section of my web site provides some design tips for
the various golf course architects. Right now, the majority
of my tips are for the Jack Nicklaus series. Below you
will find a few suggestions broken out into different
categories, along with links to other sites that have
design tutorials. (Key:
- Jack Nicklaus series,
- PGA 2000,
- Links, -
item that is a bit confusing regarding JN6 is how
the par of a hole is determined. This is handled by
the number of shotpoints your hole contains. For example,
a par 3 will have no shotpoints, a par 4 will have
one, and a par 5 will have two. So, if you are manually
routing your course, keep this in mind as you work.
If you accidentally place too many or too few shotpoints,
the designer allows you to both delete and add them.
When using the Course Wizard, the correct number of
shotpoints is automatically done for you.
JN6 Course Designer will not create parallel holes
automatically. It is left to the user to add them
in manually. When creating parallel holes, the view
of your entire course routing becomes important. First,
make sure under Options that the
Auto Update Course View is selected.
As you make changes to your hole design, they will
be automatically reflected in the Course View window.
Once you have your entire courses routing complete
and in its final form, you can start adding in parallel
holes. The best way I have found to do this is to
copy an element, such as a fairway, from one hole
and paste in onto another. Unfortunately, you will
have to copy elements between holes one at a time.
You will most likely need to rotate the pasted item
to make sure it is going in the correct direction.
Keep an eye on the Course View window to see if the
parallel item matches the original hole. If everything
is correctly positioned, you should not even be able
to tell you have created parallel holes in the Course
View window. As a result, this also means the adjacent
holes are very accurate.
pick up multiple terrain shapes in PGA 2000, you can
hold down the [Ctrl] key and select all of the terrain
shapes you want to manipulate. You can then move or
rotate entire holes if you want.
not feel the need to place too many points when you
are creating a terrain shape such as a fairway, bunker
or green. JN6 does a very good job of rounding out
the lines that connect points, and by adding too many
points, you make the shape unnecessarily complex and
difficult to manage. I recommend starting with a very
basic shape with a few points to get you started.
Then, use the Split command (Ctrl-S)
to add new points on your shape to further refine
it. To use the split command, you must first have
your cursor between two points, which will then display
a yellow line connecting them.
thing to consider while dealing with terrain elements
is that they are rendered even when placed outside
of the hole window. So, this can come in handy if
you have say a parallel hole that extends out of your
is a very nice addition to JN6 and you may want to
consider using it elsewhere besides just around greens.
I have experimented with using it around tees as well,
and I think it adds a nice polished look to a hole.
Double-clicking on your terrain shape allows you to
re-size it. To make fringe, all you need to do is
copy your green shape, change it to fringe, re-size
it, and position it under your green. One note of
caution about using this technique is that if a player
hits their ball onto this fringe around a tee, the
game will default to the putter. If you have enough
custom texture slots, you can replace one of the roughs
with a new fringe texture to eliminate this problem.
order in which terrains are layered is a difficult
concept to grasp at times. An easy way to figure out
how each terrain relates to the other is to look at
the terrain shape dialog box. The list of 16 possible
terrains is ordered from the lowest (sandy rough)
to the highest (terrain). This is the order they will
lay onto one another. Finally, you must take this
layering into account in certain design situations.
One of these is if you want to create a patch of rough
in the middle of a sand trap. Since sand terrain is
always placed above rough, you must create this type
of trap using separate pieces. A very good example
of this technique is the large bunker along the left
side of Colleton Rivers 3rd hole. For this trap,
the designer has broken it into three different sections.
excellent tutorial on how to create very puttable
greens in was sent to me by Ian Colvert. His technique
works great and I recommend it to anyone having trouble
creating fair greens. This file is in the RTF format:
the elevation tools is probably the hardest part of
working with JN6. It is a very different concept from
JNSEs. Instead of relying solely on a numeric
value for the height you wish to create, JN6 relies
more heavily on the size of the selection you make.
For example, if you select a large circular area and
choose Bulge, you will get a pretty
large hill. But, if the selection is kept small, the
height of the bulge is also kept proportional. Keep
this in mind as you create hills.
most powerful elevation tool is easily Smooth.
It can be used multiple times on the same area, refining
it further and further each time. Dont be afraid
to smooth an area three of four times before you leave
it. The Power Smooth feature really
comes in handy here.
great way to make flat, elevated tees was
mentioned to me by Gene Rodriguez III. His technique
involves raising the shape of the tee a few times,
until it is at the elevation you wish. Next, create
a terrain selection area around your tee about twice
its size and choose Flatten to Highest.
With that large area still selected, start smoothing.
Continue to do so until you have a natural edge to
the tee, but not so much as to affect the tee itself.
you have downloaded a copy of JNSE Designer and would
like to work on something other than a flat piece
of land to create your JN6 designs, here is another
idea from Gene. Create a landplot you like in JNSE
and route a basic course over it. Next, convert the
course to JN6. Now, you can do the actual design work
in the new game, but also have some elevations to
work from. You will most likely have to do some smoothing
here and there, but it is generally better than starting
from a flat piece of land.
create a large hill you will want to use one of the
Tilt tools. These tilt tools can
quickly create a large hill with a realistic slope.
you have shaped a sand trap, it is time to give it
some depth. This is a very important aspect of design.
Unless you are creating something like a waste area,
just about all bunkers in real life are recessed into
the ground. Select your bunker and choose
Bulge Down. Then, do a couple of smooths.
Continue this bulge once, smooth twice routine until
you reach the desired depth. The number of bulges
required will be greatly affected by the size of your
sand trap. Before you leave your sand trap, you may
want to do a few extra smooths for good measure.
playable greens is one of the most challenging areas
of JN6 course design. It takes practice, time, and
patience. One of the main tips is to do plenty of
smoothing. This will help soften breaks. Most greens
are elevated to some degree, so this should probably
be your starting point. Select your green shape, and
choose Raise. Next, create a terrain
elevation selection about 25% bigger than your green
shape. Place it over your green (if it isnt
there already) and do a couple of smooths. Make sure
to view the render to see how things are progressing.
You can do more smooths, but try to make sure you
dont do too many where the edges of the green
begin to crown. If the fairway connects with your
green, you may want to do more localized smoothing
there as well to create a nice transition between
the two. Be careful using Bulge Up
with greens, because this can create an unwanted crown
in your putting surface. In contrast, Bulge
Down can be very useful in create nice bowls
on your greens.
from the elevated green, you can also create an inclined
putting surface. To do so, create a terrain elevation
selection more than double the size of your green.
Then, place it over your green shape so that the left
side of the selection is covering your green. Next,
choose Tilt Back. You will probably
not need to do more than one of these tilts. Finally,
do a good amount of smoothing to polish the area.
you want to create terrace or plateau greens, a combination
of the Flatten and Smooth
tools make it possible. To start, create a terrain
elevation selection around the area of your green
you want to turn into a plateau. Next choose either
Flatten to Lowest, Flatten
to Middle, or Flatten to Highest.
The choice between the three will be dictated by the
surround elevations, and by what type of plateau you
want to create. Then, expand your terrain elevation
selection and do some smoothing. Now, this technique
only works if you green is inclined before the terrace
you are working from a flat green, you can create
a terraced green by selecting an area and choosing
Raise or Lower.
The same smoothing techniques also apply here. Once
you have completed your green, be sure to do a lot
of playtesting in the game to make certain that the
green accepts approach shots and putts well.
believe I have found a pretty good technique to create
uphill and downhill holes in JN6. It involves using
the Designers Tilt tools. These
tools, when applied, only seem to affect half of the
elevation selection in the desired direction, so that
is all I use to create large rises. Start out by creating
a huge terrain selection that is the size of the hole
window. You will probably want to expand it beyond
that by moving the selection outside of the hole window
and stretching it further. Next, place this terrain
selection over the area you want to tilt upwards.
For example, if you want to make a downhill hole,
you would place the selection so that only the left
half of the hole is covered. Once the selection is
in place, you would press the Slope Back
button to create the downhill slope. It can be reapplied
until you arrive at the elevation change desired.
The only thing remaining will be to flatten your tee
boxes, and do some smoothing. The area that will require
the most smoothing will be where the terrain selection
met the base hole terrain.
first suggestion is to pull down the Options
menu and select Preferences. Next,
turn on the Random Height selection
for your objects. You can turn it on for each separate
object group, but I would recommended keeping it off
for the Other Objects set. The demo only allows you
to set the variability to 10%, but that should be
enough to give you a good variety of different sized
versions of the same tree or bush. This will go a
long way in making your course look more realistic.
