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