With some editing, I sent this to Scott Harmon indicating my initial take on the course.
The grand opening event was well attended! I was impressed with the number of people who showed up. I wish I was impressed with the short pin placements. It was very easy to tell which holes were designed after my initial layout because they were all either extremely short (less than 200 feet for the short pin) or certainly not a golf shot. I talked to Les during the round after he toured the non-players around the front 9 and he said they'd still be willing to take out more trees, but wanted to see how it went. I suggested they do look at some of the holes and take a few more trees out. I was befuddled with hole 5, one of the better holes they kept of mine. There's a tree just in front of the tee probably 80 feet that has had some sizable limbs cut off it, but the trunk is split considerably. I can't believe they wouldn't just take the tree out especially since it's in the fairway. We talked about just trimming overhanging branches instead of removing whole trees so it can be a subtle difference.
Les was wondering what I'd say about #17's fairway (the sawgrass hole). I think that's why he ended up following us so long. I suggested that they mow more and he said he'd double the width next time. That seemed more appropriate. He also said he'd like to get in the woods and clear out a bunch more of the undergrowth. I explained that the pins should be cleared to at least 30 feet in diameter since some of the pins were just off the back edge of the rough. That one act of clearing will make a world of difference out there.
One other observation - the tee pads weren't very level. Apparently they wanted them to follow the contour of the land - how disappointing. I guess they had a one-ton dump truck to help haul the concrete around the course which sounds like an excellent solution. I wish they had asked for input on how the pads were supposed to be formed.
I’ve asked if I can be told when the baskets all get put in the long positions. I think I will enjoy that more than the short configuration. I recognize that this is their first course, and I can tell they've done a huge amount of work out there. After some other tweaking, I think it will come around.