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Adams County Dunes

10/25/2017 0 comments
Welcome to Adams County Dunes, my proposed routing for the third course at Sand Valley. I've posted some earlier iterations of the routing on this blog in the past, and over the last year have continued to hone it. I've spent quite a few days walking the property and getting a feel for the land. I truly believe the land at Sand Valley, particularly in this corner south of the original Coore & Crenshaw course has the potential to yield one of the great golf courses in the country. I don't honestly think I'll get picked to build the course, but hopefully this helps you see the potential for the site and raise the bar for whomever does get picked.

Attached below is the routing map and some early visualization shots. I'll add more holes and fly-by's as we go along.


1st Hole

5th Hole

7th Hole

8th Hole

10th Hole

13th Hole

17th Hole

18th Hole

Golf Digest 2017-18 Rankings: Inside the Numbers

1/08/2017 0 comments
One last post on the latest Golf Digest top 100/200 rankings. In the past, I've looked at each category's contribution to a given course's total score as an psuedo-look at its DNA. With seven different categories, there are different ways to make the list. Some get by on Shot Values; others on Resistance to Scoring or Conditioning. Some are consistently strong across all categories (Colorado Golf Club's DNA is the closest to Golf Digest's formula).

The first set of images looks at the highest and lowest relative scores (category score / total score) for each of the seven category. Then the next set of images look at the difference between category shares for some of the categories with the least amount of correlation. Assessing which set of 15 courses you'd prefer to play provides an indication of how your personal category weights might differ from Golf Digest's. Seeing courses pop up that you like might lead you to find other courses that fit your personal tastes. 















Golf Digest 2017-18 Rankings - Food for Thought: What if they just ranked courses by Shot Values?

1/06/2017 0 comments

Golf Digest published its latest list of "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses". There wasn't a lot of movement in the rankings from last time, but Pine Valley muscled its way back into the top spot ahead of Augusta National.

Most of the criticism of the Golf Digest rankings are that it rewards well-conditioned, difficult courses. Some of this may be due to the nature of its 1,100 person ratings panel, who tend to be better players. More than likely, it's a function of its formula for defining greatness along some fixed weights (2x for Shot Values, and 1x each for Resistance to Scoring, Design Variety, Memorability, Aesthetics, Conditioning and Ambience. You can see the specific definitions here: http://www.golfdigest.com/story/how-our-panel-ranks-the-courses)

Shot Values is defined as "How well do the holes pose a variety of risks and rewards and equally test length, accuracy and finesse?". As noted, it's worth twice as much as the other categories so is obviously viewed as the most important characteristic. But what if it were the only category for ranking golf courses? Could Shot Values alone produce a better list, in your opinion? Since Shot Values is difficult to define and even more difficult to quantify, might it be akin to a raters overall view of the course quality anyways (the correlation between Shot Values and all of the other categories combined is 93.5%)?

The list below shows that a Shot Values only approach would bring Hazeltine National, Harbour Town, Pasatiempo, Streamsong Red, Chambers Bay, Galloway National, The Course at Yale (up from 177 to 90!), Colorado Golf Club, Cal Club and Shoal Creek into the top 100 at the expense of Monterey Peninsula Shore, Laurel Valley, Flint Hills National, Hudson National, The Course at Black Rock, The Preserve, Double Eagle, Mayacama, Diamond Creek and The Quarry at La Quinta (down from 83 to 144).

It's not perfect, but it seems to be heading in the right direction. Perhaps Design Variety and Memorability or Ambience need to play a small role as well. But here's the Shot Value-only list as food for thought. More to come as we dig deeper into the numbers.

Update: this Google Sheets tool allows you to set your own category weights and produce a customized top 100/200 list.

