World No. 1 Rory McIlroy has thrown his full backing behind news the PGA TOUR and GOLF+, the leading VR golf game in the world, have signed a long-term deal that makes GOLF+ the “Official Virtual Reality Golf Game of the PGA TOUR.
The agreement will also see the creation of new PGA TOUR game experiences where GOLF+ players will be able to experience exclusive, interactive content and features tied to real-world PGA TOUR tournaments.
“This technology has the power to not only bring new people to the game of golf, but also evolve the way the PGA TOUR is seen and experienced by golfers and gamers everywhere,” said McIlroy in a statement released by the PGA Tour.
Using a Meta Quest VR headset, GOLF+ users will be able to compete on select TPC Network golf courses and other PGA TOUR tournament courses beginning with TPC Scottsdale and TPC Sawgrass early in 2023. These in- game PGA TOUR experiences will offer players exclusive tournament competition within the game. Additional tournament courses will be added in the coming years to join the GOLF+ roster of world-class venues.
“The PGA TOUR is excited to work with GOLF+, the leading golf game in the emerging VR gaming market,” said Len Brown, PGA TOUR Chief Legal Officer, and EVP, Licensing. “The GOLF+ VR platform is a forward-thinking way to enjoy the sport that is appealing to gamers and golfers of all levels, and an innovative way for people to play the game of golf and grow the sport globally. The TOUR will support the partnership with new courses, ShotLink powered by CDW data, shot trails and video highlights from PGA TOUR competitions.”
GOLF+ will have rights to use PGA TOUR marks, rights to advertise within TOUR media and TOUR partner platforms, plus content and video rights allowing GOLF+ to create unique, in-game experiences.
Ryan Engle, Co-Founder and CEO of GOLF+, forwarded a reply message to @IrishGolfer saying: “Our mission is to grow the game of golf by making it more accessible. Which includes being as inclusive as possible. One nice thing about playing in VR is you aren’t being judged by anyone. Whether you’re a pro or a beginner you can play in a safe environment without the fear of strange looks or not feeling welcome. We also have a discord community with sub communities for people looking for like-minded people to play with. Health wise it’s not nearly as good as real golf but we’ve had players that claim to have lost as much as 20lbs playing GOLF+.
“It’s much more active than a traditional video game and you can break a sweat playing. It’s also great for mental health because when you’re in VR, you aren’t getting phone notifications or being distracted by the “real world”, and golf courses are often a calm place to be. Especially when the course is all yours, or you’re playing with friends.
“We’ve worked hard to create the most realistic physics possible. You’re not swinging a full length club so there are differences, but the ball physics is accurate and it’s especially great for practice your short game, and course management. More to come on the PGA Partnership as we work closely with their team to define the experience.
“We look forward to working with the PGA TOUR as it provides the ability to present unparalleled interactive tournament experiences to our players in VR. We are both committed to using innovative technology and interactive experiences to reach new golfers worldwide and grow the game we love.”
Golfers and other athletes who have joined GOLF+ as investors include not only McIlroy, but Jordan Spieth, World Golf Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw, Tom Brady, Steph Curry and Mike Trout.
McIlroy added to his earlier remarks saying: “This technology has the power to not only bring new people to the game of golf, but also evolve the way the PGA TOUR is seen and experienced by golfers and gamers everywhere.”
“When I was a kid, I always dreamed of making it to the PGA TOUR and testing my game inside the ropes against the best players in the world,” added Jordan Spieth. “It’s great that fans and future TOUR pros are going to be able to use this platform to get a taste for what it’s like to compete on the PGA TOUR.”
Designed to be complementary to traditional golf, the GOLF+ VR experience removes typical barriers such as time constraints, greens fees and weather to allow users to play anywhere, anytime. For those who have never picked up a club in the real world, it offers a stress-free way to learn, play and practice at their own pace.
Avid golfers can enjoy realistic physics and life-like recreations of some of the most iconic courses in the world. In less than a year since launch, the platform’s hundreds of thousands of golfers have played over six million rounds on the platform.
GOLF+ is currently available on the Meta Quest 2 platform for $US 29.99. The game comes standard with original course designs, Topgolf, and a mini golf experience called Pro Putt. Players can add the famed Pebble Beach, Pinehurst No.2, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island and Wolf Creek Golf Club as in-app purchases. GOLF+ allows for both single-player and multiplayer options, making it ideal for solo practice or a social round.
GOLF+ is the leading VR golf game on the market. Created by entrepreneurs and Co-Founders Ryan Engle and Rob Holzhauer, GOLF+ was designed to make golf more accessible to everyone. Perfect for newcomers who have never played traditional golf, or avid players who are seeking a “real” golf experience, GOLF+ is the ideal way to learn, practice and play with friends and family anywhere, at any time. The game is currently available on the Meta Quest 2 platform. To learn more visit www.golfplusvr.com.