My father has four loves in his life: my mother, my sister, me and … golf.
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So when I called him to tell him that I would play a game of Mario Golf: Super Rush with Mike Weir, one of Canada’s most successful golfers to date in the discipline, the sire literally screamed into the combined.
Mike Weir, his hero, who has already won a major tournament on the PGA Tour, was going to (literally) cross swords with his son, to whom he tried as much as humanly possible to teach the basics of the sport, with fairly mixed results.
The dream … even if I imagine that he himself would have preferred to face this dear Mike on a real course, covered with real grass. But hey, the virtual experience of her son would at least allow him to live a little vicariously his fantasy of making a nine hole with his idol.
All that to say that when Nintendo contacted us to offer to play a game of Speed Golf with Mike Weir, I thought of my dad and raised my hand. It was also going to be the opportunity to impose myself on the greens against a professional golfer, but, that, I did not know it yet …
A Mario Golf comprehensive, but user-friendly
To prepare for the test, the people at Nintendo had previously sent me a small package, including a visor and two pairs of golf socks. I tried it all, telling myself that it could not hurt when you face a man who has fifteen professional victories to his credit.
The headgear made me look like I was working in the drive-thru at Tim Hortons, but the low golfs gave me a little je ne sais quoi that might just get me hitting my shots. starting a little further. Who knows.
Well shod, I installed Mario Golf: Super Rush on my Switch to hit a few balls and familiarize myself with the title, released on June 25 on Nintendo’s flagship console.
Right away, we realize that the first Mario Golf in over seven years (and even 18 years on a home console!) has been painstakingly produced by the Camelot team in Japan. Super Rush is luscious, colorful, and packed with content to keep virtual golfers busy for hours.
It includes an adventure mode, which features your own Mii and offers to launch your career, with special missions, training and even battles against bosses. Another mode, Battle Golf, throws you into an arena where you have to “win” holes before your opponents.
However, what mainly caught my attention was the Speed Golf component, created especially for Super Rush, who was going to be in the spotlight during my duel with Mike Weir.
So what is Speed Golf? It is a game mode where you have to run in order to reach your ball after each stroke, and this, as quickly as possible. You can also jostle your opponents there, in an explosive and chaotic mixture worthy of classic Nintendo multiplayer games.
Obviously, through all this breaststroke, you also have to play golf!
Fortunately, for both novices and regulars alike, Mario Golf: Super Rush is quickly taken in hand, while offering enough settings and mechanics to satisfy those who have a greater baggage of knowledge. And for budding golfers who want to perfect their game, the tutorials are plentiful and well detailed.
For my part, my prowess on a real golf course is, let’s say it, quite average thank you, but I did not have too much difficulty adapting to the systems of Super Rush. However, was that going to be enough to pull off a victory at the expense of Mike Weir, who, we recall, has already beaten Tiger Woods on more than one occasion …?
The time I had a better score than a Masters winner
It’s a little past noon when I sit in front of my Switch and start Zoom, this incredible legacy of a year and a half of pandemic.
On my screen appears the same Mike Weir whom I have seen many times on the family television, sitting next to my father, but this time he is speaking directly to me and asking me where I am from. It’s a bit surreal.
Very nice, we exchange a few banalities in the company of another journalist and together we embark on a short game of Speed Golf. Mike chooses Luigi, who according to him has “a nice balance in his game, power and a little speed, even if he is not the fastest”. “A bit like me!” He adds.
For my part, I set my sights on the greatest character ever imagined by Nintendo, Waluigi. Yes, yes, Waluigi and his beautiful purple kit!
We select the novice course and let’s go for three holes.
Already, Mike is hinting that his virtual game may be a little weaker than that in the real world. “I hope you haven’t practiced too much before,” he jokes before the game kicks off. In short, I may have a chance …
First observation: with several “human” players, the Speed Golf mode brings you to play at an insane speed. It really is a race! You struggle to get to your ball first, you hit your shot without really thinking and you move on to the next hole without fully realizing what’s going on.
Quite frankly, it wasn’t until I put the controller down a bit later and glanced at my computer screen, where the Zoom session was taking place, that I realized that one of the players was a legend. Canadian golf course. At this point, it could have been the Pope that everyone would have been so focused on their part. It’s quite special … especially for a game of golf!
So, apart from a few small comments here and there from Mike about Luigi’s endurance and the intensity of the competition, the game is played mostly in silence, punctuated by laughter. And before we can even realize it, our foursome has already sent its balls to the bottom of the last cut. Less than five minutes later! It’s called Speed Golf, folks.
My journalist colleague finished with the honors, but I am not very far behind with a very small point behind and three birdies. Mike, meanwhile, takes the fourth and last place, but still fought a good battle.
Casually, I beat a PGA champion. At a game of golf. Let’s just say that I couldn’t have foreseen it so much at the start of the year by writing down my resolutions for the months to come.
In a chat a little after the game, Mike explains that he felt comfortable around the greens, but that the “speed” part of Speed Golf mode had proven to be a bigger challenge for him. He did mention, however, that by playing, he would eventually end up not thinking about all the mechanics of the game and relying more on his instincts.
“Right now I’m really thinking, but as soon as you get used to it and play more, you think less and it becomes instinctive.” You just react. It’s like that with real golf, ”he said.
One thing is certain, even if he does not consider himself a great gamer, he intends to try to improve his game in Super Rush, with his daughter, in particular.
Who knows, maybe we’ll meet again one day for a rematch … I’ll try to invite my dad, anyway.