One of the elite courses in Golf Story is owned and run by a gang of old coots. They don’t keep greens; everything is a fairway (“It’s better that way,” they say). Newer clubs are disallowed; only bangers and mashers – club terms a century old – tee off on this course. The very idea of changing how they do things is offensive.
For as much as it aims for wide appeal, Golf Story knows the sport too. Not on the course, where the mild and effortless three-click system rarely poses a challenge. No, in the background, where those old, undoubtedly well-to-do men keep a tight grip on the sport. They shun younger players, claim superiority, and subsequently, keep the game isolated and insular. That’s golf, arguably more so than the putting a ball in a cup.
Golf Story is definitely cute. It’s smart and witty, boundless and creative too. The writing is a delight and never falls off. Otherwise, Golf Story’s mild Rocky-like tale meanders at a mellow pace. Groovy tunes accompany each course. Even trees seem to shimmy and bounce to these rhythms. It backs an easy going, laid-back golfing game, often filled with inanity. Every problem is solved, in some way, through golf. Frozen inhabitants of a snowy course need unfrozen with flaming golf calls. This is done by hitting a wedge into their icy entombment, because to hell with physics. This is Golf Story.
The most impressive feat is in Golf Story’s ability to get everything right. Plain as it is, the actual 9-hole course play invites joy. The world design is flush with personalities and cartoon ideals. Finding secrets is a constant. Satisfaction gained from leveling spurs on this wacky if inspiring story. Meanwhile, Golf Story airs frustrations about the sport it loves, but only some will catch on, and that’s okay.