The R&A and Golf 5, have united to bring golf’s original Major to the Metaverse, with The VR Open at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, launching in the digital space on 15 July 2023.
It marks the continued ambitions of the golf tournament to embrace new tech and engage new audiences.
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.”
The overall Medal winner of The 2023 VR Open will receive a trophy and tickets to The 152nd Open in 2024, and winners from the other categories will receive limited edition VR Open memorabilia.
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.”
Just like The Open, there are qualifying rounds and The VR Open is no different. Multiple qualifying events known as the ‘VR Open Qualifiers’, will be played on two of Golf 5’s virtual courses starting on 1 July.
The VR Open Qualifiers will feature four different entry categories based on a player’s individual Golf 5 handicap.
The top 20 players from each category will qualify as a Green Badge Player competing in the VR Open finals at Hoylake free of charge. The finals commence on the 15 July and end on 19 August to ensure players have enough time to play each round. Non-qualifying players and any other Golf 5 member can also compete in the VR Open as Red Badge Players.
Each qualifier will also receive a vanity card in the app unlocking a free six-month subscription to The Virtual Open Zone at Hoylake. This access will allow them tee it up on the Championship links course as many times as they wish and enjoy all the upcoming events during the year.