By Design – Issue 55, Fall 2021

14 S even-in-ten Americans now use social media, and most of those at least once a day. It’s a similar picture across the globe; more than half of the world uses platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, for an average of more than two hours each day. Hospitality providers are appealing to this audience with visual stimuli; ‘Instagrammable’ features like flower walls, creative installations and bespoke lighting. Hotels, bars and restaurants know that if their venue has great visual appeal, there’s an increased chance of guests taking a snap and sharing it online. The result: free marketing. But to what extent is the golf industry recognizing this opportunity? Social media is awash with golf imagery, posted by amateurs and professionals alike. Golf course photographer Dave Sansom says he enjoys the feedback: “I’m interested in what kinds of photos appeal to folks. Thankfully, a good photograph of a gorgeous golf hole continues to capture the imaginations of those interested in golf and in golf courses. The more well-known courses receive the most clicks, but I get very positive activity from even little-known properties when a photograph, itself, is a standout.” Sansom says that his most popular photographs are of courses that offer a close connection to nature: “Long views, native areas juxtaposed with manicured fairways and greens, and water are all important elements of a good photograph, and they continue to have universal appeal.” He highlights two different courses that successfully blend these attributes: the new McLemore layout in Georgia designed by ASGCA Past President Rees Jones and Bill Bergin, ASGCA, and the Plantation course at Kapalua, in Hawaii, designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, ASGCA. “Few courses on the planet offer vistas to match those of AESTHETICS Eye As more golfers carry smartphones equipped with powerful cameras and instant access to social media audiences, is aesthetic appeal an increasingly important aspect of golf course design? Toby Ingleton reports. candy