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John Watson
Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

If your idea of golf is just standing there and whacking the wee dimply thing into the wide green yonder, then Atlantis' Pro-Golf will soon put you straight - straight down the middle, hopefully.

Most people's traumas with golf begin when they attempt to hit the ball in the first place, and Pro-Golf is no different. But you won't be let loose in any tournament till you've had a go in the practise mode. Here you'll get used to the skills you'll need if you're to reduce your handicap - timing the ball so you don't slice or hook your stroke, it'll also give you practise at making strategic decisions such as which of the thirteen clubs to use for the appropriate position on the course. In fact, strategy garners will find Pro-Golf as satisfying as sporting enthusiasts, I reckon.

It's not just a case of correlating the weight of your shot to the distance it has to travel. You'll also contend with varying wind strengths that whistle round all points of the compass and various course hazards such as rough, heavy rough. trees, bunkers and water, all of which affect your shot.

Greens are displayed on a separate screen and it's here that the gradient and its direction becomes crucial. And you'd better keep an eye on the weather conditions too 'cos these can cause up to a 50 percent variation in your shot. As you're given two totally mapped eighteen hole courses, Sunningdale and Pebble Beach, it'll take a satisfyingly long time to familiarise yourself with each hole and its unique qualities.

Unless you're really ambitious you'll probably only play the single round option, simply because of time, but you can play a full four-round championship, including cup presentation, if you so desire. In championship you play seventeen others, with up to four players at a time on the keyboard - phew!

If you're looking for a competent golfing simulation that's going for a birdie then Pro-Golf proves to be a hole in one!