Even though PGA Tour 2K21 has established a reputation for realism dating back to when the game was originally The Golf Club, that doesn’t mean that everything needs to be true to life. When it comes to things like ball physics and competitive gameplay, it continues to be appreciated how developers attempt to re-create the game of golf as accurately as possible without players being able to use any sort of power-ups or maxing out of their attributes (this is especially surprising now that 2K is involved in the game). Still, if you’re looking to escape at least some of the restrictive confines of reality while playing the game, there are plenty of fantasy courses out there. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of the best PGA Tour 2K21 fantasy courses you can download right now.
As you might expect, there are plenty of courses that have been created by both the game’s developers and users. A lot of these courses attempt to faithfully replicate one of the many real golf courses that can be found across the world. From some of the biggest names like Pebble Beach to smaller local courses created by loyal members, it’s very possible to get a nice tour of courses you may never get to visit in real life in PGA Tour 2K21. It helps that the creation suite that allows you to sculpt the various features down to details like the smallest tree or patch of rough has only improved through the evolution of the series. There are even those who use LiDAR technology (don’t ask me how they do it) to even get more precise about a course’s yardage and elevation.
But today we’re going to focus on the courses you couldn’t possibly get a chance to play in real life because they don’t exist. When people create courses in PGA Tour 2K21, some are envisioning the kind of holes they might like to play at an actual club. These designers have created some incredibly realistic and challenging layouts that have been played thousands of times in the game.
Then there are those folks who can’t help but think a little outside the box. They aren’t confined to imagining the kinds of courses you might be able to make on any patch of nearby land. Instead, they are dreaming up ideas that would have you playing golf on foreign terrain and even on other planets. The fantasy courses they create force you to confront immense challenges as you navigate insane changes in elevation, supernatural obstacles, and postage-stamp-sized greens that require precision and maybe even a little bit of luck to hit. These wacky tracks unapologetically have a personality all their own and, even though they can sometimes be more than a little frustrating, they’re often incredibly fun to explore.
When you’re trying to make a crazy course that’s off the beaten path though, there are a lot of ways that it can go wrong. There are far too many weird courses out there where one errant shot can lead to a bad score — or even actually force you to pick up your ball and take a max score due to faulty design. If this happens too often, you simply won’t play that course anymore.
With that in mind, here are a couple DO’s and DON’T’s to keep in mind when creating a fantasy course.
Rules For Making A Good Fantasy Course
DO – Mark Some Areas As Out Of Bounds
Yes, it’s fun to have a hole with some sort of an elevated green that you have to hit from a long distance, but you also have to consider what happens to someone who doesn’t manage to stick that landing. An entire hole can be completely ruined if you’re stuck way down below that elevated green with no opportunity to hit a shot to climb back up to it. You can save people a lot of trouble by just marking such areas as out of bounds. Then there won’t be the headache of trying to hit a ball 300 yards straight up from the rough before the inevitable picking up of the ball and moving on to the next hole.
DON’T – Only Have One Set Of Tees And Pins
Frankly, it really just seems unprofessional to have a course that only has one set of tees and pins. Granted, there are some fantasy courses with greens that are so tilted and screwy that it might actually be impossible to putt with the pins in a different location, but it does take something away from the variety and replay value of a course when they’re always in the same spot every round.
DO – Include Some Mini-Putt Elements
There’s a whole other article that could be written on the top (strictly) mini-golf courses that people have created for PGA Tour 2K21, but it’s nice when other courses with longer holes incorporate some mini-golf inspirations in them. Whether this is slopes on fairways that serve as ski jumps or simply walls or obstacles on the greens that you have to bounce balls off of in order to get to the hole, there’s a lot of potential creativity in what fantasy course designers can borrow from your finest mini-putts.
DON’T – Have Weird Playable Surfaces
Fantasy courses are obviously designed to take you out of reality at least a little bit, but there are certain ways that creators can take this too far. For instance, if you have a course where you’re able to hit the ball from deep in a lake after your shot has found a water hazard, that’s ventured outside even the realm of fantasy and ventured more into the world of magic.
There are some fantasy courses that really do things the right way by finding the perfect balance between ludicrousness and realism. They have found a way to make even the most spectacular of locales really just feel like amazing scenery that doesn’t interfere with a fair but challenging round of golf. Channeling my inner Stefon, as if the SNL Weekend Update correspondent were writing for a golf magazine, here are some of the hottest and most happening fantasy courses that you can play right now in PGA Tour 2K21.
