Mario Open Golf is a golf game for one or two players. It features five different courses. Players can take part in stroke play or challenge a friend or a computer opponent in match play. The player selects various aspects of their shot, such as club and ball spin, and then try to time the strength and accuracy of their hit by timing button presses on a power meter. Mario Open Golf was the predecessor to the US game, NES Open Tournament Golf. Mario Open Golf features three additional courses not found in NES Open Tournament Golf. Mario Open Golf also lacks NES Open Tournament Golf's tournament mode, but features an "extra" course, a randomly generated compilation of different courses from the game.