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Finally, a golf course designed just for you. That's because it's designed by you - using your SimGolf Course Architect. Play your own masterpieces - or the two built-in gems by expert designer Rober Trent Jones, Jr. And sample another stroke of genius. It's the MouseSwing, a revolutionary interface that feels more like the real thing - and more like your real swing. And once you've mastered the perfect swing, you can show it off on the world's biggest public course, the Internet.
  • Modify SimGolf's courses or create dozens of new ones - as tame or tough as you like - with the powerful Course Architect.
  • The breakthrough MouseSwing interface lets you use the mouse to hit the ball for greater control of your swing. (The traditional "power bar" option is also available.)
  • Play two award-winning courses by master golf architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. - Rancho La Quinta and The Prince Course.
  • Play a virtual foursome with real opponents in real time over the Internet on your LAN.
  • Scout out each course before you tee off with the 3-D course walk-through. And see your shots from six views - top, fly-by, landing, pin, profile, and instant replay.
Renowned golf architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. gives you video tips on course design and strategic shotmaking.
  • Create new courses with the full-featured Course Architect. Make your course flat or hilly, plant holes and hazards, and it's free time.
  • Design the course of your dreams - or nightmares. Raise or lower terrain, add trees, traps, lakes and other natural hazards.
  • The MouseSwing leaves the driving - and chipping and putting - to you.
  • Tee off for high-stakes skins, stroke, or match play; or play a practice round.
~ from the back of the box

You all know I am not a sporty person. Like, at all. So, when I committed myself to playing all of those obscure Sim games from the 90s, I was kinda dreading SimGolf. Unlike other games in the series, and Sid Meier's attempt in the early 2000s, SimGolf: Compete on Courses You Create is not a management sim that requires a lot of thought and planning, but a full on sports sim about swinging sticks, hitting balls and swearing at an ever-increasing volume.

In its basic form, it plays no different to other golf games like Links. You can position your digitized avatar, then click to stop some power bars at the desired spot. It's a gameplay style I find incredibly dull and will only reward those who keep at it to understand its nuances. SimGolf, however, does include another mode of play given the trademarked name of MouseSwing. Here, you flail your mouse to simulate a swing. It's a neat concept, but good luck implementing it with any kind of consistency.

You can bring up different windows to display more detail,
including a map overview (left) and a current scorecard (right).

Being released in 1996, the fact that you play each course in more-or-less static screens can be forgiven. In spite of that, the graphics do leave a lot to be desired. The shades of green are flat and textureless, with re-used sprites to make up trees and other scenery doing nothing to make it look like anything other than barren. Links LS takes a similar approach to its engine, but it's far more detailed and inviting there. Even our swinger out in the field is remarkably featureless and it's not like you can swap him out for anyone else. With a dress style best left in charity shops, they sure did the stand in actor dirty.

There are two 18-hole courses to play through, each based on a real-world fairways. These are Rancho La Quinta based in California and The Prince on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. From what I can gather, they've been recreated quite well considering the technology used. Both were created by Robert Trent Jones Jr. who is apparently a famed course designer for those in the know. He makes an extended appearance in the game, taking us on a detailed tour of The Prince with an interactive feature. This stand alone application is quite intensive, covering the minutia of each hole including tips and trivia. It's a shame that even die-hard Golf nuts will find him boring and uncharismatic.

Create your own fantasy fairway in the Course Architect (left).
Take an extensive guided tour through The Prince Course (right).

Now, take what I say with a pinch of salt. I am not the target demographic for a game such as this. Even if I were into Golf, I still doubt recreating it in video game form would interest me. What does peak my interest is creativity. There is a full-on level editor here called Course Architect which offers a robust number of features. I'd imagine a version of this very same program was used by the designers to create the official courses in the game. On the down side, it's many features make it a complex tool that's not for the casual crowd, as if you'll need a semester on CAD programs just to understand it. I had a brief stab, loading up a hole from The Prince and playing around with it, but the meagre output I could muster wasn't worth the time spent on it.

As I said, if you like Golf, you might get a lot out of SimGolf. It sets itself apart from its contemporaries nicely, but I doubt many will choose this over the fondly remembered Links LS or even Jack Nicklaus Golf. It may have released 6 years before Sid Meier co-opted the title, but there's a reason why that business strategy has completely overtaken any memory of the original. It's simply a far better game.

To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Manual Included. The main game, Prince Course Guide and Course Architect are accessable via the emulated Windows '95 desktop. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.

IMPORTANT - Remember to shut down the emulated version of Windows before exiting DOSBox. This could potentially result in errors, lost saves and corrupt data. Shut down using the icon on the emulated Windows '95 desktop.

File Size: 627 Mb.  Install Size: 1.04 Gb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


SimGolf: Compete on Courses You Create is © Maxis, Inc
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

Like this? Try These...

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/links-challenge-of-golf.html  https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/2015/04/sid-meiers-simgolf.html  https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/virtual-pool.html


  1. I always thought this one looked like Links386 but with a different interface. As you said, the golf games gameplay loop is quite limited on themselves, so the game better add some bits that make the course interesting, and oh Lord the bits on this one look ugly.

    1. On the other hand I wanted to comment on something: you are not the only one who dreads sports games, and usually the, excuse me for the word, "abandonware" sites focus on rpg and adventures, more epic games... leaving most of the sport games abandoned for real. They were one of the most popular genres at the time and decades later sport games are the most forgotten of them all. Weird thing this thing call canon does.

    2. To be fair, most sports titles were throwaway games to begin with. And most abandonware sites are hosted by hardcore PC gamer nerds. And nerds don't like sports...

      I very much doubt I'll have many football games on here if any. The thought of coming up with something interesting to say about them is non-existant. I'm a little more open to golf and tennis games though.

  2. I'm a big fan of Links LS 98-2001 (2003 that followed was ugly as hell with its clunky polygon characters and the plastic-like world). I love these games for the peaceful scenery, the beautiful depiction of nature and the unexcited (one may say: boring) experience. They are just so relaxing for me. I ever heard of Sim Golf though so I'll definitely give it a try. Thank you for making it available.

  3. Personally, I am a big fan of golf games, so thank you for this one, Biffman.