The US Golf Association (USGA) is partnering with the popular game World Golf Tour to start a new esports tournament. The game, likely to start next month, will offer real-life head-to-head competitions for the users.
The USGA is no stranger to virtual real-world tournaments, as it is one of the earliest organisational supporters of esports.
During the past decade, USGA has played an active role in supporting the Virtual U.S. Open, which is available on the popular World Golf Tour (WGT) app. The association has recently extended its relationship with Topgolf, the owners of the app and a chain of golf-themed entertainment venues, to launch a brand-new tournament that offers players something new: a step out of the virtual world.
WGT is currently hosting its first Virtual U.S. Amateur tournament, which will culminate next month in a championship round with both a virtual location – a tournament on a digital representation of the Pebble Beach Golf Links – and a physical location, at Topgolf’s Atlanta venue.
The event, currently underway in qualifying rounds, will feature an online tournament for the top 32 scores. The top two players will compete in person in a head-to-head tournament. The winner will receive gift cards – $500 from Topgolf, $500 from USGA – and an exemption for the next Virtual U.S. Open, just like the actual amateur tournament.
“The U.S. Amateur-style format of this new tournament and live championship at Topgolf Atlanta Midtown will create an exciting virtual golf experience for competitors and spectators alike,” Topgolf Media President YuChiang Cheng said in a news release.
It is the first time that a virtual event hosted by WGT and USGA has included a physical component. Navin Singh, who heads global content and media distribution for the association, says it is a key way for the USGA to reach a new audience.