Golf Digest RankShot Value RankCourseSV Score
11Pine Valley8.9142
22Augusta National8.7013
43Shinnecock Hills8.6473
54Oakmont8.6134
65Merion East8.4932
36Cypress Point8.4265
107Winged Foot8.3128
88NGLA8.2936
79Pebble Beach8.2659
910Sand Hills8.2595
1511Muirfield Village8.1499
1412Chicago8.1416
1213Crystal Downs8.1372
1714Oakland Hills - South8.1108
2015Oak Hill - East8.1025
1116Fishers Island Club8.1020
3817Bethpage Black8.0853
2418Riviera8.0739
3019Pinehurst - No 28.0590
1620The Country Club8.0561
2921Prairie Dunes8.0543
1322Seminole8.0506
2123The Ocean Course8.0427
1924Friars Head8.0426
2325LACC - North8.0305
3526Southern Hills8.0252
2227Whistling Straits - Straits8.0129
1828Pacific Dunes7.9932
3129Olympic Club - Lake7.9927
2530Wade Hampton7.9257
4831Medinah - No 37.9115
3432The Golf Club7.9009
3233The Honors Course7.8971
5834Oak Tree7.8774
3335Peachtree7.8761
4536Butler National7.8503
2837Gozzer Ranch7.8439
4338Victoria National7.8333
4439Erin Hills7.8299
5040Ballyneal7.8263
3941Baltusrol - Lower7.8256
2642Shadow Creek7.8253
4943Spyglass Hill7.8201
3744San Francisco7.8124
6045Pete Dye7.8091
5146TPC Sawgrass - Players7.8058
4047Pikewood National7.7849
2748The Alotian Club7.7624
8949Inverness Club7.7609
7750Plainfield7.7506
3651Bandon Dunes7.7463
5652Old Sandwich7.7411
4653Garden City7.7376
7954Olympia Fields7.7358
5755Scioto7.7316
4256Castle Pines7.7249
5957Dallas National7.7170
5258Camargo7.7105
7859Aronimink7.7096
6260Winged Foot - East7.7079
4161Sebonack7.7078
6162Baltusrol - Upper7.6989
5463Interlachen7.6931
5564Whispering Pines7.6897
8165Valhalla7.6875
7566Congressional - Blue7.6786
5367Kinloch7.6740
4768Old MacDonald7.6607
6669Shoreacres7.6562
6470Somerset Hills7.6541
8271Boston GC7.6441
7672Quaker Ridge7.6420
9473Crooked Stick7.6390
10774Hazeltine National7.6375
12775Harbour Town7.6307
10376Pasatiempo7.6244
8777Yeamans Hall7.6105
7078Bandon Trails7.6076
7379Cherry Hills7.5943
6380Canyata7.5782
6981Spring Hill7.5718
9882Sahalee7.5707
7483Estancia7.5630
10284Streamsong (Red)7.5605
9185Essex Country Club7.5597
8086Valley Club of Montecito7.5573
12987Chambers Bay7.5535
9288Blackwolf Run - River7.5515
11789Galloway National7.5400
17790The Course at Yale7.5353
10091Eagle Point7.5352
11192Colorado Golf Club7.5352
11093Cal Club7.5324
10694Shoal Creek7.5309
7195Milwaukee7.5270
7296Maidstone7.5225
6797Kittansett Club7.5205
9698Calusa Pines7.5161
8899Rich Harvest7.5156
68100Arcadia Bluffs7.5137
65101MPCC - Shore7.5124
95102Laurel Valley7.5115
97108Flint Hills National7.4969
85112Hudson National7.4893
84113Black Rock7.4872
93123The Preserve7.4410
86126Double Eagle7.4398
99130Mayacama7.4202
90137Diamond Creek7.3913
83144Quarry at La Quinta7.3689

HHH 2016: A Double Dose of Doak

7/11/2016 0 comments
Two weeks ago, I did something I swore I would never do again: complete two Hundred Hole Hikes in four days. In 2013, I had the crazy idea of doing four hikes in 3 1/2 weeks, with the last two being on a Monday (in Canada) and Thursday (in Scotland). Since then, my left ankle is hanging on by a very thin thread.

But this year the opportunity presented itself to do another two hikes, on the same Monday/Thursday timeline, and it proved to be too good to pass up. On June 20th, I did my traditional hike at Ballyneal with some fellow members and good friend Brandon Urban. Then on June 23rd, I ventured up to northern Michigan to do a hike at Forest Dunes, along with architect Tom Doak, Matt Ginella from Golf Channel and Ashley Mayo from Golf Channel.

