When it comes to golf games, I’m much more likely to hit the virtual links than the real thing. I golf maybe twice a year, except for 2020, where I’m playing it safe and just sort of staying inside. Golf is one of the few sports you can actually play safely during a pandemic, making it a great time to get into the sport. If you’re not quite ready to buy clubs, then a video game might help introduce you to the basics. Once EA lost the PGA license, 2K saw an opportunity to publish The Golf Club for HB Studios and make the most of the gap in the market. With some new features and more accessible gameplay, let’s go over this PGA Tour 2K21 review and find out if it’s worth a shot.
Image Credit: 2K
When you launch PGA Tour 2K21, the tutorials introduce you to the gameplay’s core functions. My first note for the game: play the advanced tutorials. This will give you everything you need to know about getting good at the game from the get-go. It’s not a deeply complicated game to play, and in fact, the user interface improved tremendously to make this the most accessible golf game in years. If you don’t know anything about golf, then the easy to pickup gameplay makes this a great learning tool. The lowest difficulty allows you plenty of room for error without racking up a terrible score.
Meanwhile, the medium difficulty presents the most balanced sense of challenge I’ve played in any sports game. Other sports games’ “medium” modes (usually called “pro” for many series) can be too easy while their next level up is pretty rough. The medium mode in PGA Tour 2K21 is super fair and allows you to show what you got while still presenting a good bit of competition. Each difficulty element is presented on a slider if you find yourself mastering some elements but not others. This presents a very fine-tuned game I think any sports fan would appreciate.
Does PGA Tour 2K21 Have a Course Builder?
Image Credit: 2K
On top of 15 real-life PGA tour courses, Course Builder is back. This is really where the game gains its massive value fans have come to love in The Golf Club games. You can play the career mode to the game and it’ll take you a while. When you eventually become number one, the game continues to offer new experiences thanks to a robust online community that I’m sure will return for this new title. Having a review copy means I didn’t get to mess with online clubhouse elements all that much, but people love these games. They’ll likely return to build incredible courses, along with 2K-built courses, that can make this game a living, breathing experience with fresh content for months.
Let’s say you’re not the creative type. That’s fine! Just play courses others make. I’m not necessarily a master golfer myself, but I loved past games for their dedicated community elements. While exploring these online courses, I’d often find myself bypassing the offline gameplay for weeks. Most of my time is spent playing others’ courses, and that’s a really fun dynamic you don’t get in many other sports series.
PGA Tour 2K21 Review Score
Image Credit: 2K
I review games on a scale of 1-10; PGA Tour 2K21 is an 8 for me. Two things I’ll mention that knock it a few points lower than a truly great game. Firstly, the career mode’s implementation of real-life pro golfers doesn’t go as deep as I’d like. You build rivalries with other golfers solely based on a random draw. A little more deliberate drama would have really made the career element feel valuable. Secondly, it would be nice to have a totally randomized women’s LPGA tour. You can build a female golfer for your career, but you end up golfing with the guys. Even without licensing rights to real LPGA golfers, I’d rather see a fully female field presented for those wishing to play the career as a woman.
Otherwise, the great gameplay and continued growth of this game’s simulation of one of life’s most relaxing sports is a great thing to see. HB Studios is a wonderful team and their additional resources via 2K will hopefully make this their biggest game yet.
PGA Tour 2K21 is available for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam on August 21. Thanks to 2K for an advanced review copy of the game.
Featured Image Credit: 2K
Taylor loves to play video games in his spare time. He has two degrees in Political Communication and wrote his thesis on Marxism and the exploitation of college athletes. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his wife and two Toy Australian Shepherds. He’s always got headphones in, and he’s a diehard Cubs fan.