You can infer a lot from The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA Tour’s title. HB Studios acquired the license to the sport’s flagship tour somewhere during development, and this game feels a teensy bit muddled as a result. In many ways, it’s an evolution of the two golf titles that the Canadian developer has released on the PlayStation 4 already, with the acclaimed course editor and clubhouse features finding the fairway once again. But this time there’s a new campaign, and the addition of six real-life courses, like TPC Deere Run and TPC Sawgrass.
The problem is that while these licensed courses have been accurately recreated, they’re mostly constructed using assets pulled from the course editor, and the game just doesn’t quite have the sense of occasion that you’d expect from the real PGA Tour. It's something that will almost certainly be resolved with a sequel, when the developer can factor in the licensing from the offset, but despite its best efforts here, it does feel like a bit of an afterthought. Regardless, the official stamp is welcomed, and the campaign is stronger than previous instalments all the same.
Also improved is the character creator, which is considerably more powerful and packed with customisation options. We’ve outfitted our player with an epilepsy-inducing baby blue tee and shocking pink shorts combo, but you can go the more classical route if you prefer. The character models are ever so slightly stylised to avoid the uncanny valley that can be present in these kind of titles, but they can look a bit rubbery if you look too closely. The game has its moments visually, though, even if pop-in and stuttering can detract slightly from its good looks at times.
It’s all about the golf, though, and the series continues to be above par in this department. Using the right stick to control your swing, the system feels fluid and satisfying on the pad, and it gives you a good degree of control that’s challenging yet fair. It can occasionally be difficult to judge power, but when you’re reading the greens and trying to sink a 20-foot eagle, you’ll “feel” whether you’re going to be on target or not. That may be the highest compliment we can pay the game.
The commentary can be cheesy, with John McCarthy’s overly hushed delivery sounding more like an ASMR audition than anything else, but loading is non-existent between holes and the user interface is well designed. Even more impressive is the abundance of options and modes, allowing you to play team-based matches both locally and online, while you can pass the controller with pals or pad out your game with the “ghosts” of rivals from around the Internet.
Once again you can use in-game currency to join Golf Clubs, and you can then participate in events to win cash from the society's kitty, while a message board type system allows you to communicate with fellow members and share hints and tips. There’s a driving range to practice on, while you can obviously download and play other courses created by the community – the most popular of which have dynamic challenges which you can complete to earn more virtual money.
The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA Tour’s foundations are built upon a rock-solid simulation, with tight swinging and tough greens making for a stern challenge that’s difficult but fair. The addition of licensed courses means that this year’s game has a much better campaign, but it doesn’t feel like HB Studios has had quite enough time to capture the sense of occasion that real TPC events can have. As such, with 2K Sports now also on board as publisher, we reckon it’s the next instalment that’s really going to impress. The building blocks are all in place, though, and if you’re in need of a serious golf game on your PS4 right now, then this edition definitely doesn't drift far from the green.
I give it two thumbs up! I’ve loved every installment and this one feels like the best. I agree it needs a little more meat in the campaign mode but they fixed a lot of problems. Playing online with friends is so much easier than the past ones. If you’re a golf fanatic like me, pick this up for sure!
@Cowboysfan-22 played the first one and couldn't drive the ball straight. Found it to be a lesson in frustration.
Miss golf games so much that I recently bought Tiger 2012 on Ps3 lol
@General_Spiller It’s a sim so can be challenging, but I think the driving and putting is close to spot on here. The only thing I’ve ever really had a problem with is judging the power when driving.
Like I said in the review, you instinctively know whether you’ve got a putt right or wrong the moment you flick it.
@get2sammyb Yea you nailed it. The reason I like it so much is that it gives me those nerve racking moments I use to get in high school and college tournaments. I genuinely get nervous hitting some tee shots. It’s a true sim, not arcade-like like the Tiger Woods games, which I also loved back in the day
I do love a good Golf game. I recently download Everybody's Golf when it was in the summer sale. Honestly I'm having a blast with that and really enjoying it, not quite ready to move on yet .
Maybe when I've finished EG I'll look into this
@Marios-love-child Me too! Spent so many hours over the years on golf games. I have EG but i was really put off by the randomness of the club impacts. A perfectly timed drive often just ends up going nowhere near where I aimed it. So i gave up in the end
I bought all three installments of this game. I love it and there is no doubt this is a step up. Good game, plays nice I am enjoying it. I hope to play today hurricane Florence his closing in I am out of the direct hit so hoping for some wind and rain and the electricity staying on. I have a generator ready my wife says we need to plug in the refrigerator I say I need the TV and PlayStation on. I will let you know who wins Lol 😂
Ah, I miss a good golf game to play against mates, post pub. Gonna pick this up for sure.
Expect micro transactions to be involved if they do another 2020 next year because that the way 2k want to be since they have asked fans to get it back in NBA 2k19 in Belgium
@Nifty It's got some really good features for that kind of play. Pass the controller, etc. Lots of options to make it fun locally.
May sound a silly question but are you sure you haven't had the auto impact accidentally turned on?
I played a few rounds myself and didn't realise it was on.
You can activate it and deactivate by pressing the square button just as you starting a game
It plays much better without it on, far too random with it switched on as you're only controlling the power of the shot and not the accuracy
I just picked this up for $30 in the Black Friday PSN sale. I've never been into golf at all, but really liked the description of how the controls work. I am not disappointed! This game is truly skill based and seems like a game where I'll get better simply from personal improvement rather than due to increasing stats and skill trees.
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