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Focus: MyGolfHeaven: Our three favorite golf courses in Thailand

MyGolfHeaven: Our three favorite golf courses in Thailand

Francesco Diomaiuta, owner of MyGolfHeaven, tells golf fans from around the world the best places to play in this east Asian tourism powerhouse…

Thailand is a Golf Country! Maybe because Tiger Woods has family roots in Thailand, the weather allows you to play pretty much the whole year or because it is the world tourism capital.

If you haven’t played in Thailand yet, we have reviewed our top three golf courses in Thailand to help you make a pick when you’re here!

Combine this with an afternoon at the beach or a track through the jungle, and you have yourself the perfect golf holiday!

Keep reading!

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Black Mountain – Hua Hin

The Black Mountain Golf Course is located around two hours south of Bangkok, in a small beach village called Hua Hin.

You get there by public transportation from Bangkok or arrange a direct transfer from the airport. Contact the Black Mountain staff before your arrival, and they’ll be happy to arrange a transfer for you!

The award-winning, 27-hole golf course is split into three routes; East, North, and West. At the beginning of your round, you’ll be able to select which route you’ll play.

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Pro Tip – the North-West route offers you the best views of the mountains!

In 2012, Golf Digest awarded this course for being one of the best 100 golf courses outside the US and the best course in Asia in 2017. Many international competitions are being played here until this day.

As the name suggested, Black Mountain is located at the foot of lush, green hills and the fairways offer tricky angulations and changes in altitude.

Including the Championship tee-box, there are six different tee-boxes to choose from. The length ranges from 5,617 to 7,507 yards.

The course is known for its fast greens, tight fairways, and tricky design. The course is always in top condition and makes for an incredible playing experience!

If you tee off on the first hole, you’ll be able to see Thongchai Jaidee’s holiday residence right next to the tee-box!

The fact that a Thai PGA pro has a house right next to this course should already tell you that it is without a doubt one of the best courses you can play in Thailand – and probably the world!

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Nikanti – Bangkok

Yes, one of Thailand’s best golf courses is located in Bangkok! Or near Bangkok, to be exact.

What makes this golf course so good is the brilliant design by Pirapon Namatra, one of Thailand’s leading golf course designers, the immaculate conditions on the course, and the probably trickiest greens you can find in all Asia!

Everything is just a touch better at Nikanti – All caddies are professionally trained, all golf carts are equipped with GPS technology, Food, snacks, and drinks are complimentary for the whole day you’re playing!

The course itself is relatively short, only 6,789 from the back tees. Length won’t be the challenge of this course, as you can imagine.

You might decide to keep the driver in the bag for most of your round, and hitting a green in regulation doesn’t guarantee a par just yet. Driving Iron off the tee will often be the smarter choice!

The hole locations are always tricky, and the greens feature distinct angulations, which genuinely require you to plan your approach on every hole.

Hitting the ball on the wrong tier of a green might as well add an extra put unless you get lucky!

Fortunately, the greens are always pure, and despite the angulations, these are our favorite greens to play on in Thailand. While they are tricky, they roll pure and add another layer of complexity to the golf course.

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Grand Prix Golf Course – Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi is dubbed “The Switzerland of Thailand” because of its mountains and incredible views.

As a Swiss person, I can’t but agree.

Finding a top-notch golf course in a remote location like this might surprise you, but the Grand Prix Golf Course is truly a hidden gem, worth a visit!

Unlike Black Mountain, this is a links course and play anywhere from 5,534 – 7,111 yards! It features many water hazards, and strategically placed bunkers protect the greens.

What we love about this golf course is that it requires you to plan your approach shots carefully. Many fairways are split and need you to decide whether or not you lay up.

The greens have tiers, and depending on the pin location for the day, you’re left with a tricky put, even if you hit the green in regulation.

The greens are pure and run from anywhere between a 9.5-11 on the Stimp meter. They can also run quicker, depending on the weather conditions leading up to your round.

You are surrounded by picturesque mountain views on every hole, and the course is always in immaculate condition! What would you want more!

What To Do Next?

Thailand is an excellent place for your next golf holiday. It’s hard to pick only three courses to review, considering that the weather and typography of Thailand make for a fantastic golf experience!

Make sure you visit any of the courses on our list if you’re in town, and we hope you have an unforgettable experience playing some of Thailand’s best golf courses!

Visit MyGolfHeaven  for more Tips, guides, and equipment reviews!

Words and images: Francesco Diomaiuta

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This post originally posted here Breaking Travel News

FREE LIVE GOLF: Aramco Team Series

Lexi Thompson and Georgia Hall are among the stars in action at the Aramco Team Series, available to watch for free via Sky Sports Golf’s live YouTube stream; Tournament also live on Sky Sports Mix and via the red button on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 09/07/21 6:31pm

The Ladies European Tour heads back to England this week for the Aramco Team Series, with the event available to watch for free via Sky Sports Golf’s live YouTube stream.