Last year, I had the chance to tour and play some holes in the dirt up at The Loop at Forest Dunes in Roscommon, MI, Doak's latest creation and unique in the golf world that it is the world's first and only fully operating reversible golf course. Given the lay of the land and uniqueness of the concept, I casually mentioned to Tom that day, "This would be a great course to do a Hundred Hole Hike". He immediately responded, "I would be up for that". And the wheels were officially in motion for the Hundred Hole Hike at Forest Dunes this year.

It's worth noting that the week of these hikes corresponded to the 5th year anniversary of the original Ben Cox marathon, the main thing that started it all. It's been amazing to see the growth of the hike over that time period, now with over $2.5 million raised for nearly 200 different charitable causes. My initial theory when I started the event was that there had to be other golfers out there, like me, crazy enough to try something like this and armed with the willingness and ability to do it for causes that were close to them. It turns out that hunch was right, at least for a few hundred lunatics out there (though I suspect there are more that just haven't been found yet).

HIKE 1: BALLYNEAL 

Although this was my sixth golf marathon event at Ballyneal (and I've caddied for two others), each one is uniquely different and stands out for various reasons. A lot of these reasons have to do with the weather, which can vary wildly in NE Colorado. One of our hikers, John Penny, recently got married at Ballyneal and his best man Michael reminded wedding-goers of when he caddied for John in the 2012 hike when it was 108 degrees (and windy and humid). One of the lasting images of that hike is immortalized on the Hundred Hole Hike website, bottom row fourth from the left below, with John completely spent and contemplating whether he could continue (he did).


The weather forecast was definitely a concern as this year's hike approached. Many of us played 36 holes on Sunday, where the temperature was a sticky 100 degrees. The forecast called for more of the same. The day after the hike it reached 102 degrees. But thankfully Monday during out to be pretty much ideal, with overcast skies most of the day and temperatures that never got higher than 83 or 84. Storm clouds started brewing just beyond the course in the mid-morning and there was some thunder in the distance, but again we lucked out as eventually that gave way to a sunny afternoon. As an added bonus, the skies were clear and the moon was bright, allowing enough light to tee off a little earlier than usual. The night before, the five of us hiking decided to meet up at the pro shop at 4:30 A.M. I went outside and immediately realized that it was already "golfable", so rushed to get things arranged and to the first tee as quickly as possible. Here is me hitting the first tee ball at 4:40 in the morning:



Once again, I was armed with two caddies at all times, in a well-honed system that has helped me tremendously since the first marathon. Even better, there were some familiar faces along the way, such as Chris, who caddied three loops for me last year. And later there was the brother and sister combo of Tristan and Brenna, who I later determined were the younger siblings of my friend and former caddie Cierra. I was fortunate to have a lot of basketball fans on my "bag" (in spirit only, as there were eight clubs with no bag, split between the two caddies), so the Cavs Game 7 victory/Warriors epic Game 7 meltdown and the upcoming NBA draft was a continual topic of conversation and easy distraction to the grind of walking and playing 150+ holes in a day.

I wished I could say I played some of my best golf. I wish I could say that I made 20 birdies and an eagle. I wish I could say I played some of my fastest rounds ever. But none one of those statements were true. But it still good enough. Like Dory, I just kept swimming. Just kept swimming. All my rounds were in the 80s. I made eight birdies overall. And the pace was in the 1:25-1:30 range with very small breaks in between rounds.

I like to say, "Like they always say, the fifth and sixth rounds of the day are always the toughest." That's usually when one hits the grind during the hike, when mentally you started to count down the number of holes left, focus on how much daylight is left and how much your feet hurt, and that's pretty much all you can think about. For whatever reason, I never hit the proverbial wall this year at Ballyneal. I was making great time, and 155 was well within reach, with time to spare.

When pledging my support to Brandon, I half-jokingly commented, "See you for Round 9". During last year's hike, I shamed/jedi-mind tricked Brandon to continue on an extra round during the twilight hours well after he had decided to quit after 126 holes. It worked last year, but I didn't really think he'd my round 9 suggestion seriously. That was until I finished my 8th round, got up to the clubhouse and saw Brandon marching down the 10th fairway on his 145th hole. Brandon started the day on the back nine and I hadn't seen him all day until that point, so I knew he was on a good pace. But when I saw him marching down the fairway, I realized that he was actually a half-hole ahead of my pace!

