I know that headline sounds like some kind of joke and it partially is, however, in some ways, it really can help your real-life golf game. Not in a physical swing type of way but in a mental and repetition type of way.
When I ask Can Playing Online Golf Help Your Real Golf Game, we are talking about real simulation golf and not cartoonish or arcade-type golf games. I currently only know of one and I enjoy it very much. So much so I am part of a worldwide country club within the game. That game is World Golf Tour (WGT) by Topgolf. WGT is the most realistic golf game I have ever played. Real course images of the golf courses such as Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, and Bethpage Black just to name a few.
There are three key elements you can learn playing WGT Golf that you can take to the golf course. Putting, Shot Power, and Wind
Putting - This is probably the most realistic aspect of the game while also being the most challenging and frustrating you can actually learn a lot from it. The game gives you a grid to help know which way the green is breaking and if a putt is uphill or downhill. Every time you play a course there is a green speed for that round. You can learn how the speed affects the break. The faster the green speed is the more a putt will break. You can also learn distance control from those speeds by learning the math of how a putt of 15ft and downhill on a fast green it may only play like a 4ft putt. Putting in the game is a great way to get better at putting in real life. There is a system many teaching pros use to help their students learn to read greens and it is almost the exact same way WGT uses for the greens in the game.
Shot Power - For shot power, in the game, it equates to swing length in real life. 100% = Full swing. This will help you learn shot percentages as it relates to distance, not taking wind or other elements into account. When you learn how far each club goes, say with an 80% swing, you can start to apply that to your distances with your real clubs. It will not be exact, but it gives you a reference to learn from and helps make the math for club selection a bit more simplified. If you learn how far a 75% (3/4) swing goes in the game just do the same math for the distance of your own clubs. Let's say you have 160 yards to the hole, but your 7-iron goes 165 yards and your 8-iron goes 155 yards. Learning math for swing vs yardages and applying to your game you can try a 7-iron, 80% swing to make up for the distance of a full swing.
Wind - Learning how wind affects a golf ball in the game you can carry over to the real course as well. The more you play and experience different wind speeds you learn to adjust your shots accordingly. Since everything in WGT is based on straight shots you can learn that if a 15 mph right-to-left wind moves the ball 5 yards to the left then you aim 5 yards right. Same with into the wind. If you have a 160-yard shot into a 10 mph wind and you hit a 160-yard club and come up 5 yards short then you know how much extra club to hit. You may need a 170-yard club with a 95% swing. This will not be exact but it gives you the idea of learning how wind can affect a golf ball.
As you can see there are ways playing an online golf game like WGT can help you. I can't say it will drop strokes off your game but it might just help you understand your golf game much better.
WGT Golf is a free game to play on mobile devices as well as regular computers. It is fun and a great way to pass the time and still play golf when the weather does not allow for getting out to a real golf course.
Please Note: This is not a guarantee of any kind or that anything said above will improve your golf game. This is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. Golf NOLA nor Kyle has any type of partnership or affiliation with WGT Golf other than being a customer/player of the game.