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Birchwood UK LIDAR

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  • Birchwood UK LIDAR

    Hi All,
    Well my first course is finally completed!!

    A little bit of history as this is my home course that I play usually once or twice per week at least

    The club was built in late 1979 as part of the development of the area and it separates the two main local motorways from nearby residential houses. As such, we are currently celebrating our anniversary 40th year and what better way to celebrate than to have the course available to play on XBox, PS4, PC and simulators

    The course itself was designed by TJA McAuley (chairman of the British Institute of Golf Architects from 1988 to 1991 and responsible for the design of several courses around Europe) and each hole was named after a passage from 'The Pilgrims Progress' by John Bunyan so we tee of on the 1st hole which is named 'The Slough of Despond'!!! and end up on 'Deliverance' which is the 18th

    It is a tricky parkland course with water in play on 14 holes and it is relatively long by non video game standards at 6,600 yards with 3 par 4's of at least 460 yards from the back tees. It has one of the toughest finishing stretches of holes in the area (from 14 to 17) and it is regarded by many as a very tough course to play well as it tests every single part of your game. The course was home to Phil Archer who qualified for the US Open in 2006 and 2008 and also should have been the 1st European to shoot a 59 but he missed his birdie putt on the 18th hole in the 2006 Welsh Open at Celtic Manor.

    The current course record is a 66 and my best ever round IRL is a 75.

    To play it truly authentically then on the par 5 11th hole you are not allowed to go for the green in 2 shots as that is a local rule to protect the housing on the right hand side of the hole from the dreaded right handers slice!

    I've used ChadGolf LIDAR import tool to create the terrain but then I have literally planted each tree and object by hand combined with hundreds of photographs and extensive use of google maps to get everything in the right place and orientation and I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. I've shown it to a few members from the club and they all say it is very realistic.

    There are 4 sets of tees to play from so if you fancy a really low score then pick the red tees and see how many birdies and eagles you can get! If you fancy a bit more of a challenge then go from the black tees and pick pin set no. 3 as those are pretty much the pins that are used for the club championships

    I would love to be able to expand the off course areas some more, however I have hit the object limit in the designer and so I will have to go with what I've got

    I would love for some feedback as this is my first course and my first use of the designer at all.

    And if anyone is ever in the North West of the UK and fancies a game around the course in real life then I'll be happy to show anyone around.

    Andy

    Finally some screenshots...

    The 3rd and 14th holes that run parallel to each other and this is where you encounter the first of Birchwoods notoriously placed ditches crossing the fairways

    The par 3 7th hole which is the easiest hole on the course at just 140yds


    Approach to the 8th green which is a tricky par 5 with some very awkward tree positioning for your 2nd shot


    The 11th green as viewed from the 12th tee box


    A view of the back to back 460yd par 4's of 15 and 16


    What should hopefully be the view of your final approach shot to the gentle par 5 finishing hole

  • #16
    Just thought I'd give this a quick bump back up as the course has just received a handicap rating over the weekend so thank you to all of those who have played it so far.

    I never ever thought that my first course would get so much interest from people, especially as it's just my local course in the UK with no known history or championships etc...

    Andy

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    • #17
      Your welcome. I'm not sure how many plays it got in my society. It wrecked me though. I may give it another shot. How many plays to get rated?
      Wizard says thanks for building great work!
      Last edited by Wizard of Coz; 11-18-2019, 05:06 PM.

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      • #18
        Hi Wizard
        I believe needs 300 unique plays in order to get handicap rated. It's rated at 4 1/2 stars but you are correct in that it's a tough course on both simulator and IRL

        Andy

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        • Wizard of Coz
          Wizard of Coz commented
          Editing a comment
          Looks like 50 plays in society.

      • #19
        How long did it take you from start to finish on designing do you estimate?

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        • #20
          Originally posted by CycloneSteel View Post
          How long did it take you from start to finish on designing do you estimate?
          You really don't want to know I am an engineer by trade and therefore I'm really picky with things and I'm sure I have a but of OCD...

