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As someone who lost interest in most sports games after they started concentrating on having the proper yearly rosters, I had a blast with Neo Turf Masters after I got over the learning curve. If you have a Neo-Geo and have the slightest interest in golf games I highly recommend it.
Most of the time the ball comes off at a low trajectory and you don't get much roll. Fortunately you can apply dramatic hooks and slices to navigate around trees and sand traps. Close-up animations punctuate interesting shots like bounces off trees or skips across the water. Jazzy music plays in the background, and it has an effervescent, feel-good quality reminiscent of Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast, 1999). A cute Japanese woman chimes in with comments like "player one starts to strike back" and "it's on the gween!" The course designs could be better. They tend to be very narrow so even respectable shots can be ruled out-of-bounds. And how in the world can an area between the fairway and green be considered out-of-bounds?! You're forced to play very defensively, laying up whenever possible. I enjoyed the bright graphics and fast gameplay of Neo Turf Masters, but its unforgiving nature may convince you to settle for 9 holes.
Neo Turf Masters pisses me off. This is a golf game that should have been perfect for a very fast-paced golf fix. Instead, it becomes the kind of torture that can only appeal to the kinds of masochists who actually broke their fingers beating Ghouls N Ghosts. Unless you have an abnormally high pain threshold, just stick to Golden Tee.