First virtual-only golf course will be based on the topography of rewilded Scottish landscape; In the heart of the historic birthplace of golf, Hyperspaces GC and Nicklaus designers find the terrain model for the metaverse’s premier golf destination.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL (Nov. 8, 2023) — Hyperscapes Golf Club and Nicklaus Companies proudly announce a key milestone in the development of their inaugural virtual-only golf club: the selection of a pristine terrain located on the western coast of Scotland as the foundation for Rocabarra Cliffs, the metaverse’s premier golf course and members-only golf club.
Rocabarra Cliffs is being developed by Hyperscapes GC and crafted by Nicklaus Design, a name synonymous with unrivaled golf course innovation. The groundbreaking partnership between the two firms was announced earlier this year: link.
A Tribute to Golf’s Rich Heritage
In the quest for the ideal terrain on top of which to craft a golfing masterpiece, Chad Goetz, Senior Design Associate at Nicklaus Design, selected a one square mile peninsula nestled along Scotland’s western coast, near the city of Shieldaig. The choice of this Scottish locale serves as an eloquent homage to the sport’s storied history. Scotland, widely recognized as the birthplace of golf, has nurtured centuries-old traditions that continue shaping the game we revere today.
“Our choice of Scotland for Rocabarra Cliffs highlights our commitment to honoring golf’s illustrious heritage,” said Gabor Tankovics, CEO and co-founder of Hyperscapes Golf Club. “Beyond its historical significance, Scotland’s spectacular and now largely vanished Caledonian forest provides an unparalleled backdrop for golf, an opportunity uniquely realized in a virtual-only setting.”
The remaining 84 Caledonian pinewood patches scattered across the Highlands attest to what the once “Great Wood” of Caledon used to be, before farming-induced deforestation took its toll.
Unlocking a Scottish Gem Thanks to the Power of the Metaverse
“The location is truly superb, on the edge of Loch Shieldaig, the continuation of Loch Torridon,” said Chad Goetz. “The peninsula features breathtaking views to the Loch and surrounding mountainsides. Its dramatic rocky landforms and extensive shoreline provide an ideal canvas for a unique and exciting golf experience that will translate well to the virtual world. I cannot wait to visit the site in person to gain additional inspiration and insight to translate into the design work. Reimagining the Caledonian forest on the site and integrating the course within it will be an exciting and rare design opportunity.”
While the peninsula is spectacular for golf design, it would be unimaginable today to construct a real-world golf course on top of it. The terrain is home to human real estate developments and includes protected natural areas. The land has also lost its original ecosystem due to deforestation. The magic of the metaverse lies precisely in its capacity to regenerate long-gone landscapes without the need to disrupt habitats or contend with physical real estate constraints.
The golf design process unfolds atop a digital twin of the terrain, utilizing LIDAR data, high-definition aerial photography, and digital terrain maps transformed into contour maps. The actual golf design commences with a hand-drawn preliminary routing map, mirroring the approach taken with physical Nicklaus Design golf courses. The finished course will feature challenging golf design and stunning photo-realistic 3D scenery.
Goetz further remarks on the design process, “Thus far, we have approached the design process for Rocabarra Cliffs in the exact manner that we develop all new designs around the world. Even though this golf course will be in the metaverse, we will design and “build” the course with the same detailed hands-on approach that we utilize on every project in the real world. We are excited about the virtual reality tools that Hyperscapes is developing that will allow us to craft the finer details of the design just like we always do on site.”
A Pioneering Virtual Rewilding Initiative
The coming nine months will be dedicated to the meticulous design of the golf course and the launch of a one-of-a-kind virtual rewilding initiative. Because the course is purely virtual, we have the ability to recreate the terrain’s biome so that we bring back the forests and wildlife that have been eliminated in the modern world. With the guidance of the world’s foremost experts in the archaeology of the Caledonian pinewood, the project embarks on a transformative journey restoring the terrain to its pristine state as it existed prior to human intervention. Visitors of the virtual scenery will experience a Scotland that once existed but is now gone, in a historically accurate and stunning form.
“The peninsula at Shieldaig is almost treeless now but before the earliest farmers 6,000 years ago, the thin soils supported a diverse woodland ecosystem of great richness,” says Dr Richard Tipping, former University of Stirling professor, whose research work focuses on Scotland’s environmental archaeology and the changes in vegetation over the ages. Dr. Tipping is also the scientific brain behind Hyperscapes GC’s virtual rewilding initiative. “The few surviving remnants on the Scottish west coast are dubbed the ‘Atlantic rainforest’, mixes of different tree species including the iconic Scot’s pine, now rare on the west coast. Different soils and exposures to Atlantic storms created a mosaic of woodland and open patches, with havens for wildlife.”
Hyperscapes GC is also working on partnerships in Scotland to contribute to the rewilding of the real-world Highlands - more on that as it develops. “For over a year now, we’ve had the vision to create a new sort of modern golf community, driven by sustainability and forward-thinking design,” says Tankovics. “I couldn’t be more excited to see that vision come to fruition through our virtual - and eventually physical - rewilding engagements.”
Founding Members Program
Membership to this first-of-its-kind metaverse golf club will be available through the purchase of Rocabarra Cliffs Memberships, which provide access to visit and play the course, as well as member rights in the golf club.
Early access is now available through a Founding Members Program limited to just 30 memberships. Like traditional founder memberships in newly developed golf facilities, the Founding Members Program will reward members who play an important part in the club’s story from the very beginning. Among other benefits, Founding Members will have private access to follow the entire golf design process, Founding Member-only events, significant discounts on future Hyperscapes GC offerings, and an unprecedented buy-back guarantee. Further perks and partnerships will be announced shortly.
The 3D golf course will be available for viewing by year-end, with the full course set to open for play in the second half of 2024.
For more information, visit www.hyperscapes.golf
About Hyperscapes Golf Club
Hyperscapes Golf Club is a metaverse golf community offering cutting-edge experiences for virtual golf play. It relies on three foundations: expertly designed virtual-only courses, exclusive memberships, and playability in photo-realistic 3D landscapes. Founded in 2022 in New York City, Hyperscapes Golf Club’s aim is to bring the quality and exclusivity of top-level private golf resorts to the virtual realm.
About Nicklaus Companies
For 50 years, the mission of Nicklaus Companies has been to enhance the golf experience and to deliver quality branded products and services on a global basis that mirror the high standards established in the career and life of its Founder, Jack Nicklaus. The Nicklaus Companies businesses include golf-course design, the development of golf and real estate communities, and the marketing and licensing of lifestyle products worldwide under the iconic Jack Nicklaus and Golden Bear brands. Nicklaus Design, recognized as the world leader in golf course design, has created over 430 courses worldwide, open for play in 45 countries and 40 U.S states. In 2007, Jack Nicklaus partnered with Howard Milstein to further the growth of the company and expand the branded businesses. In addition to institutionalizing the Nicklaus brands for the future, Milstein has instilled a personal philosophy of “A Brand That Gives Back,” with products and partners committing to donations to help the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and other charities.