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EA Sports PGA Tour 2023 | Cover Artwork

EA Sports PGA Tour – Road to the Masters Review | A Master in the Making?

Did EA make the cut and get the green jacket with PGA Tour?

EA Sports PGA Tour Road to the Masters – the golf game presumed to make a strong comeback after being MIA for the last eight years. Speculations were that this title was meant to come in, use the latest tech, come up with new initiatives, and knock its competitors out of the park. So, did it exceed expectations?

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Features such as the Puke Strike, Ball Behavior, the long list of Pros, exclusive golf courses, game modes, and more were all meant to set this one apart following its worldwide release on April 7. Adding pressure to the release of Road to the Masters was the brave decision to make the game exclusive to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and S, and PC, while excluding the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. From this, you have to ask… Did they accomplish what they set out to do by excluding other platforms?

With this review, Prima Games will discuss the gameplay, graphics, pros and cons, and more. The discussion will also cover if EA Sports PGA Tour is a game changer in the golfing simulation world; if it perfectly stroked past its counterparts; if it’s worthwhile investing all your time in; or if it’s none of the sorts.

Sit back, grab a coffee, and enjoy the read. Hopefully, it’s not like the suffocating silence you experience before making a long 40ft putt, and it’s more like the release of cheers around the golf course after a long successful drive for a Greens In Regulation.

EA Sports PGA Tour - Road to the Masters | Golf Course
Golf Course Overview (Screenshot: EA Sports PGA Tour)

EA Sports PGA Tour Gameplay and Features

EA Sports PGA Tour Gameplay has a few clean swings and missed hits. EA’s hit-and-miss involves the in-game experience, what to make of the user interface and many other factors. 

Let’s start with playing golf. 

Playing Golf

Yes, many out there feel the new swing mechanics of Road to the Masters left EA in the rough. However, I liked it more than I hated it and quickly became accustomed. With the developers ready to introduce the 3-Click Swing mechanics soon with their next major update, there’s an option for all, making the game more enticing.

To find out more about EA’s latest update, you can read: EA Scores a Hole-in-One With Latest PGA Tour Fixes and Additions.

The gameplay is fantastic if you enjoy being a professional athlete. However, the UI is lacking in-game, and there’s a need for more assistance and tutorials. Once your first tutorial’s done, you’re on your own. It’s like swinging closed eyes and hoping for the best. 

EA Sports PGA Tour | Putting Grid
Putting Grip and Guide (Screenshot: EA Sports PGA Tour)

The same can be said for the grid and guide for putting. There should have been an added feature: darkened areas where there are huge slopes and lightened areas with less slope. It would help you fare better in the short game, and having this as a map addition in the game would have been nifty. It would help eliminate using the putting guide and assist all players in identifying slopes better — a quicker way to get accustomed to all of the courses, allowing you to work on your strengths and weaknesses.

The lack of assistance does, however, influence practicing more by doing all the game’s challenges. One has to admit, rehearsing shot after shot gets your game going which, in turn, is a tremendous positive for the game. If you’re fresh to golfing and any golfing simulator, the Coaching Academy in the Challenges game mode will be your best friend and where you need to head first.

To sum it all up, playing golf in EA Sports PGA Tour is not user-friendly, but you can master your craft quite quickly to swing like a pro.

EA Sports PGA Tour | Graphics
Calculating a Shot In-Game (Screenshot: EA Sports PGA Tour)

Related: All EA Sports PGA Tour – Road to the Masters Shot Types Listed

Something to Celebrate and Something to Improve on

The main hub is clear, straightforward, and easy to navigate around. Despite some glitches that occurred because of bugs in the early days of its release, it was pretty easy to maneuver around — a great UI experience, hands down.

Upgrading Your Player in Road to the Masters

Probably the most straightforward upgrading system I’ve ever used. Plain and simple describes it best. The upgrading points could use some improvements, though. With only two points for levelling up, I’ll be 65 by the time I win the Master with a fully upgraded self-created Pro.


Where there is an unquestionable shortage in one area, another area weighs in heavily and comes to save the day.


The biggest letdown is the editing and player creation. A high flop by the dev team here. Limited options, no face scan, and nothing new. For a team like EA, this is a department where they excel and usually deliver.

EA Sports PGA Tour | Player Upgrade System
Player Upgrade System (Screenshot: EA Sports PGA Tour)

Apparel Equals Fire In EA Sports PGA Tour

Where there is an unquestionable shortage in one area, another area weighs in heavily and comes to save the day. The apparel in the game lifted my mood on the editing front, and honestly, all the options you have for equipment and clothing to choose from are fire.

A big ups to EA for including such an incredible catalogue of exclusive drip. Supposing you can’t play like a pro, at least you can dress up and look the part! 

