Your Sinclair

Championship Golf

Author: Marcus Berkmann
Publisher: D&H Games
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Your Sinclair #46

Championship Golf

Fore! Speaking as a rich and successful doctor , I must say that I do like a good game of golf.

So when I heard that D&H, my favourite sports sim company, was putting out a golf strategy game in the manner of its biggest and bestest hit, Footie Director, I was chuffed to say the least.

Unfortunately, though, the final product is not quite up to the standard of that classic (and perennially popular) boot sim. You know how irritated you get with FD when you have to sit there doing nothing for ages except look at the words 'Please Wait' flashing up on the screen? Champy Golf is the same but worse. Far worse.

Championship Golf

In its main structure, the new game is not dissimilar to the old. You start off with a menu full of options, 20 grands in used readies and the desire to be a top golfer, if not the talent. But never mind, since you can improve all parts of your play (driving, chipping, bunker play and putting, each rated out of 100) with practice. It helps if you hire a coach for this, as your ratings rise faster. So far, so good. Now, it's time to play in a tournament.

Your choice is simple. Play in the British Open or in a minor tournament in Stevenage. Naturally, you're nowhere near good enough to get in automatically, so you have to play the qualifying tournaments, which, to your surprise, you turn out to be nowhere near good enough to get through.

Trouble is, this takes some time to find out, 'cos each four-round tournament takes the best part of an hour to play. An hour? An hour.

So you watch as your round is played out, shot by shot, hole by hole. Interesting for about 20 minutes, this soon becomes a frustrating and tedious experience, as you begin to reflect on why the shots you're seeing on the rather primitive graphical bit bear no relation to the real game.

You also know pretty soon that you're not going to win, or even get a decent (money-blagging) place in the top ten. And if you're qualifying, and you need to be in the top five, you know when you're six over after eight holes that you're not going to make it.

Now I know that strategy games are supposed to be fast but Champy Gold takes the biscuit. There's quite a good game hiding in there somewhere, but unless you have the patience of Job and more time on your hands than Methuselah, it's all far too slow to take. Stick with Footie Director.

Desperately slow golfing variant of the Football Director strategy format that makes the original look like R-Type. Only for the truly dedicated.

Marcus Berkmann

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