REVIEW

FIRST REVIEW: PGA Tour 2K21 takes golf gaming to the next level

Pgatour2 K21 Shot

For those of you who enjoy taking your love of golf into the world of gaming, good news - there’s a brand new, exciting golf game coming to the market at the end of August.

PGA Tour 2K21, developed by HB studios, is set to be the first console video game to feature PGA Tour pros since 2015’s Rory McIlroy PGA Tour and has generated a high level of interest since the initial teaser trailer was released in June. 

To learn more and get the low down on the latest golf game hitting shelves on August 21, we got our hands on the game and have already put it through its pace. 

Here’s what you need to know...

The pros are back… and 12 of them at that! 

Justin Thomas graces the cover. No surprise given he’s No.1 in the world, has got 13 PGA Tour wins to his name, is a major champion and is a man whose career is trending in the right direction. Eleven other stars also feature in the game, including Bryson DeChambeau, Gary Woodland, Ian Poulter, Tony Finau and Sergio Garcia. The other big names are Cameron Champ, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner, Billy Horschel, Jim Furyk and Patrick Cantlay. You can’t actually play as the pros but instead go head-to-head with them across famous PGA Tour courses and you can even set them as your on-course rivals. 

• Meet the man who collects golf books

• The very best pubs in St Andrews

There’s a PGA Tour career mode

This is the key component of the game and one that works well. You can opt to start at the very bottom of the ladder and work your way through Korn Ferry Tour Q-School, right the way through to the PGA Tour to eventually mix it with the big guns. The alternative is chucking yourself right in at the deep end and kick-starting your career on the PGA Tour from the get-go. 

As you complete events on the PGA TOUR, you will be awarded FedExCup Points based on your finishing position. These points are important in securing the FedExCup and becoming the FedExCup Champion, the ultimate goal of the career mode.

It features real courses

A standout feature is that you are able to 'play' on real-life courses. HB Studios has the license to 15 PGA Tour layout which means you can fulfil a lifelong dream, albeit digitally, of working your way around some of the best golf courses that America has to offer.

The full list of licensed courses is: Atlantic Beach Country Club, Copperhead Course, East Lake Golf Club, Quail Hollow Club, Riviera Country Club, TPC Boston, TPC Deere Run, TPC Louisiana, TPC River Highlands, TPC San Antonio, TPC Sawgrass, TPC Scottsdale, TPC Southwind, TPC Summerlin, TPC Twin Cities.

• Who is the caddie for Brooks Koepka?

Whilst the licensed courses bring a brilliant sense of realism to the game-play experience, unfortunately the major tournaments are not licensed, meaning that they do not feature in the game. 

There's no doubt that some players will be hugely disappointed that they're not be able to tee it up at Augusta National HB Studios revealed that it is always looking to add new licensed courses to the game but, with the system it uses to scan courses to generate an exact in-game replica, you get the sense the Green Jackets won’t be letting them in to do that anytime soon. 

• The world's coolest golf buggies

Build the bag of your dreams

One of the most exciting parts of EA’s Tiger Woods games was the option to be able to buy real drivers, real shirts, real gloves and real balls and receiving boosts for doing so. PGA Tour 2K21 brings that back and it’s better than before. 

HB Studios has been able to incorporate all of the latest clubs on the market. You can chop and change every club from your driver right through to your putter. If you want TaylorMade’s SIM driver, Callaway’s Mavrik irons and an Odyssey Triple Track putter all in your bag, then no problem. Be careful, though. All the clubs have different levels of distance, shot shaping, forgiveness, swing plane and distance control, so it is truly authentic. Kitting out your bag really doesn’t get much more fun than this.

Pgatour2K21

Verdict

If you love golf and gaming, then this really does have to go straight into the shopping basket. 

HB Studios has managed to create a golf game that finds a beautiful balance between enjoying your time out on the course, shaping shots and attacking pins whilst also being able to immerse yourself in the menus, putting together your golf bag and cultivating sponsor relationships - yes, you really can do that! 

Whilst the majors don’t feature (no doubt, that's a bit of a blow) and the actual mechanics of the golf swing are simple, PGA Tour 2K21 delivers exactly what you want from a golf game.

• PGA Tour 2K21 will be available on PS4, XBOX One, Nintendo Switch and PC. The game is released on August 21 and is available to pre-order now.

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