Thanks! Its been a lot of fun being involved in the process.
The design started with getting to know the land really well, being there at different times of day, year, weather conditions ect. Playing terrain forward/backward, finding out what makes interesting holes. Some holes just stand out because the terrain is so good or it logically flows, so you start from there and draft ideas, hundreds of them. Go out play it and revise it. Have people come out and play it and get feedback and revise some more.
The course has been designed with many factors in mind and is very extensible, through a design principle where the implementation takes into consideration current needs as well as future growth. Individual hole configurations can allow for modification while minimizing impact to overall course flow. Multiple Tee pads are a possibility on some of the holes, those considerations will be addressed as we prepare for 09' Worlds.
I foresee definite configurations in an A. B. C. placement system. On the short side the course will be able to play around 6000', tilting the course could allow for a length between 8000-9000'. There will be much diversity in shot types. A fair balance of holes with hyser/anhyser, uphill/downhill, wide/narrow, ceiling, natural and man made OB, ect..
Initially we will start with one placement per hole. Though we can install a challenging layout, we would be better served to start by setting up a configuration that is more inviting for the moderate to beginning level players. I think we will get a lot of new people trying the sport for the first time at SMP. We will be highly visible and the curiosity factor will be a big draw.That being said it will take some restraint on my behalf from implementing more challenging configurations. Longer is not always better but can be very exciting given the proper design considerations. If I had to compare the concept to anything locally I would point to Swope vs. Swope Gold. However, SMP will be flexible within its basic course layout vs. creating new holes.
The combination of these configurations will of course produce different ranges of scoring distribution. Having that flexibility will contribute to the courses ability to host a variety of player groups. If the course is in a Short A. placement I would expect to shoot several stokes under par as a decent player. In C. setting I would think closer to 60 would be good, in moderate B. positions I would consider this a par 54 course. Baselines for rating the course can be extrapolated by setting all baskets in alike configuration.
And while its not the sole determining factor in a holes success, I do agree that score variation on a majority of the holes is a desirable outcome. There will be quite a few birdie opportunities and some long 3s that will be easily bogeyed in a moderate setting. The opportunity to optimize these parameters has been fully considered and will continue to be adjusted as we get more experience with a variety of players on the course.