Golf Course Architecture - Issue 75, January 2024

43 EYEBROW (E.G. BLINDNESS) Stephen Curry and Formula One legend Lewis Hamilton, and with a host of the world’s top players signed up to participate. TGL signed a multi-year broadcast deal with ESPN in October and was due to start its first season this month, but an incident in November when the roof of the new Sofi Center in Florida collapsed, has forced it to be postponed by a year. All the league’s backers have stressed that they remain fully committed to the concept, though it is not yet clear whether the delay will have any impact on player participation. The simulator boom is feeding through into the mainstream golf market too. Figures from the NGF suggest that 6.2 million Americans used golf simulators in the last twelve months, a huge increase on the previous year, and that there are over 1,600 businesses across the country that have simulators. An obvious Insta-worthy golf Generation Z is said to favour experiences over possessions, and as digital natives – the first generation to grow up with the internet – have a strong inclination to share experiences on social media. Holes that are particularly photogenic may therefore help draw young people towards the sport. Here we select four of the most ‘Insta-worthy’ holes on the planet. The ‘bonus’ nineteenth hole of TGR Design’s Payne’s Valley course at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri, is surrounded by huge rock walls. Cliffs. Lighthouse. Atlantic Ocean. The fourth is one of several holes at Old Head Links in Ireland that could have made our shortlist. Photo: Toptracer Photo: Jacob Sjoman There are seventy-mile views from the closing hole at McLemore in Georgia. Expect more of the same when its new course The Keep opens in 2024. Photo: Dave Sansom Photo: Big Cedar Lodge What better way to finish than the eighteenth hole on the Old course at St Andrews, and the iconic Swilcan Bridge? Photo: Kevin Murray