Everyone in winter climates should be finding ways to practice their real golf game indoors throughout the winter. Besides working on your game, there are not many things to keep up your interest in golf. There are fewer tournaments to watch on TV and those that are on are missing many top players. Golf video games are a great way to keep your interest in golf during the long winters.
Since EA Sports discontinued the Tiger Woods golf franchise, many have pondered the future of the golf genre for video game consoles. Powerstar Golf and The Golf Club have filled the void very well.
Powerstar Golf would be a great choice if you’re looking for something to replace Tiger Woods. Game play is much the same with swing power meters and career modes offering upgraded equipment and abilities to better your scoring. The physics engine in PowerStar Golf offers realistic ball flights and rolls.
The Golf Club offers a slightly different golf experience than any other golf game on the Xbox One. Those who are willing to break away from the traditional Tiger Woods way of doing things and give The Golf Club a fair chance, will find it to be the best golf game currently available for console systems.
There are no swing meters. Swinging is totally done by feel using the game pad stick. After the swing, a brief display shows how you did. This takes a little getting used to but offers amazing game play once you are used to it.
There is no career mode in The Golf Club. It instead uses a handicap system much like real golf. You are given a handicap rating after you golf five rounds. You can then play rounds, tournaments, or whole tours. Your handicap is applied to your gross score and the leaderboard is based on your net score after your handicap is applied. This is a great way to even out the playing field and allow people of different abilities to play together. Your ability is not based on how long you play the game as in other career modes but rather your actual ability.
When playing a round, you have the option between playing alone, with local multiplayer guests, or with ghosts of Internet players.
Here’s where the only glaring weakness of The Golf Club shows up. There is no way for multiple local Xbox accounts to log into the game and play against each other in the same round. It would be great for up to 4 local players to play together under their own accounts. Instead, each additional local player is merely a guest of the Xbox account logged in.
Playing against Internet ghosts is a very enjoyable way to play. Ghosts are recently recorded rounds of other real players. You don’t wait for these players to shoot, rather you see their shots and ball trails as you play. Their scores after each shot are updated and you can see how you stack up to them as the round progresses.
The Golf Club also comes with the Greg Norman Course Designer. You can design your own course and then publish it allowing others to play it. Don’t go overboard on the trees or water settings as you’ll get trees and water in strange places. The course designer literally makes the number of unique courses you can play unlimited. The ability to play all of the courses designed by others keeps the game fresh.
Besides the missing local multiplayer support, the only other criticism of The Golf Club would be the graphics. While the graphics are acceptable, I was expecting better on the Xbox One. Hopefully the next version takes full advantage of the platform.
Check out The Golf Club for some indoor golf fun!