Over the last couple of years, The Golf Club has firmly set itself amongst the big guns of sports games and again, it returns with a new and improved version – The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA Tour.
Being a part-time player and veteran of computer golf games, I have been nothing but impressed with The Golf Club games. Each title has been beautifully created ensuring that the utmost attention be given to gameplay and visuals. And HB Studios has succeeded in doing so. Being a self-published title originally, then moving to Maximum Games for the successor, and finally 2K this time around, you can see where the additional backing has contributed to enhance each title.
The new addition of the officially licenced PGA Tour Career mode is a big thing. You get access to previously unavailable courses and competitions, each bringing their own challenges and goals for your character to progress through their career. The addition of some real-life competition courses increases the realism of the game and supplement the plentiful selection of fictional courses that are official as well as user-created.
Courses and game modes aside, let’s look at gameplay. Firstly, you will need to create your character. This is quite well detailed, and your selection is plentiful. Regarding your clothing and equipment though, options are heavily restricted until you can unlock or purchase them throughout your career.
Regardless of whether you have played a golf game in the past, The Golf Club franchise or not, controlling your actions will become familiar with the assistance of the tutorial mode prior to your first game. Not only do you get advice on swing control for various conditions, you also are guided through the features that are new to this game.
What I really like about this game is the restriction to use the control sticks to conduct your swings. This gives precision to your swings, not only in strength but direction. But as always, this is a two-sided blade. If your action is not smooth or directly back and forward, the ball’s path will vary, sometimes tragically. Even a slight deviation to the left or right will see your ball travel to the side and therefore your next shot may be in a less preferable position. The same will go for club selection and wind differentials, so attention is often critical if you wish to keep your shot count low and win the game.
The Golf Club 2019 featuring PGA Tour is not only an enjoyable single-player experience, it also caters to those who wish to challenge their friends and rivals from all over the world. In addition to the standard mode, Alt-Shot and Skins Match have now been included. In these, you can wager points or virtual currency to raise the stakes and prove you are the best.
Audio & Visuals
It still surprises me at how this game series continues to provide such amazing graphical fidelity to the players. The environments and characters simply look fantastic, and to add to that, the sound matches perfectly. Right down to the birds chirping and crowd reactions, it is all there. I was thankful that John McCarthy has returned for play-by-play commentary, and a new addition, Broadcaster Luke Elvy. Although Luke only inputs a small part every nine holes, it brings that little extra to the game.
I do need to add that although McCarthy’s comments are similar to the previous games with the occasional amusing statement, in this game he does seem considerably less enthusiastic. The biggest fault I experienced with this title also was related to audio & visuals. This occurred many times when the commentary began during action. For example, while the ball was travelling through the air or during a putt, the action would momentarily freeze as the audio began. It did commence and smooth action continued but the frequency was disappointing to say the least.
I enjoyed playing The Golf Club featuring PGA Tour, it is a great addition to the franchise and seeing it with the PGA Tour licence just confirms its success. It is a shame to see issues present themselves in any game, and this game is no different. I’m sure it can be rectified, and I hope this happens soon so that everyone can experience the game in the way it was intended. Golf lovers and sports game fans alike will enjoy this game if they have an interest in a golf game. If this game tempts you then I highly recommend it.
A copy of this game was provided to Daily Joystick by 2K for review purposes.