Rolf Rötgers / Oliver Bolten

Publisher: Goldsieber 2000



Being not a boardgame in the classical sense, Golf Masters was one of the first games which directly caught my interest when I returned from studying in the UK in August 2000. Instead of rolling a dice and moving tokens, Golf Masters instead is a game of skill, trying to simulate as closely as possibly the flavour of real golf in form of a game. Thus, the game is much closer to games like Pro Action Football (Parker) or the German Tipp-Kick than to normal boardgames.

In the gamebox comes everything needed to start a golf-tournament right away. The box contains 1 tee-off-area, 6 different fairway sections, two player figures, 10 soft golf balls and 1 set of rules (also containing 18 suggested hole-setups).


Usually, the participating players will decide to play a set of 18 holes, but it may also be more or less, depending on the players´ individual wishes. The first thing always to do is to set up a hole - here the players can follow the suggested set-ups from the rules or they can decide to create holes on their own, using the different (double-sided) fairway sections. These fairway sections contain several elements of landscape - just like in real golf. So you can have trees, sand-bunkers and lakes. When the hole is set, the first player sets out solve the hole in front of him with as few strokes as possible. He puts one of the soft golf balls at the tee-off-area and positions his player-figure next to it. The player-figure is operated through a wheel which sticks out of his back - if this wheel is moved the figure moves his club. By taking a skillful aim and adding a well-balanced portion of force, the player is able to make a more or less good move of the ball on the fairway. After the ball moved, the figure is once again positioned next to the ball and the procedure is repeated - until the ball finally is in the hole.

Rules for the different elements of landscape add spice and even tactics to the game. So a ball whoch stops in a lake is lost in the water and the stroke must be repeated (also adding a penalty stroke). If the ball stops under a tree, positioning of the player-figure may be limited (possibly forcing the player to drop a ball) and if it stops in a bunker, limitations apply to the use of the club. For these reasons, players are forced to plan their way carefully: where do they want to stop ? Take a safe shot and close in on the lake first - or make a daring shot to cross the obstacle ?

The included rules offer a quite good simulation of a real golf game. Additional realism is created by the use of soft golf balls (made of some kind of cotton). The irregularity of movement of these balls simulates the effects of wind and downslopes which may happen in real golf.

I must confess that I was quite taken by the easy but fascinating simulation of golf offered by this game. So far I only played golf as a computer-game, but this one, at least from my point of view, is definately better. It may be played solo, or with an almost unlimited number of participants (how much time do you have ?), thus creating a real competitive atmosphere. I think that after a number of somewhat weaker games this game could put Goldsieber back into the higher ranks on the scoreboard.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany