The R&A and Golf 5 have forged a pioneering alliance, unveiling an extraordinary partnership that will introduce golf's original Major to the immersive world of the Metaverse. Set to debut on July 15, the VR Open at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, will provide an unparalleled virtual reality golf experience.
Neil Armit, Chief Commercial Officer at The R&A, expressed excitement about The VR Open, stating, "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."
Antonio Marin, President and Co-Founder of Golf 5, added, "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."
The 2023 VR Open will feature a highly coveted Medal winner, who will not only claim a trophy but also receive tickets to The 152nd Open in 2024. Additionally, winners from other categories will be awarded limited edition VR Open memorabilia.
Similar to The Open, The VR Open includes qualifying rounds known as the 'VR Open Qualifiers.' These events, commencing on July 1, will be played on Golf 5's virtual courses. The qualifiers comprise four entry categories based on individual Golf 5 handicaps.
The top 20 players from each category will earn the distinction of being Green Badge Players, qualifying to compete in the VR Open finals at Hoylake free of charge. The finals will take place from July 15 to August 19, allowing ample time for players to participate in each round. Non-qualifying players and all other Golf 5 members can also participate in the VR Open as Red Badge Players.
Every qualifier will receive a vanity card in the app, granting them a complimentary six-month subscription to The Virtual Open Zone at Hoylake. This exclusive access will enable players to tee it up on the Championship links course countless times and enjoy the year's upcoming events.