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The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA TOUR


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#1 JCat04

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 02:31 PM

I haven't seen this discussed here, but last week HB Studios announced that they'd signed a license agreement with the PGA TOUR for their forthcoming golf game, now titled The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA TOUR.  From all that I've read and seen, TGC 2019 was already shaping up to be a great golf game on its own, but this license might very well give the franchise more street cred and ups its ante in the marketplace.



I've owned the PC and both console versions of each of the prior releases of The Golf Club (The Golf Club and The Golf Club 2) and have enjoyed them both, although I can easily say that The Golf Club 2 has more enduring gameplay, thanks to its implementation of a swing tempo component in its thumbstick swing interface.  It requires more feel and intuition from the gamer to manage the tempo and affords the opportunity for a greater shot dispersion.  The tempo component is a bit simplified, as it calls for the player to match the backswing and downswing speed in a 1:1 ratio, with there being a game selected ideal for what that speed is to attain "Perfect/Perfect" tempo.  Even at that, it's still refreshing to have another variable to manage with the stick input, as it does add another dimension to the feel of the game.

As for TGC 2019 Featuring PGA TOUR, HB Sports is planning to build on the tempo swing with one that can yield a higher array of shot outcomes, such as a pull/fade, or a push/draw.  It looks pretty compelling based on the alpha version preview demo they showed on their official You Tube Channel.  TGC 2019 will also implement SpeedTrees into the game for the first time, which will allow for GUI instancing, making the game run much more efficiently.  HB Studios is looking into the possibility of offering a 4K/HDR version of the game for XBox One X and PS4 Pro, and I think SpeedTrees will be an asset that could make that become a reality.

One other new feature of TGC 2019 that I think will appeal to a lot of golf gamers is their inclusion of Online Matchmaking and Private Matchmaking.  Which are described on the official website as follows:

Online Matchmaking brings a new streamlined experience to The Golf Club franchise for competitive play. Compete on any of the approved and official courses in a round of Head to Head Match Play, 2-4 player Stroke Play, Alt-shot or Fourball Team Play, or put your virtual currency on the line in wager matches featuring Skins. (PSPlus and Xbox Live are required for this feature)

Private Matches allow the player the full benefits of Matchmaking with the control over who is invited to play, the course played, round format used and additional conditions for each match. (PSPlus and Xbox Live are required for this feature)

The previous TGC titles did not utilize XBox Live and PSPlus and the gameplay actions of your opponents lagged anywhere from 2 to 7 seconds behind their actual occurence, making it feel awkward and out of sync.  They also didn't have any online matchmaking capability or ability to invite players to a match until you were on the first tee.  I think the new approach is going to feel a lot like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010 through 2014's approach to online matchmaking and execution.

Finally, HB Studios is going to be conducting a PC version Stress Test for the online multiplayer part of the game, probably within a week or so.  It's open for everyone with a PC that meets their minimum requirements to sign up for.  It needs to be pushed to see if it's up to speed, with at least four or five hundred participants.  If you're interested in this - and I strongly encourage everyone to try it, as it will also give you a feel for what this new game has to offer - go to this link and sign up:

http://www.hb-studio....html#msg293944

You'll have to register as a member of HB Studios, if you're not already one, but that's a simple process also.  Oh, and when you're filling out the Google Docs entry form, make sure you use your Steam Account Name (the one you use to login to Steam with, not your User Name/Gamer Tag that's shown in gameplay).  The field on the form for that entry says "Steam ID", and that's throwing a lot of people off... including me until I got clarification from HB Studios.

Edited by JCat04, 14 July 2018 - 10:26 AM.


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#2 JCat04

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 08:58 AM

I was able to play a total of 108 holes of the pre-beta version of TGC 2019 Featuring PGA TOUR this past week during the three day 'Stress Test'.  HB Studios was primarily interested in testing the game's ability to cope with its new real time, online multiplayer interface, but they also asked for testers to provide bug reports and feedback on the new swing interface.  Only two fictional, yet realistic courses were available for play and they were conversions of two TGC 2 courses: Faxon Park and Weymiss Bay Golf Links.  We didn't get to see any of the six licensed PGA TOUR courses in the test, but we may get a at least a glimpse at them this week at the 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Overall, I was pleased with what I saw, even though the pre-beta was pretty bare bones in terms of tailoring your player and making club type choices, but again, the emphasis was on stress testing the servers for multiplayer play and connectivity.  I only encountered one, very minor hint of network lag, in the from of  camera pan lag, coming from one specific player in a live, alternate-shot match I played, but I had to be looking for it to really notice it was there.  I tried both the online, ranked matchmaking, which for the test only had stroke play, in simultaneous... ie. not turn base play mode.  It was smooth and reminded me of the online matchmaking in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 through 14.

