Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters Review
By mustang6560 on 3/30/11
As I drove to Best Buy to pick up Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters, I couldn't help but wonder if I was going to be impressed with the video game or disappointed. I've heard from avid gamers that the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series was beginning to get stale so I was a little concerned I would not be impressed. I am not an avid gamer. In fact, Tiger Woods was going to be my first experience of the game.

The excitement was building as I walked through the sliding doors at Best Buy. I was really surprised to see no in-store point of purchase displays featuring the debut of the new game, especially since Augusta National is the featured course. For most golfers and golf fans, Tiger Woods 12 is the only way they'll be able to play Augusta National.

Getting Started

Andrew brought his Playstation 3 to the office and we hooked it up to the projector to view Augusta National on the big screen. The game starts with Jim Nantz narrating about the prestige and history and mystique that makes The Masters so special. Then, the game leads you into a virtual championship where you are Tiger Woods and you're tied with Anthony Kim at -8 heading into the 18th hole on Sunday. My excitement had now reached a new high.

Here I was, excited just to be able to play Augusta National. And now I'm about to virtually experience what it's like to be staring down the fairway of the 18th hole dead-locked against one of the best players in the world knowing I have a shot to win not only a major championship, but The Masters! Andrew took the first shot and hit a screaming drive down the gut. I followed up with an approach shot that left an 8-foot birdie putt to win. The line of the putt was straight but we all know how deceiving the putts are at Augusta National. With the controller vibrating to add to the pressure, Andrew pulled the left joystick back and let it go.

You could hear the crowd exhale (not really) and time froze as the putt rolled end over end into the bottom of the cup. B-I-R-D-I-E! And thanks to Andrew and I, we helped Tiger win another green jacket! I don't think EA could have a better introduction to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters.

The Experience

I wasn't sure if I would be able to jump right into playing Augusta National or if I would have to unlock it somehow. Rest assured, you don't have to make it through Q-School or anything. You can select "Play Now" and you'll be on your way to experience The Masters.

Because the game centered around The Masters, I went into this expecting (almost demanding) the graphics and everything about the game to be perfect. Augusta National developed a reputation for perfection, which is a good quality to have. But, it is a tough expectation to live up to each and every year. Don't let me build it up too much for you, however, I was very impressed with my first experience.

Every detail of the game is precise. From the brilliant colors, to the crowds of people to the gentle breeze, you can't help but feel like you're there. Even the caddies jumpsuit moves in the wind. It's hard for the camera to pick up the elevation changes at Augusta National but EA did a great job of letting you see how much the elevation will affect you as you play. If you want to feel like you're at The Masters, then you'll want to pick up a copy of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters.

New Features

After I setup my avatar, I was ready to hit my drive on hole 1 "Tea Olive". The first thing you notice is that you have a caddie with your last name on his jumpsuit ready to help you navigate the course. The caddie feature is a great addition because besides giving you expert advice, it adds to the whole experience. There is something about seeing your name that is exciting!

Each hole starts with a brief introduction by Jim Nantz. This small, minute is just another way EA enhances the experience. By default, your caddie provides you with two recommended shots off the tee. You can create a customer shot, but why go through the work when you've got an expert working the course with you? They did make it easy to turn off the caddie feature. All you have to do is press the circle button and he disappears. I could see after you played a few holes or after you completed your first round that the caddie may get old. It's nice at first though, especially for a novice like myself.

While the obvious appeal of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is Augusta National, EA did try to enhance the overall experience by making a few adjustments. To get some perspective, we invited a few friends to try out Tiger Woods 12. The overall consensus is the new iteration makes putting easier, which in turn makes it more fun.

There is a bigger emphasis on developing your virtual golf skills. The new career mode focuses on teaching you how to play and more forces you to improve as a virtual golfer. If you want to start from the bottom and work your way up, you can begin on the amateur tour and work your way through the Nationwide Tour, Q-School, the PGA Tour and eventually qualify for The Masters.

The One Con

As cool as Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is, I have more beef with it - not enough courses. I think this is a memory issue, but depending on the game system, you are only given 20 or so courses to choose from. Yea, I know they have Augusta National, but it would be cool if you had the option to play a couple hundred different courses. I also think they need to include a couple generic "muni" courses for the amateur qualifying. To me, EA did such a great job with the overall experience, I think it's a little cheap that I'd be playing TPC San Antonio as an amateur. I'm not sure in reality as an amateur I'd get to play such a nice course. If you're trying to simulate the experience of making it


Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is available on the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360. Unfortunately, we didn't get to use the motion controls available with the PS3 Move or the Wii, which would've added to the review, if not the experience. I always found the Wii controller to be a bit gimicky, especially for playing alone in a room trying to advance your career. There is no question though- when playing with a group- motion controllers add to the hilarity and fun. The game starts at $49.99 for the Wii and the PS3 and Xbox 360 version is $59.99. There is also an exclusive Collectors Edition available for the PlaySation 3.

