The Wizard`s Hat by:  Wild Turkey Design    Review by:  Bruce Ryder

The Wizard's Hat

Released:  June 16, 2020 Par:  0
Course Type:  Fantasy Yardage: 0

Wild Turkey Design is the creation of a very talented course designer who has made in excess of 168 courses for  Tiger Woods PGA Tour, countless excellent libraries, written some excellent tutorials, etc.  I have known him since his days as a course designer (38 courses) and tutorial writer for PGA 2000 Championship Golf by Sierra Sports.  Who is the man responsible for the wizard's hat?  M.G.A. Hover.

For this review,  I played 3-click as an online player (where most players play a course they download) and used the following conditions.  One thing you notice right away about a Hover course is the design excellence.
Logo & ConditionsYou will not find any anomalies, objects not to size, water that is not flat, etc.  As a course architect, I really appreciate that!  However, one thing you must be careful about on this course and on quite a few of his most recent ones is the speed of the greens.   He uses a custom library and the greens tend to play faster than normal.  You have to get used to this rather quickly or you'll be cursin' up a storm and piling up bogeys!  Also, Mr. Hover has a tendency to place quite a bit of his PIN positions on mounds on the green and there are not many flat greens or greens without undulations to give you a break either!  As you can see on the conditions screenshot to the left, I played my 18 holes with the Easy Pin Placement option and still I ended up in situations like in the next picture.  On the 4th hole, I put my approach shot on the green to a spot which I thought was safe.  Well, it rolled off the green into a sand trap (lots of stragically placed ones on this course) and even though I reached the green on my second shot, I only managed a PAR.  See the following picture:

The mounded PIN placements are most prominent on holes 4 - 6, 8 and 15.  I did not score too well on those holes!

The course has 3 PAR threes, 3 PAR fours and 3 PAR fives on both the front and back nine.  This gives the player several chances to score well.  Hover does an excellent job using and placing water hazards and you must be careful to stay away from the edge of some fairways because they slope towards the water. 
The fairways are pretty much standard in width, but the landing area for your tee shots is usually guarded and it takes a precise tee shot to set up a clean approach to the green.  This course doesn't have any radical height changes and is realistic in the ones it does have.  The next screenshot of hole 11 illustrates some of the water hazards, design excellence and overall hole design of this course:

How did i do on this course?  I scored only a -7 and that is below average for me.  Why?  I did not follow my advice and ended up getting frustrated on some holes and scored a bogey or worse.  This course takes a lot of patience to play expecially if you use realistic wind conditions.  Overall, it is set up like a real coures in that you have a clubhouse, cart paths, excellent plantings of trees, shurbs, etc.  The textures all work together, but I still rank this course as fantasy.  Why?  There is no sound or any Course Life System.  Those elements add realism to a course in my opinion.

I give The Wizard's Hat high marks for its design elements, a little less than a thumbs up for the play ability because of the faster than normal greens and mounded PIN placements and a thumbs down for realism because of the lack of sounds and a CLS.  So overall, my score for The Wizard's Hat is:    Of course, your opinion will differ and all in all I would highly recommend the majority of M.G.A. Hover's courses.  One ordinary apple does not make a whole batch uneatable!

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