Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 - First look

The problem with Tiger Woods is that each new update ends up attempting to tweak a game that was pretty much perfect from the beginning. Fortunately, with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, that's not the case. The finely-balanced and intuitive swing system is left untouched, and EA have focused on tinkering with something more interesting: You.

Instead of leading a singular, solitary existance out on the links - cursing your errors, but with no second party to offer criticism - this time around you've got Tiger's real-life golf coach Hank Haney helping out. You might have seenthe announcement("Tiger's coach is your coach", don'tchaknow?!) but now we can talk you through how this innovation actually works.

Imagine you trundle through 18 holes, coming in a dozen shots over par. Not bad, perhaps, but you're obviously in need of some training, some pointers to help you improve your game. In steps Hank Haney. After each round, Haney can pinpoint the shots you fluffed or the putts you missed. Then, thanks to the magic ofGamerNet, he'll take us back to each of these bad moments and let us play through them all over again.

EA weren't clear on how many moments Haney might pick out from each round, but you will be able to select your last four such replayable moments from the main career menu - suggesting four is the max. It's a very clever idea, recreating the exact circumstances of your previous error and enabling you to put it right, and a positive way to improve your skills. In game-terms, though, it also directly affects your player's dynamic attributes.

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.