Take a swing with EA today!

PGA Tour Golf logo

Publisher: Electronic Arts Price: £24.99

Golf is one of the world's biggest participation sports, and wouldn't you know it from the recent spate of games for hookers and slicers!
PGA Tour Golf, fresh from its conquests on the PC tour, has now surfaced on the Amiga, and looks like a champion in the making.
What sets this game apart from others in the field, apart from being an Electronic Arts product, is the quality of the golf action itself.
Too many games have concentrated on gimmicks at the expense of gameplay, but EA have managed to come closer than any other to simulating actual golf.

In play, this translates as a much more refined representation of the swing and the flight of the ball. I would have liked a few more shot options such as those in last year's Greg Norman game, but simplicity of approach pays off in the end.

The traditional swing bar is used to hit the ball, but in this case, the penalty for inaccurate timing is realistic. Even slight mistakes can result in a vicious hook or slice, which gives the game an element of club-throwing frustration just like the real thing.

What made me very angry, more so even than my second and third shots went in the water at the seventeenth, was the total lack of even a token female option. The game is based around the USPGA Tour, and allows the player to compete against 60 of the world's top male professionals, but women golfers such as I can only be appalled that there is no women's tour option.
There are thousands of female golfers and computer users in this country, and they must be getting pretty cheesed-off by the constant stream of games which force you to tee off from the mens' tees and play a round from the point of view of a blond-haired hulk. Software producers please take note!

OK, ranting aside, the rest of the game is excellent. Once the ball is actually struck, it soars off into the distance and it is at this point the game boosts the atmosphere with a very useful gimmick. The 'camera angle' switches to a point ahead of the ball back down the fairway, and your ball screams into view to land with a thunk, a thud, or a splash.

This simple trick gives the player a far better look at the shot than if it just disappeared into the distance, and does more than any other gimmick I've seen to convey the atmosphere of God's own sport.

The pseudo-3D putting surface, which you can rotate to examine the borrow, is useful if not pretty, but I've yet to discover how you sut it off, and it can be annoying when it pops up for a pitch from just off the green. That said, putting is as difficult as it deserves to be, and on those tricky American greens too!

All in all, it's still a golf game, but EA's PGA Tour Golf would be a first choice on my list of sports sims.

PGA Tour Golf logo Amiga Format Gold

ELECTRONIC ARTS * £24.99 Mouse or joystick

If the idea of a nice, easy stroll across some fields, occasionally knocking a ball towards a hole is completely alien to you, then you're probably not a fan of that marvellous executive meeting arena, the golf course. If, on the other hand, you would love to be able to tee off with the likes of Fuzzy Zoeller but wouldn't know which end to hold the golf bat, have no fear! Yhou are not alone! Thanks to Electronic Arts, useless club-wielders the nation over can now live out their dreams of playing the greens with PGA Tour Golf.

This isn't the first golf simulation to be released on the Amiga. The first effort came from US Gold in the form of Leaderboard and there have been a number of releases attempting to better this. Elite's Tournament Golf and Gremlin's Ultimate Golf with varying degrees of success.

Into The Wild Green Yonder
PGA Tour harks back to the purity of Leaderboard, concentrating on the playing techniques and fluid feel of the game rather than adding flashy extras.

The game begins in the Proshop, where new entrants must join the PGA roster before playing a game. If you don't feel confident enough to plump for a whole game, you can get a bit of practice in on the driving range or play a test round on your own. Once you've signed in, chosen your course and selected your clubs it's off to the first tee.

Before you tee off, you must make a note of the wind's strength and direction, aiming your shot accordingly. Once you're happy with the direction, you can start your swing. The shot is controlled by a bar at the bottom of the screen. The bar climbs left as the power increases until the button is pressed to begin the down-swing. Now the swing has to be stopped as close to the snap line as possible to hit the shot straight, since any deviation will cause the shot to be hooked or sliced.

Once the shot has been taken, the camera swings round to show your shot landing and you are given information on the ball lie and shot distance ready for your next attempt. Once you've sunk the ball, details are fed into the score computer and you are told of your placings. Score in the top rankings and you go onto the next round.

Simulating a skillful game like golf is always a rather dodgy prospect. It becomes all too easy to load the game with too many fiddly sort of shot options and presentation details so that the game gets lost in a swamp of flash graphics and sound.

