Golf : The Perfect Game

Board game by Wrebbit (Canada)
These remarks copyright 1996 by Steffan O'Sullivan
This page last updated April 5, 1996

Golf : the Perfect Game is a fun boardgame of one of the more frustrating sports in the world. The board game adequately reflects this, as you will occasionally chip a shot over the green back and forth a few times before managing to get it close. But actually, the game yields very professional scores when all's said and done: we usually shoot between 67 and 75 on the par 72 course.

The game consists of a rather large box, with an attractive board that represents nine holes on each side. There are small golf balls on different colored tees to represent the different players (up to 6 can play), and a real golf tee that you spin to see who tees off first. There are numerous cards in the game: stroke cards, woods cards, water cards, sand cards, rookie, professional, penalty and bonus cards. There are two dice for putting, plus a putting cup and distance cards if you want to resolve the putting with a real golf ball and putter (not included). Finally there is a thick pad of score sheets, some play money, and an instruction booklet. JPG image of the game.

Each player is dealt three stroke cards. A stroke card has three figures on it, each with an accompanying arrow: Drive shot, Fairway shot, Approach shot. You must look over your cards and plan your approach to the green with them: do you use up your only good drive card, but waste the great approach shot that is on the same card? And so on. As a card is played, you lay it on the table to count strokes at the end of the hole. You may not use the other shots on the card - only one of the three possible shots.

Each hole has three playable lanes between the tee and the flag. Each stroke card shot has an arrow with the number. So you might have a choice of teeing off with a 200-yard shot straight down the fairway, or a 160-yard shot that hooks one lane left, or a 240-yard shot that slices to the right. Each hole is clearly marked with a line every ten yards. There are also hazards, of course: water, woods, and sand traps.

If you hit the ball into the woods or water, you have to draw a Woods or Water card, which tells you what happens - usually something humorous. You might get lucky and have your ball bounce onto the fairway, but odds are you'll have to take a penalty stroke (lay down another card), and place the ball on the appropriate spot on the fairway. Likewise, if you hit the ball out of bounds (playing a left arrow when already in the left lane, for example), you must take a penalty stroke and continue.

Sand traps are handled differently - you lay down your stroke card, then draw a Sand card, which tells how close to your attempted shot you came. You might hit it further, or shorter, or have your club travel farther than the ball . . .

Two different options are given for putting: dice or an actual cup to putt into. Also, if you hit the flag exactly with a Drive or Fairway shot, you simply add one putt without having to resolve it otherwise. If you hit the flag with an Approach shot, you chip it in without having to putt at all.

Numerous ways to play the game are given: Match play, Mettle play, Best Ball, Skins, Vegas, "Six" Golf, and Money Golf. The latter uses the play money, Professional, Rookie, Bonus, and Penalty cards, all of which direct you to gain or lose money. In addition, each Water and Woods card also carries a fine or bonus. The one with the most money at the end of the game wins this version, regardless of who has the lowest score!

The game plays quickly and straightforward, and is a lot of fun. Not heavy on the brain cells, it nonetheless requires some thought to work out which stroke cards to save and which to use, and can you get two or three to add up to the flag distance before you play that drive, etc. It's a good family game, one that children and adults can enjoy together, and also makes a good lunch-hour game, as you can finish a standard game in about 50-55 minutes. The board is attractive, and the play fun, so it's recommended.

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