Fore! Golf Channel adds virtual gaming tie-in

Michelle Clancy | 21-01-2013

Golf Channel is turning to the World Golf Tour online gaming community to provide its audience with a way to play golf at some of the most famous golf courses in the world.
Golf Channel viewers can play free online golf and be invited to compete in the Golf Channel Virtual Tour which, as part of World Golf Tour, offers members opportunities to play famous golf courses online for free, challenge their friends, improve their play with access to virtual golf equipment and win prizes by entering tournaments and sweepstakes.
"The growth of online gaming has been impressive, and this partnership gives Golf Channel not only a new way to interact with a growing community of passionate golfers, but also offers another way for our viewers to enjoy the game in a relevant and authentic way," said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel. "As the best-in-class among online golf gaming platforms, World Golf Tour offers our users unmatched service and experience. And to have the experience to compete against the team from Morning Drive is a unique opportunity only Golf Channel and the World Golf Tour can provide."
The Golf Channel Virtual Tour will be promoted both online and on air, with Golf Channel's popular morning show, Morning Drive, taking the lead. Co-hosts will discuss their favourite WGT courses, favourite holes and may compete against each other virtually. World Golf Tour also will offer virtual avatars of Morning Drive's hosts.
World Golf Tour can be played online with a Web browser or via a mobile app available for iPhone or iPad. It reports that 94% of their more than six million registered users also play real-world golf. Users spend more than 35 minutes per online visit, playing a long list of famous courses like The Old Course at St Andrews Links, Oakmont Country Club, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Bethpage Black, Royal St George's Golf Club, Congressional Country Club, and The Olympic Club, host of the 2012 US Open Championship. Each course is captured in high definition photography from myriad angles.
"We are thrilled to bring World Golf Tour to the Golf Channel family," said YuChiang Cheng, co-founder and CEO at World Golf Tour. "Both companies have large audiences of golfers, so there's a natural fit for customers, and great cross-marketing opportunities."