Release Date: August 19th, 2014
Developer: HB Studios
Publisher: HB Studios
Platform: [Reviewed: PC], PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Rated: E for Everyone
Let’s get this fact out of the way – I don’t play sports games. As far as golf goes, Grand Theft Auto V’s virtual course is the only experience with golf I have, and it was pretty fun, so it counts I suppose. So what does The Golf Club deliver for seasoned players? Or maybe more importantly, what does The Golf Club do for rookies like me?
Accessibility is a major focus with The Golf Club. Starting with Tee-Off, I quickly jumped into a half round of golf as I’m introduced to a disembodied caddy that will accompany players throughout your time in The Golf Club. The course in Tee-Off lets players get accustomed to the controls and mechanics; knowing how much power to put in a swing, when to fade or draw, and checking the direction of the wind is simple enough, though judging power behind your putt needs some getting used to. I was surprised how easy it was to pick up and play, and for someone that isn’t into sports games, that a major plus from me.
Outside of Tee-Off is Play A Round, Tour, and Tournament. For those looking to prove something, these modes have players looking to best one another in the leaderboards by having the best possible round(s) of golf on each course. Lastly, it’s the Greg Norman Course Designer that will keep players coming back. The self-explanatory mode features a fully featured course creator that provides the tools to craft the courses of your dreams.
While the Unity Engine doesn’t demand a heft rig, the fidelity in which The Golf Club is presented is clean and crisp on any platform. The tranquility that I would have imagined if I played a real game of golf is captured perfectly. No music can be heard while playing a round -just you, the chirping of birds, probably the croaking of frogs, and your trusty caddy to make you feel immersed, as if you were really playing a peaceful game of golf.
This has been a very positive experience for me. I was able to play decently well enough, learn a few things about golf, and I made a nifty little course of my own that I poured hours into. It’s that accessibility I mentioned before that made this game; presenting players an easy access golf game to have fun with while providing fun and challenging gameplay. Now I noticed that a Career mode is missing, as many other golf titles have. It loses some of that driving factor to keep playing as there is no incentive other than to prove who plays better, but the game provides enough for pros and newcomers alike to find plenty to do in The Golf Club, especially the course designer!