A Look At The Past: Leaderboard Golf

What a great period to live were the ’80ies. I will never be able to say it enough, but those truly were golden years in a way impossible to really understand if ones didn’t get the chance to live them. Back then, 8bit computing and anime were my daily bread, and one of my favorite anime was “Tutti in campo con Lotti” (あした天気になあれ, “Ashita tenki ni naare”, “It will be fine tomorrow”) directed in 1984 by Hiroyoshi Mitsunobu and inspired by the works of mangaka Tetsuya Chiba. Such anime went on air in Italy in 1986, right when a certain golf game was published for the Commodore 64 by Access Software.

Golf wasn’t very popular over here back then: it was expensive and there were no golf courses were I lived, so playing it on my C128 (in C64 mode) was the only way to do it. On the other hand, I already had a shocking experience with fishing (read the story here) so I decided it would be safer for me to go for the simulated experience instead (^^)…

Jokes aside, the truth is that I played Leaderboard Golf (coded by Bruce and Roger Carver) because it was an awesome game and, 33 years later, I can safely say that it keeps being one of the best golf simulations out there. Ever! Sure, now we have better graphics and sound and, soon, even a VR game (Everybody’s Golf VR), but nothing can beat how simple, and at the same time how profound, it was to chose your club, orient your drive taking the current wind into consideration and hit that ball (actually, a square of 2×2 pixels) to send it on the green.

The game could be enjoyed from 1 to 4 players, featured 3 different difficulty modes and had courses up to 72 holes. I spent a considerable amount of hours on this game, that soon became one of my preferred software and that I enjoyed playing (via emulation, this time) even a few days ago. Actually, now that I have that UltimateII cartridge and that I retrieved an old joystick from my basement, I will soon play it on its original hardware as well.

Yet, even on emulation, the feeling is the same as in 1986. It was something long forgotten, and therefore even more pleasurable when I finally got to it. I remember playing this game so much, to the point of having a full database of the best club to use according to that particular hole and distance. I probably still have that piece of paper somewhere in my room at my parent’s house. Currently, though, I still have a long way to go before “getting in shape” again, as you can see from my scoreboard: it looks like I cannot go under six despite the par …

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2 thoughts on “A Look At The Past: Leaderboard Golf

  1. oh, a 10?.
    I used to love Leaderboard golf too and i always found the first few Amiga versions to never come close to the simplistic fun that the C64 version gave. A classic for sure.

    • The 10 might seem a rather high score at first. Back then scores on magazines ranged from 8.5 to the 9.7 of Zzap!64 (issue 15) yet, in retrospective and at least on the 64, I believe there is technically no way to make it better than it this. Therefore, IMHO, a 9 wouldn’t have been fair enough.

      On the other hand, I guess I stated before that we shoud make good use of half scores. Maybe Roar can develop new graphics for that. 🙂

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