European Tour Lets You Walk The Links In VR

European Tour Lets You Walk The Links In VR
January 4, 2017

The European Tour is giving its fans an all-access virtual pass to the links.


Beginning with the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club last May, people on-site could participate in a new digital experience through a combination of virtual reality and augmented graphics.


With the assistance of creative agency Brandwidth, the Tour provided fans an opportunity to see a behind-the-scenes look at the players’ lounge, clubhouse, practice range and tour of the course with English golfer Tommy Fleetwood, as seen below.

“That was the coolest thing ever,” Fleetwood said after watching virtual footage of him on the golf course. “… I was in a virtual world with me in it. It was really cool, really cool. I can’t quite explain it. … It’s phenomenal, something everybody should try.”


The European Tour also worked with Animation Research to produce a deeper virtual experience, which included a 360-degree rig and GoPro cameras. Both initiatives were available on-site to fans through the Samsung Gear VR Store and the European Tour’s Facebook/YouTube channels for a 360-degree experience.


“We are always looking to push the boundaries and explore new innovations to engage fans and enhance their viewing experience,” said Rufus Hack, Head of Media, Digital and Strategy at the Tour in a statement last year. “Through virtual reality and 360 video, we are able to take our global fan base closer to the action than ever before with an immersive, multi-sensory experience.”


Most recently though in December, fans could walk alongside Spaniard Nacho Elvira as he golfed the 410-yard par four 18th hole at the UBS Hong Kong Open or experience ‘A Day in the Life of Ian Pouler’.

Elvira, who provided additional commentary during the 18th hole, reacted similarly to Fleetwood as he watched himself via a Samsung Gear VR headset. He was so immersed in his viewing that he moved his head 180-degrees to follow the ball being hit.


“It’s awesome, huh?” said Elvira, adding that it was easy to film footage for the virtual experience. “How real is this thing? I’ve never used anything like this, but it’s like live television. It’s unbelievable.


“It’s just amazing how real this feels, and how it feels like you’re right there close to the player, watching him hit the shot. Very, very cool.”

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