The 54-hole event is played using an innovative format at the Centurion Club, where 36 teams containing three professionals and one amateur will tee it up, with team and individual competitions taking place at the same time.

Lexi Thompson is in action on the Ladies European Tour this week

Lexi Thompson is in action on the Ladies European Tour this week

The best two scores on each hole taken forward for the team competition, while each professional will also complete every hole and the score will be used for the individual competition.

Each team was designated a captain, based on the world ranking, with the 36 captains then allowed to select a player to join their side. A third professional and an amateur were then assigned at random to complete each line-up.

Live Ladies European Tour Golf

July 10, 2021, 1:30pm

Live on

Lexi Thompson has made the trip over from the USA to headline a strong field, with Race to Costa del Sol champion Emily Kristine Pedersen, Charley Hull and 2018 Women’s Open winner Georgia Hall among the others in action.

All three rounds will be able to watch live on Sky Sports Mix, the red button on Sky Sports Golf and – for free – via the Sky Sports Golf YouTube channel, with coverage from 1.30pm to 5.30pm each day.

Click on the video above to watch the Ladies European Tour live stream!

FREE LIVE GOLF: Aramco Team Series

Get the best prices and book a round at one of 1,700 courses across the UK & Ireland

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Read more here >>> SkySports | News

Random: Super Mario Sunshine's FLUDD Shows Up In The New Mario Golf Game

Mario Sunshine FLUDDNintendo Life

F.L.U.D.D. might not be a household name, but if you’re a longtime Mario fan, you’ve likely heard about this nifty device before.

It first appeared in the 2002 GameCube release Super Mario Sunshine and is an incredibly important tool for Mario throughout his adventure – a bit like the Poltergust 3000 in the Luigi’s Mansion series. You might have even gone hands-on with F.L.U.D.D. when Nintendo re-released Sunshine in the Super Mario 3D All-Stars anniversary collection last year.

To get to the point, it seems F.L.U.D.D. has returned, but not in a way everyone might have expected. In Nintendo’s latest game Mario Golf: Super Rush it makes a cameo as a corner post, and well, Mario fans online have of course taken notice:

As you can see above, it’s got people’s hopes up for a sequel of sorts to Mario’s 3D adventure on the GameCube. While it’s probably best to just treat this as nothing more than a cool easter egg, who knows what could potentially be on the horizon.

Have you spotted F.L.U.D.D. in Mario Golf: Super Rush yet? Do you think this is a sign of things to come? How are you finding Mario’s new golf game? Leave your own thoughts down below.

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This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Kirsty Gallacher fury: GB News host's outburst at Trump in golf course row

Kirsty Gallacher fury: GB News host's outburst at Trump in golf course row

While Kirsty is not widely known for being outspoken, her opinions have become more pronounced since joining the GB News lineup earlier this year. The veteran broadcaster was announced as part of the new channel’s team in March. Many were familiar with her from her lengthy stint presenting Sky Sports News, a role she took on in 1998.

Others will know her as the daughter of Scottish golfing legend Bernard Gallacher who captained a string of Ryder Cup tournaments.

The golf has been a recurring theme in Kirsty’s life and something she speaks about at length in various interviews.

Nothing was different when she sat down with The Daily Telegraph last year and revealed snippets about her personal life.

She noted, however, that one famous Scottish course was no longer a favourite since it had been taken over by Donald Trump.

Kirsty told the publication: “In Britain, I love Gleneagles and St Andrews, the home of golf.

“I used to like Turnberry, before it was bought by Donald Trump.

“Going to St Andrews for the Open is always a wonderful experience.”

Trump bought the entire South Ayrshire complex, including the hotel, from Dubai-based group Leisurecorp in 2014.

JUST INBBC star Monty Don disappoints fan with video request ‘Don’t do that’

This week, she found herself tangled in a row after a viewer accused her of condoning people not being allowed freedom if they haven’t had the coronavirus vaccine.

She and co-host Darren McCaffrey were discussing the rules around travel for British tourists going abroad when she made the suggestion.

One viewer quickly hit out and what they perceived as an “abhorrent” take on the situation.

Writing to GB News on Twitter, the person said: “Utterly disgraceful & abhorrent views from @DarrenGBNews & @TheRealKirstyG on @GBNEWS.

“We’re perfectly happy for some people to be denied their unalienable civil rights & allow the creation of an apartheid state because I had the vaccine so I could go on f****** holiday.”

Kirsty shortly responded to what she believed was a misrepresentation of her words.

She replied: “I absolutely did not say that.

“Please get your facts right.”

“We were merely documenting the government’s proposal.

“I actually have strong views to the contrary.”

