The Golf Club is a simulation of the golf sports game. It is developed by HB Studios who are known for their work on various EA Sports titles, but this title is self-published and unlicensed (players, courses, equipment), except for the name and photograph of Greg Norman associated with the custom course designer portion.
The game can be played as a round, a tour or a tournament. It is not possible to create custom golfers, but the colours of the existing ones’ outfit can be altered along with a left or right hand swing. The game is played from a third-person view. Unlike similar games, it does not use a timer or a bar to determine the shot’s power or curve. Instead, the player chooses a club and shot type, and then has the power defined through the swing performed with a thumbstick or the mouse. While playing, the wind direction, elevation and distance to the pin are shown.
Next to the courses included by default, it has an editor to design custom courses and share them globally. Players can browse the available courses through various filters and some courses get featured prominently. Even though no real life courses are licensed, many have been remade in the game by users. The setup of a new course is defined through a number of parameters such as length, terrain type and foliage density with sliders, and then it is automatically generated. The course can then be further altered by adding hazards, trees, water, animals and holes, editing the putting greens, or widening fairways. Existing courses by other users cannot be edited however. There are different themes for the courses, such as alpine, desert, rural, forest etc.
The game can be played offline with ghost opponents, up to four players locally (PC version), or online against friends. The multiplayer game modes include stroke play, match play, and fourball where all players’ balls are shown on the course for each shot. Each play is saved online, so it is possible to compete with players’ performances in the past with the option of friends rounds, record rounds or rivals rounds. The latter are rounds by players matched close to your own abilities. The ghost balls and scores can optionally be hidden. Other players around the world can also be followed live. The game keeps detailed statistics of each course and player, along with leaderboards.