World Golf Tour score record numbers playing on virtual course.
The Virtual U.S. Open, an online golf game that enables fans to play U.S. Open Championship courses in virtual reality, has surpassed the 10 million mark in rounds played. The milestone was announced today by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and World Golf Tour (WGT).
First launched in 2009, the Virtual U.S. Open is available free-of-charge to golf fans who want to experience the excitement of the U.S. Open Championship. The USGA and WGT work in partnership each year to model and create digitized versions of U.S. Open courses in precise detail, including Merion Golf Club’s East Course, the 2013 host course, and The Olympic Club’s Lake Course, the 2012 host course. The games are available by visiting www.usopen.com or www.wgt.com.
Participation in the Virtual U.S. Open has grown steadily. About 1.2 million virtual rounds of golf were played on Bethpage State Park’s Black Course, host of the U.S. Open in 2009, while Merion’s East Course recorded 3.3 million virtual rounds in 2013. The combined total of more than 10.3 million virtual rounds over five years reflects a 28 percent average annual growth rate.
“The growth of the Virtual U.S. Open over the past five years confirms for us that golfers want to have a deeper experience with our national championship,” said Sarah Hirshland, senior managing director of business affairs for the USGA. “World Golf Tour complements our other digital programming by giving golfers and golf fans a unique way to truly play the course, providing a more meaningful appreciation of the real-world event.”