I quickly switched gears and decided to start round 9 on the back. Then I tried to catch up to Brandon, and it wasn't until the 13th hole when I could finally get close enough to get his attention. The guy was an animal (a point that will become even clearer later on in this blog). Brenna was on his bag at this point and we zipped around the back nine and then headed back to the front.

My M.O. has been to stop at 155 holes in deference to the original Ben Cox marathon. But finishing on the 2nd hole, didn't seem like a great idea. And more importantly, the course was just glowing on a perfect summer afternoon. I don't care if it's your 157th or your 7th hole of the day, if you're anything like me, there's no way that you'd see a view of a golf course like this and not keep playing. The golden hour was in full effect.


At one point, we broached the subject of possibility stretching it to 171 holes, matching the hike record held by our good friend Rob Rigg. But at the bottom of the 4th fairway (okay, rough), I started to feel a little woozy and light headed, to the point that I had to sit for 10 minutes or so at the 6th tee box. At that point, 162 holes seemed like a perfect good and reasonable number. 9 rounds in one day. Walking. Not a bad day's work. We realized that there was no way the two of us could flash the traditional post-hike digits, so my caddie Oscar (who went the last four rounds) got the much-deserved '1' in the picture below.



All in all, it was a fitting end a beautiful day at Ballyneal. We had a great crew of five hikers and even had a friendly multi-round skins game going to add interest and raise an additional $720 for our charitable causes (I won one, Brandon won one and Gary Albrecht won two). Together, the Ballyneal hike raised over $23,500 for charity. I am honored to call these guys fellow hikers and friends:


Ballyneal Scorecard:



HIKE 2: FOREST DUNES 

After six years of 100+ hole golf marathons, I always tend to judge how things are going by how many holes do I think I could play the next day. I woke up Tuesday morning after the Ballyneal hike and played a quick nine holes, as I found that getting up and getting moving helps with the recovery process. I told Brandon that I could probably play 100 holes that next day, but it wouldn't be pretty. Maybe back-to-back 100's is an idea for a future year.

Months ago, Brandon agreed to accompany me to Roscommon, Michigan to help out with the hike at Forest Dunes, proving once again what a great supporter of the hike and true friend he is (kudos also to my lifelong buddy Jimbo, who also made the trek to help out). Primarily, I think he was really excited to see Doak's new reversible course. Secondarily, he'd get the chance to meet golf luminaries and social media mavens Matt Ginella and Ashley Mayo, who along with Doak rounded out the featured foursome. Also, like Jerry Seinfeld's bit about the Best Man in the wedding, he could easily step up and finish out the 100 if I collapsed and died somewhere on the 8th fairway (it's okay, I would've wanted them to go on).



Thankfully, nobody collapsed and nobody died, as the Forest Dunes hike was a successful and extremely memorable event, for a number of reasons:

- As mentioned, these were some of the very first rounds on the Loop, the first course of its kind. A reversible golf course? I tried to explain this concept to the some of the caddies at Ballyneal and they couldn't compute what I was telling them. I had seen it last year and it still didn't make much sense to me. Heck, three weeks after playing it three times each way and I still can't quite wrap my head around it.

But in the end, I think that's a good thing. I've come to the realization that great golf courses are the ones that reveal themselves over time. Course that you have to play and want to play multiply times to unlock their mysteries. The Old Course at St. Andrews is probably the perfect example of this (I often say The Old Course is probably the greatest golf course in the world, I'm just not smart enough to have figured it out yet).

Speaking of the Old Course, eras of golf course architecture can be plotted on a timeline that is defined by truly ground breaking golf courses. St. Andrews. Cypress Point. Pinehurst. More recently: Harbour Town, TPC Sawgrass and Sand Hills. I think you can add The Loop at Forest Dunes to that list. It seems to me that people will study the intricacies and nuances of The Loop for years to come. I don't know if it was start a wave of reversible golf courses, but I imagine we will see others attempts crop up over time. And similar questions that Doak faced during construction - about how to make it work, what kind of land suits best, what types of holes work well and don't work so well, how to arrange hazard and greens to work both directions, etc. will be asked and new answers may arise. As somebody interested in the design and strategy of golf course architecture, I'm excited to see what happens.

