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    Controller/Tiger Challenge Pointers by numatty

    Version: .11 | Updated: 03/31/07 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    
    
    
    Tiger Woods PGA Tour '07 Game Pointers
    Nintendo Wii Edition
    Authored by Matthew Robben
    numatty@gmail.com
    
    Version .11
    3/31/07
    
    Disclaimers:
    Tiger Woods, the PGA, all logos and references are copyright / trademarked EA
    Sports, Tiger Woods, the PGA, and others. All trademarks belong to their
    respective owners / copyright holders, and are not used here for any commercial
    gain.
    
    This is ugly, disorganized, poorly formatted, not thorough, and a poor excuse
    for an FAQ. I know that.
    
    This document copyright Matthew Robben, 2007.
    
    
    
    Short Table of Contents:
    I. Introduction
    II. Swing Dynamics
    III.Why controller failures occur
    IV. Solutions
    V. Tiger Challenge Tips
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I. Introduction
    -----------------
    Tiger Woods '07 on Wii is a game based on a revolutionary new controller
    technology. "Swing like the pros", the ads claim. Well, after playing through 19
    segments of the Tiger Challenge, and a few PGA tour events, I've discovered
    many, many issues with the controller, as anyone would expect from a new
    technology.
    
    Unfortunately, golf (especially this game) is a game of precision. Wireless
    sensor errors on a single stroke can spell the end of an entire round of Tiger
    Woods golf, making playing the game on Wii a frustrating endeavor. I've seen a
    lot of complaints on various message boards, so I thought I'd take some time to
    address them and offer some workarounds that I've found worked, and have allowed
    to me reach Tiger in the Tiger Challenge and conquer the PGA tour events I've
    played.
    
    I will be using standard 3-axis flight dynamics descriptions to talk about the
    Wiimote. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flight_dynamics.jpg for a good
    reference.
    
    
    
    
    
    II. Swing Dynamics
    --------------------
    Swing Dynamics on Wii were intended to be the following: line up the shot, hold
    down the B button, backswing, forward swing, and follow through. It is of
    critical importance that new players understand that SWINGS WERE INTENDED TO BE
    ONE FLUID, CONTINUOUS MOTION. Breaking a fluid motion causes almost all of the
    issues players have with the swing dynamics in this game. Unfortunately, as I'll
    point out later, it's not always the player's fault.
    
    
    
    Backswing:
    
    The backswing is one of the most flawed mechanisms in Tiger Woods '07. Why? The
    player tends to take full backswings no matter how much distance or movement is
    made with the controller. Almost like a ball rolling downhill, once a backswing
    gets started, even if the player's hands stop, the game tends to continue
    backswings until the club is at full backswing.
    
    The only way to stop a backswing at half power is to quickly and immediately
    bring the controller forward once the desired backswing point is achieved.
    However, this makes the stroke feel uneven and often results in hooking or
    pulling of the ball, and unwanted spin.
    
    
    
    
    Forward Swing & follow through:
    
    During the forward swing, an accelerometer in the controller is used to
    determine swing power, and the roll of the controller (again, see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flight_dynamics.jpg and consider the nose of
    the plane to be the nose / front sensor of the Wiimote) is used to determine the
    hook or slice on the ball. A hook or a slice occurs when the controller has some
    degree of roll.
    
    
    
    
    
    Power:
    
    Power is calculated based on how long of a backswing is taken, as well as how
    fast / hard the forward swing is. The maximum power is 110%, which is typically
    well beyond the aiming circle provided by the game (which I assume to be the
    100% mark).
    
    
    
    
    How to hit 110%:
    
    When starting out, I rarely hit the ball for over 100%, while my friend who
    plays golf consistently hit for 110%. After a lot of playing and testing, I
    discovered two things are necessary for 110% shots - a full backswing (not a big
    deal), and a very quick acceleration of the hands downward on the forward
    stroke.  Even if you're "swinging for the fence" with all your might, but you
    smoothly and evenly swing through the ball your shot will probably only be 100%.
    This is most confusing to new players, who think that overall force should make
    the ball go farther. Not so.
    
    Acceleration rate is the kicker. The faster one's hands accelerate downward from
    the stopped, full backswing position, the greater the acceleration sensed by the
    Wiimote, and the harder the swing input to the game. You can actually stop your
    hands before they even come back to a full follow through, and you'll still hit
    110%. You might slice, due to the erratic motion, but the power will be there.
    
    The bad thing about this swing mechanic is that you have to have a high
    acceleration rate from the start, which adds an unnatural "jerk" to the swing
    and might cause slicing.
    
    
    
    
    Spin:
    
    Spin is added after the swing. Why they went for ultra real swing dynamics and
    then added spin during flight is beyond me. Shake the wiimote back and forth to
    add spin.
    
    
    
    
    Putting:
    
    "Drive for show, putt for dough." It's a true statement - putting is absolutely
    crucial in this game. And the game takes a sadistic enjoyment in screwing up
    during your putts. Putting control is almost entirely done through the length of
    the backswing, and much less importance is placed on the acceleration forward.
    