Fetch the Tee Caddy
PGA Tour Golf does have very slick presentation and a host of options, but instead of distracting the player they add quite a lot to the proceedings. The options are very useful, allowing you to have a much greater control over play than some games, and the presentation extras such as the fly-by hole preview and fanfare intro can be turned off if they become annoying.

The feel of the gameplay is rather similar to Leaderboard, with the full-screen scenery and shot control method, but Electronic Arts have added much more to make the game fresh and enjoyable.

If you like a quick round now and then, but your golfing skills leave you horrendously over par at the end of the day, then try a round of PGA Tour. It could allow you to enjoy the game with a fraction of the frustration encountered on the greens - not to mention the saved expense of clubs being damaged when hurled into the bunker in a temper!

PGA Tour Golf logo Amiga Joker Hit

Als dieses Programm für den PC erschien, liebäugelte so mancher Amiga-Golfer mit einem kleinen Seitensprung - die euphorischen Kritiken waren auch zu verlockend! Ab sofort gibt es keinen Grund mehr, der "Freundin" untreu zu werden...

Grund gibt es viel eher zur Freude, genauer gesagt, gleich deren zwei: Nicht genug damit, daß PGA Tour Golf auf seinem Gebiet alles bisher Dagewesene in den Schatten stellt - die Umsetzung ist sogar noch um ein kleines Quentchen besser als das PC-Original! Grundsätzlich weist das Game dieselben Vorzüge auf wie "Leaderboard": Es ist leicht zu bedienen, aber schwer zu meistern, wenn man es perfekt machen will. Trotz der problemlosen Handhabung kommt aber hier die Realitätsnähe nicht zu kurz, dazu gibt es wesentlich mehr Optionen, Details und Variationsmöglichkeiten, als der Klassiker zu bieten hatte.

Man darf alles erst mal üben (vom Abschlag bis zum Einlochen), sofort ein Tournament starten (bis zu vier Teilnehmer, wahlweise Menschen oder Maschinen) oder die gut gemachten Statistiken beäugen (längster Schlag, gewonnene Spiele, etc.). Selbstverständlich werden darüber hinaus noch allerlei Feinheiten geboten - spezielle Schlagarten, Wind, wechselnder Untergrund, verschiedene (Kamera-) Ansichten, Zeitlupenwiederholungen, "Hotkeys" für die wichtigsten Funktionen und noch so einiges mehr. Zudem kann vom Spieler über die Perspektiven bis zum Spielstand so gut wie alles abgespeichert werden. An Plätzen gibt es insgesamt vier, drei, "echte" und einen Fantasiekurs.

Im Wettbewerb wird um Prämien gegolft, und zwar in mehreren Runden, für die man sich erst mal qualifizieren muß - so wird der gemächliche "Altherrensport" manchmal zum echte Thriller! Apropos Thriller: Zunächst wird das aktuelle Loch in einem "Kameraschwenk" gezeigt, anschließend kriegt man es zur besseren Übersicht nochmal zu sehen, erst dann kommt der allesntscheidende Abschlag. Sollte mal ein richtiger Jahrhundertschlag gelingen, wird das große Ereignis automatisch nochmal in Zeitlupe vorgeführt, mit Flugbahnanzeige und allem Drum und Dran.

Die Grafik hat sich gegenüber der PC-Version generell leicht verbessert, der Ball fliegt auch schön schnell - lediglich der Gitterraster, der dem Spieler das Einlochen erleichtern soll, ist nach wie vor ein wenig unübersichtlich. Beim Sound wird man musikalisch von edlen Rob Hubbard Klängen verwöhnt, ja, und man kann sogar hören, auf welchem Untergrund der Ball aufschlägt (Grün, Rough, etc.)!

Die Steuerung ist sowohl im Maus- als auch im Tastatur-betrieb über alle Zweifel erhaben, unsere Umsetzung ist also sogar in punkto Spielbarkeit dem PC-Vorbild eine Nasenlänge voraus (vor allem, weil sich die Abschläge etwas präziser ausführen lassen). Und da PGA Tour Golf Anfänger ebenso zu fesseln vermag wie erfahrene Profis, ist es keineswegs eine Übertreibung zu behaupten, daß der Amiga nun wieder um einen Klassiker reicher ist! (mm)

PGA Tour Golf logo

At last - a worthy successor to the Leaderboard series. And (joy!) it isn't endorsed by some tedious old golfer either!

