European Tour uses VR to bring unique experiences to golf fans
One of the things that sets golf apart from most other sports is the scenery and setting you can enjoy – either as a player or as a fan.
There aren’t many greater yearly spectacles in sport than the Masters at Augusta: you’ve spent months shielding from the cold and you’re told that spring is coming, but it’s the blossoming azaleas and the lush fairways at the Masters that really bring it home.
Experiencing sport live is, clearly, a different experience than you get watching on TV. In golf, that difference is exacerbated.
The TV experience for most sports is based on the visual, the selling point is that is brings you the best seat in the house. The same is, perhaps, true in golf. After all, you get to follow the swing, the ball, and see exactly where the shot ends up on the green – the same can’t really be said for being on the course.
But being on the course provides you with the kind of experience you will simply never get from the TV, no matter how much the directors focus on the blossoming flowers: you’ll never get to see the layout of the course, the views the players see, the smell of the freshly cut grass.
But the European Tour seems to be latching on to Virtual Reality technology in the hope of providing viewers at home with the sort of experiences those on the course can get – at least the visual ones anyway.
The video below is of European Tour golfer Nacho Elvira taking you along with him as he plays the 18th hole at the UBS Hong Kong Open.
And it seems like there’s a trend forming: below is another 360 VR video from the European Tour, this time following a day in the life of Ian Poulter.
The best things about golf are the old-fashioned joys of being outdoors. It’s ironic that VR might be the perfect vehicle to bring that romance to a whole new audience.
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Dan sat down with Mark Gilbert, until recently the Head of Digital Communications at The Football Association. Previous to that he worked at The Sun and News of the World, bringing together a great mix of sports and technology knowledge.