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 Tool Manuals 


Electronic Arts



EA SPORTS' Course Architect






This sample is taken from the online manual for a 3D graphics tool used to build golf courses. The first section covers the basics of designing a golf course, real or imaginary. The second section details the essentials of creating and manipulating terrain geometry for the course.



A first draft of this 150pp manual was produced in 15 days.

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Quick Start

This Quick Start guide is intended to get you up and working with the Course Architect in a short period of time.

NEED INSTALLATION HELP? Please see the enclosed Install Guide for installation instructions.


[{Art 02 CourseArchDesktop: (A) Menus; (B) Edit toolbar; (C) Course toolbar; (D) Navigation toolbar; (E) Window toolbar; (F) Work window; (G) Camera; (H) Camera window; (I) Navigation window; (J) A selected shape; (K) Control points; (L) Status bar;]

The desktop of Course Architect supports two different views on your golf course through three different windows. The entire course is displayed through the Navigation window, through which you can zoom in on selected pieces of the course to display in the Work window, the main window of the Course Architect application.

Through the Work window, you manipulate objects and land shapes. When you create a land shape in the Work window, it is floating on the terrain. By moving, adding and rotating the shape's control points, you can adjust the size and form of the land shape. You can use the shape to apply textures to the terrain, shape the underlying terrain, or both. When you have finalized your manipulations, you can drop the land shape into the terrain to make the shape and texture a permanent feature of your course.

  • Shapes have many functions, including terrain manipulation and object population. For more information on the functions and properties of shapes, see Shapes on p. xxx.
  • Depending on whether the shape is floating or has been dropped, the contents of the right-click menus for that shape vary. For more information, see Right-Click Menus on p. xxx.

To see your course as it would appear in the game, activate and use the Camera window. You can change the contents of the Camera window by repositioning the camera, which is represented by a black camera icon in the Work window.

  • To move the camera, click and drag the icon in the Work window. The contents of the Camera window are automatically updated.
  • To rotate the camera, click and drag the black triangle that is part of the camera icon. The contents of the Camera window are automatically updated.
  • Many shape manipulations can also be conducted through the Camera window. For more information about the camera and the Camera window, see Camera Window on p. xxx.

At the bottom of the application window is the status bar, which contains the location of the cursor and the point count of the underlying shape. For more information, see Status Bar on p. xxx.

Above the Work window, you can see the menu system and the toolbars of the Course Architect.

  • For more information about the contents of the menus, see Menus.
  • For more information on the Edit, Course, Navigation and Window toolbars, see Toolbars on p. xxx.

Through the menu system, you can access the Librarian, which lets you place textures and objects in your project. For more information, see The Librarian on p. xxx.

  • If you are having performance problems in the Course Architect, you can toggle display of resource-intensive course elements through the Layers tool. For more information, see Layers on p. xxx.

To get started:

  • Prior to starting Course Architect, you should set your display to 1024 x 768 or higher in the Display control panel. For information on how to set it, see the Windows(r) Help file.
  1. Close all other applications, including the game.
    • Before you begin designing a course, you should have an idea or plan that you are trying to execute. To learn more about how to develop your plan and other issues to consider before building your course, see Laying Out a Course on p. xxx.
  2. Double-click the Course Architect icon. The program opens.
  3. In the dialog box, click next to CREATE A NEW COURSE. Click BEGIN.
  4. In the spaces provided, enter the name and description of your course.
    • To define the entire workspace of your course, enter figures in the length and height of the course. For the time being, accept the default settings.
    • Default measurements for length and height are in yards. 1 meter = 1.1 yards.
  5. Make sure that the box next to Use New Course Wizard is checked.
  6. NOTE: The New Course Wizard is a very powerful tool for placing the holes and major land features of your course. This Quick Start guide just touches on the basics of using it. For more information, see New Course Wizard on p. xxx.

