This brings to mind one of my beefs with what is really an all-inclusive golf experience, though. Every time I’ve gone to a PGA tour event, I’ve seen the same thing as the golfers arrive to play: they go to the practice green. For some indiscernible reason, neither of these is provided in the game. Your first taste of a green will be in competition or, in other words, way too late to be trying to get a feel for the conditions. What you would prefer to do would be to spend some time on the practice green familiarizing yourself with the speed of the greens, the way the slope equates into how much break to play for, and just the general feel of putting at the course you’re playing at. With the large number of golf courses provided, it seems as if it would have been just a small addition to add a practice green for each.
After finishing in last place in every tournament that I had entered, I realized that I needed a less challenging way to practice. I found that if I could find a lucrative deal to fill my bank account it would allow me to purchase nicer equipment. I found the best approach to be playing Skins against some of the lower tier golfers (I do pretty well against the Sumo wrestler) with the Specials cranked up to $1,000. After just a few rounds playing that way, I had $85,000 in the bank and quite a bit of good, competitive experience. The only downside of having the Specials pay so well is that it’s a bit anticlimactic to win a $75 Skin after making $5,000 in Specials. Trust me, though: you get used to it.
I recently found a better (albeit not as lucrative) way to get a well-rounded series of practice sessions, though. I’ve been working my way through the Tiger Challenge, which is a series of events such as a two-hole match play, a four-hole Skins game, or some kind of long-putting thing that, while I won, I never fully understood. Each of the events is wrapped up inside of 10 or 15 minutes, making them much more time efficient for short practice sessions.
Having done all of that, I felt that it was time to try another PGA event. I entered a tournament being played at Firestone in Akron, OH. Firestone is one of my favorite courses because it is mostly flat and straight. The greens aren’t horribly fast, and with very little slope to them I can usually get by with one or two putts. The practice had really paid off: I finished sixteenth.
For which I was paid $90.
This professional golfing thing isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be, at least in a pecuniary sense.
There are a couple of other areas in the game that I haven’t really explored. One, online multiplayer, I will try once a few of my friends buy the game. The other, the Party Mode, will probably lie fallow. I prefer the more realistic modes and don’t have any interest in target shooting or whatever. The Party Mode is there, so feel free to explore it if you’d like, but I contend that this game is worth having just for the straight golfing alone. The controls are intuitive and make excellent use of the Wii remote, but there is the caveat about the way the putting is structured. That will be a deal breaker for some folks, but I personally have gotten used to it and really don’t notice it much anymore. It’s just one more factor in planning a putt, and in reality, putting is not supposed to be easy anyway.
Some people will hate the putting, but the rest of the game more than makes up for the questionable way the developers implemented the putting stroke.
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