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Game On

Playing the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island on-line with World Golf Tour is second only to being there

By: Tom Cunneff

At LINKS, we take pride in providing our readers—both of the magazine and this Web site—the latest information about golf courses and golf destinations around the world. We do so with lively writing and with superb photography.

The photos especially are effective in getting readers to imagine themselves at these beautiful places. First-rate photography always has and always will be the hallmark of LINKS.

Now we have come across an online game that recognizes the importance of great visuals and shares our passion for awesome photos. While golf games until now, both on and off-line, have used rendered versions of courses, World Golf Tour (wgt.com) lets users play the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island against a backdrop of high-quality photography that is nearly as good as you'll find in the pages of our magazine.

It is so realistic that you'll almost be able to smell the sea air and feel the wind coming off the Atlantic Ocean. The only way to top it would be to book a tee time.

“Our virtual version of the Ocean course at Kiawah Island is second to none,” says CEO Yu Chiang Cheng. “The realism is absolutely stunning and the visuals really show off the proprietary technology we have developed.”

WGT utilizes helicopters equipped with cameras to capture high-def images of courses. The company's patented technology then transforms these images into graphics making it appear as if players are virtually playing “atop” photos of the course. The only other course offered for now is Bali Hai in Las Vegas, but other courses, like Pinehurst Nos. 2 and 8, are now being photographed to add to the selection.
 
While playing the game itself still uses the standard triple-click of the mouse for distance and accuracy, you can play on-line by yourself or against other players, and registration is free.

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