          From start to finish it probably took me in the region of 200+ hours but bear in mind I was literally planting each tree individually and matching then up to the hundreds of photos that I've taken of the course. I then spent hours matching up the orientation and styles of the houses to their locations on Google maps etc. I imagine that virtually no one who has played the course would be that bothered about whether a certain tree was a birch and not an oak etc but it bothered me and so I had to change it.

          As a comparison though I also made a lidar course for the golf team I'm captain of and from start to finish to produce a course you could play took me about 6 hours. It didn't look pretty but it played true to life.

          Andy

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          • #21
            Thanks! I'm a new builder and haven't purchased the software yet (waiting until I'm ready for it in case there are any updates, or discounts, etc) -but really looking forward to immersing myself into the design world. Just wondered what the average designer was putting in for hours, thank you!

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            • #22
              Originally posted by CycloneSteel View Post
              Thanks! I'm a new builder and haven't purchased the software yet (waiting until I'm ready for it in case there are any updates, or discounts, etc) -but really looking forward to immersing myself into the design world. Just wondered what the average designer was putting in for hours, thank you!
              I guess it really depends on the level of course you're looking to produce and if you're doing a recreation of an existing course or you are making your own from scratch.

              I have so far stuck to doing real world recreations and in my opinion, even though the LIDAR data helps with the ground elevations and the slopes on the greens they can still take a very long time to get an authentic copy of the original course due to the amount of time spent searching for information and photos and videos to make sure that you capture everything.

              If you are creating your own course from nothing then I imagine it would take around 80-100 hours of work to produce a high quality course but if you just want something to play then you can actually make a course in a few hours if you use the auto generation feature.

              Hope that helps

              Andy

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              • #23
                Just played it. Fun course, 5 stars! Lots of trees there. I just recreated my home course(Northampton Valley, maybe 12 hours work). My tree placement and fences are rubbish.

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                • #24
                  AndyF - yes, fantastic work I thought I was looking at drone pictures of the course. Thanks for the hours estimate too, now I have an idea of how long it may take to recreate local courses to where I live. I don't know if I could dedicate that amount of time, in other words, so much design time, when did you actually play golf?

                  however I have hit the object limit in the designer
                  Curious what that number was? Do you remember?

                  Stunning work, your dedication to tree planting/objects/buildings is really eye-popping. Thanks for sharing!
                  -Brett

                  Comment


                  • #25
                    Originally posted by Brettster View Post
                    AndyF - yes, fantastic work I thought I was looking at drone pictures of the course. Thanks for the hours estimate too, now I have an idea of how long it may take to recreate local courses to where I live. I don't know if I could dedicate that amount of time, in other words, so much design time, when did you actually play golf?



                    Curious what that number was? Do you remember?

                    Stunning work, your dedication to tree planting/objects/buildings is really eye-popping. Thanks for sharing!
                    -Brett
                    Hi Brett,
                    Firstly thank you and to all of those above for the positive comments on the course
                    As I said regarding the hours estimate then it really does depend on how long you want to spend making it look like an exact replica. If you are designing it for yourself to just get some practice on then using the LIDAR import tool you can get a realistic course completed within a day that is more than acceptable for practicing. As I've mentioned, I completed a course in about 3-4 hours before so that my golf team could practice course management on a 9 hole course we were playing.

                    I wanted a full on recreation of my home course as I've had a few members want to play it and my club pro is looking at getting it on his simulator too so I wanted it to be as realistic as I could make it.

                    Regarding the object meter then I don' think there is a set number as it seems that different things take up a different amount of 'space' e.g. putting down a clubhouse uses up a lot more of the meter than planting a tree and using the multi-plant option for bushes and trees uses up about 3x more than planting the bushes and trees individually.

                    Don't give up on using the designer before having a go yourself. It takes some time to get used to the tools and how best to use them but once you get into it then it's simple and easy to do and I'm sure you'll get those local courses up and running.

                    Andy

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                    • #26
                      Thanks Andy for designing one of the best courses I’ve played on TGC.
                      Andy was great and made a shortened version so my son can play against myself.

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