From a distance, "Hole in One" rises up from the playa as a great hillside. Its vibrant green artificial grass seems to glow against the beige backdrop of the playa. I can see figures all congregated at different points in the sculpture. Some are waiting patiently at the top of the hill, putter and ball in hand, but many are spectating at the bottom of the hill. The provided seating and steps provide a great place for viewers to watch as participants attempt to achieve this hole-in-one. The strung LED lighting hung around the perimeter of the sculpture, twinkle in the fading light, and as the sun sets, the hillside comes alive with color. Bright obstacles become illuminated amidst a complex web of elevated tracks and colorful sculptural elements that the ball can travel through. At the bottom of the hillside the crowd is focused, all watching as a tiny little golf ball tumbles down through the colorful mixing of obstacles, ricochets off of a bumper and then inches toward the glowing cup. The crowd lets out a gasp of anticipation, followed by an "ooohh, so close!" The ball doesn't quite make it into the hole, yet the participant excitedly bounds down the hillside and retrieves their narrowly-missed putt. Turning immediately they scramble back up to happily try it again. Upon only a few minutes of watching these interactions it becomes clear that this hole-in-one shot is exceedingly difficult, yet the sheer joy of experiencing the struggle makes it worth all the effort.
The obstacles on the hillside are built with an efficient use of material and a clean industrial aesthetic. Varied in form, the obstacles somewhat resemble a rube-goldberg machine. Bent ramps on the hillside launch the golf balls in different directions. An intricate track systems carries the ball through a variety of kinetic obstacles, and sculpted turf covered forms direct the rolling balls down the hill. This array of sculptural elements provide endless pathways and possibilities for the ball to get from the putting green to the hole. The hillside, though quite busy with the forms, has open space on the either side allowing participants an easy and safe path up the hill.
There is a critical aspect to the design of this sculpture, that is not visually present in its final form. The whole piece is supported by a shipping container that serves as its main structural foundation. Doubling in function, the shipping container also provides an easy and quick way for the sculpture to be packed up and shipped to a new location. This aspect will allow "Hole in One" to reach the widest audience possible and will make it easy for it to conform to any new environment.