    • To continue creating your course with the New Course Wizard, click NEXT.
  7. Now, define the basic terrain of your course.
    • To set the basic terrain of your course, check the box next to the appropriate location from the list on the left.
    • To modify the degree of change in the terrain, use the slider bars on the right.
    • Change area indicates the amount of area in which the changes to terrain are applied. A small change area combined with a severe change makes for very up-and-down terrain.
    • Severity indicates the amount of change in any given change area.
  8. Click NEXT. Now, select the location of your course.
    • The location that you select essentially defines the vegetation set used when foresting areas in the New Course Wizard. Later, you can use vegetation from any of the installed course libraries.
  9. Click NEXT. You can now place , water, forest areas and holes on the map of your course. Holes can have pars of 3, 4 or 5.
    • To save your work in the New Course Wizard, select SAVE from the File menu.

    NOTE: It's highly recommended that you use the New Course Wizard to place all of the holes of your course. Although you can place holes in the Course Architect using the Hole Definition tool, using the Wizard is much faster and easier. For more information, see Hole Definition on p. xxx.

    • To place a hole, water or forest onto the course, click the appropriate tab on the right side of the screen. Then, click and drag the appropriate icon onto your course. The element is placed.

    NOTE: No hole or water shape placed in the New Course Wizard can cross another one. A forest shape can overlap other shapes.

    • To move the element to a different place, click and drag it. To rotate the item, click and drag at one end of it.
    • To place the element permanently on the course, click on it and then click APPLY.
    • Most dropped items can be picked up again and re-manipulated. After a forest has been applied to plant trees, the trees cannot be picked up again in the New Course Wizard.


    • To change the hole number for a selected hole, select a new number from the Hole drop-down in the lower-right corner. Then, click APPLY.

    NOTE: Check the hole number to be sure that you are not replacing an existing hole. The New Course Wizard overwrites the existing one.

    • To delete the hole, click DELETE.

    Water and Forests:

    • To reshape a body of water or forest, click and drag one of the red control points in the shape to a new position.
    • To place the water or forest permanently on the course, click APPLY.
  10. When you have placed at least one hole on your course, click FINISH.
  11. Your course is now created. You may begin using the other tools of the Course Architect. For more information, see Tools on p. xxx.

NOTE: Save your course before you begin work. Select SAVE from the File menu. In the dialog box, select a destination directory in which to save your course. Enter a filename. Then, click SAVE.

  • For detailed instructions on creating a hole, see Tutorial: Creating Hole 1 on p. xxx.

Laying out a Course

On a computer golf course, you don't have to walk from hole to hole. When you complete a hole, the computer simply places you at the tee for the next hole. Consequently, you never see the course on a scale larger than the individual hole.

However, the best courses in the world have a consistency from hole to hole. On each hole, you can see familiar terrain shapes that are integrated into the topography of the course location. When done right, this consistency has a harmonious effect on the golfing experience. You feel like you're in a peaceful and carefully considered environment.

The fundamental element of a golf course is the individual hole, and the tools of the Course Architect emphasize this orientation. So, to account for features and issues on a scale larger than the individual hole, you need to plan ahead. This chapter provides some design points before you start digging.



Before you begin to work on your course, you should make some essential decisions. Are you making a realistic course or a fantasy course? Or are you making something in between? Your decision can influence how you complete your course. A realistic course requires more patience and adherence to pre-defined course features, including accurate terrain creation, hole positioning and orientation and attention to the details of the course. After all, you don't want to make mistakes in Amen Corner, as a golfer or as a designer.


Secondly, you need to place your course in a particular climate and geological environment. Is it a coastal course or an alpine course? How much does the natural surrounding terrain impact the course? These decisions affect which elements such as objects, textures, panoramas, and terrain shapes are used on the course.

You should also consider how difficult you want the course to be. Is it a championship-level course? How long is the course? What is the par?

  • A typical format for a course might be four par 3's, four par 5's, and the rest as par 4's. Such an organization produces a par 72 course.

You should consider how you want to distribute the holes on your course. A par 3 hole doesn't necessarily imply an easy hole; your tee shot could be very challenging. Does your course get easier or harder as the holes progress? How do you want the course to finish? Does it end on a par 5, so that a second-place golfer can make up a stroke or two?

And finally, what elements of your course are going to stand out as unique? What are its risks? What are its rewards? Do you have signature holes? Unusual terrain? Or is it just a great round of golf?

