Links Championship Courses. (computer game) (evaluation)
by Richard O. Mann
Access Software's hot 1990 release, LINKS: The Challenge of Golf, came with an incredibly detailed, digitized version of Torrey Pines South Golf Course in southern California. The designers promised additional courses - these are the first out of the chute.
Just a few miles from Access's former offices, you'll find the setting for the Bountiful, Utah, course - high in the foothills of the spectacular Wasatch Front Mountains. Access captured the course in the fall, with gorgeous colors festooning the mountainside in the background. (Firestone is also dressed in its autumn best.)
Since Bountiful is in the hills, the course has lots of up- and downhill fairways moving across steep hillsides. A ball hit out of the fairway may end up anywhere. Watch out for the windows of the nearby condos! I live on the Wasatch Front. I can testify that playing this course on the computer captures the look and feel of a brisk 18 holes in the mountains on a sunny fall day.
The Firestone Country Club of Akron, Ohio, is a world-class course, the site of many PGA tournaments. It's also a duffer's nightmare. The densely tree-lined fairways continually obscure your view of the pin. If you don't have precise control of your hooks and slices, you'll spend hours in the woods, hitting trees on almost every stroke.
In short, it's a challenge. You'll fine-tune your skills here - or vie for a spot in the Hall of Shame. There's no middle ground. These beautiful courses have been lovingly re-created in astounding detail, right down to the types, shapes, and colors of the trees, buildings near the course, and scenery in the distance. LINKS is a great game. With these realistic courses (and many more to come), it should remain popular indefinitely.