BEST PLACE TO PLAY GOLDEN TEE (2001)
There's something perverse about the soul who seeks sports and recreation within the confines of the darkest, smokiest bar in the Twin Cities. But several such souls can be found on any given sunny afternoon at Mortimer's, standing among the rows of antiquated pinball machines and video poker games waiting to play Golden Tee 2002, the latest version of a high-definition, superrealistic video-golf game. In just over two years, the enhanced version of this game--developed by Incredible Technologies and endorsed by pro golfer Peter Jacobsen--has drawn a legion of devotees who get positively bug-eyed with anticipation waiting for a shot at the faux links. Golden Tee offers three 18-hole courses and two 9-hole courses, and there are local and national tournaments (with results updated via modem and phone line). There's also a Web site for Golden Tee at www.interplay.com/gtgolf, where addicts can download a computer version. But it's the arcade Golden Tee that has the rabid following, perhaps because of the appeal of that dark, smoky bar--or just that big roller ball on the game console. In addition to having regular happy hours that seem to segue into one another, Mort's has three Golden Tee machines, and the regular duffers are generous with tricks and tips for the fledgling cyberduffer. It's worth noting that with a modest amount of practice Golden Tee is much easier--and cheaper--than ordinary golf. To hell with all that fresh air, fitness, and nature. Who needs the real thing when the virtual version is this much fun?