PGA Tour players: they’re just like us! Okay, not really at all, but according to an interesting story on Yahoo!, some Tour golfers have admitted to playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters as a way to get a first look and a feel for courses they will be playing in upcoming tournaments. Thanks to EA Sports’ use of “a combination of ground-based, survey grade GPS mapping and aerial stereo photography to create a digital terrain model,” the game play on the newest version of the game is hyper-realistic or as realistic as sitting on your butt and playing a video game can be to actually doing something that requires some semblance of physical exertion.
Some of the golfers who point to the benefits of the simulation provided by the video game? Bubba Watson, who used it to prepare for this week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass (via Yahoo!):
“It settles me down, relieves the stress,” Watson said. “It’s just fun to play. It does help you to remember the course and layout, remember where stuff is located. It’s just like a yardage book. Plus when you put it on the hard mode, it’s very realistic at Sawgrass. Seventeen is really realistic.”
Joining Watson is Rickie Fowler, who practiced playing Augusta on Tiger Woods 12:
“When I played Augusta for the first time, I learned that seeing it on the game can teach you quite a bit about the course,” said Rickie Fowler, who made his Masters debut in April. “When they made it (the video game), they wanted it to be done perfectly, and they did that. It’s pretty crazy how close they got it to being like it is on the real course. The game helps you with your angles off the tees a bit, and it gives you an overhead view that is very helpful. And the breaks on the greens are pretty true. I liked the video game a lot, especially since I am in it. That is pretty cool.”
You got that right, Rickie. It is pretty cool. But guess what? I’m in the game, too, although the guy I created for the game is in far better shape than me…and much, much better looking. Sigh.
It is, however, pretty cool how all the hard work and effort the designers put into creating the game has apparently paid off in its realism. Sadly, for most golfers who enjoy playing the video game as well, we are never afforded the opportunity to make a comparative analysis between the game and the actual courses, so we’ll have to take their word for it.