As far as potential spots for a Hundred Hole Hike go, The Loop at Forest Dunes is a Doak 10. First of all, take the climate and daylight of Northern Michigan. I don't think it got higher than 81 degrees and one could play golf until 10:15 PM or even later in mid-summer. Also, The Loop is a great, walking-only course with similar topography to Pinehurst No. 2 (what I would call the best course to walk in the U.S.) And finally, the ability to play the course clockwise and then immediately turn around and play it counter clockwise adds variation and interest to an already fun and strategically-interesting golf course (or shall, I say golf courses).  I have to say 200 holes in a day is entirely possible (Hmmm...)

We didn't really push the envelope in terms of pace and holes played. We started at 5:30 AM and the plan was to play 108 holes -- three times in each direction. And we were playing an alternate shot format where mixed up the pairings and played match play matches throughout. Alt-shot can really go fast if you forge ahead while your partner is teeing off or hitting. However, most of us gave up on that fairly early on as well. I have to admit, it was a bit of an adjustment for Brandon and me, as we were hard-wired to play as fast and as much as humanly possible. But the breaks did allow for some pretty epic photo journals of the day from Ginella and Mayo.

A photo posted by Matt Ginella (@matt_ginella) on

- Not only were we playing some of the first few rounds on this groundbreaking course, these were Doak's first full rounds on the Loop ever. It was very cool to be a part of him playing and observing the full course for the first time, and if my statement on the design timeline is correct, is something I'll likely be telling my grandkids about someday.

Ashley admitted that she likes to scream the architect's name whenever she gets an unfortunate break and hits into a hazard. "DOAK!!!" was a recurring theme throughout the day, proving again and again that it really is a four-letter word. Even Tom got into action by commenting, "who put that there?" after a particularly unfortunate bounce into a hazard. Then there was this beauty...

A video posted by Jim Colton (@jcolton31) on

- One of the nice perks about being one of the first to play a course: course records are up for grabs! Although my driver was inconsistent, my wedge game and putter was pretty solid throughout the day, allowing me to post some decent scores with my playing partner:

Round 1 (Black/clockwise): Matt & I paired up to beat Tom & Ashley 6&5
Round 2 (Red/counterclockwise): Ashley & I combined to shoot 77 and beat Tom & Matt 4&2 in the
Round 3 (Black): I paired up with Nia, an alum from the Midnight Golf Program (more on this in a second) to shoot 79, well ahead of the others
Round 4/5 (Red & then Black): Tom & I paired up to shoot 83 and 87, losing both matches to Matt & Ashley
Round 6: Matt & I shot 80, defeating Tom & Ashley 3&2

[If you're keeping track at home, Doak was 0-5 on the day on his own course, but he did lap the rest of us in fundraising so it's hard to give him too much flak]

At one point, we thought the 77 on Red with Ashley and 79 on Black with Nia were the course records in both directions, but it turned out somebody did shoot 75 on Red earlier. But the 79 with Nia was in fact the course record, although it's likely been broken by now. It was a fun while it lasted. It's worth noting that this is only the second time that I've held a course record. The other one is for once missing every fairway at Ballyneal. Sadly, going 0-for-14 is one that will truly never be broken.

- As I alluded to, in Round 3 we were joined by three alumni from the Midnight Golf Program, the charitable cause that we all were raising money for. I had Nia, Tom paired with Yvette and Matty G paired with Shelby. Ashley played her own ball. All three were obviously very good players, Yvette is current playing on the golf team at Ohio Valley University in West Virginia. It was a little difficult trying to get them out of their traditional pre-shot routines, and Jimbo had to have a heart-to-heart caddie-to-player talk with Yvette about the weight of her bag, but aside from that the highlight of the day getting to spend time with them on the course and learn more about the program and what it meant to them.



[The night prior to the hike, MGP founder Renee Fluker hosted a reception for the participants and some of the MGP members and volunteers. It was abundantly clear just in that short time just how much Renee and the other MGP volunteers are pouring into the kids to help get to college with the tools they need to be successful. As in, going way above and beyond the call of duty for these kids if necessary. My main takeaways were that MGP or similar programs need to be in Chicago (and every city in America) and short of that, we should all try to find some young person to mentor like the MGP volunteers are doing every year. This is truly life-changing work they are doing. I feel truly blessed to be able to help them in this very small way.]

