back of the 8th hole. After the turn is one of my favourite holes, a 160 yard par 3 to a green set on a plateau which slopes away down to the left, just awesome. Then you play a long par 5 and a tricky par 4, again with great buildings on show, before the most spectacular view of the course at the 13th tee making full use of the excellent panorama. Another beautiful tee shot greets the 14th, complete with a valley to this fairway, onto the 15th which again wraps around a large lake. The 16th features a clever split fairway, and the 17th is another trademark par 3 of superb quality before you finish overlooking another lakeside hole offering some great risk versus reward play at the par 5. Mike Jones always likes to try something never before seen, this time it is the lakeside bunkers at the 3rd and 7th holes, and they are remarkable, and complete with a wet sand texture edge they work beautifully. I've taken you on a little tour of this course, visually it is amazing and true to the designers usual style and all the extras are evident. The attention to detail is extremely high, even with aged bare trees in key places for effect. Frankly, we have seen little to match the beauty of this course design, and it remains one of Mike Jones' very best efforts.
Hole Previews : Excellent Tournament Option : Excellent

Download this Course at > Mike Jones' Links Course Designs

     
Pacific Breaks
Mike Jones
7358 yards. Par 72.
Difficulty Medium/Hard

Coastal

Dec 2003

2001 Course of the Year

Overall Rank 4th

Mike Jones is rightly considered a genious with the apcd. Pacific Breaks was his 4th course release way back in December 2001 and was a fictional design set on the pacific coastline in the style of Pebble Beach and Cypress Point. This was yet another innovative and ground breaking design, with the coastline sea taking on the most realistic beauty ever seen at the time, complete with superb cliffside edges and white surf on the waters. Adding to this is the most amazingly realistic planting, and the designers artistic abilities should not be underestimated. You tee off the first hole inland, a beautiful setting, with superb undulating fairways, and a new lighter than usual set of textures which fit the location perfectly. You progress inland across some cleverly designed layouts, until you gimpse the sea in the distance at the back of the 5th hole, and your heart will beat faster. The 6th tee and your eyes will fill with wonder and delight at the view over the cliffs to the par 3 green, an amazing sight. There follows a series of coastal holes which contain astonishingly clever strategy with risk always playing off against reward and penalty for mistakes. Finally you move inland again down the back nine, but each and every hole not only looks superb, it plays like a dream, looking comfortable off the tees, but in reality there is loads to learn about the best places to lay up, and fairways undulate to make ball lies more difficult. Greens here are often well protected too. As with many of the best courses, the last few holes play as some of the hardest challenges and making pars down the 17th and 18th will make you breathe a sigh of relief. In 2003 the planting was upgraded, a few holes redesigned including a par 5 18th hole, and new cart paths added with amazing bunker texturing and surround blending, all improving this beautiful course. In 2001 this design pushed the boundaries of what the original apcd could achieve, visually and at times strategically there is once again little to beat this course, it is just beautiful and fantastic to play. A former number one groundbreaking design and course of the year, its 2003 update lifts it back among the best ever courses available for the game.
Hole Previews : Excellent Tournament Option : Very Good

Download this Course at > Mike Jones' Links Course Designs

     
Pilgrim Trails
Mike Jones
7579 yards. Par 72.
Difficulty Medium

Pine Forest

Jun 2009

2009 Course of the Year

Overall Rank 5th

Pilgrim Trails brings Mike Jones out of a 4 year Links retirement and is the designers 14th course release, which is quite astonishing in itself. This new course wont particularly surprise you, it definately has all the usual Mike Jones details with wide expensive views of the course that winds far away into the distance. The strategic element is always well thought out, with a mix of tests and club use. At 7579 it is one of his longest designs so expect some key driver use. Every one of Mike's designs has a signature feel, and this continues the theme with blueberry bushes blooming in bright red found all over the course. It really adds colour and depth to the view. This course winds through pine forests, trees are not always close to the fairways and there is plently of rough area to stray into. The bunkers, which look exceptional, seem to always be in key places so expect a few visits during your round. This course is one of the best textured so far, there is immense blending here, with worn patches and faded areas always in sight to add extra realism. Also the buildings here, a few homes hidden in the trees, and some red tiled outbuildings to match the amazing clubhouse by Pat Auge, are all exeptional and look expensive too. I enjoyed the wishing well objects scattered around too. What makes this course extra special though is its natural feel. Mike often has set piece views of extreme quality, this one has less dramatic ones than say Pacific Breaks or Las Joyas, but no less involving and certainly very realistic. In terms of planting lets just say that this designer is just about the best in the business. Moving onto some favourite holes, all the par 3's are exceptional both clever to play and great visually and different lengths too, but the short 14th with its crooked tree is just edged by the pretty 3rd hole with a narrow entrance and downhill run off. The par 5's are long here and the best one is the 11th where if you drive into the narrow gap between the bunkers you can get a 3w to the green, but watch the lake guarding the right side. The closing holes are a wonderful test, the 16th is guarded by the largest lake on the course, the 17th is a long par 3 and the 18th a long and semi blind tee shot. This is a superb design, uses all the latest apcd developments and loosely reminds me of a cross between the immaculate Pinehurst and the rugged Bethpage Black.
Hole Previews : Excellent Tournament Option : Excellent

Download this Course at > Mike Jones' Links Course Designs

     
Crooked Creek
Wayne Hewitt
7201 yards. Par 72.
Difficulty Medium/Hard

Australian Pine Forest

Apr 2006

2006 Course of the Year

Overall Rank 6th

Crooked Creek started life out as a sister course to the amazing Tall Pines Estate. The grand plan was to build a few courses that were all in a similar location such as Pinehurst. However, inspired by a photo of the 3rd hole at Brookwater Golf Course in Queensland, Australia, Wayne Hewitt set about a design that was cross between Tall Pines and a Melbourne sandbelt course. The results are remarkable and most successfully achieved, with an Australian feel definately captured. Wayne is already a master of apcd designing, with Tall Pines Estate and Wagga Wagga as shining examples of his work. Crooked Creek is simply breathtaking, both beautiful to look at and engaging to play. The quality of the work is exceptional on the blending, textures and overgrown bunker work, and visually the green fairways contrast superbly with the dusty sandbelt and waste ground areas. The pine trees look fabulous, and the planting is just about the most realistic you will ever see. Everything seems to have been meticulously planned, the tee views create stunning set pieces complete with small stone water dispensers, the elevations are superb and the lay out calls for thoughtful play and offers a lot of choice. A wonderful 3d clubhouse overlooks the course perched on small hillock. The panorama adds extra depth with a small village and a neat craggy outcrop becoming distinguishing features of the course. Two holes i have chosen to look out for are the 11th surrounded by sandy wasteland thats looks so amazingly natural, and the short par 4 which is reachable off the tee over a lake, so will you dare to take it on? The custom tees and course logo are excellent ideas to complete the realism of this design. You wont get any tournament crowds here, but you really wont want to spoil the view ! I believe this is probably the highest overall quality design of them all, particularly for natural realism, planting and elevation, but it just doesnt quite endear itself as my favourite overall course, as there are a few others that i find more memorable and exciting to return to play.
Hole Previews : Excellent Tournament Option : None
     

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