ProStroke Golf hands-on

A deep, calendar-based career mode should satisfy your desire to compete against the pros. As you progress through the season, you'll earn Renown, which functions both as means to increase your golfer's stats and a way to gain access to more lucrative tournaments. While you'll eventually play against eight licensed golfers, you won't see any pro shop where you can drop your hard earned winnings on miracle balls that fly farther or clubs that magically add 50 yards to your drive - that's simply not realistic enough for ProStroke Golf. This game subscribes to the belief that it's not the name brand, it's how you swing it that matters.

If you tire of the 18 available courses, you can always bone up on the instruction manual and hit up the intimidating course editor. Frighteningly elaborate, we watched in stunned silence as the earth before us molded to our every whim and trees sprouted from nothingness at our command. Okay, so it wasn't quite that dramatic, but the jazzy background tunes fit the generally laid-back, relaxed feel of the game itself - so although the course editor could easily consume hours of your time to build a single hole, at least it would be comfortably calming leisure time.

There's also multiplayer for up to four players (offline, at least... no online plans have been announced yet), which sounds like a perfect opportunity for you and your boys when the weather isn't as hospitable as you'd like... or you don't have enough time or money to hit the links on the weekend. Because, hey, if you can't get out to the club, ProStroke Golf looks like it might be as close as you can get. Look for it at the end of August when it is scheduled to drop into a game outlet near you.