Kirsty is appearing on James Martin‘s Saturday Morning today which airs on ITV One at 9:25am.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Guide: Mario Golf: Super Rush Guide – Tips And Hints For Mastering Mario Golf On Switch

Mario Golf Super Rush Guide1© Nintendo

Mario Golf: Super Rush is out now on Nintendo Switch, the latest sports spin-off from Camelot. This time we’re back on a variety of courses playing wacky-ish golf and racing around the fairway in a variety of game modes.

In this guide we will equip you with key information about the best Mario Golf characters, how to create the best Mario Golf Mii and other general tips to help you get the most out of your rounds.

Mario Golf: Super Rush Walkthrough, Tips And Hints

First of all, we have two guides that focus on specific details:

How to create the Best Mii in Mario Golf: Super Rush

The first article below relates to the Golf Adventure mode, in which you play as and gradually level-up and customise your Mii, so our guide gives tips on how to make your Mii the best golfer possible:

Mario Golf: Super Rush Character Stats — Which Is The Best Character?

Secondly we have our roster guide, which shows you all of the Mushroom Kingdom cast and their related stats:

Now, for the rest of this guide we’ll give you an overview of the game modes, along with essential tips and hints to help you shoot under par and have a fun time doing it.

Mario Golf Super Rush Guide2© Nintendo Life / Nintendo

Mario Golf: Super Rush Game Modes

Golf Adventure

Unless you plan to jump straight into multiplayer, this is an ideal starting point in the game. The campaign should last 6-10 hours, depending on ability level, and it does a nice job of introducing various mechanics and courses. It’s also the path to upgrading your Mii, which we outline in the guide highlighted near the top of this article.

In addition to levelling up and improving the stats for your Mii character, Golf Adventure is one route to unlocking all of the game’s courses. Each stage of the story will take you to towns / hub areas for each course, and challenges will introduce you to a small number of holes at a time, with a ‘qualifying’ challenge in which you then work through 9 holes or even the full course. When you clear an area you unlock the course for play in any modes.

To get the most out of Golf Adventure we suggest seeking out the shop in each area. They have two Toads, one that will give advice on conditions for the course and the most suitable clubs, and another that’ll offer various equipment upgrades unique to the area. For example, when in a sandy course like Balmy Dunes there will be a 3 wood that allows the ball to skip off sandy surfaces, or a sand wedge that offers increased accuracy out of bunkers. Various clothes are also available that offer specific benefits to areas such as stamina, or increased speed running through the rough etc. The mode is generous enough with currency, so don’t be afraid to splash the cash (though you likely won’t need to buy everything).

Solo Challenges

While Golf Adventure is your route to building a strong Mii character, boosting the Mushroom Kingdom roster is done quickest through playing rounds in Solo Challenges. Every member of the roster has two upgrades available at 1000 and then 3000 character points – the unlocks provide new specialised Club Sets. You will likely need to complete 3 or 4 rounds of courses to reach 1000 character points, so it may take a little time to get your favourite character their full Club Set unlocks. To track progress on character points you can select Play Stats from the home screen.

Your options in this mode are very simple. You can play 18 hole rounds of any unlocked courses, either in Score Attack (standard play for the lowest score possible) or Time Attack (where you run to the ball between shots and aim for speed). You can also use button or motion control options.

Mario Golf Super Rush Guide2© Nintendo Life / Nintendo

Play Golf

This is the main mode aside from Golf Adventure, allowing you lots of customisation options for solo, local multiplayer or online multiplayer. You can choose from Standard Golf, Speed Golf, Battle Golf or Network Play. We’ll outline the game types in detail later in this guide.

All modes offer excellent flexibility depending on how you want to play. If you have enough controllers, for example four Joy-Cons, you can have up to four players locally in ‘Standard Golf’. You can use a mix of single Joy-Cons and Pro Controllers when using Button Controls, whereas Motion Controls will require you to sync up individual Joy-Cons wirelessly. You can also fill empty slots with CPU characters, or alternatively opt to play solo or only with other players. It’s worth noting that Speed and Battle Golf are limited to two players locally, due to the need for split screen as the characters run between shots.

You can choose between different formats for each mode (covered in the relevant section below), and can even customise various areas of the round. You can choose to play 3, 6, 9 or 18 holes, determine a starting hole, choose Tees (closer or further away from the pin), set wind levels and turn Special Shots (triggered once the gauge is full) on or off.

Network Play doesn’t have any ranking or Tournament modes, but is a very useful way to find casual lobbies or connect remotely with friends and families, with the same core customisation options as offline play. When playing online you’re limited to two players on the same system, and can either search for lobbies to join and create your own. You can enable a password if you’re seeking a private match, and set permissions to ‘Anyone’ or ‘Friends Only’. If establishing a lobby of your own you can even limit player numbers in the range 2-4, while you have to determine whether Mii Characters are allowed or blocked. Control options are also the same online, so you can opt for Button or Motion controls.

