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It has been requested that this article be rewritten and expanded to include more information.

This article is about the 1984 video game. For the microgame with the same name, see Golf (microgame). For an overview of all golf-related titles in the Mario series, see Mario Golf (series).
Golf Boxart.png
Golf GB US.jpg
Developer(s) Nintendo R&D2
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) NES, VS. System, NEC PC-88, Family Computer Disk System, Game Boy, e-Reader, Virtual Console (Nintendo 3DS, Wii U), Nintendo Switch
Release date Famicom/NES:
Japan May 1, 1984
USA October 18, 1985
Europe November 15, 1986
VS. System:
Japan 1984
USA October 1984 (VS. Golf)
USA December 1984 (VS. Ladies Golf)
Japan 1985
Disk System:
Japan February 21, 1986
Game Boy:
Japan November 28, 1989
USA March 1990
Europe 1990
USA April 21, 2003
Virtual Console (3DS):
Japan June 29, 2011
USA September 8, 2011
Europe October 13, 2011
Australia October 13, 2011
South Korea July 20, 2016
Virtual Console (Wii U):
USA October 10, 2013
Europe October 10, 2013
Australia October 10, 2013
Japan November 13, 2013
Nintendo Switch:*
Japan March 3, 2017
USA March 3, 2017
Europe March 3, 2017
Australia March 3, 2017
HK March 3, 2017
*Only playable July 11.
Genre Sports
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer 1-4
Media NES icon.png Cartridge
Wii U:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Game Boy:
Media GB icon.png Cartridge
Game Boy Advance:
Nintendo 3DS:
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Wii U:
Game Boy:
Game Boy Advance:
Nintendo 3DS:

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.[1] 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.[2] 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 main 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.[3] Golf has significance as one of the first video games Iwata programmed himself for Nintendo while working at HAL Laboratory.[4] This version of Golf was overwritten as of the 4.0.0 update, making it unplayable.[3]


An in-game screenshot.

The gameplay of this game is pretty simple. The player is given a ball, and a map on the right side of the screen shows the hole that they want to get to. The obstacles on the way are also over here. 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.

Description from the Nintendo eShop[edit]

Bogey, par, birdie, or Eagle.
The score is up to you.
Golf is 18 holes of realistic links action. Each hole has tricky hazards, so strategy is a must.
Read the wind direction, check the distance, select a club, adjust your swing and keep your eye on the ball. Now drive it home.
From twisting fairways and hungry sand traps to big water hazards and deceptive greens, Golf is packed with challenges.

This version of the game does not have multiplayer functionality.

VS. System[edit]

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.[5]


The game eventually came out for the e-Reader as part of Series Three.


Card 1 of 5/codes 1-2[edit]

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

START Start/Pause

SELECT Not used

A Button First press-Starts the backswing Second press-Starts the downswing Third press-Determines the point of impact

B Button Not used

Card 2 of 5/codes 3-4[edit]

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.

1) Press the A Button to start the backswing on the swing meter.
2) Press it again to stop the backswing and start the downswing. (This determines the flying distance.)
3) Press it one more time to determine how the ball curves during flight.

C. The direction you face can be changed by pressing Left or Right on the + Control Pad.

The arrow on the course [up arrow] indicates which direction you are facing.)

D. The WIND direction is displayed on the left side of the screen with an arrow.

Card 3 of 5/codes 5-6[edit]

HOW TO PLAY (CONTINUED) Putting A. Press the A Button twice to putt.

1) Press the A Button to start the backswing.
2) Press the A Button again to start the downswing. (Where you start the downswing determines the rolling distance.)

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.



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References in later games[edit]

  • Wii Sports - 9 of the holes on this game's course reappeared as the 9-hole course in this game.
  • Wii Sports Resort - The same 9 holes that appeared in Wii Sports reappeared as the back 9 of this game's course, and in the same order.


Main article: List of Golf staff


  • Nintendo planned to release an 18-hole golfing game as a launch title for the Family Computer, but software companies declined the project and believed that it could not be done with such limited memory at the time. Then-HAL Laboratory employee Satoru Iwata was eager to prove this technical achievement and program the game himself, which required him to create a custom data compression routine.[4]
  • Golf is the second released video game that Satoru Iwata programmed for Nintendo, after Pinball.[4]
  • Similar to Ice Climber, the red-colored character on the North American NES box art is actually the second player.
  • Golf is a playable NES game in Doubutsu no Mori for Nintendo 64 and its GameCube port, Animal Crossing.
  • Half of the game's courses were deemed the better designs and included in Wii Sports.[6]