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WGT Golf News

  • System Update - 11/25/09

    25 Nov 2009

    Here are notes from today's system maintenance. While we make an effort to include all updates made to the product, please note that occasionally some changes are unintentionally omitted.

    • Multiplayer loading was modified and in some cases it will increase multiplayer swing meter performance.
    • You should no longer receive a message saying you've earned credits in a match play challenge when no credits were entered in the challenge (this was a messaging issue, no credits were actually exchanged).
    • Messaging was corrected so players dropped from stroke play games are no longer considered in determining the winner (this was a messaging issue, no stats were affected).
    • Your match play awards should no longer disappear after you play through a multiplayer round.
    • You will no longer receive extraneous "New Personal Best" news feeds.
    • You should no longer see the text "NaN" in the score animation at the end of a match play game.
    • You should no longer be able to equip putters in your irons slots.
    • When you change your avatar's appearance, it should update in the game as well.
    • The invitation time out was fixed so you will not be disconnected from a multiplayer game when you have multiple WGT web pages open on your computer.
    • Multiplayer lobby chat bug is resolved.
  • Cyber Monday Pro Shop Promotion

    24 Nov 2009

    Mark your calendars, because on Monday, November 30 we're giving you the perfect stocking stuffer—a free sleeve of GI-D golf balls with your purchase of WGT credits. Use WGT credits to upgrade your equipment in the Pro Shop, enter premium tournaments, or challenge other players in match play games. With an ever-growing array of equipment in the Pro Shop and higher stakes in match play games, credits are the best way to get the most out of your WGT experience.

    To purchase credits, click on the ACCOUNT button under your username on the upper left hand side of the screen, then click on the Buy Credits tab.

    Please note, you must complete a new deposit on November 30, between 12am and 11:59pm Pacific Time, in order to qualify for the free sleeve of balls.

  • Learning Aids for Amateur Golfers

    23 Nov 2009

    By John Diekmann

    golf training aids Learning Aids for Amateur Golfers

    I know what you’re thinking, if there was really ‘A Way’ to get better in golf, some guy or gal out there would be richer than Tiger. You couldn’t build a practice facility big enough to hold all the people who’d be throwing money your way.

    In spite of that reasoning, I do believe that major improvements for golfers are just around the corner. We, or at least the golfing scientists among us, are really starting to understand what goes on in the golf swing thanks to high tech analysis tools.

    But it’s going to take time for it all this knowledge to trickle down. New younger pros are going to have to come along who have grown up with this knowledge. The average golfer is going to have to see the high man in his weekly foresome take 15 strokes off his handicap in a season while still using the ’same old driver’.

    And look at the video swing analysis they use during pro tournament broadcasts. That technology isn’t out of reach of your local pro. Once he sees his club golfers flocking to take lessons from the guy down the street who has the new gizmos, he won’t be able to buy it fast enough.

    And speaking of gizmos, why hasn’t someone invented a biofeedback device for golfers? OK, there are a few things that vaguely look like biofeedback. But I’m talking the real thing here, something that would make a psychologist proud.

    Take the club back too far to the inside and you get zapped. Use enough juice and you could stop Godzilla from coming over the top.

    Anybody who’s interested in where this new technology might be heading ought to check out the Carl Rabito training videos on the Golf Channel Web Site. Now here’s a guy who knows golf, human anatomy and has access to state of the art scientific tools.

    You might just understand for the first time in your life why your slice is sticking to you better than one of those things you get from your nose. And you might just be able to get rid of it – finally and for good.

  • Match Play Challenges: Care to make it interesting?

    20 Nov 2009

    Here are the highlights from today's product release. While we make an effort to include all updates made to the product, please note that occasionally some changes are unintentionally omitted.

    Match Play Challenges - Care to make it interesting?

    Now you can challenge your friends for WGT credits in Match Play Challenges! Match Play Challenge is a new skill game type where the winner of the match play round will earn the credits from their opponent. We recommend that you play against players who are in the same tier or have a similar skill level. Skill gaming is regulated and may not be available to everyone depending on where you live. Read more about Match Play Challenges here.

