Harris Kalinka

Imagery + Animation Golf + Architecture

Thursday 16th February 2017

Golf Industry Show 2017 Wrap-up

For us it was one of the most exciting shows in recent years because we were demo-ing the Oculus for the first time and we were anxious to know what the reaction would be.

We’ve spent months working on golf course projects in virtual reality (VR) but we had never before shown them to such a large audience.

The VR proved to be a big attraction and after only a few people had used it word spread and we had people queuing to give it a go and stand on a golf course in virtual reality.

We showed a selection of our latest projects and took people to Vietnam, Mexico, China, the UK, Indonesia and the USA.

HK’s Andrew Harris explaining the process of creating golf courses in virtual reality to course architect Forrest Richardson

For golf course architects it was particularly interesting for them to see the technology, and discuss the opportunities and potential application. We had the likes of Ernie Els Design, Arnold Palmer Design, Gary Player Design, Beau Welling, Robert Trent Jones II and Tiger Woods Design come over and chat about it.

Geoff Shackelford from the Golf Channel also stopped by to try the Oculus and interviewed us for the Morning Drive program.

Geoff Shakelford of the Golf Channel experiencing golf courses in virtual reality using the Oculus

For a bit of fun we included a large alligator on one of the greens, standing right at the feet of the viewer. This proved to be a bit of a shock for some. We had a couple of people scream out loud. Another tried to run away and we had to stop her from pulling our equipment off the table. And one tried to kick the alligator but instead he caught Juris who was standing close by.

Some people were surprised to see this virtual alligator standing at their feet

IMG’s Director of Agronomy Chris May just about to meet our virtual alligator!

The last time we were at GIS we focused on new-build courses, but, recently, we have been working with more and more existing courses to show their renovations and redesigns. Consequently, we had a lot of very productive conversations with course architects and clubs who are currently involved in such projects, discussing how our CGIs, animations and now VR, can help them communicate the changes to the existing members and help attract new members.

Possibly the biggest compliment of all was the number of people who mistook our animations for drone footage and they couldn’t believe that what they were seeing was computer generated.

Overall, the show was a big success for Harris Kalinka. It was an opportunity for us to show our new VR technology, meet a lot of our friends in the industry and make new ones. We even found time to fit in a couple of rounds before our flight home. We are already planning what we can bring to next year’s GIS in San Antonio.

An early morning round of golf at Kissimmee Golf Club in Florida