Image: Golf+, PGA Tour
Golf+ evolved from a small putting simulator to a full-fledged VR golf game. In February 2023, even the PGA Tour will be added.
Golf+ is a constantly evolving VR sports success story. In May 2020, the licensed practice facility for putting in virtual reality launched for Meta Quest (2). Then it had the bulky name “Pro Putt by Topgolf”. Mini-game updates and multiplayer support followed. In November 2021, the title finally changed to “Golf+” with full-fledged golf courses.
The realistic gameplay and the physics even convinced the organizer of the most important US tournament series. Golf+ becomes the exclusive VR golf game of the PGA Tour in February 2023. The Florida-based organization announced a long-term partnership bringing real-world tournament courses to VR. The Tournament Players Club (TPC) of Scottsdale and TPC Sawgrass will kick things off.
The PGA Tour comes to the Quest 2
The Austin, Texas-based developer studio isn’t expected to limit itself to implementing real-world events. Likewise, the partners are planning “exclusive, interactive content related to real-world PGA Tour events.” Details on that are not yet available.
Those who prefer joining the PGA Tour with more real-world courses will apparently have to be patient. “More tournament courses will be added in the coming years,” according to the announcement. To optimize their own game, users can access the Shotlink statistics system (supported by CDW Data), visualizations of the trajectory, and highlight videos of real tournaments.
Golf+’s backers include sporting greats such as Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Brady, Steph Curry, Mike Trout, and Ben Crenshaw (World Golf Hall of Fame). Spieth is primarily excited about the immersive experience of playing in VR.
“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.”
VR Golf with six-figure player count
There are no exact sales figures for Golf+, but the PGA Tour at least reveals some statistics. Since the app renaming, “hundreds of thousands” of players have played more than six million rounds.
Golf+ is available for $20.99 for Quest systems. Quest 1 owners will have to do without full courses and other features listed in the store. Real courses like Pebble Beach, Pinehurst No. 2, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, Valhalla, and Wolf Creek come with paid expansions.
In the realm of traditional flat-screen games, Take-Two’s PGA Tour 2K23 currently holds the official license – including Tiger Woods and top golf mini-games. Despite more variety and content, teeing off with the gamepad might not feel nearly as intuitive as with the VR controller. Various golf club attachments for the Quest 2 controller make the hitting experience more believable.