I've been gagging for a good golf game. Sometimes you want nothing more than to kick back and have a virtual stroll about some pretty places knocking your balls about.
Unfortunately EA's Rory Mcllroy's Golf did nothing for me, it felt a bit unfinished and soulless, leaving the way free for HB Studio's The Golf Club: Collectors Edition to run in and nab the trophy of my heart.
First impressions aren't that great though. It looks a bit of a pig's ear. It's full of pop in, the frame rate isn't particularly stable and the menus are a bit of a nightmare to navigate.
There is a reason for the above problems though (well apart from the menus, which are more of a personal taste thing), loading times are pretty much eliminated between courses, so you spend your time actually playing the game and not staring at a loading screen, and secondly the courses are all built from the games powerful course editor.
You see The Golf Club: Collector's Edition has infinite course for you to play on, not only can you build your own, but you can choose to play a randomised course or download and play 18 hole monster tours your friends have made, or have a look at what the top ranked course are this week. This Collector's Edition also adds an all new season tour mode and tropical environments.
The search options are brilliant, you can even just select courses your friends have played on if you want a bit of competition, and as you play you see how they played, their balls being represented on-screen as you make your way around, it's a lovely touch. Of course you can also play your mates live if you wish.
Where The Golf Club: Collector's Edition really succeeds though is in the gameplay, no stuffy clutter to fill your screen, just a pure swing mechanic with no power bars in sight. It makes you really think about your shots, and with play you get better and better at judging your pitch and distance. Exactly how it should be. It should also be mentioned that the commentator is brilliant, and didn't annoy me much at all. A rarity for a golf game.
So from not being initially wowed by The Golf Club: Collector's Edition as I played more I came to realise that this is the most fun I've had with a golf game for a long, long time. Add to that the near endless courses for you to play and enjoy (or hate) and you've got yourself some cracking value for money.