Local Play is also supported if you have a friend in the same room on another system that has a copy of the game. You can only have two players per system, so matches are still limited to a maximum of four.

Golf Guide

This area is split into two categories. Golf Controls provides various tutorial-style screens that cover most of the mechanics of the game. It’s worth reading through these, especially sections on Shift & Control, Rain Effects, Carry & Run and more. They’re simple static screens and explanations of controls, but are nonetheless a good early stop.

Golf Lingo in this area is a surprisingly substantial A-Z of golf-related terminology, which is worth a look for complete newcomers to the sport.

Screen7portable© Nintendo Life / Nintendo

Mario Golf: Super Rush Game Types

Standard Golf

As the name suggests, this is the most traditional style of golf available in Mario Golf: Super Rush. This mode is particularly well suited for motion controls, as you simple make your shots without the need to manually move your character through each hole. Simply make your shots, what the cinematic and then repeat the process.

There are two format choices – Stroke Play is the traditional golf model in which you aim for the lowest score possible. Point Play rewards points determined on performance on each hole, making each hole a contest with less focus on shooting a low score over the course of the round.

Speed Golf

Perhaps the big focus of the game, this mode tasks you with making your shots quickly and then dashing to your ball for each shot. You have limited stamina to Dash, but dashing will allow you to bump opponents and even get ‘slipstream’ boosts when chasing behind another player. When your stamina gauge is green you can ‘Special Dash’ with the bumper (L or R, depending on controller) for extra speed and impact on opponents.

In speed golf two times combine in importance. There’s the actual time that it takes to clear the hole, and then 30 seconds is added for each shot in the hole. As a result fast play with too many shots will not lead to wins, a balance of accuracy and speed is important.

When playing Speed Golf you can opt for High Score or Best Time rules. High Score gives placements after each hole, with points awarded depending on who was 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Most points at the end of the round wins. Alternatively there is ‘Best Time’, in which the overall lowest time at the end of the contest wins.

Mario Golf Super Rush Guide4© Nintendo Life / Nintendo

Battle Golf

This is a rather unique mode to the game, which puts the focus on utilising Dash, Special Dash and Rush moves. There are two arena ‘courses’, which take the form of stadiums, and all players can target any hole/pin in any order. Once a player completes a hole it is claimed and disappears from the map, so sometimes it makes sense to target a different hole from every other player. The first player to 3 holes wins.

You can choose Strategic arena (‘simple terrain that puts the focus on strategy’) or Technical arena (‘complex terrain that puts the focus on technique’), and either enable or disable ‘Rush Countdown’. That 60 second countdown triggers environmental effects every 60 seconds, such as hitting players with lightning or changing balls in Yoshi eggs.

Matches are typically very short, but should be particularly fun in local or online multiplayer.

Mario Golf Super Rush Guide5© Nintendo Life / Nintendo

Tips To Master The Courses In Mario Golf: Super Rush

Judging distance and applying spin

Mario Golf: Super Rush goes a little further than most games to help you figure out the range for each of your clubs. When you press the X button (up the upper button on a single Joy-Con) you get an overhead view of the hole, where you can adjust the direction of your shot, cycle between clubs and choose a strategy. You’ll see a white bar at the end of the shot, which represents the landing point and run (distance after landing) of a full power standard spin hit. You can use this to carefully plan your hits, power and spin.

One mistake we made early on was treating it as an estimate, and trying to use the logic we’d apply in other gold games to judge distance. Don’t do this, trust the white line, in particular the outer edge which shows the extent of the ball’s distance with a normal bounce. If the range is a little short of the ideal position, for example, apply topspin to your shot for that little extra carry, and of course the reverse with backspin if the line is further. At times you will need to hit with less power so the ball won’t reach that optimal distance, but it’s a very powerful guide.

Applying spin is another key thing to master, which is simple in button controls. All you do is switch to using A / right button for topspin and B / down button for backspin when setting the power gauge. One tap for standard spin, double tap for ‘super’ spin top push the ball on further or stop it quicker.

Once you get a feel for the game’s system in terms of distance and spin, you’ll be able to make some seriously impressive approach shots.

Master Curve and Elevated shots

If, like us, your first few attempts at curve shots go wrong and your ball flies too far left or right, don’t panic! A curve shot is effectively where you apply an after-effect to ‘curve’ the ball to the left or right. An example of when to use this is when you need to reach the green but a high obstacle or set of trees is blocking your way.

This is applied during the second rise of the shot gauge; after the initial gauge to set the power, it rises again to determine accuracy. At this point you can push left or right on the left analogue stick, and you’ll see arrows appear on the gauge; the further you push the stick the greater the curve. It can be a pretty aggressive move, which can be hugely useful on later and trickier courses later in the game.

Shot elevation can also be key; high shots are sometimes necessary to avoid obstacles or reach new areas of a course. In this case you simply push up on the left stick as the gauge fills; just be aware that the ball will be more vulnerable to wind when elevated.

