Ready Player Golf, the world’s first virtual reality charity golf outing, is hosting their fourth annual charity event on December 1 in ENGAGE and Walkabout Mini Golf. Registration is open and proceeds from the event will benefit the Big Dreams Virtual Tour, a program under “Creators Against Childhood Cancer” by the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
History of Ready Player Golf
During the pandemic, venture altruist Richard Ward, who wanted to use XR for good, came up with the concept of Ready Player Golf. He reached out to Ben Erwin, creator of The Poly Awards and emerging tech consultant, and Sophia Moshasha, Metaverse and web3.0 strategist. These immersive tech experts co-founded the initiative and although Ward is no longer involved in operations of the project, Erwin and Moshasha continue to ensure that it thrives.
During the first year, the team partnered with ENGAGE and Topgolf’s Pro Putt, an incredibly successful VR golf experience later rebranded as Golf+. Those partnerships enabled them to set up the charity outing in virtual reality, with “outing” being the preferred term over “tournament” because the spirit is more friendly than competitive.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders was the charity chosen as beneficiary the first year and the event was held on September 25, 2020. Not only was it an opportunity to benefit Doctors Without Borders, but the outing enabled people who had been isolated due to the pandemic an opportunity to come together in an immersive environment and do something good.
Ready Player Golf #2 in 2021 was the first year players could gather in the Engage clubhouse prior to the event and the event beneficiary for that year was XR Safety Initiative (XRSI).
In 2022, Ready Player Golf chose to benefit James Orrigo’s Big Dreams Virtual Tour, a charity that uses VR to help children deal with the stresses of cancer by providing socialization and enjoyable experiences in immersive environments.
Since the Ready Player Golf team desire to keep the outing accessible to anyone who wants to hop in and join the event, the decision was made for 2023 to move to Mighty Coconut’s Walkabout Mini Golf, a fantastic mini VR golf game with 8 unique 18-hole courses, additional downloadable courses, a night mode, etc.
Ready Player Golf 4 will once again benefit James Orrigo’s Big Dreams Virtual Tour and that’s good news in the fight against childhood cancer.
Children’s Cancer Research Fund is a national nonprofit dedicated to ending childhood cancer and the nonprofit focuses specifically on research, awareness and education, and support for children and families.
Creators Against Childhood Cancer is part of the CCRF and this community of creators/streamers helps connect people for live streams to raise money through fundraising.
Big Dreams Virtual Tour is part of the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and partners with musician James Orrigo to ensure that kids fighting cancer can dream big and preserve their legacy by providing creative outlets through Zoom or virtual reality. It’s empowering when they can create video games, music videos, a virtual reality experience, etc.
For the event, Ready Player Golf has partnered with ENGAGE, which offers an nice clubhouse setup for golfers to meet up prior to entering Walkabout for the outing. Engage is an advanced communications platform that provides an environment for immersive interaction. Players have the opportunity to hang out in the social area or clubhouse prior to the golf outing.
Gamers enjoy the social atmosphere and those accustomed to traditional sports in physical reality can better understand the concepts of hanging out in these social areas before jumping into the more competitive aspects of traditional sport games (like golf).
Thankfully the ability to hang out in immersive social areas is becoming increasingly common and we see this more in new VR games coming to the market, such as Resolution Games’ Racket Club that will feature an authentic club experience for players when the game launches in December.
Walkabout Mini Golf
Released in 2020, Walkabout Mini Golf from Mighty Coconut offers many attractive features, including full crossplay between all platforms, various language options for accessibility, practically endless player avatar options, etc.
Players can opt for solo play, 1v1 quick matches, or private matches with up to 8 people. Many of my friends party up for private matches and love it. They post photos of themselves on all sorts of crazy courses on our private Discord servers and I’m sure there are many other players around the world doing the same thing considering the fact that Walkabout Mini Golf is the best-rated multiplayer game on Quest and Steam VR! It’s truly an amazing achievement and surely to be fun for the golfers on December 1.
Below you can see one of the many courses available in Walkabout Mini Golf. This is Alfheim: Land of the Elves, released in September.
How to Register
Tickets for Ready Player Golf 4 are $100 and participants/guests can also make a donation to the event that will benefit Big Dreams Virtual Tour.
Participants can meet other golf enthusiasts in support of charitable causes through the Ready Player Golf Discord server.
- Join the Ready Player Golf Discord server.
In addition, there are two sessions planned to acquaint newcomers with ENGAGE and Walkabout prior to the November 10 event. Players can enter ENGAGE and use the Session ID RzkzJ to meet other players, ask questions, or just hang out with others. These sessions will take place at the following times:
- Friday, October 13 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm ET
- Friday, October 27 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm ET
For those who have ordered the recently revealed Meta Quest 3, this is an ideal opportunity to test your skills on the new headset prior to the charity event.
Note: This article has been edited to reflect the new date of December 1. The event was originally scheduled for November 10, but has been delayed.