This story appears in the September 10, 2012 issue of Forbes:
How to Beat Tiger Woods
"WGT has the number one online golf game and golf website in the world, with more than 5 million registered users and 2.5 million unique monthly visitors (more than Golf.com and PGA.com)."
"WGT's golf-game success is in large part the result of its painstaking attention to the look and feel of each course. Sun dapples the fairways, and wind rustles the trees in each of the 15 courses it has captured so far."
"The process of turning 18 holes into an immersive digital experience begins by shooting up to 300,000 photos with high-definition and laser cameras, on land and from a helicopter and plane, each picture attached to an exact location using GPS. Imaging can take two to three weeks and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per course."
"By offering the best visuals from day one and releasing the game as a free-to-play online experience, WGT avoids Electronic Arts' annual ritual of updating the game's software engine, revisiting each course to improve the visuals and charging another $60 to gamers."
"In the future we'll have all major sports covered with Internet and mobile titles and a strong Web presence for each." - YuChiang Cheng, founder and CEO, WGT
"WGT is really the only thing going now." - Mitchael Pachter, videogame analyst, Wedbush Morgan Securities
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Based in San Francisco, WGT Media is home to the most engaged sports fans in the world, with over 13 million players spending more than 90 minutes online per visitor across online, social and mobile platforms.
The flagship property, WGT Golf (www.wgt.com) is the #1 free golf game with over 400 million total rounds played. WGT Golf features 20 famous virtual golf courses that are recreated using HD photography and patented technology, including Merion, Pebble Beach and St Andrews. WGT runs the annual Virtual U.S. Open in partnership with the USGA, and has partnered with NBC's Golf Channel. WGT offers a range of virtual golf equipment from leading manufacturers, including Callaway, Cleveland, Nike, Ping, Srixon and TaylorMade.
In 2012, WGT launched WGT Baseball: MLB (www.wgtbaseball.com) in partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media. WGT Baseball is a realistic baseball game with over four million registered players on Facebook. It puts fans inside their favorite MLB ballparks in HD virtual reality with MLB uniforms and MLB players. In a unique blend of social gaming and fantasy baseball, players manage their rosters of Facebook friends, making strategic in-game decisions and competing head-to-head against other players in rival games and mini seasons.
More at www.wgtmedia.com
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- WGT Golf Mobile
Kiawah Island Ocean Course
The Olympic Club
- WGT Golf
St.Andrews Old Course
- WGT Virtual U.S. Open
Pinehurst #2 Hole 3
Pinehurst #2 Hole 9
- WGT Baseball: MLB
WGT Virtual Golf Courses
- Bali Hai (Las Vegas, NV) –
host of 2004 Golf Channel Big Break and 2009 Golf World Top Public Courses
- Bethpage Black (Farmingdale, NY) –
host of 2009 U.S. Open and 2013 Golf.com #36 Top Golf Course
- Cabo del Sol (Los Cabos, Mexico) –
2009 Golf Magazine #95 Top Golf Course
- Celtic Manor Twenty Ten Course (Wales, UK) –
host of 2010 Ryder Cup and 2013 Wales Open
- Chateau Whistler (Vancouver, Canada) –
Top 100 Golf Courses in the World
- Congressional Country Club (Bethesda, MD) –
host of 2011 U.S. Open and 2013 AT&T National and 2011 Golf Digest #77 Top Golf Course
- Edgewood (Lake Tahoe, NV) –
host of 2013 American Century Celebrity Golf Championship and 2011 Golf Digest #65 Top Golf Course
- Harbour Town Golf Links (Hilton Head, SC) –
host of 2013 PGA Heritage Tournament and 2011 Golf Digest #21 Top Golf Course
- Hilversumsche Golf Club (Netherlands) –
host of 2010 KLM Open and Top 100 Golf Courses in the World
- Kiawah Island Ocean Course (Kiawah, SC) –
host of 1991 Ryder Cup and 2010 PGA Championship, and 2011 Golf Digest #4 Top Golf Course
- NEW - The Experience at Koele (Lanai, Hawaii) –
