Golf is a very interesting sport, one which you could play if you had the gear or the money to rent the gear, then find the time to go to a course, preferably with friends. Wearing the necessary clothes is mandatory and behaving in a certain way. Golf has its rituals which must be followed if one wants to enter a course and stay on it.
Well, things are different in our digital age, where video games are taking over and people are playing games as professionals, to earn money and compete against other professionals. Not all sports games have made it, but golf is one of them.
The European eTour – WGT and R&A
It is amazing when companies get together to organize what would otherwise be difficult for any of them alone. WGT is a game called World Golf Tour by Topgolf. World Golf Tour is a free game anybody can play online. It is a great golf video game where you get to play golf on some of the world’s most beautiful and well-known courses. Not only that, but since it is an online game, you can compete with some of the other best virtual golfers and check your skill.
It should come as no surprise that this video game has tournaments of its own, but the 2020 virtual tour came as a surprise to everyone.
Virtual Tours – More Golfers
Announced in 2019, in partnership with Mastercard, the R&A and Topgolf, WGT was to host a virtual tour which would last from July to September of 2020. The tour is a way of the R&A showing its fans and specifically fans of the Open Championship that they care and that the fans can engage in multiple ways. July and August would be used as qualification stages and the latter part of August would be used for an Exhibition match and a Knockout Stage with the Grand Final being saved for September.
More Tours in the Future?
The tour was handled as well as possible due to the global pandemic, but given its online state and the fact that players can play from their homes, definitely helped. Most esports tournaments actually took place, even though it was online rather than the usual LAN meetings.
No tournament was scheduled for 2021, at least no official tournament, or rather, sanctioned or backed by the R&A. Yet, there should be plenty more tournaments organized by Topgolf themselves, given that they have shown that they can host online golf tournaments and engage with fans.
Topgolf Starting Their own Esports?
Topgolf is a known quantity at this point and what they have shown is that they can handle responsibility and organize a tournament, even an esports one, during a global pandemic, where every challenge is elevated and is much more difficult than the year before, for example.
WGT is a great game and given that its player base will most likely expand, it is safe to assume that golf MIGHT become an esports at some time and that Topgolf will play a hand in it. They are in fact planning to have more tournaments in 2021, which is a good sign for golf esports.
The European tour was an amazing online virtual golf tournament organized by the R&A, Mastercard and Topgolf with their World Golf Tour. WGT is a free to play golf video game which you can play alone or against other virtual golfers, online of course.
The future of golf esports is looking brighter with organizers like Topgolf, particularly if they get backed by large organizations such as R&A or USGA.