I arrived at the office on Tuesday morning, logged into Twitter and one of the first things I saw was ESPN.com golf writer Jason Sobel tweeting how Augusta National Golf Club was going to be in the new Tiger Woods 12 video game.
I was stunned. And amazed. And thrilled.
It was a few hours later, when my friend Ryan tweeted:
“How many nights will @jeffshelman be camping out at Best Buy to get this copy of Tiger Woods 2012 w/Augusta National?”
I’m not sure that I’m going to camp out (though I won’t completely rule it out), but I will be getting the game.
I realize that I’m closing in on 40. But I am awfully excited about this development. Probably too excited.
I am not a huge gamer. I had a ColecoVision when I was a kid (to you youngsters, Google it and then laugh at the primitive video game culture of the 80s), but after that I didn’t play for a long time.
It was only about four or five years ago when I took some fantasy football winnings (thanks to all those NFL writers who let a non-expert win) and bought an Xbox 360.
I pretty much play sports games. Tiger Woods 07 or 08 was the first game I bought and I’ve purchased every version since then. I’ve several NBA games (both EA and 2K), I had one NHL game, a couple of MLB games, two NCAA Football games and the last two FIFA games. I’m not big on shoot-em-up games, but I do love playing a game or two and seeing what I can do.
That said, the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise was getting a little boring. There were small tweaks each year and some new courses, but the year-to-year changes were pretty small. Putting has improved greatly since the first game I purchased and the distances that the ball goes isn’t nearly as unrealistic as before (back when every par 4 became driver-wedge and every par 5 was reachable in two). Even though I like the Ryder Cup format on the newest game, I haven’t played it all that much.
But the Augusta feature is very exciting. I thought Hazeltine National Golf Club being added to the game for TW10 was very cool as I worked there in college for a while and have probably played the course 75 times. It was so cool that I wrote a freelance piece for the Star Tribune about Hazeltine being in the game. But this is a whole different level.
In April 2009, I attended a Masters practice round and it is one of the coolest things I’ve done. I walked every hole and wanted to get a great sense of the elevation change, the crazy movement in the greens, how little rough there is out there and the like.
I get that people might not like that ANGC is totally a good-old-boys kind of place or don’t like the stuffiness of the Masters, but the golf course is super cool.
Just like when Hazeltine joined the game, when Target Field was available on MLB2K10 and TCF Bank Stadium being part of NCAA Football 11, there is no question that I will buy Tiger Woods 12 on March 29, the day it is released. The only real question is whether I get it on a midnight store opening at GameStop, whether I buy it at lunch or whether I get it on my way home from work.
Assuming that we don’t get to play real golf here in the Twin Cities again in March (doubtful considering the amount of snowcover we have now), this game will certainly help get me through the end of winter.
If you can’t get enough, here is Bubba Watson playing a demo of the game. And here is Sobel talking about the game and touching on why ANGC is finally participating.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. There was much Twitter buzz on the topic yesterday and there was a pretty good-sized thread on Golf Club Atlas about the game.
I guess this means that I need to dust off my copy of TW11 and get practicing. March 29, after all, isn’t that far off.
UPDATE: Golfweek checks in with an interesting story featuring a little more background on how the game was made, etc. Worth a click.