The handy thing about computer golf is that, compared to the real thing, it's relatively easy to play - sinking a hole of 584 yards in three shots is actually perfect feasible (if admittedly pretty hard). The best thing about this is that it opens up ample opportunity to invite over some of your less knowledgeable friends and (providing you've practised a bit) fool them into thinking you're not only brilliant at the computerised version, but a complete professional at the real thing too.

A corker of an idea, I'd have though, especially as these golfing games tend to be pretty good fun even when you're not dead set on impressing somebody. The only problem is, which one to buy?

Until now, the choice has been rather limited because (apart from the dated, if rather brilliant, Leaderboard series), most of them have been endorsed by some golfer or other. This means things tend to be a bit 'one sided' as far as gameplay tactics are concerned, and (worse still) they mean a picture of a grinning Jack Nicklaus or Greg Norman cropping up on screen every two seconds (which tends to put you off a bit). Add to that the fact that most golf games tend to be a little too complicated to play, and rather slow while they're about it, and you'll soon see that while they're all 'quite good', there's no clear cut winner. Until now, that is, because here's another one, and it's actually jolly good.

There are a lot of good things about PGA Tour Golf (we'll call it PGA for short), but the real beauty of it is that it's all so simple to play - so simple in fact that you could probably throw away the instruction manual and work out how to do it for yourself. Let's dive in for a closer look.

Some points about the game:

1. Everything you'll need is operated via pull down menus, or single key presses if you prefer, which makes for an incredibly user-friendly game. Starting to play is a real cinch, therefore - my advice would be to practice your driving (i.e. wacking balls into oblivion) on the diving range, then your putting on the green, before you actually get down to any serious competitions. (That way you'll be suitable ready to impress any chicks who happen to pass by while you're playing).

2. Once you've got the feel of the controls (which won't take a minute), you can put your driving and putting together and practice on the four courses, playing either the whole of each course, or swopping between courses and holes at will.

Chances are you won't be getting par for a while (in other words, you won't be completing the hole in the number of shots it would take you if you were any good), but don't worry, it'll come with effort.

3. For added excitement, a multiple player option is available, allowing you to play with up to three chums, which ups the fun of things considerably. If all your friends are, er, 'out' then you can play with some pretend ones (the computer plays them for you) - this can prove rather useful because you can watch how the computer plays the hole, then copy it and achieve a better result than you would have done beforehand.

4. As you play, various maps of the course, previews to each hole, overhead views of where you've got so far and details of where your ball has landed are given to you automatically if and when you need them - a nice touch which saves you piddling about with the menus every shot as in some golf games. You can turn any of the features off if you'd prefer, and then only have them displayed if selected.

5. Slightly crap players will be pleased to hear that PGA allows you to take an infinite number of 'Mulligans' - in other words cheat, and replay your last shot without the one you've just taken counting.

6. Once you've got to grips with the courses, then you can enter the Tournament. Once again, up to four players can enter (either real, or taken by the computer) and game play is the same as before, though you can't change courses or holes or rely on Mulligans to see you through. You are playing against sixty other players (although you don't see them play, thank goodness - it'd take forever) who appear merely as statistics displayed on the Leaderboard after each hole.

Most of the players have already started when you and your optional friends begin (some have practically finished the course), so you start about halfway down the table and have to score a number of points below 'par' for the course to rank among the top 48, and so move on to round two (and with any luck rounds three and four after that).

It all sounds pretty good, doesn't it? And it is. More than pretty good I'd say. It is - yes! - probably the best golfing game for the Amiga to date.

Without a doubt the best thing about it is that it's such a joy to use - everything you possibly need to know is given automatically just when needed, so you can concentrate on playing your shots and still know what's going on. Even the most unknowledgable golf person will be able to work out what to do, while the game offers enough realism to keep the experts happy. Providing you didn't really throw the instruction manual away (that was just my little joke back at the beginning, you see) you can check out loads of information on the courses, find out the way the pros would tackle certain problems in real life, and pick up hints on the best way to face any problems you might come across.

