So you want to enter this year’s Design-a-Hole Contest…
Good. You should. Who doesn’t want their own creation—a golf hole that came from within—featured in Golden Tee 2017? And who wouldn’t want their own Golden Tee Home Edition, valued at more than $4,000?
All you have to do to enter this year’s contest is a design a par-3, par-4, or par-5—and feel free to create as many as you want—and email it to email@example.com. You can also mail your creation to the address found here, if you so desire.
That’s the basic nature of the contest, although the full breakdown of prizes and details can be read at goldentee.com/designahole.
But you don’t just want to submit a handful of designs to participate. You want to win. And in an effort to guide you in the right direction, we are here to help your efforts with some Design-a-Hole tips.
I have sat in the room. I have heard what the Design-a-Hole judges have said. I know more than I am supposed to, although I am happy to pass this intel along. Let’s get to it.
Make Sure Your Design Makes Golden Tee Sense: This is, without question, the most important piece of information I can offer. On the surface, it sounds easy. But when you get into the designing process, this is the part where many go astray.
Think about all the games you’ve played. Think about all the holes and locations you’ve seen. Take that information and incorporate it with what you do.
No, a 900-yard par-5 won’t be making it to the finals. Neither will a par-3 in a baseball stadium or a par-4 on an aircraft carrier. We love the outside-the-box thinking, but harness it some. Think long and hard about whether your design could fit in the game, because ultimately that’s where you want it to be.
Don’t Forget About the Layup: It’s safe to say that just about every design submitted this year will carry some risk vs. reward. This is the origin of the contest. But in creating a fun, difficult shot—or maybe “shots”—don’t forget about giving players the option to play safe.
It sounds small, but believe me, it’s important. Every great Golden Tee hole you have ever played has given players the ability to play safe. It’s hugely important. To complete the perfect golf hole, you need to think about players of all skillsets and preferences.
Now, About That Creativity: We’re not asking you to reinvent the game of virtual golf. However, coming up with a different idea with your design—whether it be an obstacle or a type of shot—will ultimately shape how the judges view your design.
The best advice I could offer here is actually somewhat simple: Think of your favorite real golf holes. Think of your favorite Golden Tee holes. What makes them great? What could you do better?
While I am not telling you to copy and paste a Golden Tee hole from 2005, it’s not a bad place to look to get an idea. Once you have a concept, you can really make it yours. What shot have you always wanted to hit but haven’t? Is there a type of design that hasn’t been done yet that still makes Golden Tee sense (see: above)?
Mind Your Distances and Elevations: The judges will quite literally measure your design using a ruler or yardstick. Keep that in mind when you draw up tee shots and approaches into green. Along those lines, keep an eye on what clubs you would use if you were actually playing.
Does it actually work? Would it be too easy? Too hard? This, in many ways, gets back to making Golden Tee sense. But ensuring that the clubs available can play the design is significant. As is making sure that the elevation changes on a hole fit.
Sure, hitting it up a mountain sounds fun, but could this shot be done in the actual game? Thinking through each shot in a design is critical.
Don’t Limit Yourself to One Geographical Location: This one is important, and I can’t tell you how many designs have been tossed out simply because they didn’t fit the current round of new courses.
Create a golf hole. Don’t create a hole in the snow or a hole in a specific ocean. If you tie your hole to a specific place in the world and we’re not building a course containing those environmental attributes, you could be out of luck.
Maybe you’ll get lucky. It’s happened before. But instead of designing to a specific kind of course, let the designers tweak your design to fit a location instead. A good golf hole will hit anywhere.
That’s all for now, although we’ll be back. Be sure to get your ideas in before April 15 to be included!