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Golden Tee Golf - Major Injury Hazard

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the shattered-screen-calling-paramedics dept.

Games 24

Thanks to for their local news report discussing the massive popularity of U.S. arcade game Golden Tee Golf. According to the piece, "Since Golden Tee was released in 1996, at least 100,000 machines have popped up in bars and restaurants across North America." Unsurprisingly, the game developers suggest: "I think you'll find many players who say they're better after three or four beers." But drinking and golfing leads to danger, since the control method is "..a track ball that is half submerged in the machine.. the faster the ball spins, the further the shot flies. Sometimes, eager golfers put a little too much oomph on their drives. The Brass, a popular Golden Tee hangout on Princess Street, has had three players accidentally smash their hands through the video screens on both of the bar's machines."

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Drinking and gaming (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 11 years ago | (#6483407)

Definetely worth trying, especially car games. Teaches you that reflexes and motorics do get fucked up, and is major fun too. Big screen, some distilled products and a driving wheel = fun.

Drinking much (1)

skinnedmink (637713) | more than 11 years ago | (#6483428)

Gamers arn't as think as you drunk they are.

Actually (4, Interesting)

M3wThr33 (310489) | more than 11 years ago | (#6483453)

After a couple heinekens, my friend was able to full combo World Tour on DDR Extreme.
(In non-ddr talk: While drunk, he never missed a single one of 2500 steps in 12 minutes)

Re:Actually (2, Informative)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 11 years ago | (#6483647)

I've had a similar experience with a pump it up machine. my guess: alcohol loosens ya up, lowers inhibitions, and you're not as worried about looking like a spaz, so you shake that groove thing, have a good time./

Re:Actually (2)

reiggin (646111) | more than 11 years ago | (#6488045)

After a couple heinekens, my friend was able to full combo World Tour on DDR Extreme. (In non-ddr talk: While drunk, he never missed a single one of 2500 steps in 12 minutes)

If your friend got drunk after two heinekens, he needs to stay on the kiddie arcade games and away from the bar. Seriously. It's bad enough that he's drinking yuppie beer. It's just tragic that he gets drunk off a couple and then heads for the "computer dance floor."

Friends don't let friends dance drunk... and/or drink Heineken.

Re:Actually (1)

M3wThr33 (310489) | more than 11 years ago | (#6496028)

Well, I wouldn't say really drunk, but before the drinks, he was doing really poorly, and after he came back his inhibitions were much lower.

Golden Tee Injuries (2, Interesting)

Hedonist123 (681091) | more than 11 years ago | (#6483611)

I think it's pretty well known that you can do damage to yourself playing golden tee. About ten minutes of hammering that ball on the drives will give almost anyone a wicked bruise. Luckily, thanks to many many many hours of bar time I've built up those rugged golden tee hands. But, I digress, the machines all have a speel written on them about inuries. I think that focuses on loose screws in the ball itself though, not punching through the screen (which I think I've been close to doing). I've always wondered if that warning is enough insurance for them. Could you sue after hurting yourself playing drunk golden tee? Hed.

Re:Golden Tee Injuries (1)

grammar nazi (197303) | more than 11 years ago | (#6483881)

That's funny that so many people hit the ball. I find I can hit just as far, yet with much more contol if I put both hands on either side of the ball and use both thumbs to snap the ball. This works even if I've been drinking.

Re:Golden Tee Injuries (1)

vitaflo (20507) | more than 11 years ago | (#6484557)

I have a few friends that play this way, and they usually out drive the people who just jam their hand on the machine. I started trying it that way, but I found I kept getting my thumbs pinched in the groove between the trackball and the housing. Ouch. So there's still the risk of injury of some sort.

Re:Golden Tee Injuries (1)

XO (250276) | more than 11 years ago | (#6484967)

I guarantee with a good hit, I can out drive anyone that thumbs the ball. The trick a lot of people miss is that it's not the DOWNFORCE that you put on the trackball that gets the ball farther, it's the ROLLING force.. most people just smack the shit out of the ball, but it's mostly downwards into the machine, rather than spinning the ball.

I've been trying to teach myself away from that, and have been popping off anywhere from 330 - 395 yard drives very consistently ever since...

Re:Golden Tee Injuries (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6489940)

Silly question. Of course you can sue.

Whether you can actually win the lawsuit is the question.

I'm of the opinion that the safest product in the world can be unsafe, all it takes is a drunkhas abusing it long enough.