My overall impression of Tiger Woods 12: The Masters is position. I would recommend this game for gamers who enjoy sports games and golf in particular. I'm not sure how well this game would translate to non-sports fans. I'll say this though, I'm considering buying a PS3 so I can get a copy for myself.

[ comments ]
nickmomrik says:
I haven't bought a copy of a TW game in years, but will be picking up a copy of this edition for the Xbox 360. Can't wait to play Augusta!
rmumph1 says:
I wish you guys would have tried it with the PS3 Move. I want to know how that responds with this year's game.
tcjonny says:
the collectors edition has like 6 extra courses, so... i figure its worth an extra 10 bucks, if they charged like $10 for packs of 15-20 courses as an add i that'd be nice, but you know it'll be like $4.99 a course and they'll be lame
mattshaver says:
i've found that the caddie's recommendations end up sucking more than they help. within a few hours of playing, i had to resort to just picking all my shots myself since i kept ending up in the rough or a bunker every time i picked the caddie's shot.
Kickntrue says:
@mattshaver- I didn't have that experience. I thought in general the Caddie did okay. Not great on putts but for someone picking up the game for the first time- I think it was solid and made it a lot easier. No collectors edition down here in MS- at least the Best Buy we tried. We would've done that otherwise.
BME_Badger says:
@Kickntrue - how about an OOB Masters tourney over the next 2 weeks?
BME_Badger says:
@rmumph1 - I have the PS3 with Move and it works pretty well. It's tough as a golfer to start because it's like you're just swinging the grip of your club and you miss the feedback that you're used to of the weight of the club head. Because there is no weight I feel myself leaving the 'face' open a lot.

I only had a chance to play the first am tourney last night, I hope to get more time with it tonight.
Jattruia says:
i second the oob masters tourney....
RyanLigon says:
I finally turned a corner with it today. The putting was driving me crazy but I finally got it and finally passed the first challenge. Now I'm trucking. I'm in for a tournament too.
rmumph1 says:
I'm in on tourney

Badger, bought my copy last night. Played the 1st tourney, had tought time putting and reaching full swing power. I wish there was a way to calibrate what your full power should be. I hat having to bring the controller over my head to have it at full power. Overall, good game. I don't have alot of room where I play, so I may stand to close to the camera.
The Ghost says:
Playing with the motion controller is what makes the game very well done. It make a take a little time to get used to it but it adds to the golf experience
KVSmith59 says:
I'm thinking of buying it for the wii as I have the motion plus controller and the balance board. Anyone else try it this way? A few years ago I had purchased another golf game and rigged up one of those plastic golf sticks that came with it. Basicaly cut the head off, got some pvc pipe and attached the section that holds the controller on one end and put the head on the other. Added some extra weight and felt more realistic. The controller part wasn't designed for the motion controller so I may need to find one of those....if you decide to modify one, make sure you secure it well...don't want the thing flying apart and going through your tv :)
mantajim says:
Picked it up the day it came out. I've already made my way onto the PGA tour and won my first tournament. The flyby of each hole is nice, especially of Augusta. Haven't play TW golf for a couple of years, but getting to play The Masters was worth it.
jfurr says:
@KVSmith59 - I ordered a "chicken stick" which is a real golf grip/shaft that attaches to the wii controller and motion plus, it's on the way - I sure hope it helps.
Ren MaCleary says:
I can't say I'm all that impressed with this version. Ya, you'll be able to play Augusta, but with an annoying bagboy,crappy putting style, and the same old tiger moves, I think i'll stick with '10
Texkaecu says:
Maybe it's just me that gets bugged by this, but why are there only 100 spectators? Just patches of people here and there, not the enormous crowds we all know. Arnie's Army wasn't 43 people okay, it was thousands! When I'm playing Tiger Woods and my created guy can bomb 400+ yd drives, nail 60 ft putts with his eyes closed and shoot sub 50 on a reg basis, I want a darn mammoth crowd going absolutely nuts!! Pretty much my only complaint.
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