While you may not have answers to all of the above questions, it's important that you know what you don't know. It's reasonable to postpone resolution until you're actually shaping the course with the Course Architect tools. However, you should be aware that making large-scale changes can be very expensive in terms of time when you are far along in development.

EA TIP If you have yet to resolve some of these fundamental issues, you should try to figure them out as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can get fairly regular about using the SAVE AS... feature to save copies of your course as you develop. Keep in mind, though, that retaining multiple versions of a course can consume large volumes of disk space.


In very rough-cut form, plan your entire course before you begin. Keep in mind the following concerns:

  • How big is the entire land plot on which the course sits? To include everything in your course, how many yards long and across do you need?

EA TIP Whatever you need to design a course, add 10% in all directions. You can always trim back the course at a later time. If you need to add more terrain to your map, it is added to the right and top direction of the screen.

  • How does the course fit into the topography of the surrounding terrain? Is there a general slope to the entire course? Does it have large terrain features that need to be linked into the terrain of individual holes?
  • What are the large terrain features that appear in the horizon of the course? Things like mountains, rivers, a city, et cetera.
  • What is the weather like? Sunny? Cloudy? How should the combination of the weather and the sun give us a sense of where the course is located in the world?
  • How are the holes positioned throughout the course? How are they placed next to each other?
  • Have you identified north on your maps? In the Course Architect, the north direction defaults to the top of the screen.
  • How are your holes oriented? If possible, position them at 30-degree intervals. Do not position them at finer intervals, as it can cause discontinuities with the panorama.
  • What are the basic shapes for each hole? Straight? Dogleg left? Dogleg right?
  • What is the par for each hole?
  • Which are the signature holes?

The first and most important issues are discussed in further detail in this chapter.

You may choose to develop your course on graph paper. While the lines can help you to position and orient course features and holes, you may find the constraints of the lines to be overly restricting. In the game, there is no way to see the overall view of the course, so approximations of object placements may be sufficient. Choosing to use graph paper is your call.


The best way to develop a new course is to use the New Course Wizard. Through the New Course Wizard, you can:

  • Define the size of the entire land plot,
  • Randomize the terrain based on the basic topography of the land,
  • Select your location,
  • Place and shape large features such as forested areas and water,
  • Place all of the holes on the course,
  • Rotate all holes on the course.

After you lay down the basic elements in the New Course Wizard, you can use the tools of the Course Architect to perfect them. To get the most out of the New Course Wizard, of course, you need to have these issues resolved up-front. It's recommended that you read the rest of this chapter, come to some conclusions about the essentials of your course, and then you should proceed to the New Course Wizard.


After you start a hole, you can change its par by clicking and dragging its tee boxes, greens and the related shot paths.

  • If you need to change the par for the hole, you need to change the distances of the shot paths of the hole through the Hole Definition tool. For more information, see Hole Definition on p. xxx.


A 3D graphics tool allows you to tackle any feature of the environment in any order. However, to save time, you may want to consider a few things.

First steps in creating a hole:

  • If possible, start the creation of your course with the New Course Wizard, including the laying out of all eighteen basic shapes for the holes.
  • If you must build the hole from scratch, you can follow the steps of the Tutorial to create the basic elements of the hole. For more information, see Tutorial: Creating Hole 1 on p. xxx.
  • Lay out the essential shapes for the hole, like tees, greens, fairways, rough areas and any hazard areas. Get them into their correction positions, sizes, orientations and distances from each other.
  • Establish the shot path, tees and pin positions in the Hole Definition tool. For more information, see Hole Definition on p. xxx.
  • Check the shot path again. Get the basic shape of the core hole features to your satisfaction.
  • Establish your set of textures.
  • To change the texture of a shape, right-click on it. Select PROPERTIES. Change the texture in the drop-down list. The play characteristics of the shape depend on the texture that you select.
  • Build and manipulate the major terrain pieces.
  • Place objects on the terrain.

The Edit Cycle:

  • Continue editing until you've reached a point where you want to check your results.
  • Compile the course for the game.
  • Play-test your hole. Note the problems and incomplete areas. Be sure to test the shot path.
  • Return to the Course Architect.
  • Repeat the Edit Cycle until you complete the hole or want to move on to the next one.


