Delaware is the only good course in the bunch. Delaware plays in and out of the woods and has fun elevation changes. It would compare to Kensington Tunnel
Marion, Tiffen and Upper Sandusky are fairly flat and not very imaginative. These courses are about as good as the Campground course from 2000 Worlds, or Waterworks from 2004 Worlds or the temp 3 Rivers course from 2008 Worlds. They are adding long tees to these courses which will give an advantage to the long throwers in the division[s] that play the long tees. I have not seen Bucyrus yet.
If you want to compete for a World Championship, you have to go to Worlds. If you want to spend a week playing some top notch courses, you'll have to go somewhere else.
These courses are or soon will be better than Bruce is portraying. Plus, the upgrades have not all been completed and he hasn't seen them. Every course is split about 50/50 with technical holes thru trees and more open holes. Anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of the holes have some elevation except on the Marion course which is essentially flat. All of the holes are getting set up for blue level distances for the Advanced division and some of the courses have shorter tees that some divisions will play. There's an outside chance another course being developed may get into the rotation by Worlds. You would not be embarrassed playing any of these courses if they were in your backyard of if you had to drive a half hour to play them, especially once they are each ready for Worlds.
Bruce and I can yammer about Am Worlds concepts and the courses. But the links above are comments and reviews from just daily players, probably without any agenda. Take a look at the dates when they played the course and recognize that a lot has happened even as recently as last week with the completion of the redesign and cement pads at Tiffin.
Its now referred to as "The North Course" at Meyer Broadway in Three Rivers, Bruce. Seems how its permanent now. I like the course because you can play Meyer Broadway or the North Course, and you don't feel any part of either course in either course. I totally forget I am even anywhere near Meyer Broadway when I'm playing the North Course. Hows that for imagination? What's this discussion about?
I don't know what Chuck has invested in this Am Worlds that he has become such an ardent cheerleader for these lame courses. When I played them, most of the new long tees were marked. I understand that they will have concrete tees.
Except for Delaware, none of these are the kind of courses I'd encourage anyone to drive out of their way to play. If you were to tell me that you were driving up US 23 from C-bus going to see your Gramma in Standish, and what courses would you not want to miss, other than Delaware these are all drive-bys.
I don't think Chuck would disagree that these courses are not as good as the Kansas City Worlds courses, not as good as the Kalamazoo worlds courses, not as good as the Wisconsin Worlds courses. Maybe they can compete with Oklahoma? I didn't get to Oklahoma.
I think Chuck has hit the nail on the head when he said you'd drive a half hour to play these courses. How many of you live within a half hour of these courses? I will drive a half a day to play these courses, but only because they are hosting Worlds.
Our consensus when we played these courses was that they are acceptable city courses. If it was the only course in your city, you'd play it a lot. If you are coming to Worlds from somewhere like Chicago that only has average courses, you won't see much difference.
Here's another litmus test: I play a lot of pay-to-play course around here in our Metroparks, county parks and state parks. If any of these courses were pay to play and I lived in these towns, I'd just practice at the football field a lot more.
These courses other than Delaware will not win any awards for awesome terrain although they are well maintained. But Am Worlds is a competition to determine the best players. Fair designs suited for the competition are more important to determine that than awesome terrain. The investment in time I've made on behalf of the PDGA is to make sure the holes on these courses are right in the proper range to test the amateurs. That step to tweak the courses was not taken the past two Worlds.
There are some examples from previous Am Worlds where the terrain was very nice but the course designs or hole lengths were weak, especially for the skill level. Shawnee Mission and Swope were two examples last year. Coldbrook at Kzoo was fluky and the terrain for Begg and Dineen were just adequate. All of the AW2010 courses are better for competition than the others just mentioned. In addition, these courses will have more legit par 4s on them than have been seen in the past several years.
Ft. Custer was a pleasant surprise considering it had just been carved out in time for Worlds. Still a little "rough" rough which could be expected. I think it was one of the better fair challenges in terms of proper distances for some of the pro divisions. I would have enjoyed playing it as a GM Pro had I played. I did throw it for prectice.
Swope is pretty but has a few too many holes that are repetitive going to and fro from the shack that are gold level distances making them mostly easy threes unless you have one of the better arms in your division. I will say that new hole 13 down by the deadend park road was one of my favorites there.