Not many Chicago golf fans are aware that Arlington Heights is home to one of the prodigious golf architects in the world. He’s already designed over 80 golf courses and over 1,400 holes, including some of the most spectacular golf vistas ever created. His work has been compared to legendary golf course designers such as Donald Ross, Pete Dye and Rees Jones.
His name is Jim Zielinski, and unlike Ross, Dye and Jones, all of his golf course designs are completely virtual. Mr. Zielinski is a golf course designer for Arlington Heights-based Incredible Technologies, which is the largest manufacturer of pay-to-play video games in the United States. The company’s flagship title, Golden Tee Golf, is the most successful out-of-home entertainment video game in history and can be found in thousands of establishments from coast-to-coast.
As senior game designer for Golden Tee, Jim Zielinski’s courses are entirely virtual, but his intricate creations are as complex and challenging as any of the most famous golf courses in the world. Zielinski’s latest designs—some of his best yet—will be available in October when Golden Tee LIVE 2012, the newest edition of the Golden Tee franchise, launches in bars and pubs around the world.
Fans are already clamoring to take their shot at the newest courses. “We’re mandated to keep Golden Tee fresh and vibrant,” says Zielinski. “Players expect something new every year, and the 2012 courses won’t let them down.”
Since joining Incredible Technologies 24 years ago, Zielinski has conceptualized every tee box, sand trap, water hazard and pin placement for Golden Tee’s courses, making it the top coin-operated video game ever. His ultra-realistic but entirely fictional golf courses are set in some of the world’s most famous places, such as New York’s Central Park and the Egyptian pyramids. One of his latest designs truly reaches the pinnacle of adventure—a course designed atop Nepal’s Mount Everest. Zielinski’s courses are the reason Golden Tee has cultivated a dedicated fan base of millions.
So how does a video game that’s been around for over 20 years attract new players and stay exciting? By incorporating vibrant, innovative course challenges and new features like those that will dazzle players in Golden Tee LIVE 2012. Plenty of surprises await fans on the fairways of Royal Cove – Half Moon Bay, Antigua; Grand Canyon – Tusayan, Arizona; Auburn Glen – Granville, Vermont; and Dusty Bend – Sayre, Oklahoma.
“I love taking our players to exotic locales like the top of Mt. Everest or the bottom of the Grand Canyon,” Zielinski remarks. “With Golden Tee LIVE 2012, we have the perfect mix to attract new players and keep veteran players happy. The courses are scenic, challenging, whimsical and full of adventure—we think the professional course designers would be blown away by them.”
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