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Put a Tiger (Woods) in Your Mac

by

Episode 45
September 30th, 2005

I have an addictive personality so it should come as no surprise to you, gentle reader, that I sometimes receive a program for review that keeps me from my "real" work, sometimes for days (or weeks) at a time. The recently released Tiger Woods PGA Golf Tour 2005 is the latest productivity-sucking software to land on my hard drive.

I try to avoid it-really I do-but I find myself popping in the DVD far too often, saying, "I'll just play a quick round and then get back to work." I'll warn you now that it's totally addicting, so don't even think of buying it if you don't have big chunks of time you can afford to waste.

To tell the truth, calling Tiger Woods PGA Golf Tour 2005 (TWPGAGT'05 hereafter) a game is kind of a misnomer. It could be more accurately described as a golf simulation, though it does have more than a few game-like qualities. But every detail is totally realistic from the ball physics to the way the grass on the fairways waves gently in the breeze. It's not quite like getting out on the links, but it's pretty darned close.

I remember not enjoying golf games a few years back mostly because they featured a "click-three-times-at-just-the-right-time" method of swinging the club. You can choose to use the old three-click method in TWPGAGT'05, but I much prefer the more modern "TrueSwing™," which uses the mouse to control your golfer's swing, as you can see in the excerpt from the manual shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1: TrueSwing turns your mouse into a golf club.
(Click on the thumbnail for a larger image)

After each swing the TrueSwing analyzer appears in the lower right corner of the screen as shown in Figure 2 and detailed in Figure 3. The TrueSwing analyzer gives you instant feedback on your swing. In Figure 3 I swung a little too fast and my club hit the ball on a slight angle (Outside-In).

(For what it's worth, that wasn't a bad shot as far as tee shots go.)


Figure 2: What you see immediately after a swing...


Figure 3: Close up view of the TrueSwing analyzer shown in Figure 2.

When you get the ball onto a green, a grid appears to show you the contour of its surface as shown in Figure 4.


Figure 4: I need to aim a little to the left of the flag to get this putt in the cup.
(Click on the thumbnail for a larger image)

And, just to keep things interesting, you can spend your prize money on attributes such as power, putting, and shot mastery as shown in Figure 5.


Figure 5: Use your prize money to improve your virtual golfer's skills.
(Click on the thumbnail for a larger image)

You can even customize every single aspect of your golfing avatar as I've done for my "Doctor Mac" golfer in Figure 6.


Figure 6: My golfer (Doctor Mac) is big in every way (except for his midsection)...
(Click on the thumbnail for a larger image)

I'm telling you folks, it's extremely addicting. There's so much to this game-tournaments, lessons, scenarios, a full-blown Legends tour, more than a dozen of the world's finest golf courses (which you can customize or "Tiger Proof" to make them more difficult), the ability to play as one of more than a dozen different golfers, and much more.

Alas, all this fun and realism comes at a steep price (and I'm not just talking about the forty bucks you'll pay for your copy). What I am talking about is that Tiger Woods PGA Golf Tour 2005 wants a lot of Mac horsepower (check out its System Requirements at the end of this column). While it played beautifully on my dual processor G5 with 2GB of RAM, it needed a lot of tweaking to play decently on a 1GHz PowerBook with a gigabyte of RAM.

The bottom line is that they aren't kidding when they say, "Tiger Woods 2005 runs best on a iMac G5 or Power Mac G5 with 512MB of RAM." Still, if your Mac has enough horsies, Tiger Woods PGA Golf Tour 2005 is a hell of a golf simulation and darned good golf game to boot.

And that's all he wrote...

Tiger Woods PGA Golf Tour 2005
Aspyr Media, Inc.
Street Price: US$40
Amazon.com - $39.99

System Requirements:

Operating System: Mac OS X 10.3.8 or later
CPU Processor: PowerPC G4/G5
CPU Speed: 1.2GHz or faster
Memory: 256MB
Hard Disk Space: 2.5GB free disk space
Video Card (ATI): Radeon 9000 or better
Video Card (NVidia): GeForce FX5200 or better
Video Memory (VRAM): 32 MB
Media Required: DVD Drive required to install and play

Recommended System Requirements:

Tiger Woods 2005 runs best on a iMac G5 or Power Mac G5 with 512MB of RAM
Memory: 512MB
Video RAM: 64MB

Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus has been a Macintosh user for a long, long time and has written 49 computer books including Mac OS X Tiger For Dummies and GarageBand for Dummies. He also offers expert technical help and training to Mac users, in real time and at reasonable prices, via telephone, e-mail, and/or unique Internet-enabled remote control software. For more information on Bob and his services, visit www.boblevitus.com.

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