Golf is a game for the NES released in 1984. It is based on the sport of the same name. It was also ported to the Nintendo PlayChoice-10. The golfer has been identified as Mario in supplemental material, albeit not wearing his traditional shirt and overalls. However, the game Captain Rainbow would instead identify the golfer as Ossan, which happens to be a generic internal name Mario had during the development of Donkey Kong. Additionally, the Game Boy conversion of this game would feature Mario on the Western cover art, but not the Japanese version.
A copy of the original game was embedded in Nintendo Switch firmware. Activating it required the internal system clock to be set to July 11 - Satoru Iwata's death anniversary - and performing his iconic "directly to you" hand gesture with both Joy-Con controllers on the HOME menu. If successful, a voice clip of Iwata from a Japanese 2012 presentation would confirm the input, and an emulation of Golf with added motion control support would promptly boot up. Golf has significance as one of the first video games Iwata programmed himself for Nintendo while working at HAL Laboratory. This version of Golf was overwritten as of the 4.0.0 update, making it unplayable. Aside from the NES game's inclusion on the Switch, the Nintendo Playchoice-10 version was later included onto the Arcade Archives.
The gameplay of Golf is relatively simple. The player is given a ball, and a map on the right side of the screen shows the hole that they must hit the ball into. The obstacles on the way are also displayed on the map. The player will get more points depending on how many times they hit the ball to get it into the hole. Many different types of clubs are also available to choose from by pressing Up/Down on the + Control Pad.
Description from the Nintendo eShop
Golf features eighteen holes separated into nine labeled "OUT" and nine labeled "IN". Each hole features some green and some woods, and every hole except hole 11 features sand traps. Holes 2, 3, and 5 feature inland ponds, holes 7 and 16 feature rivers, and holes 6, 9, 13, 15, and 18 have water covering the majority of the map; the other holes do not have water. Once the player gets the ball close to the target (the actual "hole", marked by a flag) on each map, the section of the screen which previously showed a map of the entire course will show a zoomed-in map of the putting green.
The game was released for the VS. System, also known as Stroke & Match Golf. Two versions of this game exist: VS. Golf features the same male character as the NES version, but VS. Ladies Golf features a female player.
The game eventually came out for the e-Reader as part of Series Three.
Card 1 of 5/codes 1-2
English flavor text: Gaze down the fairway, check your lie, and swing away–just don't forget to replace your divots! You are golfing on an 18-hole championship course, so you'd better be up to par!
+ Control Pad Up & Down selects club Left & Right changes stance
L Button + R Button Resets game to Title Screen
A Button First press-Starts the backswing Second press-Starts the downswing Third press-Determines the point of impact
Card 2 of 5/codes 3-4
HOW TO PLAY Shots from the tee, fairway, and bunker A. Select a club (Press Up/Down on the + Control Pad)
B. Press the A Button 3 times to shoot.
C. The direction you face can be changed by pressing Left or Right on the + Control Pad.
D. The WIND direction is displayed on the left side of the screen with an arrow.
Card 3 of 5/codes 5-6
HOW TO PLAY (CONTINUED) Putting A. Press the A Button twice to putt.
B. The ball will be hit toward the target mark (+) on the screen. Before putting, use the + Control Pad to aim the target mark in the desired direction.
C. The (v) mark on the green indicates the grade of the turf. (The roll of the putt will change according to the conditions of the turf.)
Card 4 of 5/codes 7-8
RULES* If a ball goes OB (Out of Bounds), you are penalized 2 strokes, and the ball is played from where it was lying before going OB.
The Ocean, ponds, rivers, etc., are considered water hazards. If a ball lands in one of these, you are penalized 1 stroke, and the ball is played from a set location.
The flying distance of a bunker shot is calculated as half that of a fairway shot.
*Note: Some of these differ from real golf rules.
Card 5 of 5/code 9
Tips/Techniques Impact the ball when the swing meter is on the white line and a straight shot will be hit. If it is to the left of the line, the ball will slice.
If it is to the right, the ball will hook.
If the wind speed is great enough, it can seriously affect your drive. Make sure to check it before each shot.
Sand traps can ruin your day. Be sure to steer clear of them every chance you get.
Occasionally you'll get close to the hole without being on the green. Don't hesitate to putt the ball from where it lies–it can be a great way to make Par.
References in later games