A Golden Tee PGA Tour Story – 23 Days and $6,500+ USD Later by PGM Member Bradygoat

By Bradygoat Oct21,2023

Ed. This article was written and shared by PGM member Bradygoat.

So, it’s official, have owned my new Golden Tee PGA Deluxe Edition for an entire 23 days. So, has it been worth it, or has it been a $6,500 bust?

Even before I made this major investment, I had some reservations about going forward with the purchase. I wondered if after a month or two of play, would this unit end up in the middle of my game room (not the corner, this thing is massive!) just taking up space and looking pretty as the attract mode screen played ad nauseam throughout the day.

I remember watching the kevgret video a year ago (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrI6dxxmi44), where he excitedly unboxed his new Golden Tee unit.

I remember just how happy he was to have this arcade in his collection. I also recall him saying later how he continued to play his Golden Tee daily. This gave me hope, I wouldn’t ultimately regret my purchase. But I still had my reservations. How many times had I bought an Arcade1up cabinet with great anticipation only to turn it on now and again months later, to light up the game room and too occasionally dust it off with a microfiber rag, but never to actually play it? Now don’t get me wrong, in now way am I comparing the quality build, craftsmanship, and playability of a Golden Tee to an Arcade1up, I am simply saying I was hopeful the GT would live up to my “potentially” lofty expectations and is it worth it? Keeping in mind this purchase is worth quite a few mortgage payments.

Before we go any further, I know you are wondering, “Brady, are you any good at Golden Tee?” No! But I digress, back to has it been worth it. So, as I have been thoroughly enjoying my time playing the game, I began to wonder at what point do I consider my purchase worth it? I decided to look a little more closely at determining the value of my purchase. First, I needed to set the parameters to derive value or maybe more accurately stated as Perceived Value. As we all know, the actual value of an item is in the eye of the beholder and what they are willing to pay for a particular item. So, I decided on the tried and true method used by our very own Todd Russell to determining a games value.

This is the very scientific formula of one (1) hour of play = one dollar ($1)

In other words, if you spend ten dollars on a game and you play the game for at least 10 hours, the game is considered to be worth the cost. For the point of this discussion I am using the MSRP value of the cabinet sans any sales tax as this number is different across the country. The cost of the cabinet was $6,500. This would require me to play my Golden Tee cabinet for a minimum of 6,500 hours at $1 per hour in order to achieve value for the unit.

Let’s put this into a little more perspective. Simply stating there are 24 hours in a day and 6,500 dived by 24 equals a rounded number of 271 days. That is a lot of Golden Tee, and not a lot of sleep. So based on my current playing habits, albeit from a small sample size of only 23-days, how long would I need to play this unit in order to achieve value based on the 1 hour = $1 formula? To date I have play 208 rounds of golf, 208 rounds divided by 23 days equals an average of 9 rounds per day. But how long does a round take, you might ask? Good question, and one that I do not have an “exact” answer to. But I have estimated that my average round minus any family, pet, or bowel interruptions takes approximately 15 minutes to play. This would then suggest my current level of GT gameplay is roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes per day. If my math is correct, this would equate to 2.25 hours divided by 6,500 dollars which equals 2,889 (rounded). Now dividing 2,889 by 365 days gives us 7.91 years of play.

Now before we go any further, I know what you might be thinking. Brady, you are evaluating this purchase on the software and hardware costs whereas, @toddrussell is simply evaluating the cost of the software or game. He certainly isn’t tacking on the $10,000 cost of his Alienware computer onto the cost of the $10 game he just bought. Many of us have purchased consoles (most likely multiple times) over our lifetimes. With that we assume an inherent cost or in business terms, a cost of doing business. With that I needed to separate the cost of the cabinet from the cost of the software to give a fair evaluation of value. So how then can I determine the cost delineation between the Golden Tee Cabinet and the software of the games? I went with the unscientific method of using the current cost of the latest IT software update to create a value for each course and in turn an overall value for the software vs the cabinet.

Before I go any further, I must explain what the software update entails. Incredible Technologies offers an annual update or DLC if you will to their Home and Commercial use cabinets. The contents of the updates are new courses and new features and/or potential new game modes. The current 23/24 update cost was $300, and there are 104 courses on my machine. So, for examination I devised the following formula. This year the PGA edition came with 7 new courses and 3 remastered courses for a total of 10 courses. Dividing $300 by 10, works out to be $30 per course. Using this as my base (again non-scientific but gives me a number to work with) $30/course times 104 courses equals $3,120. This becomes my target number to determine the value of the software of my cabinet. Afterall the games are the reason we play …..well, the games. Back to the 1 hour = $1 formula, if I play 2.25 hours per day and divide this by $3,120, this leaves me with 1,387 (days). Now dividing 1,387 by 365 days gives me 3.8 years of play to achieve perceived value. I realize there are many ways one could analyze the value of their purchase, but I felt this was a tried method which I could justify as sound.

So has my investment been worth it? I guess I will tell you in 3.7 years, stay tuned. All kidding aside, I am extremely happy to report through the first 23 days of ownership, my Golden Tee has been a great experience and worth the investment to this point. I have been having a blast playing the game, and don’t see the luster wearing off anytime soon. It is a challenging game and can be both rewarding and humbling at the same time, even on a single hole.

This article was not intended to be a review but rather my current experience with the cabinet and whether I felt I was getting value out of my purchase. I do plan on doing a more in-depth review of the cabinet at a later date. I realize many of you cannot justify or may not have enough interest in this game to warrant such a large investment into the Golden Tee ecosystem. However, I still wanted to offer my experience and insight. If you are interested, but the cost is a bit out of reach, @kevgret alerted me to the news that Incredible Technologies is about to release their new PGA Tour Go edition. You can check out his YouTube video on this leak right HERE This unit still comes in at a heavy price point of $3,299, but it may allow others to enter the fold at a more affordable entry point. You can read more details regarding the upcoming unit at the Game Room Spot website. This isn’t IT’s first foray into the portable Golden Tee model, in fact it will be their 3rd such unit. There must be some interest there or they wouldn’t continue to produce them. I hope this little article has been insightful and maybe just maybe I’ll see you on the links real soon. Fore!

NOTE: If you currently own a unit or simply play a lot of Golden Tee in the wild, feel free to add me as a friend in the Golden Tee Caddy app. My username is Amara Khan.

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