Being easy to use, and still fairly accurate, is all very well, I hear you saying, but is it actually any fun to play? Well, yes it is. PGA is utterly (utterly) addictive - whether you're practising 'en seul', playing a 'friendly' with some pals or completing in the tournament, it's one of those games which'll have you itching for 'just one more go before bedtime (or whatever)'. The 72 different holes (4 courses x 18) would provide long term entertainment too I'd imagine, with the tournament keeping you playing and playing until you're actually good enough to win some money. In short, I'd say that if you want a golf game for your Amiga, then this is the one to buy - it really is, for want of a slightly more original word, a 'corker'.


Taking a shot relies on the tried and tested 'bar method'. See that number on the far left? That's approximately how far the clib will hit the ball on full power (not taking into account wind and slope). Right, now click the mouse to start the bar going from right to left, then click again when it gets to the power you require - the bar will now start returning. Get ready - you want to click it exactly when it gets back to zero. Do it too early and it will hook to the left, too late and it will slice to the right.

You will, of course, have to take into account the direction and the strength of the wind - it will carry or slow down the ball, but it will also change the direction of flight (more significantly on longer shots). That's where this little windomentor comes in handy.

To impress your friends further (and to pretend you actually know what's going on), you can use one of the trick shots PGA offers. Here's a run down.
This one's particularly useful for getting out of the rough or a bunker. Instead of hitting the ball up, and have it perhaps zoom off in the wrong direction, you hit it low and straight - much more chance of making the hole.
The idea of the chip shot is that when you're close to the green, or on the fringe around it, you chip the ball high into the air (but only in a weedy sort of a manner), cross your fingers and hope it goes into the hole.
If you're on the fringe, and decide to chip the ball rather than putt it, and then decide it would perhaps have been best to use the putter after all, simply select the fringe Putt and Bob's your uncle.

PGA Tour Golf logo CU Amiga Super Star

A game associated with dentists, sit com Doctors, and celebrities such as Tarby, Brucey, Cannon and Ball, and Tom O'Connor(y), EA now give you the chance to partake in this hearty sport - although the ribald jokes aren't obligatory thank goodness.

Actually, PGA Golf Tour has been around for a couple of years already - having enjoyed immense popularity on the PC where it benefited from the normal wealth of options expected for the genre. The good news is, of course, that Electronic Arts have at last brought the game to the Amiga and that the machine has kept all its options open.

The best thing about golf, (other than the undeniable fact that in common with darts, physical fitness plays a secondary role), is that it is a competitive sport. EA have made no disappointments here with up to four players able to play against each other.

The game begins from the PGA Tour tent where the player sets up the options for the game. This includes the number of players, and also whether they are controlled by the player or your trusty Amiga. The rank amateurs even get a chance to practice their game before entering a tournament proper and taking on the pros - either off the tee at the driving range to sharpen up their distance shots or practising their putting on the actual Tour holes themselves.

Practice makes perfect and once the would-be golf pro is satisfied with their shots then it's off to the Pro Shop where the selection of clubs that you have can be tailored to suit. There are four different challenging courses to choose from - each of which is loaded in once selected.

The first player up to the tee will have a driver selected for them. You can change the club selection if you wish but with each shot taken, the computer will 'caddy' for you and select the appropriate club. It's now all up to you. The yardage of the club is shown to the left of the swing bar and you must calculate what percentage of power to use for the shot you want. An overhead view of the hole gives you a rough idea of how to play the shot and in what direction - avoid any sand-traps, stay on the fairway, and don't embarrass your caddy with any new and colourful language.

The actual swinging process is simple to execute but very difficult to master. One press on the left hand mouse button sets the swing bar in motion. The second press stops the swing power from increasing and sends it scurrying back towards its origin. It's the third press of the button that determines the level of hook (to the left) or slice (to the right) that will accompany your shot. A shot stopped on the 'Accuracy Point' should, travel straight down the middle but woe, woe and thrice woe to anyone who doesn't allow for the wind.

Once you get within putting distance of the hole, a putting grid is displayed, detailing the distance to the hole, and showing you a grid map of the lie of the green. As with all shots, you must choose the direction of the shot (by moving the cross with the right hand mouse button) and the strength of the putting stroke. Even when you are putting, you can use a hook or a slice to bend the ball.