Inside the Course Architect, you place a hole on the course by placing, sizing and orienting the shapes of the hole.

  • To get the placement of your hole correct, you need to get familiar with the Measure tool. To measure distances, select MEASURE from the Tools menu. For more information, see Measure on p. xxx.
  • To get the orientation of your hole correct, use the Rotate tool. To rotate shapes, select ROTATE from the Tools menu. For more information, see Rotate on p. xxx.

EA TIP When creating a hole, try to place it relative to an existing hole or land feature whose placement and characteristics are solid in your mind. By measuring distances and placements from known entities, you can build your course in a sensible fashion. By building methodically, you can remove unnecessary terrain and save data and disk storage space, hereby improving game performance.

  • Many of the basic hole sizing and shaping tools are listed under the Tools menu. For more information on the commands available under the Tools menu, see Tools on p. xxx.

EA TIP When you are placing a hole near the left or top border, try to give yourself extra space from the perimeter. Later, near the end of your construction, you can trim this space away. You cannot acquire new space at the bottom and left margins of the land plot without moving holes, terrain and other features of the course.


Suppose you want to build your course at the foot of a mountain. The terrain of the course should be shaped so that it 1) has variation consistent with mountainous terrain and 2) has a slope in a general direction.

You can accomplish both of these objectives in the Course Architect.


Using the New Course Wizard, you can choose a general terrain shaping, based on the geographic area of the course.

EA TIP To get the right look of your course's terrain, you might step through the New Course Wizard a few times to experiment with the settings in the Randomize Terrain window. Save the results each time, try again, and then go through the New Course Wizard again, using the settings that you liked and finishing the other aspects of the New Course Wizard. Later, you can use these experiments as templates through the Save As... command.

  • For more information on the New Course Wizard and the Randomize Terrain feature in it, see New Course Wizard on p. xxx.


After you have created your course in the New Course Wizard, you can create a general sloping to it.

To create a general slope to your project:

  1. Save a version of your project prior to creating the slope.
  2. Create a new land shape.
  3. Resize it to encompass the entire land plot.
  4. To apply a tilt to the course, use the Make a Slope tool.
    • For more information on making a slope, see Make a Slope on p. xxx.
  5. It may take a while for the Course Architect to complete the changes. You can use this methodology to create large terrain features, as well. For example, using land shapes, you can create a mountain in one area or a canyon in another. Think about the possibilities, and read the next section.
  6. When the terrain change is completed, save a version of the newly sloped project.


The technique used to create a general grade for your course can be applied to other kinds of terrain features that apply to more than one hole.

  • For projects that are recreations of real-world courses, you should try to acquire topographical data on the features of the course.

EA TIP Where possible, try to shape the larger terrain features before you finalize the terrain features of your holes. If you are forced to move, resize or reshape a large terrain feature, all of those tiny details on the adjacent holes may have to be redone elsewhere.

When creating a large terrain feature, use land shapes to create the larger impressions, elevations and flows of the terrain. Then, you can create shapes within that shape to build the details.

  • Remember that two land shapes cannot cross. A land shape must be entirely encompassed by another land shape.


Designers tweak holes to force golfers to make shots with particular clubs. By calculating distances on the course and by positioning objects and terrain features, a good designer can force a golfer into tough yet interesting decisions.

When you're building a hole, learn to use the Measure tool to measure distances between course features. Taking care to carefully place your course features can really improve the playability of the hole. Get familiar with the Measure tool (see p. xxx).


You cannot display 3D graphics to infinity. To have a computer display a golf course to infinite distances stuffs the CPU with detail that slows down the golfing experience. Consequently, at a definable distance from the perimeter, each course is wrapped in a 360-degree 2D image of what is visible in the infinite landscape.

In the Course Architect, these wrappings are panoramas. Think of the wall of a circus tent. It is a canvas piece that simulates an entire enclosure. Panoramas in the Course Architect are generated in a similar manner.

The Course Architect comes with a library of pre-made panoramas from which you can choose to include in your course. Each 360-degree panorama is composed of a single image that has been composited using advanced photographic techniques.

