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Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 85%
Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf
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  • Review Score:

  • A-
2016 was a celebrity bloodbath. It seemed like every other day another famous person died. While actors like Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds and singers like Prince and David Bowie got the lion's share of the headlines, 2016 also claimed the golf legend Arnold Palmer. As I said before, he, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods were the holy trinity of pro golf. Winning 62 PGA Tour titles from 1955 to 1973, including winning the Green Jacket from the Masters four times, and being one of the first inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame certainly are enough to grant Palmer the nickname "The King". The only thing that surprises me is that Arnold Palmer only endorsed one golf game. Fortunately, Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf is a fantastic one.

Developed by Sega themselves for the Genesis, Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf feels like a natural evolution from Great Golf. That is a good thing to say since, as you may recall, Great Golf was the only game in the "Great" sports line that didn't suck. The mechanics are very familiar to anyone who played Great Golf with a few changes. Adjusting the stance is in this one, too, although this time it can only be adjusted for draws and fades. Adjusting for backspin has been removed which makes the short game a little tougher. The swing meter had been elevated to a three-click with possibly the most generous contact sweet spot I'd ever seen. It is next to impossible to flub the contact unless the player was actively trying to. The only real issue is the fact that, if the ball makes contact with the green, it tends to bounce an unrealistically long distance. I lost count how many times the ball bounced off the green. Other than that, the game plays extremely well.

Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf (Genesis)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The options were decent for the time. The game provides three courses which are pleasant looking and challenging without being unfair. Despite being labeled as American, British, and Japanese, there are no distinct differences between the courses. Like in Great Golf, players can input their names and choose the clubs in their bags; however, the fact that only two can play is a step down from Great Golf which allowed four players. In addition to the stroke and match play, this one also has a twelve-round tournament to play (with a password feature). The only real knock is in the sound. The music is poor even by Genesis standards though the sound effects are decent.

Between Great Golf and Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf, I have to wonder why Sega stopped making golf games. They clearly knew how to ace them. Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf was a Genesis launch game that definitely showed that Sega wanted very much to appeal to sports fans. Though there are better golf games that appeared on the Genesis later, this one is still excellent, worthy of carrying the signature of "The King".
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