PGA Golf Tour is without question the best golf sim on the market and shows how the excellent attention to detail in graphics, playability and overall gameplay shows that Electronic Arts have got golf sims off a tee.


Today, over 10 million people in the U.S. play golf making it the MOST popular outdoor sport in the country - this makes it even more popular as an outdoor pursuit with the Americans than even 'Wearing loud shorts' and asking people, "Just take a quick photo of me and ma for the kids/folks/I.R.S.".

The traditional home golf is in Scotland, where the oldest records date back to the 15th century and where the traditional international rulemaking body. The Royal and Ancient Club of St Andrews was founded in 1754.

It's thought that golf was taken to the U.S. in the 17th century by early Scottish colonists who may have first coined the phrase "D'ye have the price of a tee?"

The growth in the popularity of the sport led to the founding of The Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) in 1916.

PGA Tour Golf logo Zero Hero

Electronic Arts/£24.99/Out now

Amiga reviewDunc: The first thing I have to say about the Amiga version of PGA Tour Golf applies to the PC original as well - it concerns the putting sections, which are to my mind a bit annoying... but I'll get to that later. The second thing that springs to my mind about the game is that it's the best golf sim available for the Amiga to date. If you want to know the ins and outs of the game, read on. If you already know where it's at, then go and buy the thing as soon as is humanly possible. It's a simple as that. Okay. So here goes with the ins and outs...

Well, we all know about power-meters in golf games, don't we? The people behind Leaderboard invented the power-meter ages ago, got it right first time and everyone else has been very sensible to stick with the same basic format ever since. As the PGA power-meter is no exception, no further explanation is required on that front.

But what makes the game so skill? Well, basically, loads of things. First thing is the 'walk-through' animated opening sequence on each hole. The 'camera' homes in on the green, pans around so your back is towards the tee and then winds back along the fairway until you reach the starting point, where your golfer sprite is sproinged into place ready to take a drive. So there's no more "Eh? Is that bush in front of that tree or what?". There's no more "I don't quite understand which way I've got to aim to get between those bunkers". None of that, because you've just 'walked' the entire course backwards and have a total 3-D understanding of what's what (and more importantly, what's where). So much for the better then.

But what other goodies are there? Well, after taking a shot you see your ball hack up into the air (as with all golf games) but the brilliant thing is that the computer then switches to the landing point and you can watch at close range as your ball hits the deck, bounces awkwardly and plops into a bunker (or wherever, depending on how crap you are).
"Big deal," you may think, but believe me - it adds tons to the atmosphere. What else? Well, the general behaviour of the ball is excellent - it acts pretty much like a golf ball should act. Backspin, the works.

What else? Well, there are all the options you could hope for, including several 'special' shots such as Chip And Run, where, if you've read the slopes correctly, you can hit a nine Iron from the rough onto the green and watch the ball roll some distance before plopping into the hole. Satisfying stuff if you get it right. Oh, we're on the green, aren't we? And I whinged about the putting sections, didn't I? Well, here's why. When you're within 'potting distance' a large contoured graph of the green pops up and you almost have to reach for a calculator and protractor in order to suss where the ball is going to go. This interferes with the fluidity of the game as a whole and makes you feel you're playing a sort of 'sub-section'. It would have been much nicer if there was a contour grid overlaid on the green proper - and some kind of incline indicator to indicate slope direction (like in Accolade's Jack Nicklaus Golf). It's the break in play as you grapple with the graph that spoils things a bit. But only a very teensy bit, though.

Anyway, the rest of the game's so smart that even this niggle doesn't drop PGA below ZERO Hero status. Oh, nd the sound's good as well, not that there's much of it. Mind you, what extra effects could you put into a golf sim? The distant boom of a mid-air collision between two low-flying RAF Tornadoes or something? Nah, PGA's pretty neat as it stands. In fact, here's an advertising slogan I prepared earlier: "PGA - it's PDG!". Hey! I could be a copywriter. (I doubt it very much. Ed.)

PGA Tour Golf... ...Tournament Courses

Electronic Arts * £14.99

Always a good idea, this: to release extra courses for a successful game like PGA Tour For £15 you get three extra, larger-than-usual lawns: Eagle Trace, Scottsdale and Southwind, designed from original TPC (Tournament Players Clubs) blueprints.