    The key to good putting is using a smooth, fluid putting stroke. Using one
    smooth motion greatly reduces the chances that the game will mess up
    interpreting your putt. However, because backswing is everything, often you want
    to precisely choose the length of the backswing. Remember that backswing problem
    I talked about earlier? This is where that becomes a serious flaw in the game.
    Precise putting becomes almost infuriatingly hard. Putting for 6 feet when
    you're 50 from the hole, and putting for 25 feet when you're 6 feet from the
    hole are common.
    
    
    
    
    
    III.Why controller failures occur
    --------------------------
    After a lot of testing, I've discovered a few flaws in the game that are
    noticeable and preventative actions can be taken to make sure your low scores
    don't become high scores.
    
    Flaw 1: No Continues
    The Wiimote golf stroke is supposed to be one fluid motion. Thus, when the
    player takes any slight backswing and stops, the next motion is expected to be
    the forward swing / follow through. However, the player might decide that they
    want to take more of a backswing to increase their power level, and raise their
    controller further backward. Unexpectedly, instead of increasing the power, the
    game will TAKE THE SHOT. Yes, the engineers / programmers cheated. Any motion
    after a stopped backswing is considered to be the downstroke, regardless of the
    direction it takes. So heed this warning: there are no continues on the
    backswing. If your backswing is not big enough, release the B button and reset
    the shot. DO NOT RAISE THE CONTROLLER FURTHER.
    
    Flaw 2: The "Phantom Swing"
    the phantom swing is an effect most people notice when they first hold down the
    B button - the player on screen automatically starts to backswing, despite the
    fact that the controller hasn't moved an inch. I'd already mentioned that the
    game tends to take backswings for you, even if the motion backward is minimal at
    best, or unnoticable to the player.
    
    Flaw 3: Flaws 1+2 = Disaster
    Way too often in this game, the player lines up to take a shot, hits the B
    button, and a phantom backswing occurs. Unfortunately, if you've gotten good at
    the game, or aren't playing close attention, you don't see the on-screen
    character starting to swing backward, and raise your hands in your typical
    backswing. Of course, since the game takes the next motion after a backswing to
    mean forward stroke, the game takes horrible 40% slices at the ball, and because
    there's no mulligans on the PGA tour, your round gets ruined. This is especially
    noticeable (and horrible) during putting.
    
    Flaw 4: Hooks and Slices
    To real golfers, the hooks and slices might seem realistic. To unexperienced
    folk, they might seem drastic. How do you compensate for the hooks and slices?
    Again, the game uses the roll of the controller to determing hooks and slices.
    No matter what the degree of pitch and yaw during one's swing, if any degree of
    roll is introduced, the end result is an unintended curvature of the ball.
    
    Flaw 5: Club Selection
    Club selection is automatically (and very poorly) determined by the game's
    accuracy calculation. Whatever club and stroke can get closest to the pin at
    100% power is automatically chosen for the player. However, all of these
    calculations are done ASSUMING YOU'RE ON A FAIRWAY. If you're in deep rough or
    sand, and you use that club, or you hit 110% with that club, you'll put the ball
    way short or way long. Part of the game is learning to compensate for your own
    swing power, accuracy, and conditions, and choosing the correct club from there.
    
    
    IV. SOLUTIONS:
    ----------
    Alright, enough whining, how do we solve those problems?
    
    Flaws 1-3:
    The key to avoiding flaws 1-3 is to slow down your play and pay very close
    attention to your on-screen character when you begin your swing. If your
    character makes even the SLIGHTEST movement and your hands haven't, let go of
    the B Button and reset the shot. Don't take any chances. This is especially
    crucial during putting.The "phantom" backswing during putting is almost
    microscopic on screen, and requires extremely close attention to notice.
    
    Flaw 4:
    Well, if the engineers / programmers cheated on their backswing handling, why
    not cheat on the entire swing itself. Here's how you can hit 110% perfectly
    straight almost every single swing.
    
    Normal golf swings naturally incur a bit of roll in the hands. If we assume that
    the game's interpretation of the swing is flawed, the way to fix this problem is
    to not roll the controller.
    
    The cheat:hold your arms straight out from your body. Point the wiimode in the
    same direction, across the room, perpendicular to the plane of your body. Your
    arms and the Wiimote should be parallel with the floor. Be absolutely sure that
    the Wiimote has zero degress of roll. Hold down B, watch for the phantom swing,
    and if it hasn't happened, twist your entire arms and upper body to the right
    (if right handed) and very quickly twist back to the left. Keep your arms and
    the Wiimote parallel to the floor the whole time, and you won't roll the
    controller at all.
    
    Essentially, this swing is like a "stiff" baseball bat swing.
    
    Flaw 5:
    This flaw is tougher to make generalizations or offer advice about, since each
    situation is different. There is only one situation where I can make a broad
    generalization that is almost always true: IF YOU AREN'T ON THE FAIRWAY OR ON
    THE FRINGE OF THE GREEN, DO NOT CHIP. The chip stroke's power level is
    drastically overstated if you're in the sand or the deep rough, yet the game
    LOVES to tell you to chip from 18 yards off the green. Even at full power you're
    going maybe 4 yards from those spots. Use a pitch or a full. Trust me.
    