EA Sports PGA Tour | apparel items
Apparel Items In-Game (Screenshot: EA Sports PGA Tour)

Exclusive Courses In-Game

From Augusta National to Teeth of The Dog, the 30 courses in EA Sports PGA Tour are winners. The attention to detail of the grass, water, bunkers, and trees makes for a fantastic view. Playing in 4K certainly has its touch of realism in the PGA Tour.

For decades, we’ve seen EA triumph over their rivals in many, if not all, sports titles in one crucial area. That is, having all the licences and agreements for players, stadiums, courses, etc. Having the rights to the exclusive courses in Road to the Masters sets the bar high for all of their counterparts. It’s, again, a winning factor for them.

The courses will also make or break you, asking different questions and making each hit, stroke, drive, and putt a unique situation. Brilliant!

EA Sports PGA Tour | Teeth of the Dog Course
Teeth of The Dog Golf Course (Screenshot: EA Sports PGA Tour)

Related: EA Sports PGA Tour – Road to the Masters: All Golf Courses Listed

EA Sports PGA Tour Graphics

Other than a few moments where the ball is missing just before you swing, the audio playing at the wrong time, and other minor glitches with the fans and delay, the EA Sports PGA Tour graphics are phenomenal.

Playing Road to the Masters on PS5 has been a great experience and something I enjoyed, but only once I started getting used to the game’s mechanics. The massive downfall is the Pro players who look “similar” rather than like-for-like to their real-life figures. It’s not the end product just yet, and work needs to be done.

The cutscenes overview of the courses is the best way to admire the precise detail of all the golf courses and structures. The TrackMan data, Fluid Swing Mechanics, Ball Behavior, many Shot Types, and Course Dynamics all aid the graphics and make for a better and smoother golfing game experience.

Related: EA Sports PGA Tour – Road to the Masters Pure Strike Explained

EA Sports PGA Tour | Facial Edits
Player Edit Screen (Screenshot: EA Sports PGA Tour)

Concluding Thoughts on EA Sports PGA Tour

With this one, if I were to sum up EA Sports PGA Road to the Masters into one analogy, I would say: If this were an 18-hole round of golf, EA got an excellent few birders, one or two eagles, but there were undoubtedly bogeys. 

Was the comeback strong? Yes, It indeed was. The Pure Striker, Flued Swing Mechanics, and Ball Behavior make for a real-life golf experience. The courses are fantastic to play on, and their abundance in the game makes for a timeless title. The online modes make the game even more timeless, something many are happy about, not just me. Without it, golf can be a lonely place.


You restart, restart, restart, you get a bogey, you’re disappointed with yourself, and you restart again. You make a top, top shot; you‘re running around the house celebrating and thanking the crowd for their support.


Though, much work must be done on making the title more story-driven and following something like FIFA when you play as Alex Hunter, the fictional character, on a journey to become a professional footballer. Or when you sit in on negotiations during transfers. These ideas could be implemented into the game for a more simulated experience, maybe by separating this from Career Mode and giving it its own title: Story Mode.

To find out more about the various game modes in Road to the Masters, you can read: All EA Sports PGA Tour – Road to the Masters Game Modes

EA Sports PGA Tour | Challenges Mode
Challenges Game Mode (Screenshot: EA Sports PGA Tour)

It’s Just Straight-Up Golfing

This is where EA Sports PGA Tour does excel over its counterparts. The swinging, response to the joystick, bounce of the ball, how you can manipulate the shot, the many shot types, immersion, everything seems to be in tuned and seamless. That alone sanctifies a strong comeback for EA into the golfing gaming world. 

Believe it or not, the game has an alluring feel about it. You want to get all the stars in each challenge. You restart, restart, restart, you get a bogey, you’re disappointed with yourself, and you restart again. You make a top, top shot; you‘re running around the house celebrating and thanking the crowd for their support. You consider your strategy every step of the way. It is all definitely “ In the Game!” in this one.

If you’re into sports games that allow you to live the thrills, chills, disappointment and excitement of a professional sportsman, I highly recommend this game. If you’re an action-packed junky that enjoys end-to-end action, this game is way too quiet and passive for you. The true meaning of the gentleman’s game comes to mind when playing EA Sports PGA Tour Road to the Masters.


Pros:

  • Looks incredible realistic
  • Game modes
  • User-friendly HUD

Cons:

  • Limited editing options when creating a pro
  • Little golfing aid and assistance
  • Slow upgrade system

Score: 8.5

A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review. Reviewed on PlayStation 5.


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Author
Image of Ashley Anthony
Ashley Anthony
Ashley is a Freelance Contributor for Prima Games and has been writing content for the web for eight years and counting, striving to provide readers with the best content possible. Ashley has recently entered the realm of video game journalism, starting his journey in 2022 and focuses on most of the sports video game titles such as Madden NFL, EA Sports PGA Tour, EA Sports FC, and more. Other genres that Ashley focuses on are RPGs, FPS, Action, Adventure, and Stealth games.
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