Total Reviews / Avg. Score
5/21/2015 @ 11:27:06 AM
My final ratings are comprised of component ratings from ten categories:
1. Risk/Reward - I hesitate to call this "difficulty," although that certainly factors in. While challenging holes are usually a positive, the level of difficulty can be pushed to a point where it becomes superfluous and detracts from the overall experience. This category is simply about the use of obstacles to create the right level of risk/reward.
2. Layout - This is all about the design of the course with regard to navigation/flow from one hole to another. It also includes how the course was designed to fit in with the land. Does it work with the terrain rather than against it? How well does the course navigate its surroundings?
3. Elevation/Terrain - This certainly complements the first two categories, but I thought it deserved a rating of its own.
4. Setting/Aesthetics - Pretty self-explanatory, but I think the beauty of a course, or lack thereof, leaves a lasting impression.
5. Hole Variety/Uniqueness - Nothing is as boring about a course than when the holes start to run together because there's nothing that makes them memorable. For that matter, this category is also about what makes a course unique in comparison to others.
6. Alternate Tees/Baskets - Are there different options for playing holes? This keeps a course from getting stale upon re-playing.
7. Course Maintenance - Is the course kept in good condition? This includes how well-defined fairways are kept right down to whether litter is prevalent.
8. Amenities - In my mind, this includes all the ways in which the course caters to its players. That can range from the presence (or absence) of signage, tee pads, and other basic essentials to the subtle perks that really make a course stand out.
9. Traffic - Nothing can derail a good round more than having to wait on other players at every hole. That's really not the course's fault, per se, but it does factor into the experience. Plus, a well-designed course can carry a lot of traffic without seeming too busy.
10. Intangibles - This is basically my overall experience and impression about a course. While I try to make my ratings as objective as possible, I believe that the "gut feeling" factor deserves mention.
* If my final rating is more than a tenth of a point from one of the site's ratings - such as a 2.7 or 2.8 - I'll round up or down based on whether my Intangibles rating was higher or lower.
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