Golden Tee 2020 and Beyond:
More Immersive Content and a Bigger Spotlight in Game’s 30th Year
The autumn ritual hasn’t changed. Across North America, more than 17,000 locations are celebrating the latest installment of Golden Tee Golf.
Incredible Technologies, the producer and manufacturer of this popular video-golfing franchise, has released yearly software updates for the Golden Tee LIVE platform for more than the past 10 years. Although in that time, the company says none have identified with the expectations and habitual nature of their users more than the content-packed, calendar-based 2020 installment.
Gone are the days when the launch of the update served as the final touchpoint. Over the past few cycles, Golden Tee has changed the way users perceive the calendar – introducing new additions throughout the year to increase both interest and the cashbox.
In 2020, this theme has been amplified. And it starts with the game’s first-ever campaign mode that promises to engage players in a way never before seen during the past 30 years.
Take the 2020 Journey and Climb the Ladder
It has always been about the experience, but in 2020 the goal has been to provide a deeper experience that will resonate with users throughout the year.
“The new courses are always at the core of the excitement surrounding a Golden Tee update,” says Vice President of Amusement Don Pesceone. “But with the addition of the Events Mode and now the game’s first-ever campaign mode, we want to allow players to experience Golden Tee differently each time they play.”
Golden Tee’s multi-year partnership with golf legend John Daly debuted in 2019 with Real Time Rivals – allowing players the opportunity to take on Daly or other characters in head-to-head play.
In 2020, Real Time Rivals has been massively upgraded. It’s now online, allowing users to compete with their custom golfer and equipment. And rather than just take on Daly, challengers will have to “climb the ladder” to get there.
Along the way, they’ll unlock characters, earning rewards and progressing through a campaign mode unique from anything in the history of Golden Tee.
“For some, this could take weeks. For others, this might take all year,” said Golden Tee Project Manager Adam Kramer. “But we’re excited to debut a mode that will allow users to progress at their own pace –– an experience they can pick up where they left off each time they head out to play.”
More casual players will be able to enjoy one of the most popular additions Golden Tee has made over the past five years for the first time: Freaky Fridays. The custom 18-hole courses using classic designs across the platform had been long-reserved for the Daily Contest, but this is no longer the case.
The 10 most popular Freaky Friday courses will debut as Freaky Courses. Five will be available at launch, and five will be time released throughout the year –– providing players with more reasons to see what’s new with their favorite game.
Joining these popular custom creations are five all-original 2020 courses and two remastered classics, pushing the total number of available designs to 81 in total. From spectacular Jamaica Bay to Dodge City, the dusty but still charming Oklahoma destination, the new offerings give players a variety of new tracks to try.
The addition of nine-hole contests along with special Money $hot tournaments are just the tip of the iceberg as it pertains to the exciting new modifications that will appeal to the players all year long.
Claiming a Seat at the Esports Table
In June, Golden Tee awarded more than $130,000 in prizes –– the biggest prize pool in the game’s storied history – at the 2019 Golden Tee World Championship. The three-day tournament took place at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Houston native Mark Stenmark won his second Golden Tee World Championship, securing the $30,000 top prize. But perhaps more significant than the moment itself is what came before and after. In the months leading up to Vegas, Golden Tee enjoyed a 12-week online qualifier through the Events Mode that qualified 60 of the total 74 players. More than 150,000 games in this new mode were played as players tried to secure their spot.
“Events Mode was really built for an event like our world championship,” said Pesceone. “The response and analytics throughout online qualifying really showed us how much demand still exists for major Golden Tee tournaments.”
As part of the event, Golden Tee partnered with ESPN to broadcast a 30-minute segment of the World Championship on ESPN 8: The Ocho. This broadcast, which aired in August, showcased some of the highlights of the event, culminating with the crowning of Stenmark as champion.
Boyd Gaming also offered betting odds on the championship, giving Golden Tee placement in the various Boyd sportsbooks throughout Nevada. Only a handful of esports have been approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The Golden Tee World Championship has now been approved twice.
“We really pride ourselves as being one of the original esports,” Kramer said. “From our partnership with ESPN to having betting odds, we’re really excited about the direction Golden Tee is headed in this competitive space. And this is only scratching the surface.”
In Golden Tee 2020, players will once again be able to qualify for Golden Tee’s mega-event throughout the update cycle, largely through Events Mode and other online qualifiers.
Incredible Technologies is also exploring other tournaments, formats and ways to tap into the esports culture. Stay up to date at www.itsgames.com.
Industry Veteran Retires
Scott Morrison, creator of such legendary titles as Tapper, Timber and Domino Man, is retiring after nearly 40 years in the coin-op industry. More recently, Morrison served as the Vice President of Amusement Marketing for Incredible Technologies.
Over the past 32 years, Scott has been a key member of the Incredible Technologies team. Creative and organized, Morrison was vital in assisting Golden Tee’s growth over the past three decades.
“Scott was an amazing person to work with and incredibly influential on our products during his storied tenure,” said VP Don Pesceone. “I’ve worked by his side for 20 years, and I enjoyed it immensely. He will be sorely missed.”
In his retirement, Scott will be joined by his beautiful wife Chris and enjoy many long drives in his classic VW Beetle convertible.