We are definitely living in the era of free-to-play games. Everything from MMOs to MOBAs ro mobile games are being offered for free with in-app purchases. Regardless of my views on the business model, the concept seems to be popular with the general gaming populace, as more and more FTP offers are flooding the market.

This is perhaps the first time I have seen a sports game offered with the FTP format, and Winning Putt certainly looks to be an interesting offering! Launching later this year, Winning Putt is currently available in an open beta.

Winning Putt combines the golf gaming experience with staples of online multiplayer gaming. For instance, players can create guilds and unlock perks such as a special golfer’s lounge. Joon Hwang, Director, Digital Games at BNEA says:

“BANDAI NAMCO is invested in continuing to broaden our catalogue of games, and want to create gaming experiences for players of all types. Winning Putt is a totally different type of game for us, and we are honored to work together with Webzen Onnet, who has over a decade’s worth of experience in creating fun and realistic golfing experiences. Together we are developing a game that pushes the boundaries of a typical golf game and gives the player more control than ever.”

Customization is key in Winning Putt, and players have a variety of ways to personalize their golf experience. From changing the look and style of their golfer, to focusing on different classes (such as Power vs Accuracy), players have the opportunity to gain stats to best compliment their own play style. Equipment can be even further “enhanced” for additional stat buffs.

The open beta for Winning Putt includes seven courses, with more coming at launch and beyond. Players can compete head to head and even bet in-game currency. A challenge round allows players to compete against another player’s data, in what sounds like a golf version of Forza Motorsport’s “Rivals” mode.

Winning Putt is available today as an open beta. To sign up for the open beta, please visit winningputtgame.com.