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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 - First look

Haney even gets in on the act during the Club Tuner, too. You could faff about for hours in the VR-style driving range smacking balls hither-and-thither to your heart's content, tweaking the spin, 'workability' or power of your clubs as you see fit. Or, you could just hit a few shots and let Haney suggest the best alterations to suit your own swing.

As you work through the game you'll unlock clubs that offer more potential for tweakage, and the overriding feel is that EA is aiming toward personalising the game to each player. Eventually, your attributes will top out at your own personal level, indicating your skill, not the game's difficulty. Then, it's up to you to either tinker around and try to enhance your levels or rely on Haney's wisdom to raise your skills. All in all, it's a perfect complement to Tiger's intuitive stick-swing gameplay.

Elsewhere, EA's rounded out a few extras. Bottom left of the screen now holds an icon mapping the path of your swing - another way to help you understand the how and why of your swing, and ways to improve it. You can now play simultaneously in multiplayer, rather than waiting for each player to take their swing in turn, which is a welcome addition, if more than a little overdue.

Like we said, the core of Tiger Woods - the analogue-stick swing gameplay - was just about perfect the first time it appeared. Now, with Hank Haney backing you up and a Gran Turismo level of tool tinkering on offer, it looks like EA is seriously upping the surface quality too. We'll have our hands on Tiger's balls shortly for a proper gameplay report.

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