New Tiger Woods Game Brings Masters Tournament, Jim Nantz

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Well, there you have it. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 isn’t even out yet and it’s already making me cast disappointed glances at Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11.

I love golf. Real life golf. I also happen to think that golf games are one of the greatest uses of motion-controlled video game technology to date. I’ve been with the Tiger Woods series for longer than I can remember, but things really began to feel much more realistic when it came out on the Wii.

The series has had its ups and downs, for sure. Poor putting mechanics overshadowed by even worse audio commentary marred certain iterations terribly, while certain years felt pretty close to perfect. This next version, however, is shaping up to be the most dynamite title in the series.

For starters, EA has completely overhauled the audio presentation. The early years with McCord and Feherty were bright days. Then we got Torrance and Tilghman, also known as the Dark Ages. Then we got Tilghman and Van Pelt, which felt forced but was a huge step up from the Dark Ages yet not nearly as good as the McCord and Feherty years. This time around, we have David Feherty and none other than Jim Nantz himself. It ought to be wonderful.

And you can’t have Jim Nantz without the Masters Tournament, arguably one of the greatest tournaments in all of American golf. And you can’t have the Masters without Augusta National, arguably one of the greatest golf courses in the world. According to EA’s press release:

“For the first time ever, EA SPORTS utilized a new state-of-the art laser scanning technology at Augusta National Golf Club to laser scan every hole featured in the game. This will provide players with the most authentic digital representation of the Tournament and Par 3 courses. Every tree, every azalea and every undulation in every green was recreated down to the smallest detail.”

My oh my, I do believe I’ve caught the vapors.

There’s also a new caddie element where your trusted sidekick will dispense shot-by-shot advice to you, more than 20 golfers to choose from, and 16 courses to play.

I’m looking forward to the PS3 version this time around, as it’s been developed specifically for the PlayStation Move controller. Tiger Woods 11 added Move support after the fact but the implementation was clunky enough that I found myself playing the Wii version despite how nice the courses and player models looked on the PS3.

The game will be out on March 29th for the PS3, Xbox ($60 each), and Wii ($50). There will also be a special collector’s edition for the PS3 that’ll run $70 and feature five additional courses.

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