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Sports Simulation Board Games

How to play HISTORY MAKER GOLF Championship Golf Game

Burke Yielding, fictional golfer on 2017 Pro National Tour, HMG

Let's play a few holes of HISTORY MAKER GOLF Championship Golf Game! To demonstrate how the game works, we'll use one of the courses that comes with the game, the Champions Course, Augusta, Georgia, and the card of Burke Yielding, one of the golfers on the fictional Pro National Golf Tour. (Real-life golfers are also available, see ordering information.) We've created a downloadable, printable PDF of game materials that will open in a separate screen so you can follow along...

As you can see, the golfer's card is populated with various descriptive qualities, which the game book will bring into play as the round progresses. The course cards also include descriptive words, along with an array of symbols that approximates the hole's actual terrain. For example, the first hole is a dogleg right (the circle symbol represents the green), there are bunkers and trees on the right of the fairway while access to the left of the fairway is more congenial, with rough and a couple of non-hazard (square) spaces.

Naturally, we'll start on the first hole, a 445 yard Par 4 (see illustration). We roll the dice to tee off, four six-sided dice in all: black, white, green, and metallic. The white die is always read first, and determines whether the hole is controlled by the golfer or the course. Every hole starts out this way, a battle between golfer and course, with some holes more difficult than others. If the white die matches any of the dice printed on the hole card, then the hole gains control; otherwise, the golfer controls.

Let's say we roll a white "5," black "1," metallic "4," and a green "5." The white die "5" is printed on the card for the first hole at Augusta (see illustration), so the hole will control—this time! When the hole controls, the black and metallic dice are combined to create a two-digit number, read in ascending order, and that number is referenced on the hole card. In this case, the black and metallic dice combine for a "14," which results in a "long grass" symbol and a superscript "1." This HMG short-code tells us that Yielding's first shot (superscript "1") has gone into the weeds to the left of the fairway (long grass, or "rough" symbol).

To find out what happens next, we turn in the HMG Game Action Book to the "4.1" heading (which corresponds to "par 4 hole, first shot") of the "Rough" hazard section. There, we read the printed result that matches what we rolled on the green die—which, in this case, was a "5." "MASTER? Beautiful shot from rough lands squarely on fairway; solid iron puts ball on green, EASY putt for PAR." We check to see if Yielding has MASTER printed under the "Recovery" section of his card—he does not. So, we continue reading: "OTHERWISE, forgettable shot from rough, third shot travels to fringe of green; DIFFICULT putt for PAR." Ouch! We trudge to the green, putter in hand.

Putting is a simple procedure in HMG. For routine putts like this, in most cases, it's a single die roll that's compared to a success range. Here (DIFFICULT putt for PAR), the success range is 1-3. We grab the white die and roll it...a "2," he made it! With a sigh of relief, we move to the second tee.

The second hole at Augusta presents less of a challenge than the first. A par 5 hole, it's classified as a DB CORDIAL hole with a FRIENDLY• and DIRECT green (see illustration), and you'll note the abundance of non-hazard (square) symbols. One of the fun things about HMG is that the course cards give you a snapshot of every hole you'll play, so you'll know what you're (potentially) getting into before you tee off! (And, there are certain strategy elements that can be employed, should you not like what you see!) We roll for the second hole: white "2," black "6," metallic "1," green "6." The white "2" gives Yielding control of the hole, so we'll read the other dice differently, as a three-digit number read in ascending order, "1-6-6." (We use this method of reading the dice whenever the golfer controls.) We go to the par 5 section of the game action book, and look up result 1-6-6. Let's explain how the process works when the golfer controls...

