(Reuters) - Even as he teed off on Thursday at the famed Masters tournament, Tiger Woods could rest assured he had plenty of practice behind him -- not only on the course but with his new videogame, too. EA Sports' golf simulation game, "Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Golf 13," was unveiled this week for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 players. Augusta National golf course in Georgia where the Masters takes place is featured in the game, along with many others such as Bay Hill, TPC Sawgrass and St. Andrews.
For the first time, gamers will be able to play Woods during his entire career, starting as a toddler and moving through each stage of his life swinging a golf club. Players can experience key moments of his career in the "Tiger Legacy Challenge," including his wins at the Masters.
It's so realistic, in fact, Woods said he uses the videogame as preparation for big tournaments. He recently spoke with Reuters about the game, convergence of simulation and real golf and how it appeals to older players, as well as young.
Q: Many of today's golf videogames are very realistic. Could this one possibly improve someone's golf game in the real world?
A: "We have 62 million different shots which are possible in this new game, and because of the swing and play and the tempo and the power output, it is all controlled by you as the new remote. ... We know that it's very difficult in real life, but we're making it difficult and fun at the same time in the game. One of the neat things about it is that we're getting people who are older playing. I have guys at my club that play, and they're in their late '50s to mid '60s who are grandparents and are excited about playing with their grandkids because they never grew up with gaming. They don't understand how to use a remote (controller), but they do know how to play the game of golf. Now they're able play with their grandkids and to have that type of interaction and that special time with them, it just takes it to a whole new level."
Q: Is there any correlation between hand-eye coordination required in videogames and hand-eye coordination in golf?
A: "Absolutely. I think that people don't realize this, but most golfers are really good at table tennis and pool. And I think it's just because of the fact that our sport is so hand-eye based, and guys just have a good feel with their hands. And those two sports, table tennis and pool, correlate to what we do in golf whether it's reflexes with table tennis or pool, which is like putting to us."