Ever since the downfall of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series (largely due to the downfall of Tiger Woods himself), there has been a void of high-profile golf video games. EA Sports tried continuing the franchise under the Rory McIlroy banner, but gave up after the one title it released back in 2015. Everybody’s Golf was good and lighthearted (it had always been re-branded as Hot Shots Golf in North America), but 2017’s game was the first in the series since 2011.
The closest golf has to annualized video games is happening today. The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA Tour just stealth-released on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It’s the third Golf Club title; the original launched in 2014 and The Golf Club 2 launched in 2017. Back-to-back years is technically annualized.
What makes this game special is right there in the name. It has the PGA Tour official license for the first time ever, which brings that extra authenticity to a realistic simulated golf game. Developer HB Studios says that The Golf Club 2019 will have a PGA Tour career mode and courses that are endorsed by the PGA Tour. It doesn’t appear as if Golf Club 2019 has the rights to use the likenesses of the players, however.
There’s another interesting tidbit about Golf Club 2019: It’s being published by 2K Games. This makes it the only golf game with backing by a major publisher (apart from Everybody’s Golf being funded by Sony, but that’s not aiming for the same degree of realism). If this venture goes well, it’s conceivable that 2K could wrap future Golf Club games under the 2K Sports 2K banner and pay for the licenses to include PGA Tour players.
The surprise launch today only includes the digital version of Golf Club 2019. 2K says that physical editions will hit retail sometime later this fall.
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2K is publishing the new Golf Club 2019 game, and it’s stealth-releasing today