Mario Golf Super Rush Guide6© Nintendo Life / Nintendo

Play the conditions

Though Mario Golf: Super Rush is a more fantastical take on the game, always take a look at the user interface to gain information on conditions. Wind direction and speed is the key, so be sure to adjust your shot direction and distance to accommodate that.

Wet conditions are also a key thing to note, especially with putts. When you’re in rainy conditions you’ll need to give more power than usual to your putts as the ball will slow down on the wet grass (more on putting below).

Tips for putting and Power Shots

At the two extremes of your shot range are putts and power shots, but they can transform your round.

Starting with putting, you’ll get used to the game’s visual cues to outline the green’s movements. A grid will appear, and for a straight shot the grid will have flat lines, with left and right arrows showing the expected movement; if the arrows are going to your left, adjust your shot to the right. On most holes, barring some late and difficult examples, you can switch to the overhead view and aim your putt to the edge of the hole; you won’t often need to aim further, except when the arrows are strong.

The slope of the green is also important. If the grid is white it’s flat, and we suggest a power level a small amount past the flag / pin icon on the gauge. A red grid means downhill, so use power a little under the flat icon. Finally a blue grid means an uphill gradient, so you need give the shot a hefty boost above the icon.

On the other scale there may be longer holes where you want a longer initial drive – if your Special Gauge is full (on the left of the UI, will be blue when full) you can set your direction, then hit L; when you hit your shot it’ll be a Special Shot that gives you more range, and likewise each character’s special has a different impact on surrounding players as well.

Going for a group run

Finally, let’s wrap up with some words about the movement between shots in Speed and Battle golf. In plenty of modes you’ll be lining up and playing at the same time as others or need to clock the lowest time possible. After your shot you use B / down button to dash, which will slowly deplete your stamina gauge. While Golf Adventure gives you coins to collect (to boost Special Guage) and hearts to increase stamina, standard speed golf doesn’t do this. As a result use standard dash to preserve stamina as much as possible, and if you run behind another player you can also slipstream to gain extra boost.

If you want to knock an opponent down or disrupt them, you can use the L button for a special dash as long as your stamina gauge is green. This gives you a short-lived super boost, which can also knock over opponents and significantly slow them down.

Finally, if you get caught in deep sand or mud and your character slows down drastically, tap A / right button repeatedly to jump and get out.


That’s it for this Mario Golf: Super Rush tips and hints guide. We will update as the game adds new content on the future, and if you have specific questions or requests drop them in the comments and we’ll take a look!

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This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Review: Mario Golf: Super Rush – A Solid Swing, But Par For The Course

Camelot is a studio that has, for many years, dutifully churned out mascot sports games for Nintendo. Players often go back to the retro days when pinpointing the company’s best efforts, though if you go by most recent form — Mario Tennis Aces — the studio is still doing good work. After serving up court-based action it’s now back to the golf course, though Mario Golf: Super Rush feels more like a spiritual successor to Aces than an actual sequel to Mario Golf: World Tour. That’s fine, but Super Rush leaves us with some mixed feelings.

When writing about any game in this series the first task is to assess the story mode, in this case ‘Golf Adventure’. This mode is the ideal starting point and also continues the recent mini-resurgence of Nintendo’s Miis, as you take your little avatar — in this writer’s case an unnaturally chilled out, healthier version of the real person — on a quest to become a pro golfer; there are three save slots, too. There’s actually a story of sorts here, albeit one that goes from being mundane to utterly goofy at the drop of a hat about two thirds of the way through. There’s a very sudden flipping of the script, which is more throwaway than clever. That said, we think young gamers in particular will enjoy the silliness, and we went with it and had fun.

Your Mii starts off in accommodation that’s run by Birdo, meeting up with a few ‘rival’ rookies all keen to be the next big thing. Though you’re typically limited to going from A to B to complete training tasks and challenges there’s a pleasant surprise in how charming the world is, and that this is a game that brings us back to ‘that Switch life’ of buttery smooth 60fps performance in a first-party game. This is achieved courtesy of relatively simplistic visuals, undoubtedly, but ‘chunky’ and ‘colourful’ is perfectly suitable for a Nintendo sports game. You get free movement to explore multiple hub areas / towns and each has its own distinct style. Just remember to visit the shop in each area — the game weirdly doesn’t give any prompts to do this and it’ll help with progress.

So begins a lot of golf, of varying styles, and you very rapidly start to level up. The upgrade system is solid, and occasionally upgrading one stat by two points will lower another by one, so there’s a light amount of balancing at play. Most skilled players will ultimately be able to build a rather impressive all-rounder, but it’s all well implemented; the fact there are ‘speed’ and ‘stamina’ gauges near the top is also a good clue of this mode’s priorities.

