Course Review Guidelines

Carefully read the following guidelines before submitting course reviews to TGC Tours

Rating ranges:

5 Star Badge of Approval: The best of the best courses. They do not have to be flawless (no course is), but they should be close to it, and have no major flaws at all. This honor should be hard to get. All proposed courses need to be approved by at least one other TGCT Admin.

4.5-4.75: These courses may have one or two flaws that are significant enough that they do not warrant a 5 star badge. Still, these courses are highly recommended, and are locks for our tours.

4.0-4.25: These courses have a lot of great attributes and are above average quality, enough to be recommended. They may have a few holes that are a little tricked up. They may have one or two too many blind tee shots. Still, overall, they are very playable and will provide a lot of fun for the community. These courses are good candidates for tour play, especially if one or two of the more medium-ish flaws can be easily corrected and the course republished.

3.5-3.75: Courses in this range might be lacking detail, have “water ribbons” around surface brushes, or have a few too many blind shots or overly sloping greens. These courses are trickier, but not unplayable. This is what I would consider the average golf course put out on TGC Tours. Probably a few too many pinched landing zones and unsculpted bunkers. You can tell the effort was put in, and the designer probably just needed to put a few more hours into it, or a second opinion from a more experienced designer before publishing. This is going to be borderline as to whether or not we recommend the course.

3.0-3.25: Much like courses in the range above, just more of the issues. This is more of a “feel” thing than science at this point. Courses that we rate below 3.5 we are saying “not recommended,” so be sure which side of the fence you are on. Would you play this course again by choice? If the answer is no, it’s probably below a 3.5 and belongs in this category or below.

2.0-2.75: These are courses we would never recommend. Obviously autogenerated surfaces. They need a lot of work, have way too much trickery, or have glitches/flaws that make them unplayable. High FPS Chug on every hole falls into this category, as well. These are courses we would not want to have our member waste their time playing.

Consider the guidelines below when rating:

1. Playability and Difficulty - How difficult is the course for the average-to-good player?

Playability is more important than difficulty. Obviously, a more difficult course does not necessarily mean a better one, but we definitely want to give a higher base rating to courses that provide a good, fair challenge because it likely means a more interesting and fun-to-replay design.

Where does the difficulty come from?
i. Length
ii. Elevation changes
iii. Wind (or potential for wind combined with hole features)
iv. Width of Fairways
v. Size of greens
vi. Firmness of course
vii. Speed of greens
viii. Fairway and green undulations/uneven lies
ix. Thickness of rough/presence of light rough
x. Trickery (dock points off of rating for any or all of these)
1. Pin locations on severe side-hill slopes
2. Trees blocking fairway, splitting fairway (more than one hole or in unplayable ways)
3. Excessive bunkers/bunkers severely constricting landing areas
4. Excessive water danger

Frame Rate Challenge – Is every system going to be able to play this course without frame rate chugging?

Is the FPS Chug easily fixable by removing planted objects without changing the overall look/feel of the golf course?

We only want to endorse courses that we are fairly certain will play well across all platforms.

Beauty – Is this course beautiful enough and interesting enough to make the player want to play all four rounds of the tournament without getting bored?

Where does the beauty come from?
i. Lighting
ii. Planting
iii. Undulations
iv. Strategically placed trees, grasses, water
v. General flow of the golf course from hole to hole

Who is the designer, and what does their body of work look like?

Try to view each course in a vacuum as much as possible, but also consider whether the designer is continually improving with each effort. By rewarding better courses, it will encourage designers to continue to put forth great courses, which we will always need more of.

Intangible catch-all category

Is the course "fun?"
Does the course "make sense"/"flow?"
Are there any holes that just "don't fit" with the rest of the course?
Would you recommend this course to a friend?
How has the community responded to this course on the forum, if applicable?
Does this course remind you of a real life course that gets played on the PGA tour?