Shot Online Golf: World Championship is an impressively deep sporting simulation from Webzen – but with depth comes complexity. So without further ado here are our top tips to help you get more birdies than bogeys.
On the fairway (and the green)
The golfing in Shot Online Golf is actually very straightforward. To play a shot off the tee or the fairway, simply press the circular icon to the left of the screen to bring up the power meter, and then slide it down to the little flag icon–a bit beyond if you want to overshoot, and above if you want to allow for run-in.
Meanwhile a slider appears beneath your golfer with a marker moving back and forth across it. Lift your finger off the screen when the marker is in the middle to let rip. Letting go to the left or the right of the middle will give you some draw and fade, at the cost of power.
The trick to judging power is to pay attention to the elevation of the green relative to yourself. If it’s above you, you’ll need to use more power. If it’s below, less. Take care to factor run-in (the distance the ball rolls after it lands), bearing in mind that the ball will roll much farther if it lands on the green than it will if it lands on the fairway and rolls onto the green.
The other factor to consider is the speed and direction of the wind. A gauge at the top of the screen lets you know which way the wind is blowing and how fast. This wind will carry your ball away from its natural line of flight, so you’ll need to make small adjustments for accuracy.
Putting is even more straightforward than playing from the tee or the fairway, because you don’t have to worry about getting your timing right. What you do have to worry about is the surface of the putting green. As you line up your shot the green is overlaid with a grid, with white dots moving along the lines to indicate where the slopes are. Adjust the power and direction of your putts to account for these slopes.
The other surface you’ll occasionally have to swing from are bunkers and the rough. Playing from these will narrow your sweet spot and speed up your strafing marker, and however true you hit the ball it won’t travel as far as the shot preview indicates. If there’s more rough ahead, it’s almost always sensible to change direction and head back for the fairway, however far the shot preview line suggests you’ll be able to hit the ball.
Boosts and skills
Like any good golf game, Shot Online Golf gives you many tricks for finessing your performance. These are organised into Items and Skills.
Items are available from the get-go, though they’re consumable and you have a limited number. They let you take a mulligan, give you a putting guide on the green, widen the sweet spot (Impact Drink), slow the marker (Slow Drink), and increase your swing power (Power Drink.)
To obtain more of these you just play the game and a steady trickle will come to you through completing missions and earning achievements. However, if you want to stock up you can go to the shop and buy packs of them with rubies.
Skills are different. These cover things like adding draw, fade, backspin, and so on to the ball, as well chip shots, boom shots, adapting to the rough, and even concentration and mental training. The only way to learn skills is to reach the required level. That means your time and effort will be rewarded with a richer golfing experience and a concrete advantage on the fairway, so get out there and play!
Clubs and clothes
In the menu you’ll find Storage and Closet sections. These are where you manage your clubs and your clothing respectively.
Shot Online Golf is quite interesting in how it handles its clubs and gear. The game inevitably ties them in to its free-to-play systems, the upshot of which is that both are in a constant state of flux, becoming renewed and enhanced but also weaker and more fragile over time, so that you have to keep of top of their maintenance.
As with Items, you come into new clubs constantly through missions, achievements, and events, but you can also buy them in the shop for gold or rubies. But that’s not all. You can take the clubs you collect and use them to ‘fit’ other clubs, which effectively means cannibalising a weaker club to level-up a stronger one.
Likewise with clothing, you can extract fabric from other garments and use it to reinforce other garments.
Over time your clubs will succumb to wear and tear, which you can mitigate by using club covers. You come by in the same way you come by everything else: either through play or by buying them. Club cover or no club cover, you will occasionally have to repair your clubs.
Everything you do – fitting clubs, extracting fabric, reinforcing garments, repairing clubs, etc – costs gold. You can replenish your supply of this either by just playing the game or, you guessed it, heading to the shop. A steady flow of gold comes to you from participating in events, completing Academy stages, racking up achievements, finishing missions, and winning Betting Challenges. You even earn gold for playing individual shots. Just make sure you check your in-game email inbox regularly to claim it all.