- Ginella said early on that in his experience with the hike (he did one in 2012), that over the course of the day, you'll like your playing partners at the start, hate them at some point and then love them by the end. I have to say there wasn't much hate at all, from what I could tell, as we collectively just enjoyed the day and the fun of playing this special new golf course for a great cause. There were a ton of laughs throughout the day and a lot of smiles and hugs as we finished around 9:00 PM.



Although the hike is over, there is still time to support my HHHike for the Midnight Golf Program. You can click on the "Pledge to This Golfer" button at the bottom of this page: http://www.hundredholehike.com/blogs/hhh-2016-double-dose-doak for either the Ballyneal or Forest Dunes hike. Please note my following final stats for each hike when pledging on a per hole or per birdie basis (no eagles, unfortunately):

Ballyneal Hike: 162 holes, 8 birdies
Forest Dunes Hike: 108 holes, 3 birdies

Alternatively, you can simply give directly to Midnight Golf online here: http://midnightgolf.org/support-mgp/

Thanks so much for your time and support of the hike. As always, if you're interested in actively participating in the hike next year, please email me at jim@onedivot.org. We have big ideas for next year and beyond and would like to keep expanding the number of golfers involved and charitable causes that are impacted.

 - Jim






The Hundred Hole Hike at The Loop at Forest Dunes

6/09/2016 0 comments

One of golf's most unique fundraising events will be held at perhaps the most revolutionary new golf course in years when the Hundred Hole Hike comes to The Loop at Forest Dunes on Monday, June 23rd. The Loop, designed by Tom Doak, will be the only fully reversible 18-hole golf course operating in the world when it opens to the public on June 27th. The Hundred Hole Hike will raise money and awareness for the Midnight Golf Program, which brings personal and professional development to youths in inner-city Detroit through the game of golf.

The Loop is reversible in that it can be played in both a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction. An excerpt from the yardage book below illustrates how one fairway serves the 1st hole on the Red layout and the 18th hole on the Black layout. Both routings share the same 18th green (attacked from different directions), but the 1st green on the Red layout serves as the 17th green for the Black layout, and vice-versa.



Typically, the Loop will operate with play flowing in one direction one day and the other direction the next, allowing visiting golfers to experience two different courses on consecutive days.

The Hundred Hole Hike at The Loop at Forest Dunes will include a featured foursome playing and walking both directions at least three times in one day, equating to 108 holes or more of golf. The featured foursome includes:

- Tom Doak, golf course architect and designer of The Loop at Forest Dunes
- Matt Ginella, Golf Channel's resident travel insider and co-host of Golf Channel's Morning Drive
- Ashley Mayo, senior editor and social media director at Golf Digest
- Jim Colton, founder of Hundred Hole Hike

The event will feature a mix of individual stroke play and alternate shot play, where select Midnight Golf Program supporters, program participants and other donors will partner with members of the foursome above for sets of 36-hole loops. To learn more about the format or to inquire about the possibility of participating in the event, please contact Jim Colton at jim@onedivot.org.

As mentioned, all proceeds from the Hundred Hole Hike event at the Loop will go directly to the Midnight Golf Program (MGP). MGP is a 30-week empowerment and mentoring experience that teaches life skills including financial literacy, college preparation and community activism, as well as learning to play golf. The program meets twice weekly at Marygrove College in Detroit, at a practice facility and four-hole short course designed by Doak. Life skills and golf skills are taught by numerous adults who volunteer their time and serve as mentors for the program participants. Since 2001, nearly 800 participants have gone on to study at 90 different colleges and universities.

To learn more about the Midnight Golf Program, please go to: http://midnightgolf.org/about/
To learn more about the Loop at Forest Dunes, please go to: https://www.forestdunesgolf.com/
To learn more about the Hundred Hole Hike, please go to: http://www.hundredholehike.com/

There are a number of ways to support the Hundred Hole Hike at The Loop:

1. Play - consider actively participating in the event as an alternate-shot partner. For more information, please contact Jim Colton at jim@onedivot.org

2. Pledge - support any of the four golfers on a per hole or lump sum basis, with special bonuses for birdies, eagles and hole-in-ones. Please click one of the buttons below.


