There's no question that Tiger Woods has profoundly affected the way we look at golf. Previously ruled by stuffy old bluebloods, the sport has been infused with a new, youthful energy since Tiger's arrival, which in turn has attracted a much more diverse audience to the game. Last year's installment in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series reflected golf's new attitude by including colorful fictional golfers, a hip soundtrack, and a slick new visual style. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 further refines this presentation, along with virtually every other facet of the game. The end result is a nearly flawless game of golf that somehow manages to appeal to every breed of golfer.
The game starts off with a helpful tutorial that explains the game's now-standard analog swing system.
The game starts off with a helpful tutorial that explains the game's now-standard analog swing system, along with many of the other core skills you'll need to succeed in PGA Tour 2003, including draw shots, fade shots, and putting. EA Sports seems to have tinkered with the analog swing mechanics just a little bit, making them more forgiving and making it easier to hit a straight shot. PGA Tour 2003 also includes all the gameplay-assistance mechanics introduced in 2002. You can boost the power of your swing by tapping a button while your golfer pulls back his or her club, and tapping another button and holding a direction on the analog stick while the ball is in flight will affect the spin of the ball. These mechanics, along with the putting line, caddy tips, tap-ins, and more, can be disabled in the options menu, giving players the ability to adjust the level of realism in the game to their liking. The amount of customization allowed in PGA Tour 2003 makes the game significantly more accessible and enjoyable for hacks and pros alike.
As previously mentioned, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 vastly increases the number of playable golfers and courses featured in its predecessor. There are now more than 25 different golfers to choose from, and it's about evenly split between real-world golf pros and colorful fictional characters. The courses, however, are all faithfully modeled after 12 different world-famous venues, though, again, it'll be up to you to unlock many of them. The sheer volume of players and courses available in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 gives the game even more long-term appeal than its predecessor, and this is further accentuated by the game's increased gameplay options.
Though the game wears the endorsement of the PGA Tour on its sleeve, the ability to join this professional golf tour represents only a portion of what Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 has to offer. The Tiger challenge pits the player against a series of fictional and real-world golf pros on renditions of real-world courses for cash prizes, which can be used to buy skill points for your golfer. Besting your opponents in the Tiger challenge will also let you play as that opponent and unlock courses. The technical difficulty of the courses you'll play on and the competence of the computer AI increase very gradually in the Tiger challenge, keeping any initial frustration a beginner might experience to a minimum. The scenario mode lets you choose from 49 different predetermined situations, such as making up for lost strokes on the back nine, dealing with exceptionally bad weather conditions, or sinking a series of birdie shots. By putting you into some of the most difficult positions you might encounter in a standard 18-hole round, the scenario mode provides a good level of challenge, and it can help improve specific aspects of your game.