The Golf Club: Collector's Edition brings the game with the small ball to PS4 and Xbox One, although this is more of a simulation than a game, given that it's both difficult and not very friendly for beginners.
When you take away the swing meters you may see in other golf games and instead have to rely on your knowledge of how the wind affects the flight of the ball or what club you should use, you can see that this is not a game for the casual player.
The only guidance you will have is that after you hit the ball by using the right stick to swing, you'll then see the trajectory that your ball has taken. The further you move the stick back, the further the club goes back and when you swing forward to hit the ball, the game will remember and hit the ball accordingly, meaning that the swing should equal the power you use. As mentioned, you have no swing meter to guide you, so it can be quite difficult to judge exactly how far and in what direction your ball will go, hence the reason for this being closer to a simulation than an actual game.
When it comes to putting things are quite similar. The commentator will tell you how far you have got to putt, although you'll still need to judge it perfectly, which again is not easy. The only way you'll get better at putting and indeed, at getting the ball on the green in the first place, is to practice, over and over again and then probably some more on top of that.
Obviously, given that this game isn't exactly ideal for beginners, it'll probably take you a while before you'll feel confident enough to jump into the multiplayer side of things. The game always seems to try and push you into using multiplayer and there are certainly plenty of options in this respect. You can play online or if you wish, via local play with up to four players. Any time I tried to play even the CPU I was trashed, so didn't fancy my chances against anyone else - oh how right I was.
One of the main features of The Golf Club is the course designer, allowing you to choose from one of the set themes, give the course a difficulty rating, decide on the amount of trees, water, and bunkers etc, before watching as the course is randomly generated in front of your eyes. At this point you can then fiddle around with certain aspects of your course to make it your own, be that the height of the landscape, the objects and various pieces of scenery you'd like to place on the course and more. Once you finish your course you can then share it online, for it to be played and rated. Of course you can also play on other people's courses too.
The Golf Club is an interesting title, which when starting almost feels like it's for Pros rather than beginners. It's certainly a game for golf fans, rather than those who just dabble now and again. It seems to me that this is a game you'll want if you are a huge fan of golf. The presentation is great and it seems to replicate the sport as well as could be expected. The added bonus of game modes such as Seasons and the course editor means that you'll have plenty of content to keep you going for a long time. Just remember to keep practicing if you want to compete with the best.
Words by Joe Anderson.
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta
(Version Tested: PS4)
+ Very authentic
+ Looks well polished
+ Course builder is easy to use
- Could be tricky for beginners