HelloReal's VR putter makes Walkabout Mini Golf even better - Review
- Added Tomislav's impressions of the Grip-To-Putter 2.
Popular VR game Walkabout Mini Golf gets an official accessory from HelloReal for the first time. How does the licensed VR putter feel?
Walkabout Mini Golf is one of the most popular VR games and is available on all major VR platforms. Owners of Meta Quest 2, Quest 1 and Quest Pro can now look forward to a special accessory: the officially licensed Walkabout-style VR putter.
Those who play golf on Playstation VR 2 can also use the limited edition putter via an optional adapter. It is manufactured and distributed by HelloReal, a provider of VR accessories. I was allowed to test one in advance and report if it is worth the purchase.
Walkabout Mini Golf VR Putter comes pre-assembled
The official VR putter for Walkabout Mini Golf by HelloReal is very solidly made. The individual parts are of high quality, the putter is sturdily constructed and makes a durable impression. Together with the VR controller, it has a length of about 19 Inch (ca. 48.5 cm) and weighs about 1.3 lbs (0.6 kg).
The shaft is just under 9 inches (ca. 22 cm) long and has a moisture-repellent coating that provides a secure grip even for sweaty hands. The Walkabout VR putter comes fully assembled and ready to play. All you need to do is attach the controller. A detailed video explaining each step can be found via a QR code on the included instructions.
Secure hold for the VR controller
The VR controller is inserted into the holder at the bottom of the handle. It fits the Touch Controllers of the Meta Quest and Quest 2 VR headsets, as well as the Touch Pro Controller of the Quest Pro. To ensure a secure fit, the controller's wrist straps are guided through a groove and then tightened with a locking mechanism.
Once attached, everything sits bombproof. The Quest 2's Touch Controller seems to hold without the lock, but I wouldn't recommend it for more than light putting. Otherwise, you run the risk of the VR controller hitting the real wall when teeing off from the virtual driving range.
If you purchase the optional adapter for the Playstation VR 2's Sense Controllers, you can swap out the controller holder quickly and easily thanks to a handy Quick Swap mechanism. When the VR controller is firmly inserted into the putter, a lever-rope design on the shaft actuates the VR controller's grip button.
Calibration made easy
With the putter and controller connected, it's time to hit the virtual green. Fittingly, I tried out the putter in Walkabout Mini Golf VR on the Quest 2. In the settings, there is a menu item for optional accessories that guides me through calibration quickly and easily.
All I have to do is hold down the grip button and place the virtual controller in the virtual putter so that the angles of the grips match. One press of the trigger and the setting is saved.
Mighty Coconut plans to offer more comfort settings for the putter in the future and promises unlockable in-game cosmetics. At the time of testing, however, none of this was yet to be seen.
Feels like real mini golf
I have spent countless hours with Walkabout Mini Golf VR and regularly compete with my colleague Ben for the MIXED Mini Golf Crown on the virtual green. The popular VR game has always excelled with excellent ball physics. The only problem is the positioning of the VR controllers.
If you come from the real world of miniature golf or golf, you are used to a certain grip position. Right-handers usually hold the grip ambidextrously, with the right hand under the left, and let the putter swing in a slightly bent position like a pendulum. This is difficult to replicate with a VR controller.
The VR Putter solves this problem and allows VR golfers to have a natural body position. This makes the game feel even more realistic in Walkabout Mini Golf VR. The feel of the VR putter is excellent and comes very close to a real putter in terms of shape, weight, and balance.
Resume: Hefty price tag, but excellent quality
If you are looking for a high-quality VR putter with solid components, a stylish design and compatibility with various VR controllers, HelloReal is the right choice. The grip coating feels comfortable, is not too soft and not too hard and offers a secure grip even with sweaty hands.
The weight is also very well balanced and reminds me of the feel of a real putter. All in all, the HelloReal Grip-To-Putter VR Club enhances the already very successful gaming experience of Walkabout Mini Golf VR. Only the price clouds the overall picture a bit.
If you want to get the Limited Edition, you will have to dig deep into your pocket. The Walkabout-style VR putter will set you back a whopping $58.99. If you live outside the US, you will also have to pay high shipping costs. For a delivery to Germany for example, you have to pay around 50 Euros (ca. $54) plus customs duties, which in my case came to 16 Euros (ca. $17).
Update from Tomislav: Hands-on with Grip-To-Putter II
HelloReal was kind enough to send me the successor of the sold out Grip-To-Putter for testing purposes. The Grip-To-Putter II is being shipped since the beginning of December 2023.
I asked HelloReal what the differences are between the GTP and the GTP2. This was their answer:
"Other than a brand new limited edition (and limited quantity) grip, the GTP2 also expanded to more platforms to Quest 3 and PSVR2, which is done with an intuitive and swappable adapter without getting a new attachment."
The product page offers three models: one for Quest (compatible with Rift S, Quest-1-3, and Quest Pro), one for Quest with "full" Quest 3 compatibility and one for PSVR 2 (only compatible with the right Sense controller). HelloReal only sent me the PSVR 2 version to test.
First, you have to switch between the grip and the controller after every shot to navigate to the right spot or just to control the game, which can be annoying. Secondly, attaching the Sense controller to the adapter is quite cumbersome. If I'm just playing Walkabout Minigolf on PSVR 2, it wouldn't bother me. But if I want to play something else, I have to remove the Sense controller first. In the long run, I would get annoyed with the constant fiddling. I also found that the configuration in the game menu required a bit of explanation and was anything but intuitive.
Therefore, I can only recommend the accessory to absolute Walkabout Mini Golf fanatics. The PSVR 2 mount also left permanent scratches on my right Sense controller because the adapter's plastic is so rigid and sharp. An absolute no-go for me.
You can find more information about the Grip-To-Putter 2 on the official product page.