Samsung Gear VR lets you explore Waste Management Phoenix Open

Samsung Gear VR (13)

If you were hoping to attend the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Ariz. but couldn’t, you’re in luck. The PGA has released its first virtual reality videos for Samsung Gear VR.

The videos were taken over the course of two days of the golf tournament. Two of the videos will allow viewers to see the practice area and receive an instructional session from PGA tour professionals Patrick Rodgers and Peter Malnati. Another video focuses on the 16th hole of tournament home TPC Scottsdale and the final video takes viewers behind the scenes of a PGA Tour Live broadcast.

The PGA plans to develop more VR videos throughout the season. The new content will allow viewers to see courses which they’ve never visited and watch their favorite golfers.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (February 10, 2016) – The PGA TOUR announced the release of its first-ever virtual reality (VR) videos on Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus. The videos and app were produced with the assistance of IM360, a leader in immersive and interactive content solutions.

The video was captured over two days at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale and is packaged in four separate VR videos. Two of the videos will take viewers to the practice area where they’ll be immersed in one-on-one instruction with PGA TOUR players Patrick Rodgers (@PRodgersGolf) and Peter Malnati (@PeterMalnati). A third video focuses on what it’s like to be on TPC Scottsdale’s famous 16th hole with Rickie Fowler. The fourth feature goes behind-the-scenes of a PGA TOUR LIVE broadcast.

“Our goal at the PGA TOUR is to bring fans as close to the game and players as possible,” said Sloane Kelley, PGA TOUR executive producer. “VR allows us to do that in a completely new way. Our initial focus with VR is around storytelling. We’ve opted to produce on-demand videos, which will reside in a dedicated PGA TOUR app on the Oculus platform. After doing test shoots last summer, we found the best VR experience is in stories that can immerse our fans in the most beautiful locations while allowing them to feel like they’re on the course with our players.”

The TOUR plans to create additional VR content throughout the season, finding opportunities to bring fans behind-the-scenes, to visit courses they’ve never seen, and to watch their favorite PGA TOUR players.

IM360 was the PGA TOUR’s vendor of choice, with the company producing the four videos involving 360-degree video capture, post production and distribution, featuring the top golf professionals in the world. To support the virtual reality experience, IM360 also built the custom PGA TOUR VR app on Oculus that includes exclusive content from instructional videos like bunker shots and putting, to behind-scenes footage on the PGA TOUR.

“The PGA TOUR has not only embraced virtual reality technology but has been fantastic to work with in building a revolutionary immersive experience for golfing fans around the world,” said IM360’s spokesperson Rich Flier. “It was a thrill and an honor to deliver a one-of-a-kind VR experience featuring the world’s top golf pros.”

About the Author: Bill Mayeroff

After five years as a newspaper reporter in western Illinois and two more as a freelancer in Chicago, Bill's life has gone to the dogs in the best way possible. These days, Bill lives in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood with his terrier mix, Chester, and works at a small, no-kill animal shelter while he studies to be a professional dog trainer. His non-work and non-TalkAndroid time is spent finding the best beer in Chicago, playing with Chester, watching roller derby and occasionally writing. Besides TalkAndroid, Bill writes about dogs and beer at Pints and Pups ( and contributes beer news and commentary at SommBeer ( Bill's Android gear of choice for the moment is his trusty LG G3.