EA Sports PGA Tour – PC Review

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EA Sports have returned! Well they haven’t really returned, but they have removed Rory and left behind Tiger. It’s now the age of EA Sports PGA Tour. Yes it’s a mouthful, but it works. Recently released, we managed to take to the course and on the first tee.

EA Sports PGA Tour, Fore the Golfers!

How are you finding EA Sports PGA Tour? Do you have a favourite course, and why is it Augusta? Let us know in the comments.


As with any golf game, the main focus for me is how the game feels to play. Golf as a game is all about the connection from backswing through the transition to downswing. So how does EA Sports PGA Tour handle that feeling? Actually really well. With EA’s new Purestrike system, it brings a more fluid system to your golf swing. Incorporating 20 shot types with fluid swing mechanics and realistic ball behaviour. You can be sure that the shot you hit has the most accurate outcome for each and every shot.

Golfer standing over their shot, looking towards the green on a par 3 shot. on screen is the shot arc as well as the swing meter. A visual indicator showing the position of the pin in relation to the player is also shown. Bottom right you have the shot type, club, impact point as well as the lie indicator.
Somebody’s Closer!

Let’s get the controls out of the way. Traditional golf controls are in abundance. You get to choose from a multitude of control parameters when you first start the game. These include what stick you use for general shots, and what stick you want to use for putting. There is a lot of gameplay options, and if I went into everything you will be reading for at least ten minutes before getting to the good stuff. Each control option either makes the game harder or easier, entirely your preference. Personally with a golf game I like to keep it enjoyable, but have a challenge. So middle of the road options for me.

Shaping up well

The most impressive part of the new Purestrike system is the 20 shot types available to you now. We cant go into all of them but you get shots for your drive, approach, short game and putting. Each are opened up as you play more with your created golfer and level them up. This allows you to shape how your golfer will play. Whether you want a big driver, then you are going to want to aim to get the Power Drive shot type. Then heading up the fairway, you want to be more aggressive and be able to stop the ball quick on the greens. You might want the Knock Down shot type. There is something for everyone.

holing the putt from distance the indicator around the cup signifies that show was a birdie.
It’s all in the hips!

When you are stood over your shot you can also shape the shot in any way you want. Be it a fade if you need to go around a tree, or even a draw. Using the right stick gives you some adjustments to where you attack the ball. Giving you even more freedom to hit that perfect shot.

Courses for days

If you have been following EA Sports PGA Tour for a while, you will know that it comes with an incredible lineup of courses. Featuring Augusta National, St Andrews, Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass, Teeth of the Dog as well as many many others. There are in total 28 real courses, and 2 fantasy courses on release. This in itself is an incredible number, especially when each course has been recreated using the Frostbite Engine. The Frostbite engine in EA Sports PGA Tour has been used to lovingly create each surface as well as each. This allows each shot to behave accurately whether you are in the first cut or the deep rough.

Each course has been laser scanned to meticulous detail. It is actually impressive the amount of detail on these courses. The scanning doesn’t end with just the course either, with the surrounding club houses, bridges, tee markers and more. Meaning EA Sports PGA Tour is hands down the most detail I have ever seen on a golf course!

our golfer standing over a shot behind a tree. The shot arc shows the ball striking the tree
Where were you on that one dips?


Before taking to the links, you get to choose your golfer. Now you can quickly pick one of the pre made options, or go through and edit them to your own liking. In typical EA Customisation options, you can go through the face, hair, eyebrows, nose, even the specific height of your character. Personally, this isn’t the most fun part. You will have more fun choosing your clothing for each round you play. So 4 rounds per competition, means 4 garish outfits that you can pick and customise. Sounds great right! Having all that choice at your fingertips I am sure you will come up with some fantastic outfits. Look at the example of shirts available below.

a bright Hawaiian shirt is worn by our golfer in the customisation options. paying for the shirt in either currency or tokens all earned through the career mode.
I bet Shooter doesn’t have a shirt this loud!

