I think Jack has some ideas on this course and is looking for feedback from a professional designer. When you have something as valuable as BV, that is a good idea to maximize the potential of the course. I think hearing what players think about a course they have played is a good thing, but pro course designers chew over stuff that most of us don't even consider. Scoring data for 'rated skill levels', scoring spreads, effective drive/approach distances, interference, flow, etc, etc.
I was blown away as most were, when I first experienced this course. Those tee pads and signs were espescially incredible. Did the benches get finished? Those are great too.
The bigger part of the amazement factor was the course itself. Elevation + Length + Trees = a true pro calibur test to one's golf game. Just as in ball golf, though only pros will have a decent shot at breaking par, it can be fun for everybody. Gotta remember that this course is designed for the pro golfer, where most courses out there are for advanced or lower.
It is easy to critique an existing design. It is something else to come up with new and better ideas. I love a lot of the holes out there and wouldn't change a thing. Others I really don't like much. It is always harder to change up a configuration on just part of the course.
Just a few thoughts.
I love holes 2, 4, 7, 11 (downhill theme here). 6 is pretty crazy good too.
Hole 1: Starting with a blind hole isnt' good. If you wanted to see where you were throwing, it might take you 10 minutes or so just to get back up to the tee. Puting a pin on the hilltop itself does sound like a good one.
Hole 3: I another line should be opened up to make this one better. As it is, it's crazy tough for righty and impossible for lefty. A good course, to me, has to have some righty/lefty balance. I've played so many courses that are rediculously tough on lefties and righty's always have a way of throwing some type of hyzer and if there is a hole that forces a lefty shot, it is short enough where righty can deal with it.
Hole 9: I haven't seen this one since a short cut was cleaned out. I love holes, espescially long ones, with dual routes. There should be a risk/reward balance that is porportioned correctly so that both routes are considered and used.
Hole 12: This one would be a par 3.5. Most good pros should throw a drive and a decent approach to get the 3 though. While the 2nd shot is just as important as the drive, I think this hole would be a much better par 4 if it could involve some trees on the steep uphill route.
Hole 13: Ditto the last hole. Some more trees to shape some different shots (over or between?) would make this a much more interesting par 4.
Hole 14: If the difficulty of the over the road shot can be maintained, I guess this hole is a good one. We just aren't used to being forced to settle for par at best. A par 3.5, but getting a 4 here just irks the player. That is good, we should have some holes where the 2nd shot is more important than the drive.
Hole 15: Looks cool, but other than some of the shorter pins out there I haven't played, this could be the easiest hole on the course. If you had to go under and then over, it would be better than just throwing another righty hyzer. Or maybe something could be done on the green end. Place the basket on a downslope so the shots that go long are punished.
Hole 16: Another par 3.5. A 3 here just doesn't feel as good as a 2 does on a par 3, yet a 4 does feel bad. While the tweener holes aren't bad, shorter and trickier or longer with more trees would be more fun and introduce more different scores.
Hole 17: Another hole that gives too much advantage to the cannon. On a course this huge, you don't want people to say this kind of stuff. Rather, you want to give a chance to the players that play it smart to score well. I don't think there is much to this hole. The uphill rise after half the hole makes the drives collect in roughly the same area (for those throwing 350-400), so the drive becomes somewhat unimportant. Some trees could change all of this.
Hole 18: This hole is pretty visually stunning, but I don't like it. What at first appears to be several different routes on this hole turns out to be an imbalanced situation. The best bet is to throw your gently hyzer drive into the hill, throw another hyzer and a hyzer upshot for hopefully an easy put at a 4. Taking other routes is way more likely to get you a 5 or worse than get you a hope for a 3. You just can't mess with that hill. Perhaps it's potential could be used in another way?
Like I said, not too many new ideas, just criticism.
How about the pin placments? I've only seen the original configuration. I believe that is everything long except for holes 5 and 7.
Designers will tell you that difficulty should be mostly decided by the tees and not the pins. Unlike ball golf, we do have the option to put a pin several hundred feet from another. I think it is too late in the game to consider dual tees at Blue Valley, unless you want a completely new course design. Since this is a pro course, it really isn't necessary.
It seems out at BV, the pin placements are a huge factor in course difficulty. They even change the pars on individual holes. If this is going to be the theme for the course, hear is what I think.
There should be some kind of pattern used for how the course is set up. I'd minimize the distance differences so that the course doesn't play so drastically different in course par. Once all the pins are in, I'd label just a few different set-ups that would be considered regular setups so that scores on the course would actually mean something. And I'd make at least 2 of these regular configs. roughly equal in difficulty. Pin numbering could be used to make this more evident. Rotating pins, while keeping overall difficulty the same is something that ball golf has done sucessfully. While 2 or 3 pins would be optimal for each hole, the big problem with adding pin placments on holes is that one of them just isn't as good as the other. The original is usually the best. If a creative green or something could be created to make another pin of equal interest, that would be good. But puting in a placment 400 foot shorter than the original, just for the sake of difference, wouldn't be a good thing. This is usally a bigger problem with small parks with limited space. There is tons of potential at BV though.