  • To place a panorama, select PANORAMA PROPERTIES from the Tools menu. Select a panorama from the drop-down list. Then, click OK. To cancel and exit, click CANCEL.
  • Its left-most edge becomes the point at due north, which is equivalent to the top of the screen in the Course Architect.


You can add one or more ambient sounds for your course. For more information, see Sounds on p. xxx.


Course Architect comes with a polished set of terrain tools for selecting and manipulating the elevation information on your course. You can grab any piece of elevation information and apply large-scale terrain tools or push and pull the terrain on the tiniest scale.

With the terrain tools, you can raise, lower, slope, flatten or smooth the selected terrain.


Before continuing, you should be familiar with the definition and usage of the following terms: face, mesh, shape and control point.

[{Art 34 TerrainTerms: (A) A face; (B) Mesh; (C) Shape; (D) Control points;]

For more information on faces, mesh, shapes, and control points, see Golf Course Elements on p. xxx.


Course Architect gives you the tools to develop and manipulate terrain on the entire land plot. Through one interface, you can make changes to Hole 1 and Hole 18 simultaneously. With such powerful tools in hand, you should spend time considering the shape of the terrain across the entire course.

EA TIP When placing the holes of your course, do not crowd yourself against the left and bottom edges of the land plot. After you create the land plot, you cannot add terrain in those directions. Added terrain is placed to the top and to the right of the current land plot.


  • If you're simulating an actual course, get a good topographical map of the course that includes length and width in yards for the entire course. If you're doing your own design, you are free to prep as you see fit. A sketch of the hole layouts and positional relationships on graph paper can help.
  • Note the length and width of the entire map for the course in yards. Note the direction of north on the map and the range of elevations, as well. For ease of visualization, the top of the map should correspond to north.


While it's possible to develop your land plot by hand, it can be very time-consuming. Course Architect's New Course Wizard allows you to create the large-scale land shapes and to define the general characteristics of the terrain with very simple tools. You can use the New Course Wizard to:

  • Define the size of the land plot
  • Define basic terrain type and randomize the terrain
  • Place and rotate hole templates into position
  • Place, size and shape water and forested areas

EA TIP Even if you know what you're going to create to the finest detail, the New Course Wizard can shorten development time. Some features, like randomizing terrain and placement of entire hole templates, are available only in the New Course Wizard. Otherwise, these things must be created from scratch in the Course Architect.

  • For more information, see New Course Wizard on p. xxx.


When developing your entire land plot, there are two fundamental approaches:

  • Shape the terrain first. Build the terrain shapes of the course in rough-cut. Then, begin adding in the holes and reshaping the terrain to accommodate. This approach may be more suitable to creating a course out of your imagination.
  • Start with a single hole or terrain feature. Create the singlemost prominent feature of the course and work out from there. Get one thing right, in terms of size, shape and positioning on the land plot. Then build the rest around it. This approach may be more suitable to re-creating an existing golf course.


[{Art 35 Course Toolbar:; (A) Lasso Select; (B) Create Land Shape; (C) Create Path; (D) Create Hazard; (E) Measure; (F) Rotate; (G) Hill; (H) Bunker; (I) Slope; (J) Smooth; (K) Flatten; (L) Foresting; (M) Click-Click; (N) Hole Definition;]

In either the Work or Camera windows, you can use the Course tools to select or define floating shapes and then manipulate the terrain beneath those shapes with other tools. All Course tools are applied to floating shapes.

  • You can select a Course tool to use from the Course toolbar, menu system, or keyboard shortcut.


You can create land shapes, paths and hazards using the same generalized method.

  • To create any shape, click the appropriate "Create" tool or select it from the menu system. In the Work or Camera window, click the starting location of the shape. Click at the first turn point. Continue until the shape is roughly defined. Right-click to end the shaping. The floating shape appears in the Work and Camera windows.
  • To reshape a floating shape, click and drag the control points to new positions.
  • You can add, delete, move and rotate control points. For more information, see Right-Click On Control Points on p. xxx.
  • Notes on land shapes and hazards: These shapes are closed loops. Your last point must be the initial point. Click to the initial point to manually finish the shape, or right-click to let the Course Architect finish it for you.
  • Notes on hazards: Hazards are not placed in the terrain. They remain in the Work window as red areas. If they are interfering with the development, you can hide them through the Layers tool. For more information see Layers on p. xxx.
  • Notes on paths: Cart paths are not enclosed shapes. You finish shaping them by right-clicking on the final point. To link one path shape to another, you should place the second one as close as possible to the first one you initially shape. Then, zoom in and move the terminal point of one shape to one pixel's distance from the other. Remember: two shapes cannot touch or overlap each other.


