Clubbed to death in a Pringle sweater on the fifth in the Nevada desert. A man was today arrested for using a one iron on the green. He did it, he said: "Because the pool of blood caused by my hacking off the head of my skins opponent with a pitching wedge made the lie unplayable with a standard Ping putter". Oh yes indeed, golf can bring the worst out in a human being. The worst excuse for drinking, the worst reason for taking a good walk.
So how have Ocean and the Really Interesting Software Company, oh and Pringle - the people who are sponsoring this game and who used to make the slacks and sweaters worn by Southend Utd fans in 1986 - emulated this sport?
Not badly really. If you are one of those Amiga gamers that comes into the 'I demand realism from my sports sims' camp, the kind of person who worships the ability to check brake linings on driving games, the kind of person who sees choosing player sponsorship as more important than goals in footy games, then you are going to be reasonably impressed by International Open Championship Golf (IOGC).
And there is another plus for gamers who are just into games - IOGC not only wins prizes for having one of the longest names ever (beating PGA Tour Golf by a good head) it also does what many people thought was the undo-able, it adds something to the genre. That is right, many of us pundits had been crying out for some software house somewhere to get rid of the bar for power and snap that was taken to its zenith by PGA Tour. We demanded something new, some more realistic way of playing Amiga golf. And someone listened.
We will leave what this exciting new thing is for a while and talk instead about the fact that this game is obviously a PC port, and quite obviously needs a powerful PC to run it. The reason for this assumption is that running on a standard A1200, everything seems to run at the speed of Jack Nicklaus sprinting for the Sunday papers while submerged in a bucket of honey and custard.
All the 3D effects, the million camera angles, the choice of skins, fourplay, strokeplay or matchplay, the fly-by, the fact that a putt of two yards or less will be sunk for you, all these options are undermined by the sloth of the whole thing.
Now this does not mean that IOGC is not the ideal mid-point between Links and PGA, because it is. While it lacks PGA's speed and simplicity of gameplay, it does include the myriad options and good-looks of Links. it just means that the screen can g4et too cluttered and the ball does travel too slowly.
And now the moment you have been waiting for... the big difference in gameplay is in the way you actually hit the ball. Where other golf games make use of the bar with one click of the mouse for power, and one click of the mouse for the 'snap' (whereabout you hit the ball, either in the middle, to the left or to the right), IOGC uses an elegant system comprising four levels of power (full, three-quarter, half, and quarter) for each club. You simply click on these.
Then you actually get to see the ball and choose where on it you are going to hit. This is achieved much in the same way as many Amiga darts games by using a defining targeting point with a built-in wobble. You get to see a small image of the ball (and its lie) with a small point that floats around, you then have to position the point in the ball and click the mouse when you are happy. This system really does knock spots of the older method by involving you in a far more realistic approach to your play - every shot has to be different and this means that your concentration has to be at optimum all around the course.
The two versions we received for the review, one worked fine with the graphics coming up a dream, one A1200 (another A1200 lost the left-hand screen but that was probably the machine's fault) but the other set of four disks showed horribly corrupted sky and background graphics. Advice here is to try the game before you leave the shop with it (if you are buying mail order, make sure they will accept faulty goods on return).
Another downer is the inability to choose your own clubs! You are stuck with a basic set of woods, irons, wedges and putters, and this collection does not include the trusty old one iron! A nightmare for most serious, late night, bourbon drinking Amiga golfers.
But to finish on the upside you can choose three levels of skill, although it is only on Master that things really get interesting with the wing coming into play. All in all, IOGC is far from classic but nearer to very good than you might expect. Also, the Pringle sponsorship really makes a difference. I really must go and purchase an expensive (but very high quality) sweater right now!