EA SPORTS PGA TOUR's mechanics are as close to real-life golf as possible.

By Rayan, Posted 09 Apr 2023

As of 2015, PGA Tour is EA's first attempt at a golf game with official PGA licensing. When EA Sports announced their return to the golf series, most fans had high hopes that they would revisit the Tiger Woods series' heyday. Sadly this is not the case which forced conflicting opinions about this game. It's a new series, so it's not what fans are used to at all. This game is a great way to relive fond memories of previous EA SPORTS PGA TOUR titles (Tiger Woods, Rory) while expanding on them with better visuals.

Better in every way, including realism and aesthetic quality, EA SPORTS PGA TOUR's mechanics are as close to the real thing as possible. It may feel unfinished because of bugs in the graphics settings that trigger random crashes and the control scheme that relies on a controller rather than the mouse and keyboard. Nonetheless, this is a huge step forward for a franchise that has been absent for almost nine years.

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The most crucial test for any sports video game is how fun playing it is, being closest to real-life experience. In this regard, when it comes to being as close as possible to the experience of real-life golf, EA SPORTS PGA TOUR nails it there. The courses are gorgeous, the shot mechanics are engaging, the physics are solid, and there are several different game modes to keep things fresh.

However, the in-game commentary will grow stale as you progress through the game and become increasingly irrelevant. Whether this was an accident or an attempt to simulate what it's like to comment on a natural round of golf, there's only so much room for witty asides after each shot. When it comes to the shots themselves, however, I continue to be impressed by the commentary's meticulous attention to detail.

The majority of golf games center solely on how well you perform on the swing meter. If you time it just right, the ball will go straight in. It hardly matters what the actual course is. The PGA Tour is unique. You still need to play the course, so practicing your swing is important. The crucial choices, then, are those of club and shot. Every hole on the links will test your strategy in a different way.

In terms of timing, the swing is a catchall term. In EA SPORTS PGA TOUR, you need to quickly pull the stick back, wait for the power bar to fill up, and then rapidly push forward. Many of the game's challenges are designed to improve your skills and provide valuable training for when you play online competitively. As a bonus, you gain experience and new golfing accessories for completing these challenges, and your golfer levels up steadily.

EA Sports PGA Tour, PC, Review, Golf Game, Golf Simulator, Career Mode, Female Golfer, NoobFeed

There are some rough spots in the game that might have resulted from the developers having to get it out the door quickly so that it can coincide with Masters week. Online play is limited to a single game type, stroke play. The cameras' constant pursuit of the ball can get annoying, which can also be switched off or skipped. But the lack of instructions on how to play this game is my foremost gripe on EA SPORTS PGA TOUR. Although it's not very big, there are no clear instructions on how to play the game.

You might think participating in PGA coaching challenges would be instructive, but you would be wrong. There are 20 or so different types of shots, but none are explained in detail. For those who aren't very well-versed in the golfing world will be annoyed since switching between shot types during matches isn't accompanied by a brief explanation of what would happen. Yet the variations between each shot may seem too subtle for those well acquainted with golf. Without the addition of a tutorial or manual, the game seemed not meant for newcomers.

Because the terrain is more uniform and you have more influence over the mechanics of your swing, you'll take more responsibility for your misses and be able to hit shots with greater precision and consistency. The elimination of chance makes for a more competitive and skill-based experience, but at the expense of realism. This is one area where EA PGA really shines. Rather than being based on unrealistic assumptions like in traditional video games, the game's high skill ceiling is grounded in reality.

EA Sports PGA Tour, PC, Review, Golf Game, Golf Simulator, Career Mode, Female Golfer, NoobFeed

Due to the unpredictable wind and terrain, even if you take the same shot twice, you will likely get different results, making EA SPORTS PGA TOUR feel more like a simulation than a video game you can master. Before you take a swing, you need to think about what could go wrong rather than what you know will go wrong. This adds a new layer of challenge that most real-world golfers will likely enjoy.

With a large selection of challenging courses to play, a robust career mode, an experience point system for leveling up your golfer's stats, the option to make multiple players, online tournaments, and more, the game offers a lot of hours of fun. Those searching for a realistic simulation of the PGA Tour or an in-depth career mode should look no further. At the outset of Career Mode in EA SPORTS PGA TOUR, you can select a male or female custom golfer and customize a few features similar to FIFA 23. There are only a few premade faces to select from, a limited selection of hairstyles, and the requirement to use real money to outfit your character. Career Mode is a fun way to kill time, while the multimode of tournaments and Career Coaching Challenges provide a solid foundation on which to build your golfing skills.

