Palm Golf Review


Program Requirements:
Compatible with SH3 and MIPS Palm size PCs. Needs 765k of RAM
for Black&White version, 2.4meg for Color version.

Hey all you hackers out there (not the computer kind) , it’s time to hit
the links with Palm Golf by Ziosoft.   Palm
Golf is a terrific 18 hole golf game for the Palm size PC.  It will let you play a 1
to 4 player game that can have any combination of computer and / or human players. Before
I begin the review, I’ll admit that before playing this game, I didn’t know anything about
golf except that it was the game that Tiger Woods plays. I’ve never had an interest in the
sport at all and thought it was stupid and boring.  I’m happy to say that I’ve
changed my mind (at least for this version of the game).

The game is available in either
a color or black&white version. I’ll include screen shots in color for this review.

When the Palm Golf starts, you name the players and decide which ones will be human or
computer. Once you’ve done that, you press PLAY and the game begins with you ready to tee
off for the first hole.

The user interface is nicely laid out and is easy to learn/use.  The
main part of the screen shows the course and your golf ball. A long black line extends
from the ball which shows the direction to the hole and the direction that your ball will
follow when you hit it.  If you want to change the direction, you can just tap the
screen in the desired direction. Usually when you first start playing a certain hole,
you’ll not be able to see the entire layout of the course and location of the flag.  
By tapping on the screen, waiting a few seconds for the ball and direction line to
disappear, you can then drag the course up and down to see the whole layout. This is can
be really helpful.

Once you have the ball lined up with the direction you want to hit it
in, you can choose your club.  To do this, you just tap on the picture of the club
and a selector pops up with the various club types.

You have wedges, irons, pitching wedges and a putter. After choosing the
club type (except the putter), you use the arrow keys to pick the specific club you want
to hit with.  Choosing the club depends on the distance from the hole. Wedges are
heavier and hit farther, irons are for medium distance strokes, pitching wedges are for
getting your ball out of sandtraps, and the putter is used when you’re on the green and
ready to sink the ball in the cup.

Besides choosing the club that you want to use to hit
the ball, you can also pick the type of shot you want to take.  By tapping on the
arrow, you can choose a hook or slice shot.  You can even pick the type of spin to
put on the ball.   There are several types of spins. Top spin will let the ball
roll the maximum distance possible after hitting the ground, and under spinning the ball
will help you avoid water traps and bunkers by stopping the ball quickly when it hits the

Before hitting the ball, you can check the par (how many shots it should take to sink
the ball), wind speed/direction and distance to the hole. Keeping your eye on the wind
speed can help you make a better shot by carrying the ball farther….it can also screw
you up if it’s blowing hard in the wrong direction.

To make the shot, you tap and hold on the arrow at the bottom of the screen. As you
hold down the stylus, a bar will grow across the screen to the golf ball and then back
again. The object is to lift your stylus right before the bar gets to the left edge of the
golf ball. This creates the strongest possible hit.   Once the ball is hit, you
can watch it as it takes off. The ball is very easy to see and follow as it moves across
the screen.  The animation is really good as the bounces and rolls on the course.
  Even the sound effects are well done with a nice ‘whoosh’ noise as you strike the
ball or a ‘yeah!’ when you’ve hit the ball farther than you ever have before.

So, after you take your shot, the next player takes his and so on till
every player has had a shot.  Then, the player farthest from the hole takes another
shot and so on.  There several obstacles that can get in your way before you actually
can get to the green to putt.  There are water hazards, and bunkers as well as
getting the ball in the rough or wild.  A status indicator constantly displays what
type of terrain that you ball is on.

Once you are on the green, the view changes to a more close up display of the hole.  
At this point you’ll automatically have the putter and will then try to get the ball in
the hole.  For these shots, it takes a delicate touch so that you won’t overshoot the
hole.  Practice makes perfect.  🙂 After you’ve sunk the ball, you’re show your
current score and then it’s off to the next hole.

I really like this game.  It’s
got all the right features as far as terrific graphics (especially in color), nice sound
effects (I love the little ‘kerplunk’ noise when your ball falls in the hole) and easy to
use interface.  And most of all, it’s fun.  It is a relaxing type of game that
uses more strategy than lightning fast reflexes.

On the flip side, what would I add or change about this game to make it better?  
There are a couple things.  One thing is that it would be nice if there was a way to
see the terrain better. Maybe a toggle that would show a grid of the topography.  
Another feature I’d like to see is the ability to pick a specific hole to play.  
This way I could just practice on a hole that was giving me trouble.  It would also
be great if you could import new courses to play.   The game also needs a quit
option.  I noticed that using a program like EZTaskMan to close it would sometimes
cause my Casio E10 to crash requiring me to reset it. 

A demo version that allows you to play two holes is available on the Ziosoft website.
Well, my fellow duffers, it’s back to the links I go!

Price: $29.95

Very entertaining.
Easy to learn.
Great graphics.

Needs a QUIT option.
Needs a big chunk of storage space.



Product Information

  • Very entertaining.
  • Easy to learn.
  • Great graphics.
  • Needs a QUIT option.
  • Needs a big chunk of storage space.
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