Handicap Golf

Producer: C.R.L.
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £5.95
Language: BASIC

‘Play a round of 18 holes on the “Spectrum” course of 5,444 yards. Your set of clubs consists of four Woods, eight Irons, a Pitch Wedge, a Sand Wedge and a putter. PRESS ANY KEY TO CONTINUE...’

Cartoon

So goes the unpretentious start to C.R.L.’s charming golf simulation. Pressing any key then lists the 18 holes, the par and length for each, with a par for the course of 70. This is followed by a listing of the clubs with a graphic depiction of each and the distance in yards for each. Wind factor must be taken into account in the choice of club and direction, and the factor is also shown on the greens for putting. A final page asks whether one or two players are taking part. It is then possible to preview all 18 holes before starting if you so wish. This is not essential because you may view any hole before it is played as well. This element is quite important because unlike almost every other golf program, this one splits the holes into several views, thus simulating the real game, where you would not be able to see the end of the hole in any detail.

The display is in a 3D-style perspective with ‘you’ and your caddy seen standing ready on the first tee. The figures and animation of them is very reminiscent of the Valhalla graphics. Pressing P will allow a preview of the hole to be played; pressing C allows selection of club, bearing in mind the statistics printed below the display area. Club selection is made by pressing any key which moves a cursor arrow along under the clubs until it reaches the one desired. It may then be ENTERed. The angle of the shot is selected by using keys 6 and 7 to move a cursor marker on the side of the screen up or down, ENTERing when it is correct. In full animation, ‘you’ then swing and the ball curves away. As soon as it comes to a rest, the golfer staring after it, the caddy lifts the bag on to his shoulder, and both set off after the ball. Two seconds of animation and the scene cuts to the next view, ready for the follow-up shots.

CRITICISM

Screenshot

Valhalla on the golf course as caddy watches player take a shot. I can also see...a divot.

‘Golf — another boring game to review, I thought. NO! I was wrong. This one is very enjoyable. I was flabbergasted to be able to see the whole course and very impressive it is too, with detailed different types of trees, hedges, bushes, rough, bunkers, rivers, ponds, bridges, even the clubhouse, and not forgetting the player and his caddy. Both are very well animated, even to the swing and the tense wait for the ball to land. Good close-ups are given when you are on the green. This is the best golfing game I have seen. Everything is so realistic, and the excellent graphics are quickly displayed. There are even amusing remarks from the computer to cheer you up! A game that I really enjoyed playing, and that I can recommend to anyone who wants a golfing game.’

‘This is the best golf game I have ever seen, with plenty of details, scenic fairways, and it is very playable. Unbelievably the game is in BASIC, but because it’s so good, who cares? A very good feature is that for even a player with no knowledge of golf or what clubs do, the game is simple because everything is explained on screen. Excellent colour and fantastic graphics.’

‘At the end of a tiring round, it’s really nice to see “yourself” part company with the caddy and walk wearily into the club house for a welcoming beer or something. The only detail that C.R.L. seem to have left out is the tipping of the caddy (or perhaps that isn’t done in the best of clubs!). This game is so well thought out and displayed that it looks like a television golf championship right down to the editing of the scenes. Wonderful, and satisfying to play.’

COMMENTS

Control keys: 6 and 7 F and S, very simple and logical, and all prompted on screen
Joystick: no point
Keyboard play: very easy
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: very good
Sound: very little, just the peace and quiet of a well-kept course
Skill levels: 1
General rating: an excellent simulation, one of the best golf games around, highly recommended

Use of computer78%
Graphics80%
Playability84%
Getting started73%
Addictive qualities84%
Value for money87%
Overall81%

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