It’s simple but effective enough, and as you progress there are some specialised clothes and equipment to pick up that come into play on certain courses. The foundation blocks of adventure and character customisation are there and, though nothing special, it’s absolutely fine and suitable for players of pretty much any level.

The adventure becomes the ideal way to learn about different modes and strategies, with each area and its distinct courses throwing up new ideas or environments to overcome. We will say that the second area introduces ‘cross country’ golf that is downright bad; the idea is that you tackle holes in any order you want, but have to navigate steep changes in elevation and hazards. We can see what the intent was here, but it is not enjoyable, and presumably the development team had an inkling it was a weak point as you never see this style of golf again. So, grit your teeth, clear it, and pretend it didn’t happen.

The rest of the challenges are definitely better, though you won’t be playing much chilled out golf. Some of the progression gets repetitive as you ultimately end up playing timed or speed golf over and over again; this is where the ‘rush’ part of the game and the advertising kicks in.

The gimmick is that you run to the ball after each shot and you are constantly keeping an eye on a countdown. It’s not just about speed, though, as your end score in speed golf, for example, is your completion time plus 30 seconds per shot, so finding the balance between speed and accuracy is important. It’s enjoyable, though we did occasionally want to play a normal round in the story with those cinematic views of shots, as opposed to dashing around constantly.

For chunks of the experience the Adventure feels low on ideas, as you’re told to play 3 holes first, then another set, then a ‘qualifying’ round to upgrade your badge; it’s understandable as it teaches you courses and conditions, but lacks creativity. Then, as mentioned above, there’s a plot twist and you get to learn one of two slightly quirkier techniques and even have a few boss encounters. They’re pretty basic but it is silly fun, and by the time we wrapped up the story the overall impression was positive. This is very B-tier in terms of polish and quality — a topic we’ll revisit in a second — but it is endearing and is a great way to learn the mechanics. There are moments and aspects of the experience that raise a smile, which is mission accomplished.

Depending on ability level, we think the Adventure will take players anywhere from 6-10 hours. You then move onto general play, which is where you can experiment with the varied roster — for example to see what their Super moves do — or jump into multiplayer. After finishing the story we were at the point where our Mii was a stronger option than the actual characters, though you can earn ‘experience’ points to get them up to Star level and improve their clubs. The game falls a little flat here, however. The Solo Challenge area is where you go about levelling characters up, but this merely consists of stroke play or speed golf rounds of courses, and nothing else. There are no intriguing or clever challenges here to make things interesting, which makes levelling up feel like a true grind. The lack of smart challenges — a good feature of its 3DS predecessor — is a disappointment.

There are, however, good options if you want to jump into some customised solo rounds or local multiplayer. Six courses unlock as you play the Adventure or, alternatively, if you want to skip the story the next course will unlock after completing a full round of its predecessor. Standard and Speed golf are featured, and whether setting up a solo or multiplayer session you get good customisation options in terms of how many holes to play, where to start on the course, conditions and more.

Battle Golf is a quickfire new mode that also makes an appearance. This takes place across two arenas, and your goal is to complete three holes before anyone else. You can go for any pin you want, but once a player has completed that hole it disappears from the map, which makes it a rather amusing scramble. When you throw in each character’s star move shots and their impacts — for example knocking your ball away or even transforming it into something like an egg — there’s a nice element of chaotic wackiness to the battles. With only two courses and such short matches, however, it’s not going to hold attention for long.

Nevertheless, playing any of the modes in multiplayer works well, with Camelot covering most bases in terms of control options and deciding how long a round will last. Though the game defaults to (and is easiest to play with) standard button controls, there are also motion controls using the Joy-Con. They’re well implemented and quite intuitive, and the little controller is very accurate in detecting your swing and its power. It’s still far easier to do more complex stuff like applying spin and fade/draw with the buttons but as an alternative that gets you off the couch, the motion controls are accurate and enjoyable to use.

We also got to test the online multiplayer to a limited degree, albeit we had to join a pre-determined lobby and the servers were naturally not under any real strain in the pre-release review period. It was lag free, but that’s not particularly important in multiplayer golf, beyond messing each other up with super shots and limited environmental effects. The setup options are pretty much identical to local multiplayer, and lobbies can also be set for friends only and with or without passwords; you can even add up to two CPU players to fill out spots. If you want to play with family or friends remotely it’s a very competent option, though there’s no in-game communication — not even text messages — so you’ll have to do that through other means. If you still actually use the Nintendo Switch Online app, though, it’ll support voice chat for this title.

Lots of positives then, but there are some disappointing aspects around this title. Wrapping up our thoughts on the online feature-set, it lacks any incentive to compete — if you’re not just playing with friends, there’s not much point to jumping in. There’s no ranking system of any kind and it lacks the basic but enjoyable tournaments of Mario Tennis Aces, which itself was a step back from the excellent online Tournaments in World Tour on 3DS. Super Rush’s portable golfing predecessor setup regular events in which you’d register a score and get a placing (gold, silver, bronze) depending on scores from players around the globe. An equivalent here would have been very welcome.

