Editor’s note: John Gaudiosi covers the video game industry for Local Tech Wire and writes the Gaming Guru blog for WRAL.com.

CARY, N.C. – While softball and baseball are on their way out, videogames are in contention for a future Olympic Sport.

As part of the Chinese Government’s official Olympic welcome events, videogames will be featured in Shanghai (home of Olympic Soccer). And of all the virtual sports, golf is getting a major push by the Global Gaming League and its Digital Games.

In a move to increase awareness and support golf’s bid to be officially recognized as an Olympic Sport, World Golf Tour is partnering with GGL’s Digital Games to bring online golf to thousands from around the world. The Digital Games is a worldwide, online videogame competition across multiple platforms, genres and gaming titles where gamers have the opportunity to represent their country in a series of Inter-Continental Regional Qualifiers before advancing to the Digital Games Grand Finals. The Grand Finals will be held live in Shanghai.

World Golf Tour is one of the Digital Games in which amateur, professional and celebrity videogamers will have the opportunity to play against each other from anywhere in the world.

"World Golf Tour’s goal is to introduce new people to golf and we support the sport’s bid to join the 2012 Olympics,” says YuChiang Cheng, CEO of World Golf Tour. “Gaming was recently declared the 99th Official Sport of China and with the launch of the Digital Games coinciding with the 2008 Olympics, it’s a great opportunity to bring the game of golf to a large international audience, and reach out to younger participants. Online golf is much more affordable and can engage those who may not have the means to hit the links in real life.”

From the GGL Digital Games site, gamers wishing to master their online golf skills are directed to WorldGolfTour.com to play the free online game which requires no download or installation of software. Players get a taste of the world’s most authentic online golf experience through the closest-to-the-pin competition. The full version of the game will be available later this summer. The game will feature photorealistic courses like the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina.