An arcade game for today

Golden Tee's video golf attracts a large following who gather in bars to play online or off

November 23, 2006|By Sam Sessa | Sam Sessa,SUN REPORTER

In the age of high-octane gaming consoles such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, arcade games can seem almost prehistoric.

But one addictive arcade brand still attracts and connects a large following in bars across the country: Golden Tee.

When the first Golden Tee Live came out in 2005, it allowed gamers to link up to a global network and play golf against each other for money. It fostered a community of arcade gamers who played together in bars -- not alone in front of TVs.

That sense of camaraderie is one of the game's draws, said Dan Schrementi, a marketing associate for Golden Tee parent company Incredible Technologies Inc.

"With Golden Tee in general, even though you're connected in that online community, it's a social experience," Schrementi said.

"You have to go out to a bar to play it. You're playing with your friends, usually. You're playing and eating and drinking and checking out the girls in the bar and having a good time."

The most recent installment in the video golfing series is Golden Tee Live 2007, which improves on the graphics from the previous version.

Games cost $3 for nine holes and $4 for 18 holes. Up to four people can play at one arcade game at a time. Gamers can either play the normal off-line version by themselves, or swipe their credit cards to enter the Live network and go against other digital golfers. They can also add an extra dollar into a pool and win money if they rank high enough.

The game is played like this: To swing the club, players spin a stationary ball in the middle of the console with their hands. The harder you roll the ball, the farther the golf ball goes. The ball also controls which direction the golf ball curves. Golden Tee is similar to old bowling arcade games in that respect. There are also a couple of buttons for applying backspin and angling.

Stuart Christmas, a 31-year-old who lives in the city, plays Golden Tee Live 2007 on a semiregular basis at Mick O'Shea's.

"It's strangely addictive," Christmas wrote in an e-mail. "Just writing this is making me want to stroll down to the bar again for a quick round."

Here's a list of some local bars with Golden Tee Live:

Baltimore City

Chuckle's Bar and Grill -- 6900 Belair Road / 410-661-3211. Hours: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Wednesdays-Sundays Version: 2007.

Downtown Sports Exchange -- 200 W. Pratt St. / 410-528-1119. Opens at 11:30 a.m. daily. Version: 2007.

Growlers Pub -- 600 S. Potomac St. / 410-276-7553 or Hours: noon-2 a.m. daily. Version: 2007.

JD's Smokehouse -- 3000 O'Donnell St. / 410-675-4029 or Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Version: 2007.

Kolpers Restaurant and Lounge -- 1520 Clipper Road / 410-467-5657 or kolpers .com. Hours: noon-2 a.m. Thursdays-Sundays. Version: 2005.

Mick O'Shea's -- 328 N. Charles St. / 410-539-7504 or Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Version: 2007.

No Idea Tavern -- 1649 S. Hanover St. / 410-685-4332 or Hours: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Fridays and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Version: 2007.

Baltimore County

Cheers Bar and Grill -- 1969 E. Joppa Road, Parkville / 410-825-3980. Hours: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Fridays and noon-2 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Version: 2007.

Glory Days Grill -- 1220 E. Joppa Road, Towson / 443-901-0270 or Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Mondays-Saturdays and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sundays. Version: 2007.

G.L. Shack's -- 583 Frederick Road, Catonsville / 410-788-0879 or Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Version: 2007.

Greene Turtle -- 408 York Road, Towson. / 410-825-3980 or Hours: 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. daily. Version: 2007.

Jenning's Cafe -- 808 Frederick Road, Catonsville / 410-744-3824. Hours: 11:30 a.m.-midnight Mondays-Saturdays. Version: 2005.

Lil' Dicky's -- 404 York Road, Towson / 410-828-7770 or Hours: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 11 a.m..-2 a.m. Fridays-Sundays. Version: 2005.

Ocean Pride Seafood -- 1534 York Road, Lutherville / 410-321-7744 or oceanpridesea Hours: 10 a.m.-1 a.m. daily. Version: 2005.

The Original Steakhouse and Sports Theatre -- 3615 E. Joppa Road, Perry Hall / 410-882-3377. Hours: 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 4 p.m.-midnight Fridays, noon-midnight Saturdays and noon-10 p.m. Sundays. Version: 2007.

Putty Hill Station -- 2531 Putty Hill Ave., Parkville / 410-882-0500. Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Version: 2005.

The Rec Room -- 512 York Road, Towson / 410-337-7178 or Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Version: 2007.

Howard County

Bippy's Pub -- 10194 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City / 410-465-3633. Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Version: 2007.

Columbia Ale House -- 8775 Cloudleap Court, Columbia / 410-730-7221 or columbiaale Hours: 3 p.m.-2 a.m. daily. Version: 2007.

Famous Dave's -- 6201 Columbia Crossing Circle, Columbia / 410-290-0091 or famousda Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturdays. Version: 2005.

Golden Sports Bar -- 8801 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City / 410-480-2994 or gold Hours: 11 p.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Saturdays. Version: 2007.

Greene Turtle -- 8872 McGaw Road, Columbia / 410-312-5255 or Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Version: 2007.

Sonoma's Bar and Grille -- 7284 Cradlerock Way, Columbia / 410-381-7220 or sonomas Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Fridays and noon-2 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Version: 2007.

Anne Arundel Co.

Ferndale Tavern -- 7215 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., Glen Burnie / 410-760-7295. Hours: noon a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Version: 2007.

Glory Days Grill at Pasadena -- 7939 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie / 443-749-4376 or Hours: 4 p.m.-midnight Mondays-Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays and 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Sundays. Version: 2007.

Nabb's Creek Cafe -- 864 Nabb's Creek Road, Glen Burnie / 410-437-0400. Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Version: 2005.

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