PGA Tour 2K21 – Best Fantasy Courses
Devils Passage At Congo
Don’t let looks deceive you, this picaresque little slice of tropical paradise may seem like some kind of golf dream, but it’s challenging enough that it can turn into a nightmare. There are lots of bunkers and water seemingly everywhere while you attempt to navigate narrow fairways that are regularly positioned either well below or above the tee. There are the island greens and giant waterfalls (shout out to hole 10) you might expect from the locale, but the course isn’t as wild as all of the others on the list. It maintains one foot in reality throughout its majestic visions.
Showcase Hole: Hole 12 is an absolute beauty of a par 3 that has you hitting a tee shot up towards a green that sits atop a huge waterfall and is surrounded by three bunkers.
For those of you have wondered what it might have been like if Frodo and his fellow hobbits had played some golf during their journey in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, here’s a course you might just find to be your precious. As you reach hole 2 that has you playing on a fairway running right through the middle of what looks to be a small farming village, you’ll know this isn’t your average course. Things don’t get any easier from there, but you’ll experience some great sights like towers, claustrophobic natural corridors, lots of concrete walls, and fairways that climb high into the sky — and sometimes have horses alongside them.
Showcase Hole: Hole 15 is one of a few holes that has the green encased inside what looks to be some sort of huge castle, but this par 3 does it best. A crucial tee shot will have you trying to avoid all sorts of fancy arches and walkways.
Spiral Valley GC
The perfect course for any golfers who live for alarming shifts in elevation, Spiral Valley GC will constantly leave you muttering, “Wait, how the heck am I supposed to get down (or up) there now to hit my next shot?” As if that weren’t enough to disorient you, the course also has plenty of fairways snaking around thickets of trees that are constantly daring you to try to hit it over or through them instead of being conservative and going around them. There are some beautiful sights amidst all of these dizzying features though, with a few perfectly placed waterfalls to gaze upon — or maybe even have a quick soak and cooldown if the course is getting you too heated.
Showcase Hole: Hole 17 is a breathtaking but tricky par 3 that has you hitting your tee shot onto a green that is situated on a cliff behind a waterfall. And because you can never have too many waterfalls, there’s another one directly to the left of the green to leave you even less margin for error.
Haunted Hills 2021
If you like your golf with a side of spooky, or maybe you’re interested in playing a round on or around Halloween, look no further than Haunted Hills 2021. This course has it all: a thin layer of fog enveloping every hole that rises up from eternally bubbling black waters, ghost ships and planes hovering eerily in the air over fairways, and the disquieting presence of skeleton heads with live snakes wrapped around them waiting for you at each and every tee. Good luck trying to hit any of the cursed fairways while also worrying about whether or not those things are venomous (they are). Did I mention this course was built on a native burial ground or was that already just assumed?
Showcase Hole: Both holes 10 and 18 have some hellish images emblazoned on the hills near the greens that you can admire on your approach. But hole 10 takes the honors here by virtue of its unnerving smiley face that can’t help but look like a giant jack-o’-lantern from hell.
Mars Pathfinder GC
Should you feel like you’re tired of playing all of the courses on the planet and need to escape the shackles of Earth, hop on the next space shuttle and set a course to the Red Planet to play the galaxy’s hottest new links. As you make your way across the holes that have been carved expertly into the rocky terrain of Mars — golf was evidently the first priority of space exploration — enjoy the fact that you contend with some bunkers and space rocks, but there isn’t a single drop of water to be found here.
Showcase Hole: The final hole not only gives you a great view of the rocket ships next to the green as you make your approach, but the vessels there will also provide you with a quick and easy escape back to your home planet (wherever that may be) when you finish up your round.
420 Crazy Golf 7’s
Do you want to feel pretty good about your golf game and not have to worry too much about every shot? Then book your tee time for this absolutely ridiculous course that dares to ask the question “What?” and then eventually “Why!?” With every single hole being a par 7, and almost all of them feeling like long distance mini-golf, it’s not uncommon to finish up with a score somewhere in the -70s. This is the kind of inspired lunacy that frequently has your ball descending huge slopes while striking or avoiding obstacles like rocks, slaloms, and stray cows like it’s a game of pinball or perhaps Plinko. Also, many of the greens are essentially huge cones that will help funnel your ball down towards the pin. They also have holes with retracting walls around them that you have to time correctly to avoid.
Showcase Hole: Let’s go with the first hole that sets the tone with one long slope (and that aforementioned onlooking cow). You putt down from the tee, which also includes one of a few greens on the course that has stray squirrels living on it.