PGA Tour 96

With shots like this, I'm not sure who the target demographic was for these games. Were adults playing the SNES at the time?

I played this game for much longer than I expected.  In fact, I was tempted to not bother playing it at all; after all, it’s a golf game.  You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, as far as I am concerned.

But it was pretty relaxing and mildly challenging in a weird sort of “why does my ball always go seven hundred feet to the right” kind of way, so I played three holes, going from 3 over par to 2 over par to 1 over par.  Exciting.

The core game of golf is not something I object to.  I can see why it’s fun; the few times I have played it, I found it quite enjoyable.  There is a certain relaxing abstraction to it.  It’s all about figuring angles and forces and wind resistance and whatever, and it barely feels competitive at all.  The spatial geometry of golf is almost as satisfying as that wonderful sound – the thwuck of a club hitting a golf ball is, perhaps, one of the most satisfying sports sounds that exists.  It certainly beats out the swish of a basketball hitting net, or the sharp crack of a hockey stick hitting a puck, or the more wooden, meatier crack of a bat hitting a baseball.

But golf is simultaneously silly, perhaps even irresponsible.  The absurd amount of space – a manicured, surreal facsimile of natural space – required for the sport is a little sickening.  Of course, it’s not like they put a golf course in the middle of a downtown core or anything.  And I suppose if you’re going to be driving a golf ball 300 yards, you need a lot of room.

Of course, I’ve always found minigolf to be far more interesting and entertaining, although I feel like it could be made into something much more fascinating than the childish puzzle solving it currently is.  If you turned minigolf into some kind of fiendish Rube Goldberg machine that you had to navigate, with gears and hydraulics and eerie, featureless planes of colour and other such hallmarks of modern design, well.  I’d pay good money for that.

I would not pay good money for this game; I’d rather go to a driving range and try to hit the poor guy who’s picking up the balls.

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