    
    V. Tiger Challenge Tips
    ------------------------
    Ok, so now you know some basic tips that should make you a better performer on
    the tour. What about the fact that beginning characters are TERRIBLE stats-wise
    and would have a very tough time winning a PGA tour event?
    
    You have to level up your character by beating Tiger Challenge levels. Each
    level gives you anywhere from 5000 - 25000+ skill points in one or more
    categories, which can be used to upgrade your characters' skills.
    
    Also, as you do well in Tiger Challenge events, you attract sponsorships,
    allowing you to purchase new gear. Equipment in the game is ranked on a level
    from 1-4, one being the lowest, 4 being the highest. All level 4 equipment adds
    bonus points to one or more skills, making your character even better. It's
    obvious that new clubs and balls should increase performance, but even your hat,
    shirt, pants, and nose rings can increase stats like putting, accuracy and luck.
    So money and the shop aren't totally worthless.
    
    The tiger challenge levels are fairly easy until level 12 or so. I've made it
    all the way to Tiger Woods in the Tiger Challenge, who's very, very, very hard.
    
    I'm going to assume that anyone can beat the match play rounds and not give
    advice on those. Keep in mind that the Emerald Dragon, Central Park, and the
    course you play Furyk on are extremely difficult. As in, oh my god this course
    is so hard it could never possibly exist.
    
    
    
    
    Skills 18:
    
    The most points you can lose on a hole in skills 18 is 30. You can take the
    riskiest shots you want, provided you get more than 30 points from rings per
    hole. Alternatively, you can just aim to birdie/eagle the holes and hit a few
    green rings along the way. That, too, means a large points total at the end of
    18 holes.
    
    But the real key to making huge points totals is to hit two rings in the same
    shot. A yellow and a green together are worth 60, while a red and a green
    together are 120. Play through a course once or twice and note all the places
    where a red and a green could be hit at the same time, (there's 3 or 4 on all
    the skills 18 courses) and just go for those. You'll wind up with 460 points
    right there, enough to beat even the last skills 18. It's really easier than it
    seems the first time through.
    
    
    
    Skillzone:
    
    The first skillzone isn't too bad, but the second seems impossibly hard. There's
    one simple trick to get around that.
    
    Take note that there's two simultaneous "paths" open in tiger challenge at any
    time. Meaning two levels are open, and beating one unlocks a further level, not
    necessarily a consecutive one. I don't have the chain of unlocked levels written
    down, but the key to beating skillzone 2 in diablo valley is to completely play
    out the other available levels and allocate as many points as possible to power
    and driving accuracy. Enter the skillzone challenge with about 7 power points
    and an upgraded set of clubs / balls.
    
    Just hit balls around for a while until you see the 5x bonus ball indicator
    appear on screen. When you do, switch to your 8 degree driver, line up for the
    moving targets 350 yards away, and BLAST a 110% shot straight towards the
    targets. Chances are, if you keep the ball straight, you'll get credit for the
    "longest drive", which is worth $1000. Since the ball is 5x bonus, you get
    $5000, and you get to pass the level.
    
    Keep in mind that you have to keep your TOTAL above $5000, and hitting the ball
    in bad locations like water can lose you money. What you want to do at that
    point is aim towards the leftmost visible target pad and just drive the ball
    with a three wood. Even if you miss, the ball will just land out of bounds,
    which doesn't have a monetary penalty. You can do this until your stock of golf
    balls is empty, and squeak by the level with exactly $5000.
    
    
    
    
    One-Ball:
    
    The one-ball rounds are actually really easy to beat using one simple rule:
    always aim to hit the ball 20-40 feet from the hole ON THE GREEN. The computer
    tends to putt for the hole and miss, giving you a 6-10 footer that's easily
    makeable. They rarely putt or chip the ball back off the green.
    
    Second trick for one ball - if the computer has you trapped in the deep rough 4
    yards from the hole, you're going to either take a very tough shot and miss, or
    get in trouble for missing your target, giving the CPU a simple two putt. If
    it's guaranteed that a miss means a CPU victory, one trick you can use is to
    turn around and hit the ball backward 200+ yards toward the tee box using a 2
    iron or 3 wood. The CPU then gets 3 consecutive shots to sink the ball. if you
    can hit the ball into sand 200 yards away, the CPU has to make 3 consecutive,
    accurate shots, or they won't win the hole. This is much more of a challenge
    than giving them a 2 putt from 4 yards.
    
    
    
    VI. Conclusion
    ---------------
    Regardless of the controller problems, this game is still one of the best video
    game experiences I've ever had. I love playing Wii, and Tiger Woods is one of
    the reasons I camped out and got a system (zelda, obviously, was the other).
    
    Don't forget that golf is supposed to be frustrating :) and wear your
    wriststrap!
    
    
    
    Cheers. Happy Wii'ing
    Contact me with questions & comments at the above email. Thanks
    ~mattyR