Greg Norman design course
- Challenge at Manele (Lanai, Hawaii) –
Top 100 Golf Courses in the World
- Merion Golf Club
hosted five U.S. Opens including the 2013 U.S. Open, and 2013 Golf.com #9 Top Golf Course
- Oakmont (Oakmont, PA) –
hosted eight U.S. Opens including the 2009 U.S. Open and 2013 Golf.com #8 Top Golf Course
- The Olympic Club (San Francisco, CA) –
hosted five U.S. Opens including the 2012 U.S. Open, and 2013 Golf.com #9 Top Golf Course
- Pebble Beach Golf Links (Pebble Beach, CA) –
America’s greatest public golf course, the site of five U.S. Open championships and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
- NEW - Pinehurst No. 2 (Pinehurst, NC) –
host of the 2014 U.S. Open Chamionships
- Pinehurst No. 8 (Pinehurst, NC) –
2010 Golf Magazine #100 Top Golf Course
- Royal St George's Golf Club (Sandwich, UK) –
host of 14 British Open Championships including the 2011 Open, and 2013 Golf.com #29 Top Golf Course
- St Andrews Old Course (St Andrews, UK) –
the birthplace of golf, host of the most British Open Championships, and 2013 Golf.com #4 Top Golf Course
- Wolf Creek (Mesquite, NV) –
2011 Golf Digest #28 Top Golf Course
WGT Best Of Virtual Courses
- NEW – Best of Par 4 Holes – 18 of the best Par 4 holes on WGT (stroke play)
- Best of Famous Holes – 18 of the most famous holes on WGT (stroke play)
- Best of Hardest Holes – 18 of the hardest holes on WGT (stroke play)
- Best of Par 3 Holes – 18 of the best Par 3 holes on WGT (stroke play)
- Best of Par 5 Holes – 18 of the best Par 5 holes on WGT (stroke play)
- Best of Famous Shots – 9 of the most famous shots on WGT (closest-to-the-hole)
- Best of Water Shots – 9 of the best shots over water on WGT (closest-to-the-hole)
- Best of Putting – 9 of the toughest putts on WGT (closest-to-the-hole)
WGT Media Coverage
See Older Coverage
Transamerica Runner-Up BolloxInBruges Offers Tips
"A WGT member since 2009, he carded an 18-hole score of 54 in each of the two rounds of the stroke-play event..."
IOA Open Champ Dansamcam Shares Insight
"While some players may fire up a computer and head immediately to the first tee box, dansamcam prides himself on his thorough preparation..."
In-Game Advertising: Mind Games
"Allianz advertising within the game World Golf Tour enables it to target golf fans in digital media..."
Sports Business Journal
World Golf Tour Makers Create Year-Long Virtual Golf Tour
"WGT Media, makers of online golf game World Golf Tour, have created the WGT Virtual Tour..."
Sports Business Journal
Comings & Goings
"Former ESPNer Ed Willett is joining WGT Media as vice president sales and sponsorships from a newly established Manhatten offic..."
Review - WGT Golf Mobile
"Play full stroke-play golf games on famous golf courses in realistic HD quality."
WGT Golf Mobile
"Includes Congressional, Kiawah, Merion, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst No.8 and St Andrews"
World Golf Tour game says virtual golfers have played 10M virtual U.S. Open rounds
"The combined total of more than 10.3 million virtual rounds over five years reflects a 28 percent average annual growth rate."
9 Best Free Golf Apps
"The No. 1 golf game on the internet makes its way to mobile. You can only play closest-to-the-hole games, not full stroke play, but World Golf Tour allows you to play some of the world's most famous courses."
WGT: HOW ONE SMALL START-UP REDEFINED GOLF AND OUT SHOT EA
"Mission accomplished. The result of WGT’s efforts has been nothing short of spectacular. Today, over 6-million virtual golfers from 120+ countries..."
The Virtual Open
"More than two million rounds have already been played in the 2013 Virtual U.S. Open, and you thought qualifying for the real U.S. Open was tough!"
Merion Golf Club Hole 18 Previews with Trip Isenhour (video)
"Take a virtual tour of Merion Golf Club hole No. 18 with Tripp Isenhour."
Want To Watch the US Open But Can’t Get To Merion? There’s An App For That, Too.
"And you can get on the fairway yourself with Tiger and Bubba and Rory — virtually, of course, with a high-def online video game version of Merion...it’s just like playing like the pros.”
