Harris Kalinka

Imagery + Animation Golf + Architecture

Wednesday 25th April 2018

Creating images for a golf course with no grading

We did our very first golf course animation for Weybrook Park Golf Club in 2009, so it was a nice surprise to receive a call from the club 9 years later to say they would like us to create some more imagery.

Back then, we worked with EIGCA Past President Ken Moodie on his proposed design for Weybrook’s 18 holes. The back 9 holes are now open for play and have been very well received by the members; the front 9 are currently under construction and will be completed in 2019. Now, another 9 holes have been proposed, to form a second course.

The club were keen to show prospective members how all 27 holes would look when built. Whilst they had drone footage for the back 9, they couldn’t capture the remaining 18 holes because there’s nothing there yet. They could wait until everything is built, but this won’t be for a couple of years. It would also mean missing out on the opportunity to sell memberships and generate the investment needed to keep the club running and, importantly, finance the development of the new holes. So they called us.

With 9 holes already built, 9 holes under construction and 9 holes on the drawing board, it meant there was a mix of information available to us, (or unavailable in respect of the grading, because there was none). Grading information is usually one of our prerequisites for creating any kind of visuals. But we like a challenge, and if you’re considering getting visuals done for a project where you don’t have grading yet, this project is a good example of what we can do without any grading at all.

Since all 27 holes will eventually have the same character, the club provided us with photographs of the existing back 9 holes, which we used as a reference for the overall look. And whilst there was no grading, they did have a great planting schedule showing the locations of the native trees, including hornbeam, lime, beech, hawthorn, buckthorn, hazel, rowan, whitebeam, juniper and silver birch.

Without the grading we couldn’t easily show the course close-up, so we discussed the options with the club and decided to create a selection of computer generated images (CGIs) showcasing the 27 holes from a variety of aerial perspectives.

As it happens, the golf course was the easy part, even without any grading. It was the surroundings that proved the biggest challenge, since the aerials required us to show views of the neighbouring fields, roads and housing. In the end we found a clever way to combine aerial photography with 3d modelling to create a context for the golf courses.

The club are currently using the imagery to attract new members and if all goes well, we will be expecting a call in another 9 years when they decide to expand to 36 or 54 holes!

Here is a selection of the final renders, showing how all 27 holes will look when they are finished.

This render is a close up of the newly proposed 9 hole course.