Old golfers never die, their clubs just get a bit rusty... or so they say. Miles 'Well Below Par' Guttery decided to see how his very small putter measured up to the great Nick Faldo's whopping nine-iron!
Not being an avid golfer, I could do with some help here, but from whom? Golly! Who's that who's just walked in? Why, it's Alf Stewart from Home & Away... what luck!
Miles. Hi Alf!
Miles. I could really use some help with this review.
Alf. Strewth mate, I dunno what to say! Geez, if only ar'd known ar'da prepared something. This is, ar bin stuck on the dunny all mornin', musta bin somethin' to do with Ailsa's dodgy tucker!
Miles. I see, erm, but you do enjoy a round of golf, don't you?
Alf. Sorry, mate, ar'd love to stick around but ar'm a busy man. Ar'll see ya later, eh?
Miles. Er, thanks Alf, bye. Oh well, looks like I'm gonna have to do this alone.
Let's face it, golf isn't exactly the most adrenalin-pumping of sports. Even so, there are thousands of people the world over who like nothing better than to don a pair of chortlesome trousers, pay a fortune in green fees and spend their weekends thwacking small hard balls into bushes and sandpits.
Alongside Nigel Mansell, Nick Faldo is the only British sportsman who actually wins anything [Try saying that to Lennox Lewis - Dep Ed], so I supposed it was inevitable that he'd lend his name to another computer game. What better than a golfing sim to sport his famous monicker [What better? Don't you mean, What Else? - Dep Ed]
The game is jam-packed with features and options. There are two full 18-hole courses on offer, each of which is loaded in separately. Once you've made your choice and loaded up the appropriate course, you can choose the number of players - up to four are available, including combinations of computer and human players. You can even go up against the man himself if you think you're up to it (or just fancy a sound beating!).
After selecting the players, you then decide whether you want 'matchplay' (the winner being the one who wins the most holes), or 'strokeplay' (where the player who goes round the course in the least number of shots is the victor). Having done all that, you're taken to the club selection screen where you must choose the thirteen you wish to take onto the course. Now at last it's time to kick your caddy into action, ayrtex your underpants and go for that proverbial hole-in-one!
Here you're presented with a nice 3D behind-the-golfer view of the course, and options are accessed via a pull-down menu. Observing the lie of the ball and the distance to the green is vital to determine the right club for the job. Next you can alter your stance according to the situation and determine the power of your shot using a strength bar. Once you've diddled all your doobries, it's time to play that shot. Wallop!, a piece of turf rockets towards the heavens. Never mind. A little fine-tuning to accord for wind speed and direction and Shazamm, Splosh, another one to add to the collection at the bottom of Lake Splot.
There's plenty of depth here, that's for sure. Wind, lie of the ball, and slope of the ground are all very important. Careful choice of club is also crucial if you want to get anywhere near the hole. Graphics are excellent and the ball looks exceptionally convincing as it wings its way into the distance. When you actually get onto the green, the view stretches to an overhead 2D perspective which, though not as attractive, is very effective as you try to judge your shot against the undulating ground.
Nick Faldo's Championship Golf might not appeal to all-out arcade animals but hey, it's their loss - as a simulation of the sport it can hardly be faulted.
This is definitely one for fans of the game, and even if you're like me and couldn't tell a sand wedge from sandwich, it's still a very enjoyable way to while away the hours... If it's a golf game you want then fling your readies in Nick's direction as soon as possible. A superlative sports simulation that you really can't afford to miss!
I've always believed that golf is right boring, but I was as refreshed as sitting under a mountain spring when this joyful sim eased itself onto the C64. There are lots of options to choose from before wandering onto the course, and once your hand grasps hold of the club it dawns on you that a finely-tuned sim awaits tee off.
A knowledge of golf will help, but amateur swingers need not feel wedged in the bunker. After a few wild slices, the selection of appropriate clubs soon becomes second nature. The option of up to four-player participation certainly provides some strong friendship-breaking fun. Give the hardcore blasts and platforms a day off, and join Nick for some putting - to use a sad and corny comment, it may be golf but it sure ain't crazy!
Detailed instructions and a profile of ol' Nicko
Excellent - pretty and atmospheric throughout
'Swishy' club noises - but that's about it!
This is really easy to get started
Plenty of room to perfect your skills