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'The Golf Club' review: drives for show, putts for par on Xbox One

The Golf Club
The Golf Club
Photo courtesy of HB Studios, used with permission.

The Golf Club Xbox One

Rating:
Star4
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Golf: a sport of relaxation, patience, commitment, and bliss. There is nothing quite like teeing off on a crisp summer morning, and sinking a putt from 30-feet out for par. Unlike most other sports, golf can be enjoyed by nearly everyone – regardless of skill level. The Golf Club captures the enjoyment and serenity of a day on the golf course and blends in a real sense of challenge and personal growth as you learn to perfect your swing. As an aside, players are given the option to create and layout a golf course of their own design. So, does The Golf Club sink a putt for birdie? Or are players stuck in the rough shooting for a bogie?

In the golf gameplay department, The Golf Club scores an eagle. There is a nice balance of challenge and performing well on a hole is satisfying. A golf swing requires precision, and The Golf Club approaches this mechanic by making use of the right analog stick – with the option to swap to the left analog, if you prefer. The analog swing takes some time to adjust to as the slightest tilt to the left or right may cause the ball to slice. Most players will have no issue with the long game, but may find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to the short game – putting, to be specific.

Putting is the most important part of any golfers’ game, and it is often the most challenging aspect of the game. The Golf Club approaches putting in a realistic sense as it requires accuracy and general feel of being able to read a green – be it the angles, dips, or whether or not the green has a fast or slow moving nature. All of these elements play in a role in the putting aspect of The Golf Club. Once you inspect and carefully observe the green, the true challenge awaits: putting. Gauging how much power is needed while putting is no easy task, and it takes time to learn and master. Gradually, you will learn to get a general feel for putting.

As well-struck as the gameplay is, The Golf Club’s golf bag is missing quite a few options. Though there is an emphasis on creating your own course and being able to share it with the community, the game lacks when it comes to character progression. There are no equipment upgrades or rewards given for your on-course performance. Had the game rewarded players with the basics like a better set of golf clubs, tees, or even offered a career mode, it would have driven the game a long way.

For those that aspire to be the next Pete Dye and create a wondrous golf course, The Golf Club offers an impressive assortment of creation tools to make your dreams comes true. Of course, you can also create a treacherous course that is loaded with hills, water hazards, trees, and sand traps. While most creation tools are complex, The Golf Club is presented with straightforward menus and easy to understand instructions. The game does hiccup when adding terrain, so the experience can be a bit irksome for the impatient.

A welcome feature to the creation tool is the ability to playtest the hole you are creating at any time. Allowing you to tee-off, play from the fairway, or anywhere on the course, this grants the creator a chance to test the course fully and find potential problems that need editing.

The Golf Club is par for the course. It’s an enjoyable golfing game that lacks in charisma – mainly being character and career progression.

Pros

  • Diverse Course Selection
  • Enjoyable Golfing Experience
  • Realistic Gameplay

Cons

  • Missing Career Options
  • No Character Customization

Overall: 4/5

(Editor's Note: An advanced game code was provided for review purposes.)