There’s also an inescapable feeling that, despite a premium price-point, this is a mid/B-tier first-party release from Nintendo. There is a good level of content but it lacks spark, and of the six courses we think only two or three are particularly interesting. In the context of Mario Golf and on capable hardware there’s a lot of variety and environmental manipulation that could have been implemented, but the designs end up being rather safe and uninspired, even in the later unlocks that attempt a little wackiness.

This limited level of creativity is shown in the aforementioned disappointing Solo Challenges, and especially in the Adventure there’s a feeling of corners and budgets cut. There’s poorly used and repetitive voice sampling — the constant ‘Hey Hey’ of the coach irritated this player and others that happened to be in the room — along with basic storytelling. Limited animations of characters and a lack of visual flair for story segments all feel like they come from a discounted first-party effort. The music, also, is rather weak; the core theme is reasonable albeit nothing special, but some clips for between holes (as an example) sound more like royalty-free tracks than something you’d expect to hear in a Mario game.

None of this ruins the experience, not by a long way, and despite these complaints there is still a good amount of content, decent golf mechanics and just enough wackiness to justify having the Mushroom Kingdom cast on board. Those aforementioned irritations do strip away the sense that this is a premium first-party game, though. As enthusiasts, we may have come to expect this in recent Camelot titles, but for those expecting the same quality as other first-party efforts with a $ 60 price tag, they may feel underwhelmed by Super Rush.

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This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Reviews

Golf world descends on Torrey Pines for the 121st U.S. Open Championship

Golf world descends on Torrey Pines for the 121st U.S. Open Championship

This is the first time the major championship has been held at Torrey Pines since Tiger Woods thrilling victory back in 2008.

SAN DIEGO — The 121st U.S. Open is on the line this week at Torrey Pines. This is the first time the major championship has been held at Torrey Pines since the thriller back in 2008.

However, the course is familiar to those on the PGA Tour because it hosts the Farmers Insurance Open every year. One main difference between the U.S. Open and the Farmers is that the U.S. Open exclusively uses the South Course at Torrey Pines rather than both the North and South Courses.

The U.S. Open marks the third of golf’s four majors and is on the schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour.

Both the North and South courses received big facelifts in 2019 which moved bunkers and tee boxes, but there were not wholesale changed made to the course itself.

The tournament will feature some of the best golfers in the world including, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Brooks Koepka. Both San Diegans Phil Mickelson and Xander Schauffele will be in the same group to play the course on Thursday and Friday.

For a full list of groupings and tee times, click here

WATCH RELATED: U.S. Open preview from Torrey Pines

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Tokyo Olympics: If the players don't care about Olympic golf tournament, why should we?

Tokyo Olympics: If the players don't care about Olympic golf tournament, why should we?
Lee Westwood’s decision to opt out of the Olympic golf tournament this week again put a spotlight on whether the sport should be part of the Games.

Westwood is concentrating on the Ryder Cup and the golf’s major championships on the grounds that these should be the priorities for a golfer.

If the Olympics is merely an add-on for any sport then it does not deserve to be included at all.

Golf’s return in Rio after a 112-year absence came with a great song and dance and, for those players who embraced the opportunity, their heads were turned.

It became a running joke on the European Tour afterwards that no one could escape a visit to the range without being treated to a glimpse of Justin Rose’s gold medal.

Rose was rightly proud of his achievement and elevated his gold above his US Open win at Merion as a career high.

Too many of his fellow professionals could not be bothered, though. 

In all 20 players withdrew from the men’s Olympic golf tournament five years ago including the world’s top four at the time.

Tokyo is looking better in respect of the field. As things stand only three players have ruled themselves out – Westwood, Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson.

It is a pity Westwood has chosen not be involved but he was only on the reserve list with Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick currently holding down the British spots.

Likewise Scott, who would have been back-up to Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman as things stand.

The real problem for golf is Johnson’s absence. He is, according to the official rankings, the world’s best golfer and with that elevated status should come certain responsibilities.

A call is being made on golf’s future inclusion in the Games beyond Paris 2024 immediately after Tokyo and the game needs all the friends it can be muster.

The campaign for its inclusion was fought when Tiger Woods cast a spell across the sporting world. There is no comparable golden timepiece with which to hypnotise the IOC now.

Golf has been cut a break with Hideki Matsuyama’s Masters victory. 

His presence in his homeland will give the men’s tournament a fillip. But for the world number one to skip it is a significant own goal. 

Johnson would add precisely zero in terms of pizzazz and personality, but he would bring his position.

It is not a good look for any sport to go to the Games without their No 1.

Johnson put his absence from Rio down to the threat of the zika virus; this time around he has cited the scheduling.

