Quick presentation :
Broken Arrow C.C was my first fictional course design for the Links series. I turned to Links after the news that there will be no more evolution of the Jack Nicklaus golf game. With that one I had already made a “Broken Arrow” course : “The Short”. So, I decided to continue the series with Links by making a fictional course that would be kind of rehearsal for my next real course design, which was Bethpage Black.
I was pretty happy of the work at the time, but some voices raised in the links community to claim a revision that makes the course playable with the new MOD. I decided so to make a cleanup of the course and, going into the design, I saw that I was really bad designed. At the time, I was satisfied, but really, the mesh work was very poor. So, the cleaning turned more into a redesign and that’s why this work took such a long time.
The redesign consist in a severe mesh cleaning, elevation adaptations, complete replanting and two new holes. I trashed the old 10th and 11th to make a new par 5 10th and insert a par 3 between the old 16th and the 17th. So the old 12, 13, 15 and 16th became the 11,12,13,14 and 15th. Really, the old 11th seemed to me very fake. In fact, in the early design times, I had the idea of a hole parallel to the old 12th, and if you remember the old design, there’s a place for the hole on the right. So I turned back to my first idea and built a hole in this open place. I had then to insert a par 3, and the only place I found was between the old 16th green and the 17th tees. A mid-length uphill hole, much easier than the old 10th. I really liked the old 10th, but it was impossible to keep it in the new routing.
This course was rather difficult with Links 2001. I tried to keep that level of difficulty, thinking of the new MOD. I smoothed the greens, but, as I didn’t want to change the course spirit, there are still some severe slopes on the greens.
So, the recommended setting for the course with the MOD is MM.
Harder conditions may lead to some unplayable situations. I can assure you that under
MM conditions, the greens play very fair except if you are on the wrong side of the hole, but that’s part of the course challenge.
Playing tips :
I consider this course as a tough one, but it is not a monster. During the design, I hardly played under par, but one the last days, I recorded some good scores that lives some hopes, even for the common player.
The main difficulty here is to touch the greens in regulation, and to leave the ball on the right side of the cup. My GIR stats suffered a lot here, but my recovery ones bettered a lot too. Another tip is that on the many uphill holes, you have to overclub strongly by two or three. Combine this with some downhill lies and you will see that the other course difficulty is to learn to roll the ball.
The first nine is the most difficult part of the round. Secure your score there, and you can expect to improve it on the back nine.
All in all, I think you can get a lot of pleasure from this course, but you have to work for it : that’s what I consider as a decent design.