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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.


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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

 BA_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?
TaylorMade R11S 10* w/ Penley Stealth 70 stiff
TaylorMade RBZ 15* w/ Penley Stealth 65 xstiff
Titleist 910H 17* (set at A4, 18.25*) w/ Diamana 'ahina stiff
TaylorMade R9 TP +1" 2*up w/ KBS Tour xstiff
TaylorMade Tour Preferred CB 51* w/ DG XP x100 (swapping to KBS Tour xstiff)
Titleist Vokey Spin Milled 54*
Titleist Vokey Spin Milled 60*
Odyssey 2Ball V-Line extended to 38" w/ SuperStroke XL2.0 and 50g CB weight

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#8 JCat04

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 05:13 AM

 AllShowNoDough, 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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