So lots of talk about course design and "what the amuricans do" with their CX courses and why there so much "better". I'm using quotes as better is a relative term, and its pretty subjective.
My experience with US courses is limited, there are lots of more experienced guys out there racing but I'll share what i've seen at a couple US events vs what I see here in Ontario sometimes and to an extent what I saw last year at Nats in Van.
** disclaimer I know that some venues are limited with what can be done, and I KNOW that all organizers and designers have the best of intentions. So don't take any offense to this,
Guideline 1: Stop using a maze of tight 180's and 90 degree corners. All they do is inhibit the racers ability to race each other since all it does is cause brake checking even if no one is actually trying to brake check. This destroys group racing, and promotes lots of lone riders on course. = less exciting = less fun = less racers and spectators.
Guideline 2: Find the natural features like hills, wide forested sections, off camber banks, at a venue and guide the course to those, try to limit using stakes and tape to "make" features.
Really that's about it, those two things are what I believe separate what courses people love to do and what courses people just kinda do.