    Join a Group by Tier - Find players of similar skill

    We've given you an additional search parameter to specify your opponent's tier rank when creating or joining a multiplayer round. Now you can choose to search for opponents from Amateur+, Pro+, or Master tiers, regardless of your own tier. The rule only applies when you search for "Anyone", because you can still manually add any player or friend to your round who do not belong to the tier you specified.

    New Awards

    We've added new awards that you can win! A few of them are highlighted below, and you can see the full list in our FAQs.

    • Ham and Egg Award - Total number of scrambles (making par or better after missing the green in regulation)
    • Sandman - Total number of sand saves (making par or better after hitting ball from the sand)
    • In the Drink - Total number of pars or better after hitting a ball in a water hazard

    New Equipment in the Pro Shop

    Exclusive to Pro & Master Tiers:

    • Ping Rapture Pro Club Set - Get more distance while keeping the benefit of the Raptures' slower swing meter.
    • Z Satin TP 64° Wedge - The club you know and love, now in a 50 yrd wedge that packs more spin.
    • WGT Tour GI-S ball - These balls will give you increased spin and the benefit of a slower swing meter.
    • WGT Tour GI-SD ball - These balls will give you increased spin and distance and a slower swing meter.

    Multiround Tournaments

    Weekly multiround tournaments will start November 23 (Week 48), and monthly multiround tournaments will start December 1!

    Facebook Connect

    Aced a hole and can't wait to share with all your friends? Now you can do it easily by streaming your friend feeds to your Facebook account. Simply click on the Connect with Facebook link on the left side of the page, and link up your accounts.

    New Way to Remove Flagstick

    We have updated the method for removing and replacing the flagstick when playing the game. Simply click on the Flagstick icon in the upper right hand corner of the game screen at any time to remove and replace the flagstick. When the flagstick has been removed a red slash will be displayed over the icon.

    Green Speed Setting for Practice Rounds

    You now have the ability to set green speeds in your practice rounds.

    New Friend Feeds

    We've added a few more Friend Feed events:

    • Won x award
    • Set a new record for a long drive
    • Set a new record for a putt
    • Holed out approach
    • Made a hole in one
    • Made an Eagle
    • Made a Double Eagle

    Bug Fixes

    • The replays on your profile page now sort by decending order, so the newest one will be at the top.
    • Your friends list in the left-hand side widget is no longer case-sensitive, so the entire list sorts alphabetically.
    • When you lose a ball and then let the timer timeout on your next shot, you should no longer see a message saying you've lost a ball again.
  • Win One of Ten SkyCaddie SG5s

    17 Nov 2009

    You have until November 30th to enter the first of two SkyCaddie Challenge sweepstakes drawings where 10 lucky winners will each get a SkyCaddie SG5 and one year Eagle subscription! It's free to enter, and open to residents of US and Canada. Enter now >

    The new SG5 Rangefinder has advanced features such as IntelliGreen Pro, allowing you to plan your approach shots with the same critical information and precision used by PGA Tour players. Unlike most rangefinders, which rely on satellite imagery that is often outdated and unreliable, only SkyCaddie walks the course to capture accurate and verifiable data with the permission of over 24,000 participating golf course partners.

  • Wie Is for Victory

    16 Nov 2009

    By Stephanie Wei

    After Michelle Wie tapped in a birdie on the 72nd hole at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, she let out a big sigh of relief. Competing for the first time as a 20-something-year-old, she won her first professional tournament. It was the moment many in the golfing world have been waiting for most of this decade.

    With a final-round leaderboard that included some of the LPGA’s biggest names, Michelle achieved what she hadn’t been able to do in the past — she closed a tournament. Playing alongside standout Cristie Kerr on Sunday, she played the final six holes bogey-free. She finished the day with a 3-under 69 and a four-day total 13-under to beat Paula Creamer by two strokes.

