“The titles for the jobs you will have, have not been created yet” is a phrase I’ve heard a few speakers proclaim to students, particularly in the digital media and social media marketing space. Real merit should be given to such a claim as the omni-present social media manager was barely a blip on any company’s radar 15-20 years ago. The world is moving fast and the shifts create opportunities to forge new markets and generate new types of jobs.
As my exposure with golf club and course design broadens through our work at Intown Golf Club, combined with the recent news of Killearn Country Club being purchased by Atlanta Ventures CEO, David Cummings, the obvious advancements occurring in the golf industry are exciting. The pandemic pushed the sport to unseen popularity levels and entrepreneurs are developing opportunities to scratch the golf itch outside of traditional green grass venues. Two ways are through indoor simulators like Trackman and VR golf companies like GolfPlus.
Now that the stage is set, the job of tomorrow someone should start crafting today is a Digital Golf Course Designer. This is different from using software to design traditional green grass golf courses like several firms do right now. Instead, this title is being the first mover (and thought leader) to design fictitious courses. As the popularity of screen golf and VR golf increases, so will the need for beautiful and memorable golf course experiences. The problem with mapping traditional green grass courses is time, access, and money. Trackman is a great example. As of this writing, Trackman has 159 courses in the library with 3 new ones added every month. A few of the 159 are fictitious with names like Devil’s Island or Crystal Pines. To get real courses in the digital world takes drones flying the course, approval from the club, and months of implementation.
Imagine a world where there is a Tom Doak or Gil Hanse of digital golf course design. When a masterpiece is created, that designer can sell or license it to all the simulator companies (assuming they open up their ecosystem) and growing VR golf games?
If you are a fan of golf design and architecture, now is the perfect time to be early on a wave which is growing in popularity. The best way I know how to get started: pick your favorite golf course design software, build some courses, write about why you made each hole, and publish it to the world.