If you’ve been waiting for a great realistic Golf simulator that doesn’t mince words and offers up loads of options when it comes to creating your own courses, HB Studios’ “The Golf Club” is going to be right up your alley. With its impressive graphical fortitude and lowered price tag (around $30) this game is sure to make a lot of friends, especially with the sports crowd. Oh, and did we mention that there’s no loading times to deal with between holes?
The real question of course (as with any athletically-minded title) is how’s the gameplay? After all, you can have the best-looking game out there but if it doesn’t “feel” right, then it’s going to be seen as broken or worse. Luckily, “The Golf Club” satisfies in terms of controls and basic options. Moving from hole to hole it’s impressive how smooth the action flows – it doesn’t take hardly any time at all to get through the front section of a course, in fact. Needless to say, for today’s impatient and attention-deprived gamer, this accelerated pace is most suitable and welcome.
There are some quirks to take note of however; as good as the visuals are, (this current version) there are some blocky lighting / shadows that mar the experience. Overall though, The Golf Club looks fantastic and can be extremely immersive. With a lack of real world golfers or locales to pull you back in, it’s a bit like taking a personal trip to some unknown course nearly every time you load up the game. In other words, whereas EA tends to focus on the celebrity / product / pro league angle, games like this offer a more measured, perhaps personal approach to the sport.
Speaking of personal, one of the coolest things about “The Golf Club” is the course creator tool, which allows you to both randomly generate new courses as well as fine-tune specific creations. It should go without saying that you can pretty much do whatever you want with this feature, it really is quite a powerful tool if you’re a creative type of gamer. Mix that together with the game’s online play and you have a winning combination. Each time you begin to generate a new layout you are given the option to select from one of five different terrains, including: rural, alpine, autumn, desert, and links. Naturally, each one adds its own unique charms to the mix and expands the sensory experience in different directions as well.
If one were to only look at “The Golf Club” in terms of its basic single player features it would most certainly be considered a “good game”. However, given its online multiplayer additions and sharing utilities, this title leaves a wonderful first impression. For the PC gamer / golf fan, this is a great game to own.