After shapes are created and floating, you can select one or more shapes. You can also select dropped shapes.

  • To select a floating land shape, click inside of its perimeter in the Work window. The control points of the shape are highlighted, and you can begin manipulations.
  • To select multiple shapes, hazards and paths, click one of them in the Work window. Then, hold down v as you click on the other shapes to select. Alternatively, you can use the Lasso Select to draw a highlight box around all of the shapes to select.
  • To select all floating land shapes, press v + A.

NOTE: Some tools are unavailable for use on multiple shapes. Their buttons and menu selections are grayed out. For more information, see Using Multiple Land Shapes on p. xxx.

  • To select a dropped shape, right-click inside of its perimeter. The right-click menu opens. To lift the shape from the terrain, select PICK UP or PICK UP WITH CHILDREN. The shape is removed from the terrain and selected.
  • To duplicate a dropped shape, right-click inside of its perimeter. The right-click menu opens. Select USE AS A SHAPE. The shape is duplicated, and the floating duplicate is highlighted and selected.
  • For more information on manipulating dropped shapes, see Right-Click Menus on p. xxx.
  • For more on the Course tools, see Tools on p. xxx.


When you select multiple unconnected land shapes, you can use all of the Course tools except for the following:

  • Foresting tool
  • Smooth tool
  • Flatten tool


At this juncture, the Course Architect does not support direct copy and pasting of terrain. However, you can get pretty close.

To "copy and paste" terrain:

NOTE: If you know that you're going to use a terrain shape for multiple locations, drop the shape into the terrain, and write down all of the terrain manipulations that you do in order to create the shape. Then, you can duplicate these manipulations for the new shape.

  1. Right-click on the shape that contains all of the terrain data that you want to put somewhere else.
  2. Select USE AS A SHAPE. The new shape appears and is highlighted.
  3. Click and drag the shape to the new location.
  4. Re-apply the terrain manipulations to the shape to recreate the original terrain.
  • Future versions of the Course Architect may support copy and pasting of terrain.


Some designers prefer to view the terrain as an organic whole. You can turn the entire terrain surface of the course into a computer-generated lump of modeling clay. Then, using the Course tools, you can create and manipulate shapes so that the land flows well.

[{Art 36 ModelingClay:;]

  • To toggle viewing the course in modeling clay form, select MODELING CLAY from the View menu. For more information, see Modeling Clay on p. xxx.


NOTE: Some Course tools are not available until conditions exist where the elevation change is applicable.

After you select a piece of terrain, you can apply one of several tools to the terrain. While these tools assist you in getting started on building terrain features, you may want to use the finishing tools to make the terrain look smoother or to give it unique features and definition.

EA TIP If you are having difficulty seeing the changes in the terrain, you may see better results if the grid or the modeling clay is visible. Click the Grid tool in the toolbar to toggle it. For more information, see Grid Settings on p. xxx.

  • Course tools can operate on outer and inner shapes simultaneously. If multiple shapes are used, the inner shape is moved the full amount requested. Terrain between outer and inner shapes is altered to blend the effect.

NOTE: Multiple land operations can add redundant points to the course. Optimizing detail increases performance without impacting overall visual quality. For more information, see Optimize Detail on p. xxx.

EA TIP When creating large-scale terrain features, it is best to work from the outside in. Define the outer shape and manipulate the terrain. Then, deflate the shape or duplicate the shape to create the interior terrain features. Such a method tends to create more natural-looking terrain. For more information, see Shape Tools on p. xxx.


NOTE: Prior to creating one of these terrain features, you may want to reposition the camera so that the shape is displayed in the Camera window. Adjustments are updated to the Camera window in real-time.


The Make tools can be used separately and together to define the terrain beneath the selected land shape.

