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John Watson
1986
Sport: Action
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

Other Links


121,122
Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

Budget golfing is now available on the Spectrum from ATLANTIS who have taken a different overall approach, offering an overhead view of the playing area.

Before a player may progress onto the green several selections must be made. Pro Golf allows three different types of match play: championship round, single round or practice, and up to four players may approach the links together. Having selected the standard of play the next decision is between using a championship tee or a Metal tee, which governs the length of the drives you attempt. The course itself is either Sunningdale or Pebble beach, depending on which side of the cassette is loaded.

Golf is played out in the open, and to add realism Pro Goff allows the effects of the elements on your game to be modified. The speed and direction of the wind may be selected and it can range from gusty to a steady gale. The ground can be wet, normal or dry. After the variables have all been adjusted, it's time to pull on the Pringle jumper and head off on to the course itself.

The main part of the screen is taken up with an overhead view of the links and all the normal hazards are present: trees, the rough and treacherous bunkers. Windows placed over the course contain a graphic representation of the golfer you control, indicate the wind speed and the direction of the hole and show the par for the current hole and howl ar your ball has to travel before making contact with the flag.

Before the ball is sent whizzing across to the green a shot must be set up. First choose a club: woods from 1 to 4 are available and irons from 1 to 9 are included in your bag along with a sand iron for those embarrassing bunker problems. After the appropriate club has been chosen, the direction of the shot must be selected, taking into consideration the effects of the wind. Moving a pointer that appears on a small compass at the bottom of the screen alters the orientation of your golfer.

Finally, the power of the shot needs to be adjusted on a scale of zero to one hundred.

The ball is hit by referring to the window that shows the player - time the shot so the ball is hit as the golfer's arms swing around. When the ball is on the green, the screen fills with an enlarged version of the putting green. The same set-up routine is used for putting, but the power of shots becomes more critical.

CRITICISM

'Pro Golf is perhaps the most unappealing game that I've played this month. How can anyone expect a game based on a relatively unpopular sport (among young people anyway) that is programmed badly to make a profit? I've always found Golf simulations dull and this is no exception. Graphically Pro Golf is poor, the courses are badly drawn with UDGs and your player looks as though he's been put through a blender. Colour is used badly, Okay so golf courses are green, but one can only take so much Spectrum green on screen before it all gets too much. The sound is dire. I'd keep well away from this if I was you, there are a lot of better things to do with your money.' BEN

'I've had a few bad experiences with golf simulations - although if pushed I can get quite interested in the game. Unfortunately Pro Golf is about what I'd expect from a budget priced game. This is very much based on all the other golf simulations that have come out for the Spectrum - after all there's not much that you can really do with the game. The graphics are as detailed as necessary and flick onto the screen quickly - but where the program loses speed (it's all BASIC) is the calculating of the other player's score. Pro Golf is fairly good, as far as golf simulations go. At the budget price it is as good as can expected - but then golf games never did arouse me.' PAUL

'Yawwwwn! The only reason that I might have loaded up this game expectantly would be if I placed my faith in the taste of Mr Headroom. If this is the sort of thing he's into, then maybe that explains his stuttering; he's so near to sleep that he can't control it. Forgetting Max for a moment, Pro Golf is Boring with a capital B. Presumably real golf bears no similarity to this at all, otherwise it'd have no fans! The business of hitting SPACE when the club gets vertical is unrealistic, difficult and frustrating, just like Olympiad '86. Pro Golf is the sort of game I don't like playing.' MIKE

COMMENTS
Control keys: O left, P right, ENTER select, SPACE hit ball
Joystick: n/a
Use of colour: lots of colour but rather unimaginatively used
Graphics: poor UDG characters
Sound: spot effects plus a tune
Skill levels: one
Screens: 36
General Rating: Probably not very entertaining, even if you like golf simulations.

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