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The R&A’s dedication to encouraging young people get involved in golf has taken another step by moving into the video game world.

The St Andrews-based governing body has teamed up with developer The Gang to launch ‘Just Swing’, a virtual golf experience on Roblox.

Roblox, an immersive online gaming platform that allows players to program and play games created by themselves or others, has more than 77 million daily users, and the R&A says Just Swing is “designed to reach new, diverse audiences and drive engagement and participation in the sport”.

The game will see players introduced into the experience via the Club Hub, “a bright and interactive version of a traditional golf clubhouse”, before competing in a “nine-hole adventure featuring challenging holes, alongside more fantastical settings”.

For example, players can tee off in a “magical underwater realm with coral and giant oysters” or “take their swings amid a Wild West desert landscape, complete with cacti, sand dunes and cowboys”.

At the start of each round, players will be transported to three randomly-selected holes to play in a wide-range of fun challenges. Players must strategically navigate or utilise in-game obstacles such as explosive barrels that propel the user’s golf ball when hit, or Pinball-style bouncers that deflect the ball in unpredictable directions.

As players engage in daily challenges, they will seek to improve their ranking and earn in-game currency. This virtual wealth can be exchanged at the virtual Pro Shop for exclusive user-generated content items, including new golf clubs, attire, and accessories, all designed to enhance their performance on the course.

• A brief history of golf video games

The Club Hub also serves as an area where players can track and compare their scores on a modern, interactive leaderboard. Additionally, a Q&A section within the hub offers players the chance to earn extra currency and deepen their knowledge of golf. Players can also complete challenges to earn codes which they can redeem to access physical golf activities near them – a critical aspect for The R&A to inspire golf participation.

Phil Anderton, the R&A’s chief development officer, said: “The development of ‘Just Swing’ on Roblox presents a unique opportunity to share the joy of golf with a new, diverse audience on a global platform. Our collaboration with The Gang allows us to offer an accessible and engaging entry point to the sport for people of all ages.

“By reaching out to players in the virtual realm, we can inspire them to take up the sport in the real world, fostering a new generation of golf enthusiasts and expanding the global golf community.”

Max Proctor, The Gang’s managing director, added: “Collaborating with The R&A to launch ‘Just Swing’ on Roblox has been an exciting opportunity to push the boundaries of what’s possible in online gaming. We’re proud to play a role in introducing the sport of golf to a new generation in a way that’s innovative, accessible, and, above all, fun.”

‘Just Swing’ is available on the Roblox website and through other device apps, including Apple and Android.


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