I think you'll find Beacon Island to be a challenging but fair course. It's certainly colorful and has many new custom objects to view. I will walk you through the course, not so much to help you play it as most of you that have stuck with this game are seasoned veterans when it comes to sim golf. The walk through is my way of explaining the layout and the thought process behind it. If it helps you shoot a better round then thats a plus that I'm happy to contribute.
Before I start the walk through please acknowledge the enormous contribution of my playtesters, Don 'Sarge' Pierce, Don 'Gov' Schaffer and Gary 'Acemeister' Hild. Their tireless efforts are always appreciated and they love this game so much its contagious.
The following walk through of Beacon Island will be from the black tees using pin #1. Variations in wind, pin placements etc.. can greatly magnify the difficulty of each hole.
HOLE #1 - Par 4 - 425 Yards
A straightforward par 4 with an ample landing area that's protected on both sides by bunkers. The approach is to a smallish green that has a slight slope from back to front and is protected on the left side with a bunker and pond that can come into play. I would call this a scoring hole where a birdie is easily attainable.
HOLE #2 - Par 4 - 444 Yards
An uphill left dogleg has a huge bunker on the left side and the green on approach is protected both in front and back by bunkers. If you can stick the backside of this large green you'll have an easy putt on a relatively flat surface which is rare on this course. You also get a first glimpse of the ocean here. It's a little tougher but still a scoring hole.
HOLE #3 - Par 4 - 466 Yards
Blind and uphill, this tee shot can be treacherous if short or right. Right will find the ocean and short will have you laying up to clear the water on your approach. Maybe the toughest hole on the course with water coming into play on every shot and the green is very hard to stick. With an undulating green bunkered behind there is a fairway to shoot for if you decide to play it safe. Par here is outstanding.
HOLE #4 - Par 3 - 178 Yards
This short downhill tee shot requires club selection and accuracy. The green is surrounded by bunkers and on the large side and it gets a lot tougher to putt the farther you find yourself from the hole. Definitely a scoring hole.
HOLE #5 - Par 4 - 428 Yards
One of my favorites, this uphill tee shot should be placed slightly right on the fairway for the best angle on the downhill approach to the green. It's tough putting surface and the beach as a distraction can make this a tough hole. Par is good.
HOLE #6 - Par 5 - 568 Yards
To me this should be played as a three shot hole but the club is in your hand. You must avoid the bunker along the right of the fairway on your drive and if your into football you can use the two palm trees in the fairway as goal posts for your second shot. Club selection comes into play there also and leaves a nice simple approach. I don't see many eagles here but it's certainly a birdie hole.
HOLE #7 Par 3 265 Yards
This long par three is shortened by the elevated tees and the green slopes back to front which also helps but club selection and accuracy are critical to scoring. The green is tough and protected on both sides with deep bunkers. Par here is very good.
HOLE #8 - Par 4 - 442 Yards
Your challenged by the fairway bunker to go for distance off the tee but a layup would probably be the best advice. The green is small and well bunkered but if you can find it then a birdie putt is likely. I'll call this a scoring hole but you'll have to earn it.
HOLE #9 - Par 5 - 611 Yards
Another three shot par 5. I know, how boring but the tee shot can be fun. I like to aim slightly left over the tree straight ahead which leaves a wide open second shot that can be placed to your liking. A pond protects the green and a palm tree can block your approach if your not careful. This green is also tough which makes par a good score.
HOLE #10 - Par 4 - 412 Yards
Maybe it's me but this hole should be easy. I seem to botch my tee shot or my approach every time I play it. The tee shot requires accuracy to avoid the pond to the left or in a lesser degree the bunker on the right. The approach is a mid iron to a well bunkered green that slopes back to front and it's tough. Since I struggle here let's say par is good.
HOLE #11 - Par 5 - 548 Yards
Beyond a doubt this is the easiest hole on the course and will relinquish many eagles. Avoid the bunker on the right with your drive and you'll have an approach to a large and deep green that accomodates a little extra from your three wood. Two accurate shots will definitely be rewarded. An eagle hole for many.
HOLE #12 - Par 3 - 141 Yards
Four of the next five holes are on the un-inhabited side of the island so the terrain gets a little rougher but this par three has more bark than bite. Using the proper club off the tee should get you close to the pin. The green can be tricky but should yield some birdies. While the ocean shouldn't come into play it doesn't mean you can't enjoy the view. Plenty of birdies and perhaps a few hole in ones on this scenic par three.
HOLE #13 Par 4 425 Yards
With a landing area and green surrounded by bunkers and the ocean coming into play on the entire right side of the hole your challenged on every shot but the scenery is beautiful and with two good shots you can still get that birdie but par is very good here.
HOLE #14 Par 4 414 Yards
Stingy is the word that comes to mind when I think of the landing area on this par four but even if you find the bunkers, which most will, your left with a short approach to a friendly green. This we'll call a scoring hole.
HOLE #15 - Par 5 - 575 Yards
The tee shot is blind with bunkers on either side of the fairway. If you can find the fairway off the tee the smart golfer will lay up his approach and take the lob shot to the green. But if you must know there's a path to the green if you can find it. There's a lot of water down there so be careful. There will be few eagles but many birdies here.
HOLE #16 - Par 4 - 466 Yards
This is the last hole on the isolated side of the island and it's a tough one. You get to choose which side to shoot for off the tee. Either side has both advantages and disadvantages but the approach is uphill and the green hard to stick from both. The key to this hole is sticking the green on your second shot but it's probably the second toughest hole on the course behind number three. Par is excellent.
HOLE #17 - Par 4 - 459 Yards
If you let this hole play you it will win. Avoid the bunkers off the tee and let your approach work for you to find the green. If you land in the bunker to the left you can use the bailout fairway to the right of the green enabling you to get close to the pin and save par. The green is elevated, hard to stick and protected front and back and to make matters worse it's not putter friendly. Par is good here.
HOLE #18 - Par 3 - 191 Yards
When a par three ends your round it should be challenging from the tee and on the green. Welcome to eighteen!! The bottom right of the green is only for show but you'll be surprised how often you can end up there. Play to the upper left side and hope you get close to the pin. A birdie here is well earned. Well, that's it. I hope this walk through helps your round but even more I hope it gives you a better understanding of the layout. If you understand the thought process behind the design then the round will be more enjoyable and much easier.
If your reading this then you've down loaded the course already. Give it a chance and I think you'll enjoy it. Thanks for taking the time to read my jabber and also for downloading my course. Remember, swing easy and keep your head down. Steve Holden
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