I also got to try out the Private Matchmaking function, which did enable match play, skins, alt-shot, stroke, and fourball.  Turn base play based upon the 'order of play' rules of golf is in effect in the non-stroke play there, and is an option in stroke play.  This play option delivered smooth game play and I did see some hints in the help files that there will be a dedicated voice chat facility built into TGC 2019, although it wasn't enabled in this pre-beta version.

What impressed me the most about TGC 2019 was how much more realistic both the chipping game and playing shots out of the rough are now.  I've seen nothing to compare to the realistic difficulty, feel, and execution each presents.  Every chip shot I played (30+) in the demo portrayed a believable trajectory and roll-out.  The execution of chip shots was not as easy to control, as the interface seemed to be more realistically scaled to push, pull, scuff or pop-up based on both your swing path and tempo.  You can also take your real life golf mindset into the rough with you, as both the distance and the control affect are proportionally related to the density of the rough and the slope of your lie.

It's also worth noting that for the first time in controller based computer and video game golf gameplay, I actually executed swings that resulted in a push hook, and a few that resulted in a pull fade.  The swing feedback meter gave me telemetry to illustrate why this happened, and to the credit of the raw interface itself, I could already feel some hint in my left thumb (you can opt for a left or right thumbstick swing control, but I've always preferred left).  The tempo factor seems to be more varied and granular in TGC 2019, than TGC 2, but the severity for fast tempo errors doesn't seem to be as punitive at this point.  I think some work is needed in the interface tuning there and fed that back to HBS, as did others.

I'm really anxious to see how this game unfolds, especially how effectively HBS utilizes their PGA TOUR license.  They eventually want to have a 32 event PGA TOUR season that features 32 licensed PGA TOUR courses in their PGA TOUR career mode.  Actual PGA TOUR player licensing is a different issue, and I've seen nothing concrete written about that yet.  HBS does say that they're in for the long haul with their PGA TOUR license.  I may know more after E3, and if I learn anything more I'll share it here.

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#3 BA_Luck

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:13 AM

is there a spin button?

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#4 JCat04

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 12:39 PM

View PostBA_Luck, on 11 June 2018 - 11:13 AM, said:

is there a spin button?

If you mean in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 through 2014 Amateur difficulty mode post shot spin sense, No... thank Heaven!  You can affect the spin by your shot setup and lofting of the club, pre-shot, and honestly, I think they go a bit too far in giving you too much ability add or detract spin, by lowering or increasing loft.  This game still plays far more like a simulation than an arcade game though, IMO.

Edited by JCat04, 11 June 2018 - 12:41 PM.


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#5 JCat04

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:42 PM

Anyone planning to attend the 2018 E3?  HB Studios will be showing The Golf Club 2019. Featuring PGA TOUR at a venue a few blocks away from the LA Convention center.  They're saying what they will be demonstrating a 'fully playable version' of the game, which I hope means it will be showing off some of its PGA TOUR license utilization.  If anyone here is planning to go, I'd like to implore you to look them up and share your impressions here.  The location of HB Studios venue is:

1309 South Flower Street Los Angeles, CA 90015, one block from the LA Convention Center.


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#6 JCat04

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Posted 16 June 2018 - 05:27 AM

Game Informer published a report of their exposure at E3 to The Golf Club 2019 yesterday.  The writer spends more time talking about the game's career mode than anything else, but if you're into career mode play, this should answer a number of your questions.  Here's a link:

https://www.gameinfo...st-the-pga-tour

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#7 AllShowNoDough

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Posted 16 June 2018 - 08:07 AM

I was just telling a buddy about this. I've seen some videos of TGC2 lately and the course design feature and attention to detail are incredible. I instantly wanted to get it but I think I can hold out until TGC2019 releases.

Any idea on a release date? If they are releasing beta dates I gotta assume it will be out around September or so?
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#8 JCat04

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 05:13 AM

View PostAllShowNoDough, on 16 June 2018 - 08:07 AM, said:

I was just telling a buddy about this. I've seen some videos of TGC2 lately and the course design feature and attention to detail are incredible. I instantly wanted to get it but I think I can hold out until TGC2019 releases.

Any idea on a release date? If they are releasing beta dates I gotta assume it will be out around September or so?

HB Studios says they are still targeting an August release for all three platforms.  I've heard from one E3 goer who visited The Golf Club 2019's venue that Sawgrass was painstakingly rendered on the XBox One version he played (HBS was demoing it on the XBox One X, so there might be some XBox One X enhancement going on here) and he added that it played just as well as the PC version of TGC 2019 played during his three days with it during the Stress test beta the week before last.

HB Studios can't release any images or video of the PGA TOUR licensed courses until they are finalized.  I'd say we'll have some of each by the end of June, but that's just an educated guess on my part.