Ashley Mayo


Pledge to this golfer

Jim Colton


Pledge to this golfer

Matt Ginella


Pledge to this golfer

Tom Doak


Pledge to this golfer


3. Sponsor - Sponsorship opportunities are available for the event at the Loop and for the Hundred Hole Hike in general. Please contact Jim Colton at jim@onedivot.org for more information.

4. Volunteer - Please consider caddying or helping out in other ways on June 23rd. Please contact Jim Colton at jim@onedivot.org for more information.

5. Share - Please help spread the word by sharing this page on social media and by following @100holehike on Twitter.

Virtual Ballyneal

1/08/2016 0 comments
Armed with the drone data from the previous post, I've spent the last few months trying to bring Ballyneal to life on Perfect Golf, a PC game run on Steam. Please enjoy the following pics and video clips. I've recently completed a green 'renovation' project, trying to match the look and feel and playability as close as humanly possible. Below is a flyover tour of the front nine. The back nine will follow.

All in all, not a bad sister course to Chop Hills :)

Front Nine Virtual Flyover



How's this for look and feel?






Attack of the Drones: Ballyneal in 3D

10/26/2015 0 comments
I was out at Ballyneal two weeks ago as part of a fundraising event for One Divot, raising support with the help of golf course architect Tom Doak for Goat Hill Park in Oceanside, California and former Ballyneal caddie Ben Cox. While we were out there, some guys were flying some drones unmanned aerial vehicles around the course collecting data. These weren't the kind of drones that you'd get at Best Buy and later get lost in the ocean. This was some serious equipment...


It looks like the data has been processed and you can zoom around the Ballyneal site in 3D below. Very cool!



Virtual to Reality? Dream Golf Update

9/06/2015 0 comments
I've been spending the last few months of my free time working to bring my concept for a second course at Ballyneal to virtual reality. Last year, I met with some guys starting a multi-platform golf game called Perfect Golf and they gave me early access to its course designer called Course Forge. After a lot of trial and error, I was able to mold a 3D landscape of the land surrounding Ballyneal into something resembling the look and feel of the Chop Hills. It's been great to visualize and tweak my dream course in 3D. Even better, recently I've gotten to course to a point where it's playable within the game.

Just this past week, the beta version of my course, Chop Hills Golf Club, is available on Perfect Golf for user testing. It's probably 98% complete, with just some tweaks to the look and feel of the native grasses and bunker refinement. The shapes of the holes and green contours are all good to go.

If you have any interest in playing this virtual Doak 10 (ok, maybe Doak 9), then you'll need to set up an account on Steam and purchase the early access version of Perfect Golf for $20. Then I can provide you instructions on how to get the Chop Hills course added to your course list. They also have real courses like Sebonack, TPC Sawgrass, Medinah and others with the game.

I hope to see you on the first tee...

(ignore the tee markers)

Earlier version of the routing. #2 was changed to a par 5, orientation of #16 fairway changed as well

1st Hole - 412 Yd, Par 4
1st Approach

2nd Hole, 560 Yd Par 5

2nd Hole, Lay-up Approach

3rd Hole, 366 Yd Par 4

4th Hole, 213 Yd Par 3
5th Hole, 518 Yd Par 4

5th Approach

6th Hole, 550 Yd Par 5
7th Hole, 145 Yd Par 3 (Alt Tee)
7th Hole, Main Tee

8th Hole, 452 Yd Par 4

8th Green

9th Hole, 439 Yd Par 4
10th Hole, 577 Yd Par 5
10th Hole, 2nd Shot

11th Hole, 185 Yd Par 3

12th Hole, 317 Yd Par 4
12th Hole Approach
13th Hole, 419 Yd Par 4
14th Hole, 443 Yd Par 4
15th Hole, 218 Yd Par 3
16th Hole, 436 Yd Par 4

17th Hole, 581 Yd Par 5
18th Hole, 523 Yd Par 4


 
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