The Golf Club Drives To The Green, Is Released Now

By Graham Smith on August 20th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

When it comes to sports games, yearly releases never make sense to me. What you’re pursuing is a stationary target – the best representation of a physical sport possible – and all the incremental improvements and balance tweaks that get you there seem better delivered through regular updates. The Golf Club, then, is a smart thing that should have always existed. It’s just been released – i.e. it’s no longer in Early Access – and Chris Livingston enjoyed the time he spent building deer-covered courses in its editor.

Here’s an old game trailer from back in January.

Game releases aren’t what they used to be, but this latest incremental update does bring with it some significant new additions. From the post on the game’s Steam page:

Some features you will see that are new since the last Early Access build are:

*Female golfers
*Links theme
*More objects and wildlife in the Greg Norman Course Designer
*Additional graphics controls
*Added stats features
*Online/Offline toggle added to Main Menu

And more.

I’ve never played a real round of golf in my life, but I’ve spent untold hours puttering and putting around PGA Tour 96, various iterations of Tiger Woods, and best of all Golf Question Mark. Yet when I watch the trailer above I’m mainly struck by a desire to walk across its green slopes, to find some grassy knoll to have a picnic upon.

For fans more serious about drives and swings and mulligans, The Golf Club also now works with ProTee simulators. Those are the indoor golf simulators where a projector shows the game and you can swing real clubs to launch real balls and motion detectors calculate the in-game trajectory of your shots. I think they’re perhaps solely used by villains in movies, to give them something physical (and extravagant and therefore contemptible) to perform while they deliver exposition to their team of illiterate thugs, but now all you movie villains out there will have thousands of user-created courses to choose from.

The Golf Club costs £27/$35 on Steam.

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17 Comments »

  1. Granath says:

    As someone who has had this since it was released on EA, let me say…this isn’t a very good golf game. There’s a host of reasons why – it burns up video cards, it’s poorly optimized, rampant online cheating, wonky wind and physics, bugs that don’t get fixed, etc. – but ultimately the game is pretty dry with no progression mode. Save your money.

    • Sleepy Will says:

      Lack of progression sounds like a selling point to me!

      • Jason Moyer says:

        Lack of progression is why I prefer Sierra’s PGA Tour 2000 to the Tiger Woods games that were made by the same studio (can’t remember the exact versions, something like TW 2002-2008 on the PC I believe). The simulation was good enough that you didn’t need equipment upgrades or changing player attributes to create a sense of progression. Rather, progression was a measurement of your mastery of the game, just as it is in a good racing or flight simulator. I’m still waiting for a new golf game to hold my interest as much as that one.

        • Granath says:

          Really, the overall game is lifeless. It’s not just the lack of progression. It’s the lack of anything – even the environmental sounds are dull and few/far between. Plus, it’s not that good of a golf sim. It’s not a horrible game, but it’s worth $10, not $30+.

    • Baines says:

      Are all the voices as lifeless as they are in the trailer?

    • Don Whitaker says:

      I’ve been playing since Early Access release, too – and I think it’s a good golf game. I’ve logged 63 hours so far and play against my (non-gamer) Dad several times a week. The presentation and feature list is a little sparse compared to something like Tiger Woods, but the core gameplay is very solid and the course creator is fantastic. I like that there is no ‘progression’ of your stats. Learning to play the game and improving your actual skills is very rewarding.

      It does push your graphics card hard – more so than would seem necessary. I don’t really care if there are people cheating on the scoreboards. I’ve never noticed any wonky physics. I even like the announcer – simple but effective.

      This seems to be a polarizing game – with most people either loving it or hating it. I think that the devs have taken it in a different direction than many other golf games and it’s a direction that some people just don’t like.

  2. zorrodelaarena says:

    That screenshot is ridiculous.
    a) Those deer would never let you get that close, especially making a racket with your cart and your bag.
    b) The ratio of bucks to does is totally unrealistic. It’s hard to count but it looks like more bucks than does and normally it’s the opposite by a large margin.
    c) Deer don’t cluster that closely when they’re out grazing. They spread out. That’s why you usually see a couple at a time, not thirty.
    d) Deer are most active at dawn and dusk but, judging by the light and shadows, this is more like between 9am and 3pm, depending on the longitude. You might still see a couple but not a whole herd and not out in the middle of the green.

    If we can’t have accurate deer simulations in our golf games, what are we doing here people?

  3. daver4470 says:

    I’m still waiting for a golf sim that’s the equal of the late, great Links series. Tiger doesn’t do it for me, alas….

  4. El Spidro says:

    Seems a little deer. I’ll putt this on the list of games I wood buy in a sale.

  5. ReesRacer says:

    I’ve since limited my PC golf to more (despite the ability to add Cervidae to courses) exotic locales…and that means Vertiginous Golf.

  6. ADJB says:

    Sorry but after playing Golden Tee golf there isn’t a game on any format let alone PC that is worth playing. Pity really as the “arcade” golden Tee (maybe found in your local pub) runs on a more or less standard Linux based PC with a roller ball controller.

  7. piphil says:

    Whatever happened to Golf Question Mark? Was there ever a full game released beyond the 9 hole demo? I played that demo over and over, the control scheme was pretty much the only mouse-swing control I ever liked in PC golf games.

  8. Ironic says:

    Obama Simulator 2014?

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