For the last 15 years, Golden Tee players have been afforded the opportunity to flex their designer chops and take a shot at GT immortality. With each iteration of the beloved arcade fantasy golf series, Incredible Technologies and the Design-a-Hole team convene to review and discuss the merits of hundreds of hopeful hole design submissions. The winner earns their place among GT legends, to find their work in the next release of Golden Tee, and their very own Golden Tee Home Edition Showpiece Cabinet.
We sat with Jim Zielinski, Co-Creator and Course Designer of Golden Tee, for some insight on what makes a great Design-a-Hole submission, and what made Brad Tuttle’s “The Canyon” stand apart from the rest.
Jim Z. on DAH Basics
“When evaluating Design-a-Hole submissions, my first criterion is playability. Some hole submissions make me think ‘Wow, I would love to play this hole!’ The more I want to play it, the higher it ranks in the field of competition.”
Jim Z. on DAH 2023 Winner, “The Canyon”
“The first thing that struck me about Brad Tuttle’s, ‘The Canyon’, was how simple it is. Some of the best holes in Golden Tee are simple, easy to understand holes, that provide a fun challenge from tee to green. This hole, with its two target shots, seemed like it’d be fun. We always get a lot of complex design submissions that offer a myriad of paths to the hole. I call these “maze” holes. If they get too complex, players spend more time figuring out how to play it, and remembering ‘where to go’ instead of simply executing good shots. ‘The Canyon’ emphasizes Golden Tee skill over course knowledge.”
Jim Z. on Getting it in the Game
“The first course I thought of for “The Canyon” was South Pacific. The original design used a lake as the main hazard, but since we were reintroducing lava hazards on this course, I thought it would be fun to swap lake water for lava. The hole plays exactly the same, but there’s something a little more fun and dangerous about it.”
“As always, outside of the course environment, I try to recreate the submission as closely as possible to the original design. Sometimes there are adjustments needed for scale and distance when I transfer the 2D drawing into a 3D golf hole, but this one worked pretty well. I think the ‘The Canyon’ is a great addition to the South Pacific course, and it’s a lot of fun to play.”
Update season is upon us, and players will get the chance to experience Brad’s “The Canyon” when South Pacific becomes available on Golden Tee PGA TOUR 2023-2024 commercial games on July 31st, 2023. With a new iteration of GT on the horizon, another opportunity for players to take a shot at bringing their vision to everyone’s favorite fantasy golf game isn’t far behind. Stay tuned for more details on our 16th year of Design-a-Hole, and prepare for another shot at GT immortality! Cheers, friends!