These are tips, a very few from me, most from other fans, and especially from this thread on the GoneGold.com forum. I've stopped showing names with tips, since I've had inputs on the same topic from several people and I don't want to offend someone by giving credit to the wrong person. The only exceptions are the essays at the bottom of this page, which are from Usenet. Thanks go to all who contribute . If there are any errors or mis-statements, remember that all these tips are unofficial!
By the way, here is the link to the EA support page for SimGolf. There are a number of bits of information, but most are items you've probably already figured out.
Keyboard and Other Interface Tips
Course Building Tips
Tips for Operating Your Golf Course
Tips for Modifying the Game
Keyboard and Other Interface Tips:
- Sometimes when your turn to tee off comes and you are sitting at a bench, the game seems to teleport you to the tee and give you a bad lie. Even though the special shot selections are greyed out when this occurs, the game will still let you use them. Just click on Backspin, Draw or Fade anyway, and you will see the trajectory line show you can indeed use that shot, even though the interface has it greyed out.
- It's not documented, but the "Page Up" and the "Home" keys rotate the map.
- You can select the holes of a course through the keyboard. First press centers the screen on the hole, second press opens the hole info screen. Keyboard keys  through  will select holes one through nine. Press [Shift] plus  to select hole ten, [Shift] plus  opens hole eleven and so forth.
- If you just delete or rename the "credits.txt" file in the main SimGolf folder the end credits won't play when you quit, it will just quit to desktop.
- If you don't like those somewhat annoying opening and closing movies, do this:
Surf to your SimGolf 'flics' directory, e.g. c:\simgolf\flics. In that directory, you'll find two files ending in ".bik" ... rename them or remove them. This will let the game go straight to the main menu when you start up the game, and also
disables the closing movie that plays. (the closing credits still play, you have to hit Esc to close
- When those messages pop up (i.e. 'So and So is going to join your club', etc), press thespacebar to close them. This also works to close the terrain tile boxes at the bottom of the screen. Using the spacebar eliminates the risk of accidently making a golf swing in the wrong direction!
Course Building Tips:
- Here are the hole design classifications:
- Breather: No skill needed. No skill over .50
- Freeway: Length Skill (Only Len > .50)
- Precise: Accuracy skill ( Only Acc > .50)
- Creative: Imagination Skill (Only Img > .50)
- Challenge: Lenth and Accuracy > .50, Imagination < .50
- Heroic: Length and Imagination > .50, Accuracy < .50
- Strategic: Accuracy and Imagination > .50, Length <.50
- Classic: Length, Accuracy, and Imagination all > 1.0
- Save often! Save before you start building a hole, then after you finish the placing the tee and the green. The save files are pretty small, and you can delete them from within the game or from the windows interface.
- Be careful when deleting then replacing an existing tee. I did this on one course where, somehow, I ended up with one tile having two tees for the same hole! I couldn't delete them and it so messed up the course I had to go back to an earlier save. Be sure to delete the tee or green by placing a rough tile in that square prior to placing the new tee or green.
- It doesn't cost you anything to modify elevation when playing the game.
It only costs you to lay down the various tiles.
- The game adds wildlife as you build your course. Look for them dropping out of the sky.
- You cannot eliminate the clubhouse. You can move it within the game at cost, but that shouldn't matter in sandbox as you have unlimited funds.
- The crowding of players waiting to tee off can at times cause a golfer to be so angry that he rants and raves, which upsets other golfers, who may even quit the course and their membership. Getting golf carts for faster travel and positioning rangers and marshalls at the tees of slow holes will help avoid this.
- When placing bridge tiles, the bridge will not stay aligned unless it is connect to a path one or both ends. Paths placed on fairway tiles will not show but will still exist, so you can run your fairway right up to the bridge if you wish.
- Unlike decorative trees, which all of the golfers seem to enjoy (and scenic bridges which they practically drool over), flower beds are 'hit-or-miss', some golfers may be offended by certain color flowers.
- Sloping a tile adjacent to a flat tile will still cause the golf ball to roll on the 'flat' tile. It seemsthat even though the tile 'looks' flat, the game interpolates (i think that's the right word) the points between the vertices. In other words if you have something like this:
. _ .
|||||\ . _ .
both of those 'flat' areas actually have a slope. (works well if you put some water next to the lower area).
- You can generate cranes, elk, and other animals at will by constructing suitable habitats for them (for instance. rough near water for crane, pine groves for elk) and then simply removing them. If you undo the changes there is no monetary loss yet the animals remain.
- Try putting a huge tree in the middle of a huge fairway, right where the drive lands. A narrow opening towards the green and a wider opening (though longer distance) going around the tree. This may increase the imagination and accuracy values of your hole.
- You can change the par of a hole by moving the tee or green nearer or farther away from each other. This is still tricky and may require a number of tries, but it does work.
- When building a dogleg hole, place some fairway squares where you want the change of direction to be prior to placing the green.
- Before putting down a home site surround the area with scenic trees, like this
TTTT T = Tree
THHT H = House
It increases the value of the plot to over $90k (for an investment of $30k) and the golfers don't whine about ugly homesteads.
