PGA Tour 2K23 is making its return to the green after a 2K22 absence. This time around, the game is swinging back in a big way, with Tiger Woods playing a big role in the development and even serving as the cover athlete for the latest iteration.
Ahead of its October 14 release date, we got to try out a few of the features that players and Golf aficionados can expect from the game, specifically Top Golf and MyCAREER, to see how they stack up to expectations.
Green or Rough?
One thing players will have to know about PGA 2K23 is that there are significant gameplay changes on top of the usual roster and course updates.
PGA Tour 2K23 introduces 3-click swings as an alternative to the classic mouse swing method. Depending on your preference, this new system potentially gives you more control of your shot.
The way it works is that you press hold & release for power, then click for shot plane, then click for shot timing. In some ways, this feels like a minigame of sorts (think NBA2K but shot entirely with Free Throws) but with quite a bit more technicality baked in.
Creating your own shot is easier in PGA Tour 2K23, with more control over loft/spin/fade/draw and shot/putt weight, along with your usual club selection. Adding more complexity to your shot makes your 3-click timings harder to make and easier to miss, which is the tradeoff for potentially tournament-winning stroke advantages and shortcuts.
Players are also now able to fit most equipment (clubs and balls) with bonuses, tending to influence which shots you’d want and can take. Custom balls can enhance certain attributes for a limited number of uses, which can then be leveraged with the more complex builds available to the player for particularly difficult strokes.
Create your Legend
MyPLAYER build depth in PGA Tour 2K23 is taken to the next level, with new skill specialization trees (i.e., Greensman, Driver, Bunker tech, etc.) and added customization with conditional activations (i.e., miss or make two putts in a row).
This is, in my opinion, one of the better additions to this generation, allowing MyPLAYERs to lean into their strengths, or in my case, cover up obvious weaknesses like my abysmal putting skill.
The Sponsorship System in PGA Tour 2K23 has also been deepened, with more benefits (and consequences) that a MyPLAYER can utilize. One can curry favor with a preferred or better sponsor, but jumping too many times between them can put some companies off.
Balls and Clubs can be sponsored alongside the Apparel and can offer benefits with regards to career earnings based on usage and performance. It’s more of the usual, but with just a little more nuance added, like set bonuses if you match sponsors for your gear or fulfill certain conditions.
To The Top
Up next is TopGolf, which is the driving range mode that’s new to the game. At the moment, the mode is quite sparse, playing like a glorified Shot Training Mode. On one hand, it does help one practice your drives, putts, and lobs, but ultimately doesn’t add too much to the game right now.
I don’t see myself playing it any more than a few times even with Multiplayer available unless there is more variety added to the courses and challenges.
With those in the golf bag, PGA Tour 2K23 MyCareer looks to be a more robust experience this year that includes a number of improvements that have been talked about by fans since 2K21. Hopefully, TopGolf is improved with updates, because it does and can further address the need for a “casual” mode in golf sims that won’t require an 18-hole tourney for at least 30 minutes.
PGA Tour 2K23 seems to be squarely aimed at the Golf aficionados, with the tweaks and nuances that will be appreciated by longtime players, offering a solid package. Newcomers will find the experience easy to jump into, but the game is a very niche title, unlike other sports games out there, so the audience will be a bit limited.
PGA Tour 2K23 will be available starting October 11 for the Deluxe and Tiger Woods editions, and October 14 for the Standard edition.