Similarly to Mario Golf for Game Boy Color, Mario Golf: Advance Tour allows players to create two of their own custom characters and experience golf by progressing through an RPG-like story. The ultimate goal of the story is to make your player climb through the ranks of the various clubs, ultimately reaching the goal of the elite Mushroom Kingdom golfers, such as Princess Peach, Donkey Kong and of course Mario.
It's possible to earn experience for either character either by playing through rounds of golf, or by successfully completing various types of mini-games and contests that help you hone your putting, swing, and other golf skills. Distributing experience is more difficult now, as you have to make sure that both characters are sufficiently levelled up so that you can succeed in double matches as well as solo games.
Advance Tour also links up to Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour for the Nintendo GameCube. By doing this, you can earn even more experience points by transferring your characters over and playing the various modes in Toadstool Tour. Of course, it's also possible to link up to another copy of Advance Tour for GBA multiplayer.