- When designing a hole, make liberal use of the "/" key. This plots several test shots from the cursor and gives an idea of where the ball will land for people with different skills (Length, Imagination, and Accuracy) and gives an idea of how much distance will be lost by not having a certain skill. For example, it might say shots will be 30 yards shorter if you don't have the Imagination skill. This is useful when trying to gauge how changes in terrain affect the type of hole.
- When designing hilly areas, use the elevation tool to survey your paths. If sims have to go up a slope of greater than one elevation level they complain about the steep slop -- even if they are in a golf cart.
- Speaking of paths, use them. Sims get tired less quickly if they use a path.
- Hold back from using your landmarks at first. Look for areas where the sims tend to complain, such as a tricky hole where they often hit the ball in the water. Plop down a landmark, and they don't complain as much.
- Don't place ballwashers on every hole as they slow down play.
- Golfers rest and eat BETWEEN holes not while playing. If you place a bench halfway along the fairway either it won't get used or someone who finishes a hole will walk all the way back to it to rest.
- The length of time to play a hole starts when the old hole is finished, so the time it takes to
walk from the old green to the new tee is part of this. If a golfer finishes a hole then walks to
the other side of the course to get a hot dog before heading to the next tee, it'll increase the
time to play that hole. Not only that, but anyone behind him won't play through and he ends up
holding up the whole line. This is particularly annoying when golfers get into loops where they sit
on a bench, stand up, walk two steps, walk back, sit on the same bench, get up, walk away,
come back, sit on the same bench... I've seen them do that with food, too. They seem to eat
and rest whenever the opportunity arises rather than waiting to be hungry or tired which can
really slow a hole down.
- If you need to renumber the order of the holes of a course, try to wait till the end of a tournament. The golfers all start out from the clubhouse and so won't be upset.
- Put all three (Putting Green, Pro Shop and Driving Range) golfer improvement buildings along the ways to the 1st Hole Tee. Be sure to leave a little extra room around each of these as the 'Upgraded versions' (which you get after placeing holes in the "Back 9") take up more space.
Tips for Operating Your Golf Course:
- When I.M. Picky comes to tee off, you can quickly cheat him out of giving you the land if you:
- A) have a celebrity to greet him and make him happy at the first tee.
- B). Just as he is about to tee off on number one, delete the number one tee box. It will trick I.M. into thinking his round is done and, after being gladhandled by Chi Chi Celebrity, will 9/10 times give you the upgrade without having to wait.
- This is a best guess list of the professional accomplishments:
1st dogleg left hole
1st dogleg right hole
1st skill upgrade
1st classic hole
1st par 5 hole
1st top 100 hole
1st match victory
1st 9 hole course
1st top 18 hole
1st tournament victory
1st grand slam course
1st 18 hole course
1st $500,000 tornament victory
1st $1,000,000 tornament victory
1st Grand slam victory
1st Grand slam victory (parkland)
1st Grand slam victory (links)
1st Grand slam victory (tropics)
1st Grand slam victory (desert)
I've recieved this additional information from UnionCarbide: "The list you added is not by any means a complete list of accomplishments. There is a large pool of accomplishments that are picked from at random for each course. Some of the ones you missed:"
1st heroic hole
1st challenge hole
1st strategic hole
1st Grand Slam tournament (9+ holes)
"Further, the professional accomplishments trophy is reset when you start a new course in the same game, so you couldn't possibly get all the Grand Slam (course type) achievements in the same course." Thanks for the update, UnionCarbide
- The crowding of players waiting to tee off can at times cause a golfer to be so angry that he rants and raves, which upsets other golfers, who may even quit the course and their membership. Getting golf carts for faster travel and positioning rangers and marshalls at the tees of slow holes will help avoid this. Another trick is to remove the ball washer (if present) from the start of the hole; using the ball washer delays a player's tee-off. The ! after a golfers name means that he/she has been motivated by your Ranger or Marshal to play more quickly.
- Mr. I.M. Picky, the official who offers you land purchases, certainly likes to take his sweet time in showing up. There are a few things you can do to prevent wasting an opportunity to get land.
- First, make sure you have enough money in the bank to get that section of land, because you can't get a loan or overdraw your money account.
- Second, be careful if you are about to start a tournament, since all the golfers get thrown off the course and you don't to lose a purchasing opportunity by kicking out Mr. Picky if he's playing.
- Finally, make sure his round of golf is pleasant by using your rangers and marshalls to keep crowds from forming and making him wait too long to tee off at any holes.
- The circles around the groundskeepers (their effective radius) grow as the game goes on, while their skill grows as well. Be sure to reposition them to ensure the greatest coverage.
- If you are getting annoyed by too many animals on your course, try putting water under them so they drown. May not work for ducks!
Tips for Modifying the Game
- In the "Themes\Standard\" directory are files called "celebrities.dta" and "progolfers.dta". These are self-documented text files with lists of, not surprisingly, celebrities and pro golfers. You can change them to add your own entries if, for example, you don't want Rosie O'Donnell and Howard Stern buying houses on your course. CAUTION!! Cyjon reports: "Be very careful when editing "celebrities.dta". Make darn sure you back up the original file. I tried deleting the old entries and putting in new ones and the game crashed every time I tried to load or start a game. I finally got it to work, though I have no idea how. It might have to do with the number of blank lines before and after the data or something like that."