The Olympics falls between the 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota and the St Jude Invitational in Memphis. They are hardly four-yearly – or even five-yearly – stop-the-clock events.

Japan is a long-haul flight away from his Florida base but so was the Saudi International in which he took part earlier this year. For an appearance fee.

Contrast Johnson’s attitude to the Games with that of the World No 2 Justin Thomas who said this week he would kick himself forever if he did not take up this chance to become an Olympian.

Thomas can leapfrog Johnson at the top of the world rankings if he wins the US PGA Championship.

It would be best for golf if he did so.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Mini Review: Angry Golf – Novelty Arcade Golfing That Lives Up To Its Name

Angry Golf is perhaps the most apt title for a video game ever. This isn’t because the main character has a permanently furrowed brow, but rather for how the game makes you feel while you’re playing it. It’s one of the most poorly designed, unfinished games we’ve played on the Switch, and the golf gameplay feels like it’s almost entirely reliant on random luck rather than skill. In short, it’s a game that will make you seethe with rage.

Starting off with an incredibly basic main menu, you’re given the option to either play through each level in order, or choose one at will (provided you’ve completed the level at least once). Once you load into the game’s first stage, you’ll immediately notice problems. As you move the camera around, the space around your ball disappears and reappears completely, flashing in and out of existence for several seconds at a time. It’s ludicrous, and makes lining up each shot a huge chore.

The level design itself is really no better. Unlike normal golf games, your goal isn’t a hole in the ground, but rather a literal golden goal post. The game frustratingly doesn’t give you much indication as to where the goal is located in each level, and with a few of the courses branching off into different directions, it’s often impossible to complete your task within the designated number of strokes, as you can waste a good four or five hits just trying to find the goal.

Taking each shot is a simple case of holding down the ‘ZR’ button until you reach your desired power level. The power gauge is located in the bottom right of the screen, but there’s no guide or marker to show where your shot might land. You have to completely rely on the direction the camera is facing and just sort of guess where the ball might end up. Needless to say, you’ll end up falling off the edge of the map a lot during Angry Golf (a point made even more frustrating when you consider that some of the holes don’t reset; you just keep falling and falling in perpetuity unless you manually restart).

Visually, there’s little to no coherency or consistency. Environmental textures are sometimes present, although often not, so trees and buildings just look like blocks of solid colour. Other surfaces are also poorly implemented; one such level is located within a passageway made entirely of glass, but because the glass looks nothing like what you’d expect glass to look like, the developer actually includes the words ‘glass walls and ceiling’ within the level itself to clue you in. Better than nothing, we suppose.

It goes without saying at this point, but we can’t recommend you play this. It’s a frustrating experience right from the start, and there’s really no incentive to play through the game’s forty-odd stages beyond morbid curiosity. The visuals are unattractive, and taking each shot is a chore we wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Angry Golf is a bunker shot; best leave it there.

This article originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Reviews

‘I’m so upset’: Paige Spiranac stunned by racism accusations as golf babe cops cancel culture for admiring Masters champ Matsuyama

‘I’m so upset’: Paige Spiranac stunned by racism accusations as golf babe cops cancel culture for admiring Masters champ Matsuyama

Golf pin-up Paige Spiranac has lashed out after being met with faux outrage online over a harmless comment she made in relation to Japanese golfer Hideki Matsuyama, who stormed to victory at the Masters on Sunday.

The stunner took to Twitter on Sunday after Matsuyama clinched the iconic green jacket at Augusta, telling the Japanese hero that his victory was “well-deserved”.

Spiranac then offered a casual compliment towards the cuisine in Matsuyama’s homeland, igniting a far-fetched race storm in response.

“The menu for the champions dinner is going to be absolute fire next year”, said Spiranac, only to be immediately met by anger and finger-pointing.

“Paige, Thailand has the spicy food,” boomed one reader, using capital letters to tell Spiranac that she had made a racist comment. “Not Japan. But then they all look alike, right? Shame on you.”

Another felt Spiranac should “apologize to the entire Far East”, concluding: “If you don’t understand that her post is racist and offensive, you are part of the problem.”

Spiranac seemed shaken by the saga. “Honestly, it’s disgusting how everything gets twisted,” she hit back. “I made a comment about how amazing the menu will be next year because I love Japanese food.

“Most winners create menus to honor where they are from and I would expect Hideki to do the same.

“I don’t care if someone calls me a sl*t but to be called a racist is uncalled [for]. I would never and I’m honestly so upset about this.”

More rational readers were as confused as they were willing to defend the tee-loving titillator. 

“The comments on this tweet are the stupidest I’ve ever read,” said one. “People love to grasp at straws that just simply aren’t there.”
Also on rt.com Making the breast of quarantine: Ex-pro golfer Paige Spiranac entertains fans with ‘cleavage’ trick shot (VIDEO)

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