Whether you think of it as a good walk ruined, or are intent on getting your handicap down, there’s no debate that there’s a massive video game draw for golf. Yet after a few lean years, the options have begun to open up considerably. And come this March, EA SPORTS will be pushing the stick-swinging boundaries like never before with EA SPORTS PGA TOUR.
There are multiple golf games you can play on current consoles and PC, but over the last few years the finest have come from HB Studios and 2K. In fact, PGA TOUR 2K23 has only been with us a matter of a few months.
But with any sport, there’s really only one team that looks to push things further than others, and having gone quiet on the golf scene for a number of years, EA SPORTS are back – some seven years after their last golf game – delivering what may be the finest, most realistic, most detailed golfing experience yet. That game is EA SPORTS PGA TOUR.
Thanks to EA, we’ve seen PGA TOUR in action, and honestly, it looks the bomb; full of stunning visuals, plenty of courses, our favourite pros, numerous shot types and more. It means that come March, when EA SPORTS PGA TOUR releases to the world, we’d expect this to quickly become the most sought after golf game on the market.
It’ll be arriving as a new-gen title only, moving away from Xbox One and PS4 to launch on Xbox Series X|S, PS5 and PC, through the EA App, Steam and Epic. And it’ll be March 24th 2023 when it all tees off, becoming the exclusive home of all four golf majors in the process.
Yep, EA are keen to stress that PGA TOUR will allow you to play through the Masters Tournament, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open Championship and The Open. And from there, a live service will drop additional content throughout the 2023 PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour seasons.
“We’re bringing the premier PGA TOUR experience to players around the world with real-world golf data powering incredibly realistic gameplay with every shot, and some of the most iconic courses in the world rendered in painstaking detail,” said Cam Weber, EVP and GM, EA SPORTS. “From The Old Course at St Andrews Links to Pebble Beach Golf Links and more, we’re giving players the chance to tee off in bucket list golf experiences like never before in EA SPORTS PGA TOUR.”
For many, the addition of the majors is going to be an instant selling point, but there is still a ton more included in EA SPORTS PGA TOUR to keep you busy away from that.
Thirty courses will see the likes of Augusta National, Pebble Beach,Torrey Pines, The Old Course at St Andrews and more all present, whilst the courses that played host to the 2021 and 2022 majors will complement them. You should expect to find further courses releasing post-launch.
Other players may well prefer to focus on the career and this is a mode in which you’ll be able to play ‘your way’. An RPG-like progression system works in through the Road to the Masters, as you create, customise and play as your own unique golfer. Skills will be upgraded as you play, ensuring that you get the chance to fit every course’s unique feature set, whilst no less than twenty shot types will give you everything you need at hand.
This is very much a case of ‘pick a shot’ then ‘pick a club’, as you hone your driving, your approach play and short game. Of course, utilising green reads will be vital as you grab for the putter.
The ultimate goal in the career will be to become a major champ, taking on the best of the PGA TOUR and chasing for the FedExCup. But there will be championships aside from that too, including the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, US Amateur and more.
And yes, that does mean that EA have a huge focus on the women’s game too. The LPGA is front and centre in fact, with The Amundi Evian Championship right there. A number of themed LPGA challenges will help aid things, whilst Iona Stephen will be seen as the first female on-course commentator in-game. Joining Iona are a super solid comms team, including the one and only Nick Faldo.
So what else do you want in EA SPORTS PGA TOUR? Well, it goes without saying that EA are looking to ensure that this is the most realistic, most life-like golf game yet and through the power of EA’s Frostbite engine and with use of some state of the art equipment and ‘boots on the ground’ time, the courses included will be seen as near exact replicas. Expect all the usual fittings and fixings you would see in the real-world, and it’ll be replicated here.
No two courses will play the same either, with every single tee, fairway, piece of rough and green scanned and handcrafted to suit. In basic terms, EA have gone down to the finest of fine details, even ensuring that different blades of grass will have different effects on your shot and lie.
There’s more though. For real-world golfers, EA SPORTS PGA TOUR should prove to be the ultimate virtual replica. Pure Strike gameplay is promised as ShotLink is integrated, bringing the PGA’s proprietary real-time scoring system to game. It’s this that ensures accurate player ratings and the like, whilst TrackMan Data covers the 3D ball flights that we NEED in our lives. And then moving a little more into the fantasy world, PGA TOUR adds in shot boosts, equipment blueprints and a host of in-game Challenges.
