Some people thought it would never happen, but here we stand just a few days away from the launch of EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, and for the first time ever in the 12 year old franchise, golf's closest thing to Mecca, Augusta National, will be a playable course. With Augusta National comes The Masters, as one would expect, because having the course without the tournament would be sort of like having a cake with no icing.
While we normally don't cover video games, this is a bit of a special occasion, and this might be that one piece of must-have equipment that gets you through those days you can't make it out to the real golf course.
Of course, the most celebrated new feature of the game is the inclusion of The Masters along with Augusta National. Inclusion is almost an understatement in some ways though, because the EA Sports environment team for the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise took their attention to detail to new heights with Augusta National. Over the course of 10 days, the team used their new laser scanning technology to ensure no detail was left out. They then worked in conjunction with the staff of Augusta National to create an authentic representation - down to 6mm of accuracy. There isn't a bunker, a tree, a break in the green, or hill left out. Of course, the Augusta experience wouldn't be complete without the famed Par 3 course, but rest easy - it's in the game too.
As many of you might have heard, this will be the first time in history that Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament will appear in our game! This has been the most requested feature by golf fans for over a decade. We are extremely excited to bring the course to digital form and share it with the public. Players of all ages have been dreaming of the opportunity to play the famous Augusta National Golf Club,Christian Brandt, Designer Team - Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, EA Sports
Now that the course is included, what would the game be without including some of the most memorable moments in golf history that took place there? That's where Masters Moments comes in. You take control of the Tour player and try to achieve the same success they had at this historic course. Now at first, it might seem like this would be very heavy on the game's namesake's numerous achievements at The Masters, but the inclusion of another mode, called Tiger at the Masters, leads me to believe that mode is reserved for that. In the Tiger at the Masters mode, you take control of Tiger and relive his four wins at the Masters and try to equal or beat his scores. While I can only speculate at this point, that leads me to believe that there may be more characters than the list EA has published.
I am very happy and excited that the Masters Tournament is featured in the Tiger Woods PGA TOUR game. There are many new and unique elements in the game that will make everyone feel like they're really competing at Augusta National. This is great for the sport and will connect a new audience with the Masters, a tournament I've been fortunate to experience since 1995. Continually growing the visibility of golf is important to attracting newcomers to the sport, and I agree that showcasing the Masters Tournament in the game will bring an entirely new dimension to that approach.Tiger Woods
Our sincere motivation is to draw an even greater audience to this wonderful sport and continue to inspire its growth by building off the success seen in previous versions of the Tiger Woods PGA TOUR franchise. The beauty of Augusta National and the rich history of the Masters have inspired the dreams of golfers for generations. Three years of collaboration with EA SPORTS has resulted in a game we feel presents a truly authentic Masters experience.Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament
Last but not least, what Masters experience would be complete without CBS's broadcast staple, Jim Nantz? You'll have him along with David Feherty providing commentary throughout not only your Masters experience, but also throughout the entire game. Also noteworthy is a brand new TV broadcast presentation package.
Normally, this would be enough justification for buying the latest iteration of this annual release, but EA's team kept pushing forward with a number of other significant updates. You now have the option to be accompanied by a caddie at all times, which could prove very useful, especially in those situations where you're unsure of how to approach a given shot on a tough hole. Your caddie is with you throughout your entire career, which has also been revamped.
Career Mode starts just as you would in real life - at the bottom of the ranks as an up-and-coming amateur and you then then work your way up through the ranks on the Nationwide Tour, and finally earn your way in to the PGA Tour with a trip to Q School. Get past that and you're ready to test your mettle against the greatest players in the world and maybe win the FedEx Cup or even earn a green jacket of your own as part of your PGA career.
Speaking of the greatest players in the world, a number of popular players make their first appearance in the TW PGA Tour franchise this year. The full list of players includes:
- Tiger Woods
- Francesco Molinari (New)
- Edoardo Molinari (New)
- Rickie Fowler (New)
- Zach Johnson (New)
- Henrik Stenson (New)
- Bubba Watson (New)
- Rhys Davies (New)
- Anthony Kim
- Paul Casey
- Rocco Mediate
- Boo Weekley
- Chris DiMarco
- Jim Furyk
- Ian Poulter
- Justin Rose
- Adam Scott
- Camilo Villegas
- Nick Dougherty
- Paula Creamer
- Natalie Gulbis
- Suzann Pettersen
Last year's game was the first to include the Ryder Cup, the biennial team event between the USA and Europe. The game wouldn't be very realistic if it were included every year, would it? Instead, just as in real life, the President's Cup makes its debut, pitting players from the USA versus the best players from the rest of the world (excluding Europe).
Any DLC (Downloadable Content) courses obtained from the respective consoles marketplace will be thrown into the rotation of courses played throughout the PGA Tour season which is also a first (a list of course included with the game can be found below). The player also has the ability to save a game, mid-round, which has been another key feature that has been missing for a while. Not everything is brand new however. One game play feature once present but not seen for quite a while (at least on the PS3 version and XBox 360 version) but making its return is the ability to choose a sponsor from a number of major golf club manufacturers.
For more than a decade, the Masters Tournament has been the most requested and coveted feature for the Tiger Woods PGA TOUR franchise among our fans. Pairing the number one golf video game franchise with the most prestigious golf tournament in the world is a perfect marriage and we’re thrilled to bring our fans this exciting opportunity to experience Augusta National Golf Club like never before.Peter Moore, president of EA SPORTS
- Pebble Beach
- Old Course at St. Andrews
- TPC Sawgrass
- TPC Scottsdale
- TPC San Antonio
- Atlanta Athletic Club
- Royal Melbourne
- Whistling Straits - Straits Course
- Costa Navarino (Dunes Course)
- East Lake GC
- Celtic Manor Resort
- The Greenbrier
- Liberty National
- Augusta National
Note:The Par 3 course at Augusta National is also in the game
The Masters edition will go on sale in North America one week from today - Tuesday, March 29 and worldwide on April 1, available on the Wii™, Xbox 360® and PlayStation®3 consoles, with support of the PlayStation® Move controller. The Masters and five additional courses (Wolf Creek, Torrey Pines, Banff Springs, The Highlands, and Emerald Dragon) will also be included in the Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 12 Collector’s Edition, developed exclusively for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system (as in, not available for the Wii or Xbox 360).
There are a number of shops offering a pre-order bonus, including Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Game Stop. If you pre-order the Xbox 360 version from Game Stop, you'll get a code to download Bethpage Black for free (PS3 pre-orders get Turnberry), while pre-ordering from Amazon gains you the "Georgia Classic Putter" which will give you a +10 boost in putting attributes. The Wal-Mart exclusive is a Precision Boost Driver along with a bonus $10 gift card. Though Best Buy has yet to list a pre-order incentive, you may want to check in stores for any late breaking bonuses.
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