Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wii Golf: A Primer

What is the world coming to? I wrote a video game review!

Wii Golf is fun, though efforts to score real low are hampered by tough finishing holes and few club selection choices. Each hole offers a different challenge…

Wii Golf only provides four rudimentary club choices: driver, iron, wedge, and putter. The iron provides no spin; both driver and iron shots bounce long and low, and are hard to stop. Wedge shots from the rough, and putts from the fringe, come out slow, as if the club digs up a huge divot. But by compensating with a harder swing, the ball often flies well past it’s target.

1. Par 4…guarded by a front left bunker that’s rarely trouble. Easiest hole to birdie…with a good wind, you’re hitting a wedge into the green. I once eagled this hole from 100 yards with an iron.

2. Par 3…like many holes, guarded by a front middle bunker. Often times even landing the ball just over the bunker before the green, the ball bounces well past the hole.

3. Par 5 dogleg left. To get in eagle position, a slightly risky tee shot is required…hitting through the trees at the corner of the dogleg. Often times the ball will hit the trees and drop in the rough, or bounce through the fairway to the rough on the other side. A second shot from the rough makes for a layup, and a much longer third shot.

There is a secret landing spot in the woods to the left, though it’s very tough to stop the ball in the fairway here. Don’t and you’re out of bounds. Certainly not worth the risk, since birdies and eagles can be had cutting the dogleg.

4. Par 3 Usually a windy hole, also with a bunker in the front.

5. Par 5 Dogleg left. The bunker at the dogleg tempts players to cut the corner, which can be done most times. The second shot is uphill, over another front right bunker to a large level green. Often times it’s tough to stop a long second shot on the green.

6. Par 4 Dogleg left. Tee shot over water is easy, even with a fairway bunker to the left. Second shot is trickier, over water and a front right bunker…can be hard to stop the ball on the green, which is quite hilly.

7. Par 4 Dogleg left. A long drive is needed to avoid trees down the right side of the fairway. Only when a strong wind is blowing from tee to green can a direct shot be taken over the trees…often without success. With bunkers front and right, and most hole loacations on the upper back side, many attempts to hit it close bounce off the green. Tough birdie hole.

8. Par 3 Toughest hole. Uphill over cliffs to a level green, it’s hardly possible to stop the ball on the green…you’re either short or over. Pars are to be celebrated.

9. Par 5. Tee shot over water must stop on the fairway to be in position for another long second shot, also over water, to a small, elevated green. Then it’s almost impossible to stop the second shot on the green…most shots wind up in the rough. The hole is always at the top of a small hill, so all putts are straight and uphill.

My best score is six under for nine holes, though I’ve often been four under after four or five holes. One round I eagled the first two par fives.

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