The Royal & Ancient golf club and Golf 5 have partnered to bring one of golf’s original Major tournaments to the metaverse. Come July 15th, the VR Open at Royal Liverpool will launch in the online space.
Once the VR Open concludes, the overall medal winner will receive a trophy and tickets to the 152nd Open next year. Winners from other categories will be rewarded with limited edition VR Open memorabilia. Similarly, with The Open itself, there are qualifying events known as the ‘VR Open Qualifiers’, which are already underway as of July 1st and are being played on two of Golf 5’s virtual courses.
Neil Armit, chief commercial officer at The R&A said, “We have created The VR Open so that fans can engage with the championship like never before using technology and the Metaverse. This is an important development as we aim to attract new audiences to the sport and the advancement of technology enables us to offer ground-breaking experiences that are unique in golf. We look forward to seeing the reaction of fans as the first ever VR Open takes place this summer.”
Fostering community in the metaverse
The VR Open Qualifiers will feature four different entry categories based on a player’s individual Golf 5 handicap. In addition, the top 20 players from each category will qualify as a Green Badge Player, competing in the VR Open finals at Hoylake for free.
Once the finals are underway on July 15th, it’ll end over a month after, on August 19th to ensure players have enough time to play each round. Non-qualifying players and any other Golf 5 members can also compete in the VR Open as Red Badge Players.
Antonio Marin, president and co-founder of Golf 5 said, “We are thrilled to partner with The R&A to bring an immersive and authentic golf experience to life through virtual reality. Our goal is, and always will be, to grow the game we all love globally.”
Each qualifier will also be given a vanity card in the app which unlocks a free six-month subscription to The Virtual Open Zone at Hoylake. This access will allow them to tee up on the championship links course as many times as they wish and take part in all the upcoming events during the year.