Taming the Tiger
Training is by far the easiest way to boost your stats and by competing in the new training facility, which offers mini-games as well as challenges, you can significantly enhance your attributes in a short space of time. The mini-games can be played solo (against AI) or with friends and include some entertaining distractions such as closest to the pin, a putting contest and capture the flag!
The tutorials are also well laid out, informative and allow you to improve on every aspect of your game, and although EA do have a habit of making text so small that you need to squint at the screen to read it, we’d advise any PGA Tour novice to take advantage of the help. It’s through these tutorials that we got to grips with EA’s true aiming function.
The true aiming fucntion works by pressing the ‘B’ button so you can zoom to your target area where you’ll see an aiming circle. You can then pan around the area with the camera to assess the shot and changing clubs results in the circle moving to the new position. As your golfer’s ability improves over time, the aiming circle shrinks in size making for more accurate shots. This is where boosting your skill points comes in really handy. In our first few rounds the targeting circle almost covered the whole green, meaning that it required far more effort with spin, draw and fade in order to get close to the flag; as we progressed this became far easier.
Clubs can be switched by using the left and right shoulder pads, although the game will choose a recommended club if needed. The new targeting system does mean that it's simply a matter of viewing the position of the aiming circle in order to decide the best club.
Once you hit the green you’ll need to sink the ball into the cup in what we think is the most difficult aspect of the game to get to grips with. You can switch the length of the putt and a target will show you the approximate position where the ball will land, but of course it’s not that easy. It’s a case of then assessing whether the green is flat or on a gradient and then moving the length of your putt to accommodate any small hills or steep drops. For example, if you position the length marker right near to the hole and move your thumb stick straight back and forward in a smooth motion, you’ll undoubtedly send the ball past the hole if there is a downward slope, due to the momentum that it gathers. However, move the length of the shot a foot or so before the hole and you’re more likely to get closer. The same applies for putts that are sent uphill, move the marker away from the hole and hit it full whack and the extra power that you have used will ensure that the ball will make it up the hill without rolling back down. There’s a fine line between sinking a putt and missing by a mile, but practicing through the tutorials helps you to understand how it works.