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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 should take a mulligan

March 29, 2000
Web posted at: 8:10 a.m. EST (1310 GMT)

(IDG) -- Professional golfers are only allowed to carry 14 clubs in their bags. In Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000, EASports has tried to cram too many clubs into their bag, resulting in a game that needs a golf cart to help speed up the program.

Even weekend duffers stand a real-life chance of outpacing the speed of this program in terms of who can complete 18 holes quicker. The main problem lies between shots, where the lag time can last 10-15 seconds while waiting for the next shot opportunity to actualize itself onscreen.

Graphically the game is crisp - maybe a little too crisp. EASports has opted for using video melded with computer graphics, with most of the professional golfers represented by their real counterparts. You get to watch the golf swing of such names as Davis Love III and Mark O'Meara. But will someone please explain what Michael Jordan is doing in this program? And of all the golfers whose animations have been captured live, Jordan's is the only character that is strictly computer-generated.

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The game employs two modes of swinging the club: Using the three-click system on the keyboard - by far the easiest - and simulating the golf swing with the mouse. However, there is a marked difference between the controls of practice and in-game play. The practice swings are sharper, but the in-game swings are delayed - which amount to slicing and missing the contact points.

The course editor is a terrific program on its own. Although the editor requires a P200 (the game only requires a P166), what you get is a 3D-architect program that enables you to build the layout of your dreams from the ground up. Put in as many sand bunkers, water hazards, rocks and trees and you wish.

The internet option includes the standard available tournaments, and also features a leader board, which posts the best scores from online tournaments. And if you have a true affinity for this game, you will want to play on the Play Against The Pros site, which offers more than $45,000 in prizes up for grabs, including a 2000 Buick Regal GS. Unfortunately, the online game suffers from lag in the host system, which leads to some frustration.

Compared to other recent golf releases - Jack Nicklaus 6 Golden Bear Challenge and Microsoft's Links 2000 - PGA Tour scores with superior graphics and courses but lacks the fluid game play of those titles. And, as with every EASports title, the audio is outstanding. In-game announcers analyze the shot, giving the play-by-play in an anonymous, yet accurate account of the game play. Ambient sounds are just as crisp - the wildlife and crowd noises are what one would expect from actual real-life play.

Mark Twain once stated that golf is a good walk spoiled. By loading too much into the latest version of its golf title, EASports has spoiled the overall game. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 has teed up with the right intentions, but scores a bogey for the hole.


* When on the driving range, too much power in the stroke seems to be all right. However, try that same tactic in a tournament, and you will either scuff the shot, or shank it badly. Chipping is just the opposite - low power allows for a better run and more control on the green.

* Learn to put spin on the ball - especially backspin. This helps a lot around the green.

* Tour rookies might want to forego the editing of your own golfer and stick with Tiger in order to learn the game. The controls seem a little easier to control though the results are not always Tiger-esque.

* You are given several options for targeting your shot. Forget the inset photo and, instead, keep your eye on the hole layout on the left side of the screen.

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