The courses are designed to give experienced PGA players more of a challenge, but in reality they're a tad simple. The first hole of Scottsdale is supposed to be a real toughie, but you can sink it on par first time around. Likewise, a lot of the holes offer no more of a problem than the easiest ones on, say, MicroProse Golf. And six courses rather than a measly three would seem more of a bargain.

But to be going on with, this will do nicely, at least until we see the release of PGA 2.

PGA Tour Golf... ...Tournament Courses

Ein Jahr ist es jetzt her, da brachte Electronic Arts das legendäre PGA Tour Golf für den Amiga heraus - und damit die Legende eine Legende bleibt, kommen jetzt drei neue Kurse hinzu!

Grüne Wiesen und unberührte Natur empfangen den Golfer im Tournament Players Club von Southwind, bis auf 18 kleine Löcher im 7000 Yards großen Rasen ist die Ökologie hier noch in Ordnung. Anfänger haben an diesem Platz etwas zu knabbern, denn viele Bahnen besitzen eine leichte Neigung, was besonders das Einlochen erschwert. Auf dem Weg vom Abschlagpunkt zum Loch muß man sich zudem durch zahlreiche Bunker und Gewässer kämpfen. Keineswegs einfacher, eher noch anspruchsvoller geht's auf dem Golfplatz in Eagle Trace zu.

Zwar fehlen hier die lästigen Baumreihen, in denen sich gerne mal ein Ball verfängt, umso häufiger findet man dafür Erhebungen und Wassergräben, genau wie unkrautbewachsene Löcher, die beim Putten einen kräftige Schluck Zielwasser verlangen. Scottsdale in Arizona ist schließlich auch für Amateure recht gut geeignet; nur sollte man versuchen, den Ball nicht all zu weit in die Pampa zu donnern - dort wartet nämlich wüstenähnliches Gelände mit spärlicher Bepflanzung. Und wer einmal auf die Spielbahn schlagen mußte, weiß um die Schwierigkeit Bescheid...

Keinerlei Schwierigkeiten macht hingegen der Umgang mit der Tournament Golf Disk, sie läßt sich problemlos auf Festplatte bannen, beim Diskbetrieb wird die neue Scheibe einfach anstatt der Platz-Diskette des Hauptprogramms ins Laufwerk geschoben.

Daß sich an der hervorragenden Spielbarkeit von PGA Tour Golf nicht ändert, ist daher ebenso selbstverständlich wie die hübsche Geländegrafik von gewohnter Güte. Eine Bewertung können wir uns also getrost ersparen, wahre PGA-Golfer werden den Eintrittspreis von 49,- DM für die drei neuen Plätze mit einem Lächeln berappen! (pb)

PGA Tour Golf... ...Tournament Courses

Reviewed by one of our more naturally talented, entertaining, witty, intellectual and good looking reviewers back in issue one (er, well actually it was me), the original PGA Tour Golf was concluded to be "probably the best golfing game to date". Its user-friendly menus and control system were a veritable delight, its graphics were a treat and all in all it was rather scrumptiously playable to boot.

"Hip, hip hooray," we said as we reviewed it. "Hip, hip hurrah," you replied as you skipped briefly over the review then went out and bought it. "Hip, hip, hurrah," thought Electronic Arts as they raked it in as PGA stormed into the charts. "Why don't we release some more courses?"

Whether there will be quite so much hipping, hurrahing and groups of enthusiasts doing the Hokey Kokey over what we have here remains to be seen. Technically speaking, all you're really getting are three new real life tournament courses - Southwind, Eagle Trace and Scottsdale - for yer money. Although the 42 holes are slightly more tricky than before, there is little new here to hold the attention of anyone who's irretrievably bored of PGA Tour already. There are no new features to see, no new control methods to try out and basically nothing more than you'd really come to expect to find on a data disk. In some ways data disks are a bit of a con when you think about it, but then again, you don't have to buy them, do you?

Still, if you are bored of the courses given in the original PGA (but not of the game) and fancy a bit more, feel free to buy this product. If, on the other hand, you are bored of the game as a whole then may I suggest a totally different one - MicroProse Golf, say - to quench your golfing thirst instead. I may? Oh good.