Whatever happened to...PC Golf Games?


With a job, wife, house, child and another on the way, it’s been years since I’ve been able to get out to a golf course for the real thing. So I started looking around to get a fix for my golf jones and…there’s nothing out there. Where did all the golf games go?

Heck, I remember Mean 18. I played the living hell and designed courses for JNSE. I remember playing Total Pro Golf. I was one of the best in the world at Links '97. I dabbled in Microsoft Golf. I learned the truswing in PGA tour which later became Tiger Woods. I liked the goofy Pangya for a while there. I know there’s been more. Virtually ever since I’ve been playing PC games, I’ve had a golf game.

I have Tiger Woods 2004 and the graphics are severely dated. Yet many say TW 2008 isn’t much beter - and that’s the last golf game made for the PC. So where’d they go? I don’t want some namby-pamby browser golf game. I want one I can make courses on. I want one with real physics.



Golf is too exciting for the computer. People couldn’t handle the intensity with merely a mouse and so it all migrated to the heavier duty gaming platform of the consoles. :-)

Honestly? I’m guessing sales had something to do with it. And there are still golf games made for the PC, just not Tiger Woods. Bill Harris keeps talking about some PC golf sim on his blog, as I recall.


Tiger Woods Online


Links 386 Pro.


Golf games (like almost all PC sports games) just did not sell well enough in the last few years. EA used to have PC versions of most of their sports games, but compared to console sales its just not worth it to them to make PC ports.


EA hates the PC hockey crowd, too. Sure, they keep sending us annual NHL updates, but it’s always a port of the PS2 version. It’s the same game year after year, except for the rosters.


I don’t remember when it came out, but my favorite was the one made by Sid Meier. The course design was more fun than the actual golfing.

A quick google reminded me that Sid Meier’s Simgolf came out in 2002 and you are not only the course designer but the resident pro and the resort manager of the course that you design.

It was really great fun.


I liked SimGolf. It was amusing.


Ah, Simgolf. I loved that game! I wonder how well it runs on a current PC? Crap, now I have to go find it and buy it and play it, LOL!

Edit: Not on GOG!


The last PC golf game I played was SimGolf, but the Maxis one, not the Sid Meier one. All I remember is that it had the new-at-the-time method of swinging by moving your mouse that was rather hard to pull off, and a fairly small number of holes included.


Oh, that one. It sucked. As you discovered.

Real Time Swing didn’t “work” until Vance Cook changed the golf sim world with his TruSwing, in the old Sierra PGA Golf sim. I remember the day that the Sierra PR rep called me and told me that Vance and Headgate were moving over to EA to join the Tiger Woods franchise (which was pretty crappy until Headgate took over.)


Blackadar, thanks for reminding me about Mean 18. The first PC game I ever played was Mean 18, on my dad’s portable computer that he loaned out from his company. I’m having hard time remembering if it was color or green and black. I learned my first DOS commands on that thing.

The last PC golf simulation that I remember was Links, and I remember playing it multiplayer with the guys I lived with in… 2003? We were also playing Tiger Woods on the PS2 and going to the driving range 3x a week at the time. What can I say, we were huge into golf.

You say you want “real physics” - if you really want a golf sim steer well clear of Sid Meier’s SimGolf. Great game, but not exactly hardcore, as you can probably tell from any screenshots you looked up.


Oh, I’ve played SimGolf (both the Sid Meier and the other one). And Links 386 Pro. I think I’ve played virtually every golf game made.

SimGolf was fun, but not particularly deep. At least you could make your courses though.






Well crap. Is SimGolf (the Meier version) available on any of the services like GOG (it’s not on there?)


Home of the Underdogs says it’s on chipsbits.com, but that site doesn’t open for me…


Chips & Bits was a web/mail-order retailer, though, not a digital distributor.


I must say, this is looking pretty good. I mean, it may be browser based, but it looks a lot like it’s very similar to previous full Tiger games.


I had the most fun with Pangya (was called Albatross 18 here)

it went under, then another company bought it and it should be re-releasing sometime ‘soon’. Was a surprisingly deep gold game, though not of the realistic ala Tiger Woods but more of a Hot Shots style.