Real World Golf review

  • Incredibly easy to learn
  • Realistic ball and club action
  • Great for groups
  • Looks terrible, sounds bare
  • Putting is rough
  • Few game modes, no online

The first time you get a look at this golf game's controller, you just have to snicker. It's not the main unit, which sits unassumingly on the floor like a box of Oreos or the amp from a car stereo, and it's not the single, giant button that plugs into the main unit, so you can tap it with your foot. No, it's the gloves - those crazy, fingerless Velcro gloves, each of which is tethered to the main unit by a long, retractable string that clips onto the glove's underside, leaving your hands free to swing a foot-long plastic golf club toward the screen every time you want to tee off. It's the video gamer's equivalent of clown shoes.

The thing is, it also works remarkably well. No matter how good other, competing golf games are (and there are indeed several great ones), they never really do a good job of simulating the actual act of swinging the golf club. That's not a problem with Real World Golf. You simply put on the gloves, grab a "club" - basically anything you can grip, from the little fake club that comes in the package to a real 8-iron (if you've got the space) or even a bottle of bourbon - and start golfing.

The controller constantly measures the length (up to a single millimeter) and relative angles of those strings attached to your gloves, as well as the speed at which you're moving them, and uses that info to model your golf swing with almost annoyingly impressive precision. Got a nagging slice in real life? You'll have it here too. Spend a lot of your time on the local links hacking yourself out of the rough? This will recreate everything but the grass stains on your club heads. Luckily, there are three difficulty settings, so you can make par even on rough days, and if you're talented enough to actually use draws, fades, backspin, and punch shots in the real world, you can recreate them fairly easily here as well.

You'll still find a few clubs missing from the bag: the bargain-bin graphics and sparse audio are just shy of awful even on PC (with a maximum resolution in the 1280x range), and there are too few characters from which to choose. There are only 10 courses, and duffers seeking game modes beyond four-player offline tournaments, regular stoke and match play, a stableford showdown, or a few minigames might feel the game struggles to make the cut. Oh, and putting needs work - it's infuriating to hit the ball with 11% of your power instead of the recommended 9% and see the damn thing blast 15 yards past the cup. 

Ultimately though, Real World Golf's pick-up-and-play appeal turns in a better-than-par scorecard despite a few ugly shots into the sand bunker. It's truly everybody's game - if you can swing a stick, you can play this (even if you're a lefty). It's perfect for parties, or for players willing to trade next-gen graphics and fancy options for the chance to swing a club instead of button mashing.

More Info

Release date: Apr 11 2006 - PS2, Xbox (US)
Apr 11 2006 - PS2, Xbox (UK)
Available Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PC
Genre: Sports
Published by: MadCatz, Valcon
Developed by: Aqua Pacific, In2Games
ESRB Rating:


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