It’s all very exciting, but for us it must be the 16-player simultaneous online play that really seals the deal. We’ve seen this in action and it looks like it could well mean that EA SPORTS PGA TOUR is capable of delivering a stunning online golf experience – no waiting around twiddling your fingers as you wait for your opponents to play their shots. If you’d prefer, full couch co-op, online play, matchmaking and private round hostings will also be present.
Oh yeah, and with an initial analogue swing type in-house, followed by a 3-click mechanism post-launch, anyone and everyone can swing with the best of them. Just be aware that the lowest shooters and finest players will be those taking in the finer details of every shot.
So, those key features summarised include:
- World Famous Courses – The tee is yours at 30 courses, including some of the world’s most prominent venues such as Augusta National Golf Club, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Southern Hills Country Club, The Old Course at St Andrews Links, The Country Club, Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course, Torrey Pines, Evian Resort Golf Club in Évian-les-Bains, France, East Lake Golf Club, TPC Southwind, The Los Angeles Country Club, Wilmington Country Club and more. EA SPORTS PGA TOUR will also feature the past major host courses in 2021 and 2022 as well as the new 2023 majors courses releasing post-launch.
- Your Career, Your Way – EA SPORTS PGA TOUR provides players with an RPG-like progression system on the Road to the Masters. As their golf game improves, the closer they’ll be to becoming a major champion. Players will be able to create and customize a golfer, develop their skills and master each course to attack every hole like a pro. With 20 shot types available as players progress in the game, they can enhance their skill set for driving, approach, short game, or putting, depending on their style. Players will be able to compete to become a major champion, and take on the PGA TOUR’s best events in the season-long chase for the FedExCup, as well as conquer the top Amateur Championships including the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the U.S. Amateur, and other elite international amateur events.
- THE PLAYERS Championship and FedExCup Playoffs – The PLAYERS Championship and all three events of the FedExCup Playoffs will be in the game, and players can earn in-game FedExCup points in Career Mode for the opportunity to compete in the FedExCup Playoffs. As part of the Career mode, top golfers at the end of the year will be given the opportunity to win the FedExCup.
- Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and The Amundi Evian Championship – In partnership with the LPGA, EA SPORTS PGA TOUR allows fans to compete at The Amundi Evian Championship, one of the LPGA Tour’s five major championships, and have the opportunity to play as several female athletes as well as create a female golfer in the overhauled Create-A-Player feature. Players will also be able to participate in a series of LPGA-themed challenges and other events. Iona Stephen will be joining the EA commentary team as the first female on-course commentator in-game, bringing her experienced insights from both playing professionally and working in golf broadcasting.
- True-to-Life Course Visuals – EA SPORTS PGA TOUR will also present the most realistic visuals in any golf game utilizing EA’s Frostbite™ engine. Using state-of-the-art equipment such as drone technology, custom LiDAR flight helicopters and more to develop terrain maps, EA SPORTS PGA TOUR depicts courses exactly as they appear in real life. The photogrammetry and scanners were also applied to create precise renderings of clubhouses, iconic vegetation, bridges, tee markers, rock formations, and other on-course elements offering players life-like visual experiences of their favorite courses.
- ShotLink® – Utilizing ShotLink® powered by CDW, the PGA TOUR’s proprietary real-time scoring system since 2001, golfers will authentically be replicated with accurate player ratings, skills and magnified true-to-life in-game events.
- TrackMan Data – Insights implemented from TrackMan, a world leader in 3D ball flight measurement and swing analysis, is a critical component to authentic gameplay utilizing a myriad of stats including club tuning, flight trajectory, landing position and much more.
We can’t wait to get fully hand-on with EA SPORTS PGA TOUR as it releases on Xbox Series X|S, PS5 and PC come March 24th 2023 – remember, there is no love for older generation consoles.
You can get pre-ordering it from today. Your basic Standard Edition will be available alongside the Deluxe Edition of EA SPORTS PGA TOUR; it’s this which will be found delivering three-days early access to both the game and Augusta National, THE PLAYERS Championship Gear, The Grand Slam Gear Bundle, Scotty Cameron Putter in-game, 1,500 Premium PGA TOUR points, a PGA TOUR XP Bundle and The Masters gear.
EA Play subscribers will also find ten-hours of early access can be theirs from March 21st.
Give the trailer below a watch and let us know how excited you are for EA SPORTS PGA TOUR.
Huge thanks go out to EA for inviting us to their presentation and overview of all things EA SPORTS PGA TOUR. It really is in the game.