Beginner Tips & Tricks
Welcome to my blog! For those who don’t know me, I am Fred Parrow, an EA SPORTS Game Changer and long time fan of the Tiger Woods golf series. I’ve put literally thousands of hours into video golf over the past 10+ years and am here to offer some tips for those of you who have may just recently discovered the fun of video golf or are needing help with some of the new features found in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13.
Your first order of business in the game is to create your own golfer. A created golfer will allow you to adjust their stats, alter the clubs in your bag, and offer a wide range of clothing and accessories to use.
Your golfer at first will have minimal abilities but by playing through the Tiger Legacy Challenges and Career Mode you will see that every shot you make and round you complete earns you experience points and also unlocks new and better equipment. Make sure you do the sponsor challenges before career tournaments as they unlock improved equipment for your golfer.
Building the Best
The experience points (XP) you earn for your golfer can be spread across 6 areas – power, accuracy, workability, spin, recovery, and putting. While each can go up to 100 you won’t be able to maximize all 6 areas as there are only a total of 510 points you can use in total. Some equipment you unlock will allow you to get extra points on some areas and boost pins can also allow you to apply extra points during a round. While each skill category has its benefits, the most important areas you should focus on maximizing are power, accuracy, and putting as they will offer the most pronounced effects on the course.
Don’t forget also to adjust the clubs in your bag. When your golfer has low power you may want some longer irons, woods, and hybrids. As your stats build you can then focus on carrying more short irons and wedges. Keep in mind the distances each club hits and try to minimize any gaps in distances as you don’t want to find yourself between clubs on the course leaving yourself trickier partial swings.
The best advice when you are first learning the game is to use all the help tools the game provides and then slowly wean off them as you become more comfortable. The beginning level, Amateur Mode, offers the most assistance with shot and putt previews, after-spin, and if you want - caddy tips. You can also go into “Play Now” and set up rounds allowing mulligans though you won’t earn XP for your golfer with them on. Remember that prior to each shot you can do a practice swing by pushing in the joystick you swing with. Practice swings will help give you the muscle memory to achieve the proper tempo and over/underswing to achieve the shot you set up.
When setting up a shot from the tee or fairway you should get yourself into doing a ritual of the following a series of steps:
- The first thing you want to do is to look down (move the swing joystick down) to look at your ball lie. This will tell you if you are on an upslope, downslope, or a sidehill lie. Keep those numbers in mind for the next step.
- Now zoom down the fairway to see where your shot will end up. Adjust the aim taking into account lie angles you found in step 1. For example, if your ball was sitting 2 degrees below your feet then you know your shot it going to tail off a couple yards to the right so you want to compensate for that by aiming a couple yards left (assuming you are a right-handed golfer, opposite if you play lefty).
- Your next adjustment should take into account the wind. How much you adjust for wind will depend on how hard it’s blowing and how long your ball will be in the air. A headwind of 10mph will have a more pronounced effect from 200 yards out than if you are 100 yards out. Learning how to play the wind takes trial and error practice that you will become more accurate adjusting for over time.
- The final adjustment you must account for is the elevation difference between where your ball is laying and where you expect the ball to land. For example if your ball is 30 feet above your desired landing spot, then you want to move your aiming marker back about 10 yards (30 feet) otherwise your shot will travel further than you intended.
Pulling off the shot
Now that you have made all the necessary pre-shot adjustments you are ready to execute your shot. Your goal is to get perfect over/underswing (your backswing) and perfect tempo (your downswing). If you have set your shot up properly taking into account all the various conditions then your ball should end up pretty close to its intended target. Should you find yourself struggling to get your swing to hit that perfect/perfect range then take some time before your shots to use the practice swing feature to get a feel for the right amount of backswing and the proper tempo for your downswing.
Putting for dough
The final piece of the puzzle is what to do once you are on the green. Putt previews will greatly help you line up your putts. A very important piece of advice is to try to line up your putt BEFORE you use the putt preview.
The game takes into account green speed for you so putting adjustments only require you to adjust for elevation and left/right break. For elevation 1 inch in elevation change equates to 1 foot of adjustment with your aiming marker. Left/right breaks are trickier to read but in general the faster the beads are moving the more the ball will break. Breaks are more pronounced on very fast greens compared to slow greens and uphill putts break less than downhill putts. After making your best guess adjustments, utilize the putt preview to see how well you did and then make any final tweaks to your line or distance.
Like a regular shot, you want to get perfect/perfect for your overswing and tempo so if you are having trouble achieving that be sure to use the practice swing feature to find your groove.
Hope you enjoyed some basic tips to help you get started on a path to greatness on the tour with Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13. Be on the lookout here for my next blog offering some more advanced techniques to help improve your game!
Fred Parrow—Better known by his XBox360 Gamertag "Oblong"--is an EA SPORTS Game Changer located in Tennessee. He has been part of the EA SPORTS Game Changers since December 2009. Fred has won dozens of Tiger Woods PGA TOUR online tournaments over the past decade. He has attended 7 Tiger Woods Community Day events at Tiburon Studios and is a moderator for the Tiger Woods PGA TOUR EA SPORTS forums. You can follow Fred on Twitter with his username @xoblongx