    Hampered by injuries, controversy and botched opportunities, her career has been fraught with disappointment brought on by the enormous expectations. This year she’s finally living up to them.  She started the year by placing second at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay. She also earned 7 other top-ten finishes. And with her stellar performance at the Solheim Cup in August, Juli Inkster prophetically declared, “I would bet you a large amount of money that Michelle will win before the year is out.” Just five tournaments later, it happened.

    Considered The Player Who Will Single-Handedly Save the LPGA Tour, the timing of her victory couldn’t have been better — the Tour announces its 2010 schedule next week in Houston and they’re probably still searching for some of those big-money sponsors to fill in a few holes. A dominant Michelle Wie will definitely help the cause.

    [Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]

  • Putt to the Beat

    14 Nov 2009

    By Josh Zander

    Do these seem like some of the thoughts you have when you are over the ball? I need this putt to save par. I have already three putted twice today. If I two putt, I can finally break 80. My partners will think I stink if I can’t make this three-footer. I hope I take the putter back straight. I hope I make it. This line does not look right to me.

    This is your conscious mind interfering with your stroke. None of these thoughts will help you putt better. Putting to a beat will keep your conscious mind occupied and let you make an athletic stroke.

    I always count when I putt. I count to 5. The count is as follows:

    1)    I put my putter next to the ball
    2)    I look at the hole
    3)    I look at the ball
    4)    I make my backswing
    5)    I make contact

    Buy yourself a metronome and find a beat that you like. Start the metronome at 72 beats per minute and see if it fits your internal rhythm. If you are a faster paced person, increase the beats per minute and if you are a slower paced person, decrease it. Once you find your personal beat, stick to it and simply count when you putt.

    This applies to all length putts. The rhythm is always the same. Your stroke will be shorter for short putts and longer for long putts. Putting to the beat will free your mind up to perform. All golfers experience pressure when they play. A routine allows golfers to perform even when they experience extreme pressure.

    I had a downhill sidehill 4 foot putt for par on the 11th hole at Pebble Beach in the 1992 U.S. Open. The greens were so fast that if the putt missed, I was going to face a 45 foot come backer from the front fringe. In short, the pressure was on as I was fighting to make the 36 hole cut. As I got over the putt, my conscious mind started to think about the consequences. I backed off the putt and committed to count to the beat. I nailed the putt right in the center of the cup. I was also willing to live with the consequences if I missed as long as I was committed to the routine.

    Find your beat and enjoy some great putting experiences.

  • It's Happy Hour

    13 Nov 2009

    Check out what arrived in our office today, just in time for Friday afternoon happy hour...

    Be sure to play for your chance to win even more fabulous Glenlivet prizes in this month's The Glenlivet Whisky Season Open!

  • Dubai's Rise and Fall Closely Tied To Its Love for Golf

    12 Nov 2009

    By Ryan Ballengee

    The presence of professional golf in the United Arab Emirates' most chic metropolis, Dubai, began in 1989 when the European Tour planted a flag in the middle of the desert.  Mark James won that year with a score of 277 and pocketed some €270,000 for the win. 

    While James was doing that, Dubai was really just beginning its two decade explosion onto the global scene —both as a beacon of tepid acceptance of western culture in the Middle East, but also as a cultural center for the Middle East's wealthy.

    The massive real estate development that has transformed Dubai's image, for better and worse, coincided with the presence of professional golf in the region.  That's not to say that it was the likes of the Dubai Desert Classic's early champions - Ernie Els in the same year as his first US Open, Fred Couples one year later - shaped the city's transformation, but the growth of the tournament has certainly run parallel to that of its host city.

    Aerial photograph of Dubai's desert footprint (Click to enlarge)

    Emirates Golf Club, host to the DDC, was constructed one year prior and labeled the "Miracle in the Desert" as it became the first course completely covered with grass in the Middle East.  The Majlis course was a clear signal to the globe that the Emirates had serious intentions in transforming Dubai from a sparsely populated, nice trade city into a global secular mecca that could boast the most "mosts" and "biggests" in the world.  One need not look further for proof than the skyline view of downtown Dubai from the Majlis course to see how drastically the city changed drastically in the twenty years since the course's construction.