If I drunkenly stumble into the fence surrounding your hard and impale myself on part of it, does that mean you should be liable for my poor judgement? I know a friend of a friend who won a very similar lawsuit under similar circumstances, and it only served to drop my opinion of that slacker hippy another notch. God knows what chemical cocktail was flowing through his veins at the time, I know he didn't even remember.

BTW, I read the article - and frankly there was only half a paragraph about injuries. So WTF is up with this Slashdot headline?! Half wondering if it was submitted by some jackass who's talking to a lawyer right now...

FWIW, the carriage bolts that were a problem on very old cabinets are literally gone as of a couple years ago, you'll only see them on non-tournament non-league (in other words old, outdated) cabinets. Every year IT ships out a new control panel as part of the upgrade kit, they switched to one with submerged (under the panel) carriage bolts a WHILE ago.

Re:Golden Tee Injuries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6489993)

Of course, they were only a problem because of %@#$@#4 lazy good-for-nothing operators who didn't bother to tighten down the carriage bolts after replacing the trackball. But they're not a fat enough target for lawyers to go after, since they're running a barely-profitable business... on the books at least.

Funny how they buy most everything on a cash basis - and if the purchase requires reporting to the IRS, well, hey, look at that, this month I was really profitable! How the heck did that happen?!

Now imagine if there was a club involved... (2, Informative)

TripleA (232889) | more than 11 years ago | (#6483768)

Something to swing over a sensor maybe. THAT would cause injuries.

Major? (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 11 years ago | (#6484249)

Major Injury Hazard

3/100,000? .00003%? And that's only the machines - if you figure 100 users per machine, that's a .0000003% injury rate. Real golf is more hazzardous. Actually, the drinking is probably the most hazardous part of the arrangement. If you have ten million drinkers, odds are somebody's going to be killed on the way home from drunk driving.

Boooring! (-1, Troll)

ArmorFiend (151674) | more than 11 years ago | (#6484448)

Lets take the most boring game in the galaxy: GOLF.
Now lets virtualize it, to remove the last few molecules of spontanaity: GOLDEN TEE GOLF.
Now lets write a Sunday slashdot article about it: GOLDEN BORING ARTICLE!

Don't have to kill it (2, Insightful)

AutumnLeaf (50333) | more than 11 years ago | (#6485588)

Many of the shots in golden tee do not require a 'smasher hit' every time. Rather, a good 'double-thumb' flip of the ball wil often be just what you need. Even off the tee-box, I'm often not smashin the ball.

Some Golden Tee cabinets have screw heads in the vicinity of the ball, and if they get loose catching your skin on them and cutting oneself is a risk. The bigger risks are from comming in too low or two high on the smasher hit. Too low - you catch the edge of the cabinet with your hand. Too high and you hit the ball with a down force. The ball has no give, and it results in bruising in the hand - it's quite uncomfortable.

As for golden tee's gameplay, it is the best golf game I've played. I have to say I liked the 2003 courses much more than the 2004 courses though.

PGA Tour (0)

Hexxon (151978) | more than 11 years ago | (#6486290)

I Do Think The PGA Tour Game Is Much Better.... And I Have Come In A Bit Low Before Trying To Hit The Ball (After A Few Shots And A Few Beers Of Course) And I Broke My Finger On The Edge Of The Panel. Another Time I Hit The Ball, Cracked The Plexi Glass, Then My Under-Forarm Was Caught In The Ball And Pinched In Between The Ball And The Machine Leaving Quite A Nice Welt. Ahhhh The Pains I Go Through For A Bogie Are Amazing.

I've never understood why... (2, Interesting)

still_sick (585332) | more than 11 years ago | (#6486528)

...People insist on smashing the thing every time. All the people I know play like that and I just don't get it. For fuck sake's people, just use one higher club and give it nice solid but relaxed hit - you'll go just as far as the lower club and a smasher. ... Of course knowing the people I play with, I suspect that half of it is just to prove they can get x distance out of y club, but come on... Other than driving on a really far hole there's no reason to kill it.

New genre of games: Mainstream games (5, Insightful)

Krellan (107440) | more than 11 years ago | (#6486783)

I played Golden Tee a few times, and found it to be an OK game. It didn't hold my interest. This was even when the machine was on free play, so I could experiment with it as much as I wanted. It just didn't entertain me.

It is clear that Golden Tee is part of a new genre of games, like Deer Hunter, that were often criticized by the gamer community but surprised everybody by how incredibly well they sold. They make money hand over fist. The reason they sell well is because they are targeted to non-gamers.

