Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 Game Poster Image
Accessible yet deep (and attractive) golf game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Men from the PGA and women from the LPGA are both in the game.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

Tiger's sponsors, such as Nike, can be seen in the game on apparel.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a golf simulation game. There's no controversial content, but you can play online. Common Sense Media doesn't recommend kids under the age of 12 playing online unsupervised. Both women and men golfers are represented in the game.

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What's it about?

While EA Sports' TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 09 is similar to last year's golf simulation -- in fact, on the surface it might seem like the same game -- the folks at EA Tiburon in Florida added a golf cart-full of new features to justify the purchase.

For one, wannabe pros can now have their very own coach -- Tiger Woods' real-life instructor, Hank Haney, no less -- who will analyze your performance and suggest areas of improvement. And for those who want more control over their shots, they will enjoy the optional Club Tuner feature that allows players to tune their individual driver, wedges, irons, and woods to get the most out of every club. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 also offers a few new online features. One is a few bonus "instant challenges," such as long drive, approach shots, and putting, earning players GameNet points to increase their rank on the leaderboard. Even more impressive, however, is a new multiplayer mode for up to four players who want to engage in a round of golf simultaneously. Yes, now you no longer have to wait for your buddies to take their shot -- you can just watch their colored ball trails in the sky while you tee up for your shot. New courses and golfers are also packed into this new console game (regrettably, there isn't a PC version for the first time in the series). The 16 exotic locations include these new additions: Sheshan Golf Club in China, Gary Player Country Club in South Africa, Wentworth Country Club in England, Wolf Creek in Nevada, and Bay Hill Country Club in Florida. Si Re Pak, Nick Dougherty, Darren Clarke, and Rory McIlroy join the ranks for virtual golfers.

Is it any good?

The game makers did a great job tweaking the controls to making them even more accessible. You can hit the ball in one of two ways: the main control scheme is using the controller's dual analog sticks, where the left stick is pulled back and then pushed forward to hit the ball. Players can also opt for the classic "tri-click" method found in older golf games. The Nintendo Wii version, which is another game altogether called Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09: All Play, takes advantage of the Wii's motion-sensing remote.

All of these new features such as a pro coach, club tuning, new online modes, and additional golfers and courses make this version a deep yet accessible golf experience. Players will find EA Sports is not resting on its laurels with its untouchable golf game -- instead, they've managed to not just improve last year's version but add significantly to it. As in real life, Tiger Woods crushes the competition and is in a category all its own.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether the new features -- such as a pro coach, club tuning, new online modes, and additional golfers and courses -- justify the $60 price tag if you already own last year's version. Do game publishers, such as EA Sports, expect players to buy a "new" game every 12 months? Which golf course is your favorite and why?

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