Golf Cafes: Big Business in Korea

Golf Cafes: Big Business in Korea

Virtual-reality golfing is hot in Korea. Over the past few years, "screen golf cafes" have sprung up around the country, and today nearly 300,000 South Koreans regularly play 18-hole rounds of virtual golf. With just the click of a mouse, they can choose from dozens of the world's top courses, from the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland to Pebble Beach in California.

It's easy to understand why the demand is so great: Korea is a very expensive place to play golf the old-fashioned way. It costs about $300 per person to play a round, tee times are hard to secure, and joining a country club could burn a $500,000 hole in your wallet. In contrast, it costs a mere $20 to $30 to play 18 holes of virtual-reality golf. The technology has advanced enough to make virtual copies of the world's most famous courses easily available, so an increasing number of Korean golfers are traveling around the world by way of their local screen golf cafes.

Following is a look at some of the courses they can visit.