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#9 JCat04

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 02:10 PM

I didn't realize that I had not listed the six, licensed PGA TOUR courses that would be included with the game when it releases in August, until someone asked me about them in a PM.   Here they are:

TPC Summerlin (home of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open)
TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open)
TPC Sawgrass’ THE PLAYERS Stadium Course (THE PLAYERS Championship)
TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic and future home of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship)
TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic)
TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

Edited by JCat04, 21 June 2018 - 02:11 PM.


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#10 JCat04

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 07:53 AM

Okay, we finally have some video from a couple of the PGA TOUR licensed courses in the game: TPC Deere Run and TPC Boston.  The user interface is mostly off in these videos, so you won't get to see the operation of the swing feedback meter and how the tempo is impacting the shot, but HB Studios says that will be coming in later videos.




Edited by JCat04, 14 July 2018 - 10:25 AM.


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#11 BoogieThumper

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 09:36 AM

I'm looking forward to this, my only issue with last year's game was that the ball seemed to check out of the rough and roll out hitting from a clean lie in the fairway. Another small complaint was the sound through impact with an iron. I don't know what that sound was but it's not ball first turf. I'll take off my complainer hat now and say the game is awesome and it'll only get better with the PGA on board. Good for thee guys taking down EA
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#12 BA_Luck

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 10:26 AM

View PostBoogieThumper, on 06 July 2018 - 09:36 AM, said:

I'm looking forward to this, my only issue with last year's game was that the ball seemed to check out of the rough and roll out hitting from a clean lie in the fairway. Another small complaint was the sound through impact with an iron. I don't know what that sound was but it's not ball first turf. I'll take off my complainer hat now and say the game is awesome and it'll only get better with the PGA on board. Good for thee guys taking down EA
See guys, there's still a need for a spin button.

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#13 JCat04

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 10:34 AM

View PostBoogieThumper, on 06 July 2018 - 09:36 AM, said:

I'm looking forward to this, my only issue with last year's game was that the ball seemed to check out of the rough and roll out hitting from a clean lie in the fairway. Another small complaint was the sound through impact with an iron. I don't know what that sound was but it's not ball first turf. I'll take off my complainer hat now and say the game is awesome and it'll only get better with the PGA on board. Good for thee guys taking down EA

I played probably 30 chips during the stress test beta on TGC 2019.  I didn't experience one checking chip during that span.  I would have had 3 or 4 over the same number of chips in TGC 2.  The feel of chips shots is better overall in TGC 2019.  They're also harder to hit straight (thankfully), as they were too easy to hit straight in TGC 2.

Edited by JCat04, 08 July 2018 - 05:56 PM.


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#14 JCat04

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:04 AM

View PostBA_Luck, on 06 July 2018 - 10:26 AM, said:

See guys, there's still a need for a spin button.

Shhhhh… :fie:  don't give them and ideas, they've already got limited shot previews for the game's two lower difficulty levels.  Five for Beginner and three for Pro.  Thankfully the Master level is devoid of it!

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#15 JCat04

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 04:18 PM

I just picked up an interesting tidbit about the audio for TGC 2019.  This was posted in the official forum by John McCarthy, Senior Audio Designer for the game:

We’ve made improvements to the crowd sounds this year. That whole system is built by Anthony (the other half of the audio dept). He’s done some great work this year - in particular, the 16th at Scottsdale has crowd sounds that you’ll only hear there. And yes they won’t be pleased if you miss the green off the tee :)

That could be worth the price of admission if it's done right, which I think it will be, HB Studios has done a very good job with audio in this series, IMO.  Oh, and there will be a professional broadcast announcer in the mix this year, although they haven't announced who just yet.

Edited by JCat04, 08 July 2018 - 05:57 PM.


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#16 JCat04

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 02:33 PM

HB Studios just published another PGA TOUR course video for TGC 2019.  This one is of TPC Southwind, hole 18.  Unfortunately, this one is limited to 1080p, whereas the prior two videos had 2160p options.  It looks a bit bland in comparison if you have a 4K display.  They also aren't showing swing feedback and shot telemetry yet, but that's supposed to be coming in future videos.


Edited by JCat04, 13 July 2018 - 02:34 PM.


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#17 Marc21Golf

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 10:36 AM

Hope they have a VR version of this too.  HTC I own VR version, Golf Club 1 and 2 all for PC.  Can't stop playing the vr version.  too much fun

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#18 JCat04

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 06:25 PM

View PostMarc21Golf, on 19 July 2018 - 10:36 AM, said:

Hope they have a VR version of this too.  HTC I own VR version, Golf Club 1 and 2 all for PC.  Can't stop playing the vr version.  too much fun

They haven't announced a VR version yet, but if this turns out to be a success as released, I think they'd give it some consideration.

