Tiger, Augusta using video golf to grow the real version

A Skype conversation with his children, specifically with Charlie last November while he was in Melbourne for the Australian Masters, made Tiger Woods more resolute and proud of his new golf video game.
Woods claims that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters, which is set to come out Tuesday, is more than just an entertainment form considering how children from toddlers to teenagers are consumed by video games.
During his online conversation with his children, Charlie disappeared but before Woods can panic his son re-emerged carrying an iPad. Charlie then showed the video game he way playing to his dad who was 10,000 miles away.

“I’m thinking, ‘What am I witnessing here?’” Woods recalled. “This is a whole new generation of kids. This is what they do.”

Woods said his video game is a way to introduce the youngsters to the game he loves, but in the form which the children love.

“No doubt,” Woods said recently while sitting in his hotel room in Times Square, set to begin a whirlwind day in Manhattan to promote his video game. “We’ve seen it at the (Tiger Woods) Foundation, at our learning centers. They play video games, they’re on the computers.

“When I grew up, I was part of that a little bit, with the old Atari when it first came out. But this is so much more realistic. It’s just part of the culture now.

“We don’t have the whole caddie system that we used to have, so this is a way for kids to get introduced to the game. And once they’re hooked — ‘Hey, this is pretty cool, this is fast, this is kind of exciting, this is difficult’ — all of the sudden, they want to try (the real thing).”

Woods expects the strengthening of the bridge between real golf and video golf with the inclusion of the Augusta National in the game this year. The inclusion of the course in the game has been the top demand of gamers since the release in 1999 of the first Tiger Woods PGA Tour game.

Augusta National finally agreed to be included in the game after EA Sports tried to get its approval for years.

“Our desire to help grow the game of golf throughout the world is sincere, and it is that commitment that first led us to EA Sports more than three years ago,” Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National and the Masters, said when the collaboration was first announced in January.

“EA Sports, Tiger Woods and the PGA TOUR have developed an extremely successful franchise that responds to one of the popular entertainment choices of kids today. We hope our inclusion will foster an appreciation for the history and traditions of the Masters and inspire the next generation of golfers.”

A hundred percent of its share in the proceeds of the game will be contributed by Augusta National to the new Masters Tournament Foundation.

Added Woods: “I didn’t really speak to Billy about it, or anythingike that. But he and the Masters in general have been trying to make a concerted effort to grow the game of golf, obviously with the new Asian tournament qualifier and some of the other things with junior golf they’ve been trying to do.

“This is an extension of that. It’s a greater outreach. We’re trying to get as many kids involved in the game and obviously with the new generation playing video games, it’s just part of our culture. I think this is a wonderful way for us to promote the game of golf, and Augusta National and the Masters Tournament are on board with it.”