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EA Sports has taken a step back with its series, PGA Tour. Tour used to release every year, and by the seventh entry, it was fronted by the world’s best-known golfer Tiger Woods. He was the face of the series until the 2015 release, when Rory Mcllroy was on the cover, and this was to be the last in the series.

In 2018, 2K purchased the rights to the PGA and have released three games in the meantime. PGA Tour 2K23 released in October, and despite having Woods on the cover, it received a mixed reception. This could have been in part due to the hype surrounding the return of the original PGA Tour series, which was announced in 2021.

EA Sports claims the return to the series was due to how far technology has developed. The aim of most golf games is to give players the feeling that they are standing right on the course, something the studio thinks the new technology can do. The 2015 entry was criticized for its limited number of courses at launch, and the team appears keen to right this wrong, recreating 30 golf courses in painstaking detail.

PGA Tour

The courses include Augusta National, St Andrews, and Bandon Dunes.

All 30 courses, including Augusta National, St Andrews, and Bandon Dunes, have been mapped using drones and lasers to catch each curve and bump. The team spoke to the groundskeepers to try to catch the look and textures of the grass and foliage as they appear during each of the major PGA tournaments.

EA Sports have promised updates that will follow the road map of the PGA tour. The game will be released in late March and will open with amateur tournaments as well as ‘Road to the Masters’ to coincide with the real Masters in April. As the real pros take their tour around the world to the four major golf tournaments

Alongside the Masters, PGA Championship, US Open, and Open Championship, we’ve been promised the Korn Ferry tour, and the Fedex and Ryder cups. The idea is to keep slow continued support for the game, keeping players interested as new tournaments start up. There will also be an emphasis on women’s golf, with LPGA tournaments also available at launch.

PGA Tour

PGA Tour has a custom character creator, buy its roster of female pros seems lacking.

Despite this, the women’s roster is definitely lacking. The game features a custom character creator where you can choose a male, female or non-binary avatar, but the roster of female pros seems to be lacking. At launch we’ve been promised Jin-Young Ko, Lexi Thompson, Danielle Kang, Jessica, and Nelly Korda – and that’s it.

The roster of revealed male pros is also slim, featuring only Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau, Patrick Cantley, and Jordan Spieth, but we’ve been promised more names to be announced before launch. We already know that a number of highly decorated golfers are unlikely to appear such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Cameron Smith are unlikely to appear as they moved from PGA to LIV Golf.

A lot of work has gone into the look, which admittedly looks fantastic. However, in order to make sure the team hit the 4K resolution it wanted, a sacrifice had to be made. PGA Tour will only run at 30fps, but to its credit, it does run stably and smoothly. This matches the huge amount of customization that has gone into the gameplay design.

PGA Tour

The team spoke to the groundskeepers to try to better reproduce the look and textures of the grass and foliage of each course.

Aside from the expected huge array of clubs, there will also be 20 types of swing per club. Assist features are completely optional, giving this a low barrier for entry, but a high level of customization for hardcore players. The golf swing is controlled via the analog stick. We asked about the traditional three-click swing many golf gamers are used to, and this will apparently be added sometime post-launch.

Alongside the single-player and local multiplayer, there is a 16-player online multiplayer mode. Commentary is severely shortened in this mode, as well as shot replays, so that each player won’t spend as much time waiting around for their next turn. We’re not sure how this will end up playing out in real life, but it seems a fun, chaotic addition. Another interesting change is to Career Mode, which will have an RPG-style progression system.

It looks impressive so far, and if EA Sports is true to their word in adding in tournaments as they happen, PGA Tour could easily create a community of players that keep coming back for more courses and online competition. So far, it seems EA Sports is living up to its ideal of creating the most realistic golf game on the market.

EA Sports PGA Tour will release on March 24, 2023, for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.