From drive to putt: a list and brief description of some the best golfing games on the internet
Your Daily Golf Fix
There was a time when the uhh... ahem, “sport” of golf was considered a fairly elite pastime for those with way too much money in their wallets and way too many inches on their waist line. Now, to a certain extent, this is still true since golf club memberships are still mightily expensive, the clubs themselves carry a hefty price tag, and to be seen driving anything less prestigious than a BMW around the car park would have you laughed out of the clubhouse before you could shank your first ball into the rough and never see it again. Things don’t have to be this way forever, mind you, at least not in the wonderful world of flash-based golfing games, anyhow. Golf games have always been popular and as time goes by, newer and more brilliant titles are released to give people the golf fix they need, and I’m here to tell you about a few of the best golfing titles we have to offer. From the traditional golf as we know it to some more wacky interpretations of the sport, we have all the humiliation-free golfing splendour you could hope for.
I’m no golf purist by any stretch of the imagination, but sometimes, just sometimes, I want a golf game that doesn’t mess about, and for this I turn to the wonderful Verti Golf. A 3D golf title that leans towards the crazy golf format only without the incessant wackiness that is often associated with crazy golf, Verti Golf involves some straight-up putting action across a wide variety of holes with intricate designs. With a mesmerising set of backgrounds and some pretty complex courses to guide your ball around, this game’s sequel, Verti Golf 2, also has an entirely new set of courses with even more interesting structures and challenging obstacles for you to overcome with your golfing skill. Though these two titles don’t concern themselves with the traditional 9 or 18 hole-style golf format, they are impressive nonetheless and make a refreshing change from the rigid and repetitive golfing standard.
Though a little lacking in the graphics and sound department, Everybody’s Golf is another title that sits on the more serious side of the golf game spectrum and reminds us of early golf games on old school gaming systems like the Amiga such as PGA European Tour. The game is a side-scrolling golf game that involves driving the ball as well as simply putting it. Unlike Verti Golf, Everybody’s golf is in 2D and is viewed from a side-on perspective where you must choose the angle and power of your shot with the mouse in order to direct it forcefully towards the hole. With many pitfalls like bunkers, ponds, and trees to overcome, this simple-yet-challenging game is perfect for anyone that gets sick of golf games that claim to be “crazy” or “wacky”.
You know when Mousebreaker gets involved that you’re in for a bit of a unique take on the sport that is being simulated, and Golf Jam is of course no exception to the unique Mousebreaker touch. Far from a regular golf match, this game involves hitting the ball at a variety of targets or onto greens in a closed environment much like a driving range. Choose the direction, angle, and power of your swing with the mouse and let her rip to see if you can judge the tricky viewing angle accurately enough to get your ball as close to the target as possible. It isn’t the most well-designed of games but it does the job as a suitable alternative to the traditional game.
Turbo Nuke is also a notorious developer of many talents, and when they turn their hands to golf, a game like Turbo Golf is the result. As another side-scrolling, 2D golfing game, the format is nothing new (just see games like Super Stickman Golf) but the upgrade system, power-ups, and general structure of the game is reminiscent of an arcade style of gaming, with quick gameplay leading to earning money with which to purchase power-ups and golf club upgrades. Such an upwards progression is more akin to an RPG game than a sports one, but this unique take on the sport is perhaps one of the most entertaining ones I have ever played in the confines of a browser.
Sand-wedges and Silliness
When you are in a mindset where serious sports games simply will not do, it’s time to turn to the wackier and heavily alternative/extreme-indie sports games. Zombie Golf Riot is one of the crazier versions of golf that you will find out there and involves decapitating a zombie with a chainsaw with one swift swing in order to get the decapitated head to travel as far as possible. Though a very basic game with little structure or longevity to speak of, this one is for those wishing to vent some frustration as quickly and as violently as possible
Like wackiness? Love cartoons? Perhaps you have an affinity for games that include classic cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Yogi Bear, or Fred Flinstone? The only option for you here would be to have a go at Crazy Canyon Golf, another distance-based golf game where you simply have to launch the ball as far as possible, avoiding hindering objects and occasionally hitting the odd box of dynamite here and there to help propel your ball further. This is another game with very little in the way of incentives to get drawn in for the long haul but is a bit of silly fun nonetheless.