Golf (1984 video game)

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Golf Coverart.png
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D2
HAL Laboratory
Producer(s)Masayuki Uemura
Designer(s)Kenji Miki
Shigeru Miyamoto[1]
Programmer(s)Satoru Iwata[2]
Composer(s)Koji Kondo
    • JP: May 1, 1984
    • NA: October 18, 1985
    • EU: November 15, 1986
  • List of re-releases
    • Game Boy:
      • JP: Nov 28, 1989
      • NA: February, 1990
      • EU: 1990
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Golf[a] is a sports-simulation video game developed and released by Nintendo in 1984 for the Famicom in Japan, in 1985 for the NES in North America, and on Family Computer Disk System in 1986 again in Japan. The golfer has been identified as Mario in supplemental materials, though not wearing his traditional shirt and overalls.[citation needed] However, the game Captain Rainbow would instead identify the golfer as Ossan, which happens to be one of the generic internal names Mario had during the development of Donkey Kong.[citation needed] Additionally, the Game Boy conversion of this game would feature Mario on the Western cover art, but not the Japanese version.[citation needed]

Years after the game's release it appeared in many ports for different Nintendo consoles. It appears as an Easter egg in the Nintendo Switch firmware as a tribute to Satoru Iwata.


The main player wears a white shirt and shoes with blue pants and uses a white ball, while the second player wears a red shirt and shoes with black pants and uses a red ball.

The user must first decide whether to play single stroke play or the two player selections of doubles stroke play or match play. The user is then placed at the tee of the first hole with a total of eighteen to play.


The game has been ported to many other consoles after its release. Hudson Soft released a port of the game for the Japan-only PC-88 and Sharp X1 in 1985.[citation needed] The game was ported to the Japan-only Famicom Disk System on February 21, 1986.[citation needed] Another release was made for the Nintendo e-Reader for the Game Boy Advance. Both the NES and Game Boy versions were released also for the Virtual Console.[3][4]

Golf can be unlocked in the 2001 video games Dōbutsu no Mori and Animal Crossing for the Nintendo 64 and GameCube. The GameCube version supports Advance Play, allowing Golf to be played on a Game Boy Advance by using a GameCube – GBA link cable. The cable can be detached from the systems once the download is complete, and the Game Boy Advance version supports sleep mode.

In 2002, Golf was released for the e-Reader on the Game Boy Advance. This required the e-Reader accessory and Golf cards, and in contrast to the Advance Play version in Animal Crossing, it did not support sleep mode.

The game was released on the Nintendo Switch in the Nintendo eShop on 25 October 2019 by Hamster Corporation as part of their Arcade Archives series.[5]

Easter eggs[edit]

The game was hidden as an easter egg and tribute to Satoru Iwata in the firmware of the Nintendo Switch, prior to the system's 4.0 update. Iwata was the sole programmer of Golf (as one of his first projects for Nintendo) and later became Nintendo's CEO. It can only be accessed if the system clock is set to July 11 (the anniversary of Iwata's death) and then the user performs the "Direct" action that Iwata popularized during his Nintendo Direct appearances while holding both Joy-Con controllers on the Switch home menu.[6][7][8] Exclusive to this version is the ability to use motion control.

The nine holes of the golf game in Wii Sports are 3-dimensional versions of the holes in Golf. This is also true of the "Classic" courses for the golf and Frisbee golf games in Wii Sports Resort, as well as the Golf game in Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics.[9]


American video game database AllGame rated the game with 4 out of 5 stars.[11]


The Famicom version yielded 2.46 million copies sold in Japan.[12]


Golf is the first golf video game to feature a power and accuracy bar for swinging the club. The power bar method has been used in most golf games since.[13]


  1. ^ Japanese: ゴルフ, Hepburn: Gorufu


  1. ^ Kohler, Chris (October 14, 2016). "Miyamoto Spills Donkey Kong's Darkest Secrets, 35 Years Later". Wired. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  2. ^ "Iwata Asks: Wii Sports: Games That Even the People Watching Can Enjoy". Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  3. ^ "Nintendo - Official Site - Video Game Consoles, Games".
  4. ^ "Nintendo - Official Site - Video Game Consoles, Games".
  5. ^ Lane, Gavin (March 13, 2020). "Guide: Every Arcade Archives Game On Nintendo Switch, Plus Our Top Picks". Nintendo Life. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  6. ^ Orland, Kyle (September 20, 2017). "Hidden Switch game is actually a tribute to former Nintendo president [Updated]". Ars Technica.
  7. ^ McFerran, Damien (September 20, 2017). "Rumour: Switch's Hidden NES Golf Game Is A Tribute To The Late Satoru Iwata". Nintendo Life.
  8. ^ Good, Owen S. (July 12, 2015). "Nintendo president Satoru Iwata dies at 55". Polygon. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  9. ^ "Nintendo Shares A Handy Infographic Featuring All 51 Worldwide Classic Clubhouse Games". Nintendo Life. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  10. ^ Sutyak, Jonathan. "Golf - Review". Allgame. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  11. ^ Sutyak, Jonathan. "Golf - Review". Allgame. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  12. ^ "【ゲームの企画書】『パワプロ』×『みんなのGOLF』開発者が初対談。初代『パワプロ』企画書も公開! コントローラで我々はスポーツの何を楽しんでいるのか?". 電ファミニコゲーマー – ゲームの面白い記事読んでみない? (in Japanese).
  13. ^ Rosenberg, Adam (October 18, 2015). "Can you remember all 18 games that launched with the NES in 1985?". Mashable. Retrieved July 18, 2019.

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