World Golf Tour Allows Gamers To Compete At Merion For Real Prizes
"The Virtual U.S. Open just keeps growing. Over the past five years, we’ve seen over ten million virtual rounds played in the Virtual U.S. Open, and have delivered over three billion impressions to USGA sponsors."
The Sun UK
Play the US Open course with SunSport
"Take to the tee today with ultra-realistic World Golf Tour simulator game"
Play Merion video game online – for free!
"If, like most of us at Golf.com, you narrowly missed qualifying for this year’s U.S. Open, here’s your chance to take on Merion anyway."
Holly Sonders WGT Merion Hole 1 Preview (video)
"Watch Holly Sonders take on a challenging shot at Merion hole 1."
WGT partners with NBC's Golf Channel for online golf game
"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, including Gary Williams and Holly Sonders, will talk about their favorite WGT courses, favorite holes and may even compete against each other virtually."
Golf Channel Goes Virtual With 'World Tour Golf' Video Game
"The video game world and real golf continues to blend. Golf Channel, a division of NBC Sports, is giving its viewers a chance to play some of the best golf courses in the world for free through a new partnership with WGT, makers of the free-to-play online game World Golf Tour."
Golf Channel Embraces Online Gaming Campaign with WGT Partnership
"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."
Golf Vacation Insider
The One Golf Game That's Not Playing Around
"That is, I've never found one that does a great job simulating real golf...until now. The developers of World Golf Tour have figured it out, and with more than six million players, they've quickly become the No. 1 online golf game in the world."
Eight Golf Apps You Need Right Now
Best App for Playing Kiawah Without Going to Kiawah: WGT Golf Lite
"This escapist app lets you play a match against your buddies on a virtual layout that looks strikingly real."
How To Beat Tiger Woods
"Although EA's Tiger Woods title still rules the console business, with 30 million copies and $1.2 billion in revenue to date, Cheng says WGT attracts 20 to 30 times as many players as EA's Tiger Woods online game."
Hooked on Golf Radio (audio)
Interview #2 with Chad Nelson, WGT co-founder and president
"We work directly with the USGA, and obviously Mike Davis has a great influence on how they want to setup the course and create that great sense of challenge...This is far more precision golf than what you see in some of the other championships and events."
Virtual US Open Offers PC Golfers Opportunity to Compete for Real Prizes at the Olympic Club
"Tiger Woods isn't the only one playing golf this weekend. WGT and the United States Golf Association (USGA) saw a record two million rounds of golf played in the Virtual U.S. Open online golf championship."
WGT teams with USGA to recreate the Olympic Club's Lake Course
"WGT is the team behind World Golf Tour, a highly popular browser-based golf game. The game tends to see an influx in users over the course of each US Open, as fans of the sport have taken to playing while they watch the event. Given my inability to multitask, I can't help but give them props here."
Lexus Online US Open Campaign to See 100M Impressions
"The video game is a fun way for Lexus to message to potential car buyers as the people who have an interest in the U.S. Open are affluent golfers..."
Hooked on Golf Radio (audio)
Interview #1 with Chad Nelson, WGT co-founder and president
"We have a motto that it's always sunny in World Golf Tour. Every course that we feature from Bethpage to this year's U.S. Open course at The Olympic Club..."
World Golf Tour, now simply WGT, launches Major League Baseball game on Facebook
"The company got the MLB brand name thanks to the success of World Golf Tour...All told, they have played more than 200 million virtual rounds to date and have made World Golf Tour into the No. 1 online golf game."
There's no crying in WGT Baseball: MLB on Facebook
"WGT Baseball: MLB looks to be more about getting players directly behind the plate. With full MLB licensing and full 3D visuals, this sports game looks impressive."
Forward Thinkers: Five innovators who are changing the world of golf
THE GAMER, YuChiang Cheng
"We've built relationships with the USGA and the R&A, and we have more than four million registered users. A good course will do 100,000 rounds a year. We just recorded our 100 millionth round."
WGT Company Announcements
See Older Announcements
- U.S. Patent No. 7,847,808 for Photographic Mapping in a Simulation
- U.S. Patent No. 7,806,777 for Automatic Adaptation of Virtual Equipment Model
- U.S. Patent No. 8,029,359 for Providing Offers to Computer Game Players
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