Microsoft and Golf Digest Challenge Contestants to Design Next Golf Course Masterpiece
May 14, 2001
Winner of Course Design Contest to Play Golf With PGA Star Sergio Garcia

REDMOND, Wash., May 14, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it is collaborating with Golf Digest magazine to offer consumers the opportunity to experience the wonders of golf course design in the Microsoft® "Links® 2001" Digital Armchair Architect Contest.* Through this contest, consumers can see if they have what it takes to design a winning golf course.

Contestants are challenged to design an original golf course using the Arnold Palmer Course Designer software included in Microsoft's best-selling golf simulation for the PC, "Links 2001." The Grand Prize winners will receive the golf experience of a lifetime, including the opportunity to go head-to-head with PGA star Sergio Garcia on the golf course they design as well as on a real course.

The Digital Armchair Architect Contest, which begins May 15, requires course designers to initially upload three "JPEG-format" screen shots to the contest's registration site, http://www.armchairarchitect.com/ , by no later than Aug. 31, 2001. They can submit their design in one of two categories: 18-hole course or 3-hole course.

Ten finalists in each category will be chosen by an expert panel of judges that will include Michael J. Hurdzan, a golf course architect with 25 years of experience, and pro golfer Sergio Garcia. The judging panel will evaluate the courses according to three main criteria: real-life architecture principles, the fun factor and playability, and mastery of the course designer software tools. Selected finalists will then submit their entire course for judging. Winners will be announced in October 2001.

The winner of the 18-hole contest will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to play head-to-head against PGA pro Sergio Garcia on nine holes of the designed course followed by nine holes on an actual golf course. In addition, he or she will also receive tickets to a PGA Tour event. The runner-up in this category will win an all-expense-paid trip to visit a golf course in construction, followed by a game of 18 holes against course architect Hurdzan in Columbus, Ohio.

"I am thrilled to be a part of the judging panel reviewing the course designs in the Digital Armchair Architect Contest," Garcia said. "The course design software in 'Links 2001' is so comprehensive, designers will be amazed at the resources they have at their fingertips. As an avid player of 'Links 2001,' I am looking forward to playing the winner of the contest on her or his very own course."

The course designer who submits the best 3-hole course design will be treated to greens fees and one-night's accommodations at one of the country's best golf courses. Remaining prizes in the 3-hole category include Golf Digest daily passes to the 2002 U.S. Open in Bethpage, N.Y.

"Every golfer we know is a closet course designer," said Bob Carney, vice president creative director at The Golf Digest Co. "This new software makes it simple for any golfer, virtual or on-course, to be a golf course architect."

About Golf Digest

With a 1.55 million circulation, Golf Digest is the largest golf publication in the world. The Golf Digest Companies are an independent unit of Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., an Advance Publications company, and include Golf Digest, Golf World, Golf Digest Woman, Golf World Business, GolfDigest.com, the Golf Digest Research Resource Center, Global Affiliates, the Database of Golf in America, the Golf Digest Schools and Golf Digest Licensing and Publishing.

About Microsoft Games

Microsoft's Games Division is recognized as one of the world's leading games businesses in four key areas: PC and Xbox™ game development and publishing, Zone.com, SideWinder® game devices and the Xbox video game system. Microsoft games developed and published for the PC and Xbox platforms target hard-core gamers and casual players. Zone.com ( http://www.zone.com/ ) is the Internet's largest multiplayer gaming site, and SideWinder is the best-selling brand of game devices in the world. Xbox is Microsoft's future-generation video game system, scheduled to ship in fall 2001.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

* Offered only in the United States. Void in Maryland and Vermont. See full rules for details.

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