PGA TOUR 2K23 brings you closer to the sport with superb realism and authenticity while still leaving room for your imagination to run free. Throughout your MyCAREER journey, you’ll compete on world-renowned courses designed by legendary architects. In addition to the challenging PGA TOUR courses and original events from the minds of the HB Studios you can create a masterpiece of your own using the Course Designer.
The Course Designer was one of PGA TOUR 2K21’s most popular features, due to its sandbox style gameplay and endless replayability. 2K23 brings it back with new tools and elements for building your dream course. Prior to launch, we spoke with NextMakers VctryLnSprts and Crazycanuck1985 to discuss the mode's many enhancements.
Tell us about yourself and your creation in PGA TOUR 2K23?
My brand is VctryLnSprts, so I go by Victory Lane in the gaming communities, and I've been a part of the PGA TOUR 2K family since HB produced the original The Golf Club. I'm a former PGA of America club professional, so playing video game golf has always sparked my interest as a hobby, and with the course creator as part of the game, I'm even more interested in the experience. Since purchasing the original The Golf Club game, I’ve invested over 10,000 hours in the course designer, and I've published over 50 solo and collaborative designs for the franchise, some of which have become HB/2K official courses through the years. I've also been a big proponent of designing unique or ‘different’ types of courses for the game, such as adventure courses, par 3s, and mini-golf designs (not as easy as people would imagine, they take just as long, if not longer, to design than a normal course).
What were your first impressions of the Course Designer?
I fell in love with the course designer from the moment I tried it back in The Golf Club, before it became PGA TOUR 2K, but my first impression might have been that it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be to create tournament-worthy courses. It took many hours of practice and experience to get proficient with the tools. I often tell people that having the vision for the course is one thing, but knowing how to create that vision on ‘digital paper’ inside the course creator is a skill unto itself. I watched a lot of online tutorials and streams to learn, and my courses started to get better after the first few, and that's when it really became exciting to design.
How has the Course Designer changed from 2K21?
The foundational product of the course designer in 2K23 is not really all that different, and in many ways, that's a very good thing. People like me, who have thousands of hours using the tools, don't want to relearn a bunch of stuff to be able to get the same results we got before. However, I would say there are quality-of-life improvements in this year's version, such as improvements to the spline tool, being able to spline fences and walls, and a new UI that operates pretty efficiently once you get used to it. … I believe we're on a very good track with this product and what it does to enhance the life cycle and longevity of the game.
What tips would you share with someone who creates a course?
My biggest tip for course designers is to have fun creating your design, and make the things that make you happy. However, if you really want to get proficient at the skill sets and knowledge required to design excellent courses, then the tutorials by CrazyCanuck1985 and B101 Design should be required viewing on YouTube. It's perfectly fine to want others to enjoy your ideas and designs in the game as well, but if that's what interests you, just be prepared to have your design up against the hundreds of great designs that get published every year, and thus, you'll want to make sure your quality and architecture are established in your creation.
What about the Course Designer was intriguing to you?
I started course design way back in the original game (The Golf Club 1) back in 2014. What immediately drew me to the tool was how relatively easy it was to use, and just how powerful it was once you had your bearings.
What elements did you use most frequently while designing your course?
I took advantage of the new features of the designer, including the much improved splining tools that made things move much faster. Also the ability to spline fences is a feature that has been asked for by the community for a while now, and makes what used to be a very tedious task, something that can be done in seconds!
Is it easy to distinguish your course from other courses? Any unique features?
For those familiar with my courses, I really enjoy creating the off course environments and immersing the player so they feel like a course could exist there in real life. I also really enjoy using cliffs and dramatic lighting to make a lasting impression. It's not all about the looks though! I feel my courses I built in 2K23 have a lot of variety and will challenge the player from tee to green.
Do you have a featured hole on your course?
At Echo Park, the Par 4 6th is my favorite. Short, but heavily bunkered down both sides of the fairway. If you want to drive the green or just have a short putt in, you need to be extremely accurate off the tee. At Old Marina, it's hard to choose, but 13-15 is a fantastic stretch that goes back and forth along the coast, signaling the final stretch of your round.
Experiment with all-new tools and techniques in the PGA TOUR 2K23 Course Designer, and share your creations with us and the community! If you’d like to learn more about PGA TOUR 2K23, check out our other Clubhouse Reports, and we’ll see you on the links!