This program is based upon the Car Care Plan professional tournament played at Moortown, which as it happens I had been watching on television the week before the tape arrived for review. Since most of the pros struggled to beat the tough par 69, I am not too upset that this is my best effort to date on Hornby's simulation!
Each hole is represented graphically in proportion to its size and shape, with hazards in the form of rough and bunkers. If you land in either you are forced to play a wedge shot. Knocking the ball off the screen is declared "out of bounds" with the appropriate two shot penalty. Each of these events is accompanied by an amusing display of rage by the little golfer on the screen whose actions you control.
To play a shot you choose a club from the full range or irons and woods and enter a percentage strength with which to hit it. You aim by adjusting a pointer in front of the little man - just as in Acornsoft's Snooker. Random error is built in to direction and distance which gives some scope for tactics - e.g. taking a 3 wood off the tee on a tight fairway, or aiming up the less dangerous side of the hole.
There are, of course, limits to the realism of such a simulation. The putting on perfectly circular greens with no slopes is particularly boring. I have also never played a real game of golf where one player plays out the hole entirely before the other even starts! One thing I don't mind is the fact that I can hit my woods as far as Sandy Lyle - eagle threes on the long par fives come a little more easily than usual.
All things considered, this is a pretty good game, but you really would have to be an enthusiast to buy more than one program from the Hornby series.