Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is available now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and it marks a return to golfing greatness for EA Sports. With over a dozen courses available, a handful of pros from the Pro Golfers Association, and a number of other modes to play online and off, it's got something to offer for both golf lovers and casual players alike.
Here are some tips that will help you get into the game, so you can master your swing and nail birdie after birdie…and perhaps even a few eagles as well.
Getting the Most Out of Your Swing
We'll be covering the mechanics of the three swing systems available in the game in a later article, but, for now, we'll talk about the basics when it comes to keeping your ball from rolling out of bounds.
First off, you'll want to use the preview button – either Triangle or Y button, depending on your version – before every swing. Even if you think you've got your shot figured out, you'll want to look further down the course for bunkers or water hazards. When you play on an easier setting, you'll actually see a blue line that shows where the ball is going to go. Use this as a guidance tool before you smack one off the tee.
Also, keep a close eye on wind. If gusts are coming up over five miles an hour, you're likely to see an effect on the ball's path as it's in the air. This, along with the distance your shot will take, enables you to adjust your aim in preview mode before hitting the ball. Use it every chance you get, even if the course looks deceptively open. You never know when it isn't going to roll your way.
In addition, don't forget the other tools available to you. When you go in for your back swing, you can hit the X or A button (depending on version) multiple times to add more power to your shot. This is especially useful on par 5's, when you're trying to get as much distance covered as possible getting to the green. You'll still want to make adjustments, but power certainly makes all the difference.
Don't forget your spin as well. While the ball is in the air, hold the analog stick in the direction you want the spin to go and tap the X or A button. Doing it multiple times will put a backspin, side spin or forward spin on your shot, allowing you to adjust for when it lands. This can make all the difference in getting an easier putt – or staying out of bounds.
Those are some of the basics to keep in mind, but we'll cover them more in-depth with our swing article next week.
The Power of Putting
When you do get to the green, sometimes you'll need to putt once or twice in order to get the ball in the hole. Now, the putting system is different from previous games, so make sure you pay attention to this.
As you first line up your putt, you'll see a guidance line that leads to the hole. Be sure to press the Triangle or Y button to get a closer look at the terrain – sometimes, you'll see curves or uphill/downhill changes that make a difference in the ball's momentum. From there, line up your putt with quick adjustments.
The best thing you can do when it comes to getting proper putts is to aim your putter just where the guideline begins to break on the course. You'll have to adjust speed along the way, but this gives you an idea of where the ball will curve after you hit it. It's not always a guaranteed success, but, at the very least, you can get it closer to the hole so your second shot is a tap-in.
Don't hit the ball too hard, unless you're facing an uphill run. In that case, feel free to make an adjustment of a couple of feet on distance, and it'll roll closer to the hole. Otherwise, it's going to go right past it – and you could very well face an even worse putt than the one you just went through. Make sure to get the proper power going.
Coming Out of the Rough or Sand
Finally, you're going to get in some out-of-bounds trouble every once in a while, like if you misjudge a shot or send it flying a little too fast. In this case, on the easier setting, your club will automatically be chosen for you, so that you can just aim for where you want the ball to go back on the course and swing away. Otherwise, you'll want to find the right club for the job.
Avoid the wood clubs. These are meant for power on a smooth surface and get almost nothing done coming out of hazards. Instead, stick with your power and sand wedge, depending on how close you are to the hole. A good iron may also be used, given that the distance is right, but otherwise just stick with the smaller wedges. With these, you'll get back on the course, where you can continue your stride towards the green. It beats leaving a divot and having your ball only go a few feet.
Good luck – and go get those aces!