#1148: Golf+ VR: Making Golf More Accessible & Partnering with Top Golfers & Sports Stars

The seeds of Golf+ VR started with founder Ryan Engle creating an iOS ARKit app to help read the golf putting green topology to give a suggested path to help improve his puts, but the lack of demand caused a pivot into moving into a professional putting simulator in partnership with Top Golf with Pro Putt by Top Golf, a rebrand to Golf+, and most recently a funding round that including Rory McIlroy (the current #1 ranked golfer in the world), Jordan Spieth, Tom Brady, Steph Curry, Mike Trout and Ben Crenshaw.

I had a chance to talk to the founder Engle about his journey into VR, writing his own custom physics engine, the process of transforming the initial app from a professional training tool to an engaging video game, the series of strategic partnerships to make golf more accessible to casual players, tuning the difficulty at three different levels, evolving from putting into full courses, the 4-6 week process to translate a physical course into a virtual course, simulating the golf swing with peripherals, recreating “shot euphoria” and the golf feel of short game shots, why sports super stars like Tom Brady and Steph Curry were interested in investing in the app, and new opportunities for virtual golf architecture and course design.

It’s a really engaging app that has been able to find it’s way into the top charts as it recreates some of the social dynamics of playing golf with tunable difficulty bumpers and making golf more accessible to new users and users who can no longer physically play full rounds of golf.

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Music: Fatality