Golfgraffix Joe McDonnell Clubhouse CPD Tim Lobb

Date: Wed 17 Feb 2021

A picture paints a thousand words

The saying goes that “A picture paints a thousand words” and we wanted to take this further by delving into the different presentation tools to enhance our golf course designs to help win those all-important major projects.

We kicked off the 2021 series of our popular Clubhouse virtual get-togethers with a talk about enhanced presentation techniques for golf course architects.

Golf course design is visual, not just for when architects are bidding for new projects, but also for golf clubs to promote their course and offering. For golf course architects, it is important to present designs in the best way possible to put yourself ahead of the competition.

Computer simulations

Drone Survey

Drone Survey

The first speaker was John Aherne of Golfgraffix. The company started off producing graphics for golf course architects, now 11 years later, the average time to produce graphics for an 18-hole course has reduced from six to two weeks.

After developing its own software inhouse, simulations are now produced on the Unreal gaming engine. These simulations allow a golf course to be shown in 3D-presentation mode, or in full Virtual Reality with a headset to walk around the course.

Golfgraffix identified that golf course architects are increasingly becoming more computer-savvy and producing their own graphics. From this year, as well as producing the rendering itself, the company is offering to build the base model which an architect then exports to their preferred modelling software, to do their own rendering for client presentations. The same applies to flyby footage.

Time-lapse imagery is also on offer for impact statements and studies, with shadow analysis at different times of the day.

3D Visuals

Silloth's 13th hole as a digital model, and a physical relief model

Silloth's 13th hole as a digital model, and a physical relief model

The second speaker was Joe McDonnell, a golf artist who specialises in 2D and 3D visuals. From the base of a single high-quality aerial survey, Joe will create a watercolour, at high resolution, of individual holes or a whole course. These can be printed in high quality up to large scale without losing definition.

Joe creates 3D WaterMaps that are flat printed on paper. Using drone footage he creates 3D models and interactive course tours, which can be embedded on to a website with notations, animated GIFs and videos identifying key points.

A large 3D model will make a course come to life. By taking a large image and slicing it into tiles, which are produced on a 3D printer and then laser-cut, the tiles can be reassembled into a large display on a wall, under glass, etc, to create a scale visualisation of the course, or its elements.

Striking visuals are crucial

Tim Lobb, EIGCA’s Vice-President, concluded the session with: “As golf course architects, we all think about ways to present our designs. We try to get the edge over our competition by producing something with the wow factor for potential clients. There are fewer projects around so we need to up our game in terms of pitching for work. If you are not up-to-date on the options available for presentations, plenty of competitors will be and are willing to jump on the opportunities you are not taking. Striking visuals are crucial.”

To find out more about the presentation tools discussed in the Clubhouse:

Fellow, Members and Associate Members can earn CPD Credits by joining a Clubhouse session live or by watching a recording later.

You can claim 2 Education Credits and 1 Professional Credit for the live session - codes are usually sent out by email the day before.

If you are watch a recording after the event they can only claim the 2 Education Credits - by logging in to the CPD website and manually inputting the claim.

Golf Course Design
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