The oldest swinger in town
With its real-life mechanics, Golf is a sport perfectly suited to the Wii, and let’s face it, anyone who bought the console new should own a Golf game (in the form of Wii Sports). However, while that mode was fun, it was extremely limited, with only a single, 9-hole course included. For a more elaborate experience, the gamer must turn to EA Sports and their Tiger Woods range.
09 is the third Tiger Woods game to arrive on Nintendo’s little white box, and features the All-Play subtitle that has graced nearly all of EA’s 09 Sports releases on Wii, referring to the “Easy” control systems that they all implement. In this instance, selecting All-Play creates a constant preview line, which tells you exactly where your proposed shot is set to land. All you need to do is make sure you get the power right.
The question that most people ask when a sports title receives its annual update is “what’s new” (except for NASCAR games, where it’s “why do they keep making these”)? Tiger Woods 09 answers the question almost immediately after you press A on the title screen, with a neat page explaining the new additions (courses, controls, modes and more).
One of the biggest new features is the involvement of Hank Haney as your performance coach. Having already helped make Tiger Woods the most successful golfer of all time, he’s now on hand to do the same for your virtual career. He handles the opening tutorial, and also assists with the new Club Tuner mode, where you can elaborately adjust your clubs to your own personal preference, and in line with your skills. This feature is more likely to be scoured by players who are really serious about their golf, as opposed to those looking for some casual fun.
The main meat of the game is Career Mode, where you create a golfer and progress through events and challenges to improve their stats, with the eventual aim of topping the world rankings, and beating Tiger Woods himself. The Career is split up into three different sections, starting with the Event Season, where you can take part in the various tournaments throughout the year, both PGA Events and Fed-Ex Cup tournaments. Similarly, you can also face the Fed-Ex tournaments on their own, without the other events in-between.
The third part of Career is the Tiger Challenge, where you face off in one on one action against several well-known professionals. Before you can do this, however, you have to earn the right to face them by playing smaller challenges against other golfers. Gain a certain amount of points from these challenges, and then you can test your skills against the pro in question. Beat them, and you’ll unlock the route to the next pro face-off. The process continues until you eventually get to take on Tiger, which will be no easy task.