Just like real golf, HMG action always starts with the ball at the tee. On par 3 holes, you'll tee with an iron, a wood for par 4 and 5 holes. Thus, on this hole, the first column of the par 5 game book section represents a tee shot with a driver. You check the appropriate dice result and compare it to the called-for quality related to woods. If the golfer has that quality, you use the result printed in the first column, representing the golfer's tee shot. If the golfer doesn't have the quality, you assume that the golfer had a routine shot, and move to the next column, representing his next shot, from the fairway, with an appropriate iron. Continue checking for called-for qualities through each column. Par 3 holes have only one column (for irons), par 4 holes have two columns (wood and iron), and par 5 holes have three (wood and irons), representing the number of shots required to make the green in regulation. If the golfer fails to match any of the called-for qualities, you'll use the "default" result at the end of the final column to get the narrative for the hole. The majority of your game action is resolved using this simple, logical process.

Our dice roll on the second hole at August provides a good illustration of how this aspect of the game works. We rolled a "1-6-6," which asks us from the tee if the golfer has the YEOMAN (wood) quality. We can see that Yielding does not, so we visualize a routine tee shot and check the second column as Yielding draws an iron from his bag of clubs. Does Yielding have the HERO quality? Again, we see that he does not, so he again executes a routine shot and we move to the third column. Does Yielding have the CHAMPION quality? We see that he does have the CHAMPION quality—but notice the "bullet" next to the word CHAMPION. (There are similar "bullets" next to other qualities.) The "bullet" symbol indicates that the golfer has the quality to SOME degree, but not fully. For situations like this, your game comes with a special "decider die:" a white six-sided die, with the "bullet" symbol on three of the sides. If a player has a "bulleted" quality (we call them SEMI qualities, as in "SEMI CHAMPION" or "SEMI GOLD") the player is considered to have the quality for THAT shot, IF the "decider die" shows the "bullet," too.

We roll the decider die—it's a bullet! "Perfectly delivered, EASY putt for BIRD." Nice. For illustration purposes, though, let's supposed we'd rolled a "blank." In that case, we would have defaulted to the NOW micro chart, where the golfer's at-the-moment HOT or COLD status would have come into play. On a green die reading of "6," we're asked if the golfer is HOT. In this case, he is neutral, not HOT, which renders this result: "Unfortunate break on birdie putt, DIFFICULT putt for PAR." That's a big difference!

Back to our birdie putt. An EASY putt for BIRD has a success range of 1-4—we roll a "5." A missed opportunity, for sure. That leaves a GIMME putt for PAR, which our golfer easily taps in (it's possible to miss a GIMME putt, but very unlikely).

We move on to the third hole, a par 4, 350 yards (see illustration). We roll the dice: white "4," black "2," metallic "5," green "3." The white die "4" is printed on the hole card, so the course controls. The black and metallic die combine for a "25," which produces a square symbol result on the hole card, sending us to the "GolfCam: Course" page of the game action book. We check the green die result—"3"—on the Par 4 section of the GolfCam: Course page, which first asks "CORDIAL hole?" No, it's not. "DAUNTING hole?" No, it's not DAUNTING, either. Thus, we get THIS reading: "Overcomes earlier flub, IF made, CLUTCH putt for PAR." In other words, our golfer has struggled from the tee, but has made the green with a great third shot and now faces a par-saving putt—a "clutch" putt—with the TV cameras focused on him.

CLUTCH putts are different from routine putts, there's more at stake and greater pressure. As such, CLUTCH putts have a built-in reward or penalty. When a CLUTCH putt is made, the golfer earns a performance boost chip (blue), which can be used later to help his game. However, when a CLUTCH putt is missed, the golfer is given a performance diminishing chip (red), which must be disposed of before the end of the round. (There are strategies which can minimize the effect of such chips.) Because CLUTCH putts are so crucial, golfers are rated in a way that reflects their ability to make big putts (or, not). We can see that Yielding has the GOLD putting quality—that’s a good thing, as it provides a success range of 1-5. Based on what's already happened on the first two holes, making or missing this putt could be a turning point for the whole round. So, with not a little tension, we roll the white die, and...

We'll leave our demonstration here, hoping that it's given you a feel for how HISTORY MAKER GOLF goes about creating exciting, often dramatic golf narrative. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail us, we're always happy to help. The e-mail address is info@plaay dot com.