Golf (1995 video game)

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Box art
Developer(s) T&E Soft
Composer(s) Ken Kojima
Platform(s) Virtual Boy
  • JP: August 11, 1995
  • NA: November 1995
Genre(s) Sports (Golf)
Mode(s) Single player

Golf, known in Japan as T&E Virtual Golf (Japanese: T&Eバーチャルゴルフ Hepburn: T&E Bācharu Gorufu?), is a golf video game that was released within months of the Virtual Boy console's launch. Golf was developed and published by T&E Soft in Japan and published by Nintendo in North America. It was directed by Tadashi Nakatsuji and its sound specialist was Ken Kojima. The game uses standard golf rules and is set in the fictional 18-hole Papillion Golf & Country Club. Hazards include water, sand traps, trees, and deep rough grass, and players can choose their club and various aspects of the club's swing, including speed, direction, stance, swing power, and the ball impact point. The direction the ball will go in is determined by these things as well as the speed and direction of the wind. It is displayed in the Virtual Boy's standard red and black color scheme with 3D effects by use of a 3D processor. It was met with critical praise for its controls and physics and mixed reviews for its graphics. Nintendo Power called it the third best Virtual Boy release of its year.


Golf follows traditional golf rules: players must reach the hole on the green in as few strokes as possible by hitting the ball with a club, while avoiding obstacles including sand traps, water hazards, trees, and deep rough grass. In the screen's top left and right corners, players are shown the wind speed/direction and an aerial layout of the course, respectively. In advance of their turn, players choose aspects of the swing, such as speed, direction, stance, club type, swing power, and the ball impact point. Swing power requires players to stop an indicator at the right moment on a vertical arrow; the ball impact point requires players to stop a zig-zagging indicator as it moves down and then up a close-up of the ball. If players allow the indicator to move all the way up the vertical arrow, they will be given another chance to time their shot; if they allow the zig-zagging indicator to reach the top, the game will automatically stop it at the very top. If players hit the top of the ball, it will go further while hitting the bottom of the ball will cause the ball to go further but have a more controlled direction. Hitting the ball on the right or left sides will cause the ball to hook in either direction. The ideal spot is the center of the ball; unlike real golf, players do not need to hit the bottom of the ball when in bunkers or deep rough. Players can also place a grid on a nearby portion of the course to aide with the aim and distance of their shots. Players can choose between five different viewing perspectives, change button configurations, and review the positives and negatives of their last shots.[1][2]

The game takes place in the fictional 18-hole Papilion Golf & Country Club. Players choose between two modes of play: Tournament, where players compete against 47 virtual computer-controlled opponents, and Stroke, where players attempt to surpass their previous high scores. Stroke mode is designed for beginners.[2]


Golf was developed and published by T&E Soft for the Virtual Boy.[3] It was originally known as VR Golf.[4] While T&E Soft handled the game's Japan release, Nintendo handled its North American release.[3][5][6] Its director was Tadashi Nakatsuji and its sound specialist was Ken Kojima.[7] Like all other Virtual Boy games, Golf uses a red-and-black color scheme and uses parallax, an optical trick that is used to simulate a 3D effect.[8] The game was released within months of the Virtual Boy console.[2][9][10] Nintendo cut Virtual Boy's price multiple times, one drop coinciding with Golf's release.[11]


Golf received mixed to positive reception; the positive reception was due in part to the T&E Soft's experience with golf games which was noted by multiple outlets including Official Nintendo Magazine, Edge, Allgame, and Nintendo Power (the latter which called it the third best Virtual Boy game of the year).[12][13][14][15] Nintendo Power called Golf the most realistic sports game on the Virtual Boy at the time of its release.[16] Total! magazine felt that the game was very basic and lacked in content and features.[17] Nintendo Life's Dave Frear felt that the controls were designed well, but criticized its lack of multiplayer, internal memory of high score data between power cycles, and a second golf course.[18]

The audiovisual elements received mixed reviews. GamePro and Electronic Playground both found the game fun but were disappointed by its graphics. GamePro additionally criticized the audio quality.[19][20] Total! felt that the game had some of the console's worst 3D effects.[17] The News Tribune praised its 3D effects as well as the scene transitions and graphics.[21] Allgame's Scott Alan Marriott felt that the audio and sense of depth were poor, but commended its use of shading.[14] Nintendo Magazine positively praised Golf's presentation and the perspective of the ball.[22] Nintendo Life's Dave Frear also praised its sense of distance and course size.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Golf manual. Nintendo. 1995. 
  2. ^ a b c "T&E's New Golf Game Leaves the Rest in the Rough". Nintendo Power. United States (76): 40, 41, 42, 43. 1995. 
  3. ^ a b "Virtual Boy: It's Virtually Here!". Nintendo Power. United States (73): 73. 1995. 
  4. ^ "Virtual Boy" (7). Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  5. ^ David Wesley; Gloria Barczak (21 June 2010). Innovation and Marketing in the Video Game Industry: Avoiding the Performance Trap. Gower Publishing, Ltd. pp. 86–. ISBN 978-0-566-09167-4. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Golf". IGN. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  7. ^ T&E Soft. Golf. 
  8. ^ "Backwards Compatible: The Virtual Boy". ABC Good Game. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  9. ^ "Virtual Boy Arrives! It's in Your Face". Nintendo Power. United States. 75: 11. 1995. 
  10. ^ "Nintendo's Portable History: Part 3, Virtual Boy | DS". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  11. ^ "It's Virtually a New Deal". Electronic Gaming Monthly. United States (77): 20. 1995. 
  12. ^ "The Virtual Boy Collection". The Official Nintendo Magazine. Great Britain (52): 60. 2010. 
  13. ^ "Virtual Boy hardware". Edge. United Kingdom: 104. 1996. 
  14. ^ a b Marriott, Scott Alan. "Golf review". Allgame. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  15. ^ "The Best of 1995". Nintendo Power. United States (80): 5. 1996. 
  16. ^ "Virtual Boy Now Playing Recap". Nintendo Power. United States (82): 89. 1996. 
  17. ^ a b "Red or Dead". Total!. United Kingdom (53): 39. 1996. 
  18. ^ a b Frear, Dave (2009-07-07). "Golf review". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  19. ^ "ProReview: Portable Systems". GamePro. United States (81): 86. 1996. 
  20. ^ john (June 20, 1996). "Reviews: Golf". Electronic Playground. Archived from the original on December 3, 2000. Retrieved September 22, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Virtual Boy Adds 2 Games to Repertoire". The News Tribune. United States. 1996-01-06. 
  22. ^ "Virtual Boy". Nintendo Magazine. Australia: 50. 1995.