When actually placing objects, if you want to position
more than one of the same item, hold down the Shift
key and then choose the object. You will now be able
to place as many multiple copies as you wish. Simply
hit the Esc key to stop. Finally, if you
find yourself needing to place a large number of objects,
it is best to turn off the Auto Render
feature under Options. When you want
the view to redraw, simply hit the space bar. Having
auto rendering off, you will find that it is possible
to place objects much quicker if the computer doesnt
constantly have to re-render the view.
of JN6s lesser documented features is its ability
to replace one object with another, or even change
an entire type of object. To do this, start out by
selecting the object you want to swap out. Next, click
the right mouse button and choose Change Object
Type. You can now select a replacement object
from the appropriate palette. If you want to change
every occurrence of one particular type of object
with another, after you have chosen Change
Object Type, simply hold down the Shift
key and select your new item.
sure to utilize JN6s forest mode when placing
objects. To do so, hold down [Ctrl] and select up
to seven object. Now, when they are placed on your
hole the designer will randomly choose between what
you selected. This helps to speed up the object placing
you want to make a global change of an object throughout
your PGA 2000 design, it is a pretty easy process.
First, Hold down the [Ctrl] key and double-click on
the object you want to change. This should select
all of that type of object on the entire course. Next,
right-click and choose 'Properties'. Now, click on
the small thumbnail version of the object in the upper-left
of the Multiple Object Properties window. You can
then select the object you want to replace it with
from the palette. The [Ctrl] key can also be used
to select and move large groups of objects at once.
With this step-by-step guide, I am going
to discuss some of the challenges that you will face
in converting a JNSE design to JN6. If you never owned
either JN4 or JN5, you will first need to download the
following utility: SECNVRT.ZIP
(11.5KB). After you've downloaded the file, simply
unzip it into any folder you want, but the Jack 6 folder
is probably a good choice. Now that you have SECNVRT
downloaded and ready to use, let us begin:
- Open a DOS session window.
- Change to your Jack 6 directory (or wherever you
have put SECNVRT on your hard disk).
- Enter SECNVRT and the path to the course you want
to convert. For example, to convert my copy of Saguaro
Canyon I would enter at the DOS prompt: SECNVRT C:\NICKLAUS\SAGUARO\SAGUARO
(In this example, the first reference to Saguaro is
the directory name where the second reference is to
the PRC course file itself.)
- The utility will now create a file with a CVT extension.
It is located in the directory of the JNSE course
you are translating. If the operation goes well, you
should see the statement File Successfully Converted
in a DOS window. You may now close this DOS window.
- Start the JN6 Course Designer.
- Go to File, and select Import.
- Now, go to the directory of your JNSE course and
select the CVT file.
- After the file is selected, JN6 will prompt you
for a name and place to save the converted version.
You will probably want to put it in whatever folder
you use to store your course designs.
- JN6 will now start the true conversion process.
It can take quite awhile for some designs, so except
a bit of a delay.
- Keep in mind that each JNSE unit of elevation only
equaled half-a-foot. If this was not taken into consideration
in JNSE at the time the course was built, elevations
may not look quite right in JN6.
- One of the first things you will notice in a JNSE
to JN6 converted course is that you need to place
all of the objects over again. This can be a long
process, but well worth the effort considering the
large number of objects that can be placed per hole
in JN6. If you are converting someone elses
design, it would probably be best to refer to their
JNSE version for where specifically objects should
go. Doing a screen capture of each hole would most
likely help in this matter if you are willing to go
to that much trouble. The other problem relating to
objects is matching the right objects to the right
course. My best advice is to look at the JNSE course
and do your best to pick trees that look similar in
- The elevations of your translated JNSE design will
most likely need some work. In general, I have found
that hills can convert rather harshly between the
two programs. This is especially noticeable around
greens. You will probably want to spend a good amount
of time smoothing out terrain to make the course more
playable in JN6.
- The conversion feature leaves your courses
terrain items (fairways, greens, bunkers, etc.) comprised
of many points. To make reshaping them easier,
you may want to consider eliminating some of these
points. This is accomplished by highlighting the point
you want to delete with your mouse (it will turn yellow
when selected) and then pressing [Ctrl] and [D].
it. You should now be well underway in translating your
original JNSE course to the new world of JN6. I hope
you find this process enjoyable and rewarding. Best
of luck, and please let me know if you have specific
questions about anything mentioned or not mentioned