With the release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14, Balls.ie got a chance to talk to EA Sports executive producer, Brent Nielson.
What aspects of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2014 do you think fans will enjoy the most?
This year we have a collection of both the greatest golfers and the greatest tournaments. We have the licences to all four major championships for the first time so fans will be able to play those with their favourite golfers. The “legends of the majors” mode will allow players to go back through golf history and recreate key moments in the career of golfers such as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer.
What should fans expect when they are playing golf in the 1930’s era or even earlier?
First of all it will look very unique visually with a black and white effect. The clothes the players wear will be completely different to the modern day as well. There was a time when golfers basically played in a suit and tie. I think fans will really enjoy playing with the sort of clubs that the old pros played with. Mashies, Spoons and Jiggers are clubs you will have to get used to even though many younger fans may never have heard of them. In the early era you won’t be playing with drivers I can assure you.
What are the main differences between playing in the different eras?
Well each era has its own unique physics when it comes to hitting the ball. Your approach changes depending on what golfer you are using and what set of clubs. The best things about our new legends mode are the dream matchups you can set up. All the golfers use the same clubs so you can see who would win between Tiger vs Jack or Rory McIlroy vs Gary Player.
You have created a special version of Augusta to replicate what it was like for the original tournament. What new features might surprise fans?
Well we worked with Augusta National and with golf historians to make sure we could get it as accurate as possible and we think we have gotten it pretty close. The 1934 Augusta course is a lot shorter than it is today but you will be playing with different clubs so you will have to factor that in to how you play it. Some of the whole are in a different order than they are today while others are just set out completely differently. It will be a very new experience for fans.
Has Tiger Woods given you any feedback?
He has, we show him how we are progressing and he tells us what he thinks. I think what he really enjoyed about the new game is the timeline through the history of golf. He liked that we are trying to pay homage to some of the games greats and that it can also educate some of the younger fans about the game of golf.
How is your golf game? How would you fare on the classic Augusta course?
I can play a bit a little bit. I have never had a chance to play Augusta but I would be more than happy to break 100 at our classic course. But with the hard greens it would be pretty tough if I’m being honest.
When you were getting legends for the game did you consider getting three time major winner Padraig Harrington? Irish fans will be devastated with his omission.
No question Padraig Harrington is a great golfer but we just had enough legends as it is. Who knows in ten years time we might include Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy.
Is there any chance that a future edition of the game could be called Rory McIlroy PGA Tour?
Well Rory is definitely a big enough star for his own game but he is still a few majors short before he could rival Tiger’s position.