October 27, 2023
Alright, this one's going to involve some Large Images. Deep breaths.
I've been sitting on these in the expectation that I'd have a better way to take photos - well, I do now own a Sony Mavica FD-73, unfortunately, the disk drive in it needs some maintenance that I am not in the mood to attempt. So these photos have been taken with my much more powerful, but much more anachronistic, Moto g7 Power.
The main focus of this update is something I'll eventually need to write a whole article about, because of course this hobby has to have some weird rabbit hole somewhere. Between the late 80s and early 90s, General Motors were taking note of how popular the Home Computer had become, and decided that the best way to market new cars was to mail out floppy disk catalogs. What was initially The Buick Dimension in 1987, was quickly renamed to Buick Dimensions (plural) and received a new issue every year. 1991's edition of Dimensions happened to also include a simple but effective golf simulation, Buick Classic, granting the would-be Buick shopper access to the front nine holes at Westchester. What I've got here in the Shrine is the 1991 edition in 800 KB Mac format, and the 1992 edition in both Mac and MS-DOS formats. Sadly, the Mac '92 edition does not want to read, but the '91 edition is the one that has the golf game on it. '92 instead has a full (and voiced) guide to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, and I've got the DOS version of that one preserved and archived. If you wanted to play the DOS version of the one with the golf game, that one is also archived and playable. It's not the only time Buick would be involved with golf sims, but if I get the rest of the selection, I will go into further detail in a full article.
Beyond all of that, I had visited Portland Retro Gaming Expo 2023 a few weeks back, and happened to collect two more new formats for the Shrine. Golfshrine now has its first games for Sega Master System (the US version of Great Golf) and Atari 2600 (golf). Atari Golf certainly strikes me as the first video game golf simulation, but I'm more than likely wrong about that here. It sure is a game. And that's what I'll say there.
September 29, 2023
In the mail yesterday is the new weirdest media format inducted into Golfshrine: a Handspring Visor data cartridge. I don't remember anymore who actually brought this one to my attention, but my casual interest in the PDAs of the late 90s/early 2000s definitely sparked my interest in getting the one with a proprietary media format and a physical release of a golf game. (That's actually another one of my little collections - physical releases of PDA software. What a fascinating little flash in the pan that market was.) Anyway, Mavica - a being of Similar Interests - informs me that this isn't even the only physical release of this specific golf game for this specific platform, as Z!OSOFT (yes, with the exclamation point) produced one on CD-ROM that contains a colorized version, and a port to Pocket PC. So that's going on the wishlist too I guess.
I also quietly added an SNES version of the original PGA Tour Golf to the Shrine after Mom bought it for me at a thrift mall last week. Love you, Mom. ;)
September 7, 2023
No pictures this time - turns out, committing as hard as I do to maintaining this website on a Pentium laptop from 1997 makes it rather a pain to transfer photos from a mobile phone from 2020 without several go-betweens. But I've got a few new milestones, and another item on the Wishlist fulfilled.
With my recent acquisition of a Game Gear Adapter for Analogue Pocket comes a sudden desire to begin owning Game Gear games. I already owned three (out of the four released) Poker Face Paul games (Solitaire, Poker, and Blackjack - I'm missing Gin), but of course, this isn't my solitaire blog. What I actually got is Golfshrine's first Game Gear game: World Class Leader Board Golf, Tiertex's handheld adaptation of Access Software's pre-Links golf sim. Amazingly, the GG version even still has (most of) the speech included! "No doubt about it - that's deep in the sand trap."
The second is Bandai Golf: Challenge Pebble Beach for the NES, which I suspect I've played very briefly in an emulator before. No particular comments here, but it was in the Clearance area, so.
Thirdly, a PlayStation acquisition: U.S. Gold's World Cup Golf: Professional Edition, a 1998 reissue(?) of their multi-platform World Cup Golf: Hyatt Dorado Beach. This one was on the Golfshrine Wishlist before, and it'll take a bit of explaining what makes this one interesting. Prior to about 2000 or so, the problem of rendering something as complex as a golf course had quite a handful of solutions. 8-bit games like NES Golf simply drew the course from the bird's eye view, representing hills and slopes as arrows. Computer games, like World Class Leader Board, Jack Nicklaus Golf, or Great Golf for the Sega Master System, would take their time rendering a 3D view in vertical strips. T&E Soft's New 3D Golf Simulation series on Japanese PCs (and the 16-bit True Golf Classics) would attempt to draw filled polygons, even at the expense of calculation speed. Links and its ilk would try to render using fractal techniques. Each of these took time to draw to the screen; some hid it better than others, while some preferred to make it into a spectacle. World Cup Golf, however, solves this problem in a way nobody else did: the course is 100% pre-rendered as video and a series of stills from expected camera angles. Drive your ball off the tee and watch your ball fly through a pre-rendered flyby video. It's actually kind of neat in motion, especially bearing in mind that this was originally released in '95 for 3DO and Saturn consoles (and Lord knows why it took until 1998 to come to PlayStation). It does result in the golfer appearing in some strange places on screen, and aiming is a bit of a hassle, but. Come on. FMV golf. Not even Digital Pictures tried that.
The last item in today's Acquisitions, and I will not explain yet: Original Frisbee-Disc Sports: Ultimate and Golf. That's right - Golfshrine's branching out. I slightly fear what shall happen next. But it may yet be entertaining. Somehow.
August 18, 2023
I put in this order on July 31st. I'm not sure why it took 18 days to get to me (domestically!), but now I've got it and it's in such good condition that it still has the $10 sports shop coupon: PGA Tour '96 for Sega Genesis. This completes the Genesis PGA Tour collection, until such time as I get a case for the first game.
August 16, 2023
This get is a few days old: Golfshrine now has its first HuCard-based game, Ganbare! Golf Boys, released in 1987 by NCS/Masaya for the PC Engine. That's the TurboGrafx 16 to us Americans. The copy I got is in wonderful condition, in its original CD-like jewelcase, with even the registration card still present. While never released outside of Japan, there is a fan translation patch from 2020, by MrRichard999, AgentOrange, and Jink 640. Find it in this GBATemp thread.
I'm going to make a point of updating this page with any other new Golf Game Acquisitions...assuming I'm not feeling lazy. Have got at least one other still due to arrive in the mail (any day now, eBay...).
(And the rest predates written history, or so we think...)
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