Review – Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is a game that will appeal to core fans of the series but is tough for newcomers to get into.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 brings several new features to the long-running golfing series. It includes an all-new perspective, called True Aim, that replicates the actual golfing experience by removing the “bird eye” view and allowing golfers to track their shot from an on-the-ground perspective. In addition, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 features Shot Focus, an expendable meter of points that can be utilized to add spin or draw to a shot, to boost power or to improve aim. Finally, the game features the Ryder Cup this year, the premiere tournament between the United States and Europe’s best golfers.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 offers a lot of changes, but does it all add up to a great experience? Well, that really depends on your understanding of the game of golf and your willingness to take a long time to learn the game and improve your golfer.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 again offers the ability to create your own custom golfer to lead through a long career. Unfortunately, your golfer begins with a  low skill-set, which makes achieving par a notable feat. Which makes playing the game an often frustrating experience.

Your golfer has trouble hitting the long ball, and his ability to control draw and spin at the beginning of his career is weak, meaning he (or she) has limited control over the ball. What this adds up to is a frustrating early experience.

Making it even more frustrating is the added difficulty of a “career”. With my created golfer I played several courses for fun using the “Play Now” feature and could achieve an overall score around par or just above par, but when I played the same course during an actual tournament in my career, the game made it much tougher. The wind was amped up, and with my weak skill-set, I was lucky to hit the green in regulation. That +1 or +2 score from my practice round easily became a +10. Even after playing for hours and hours I couldn’t get my skills up enough to bring me within striking distance of the lead.

That isn’t to say, however, that the game isn’t fun. Because it is. I found myself coming back again and again to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. I wanted to gain XP in order to improve my golfer and I enjoyed playing for fun. My advice would just to be to play for fun and gain XP that way before finally diving into a “career” when your golfer is up to snuff. Looking WAY up the leaderboard isn’t very fun.

The golf courses look quite gorgeous in most cases, which makes the golfing more fun as well. Particularly gorgeous is the TPC Boston course that features fall foliage, ponds shining in the late daylight, and reeds waving along the edge of creeks.

For golfers who have played Tiger Woods PGA Tour for years, the new True Aim feature should really appeal. True Aim essentially puts you right on the ground level, you see the course as the golfer see’s it. Distance markers on the course help you choose a club and when you hit the ball you watch it’s arc from the ground. It makes for a highly realistic experience, which is great if you have the talent to enjoy it. It’s a gift there for experienced users, and it is a great feature.

Beyond that, the Ryder Cup gameplay is great in multiplayer but lacks in single player. In multiplayer you can join a group of other members, playing together for the lowest score as you attempt to add to either the U.S. or European score. In single player, however, you are forced to watch your teammate swing, which greatly slows down the game, and because you aren’t in control of the teammate, it can be a frustrating game in which they just might be awful while you have a great game, negating your hard work. It’s realistic, I suppose, but not very much fun when it happens.

The variety of courses, however, is great, as is the customization available. Building up your golfer from a lowly beginner to a Tiger Woods-esque great is fantastic fun, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is addicting.

I can’t fully recommend it for beginners because of how frustrating the beginning stages of a career can be, but it offers great improvements for series veterans and golf fans should definitely check it out.