To earn money for your new threads you are going to have to enter some tournaments. Don’t worry these are generally all available for you to choose from without much worry. Each competition plays out like its real life counterpart. Days 1 and 2 are there for you to make the cut. You are always told where the cut point is. Generally this is even par, or 1 or 2 over. Depending on which tournament type option you are playing will mean you play a certain number of holes yourself, followed by the remaining being simulated. This allows you to get through a whole tournament in quick time. In general if you played the full 4 days of a quick tournament you would eventually play through the full 18 holes.

So you will get to experience the full course regardless. Once you have placed you are then rewarded with XP, this allows you to increase the abilities of your golfer.

Graphics & Audio

As mentioned above the courses on EA Sports PGA Tour are incredibly detailed. From the grass detail all the way to the surrounding environments, everything is intricately detailed to the last millimetre. That is entirely thanks to what the Frostbite Engine is capable of.

Our golfer is standing behind their  next drive admiring the view. A large area of sand in front of you with trees to the left and hilly area to the right.
Chubbs would have loved this view

The UI is incredibly detailed, giving you information such as lie, what club you are using, shot type and the impact point on the ball. All of this is accompanied by the button prompts along the bottom, giving you a brief reminder as to what does what. Around the character, you can have the swing path turned on as well as the aiming arc. This can be turned completely off so you just get a rough idea of where you are hitting. Alternatively, you can have it short to just show the apex of the ball flight or to show the entirety of the ball flight. It’s entirely up to you and how you want to play the game.

Graphical gripes

My only gripe with the graphics on the game was a couple of times when close to an object the camera would default to try and look through the obstruction. This led to me having to change the camera angle or at one point I just had to guess where the shot was going to land. It isn’t a game breaker, but a little frustrating nonetheless. The only other issue was the crowds. I get that you can’t individually model each person in the crowd, but it felt all too often that people who stood next to each other were doing the same movements. In the same way, if you happen to hit the ball into the crowd, they just stand there. Again it’s a small thing but takes the shine off of the otherwise perfect presentation.

this image shows the camera issue when you are too close to an obstruction. The issue with this view was the white canopy for the stand was obscuring the white logos down in the bottom left to be able to remember which button changed the camera angle.
Oh, Yeah. Lotta Pressure. You Gotta Rise Above It

The audio presentation however is faultless. The commentators were always on hand for little bits of information about the golfers, the golf course itself and even little hints as to your progress on course. The on course sounds are what you would expect to hear from a golf game. Nothing except the odd chirp of birds followed by the swoosh and thwack of the club striking the ball. Its spot on.


Hours, days, months, where do you stop? EA Sports PGA Tour’s longevity is really down to how much you want to play. You can simulate rounds if you want to get to some of the bigger tournaments, or alternatively, you can play every hole in every round. Each option will give you a different time on the game. The one thing that will stay the same, is your desire to come back and play it more. Having played the majority of golf games that get released I have to say this is the one that I keep returning to. I don’t know whether it’s the EA Factor and having the sheer number of official courses in the game, or if it’s the ease of playing. It’s probably both in fairness.

Join up with some friends and play a round together. Although the option to take your shots, in turn, would be awesome rather than just a who finishes the first type. Enter into the competitions and tournaments that are on there each week. There is so much to do. Even opening reward boxes for completing challenges opens up other things to do. Each box gives you random clothing or even a bunch of XP to bolster your golfer.

EA Sports PGA Tour for me is the ultimate in golf simulators and I will be returning to play it a lot over the coming months of the golf season. Therefore EA Sports PGA Tour receives the coveted green jacket of a Thumb Culture Platinum Award.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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3 thoughts on “EA Sports PGA Tour – PC Review

  1. dont know what you are playing but this game is full of issues and odd physics and greens lie about breaks quite often per round and more???maybe a 3 starz out of 5. And there is a lot more i could say but ill ended here.

    1. I can honestly say that i didnt experience any moments like that through my play through. Its unfortunate that you have experienced those elements of the game.

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