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#19 JCat04

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 06:36 PM

Some really good gameplay video was released today on You Tube.  The first one shows an 18 hole matchplay match, featuring TGC 2019's new real time multiplayer support.  I find it to be far more atmospheric now that they've tweaked the SpeedTrees to look so natural looking, and free of pop-in.  I also really like the offset views of your playing companion from slightly behind them.  It makes it feel like you are more independent of them, and not "in their huddle" as they play their shot.  This video caps out at 1080p, but it still looks very spiffy, IMO.



If that wasn't enough, Sports Gamers Online released several holes of gameplay video from the PGA TOUR Career mode.  This one can be viewed in 2160p, and it looks fantastic at that res!



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#20 JCat04

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 09:39 AM

Techie Update:

For those of you who are PS4 Pro, or XBox One X owners, HB Studios confirmed late last week that they will be supporting the two premium consoles with enhanced options.  The PS4 Pro version will allow the game to be rendered at 1600p and upscaled to 4K, while the XBox One X version can be both rendered and displayed at 4K.  The down side is that both of these options will locked at 30 FPS, so there is a trade off there.  I'll post more on this as the information is released.  I'm hoping for one or two more 'Quality/Performance' options that will allow the gamer to better choose a res and frame rate combination that best suits their preferences.

Edited by JCat04, 27 July 2018 - 09:39 AM.


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#21 Shipwreck

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 05:48 AM

I love the GCT games except 2 things:
The animations of the golfers looks terrible. Just plain awful like they got some chop golfer to try and imitate his friend whos a worse golfer than he is.

The commentator. Fortunately you can turn him off but good lord is he terrible.
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#22 JCat04

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 04:05 PM

View PostShipwreck, on 28 July 2018 - 05:48 AM, said:

I love the GCT games except 2 things:
The animations of the golfers looks terrible. Just plain awful like they got some chop golfer to try and imitate his friend who's a worse golfer than he is.

The commentator. Fortunately you can turn him off but good lord is he terrible.

Yeah, I've seen much better animations in terms of swing quality.  However, the male and female golfer animations in this game are motion captures of Pro golfers; Kirk Oguri and Jessica Carafiello (I know, not household names).  I think something went wrong with Kirk's motion capture because I saw video of him swinging a club, and his left arm isn't bent in his IRL swing like it is in the game.  OTOH, I do think the swings in TGC 2 are much more fluid and convey more feedback about what you're doing with the stick.  I wish they would work on this some more though, but they say motion capture sessions and translations are very expensive.

The announcer in the game, John McCarthy, is not a professional announcer (obviously), he's a member of the development team.  I think he does a decent job as an amateur, but I can understand why people would pass on his presence.  HB Studios did contract with Luke Elvy, a golf announcer with Fox Sports, and he will be included in the audio for The Golf Club 2019.  His participation will not be contextual though.  He will only be commenting in PGA TOUR career mode at the start, end of front nine, and after the final hole of rounds played at any of the six, included TPC courses in the game.  I'd have liked to have him as at least an 'analyst' in the game in any mode.

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#23 Corifto

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 10:14 AM

I am still waiting for the announcement of release date.  I was going to buy #2 but found out this was releasing soon so I'm just waiting.

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#24 JCat04

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 08:26 PM

View PostCorifto, on 05 August 2018 - 10:14 AM, said:

I am still waiting for the announcement of release date.  I was going to buy #2 but found out this was releasing soon so I'm just waiting.

Something developed during the middle of last week that I think has thrown a monkey wrench into the works about their release date announcement.  I get the impression that they[ve either gotten a contract on a last minute, official PGA TOUR course license (like maybe another one of the FedEx Cup courses), that they have to sign and finalize, or they've signed a 'cover' athlete, and the legalese needs to be finished up with that.  

Also, It sounds like they haven't been certified by both Sony and Microsoft on their submissions for distribution approval.  They have to have BOTH console licensees approval before they can announce a release date.  I'd be willing to bet we'll have a release date announcement by August 9th.

Edited by JCat04, 06 August 2018 - 09:37 AM.


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#25 Corifto

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 07:35 AM

Great information, thank you!


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#26 Shipwreck

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 06:06 PM

For anyone interested, Golf Club 2 is on sale for PS4 right now for stupid cheap. I think its like $5 or something.
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#27 macedan

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 07:01 PM

Looks crisp. Hopefully sand physics receive some needed updates
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#28 itshedley

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 10:24 AM

I was left really disappointed with the way the ball hits the sand or rough both in terms of sound and animation that all the ground seems like one flat plain that is just colored differently. The video of TGC2019 doesn't give me much hope of an improvement. That being said, if its the only golf game available - I'll play it.
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#29 JCat04

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 02:32 PM

Release date of August 21 just confirmed on next week's release slate at ID@XBox.com.  HB Studios is staging this for a multiplatform release, so that means it will also be available on PSN and Steam for the PS4 and PC the same day... it's showtime baby!

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#30 Corifto

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 02:42 PM

Finalllllyyy


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