Leighton Buzzard golfer spends 150+ hours creating his club’s course on popular video game to get fix during lockdown

An avid Leighton Buzzard golfer has virtually created his local course on a popular sports video game.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 5:06 pm
Richard playing the 11th hole on the Leighton Buzzard golf course

Richard Winchester, a member of Leighton Buzzard Golf Club, has designed the course on PGA Tour 2K21 so that others can get their fix of golf and raise spirits in lockdown.

The inventive idea took Richard over 150 hours of his time, and he has received wonderful feedback from members and friends saying how life-like it is.

The 34-year-old qualified accountant said: “I have always had an interest in designing on computer games and when the pandemic stopped us all from playing golf, I thought I could bring it direct into our living rooms instead, to attempt to fill a void for members. As a member of Leighton Buzzard I decided to build it as I missed playing.

“I have a very good memory and looked at Google Maps a lot for working out the distancing. The process involves shaping the land first, this is so important, particularly at a place like Leighton Buzzard which has well sculpted holes and changes in land height. At first you are given a flat plot with nothing on, then you place the trees, the bunkers and finally the hole shapes and greens.”

Richard said he got into golf at around the age of 14 because his brothers, who he plays with, were better than him at cricket and so he needed something different.

Speaking about the design, Leighton Buzzard Golf Club captain, Simon Rossiter, said: “I am astonished at the accuracy and detail Richard has managed in his creation of this game. He has captured the beauty and challenge of our wonderful golf course and this is a terrific way to virtually see Leighton Buzzard Golf Club in all its majesty - the golf course is located in the stunning parkland of Plantation Road and welcomes golfers of all abilities.”

To play the course on PGA Tour 2K21, a games console (PlayStation/Xbox) or PC is required. Once purchased and downloaded, players can search the course under ‘Leighton Buzzard, Beds, designed by SpursBlogger.’ All 18 holes feature complete with the practise area and bar patio.

“I am very pleased with how Leighton Buzzard turned out. My favourite part was seeing the 11th and 17th finished, I shocked myself! I will take a break from designing for a while but a couple of golf professionals have asked how I did it as they want their course on it,” said Richard.

“I designed the course purely for people to enjoy. So if you are thinking of having a guest round or society visit at the club, why not play a round online before to get used to the course. Leighton Buzzard have been very friendly to me since I joined a year ago, a great club.”

There’s nothing like the real thing though, and the season ticket holder at Tottenham Hotspur can’t wait to be sinking putts again outdoors. Richard thinks it might be the first time that Leighton Buzzard golf course has been made available to play online in the club’s 96 year history.

To see some course action, click these links, (summary) https://youtu.be/X7GXAc27Q54, (front nine) https://youtu.be/Fk7p1iFkSxQ and (back nine) https://youtu.be/q7b7VWIEy7g