Your enjoyment of the game of golf is the primary concern. Upon starting EA SPORTS PGA TOUR, you'll be tasked with designing your character, deciding on a set of physical attributes, and beginning the long, arduous process of leveling up your statistics by allocating a few points to the areas you hope to become a specialist. You can use any action, from a drive to a put, and you'll soon appreciate how crucial it is to your character's development.

EA Sports PGA Tour, PC, Review, Golf Game, Golf Simulator, Career Mode, Female Golfer, NoobFeed

Moreover, during the character creation process, we will be able to select not only the play style but also the character's attire, equipment, and other accessories. There will be several animations of swings and other specialized abilities from which to choose. Particularly, the ball's path, the swing's tempo, and other aspects of the shot are definable. All of this gets translated into a game that, at the very least, should cater to your tastes and make you feel at ease throughout every match.

In addition to a robust career mode, players can choose from a wide variety of modes. You can put your skills to the test in a wide variety of ways, with hundreds of challenges to choose from. This game has a lot more depth than it seems at first glance: Attaching glasses to specific clubs can improve their play, and players can otherwise tailor their appearance down to the strap they use to carry their golf bag and the footwear they wear on Day 2 of a tournament.

Sponsorship mini-games featuring one-on-one matches against the world's best golfers, Daily, Weekly, and Seasonal Online Tournaments, and the brand-new Online mode with support for up to 16 players at once ensure that you'll never find yourself wanting for things to do in EA SPORTS PGA TOUR. You can get a lot just by playing the game, and there is also the usual EA Sports microtransaction currency for when you run out of in-game cash and want to buy something from the ever-changing in-game store.

EA Sports PGA Tour, PC, Review, Golf Game, Golf Simulator, Career Mode, Female Golfer, NoobFeed

It's hard to believe how lifelike the ball is, as special care was taken with every element. The spectators give the game a sense of vitality, being able to hear the audience while you practice a shot and after you take one, only for them to grow silent as soon as you address the ball again for another shot. These are the elements that define a good golf game that other games of this genre should have picked.

If you land on a slope, the ball will not stay put on a slope, sending you into a downward spiral. Landing in thick rough or bunkers will result in a penalty because the shots will be more challenging. The only real issue is with the awkward and poorly animated facial expressions. The physics is spot on, and the courses are modeled beautifully.

EA SPORTS PGA TOUR isn't without its shortcomings too. Understandably, the game isn't for everyone, yet many will face trouble hitting the targets early on. There have been multiple instances of input delays and unexpected course corrections. Sometimes, the game would just crash without any explanation. Although they happen at seemingly random intervals, discovering the reason was difficult.

But after I disabled Steam's overlay while in-game and lowered the graphics settings to medium for the audience and character hair, the game never crashed again. Still, my PC is strong enough to run the game in its highest settings. Perhaps a patch would fix this issue. Also, the green grids and putting lines may not always coincide, so it's important to double-check. And most importantly, the in-game currency should be rewarded for participating in any tournaments that can be used in the stores for purchasing gear.


While EA SPORTS PGA TOUR isn't for everyone and can be tedious at times, it has plenty to offer golf fans thanks to its extensive course library, rewarding career mode, and user-friendly controls. The long hiatus seems to have served well; it has returned with the same high-quality simulation for which it is known and a renewed emphasis on satisfying fans' desires. With this structure, EA Sports will only move the franchise in a positive direction, and unless they really want to, it's impossible to falter from here.

If you aren't in a hurry, hold off for a couple of updates if you're going to play it on PC, and be sure to have a controller. While it seems like a game for the consoles, more improvements and new features will surely be implemented to make its settings more PC friendly. Despite its unusual facial animations and steep learning curve, it's a game I wholeheartedly recommend to every golf enthusiast.

Azfar Rayan (@AzfarRayan)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX
Publisher(s): Electronic Arts
Developer(s): Electronic Arts - Tiburon
Genres: Sports
Themes: Golf, Simulation
Release Date: 2023-04-07

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