  • To make a terrain feature, select or define the land shape that encompasses the terrain area. Then select the appropriate Make tool from the Tools menu. Use the slider bar to adjust the height of the shape. To accept the new terrain shape, click OK.
  • If you know the exact height of the shape, enter it into the height textbox. Be sure to indicate whether it is Up or Down from the current terrain elevation.


The Make a Hill tool shapes concave or convex features in the selected land shape. The top or bottom of the shape is always in the middle of the selected terrain; you cannot pull up one edge of a selected piece of terrain.

  • To create hills with multiple bumps and ridges, you need to create land shapes within land shapes. The interior land shapes should be considered details to add only when their appearance in the terrain becomes necessary.

EA TIP For traditional British links courses, the Make a Hill tool comes in handy, as it is the best way to build a smooth hillock.


After you have selected a piece of terrain, you can reshape it into a bunker or mesa. After selecting the Bunker tool, use the slider bar to move the terrain up or down and review the results in the Camera window. When you are satisfied with the new height or depth of the selected terrain, click OK.

EA TIP The Make a Bunker tool is good for shaping any flattened area-a tee, a multi-leveled sand trap, or something else.


The Slope tool lets you lean a selected shape to change the underlying terrain along a user-defined axis.

EA TIP The Slope tool is useful for making small flat slopes inside of other shapes. For example, the side of a sculpted hill can be refined with the Slope tool.


An artifact of some of the terrain tools is unnatural blending with the surrounding terrain. Because the tools make mathematical adjustments to the selected terrain, they do not, by themselves, blend those adjustments into the terrain. That is the role of the Smooth and Flatten tools.


You can smooth a terrain shape into the surrounding piece of terrain with the Smooth tool. For more information on general uses of the Smooth tool, see Smooth an Area on p. xxx.

EA TIP If you're smoothing a large section of the hole, do it piece by piece. Smoothing in smaller pieces, in the long run, takes less CPU time.


The Flatten tool makes the selected shape horizontal at a defined height. After you select a shape to flatten, click the Flatten button to open the Flatten pop-up. For more information on general uses of the Flatten tool, see Flatten an Area on p. xxx.


You may discover that the Smooth and Flatten tools seem a bit hard to control. When you smooth or flatten a floating shape, you may be confused by the effects. Follow these steps to smooth or flatten the terrain with better control.

  1. Reposition the camera so that the shape is fully visible in the Camera window.
  2. Click on the land shape that is to be changed.
    • If you're trying to smooth/flatten a floating shape: Right-click on the shape. Select DUPLICATE. A new shape is created and highlighted.
    • If you're trying to smooth/flatten a dropped shape: Right-click on the shape. Select USE AS A SHAPE. A new shape is created and highlighted.
  3. Right-click the new shape and select PROPERTIES. In the Properties pop-up, inflate the shape by the measurements that you need. Click OK.
  4. EA TIP Some designers have discovered that inflating a shape by a very large factor creates the most natural results.

    • If you're creating a skirt to the shape, you may want to change the texture in the drop-down list in Properties.
  5. Click on the shape again.
  6. Select SMOOTH AN AREA or FLATTEN AN AREA from the Tools menu.
  • In the Smooth an Area pop-up, you may want to smooth bit by bit. Select a low smoothing setting and click APPLY repeatedly until you get the effect you want.


While it's best to avoid adding terrain to the land plot, you may discover that you have no choice. As you define your course or shape your course perimeter, you may need to add terrain.

NOTE: When you add terrain to the land plot, it is added to the right in the X-direction and to the top in the Y-direction.

To add more terrain to your land plot:

  1. Save your course, if desired.
  2. Select COURSE PROPERTIES from the File menu.
  3. In the Course Properties pop-up, enter new dimensions in the Course Width and Course Height boxes.
  4. NOTE: Do not use the Course Properties pop-up to delete terrain from the land plot. Deleting terrain is better managed through the definition of the Course Perimeter. For more information, see Course Perimeter on p. xxx.

  5. To add the new terrain, click OK.
    • To cancel changes, click CANCEL.
  6. Any new terrain is added to the right and to the top of the land plot.

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(c) 2007 Steven P. Olson. All rights reserved. Samples are for demonstration purposes only.