EA Sports Offers First Digital Tour Of Augusta National In "Course View" Facebook App
EA Sports is "giving away free digital access to all 18 holes" of Augusta National Golf Club through a Facebook app as part of the promotion of its "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters" video game, according to Aaron Baar of MARKETING DAILY. The "Course View" app, via Heat, S.F., "uses Google Street View functionality to allow a complete, shot-by-shot, hole-by-hole walk of the course," which is appearing in a video game for the first time. The branded app "marks the first time the course has been 'tourable' by the American public in any form, virtual or real." Heat Account Dir Mike McGarry said that the "ability to explore Augusta National was the number one request feature" by game players. To drive traffic to the app, Heat "created banner advertising that will run on golfing and sports web sites such as ESPN.com, SI.com, PGA.com, PGATour.com and others, as well as on the game's Facebook page." While there are "no plans to make the walkthrough part of the official coverage of the Masters," McGarry said that the "hope is the app will pick up more steam as coverage of the tournament becomes more prominent in the sports news cycle" (MARKETING DAILY, 4/5 issue).
PLAY AUGUSTA FOR YOURSELF: In Detroit, Carlos Monarrez wrote "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12" is "so realistic, just about the only thing missing is the Waffle House on Washington Road." Monarrez: "Simply put, the game is beautifully and faithfully rendered." There are a "few missing pieces" -- there is "no drive up Magnolia Lane" and Dave Loggins' "Augusta" theme song also "would have been a nice touch." But there is "plenty else," as the "dulcet tones of CBS announcer Jim Nantz make their debut, and the Hogan Bridge and the Eisenhower Tree also are included." Monarrez: "With few exceptions, the game has triumphantly captured Augusta and the Masters" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/30). In Augusta, Chris Gay wrote under the header, "New 'PGA Tour' Edition Up To Par." EA Sports "did a fantastic job recreating the course." The "only issue is at times it can be difficult seeing the undulations in the greens, but the closer you get the more they come into play" (AUGUSTA CHRONICLE, 3/30). In Charlotte, Langston Wertz Jr. notes Augusta National officials "have said they've allowed the course to go digital to try to bring the game and the Masters event to a younger audience." Wertz: "If my two kids, ages 11 and 6, are any indication, they've succeeded. My kids are putting down NBA and NFL games to play digital golf." Wertz added of the game, "I felt the difficulty settings were about right and the addition of a caddie made the game more fun. ... The new additions of CBS Sports' announcers Jim Nantz and David Feherty also add to the realism" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/5).