Ultimate Swing Golf Review: Should You Putt This On Your Headset?

It’s the second hole of the Beach course, a Par 4, and I’m on the green in three. One well-placed putt is all I need to get the par and beat my caddy at a round of golf to clear this mission.

It’s a decent distance from the hole on a sloping green, but I’m feeling confident. I stand behind the ball and do a few practice shots to gauge the 40% power I need to sink the shot. Assured, I step up to the ball, line up the shot, and hit with what I think is the same power… but it registers 20% over my practice shots, far surpassing the hole. It happens again, and again. Eventually, I ended up 3-over par, losing the hole and mission.

Ultimate Swing Golf – The Facts
What is it?: An arcade golf game from the developers of Everybody’s Golf.
Platforms: Quest (review conducted on Quest 2).
Release Date: Out now
Developer: Clap Hanz
Price: $30

For most of the experience, Ultimate Swing Golf is great fun. The latest game from golf veterans Clap Hanz, best known for Everybody’s Golf on PlayStation platforms – including Everybody’s Golf VR for PSVR, is back with another title for Quest that very much feels like their well-known franchise with a new coat of paint. You have various fantasy golf courses with a slate of supporting characters to serve as your caddy and opponents, while the overall feel of the swing of the club and course experience toes the line between simulator and arcade fun.

Just like Everybody’s Golf VR, you boot the game up and select from a menu inside the lobby of your very own golf resort, complete with a receptionist who can explain all the options to you. You have a range of modes, with this game introducing a mission mode alongside starting a free play session that allows you to select a course and factors such as the weather and time of day, before playing either alone or against others online.

You can also play in mixed reality, using the space around you as either a luxurious in-house driving range or putting setup. This is more of a bonus for Quest 3 users, but if you can deal with the grainy black-and-white limited passthrough on Quest 2 devices, you can use it on the older headsets as well.

Beyond those additional modes, the game even controls similar to prior entries. Hitting the ball in VR is measured in the same way: far from a fully accurate simulator that calculates every factor of your swing arc and posture to determine the quality of your swing and trajectory, it measures how hard and how straight you hit the ball to determine the distance and direction of your shot, creating a good enough approximation of the real thing that should satisfy both experienced golfers and casual players alike.

As someone who used to play golf on a more-than-once per week basis, I felt right at home swinging the remote and hitting the ball. Even if the game isn’t measuring every minor detail of your swing like more realistic simulators, you are rewarded for additional golfing knowledge. You won’t be punished for not following these best practices. For example, in a real game of golf, opening the face of the club when hitting the ball will ensure the ball goes higher over a shorter distance without rolling as far upon landing. It’s particularly useful hitting the ball out of a bunker, and I was pleasantly surprised to see this reflected in practice.

Much of this sounds positive and this experience often feels like a laid-back game of golf, offering enough jovial music and ambiance to make even the most golf-averse player get into the mood and have a good time. You have a variety of courses each with their own identity, starting at two before unlocking a further three as you continue. It’s great. Until it’s not.

Two factors kept cropping up as persistent issues throughout my experience, no matter how many times I thought I managed to mitigate them. Caddies will constantly remind you to practice your swing before hitting the ball, and knowing it’s good practice I would happily oblige. Yet on a few occasions, the very tip of my practice swing would catch the ball, registering it as a hit that would slice the ball out to the right-hand side into trouble, ruining the hole.

Without a way to reverse the shot, the ball is always an active object that can be hit at any time rather than something you have to proactively choose to strike, even if you never intended to do so. Even in an overhead view while perusing the outline of the hole, one false swing can ruin a hole and potentially the round.

Then we get to putting. Putting is a very precise skill in real golf requiring careful aiming and precision in power to get the ball in against the slope of the green, especially over a long distance. It’s challenging but intensely rewarding, and something I can only imagine is difficult to replicate the weight and tension without a real ball and club. That being said, without at least some level of consistency to the expectations of your simulation for putting, frustration is the inevitable result.

Comfort

Ultimate Swing Golf offers some comfort settings to make swinging the ball feel more natural. You can select your dominant hand and the length of the club to ensure you can swing the ball in the most comfortable position. You can also reset the camera to a central position alongside the ball after aiming a shot instead of moving your body to align with your new shot aim.

Additionally, the game does not simulate movement between strokes. After hitting the ball, the player is warped to the ball’s final position, ready to hit the next shot. The game can only be played while standing.

At the end of a successful hole where I reach the green with a chance for a Par or even a Birdie, the chance of achieving this feat often feels more like a game of chance than skill. Even after diligently lining up the ball to the hole and practicing to understand the necessary level of power needed to reach the hole without overhitting, I would find that half of my shots would either roll mere inches or blast past the hole with reckless abandon, never matching the strength in practice.

Even spending extended periods of time in putting practice did nothing to help me understand how to putt this weightless ping pong ball, often ruining the hard work that went into the hole or round and leading to a frustrated restart.

Ultimate Swing Golf – Final Verdict

Golf is a sport about control. You play with others, but the line between victory and defeat is entirely decided on your own skill and ability to hold your nerve when it matters. Every golf game, no matter how realistic or arcade-y, needs to replicate that emotion. Once that disappears, the experience falls apart.

When it works, Ultimate Swing Golf soars. Even if unlocking additional courses, golf clubs and costumes can feel like a grueling grind through mission mode at points, decades of experience in the genre shine in how welcoming the game feels in every hole and menu. When you’re inevitably rolling the roulette on a successful hole, however, it’s hard to recommend over other VR golf titles unless fixed in a future patch.

UploadVR uses a 5-Star rating system for our game reviews – you can read a breakdown of each star rating in our review guidelines.

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