In EA Sports PGA Tour, the biggest star is the courses. But since it’s been many years since the last EA game, and we’re always getting newbies checking it out, where do you go to learn the ropes?
Courses can provide a challenge in the game just like with real golf. This can be tricky for new virtual golfers figuring out how to approach shots on different courses. That’s where good old practicing comes in to play. Now, EA Sports PGA Tour doesn’t have a traditional practice mode but there’s is a great solution to this.
You can simply go into Play Now, choose your course, and then select specific holes. It’s a feature that’s always appreciated in the EA games. This is an excellent way to tackle one hole without needing to play the others. But which holes are best for working on your game? There are a ton of great options but we’ll narrow this down to five.
Teeth Of The Dog – 5th Hole
Located in the Dominican Republic, Teeth of the Dog has been classified by the great Pete Dye as one of his all-time favorite courses that he and Alice designed. This is the same legendary couple behind courses like TPC Sawgrass, Whistling Straits, and Kiawah Island among many others, but Teeth is right towards the very top.
The course features plenty of breathtaking seaside holes and one of the best collections of par-3s around, including the 5th hole. The 5th is one of the prettiest par-3s in the sport and certainly is just that in EA Sports PGA Tour with nothing but the ocean’s horizon to the left of you.
It’s also arguably the easiest hole on the course as well, which makes it perfect for sharpening your par-3 skills. The green isn’t massive but it’s big enough and it’s also soft so your ball won’t roll as fast. There’s also a big strip of sand on the left of the green and one smaller one on the back right if you want to purposely hit your shots into these bunkers and practice your sand trap game. Newcomers will appreciate this little beauty.
Bay Hill – 6th Hole
Bay Hill is a special place. When you think about it, you think of the late, great Arnold Palmer and the iconic umbrella symbol. You also know it’s a huge part of the early part of the PGA Tour season. Sports fans will typically say The Masters feels like the unofficial start to the PGA Tour season but so does the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The historic course boasts plenty of fun holes and is a very recognizable layout as it has made many appearances in golf games over the years. But there’s one hole in particular that’s really fantastic to play in a video game like EA Sports PGA Tour and that’s the par-5 sixth.
This hole is a dogleg left with a pretty chunky fairway and plenty of the water to the left side so this is a great place to put your drawing to the test off the tee. Can you stay in the fairway or will you end up in the drink? Also unique in the game, you can actually reach the green in one. Yes, that’s right, you can reach a par-5 in one. Playing online, you’ll see many players attempt this if they’re confident in their power off the tee. What better to try out your power than by seeing if you can reach the par-5 green in one? And once again, with the water to the left on approach shots, you can take the time to perfect your iron accuracy.
TPC Scottsdale – 17th Hole
This is probably one of the most recognizable holes in all of golf gaming. If you played online in either EA PGA or PGA Tour 2K, you’ve probably tackled this short par-4 and the same goes for the famed 16th and the finishing 18th. This hole is always a delight to play as it’s a short, driveable par-4 in EA Sports PGA Tour while having a pretty big green too.
Short par-4s are always a ton of fun to play. There’s a thrill to reaching the green in one shot and you can accomplish this here. You can work on your driving skills, and if you leave your tee shot short of the green this is a terrific short-game spot, especially with the big green to work with — not to mention the bunkers if you want to master your splash game.
Speaking of which, it’s also awesome for putting because of this. On many occasions where you barely reach the green, you have a great opportunity to practice your long putts. And going back to the short game, the greens are softer at Scottsdale so the ball won’t roll like crazy on chips and pitches, which makes things a bit easier when training.
Augusta National – 14th Hole
Ah yes, the Bunkerless Wonder known as Chinese Fir at Augusta National. Augusta is full of incredible hole designs but 14 definitely holds up due to the lack of bunkers. In the real world, it’s surprisingly considered one of the course’s more difficult holes.
And don’t get me wrong, it’s not super easy in EA Sports PGA Tour either, but without any hazards it could be a really good practice hole for new players with the freedom you have. You can key in on your drives and work on your draws and fades without worrying about hazards.
Also, the green provides a bit of a challenge (hence a big reason why it’s tough in real golf). It’s not overbearing but it features its share of slopes making it an excellent hole for perfecting your putting from different angles. It’s also great for reading greens before hitting your approach shot, and thus understanding where best to aim those shots.
Bandon Dunes – 13th Hole
This just might be the best hole on this list as far as practicing goes. Power, approach shots, putting, everything can be worked on here. Being at Bandon Dunes, one of the world’s prettiest golf courses, is already a good thing but now you have this wonderfully simple par-5 to perfect your craft on in EA Sports PGA Tour.
This is another hazardless hole like the 14th at Augusta. Difference is, this is pretty much a straight shot while Chinese Fir is a slight dogleg. Also, this is a par-5 as mentioned. You can reach this green in two, which is always cool to see. This hole is basically a free play hole with how much you can do when teeing it up here without the need to worry about hazards or tight fairways. There is plenty of rough though if you want to work on recovery shots.
And, of course, it’s always good to get comfortable with bunker shots, but if you feel that it’s not needed then this hole (along with 14 at Augusta) are great. Driving accuracy won’t come into play much though since it’s a pretty straightforward fairway as we mentioned. Regardless, there are plenty of ways to get creative during your stroke play practice session at the 13th of Bandon.
Holes That Were In Consideration
- Tara Iti – 7th Hole
- Lighthouse Pointe – 13th Hole
- TPC Sawgrass – 17th Hole
- St. Andrews – 18th Hole
- Augusta National – 13th Hole