What the Golf tries to revel in its irreverence and indifference for golf


First look at GDC

"Oh, you actually know the rules of golf? We don't. We don't know anything about golf. Everything is golf." These four sentences -- or some variation of them -- were most of the conversation I had with guys from Triband, the developer behind What the Golf.

Yes, I know golf and Triband has mostly hit its mark in being intentionally not-golf. Swatting a thing toward another thing is about as golf as What the Golf manages to get. Through the early part of my approximately 30-hole demo, it was a lot of miniature golf inspiration -- putting a ball through and around obstacles to reach a cup. Eventually, it turned into soccer. Sometimes a soccer net would go hurtling forward instead of the ball.

And that's the irreverence Triband tries hard for. It's perfectly aloof in its approach. There's nothing serious about any of it, as it makes a mockery of a sport that's traditionally dead serious. This is evidently clear by the time I reach the Superhot-themed levels that have my ball pick up a gun and dodge enemies' bullets.

However, What the Golf can't dodge the weird dissonance between not caring about golf and needing to have some sort of video game objective. Every level that I saw had one goal: Get the ball to the end point. The demo wrapped by telling me exactly how many strokes I took and how that compared to the day's best performance. What the Golf hits the player over the head with the notion that they shouldn't care about golf, and then it evaluates them in the only logical way -- by the rules of golf.

But most people probably won't care much about that disconnect. They'll just be thrilled at the idea of golf by way of Tim and Eric-type flippant attitude. What the Golf seems like it'll accomplish that in a way that's fun enough. But don't believe the "we don't know anything about golf" shtick. Designing a game that is golf at its core requires an understanding of the sport. Maybe Triband doesn't care about eagles and birdies and slices and bunkers. But it wants you to hit something from here to there, and that is golf to a tee.

You are logged out. Login | Sign up


Brett Makedonski
Brett MakedonskiManaging Editor   gamer profile

While you laughing, we're passing, passing away. So y'all go rest y'all souls, 'Cause I know I'ma meet you up at the crossroads. Y'all know y'all forever got love from them Bone Thugs baby... ... more + disclosures



Also on Destructoid: What the Golf?   (9)   From our database:

  • What the Golf? is back with 30 silly new levels - Jordan Devore
  • Contest: Let's all hate golf together with a Switch or PC copy of What the Golf? - Wes Tacos
  • The bizarre What the Golf? tees off on Nintendo Switch May 21 - Chris Moyse
  • Review: What the Golf? - Jordan Devore
  • What the Golf? makes a boring sport better - CJ Andriessen
  • What the Golf tries to revel in its irreverence and indifference for golf - Brett Makedonski
  • What the Golf? is everything I love about sports games - Jordan Devore
  • More related stories
    Filed under... #GDC #golf #Previews #Sports



    You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!