Golf+, a VR golf platform with a vision of letting users virtually play any course from their living room, recently raised a $6 million seed round. Breyer Capital led the round; individual investors include Tom Brady, Steph Curry, Mike Trout and Rory McIlroy.
Co-founded by Ryan Engle and Rob Holzhauer, Golf+ emerged last year from previous AR and VR golf efforts. Available on the Meta Quest 2 headset, the $30 app currently allows users to virtually play three courses, including Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. and the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C. It also offers putting and Topgolf modes.
The company, which previously announced a partnership with the PGA of America, said more than 500 million shots have been hit inside the experience to date by more than 700,000 players. With the new funding, Golf+ will add to its course offerings as well as expand the types of clubs offered in the game, among other scaling efforts.
“Our overall mission as a company is we think that we can use this technology to double the size of golf as a whole,” Engle said in an interview. “We think that this is going to be the best way to make golf more accessible and get people interested in the sport if they’ve never played it before, or if they just don’t have time to play it as often as they would like to.”
Using Meta hardware—specifically, the handheld controllers that come with the $400 headset—Golf+ measures swing speed and shot angles (while giving users the benefit of the doubt when it comes to contacting the ball in the right place). Players can customize aspects of each course, such as green speed, and can join three other friends for online competition.
“Golf+ has the potential to bring the game that I love to millions of households worldwide,” McIlroy said in a statement. “The platform makes the sport so much more accessible to new audiences while also additive to experienced green grass golfers.”
As Meta continues pitching potential users, sports-specific applications—such as Win Reality in baseball, NFL Pro Era in football and Sense Arena in hockey—have provided early validations, offering a mix of training modes and casual gameplay.
“Virtual and augmented reality hardware should progress dramatically over the next 5-10 years, and I believe that Golf+ will build upon their market-leading position,” Breyer Capital founder Jim Breyer said in a statement. “From the first moment that I met the Golf+ team, I knew that they had both the technical expertise and passion for golf to bring the sport into the metaverse.”
This story has been updated to accurately reflect the number of Golf+ users.