Golden Tee is often found in bars, not arcades. I've never seen an arcade with a Golden Tee, but I rarely see a bar without one. Like those countertop touchscreen games, it is designed to be played by people who don't often play what we think of as normal games. People who don't really like or use computers that much. In other words, Joe Sixpack.

These games form a new genre: mainstream games. They should be classified as such, and not sports games. Even though they may feature sports content, the target audience is completely different, and the overall feel of the game is completely different from a conventional sports game.

For instance, because it's targeted at people with little or no experience with standard video games, these mainstream games play very slowly and often don't take any action at all unless the player initiates the action. For instance, Golden Tee will just sit there until you roll the trackball.

You probably already have a mainstream game installed on a Windows computer near you: Solitare. My partner's aunt, who hates computers and detests using them, loves to play Solitare in spite of what she normally thinks about computer games. Solitare is clearly reaching its intended audience. I'd consider that a mainstream game!

Re:New genre of games: Mainstream games (0, Offtopic)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 11 years ago | (#6489823)

Slightly OT, but Solitaire wasn't made to have a game included with Windows. It was actually made to teach you how to use the mouse (Minesweeper did the same, but involved the right button). I need to find an old Windows 3.x manual, but I'm sure that's what it said...

Re:New genre of games: Mainstream games (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 11 years ago | (#6536425)

I said SLIGHTLY OT. I should have quoted parent. Here's the quote:

You probably already have a mainstream game installed on a Windows computer near you: Solitare. My partner's aunt, who hates computers and detests using them, loves to play Solitare in spite of what she normally thinks about computer games. Solitare is clearly reaching its intended audience. I'd consider that a mainstream game!

And I was simply stating that it wasn't meant to be a mainstream game, it was meant to teach you how to use the mouse...

Re:New genre of games: Mainstream games (1)

AutumnLeaf (50333) | more than 11 years ago | (#6518499)

I think your point about the market for Golden Tee is a good one. At the same time, I disagree that its gameplay value should be dismissed (which you sort of imply but don't say explicitly).

Joe-Sixpack can indeed enjoy a game of golf on golden tee. However, the game is in fact designed to appeal to those who are gamers. What opened my eyes to the gameplay in Golden Tee was playing it with people who really knew the courses. I learned there were some sneaky paths to the green that could shave a stroke or two off the score, but those paths aren't always there. A lot depends on the wind, and when you factor in the direction and magnitude of the wind, versus spin on the ball, you end up doing a fair bit of fine-tuning on the final stroke. Backspin takes a little off the shot, so got to hit stronger, but hitting into an uphill grade on a gree is like a natural stop shot so you don't want back-spin there... There are a ton of permutations depending on what you're trying to do with the ball, and the trackball is just imprecise enough to make precise shots demanding of one's concentration.

Yeah, Golden Tee is approachable to Joe Sixpack. So were many games on the Nintendo and Super Nintendo. I know a lot of families where the person earning the coin to bring a system like the Nintendo home was Joe Sixpack, and they enjoyed playing those systems.

I still think Golden Tee is one of the best golf games out there (in part because of the user-interface). Not putting it shoulder-to-shoulder with other (serious) golf games or even other (serious) sports games would seem unreasonable to me.

Saw this happen... Twice... (4, Funny)

Hank Reardon (534417) | more than 11 years ago | (#6489025)

I used to go to a tavern quite often where they had three of these machines. My friend and I would play one of them for hours on end.

One evening, a rather drunk foresome (heh) was doing the old "smash-the-shit-out-of-the-game" routine and one of the guys slipped forward a bit too much. With a rather large crash, he shattered the glass above the monitor and sliced the crap out of his hand. Naturally, hilarity insued and nobody could stop laughing. It seems that alchohol makes blood funny.

After getting cleaned up and bandaged with a bar towel, one of the bartenders came out to sweep the floor. Meanwhile, the extremely drunk foresome moved to the next machine.

Mr. Bloody-stump proceded to use his uncut hand for another brilliant stroke -- obviously thinking that since it's happened once, it can't happen again -- and smashes his other hand into the screen cover with similar results.

When we spoke to the bartenders about this after last call, the said it happens about every two weeks.

The next week, all of the protective covers were Lexan.

No Surprises (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6494343)

I live down the street from that bar, and stepping inside, you'd instantly notice that the people are so drunk that they hurt themselves trying to eat the peanuts.
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