The Golf Club - Xbox One

Release Date:

August 19, 2014

Also on:

Xbox One PC PS4

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
7.6

Summary:

The Golf Club was developed for the Xbox One by the team at HB Studios Multimedia. This golf simulator was released back in August of 2014 and it tried to take advantage of the lack of golf sims on the market. Being a relatively unknown franchise from an unknown developer has its drawbacks but it does allow us, as critics, to go into the title with a completely open mind. Going into this title we were hoping for something that gave us a mixture of McIlroy’s realism with a more refined, less branded twist on an ultra saturated sport. What we found was something that pushed creativity while still delivering a nifty sim.

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Details

  • Developer(s):
    • HB Studios Multimedia
  • Publisher(s):
    • HB Studios Multimedia
  • Distributor(s):
    • Xbox One Store
  • Release Date(s):
    • August 19, 2014
  • ESRB Rating:
    • Everyone
  • Player(s):
    • 1-4
  • Online Player(s):
    • 2-4
  • Online Play:
    • Optional
  • Add-Ons:
    • Available

Technical Information

  • Required Disc Space:
    • 3.9GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
avatar name

Posted:
2018-05-05

Jamie_Hall

Writer

Xbox One

7.3

The Golf Club was developed for the Xbox One by the team at HB Studios Multimedia. This golf simulator was released back in August of 2014 and it tried to take advantage of the lack of golf sims on the market. Being a relatively unknown franchise from an unknown developer has its drawbacks but it does allow us, as critics, to go into the title with a completely open mind. Going into this title we were hoping for something that gave us a mixture of McIlroy’s realism with a more refined, less branded twist on an ultra saturated sport. What we found was something that pushed creativity while still delivering a nifty sim. There were issues, of course, but the primary Course Designer mode assuaged those wounds.

If you are a golf fan and a gamer then you’ve probably spent more money than you want to admit to on EA Sports Tiger Woods titles or the PGA Tour series of games. These sims have always been the go to brand for golfing on consoles, dating back for the past decade at least. With the launch of the Xbox One there seemed to be an opening available for HB Studios to see if they could squeeze in while people were still winded on the other titles. Competing as simply a golf simulator would have been folly, as the other franchises have years of experience, so The Golf Club decided to do some things a little bit different.

The first thing we noticed, and you likely will as well, is that you are only a button press or two away from actually swinging your club. There aren’t seemingly dozens of menus in between you and a round of golf. You literally pick your controller up and hit the 'Tee Off' button and then you’ll be placed into a randomly chosen course and ready to go. The lack of load time means that you’ll be sitting down and playing almost in the same motion. The courses also load all of their holes at once which means you can see all of the other holes around you, allowing you to peak ahead. If you have friends online who are playing The Golf Club you can actually drop your character into their course and watch them behind or ahead of you just like you were out on the links.

Further pushing the social aspect, The Golf Club allows you to play friends who are offline as well... erm, well their ghost anyway. Set up a course and load your buddies ghost player into the match. You’ll watch a ghost of their player hit their shots and then you’ll be charged with trying to take them out. It’s pretty nifty but ultimately just another filler mode to make it seem less like you are alone on a gigantic, beautiful course. There are some downsides here, namely in the fact that you are still connected to the internet so if you have connection issues you will be booted off of the course. If you don’t want to deal with that simply play an offline round and jump back in whenever your connection stabilizes.

One of the biggest red marks on The Golf Club experience is the lack of name branding that allows the EA titles to recreate television broadcast type experiences. You don’t have crowds of people following as you golf, there are no famous TV broadcasters in the booth, and you don’t have logos flying everywhere to give the game that commercial feel. It’s a bit more intimate, instead, and that might be good for some but definitely will turn off a bunch of others.

We do like what the commentator in the game does, even though he isn’t necessarily a broadcaster. The commentator in The Golf Club is laid back and acts more like a caddy or a friend on the course with you. He’ll keep you updated on your score, give you some advice, and even tell you how your buddies are doing if you are playing a live game with them. He’s a helpful voice that rarely repeats himself and always seems focused on what is actually happening on the course, which is a nice change of pace from the seemingly random broadcasters in other games.

Unfortunately The Golf Club is hit and miss when it comes to actual game modes. You don’t have a career mode and you can’t create completely customized characters, either. There is also a lack of deep character progression that has become the staple in most EA titles. So you are mostly consigned to playing golf in random courses or playing around with the Course Creator, which we will now dive into.

The Course Creator is probably going to become the calling card of this game. The course designer in this game is so powerful that Greg Norman officially endorsed it, putting his name in front of it. Real life course designers also use the software in order to test out new projects, which shows its strength and ability to impact actual golfing. When you load up the course designer you will be placed in a birds eye view of a procedurally generated course. From there you can tweak certain variables, such as how long the holes are, how hard the greens will be, and so on. Then generate the course to get a base set and then begin modifying. You can change pretty much anything that you want, altering the land, adding new hazards, adding trees and water ways and bridges, while even incorporating wildlife in your course.

Once you are done designing courses you can share them online with friends, download other people’s courses, and then play them all to your hearts content. This provides unlimited replay value and it allows dedicated users to show off their design skills. In short, the game is almost worth buying solely for the Forge (Halo 3) like level editor. The golf simulation is adequate, as well.

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By:

HB Studios Multimedia

Release Date:

August 19, 2014

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