    Today, Dubai is home to the world's only supposed 7 star hotel.  It will be home to the world's tallest building and tallest hotel.  An underwater hotel is near completion.  It has an indoor ski park in a city where daytime temperatures average 120 degress.  Manmade islands, dredged using the latest technology, have been constructed.  All serve as a monument to what enormous sums of money and hubris can achieve.

    The same street in Dubai circa 1989 and in 2003

    The next indicator of Dubai's aggressive quest to become a global city was intended to be the Race to Dubai and Dubai-owned Lesiurecorp's five year, nearly $200 million investment in the European Tour.  Leisurecorp was intending to cultivate so much influence that it could even buy the rights to host the 2018 Ryder Cup despite not having a single participant in the historic matches.

    But, then the steady stream of accessible, low rate debt and financing dried up as quickly as a plant in the desert sun.  The billions—maybe trillions—in debt that propped up Dubai's infrastructure, global profile, and social profile was gone.  With it, the real estate and debt collapse took a large chunk of the reputation and standing that had been created in the last two decades.

    On the golf front, Leisurecorp was merged into Nakheel, another Dubai-owned organization. David Spencer, the man who architected the Race to Dubai deal, was shed from the company.  All of this has happened while Dubai has negotiated with Abu Dhabi—the Emirate much more solidly built on the world's unquenched thirst for oil - a plan to dig the Arabic Las Vegas out of its deep hole

    Though there are still tons of cranes in Dubai, many have come to a standstill. Many of the immigrants that came from all corners of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent to help in the construction of the city have since left.  A good number of the real estate investors that staked their futures on the growth of paper wealth have abandoned their properties and luxury vehicles.  The Dubai airport has become not just a monument to Dubai's massive growth by being the world's largest airport, but its parking lot is simultaneously a memento of this dark time for the city.

    Golf in Dubai also has eye-opening indicators of Dubai's drastic fall. The 2009 Dubai Desert Classic was won by Rory McIlroy.  For the win, he earned €325,000 Euros for the title - just €55,000 more than what Mark James earned two decades ago.  But, an even more shocking footnote is that Tiger Woods, the 2008 champion, earned five times as much for the win.

    Both the city and its golf presence, though, soldier on through the trouble.  Dubai refuses to withdraw its investment in the European Tour. Though it has scaled back its $20 million commitment to the upcoming Dubai World Championship down to $15 million, it did not remove itself entirely as a show of wounded strength.  Jumeriah Estates, a development for the uber-wealthy, has announced that it will only continue with construction of two of its four originally intended courses.  But, development has not ceased altogether.

    Dubai is aggressively trying to work with Abu Dhabi and private creditors to resolve its quasi-public debt structure. Many of the cranes may have come to a stop, but some progresses along with the aggressive planning for the future of Dubai.

    Not coincidentally, the future of Dubai's growth on the global stage and in the golfing world are pegged to its ability to find a way to sustain itself—much less grow—amidst the new world flow of debt and capital. 

    Dubai's growth has certainly been both staggering and impressive, but it has been equally rivaled by its implosion.  The question remains if its future is one of stagnation or decline, or steady growth.  Provided the link between the city and its love for golf, perhaps the best indicator of its future can come from the health of the game in the Emirate.

  • Veterans Day Pro Shop Promotion

    11 Nov 2009

    To commemorate this Veterans Day, WGT is giving away a 3-pack of red, white, or blue GI-D Balls to the first 50 players who purchase WGT credits on Nov. 11! Hurry, the offer is good only on credit purchases made Nov. 11, and ends at 11:59PM Pacific Time.

    To purchase credits, click on the ACCOUNT button under your username on the upper left hand side of the screen, then click on the Buy Credits tab.

    * The color of the free balls will be randomly selected and will be either red, white or blue. Unfortunately you will not be able to choose the ball color given to you.

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