Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Golf Story

Go To
"The course was lovely today, got some birdies when I needed them and par is a good score here."

Golf Story is an Action RPG for the Nintendo Switch centering around golf, in the vein of Mario Golf's Game Boy Color incarnation.

Following a brief flashback of the player character as a small child wanting to make his father proud of his golfing skills, the story cuts to 20 years later, where the protagonist is procrastinating on life. Finally deciding enough is enough, he sets out to achieve his dreams. Along the way, he'll run into a Frisbee golf gang, crocodiles, angry geese, and many other obstacles.

A sequel, Sports Story, is in the works for the Nintendo Switch, originally planned for mid-2020 but delayed indefinitely.


This game contains examples of:

  • An Aesop: The Coach tells the Hero to relax and enjoy himself occasionally, and not take his golf training too seriously. In his younger days, the coach cared only for golf, and dedicated his time to training. Now that he's no longer a contender, he realized he has nothing left worth caring for.
  • Artifact Title: Tidy Park used to be actually a very clean and well-maintained golf club and park, but updates in regulations caused the owners to neglect the upkeep. The result is what is, ironically, the messiest course in the game, with puddles, random patches of different types of terrain, and no greens.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Pro Woods and Bladed Irons give the highest bonus to distance (+15 yards), but that's really their only gimmick, when other, less powerful clubs have utility besides "hitting as far as possible."
  • Advertisement:
  • Bad Present: The tutorial shows that Wellworn Grove used to be a pleasant Ghibli Hills-esque golf course. However, the passage of time (as well as Lucky's mismanagement) has turned the place into a run-down mess.
  • Battle Rapping: The old geezers of Tidy Park vs the young hooligans of Wellworn Grove.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Oak Manor. Ruled by an evil wizard, and home to skeletons and a ghost. There are also pumpkins scattered everywhere.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Max Yards. Not as bad as most examples, but he presents himself as a very friendly man playing for the love of the game, but in truth he's a prima donna who will belittle others and is really just a corporate shill.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: Zig-zagged. While you still take a penalty for hitting a ball into the water, things like tar pits and moles stealing your ball are treated like ordinary obstacles. You also occasionally want to aim for the water, because the turtles there will bounce your ball off their shells to go further. Birds can also grab your ball from where it lands and set it down elsewhere, which is considered your new lie from which you make your next shot.
    • In the overworld you can tee off from any outdoor location, which is used to solve various environmental puzzles. Or just to smack balls into people's faces for fun.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: During your match against Lara at Oak Manor, she'll steal Max Yards's "Unbound!" after a particularly good tee shot, but she apologizes for saying it right after.
  • Breather Episode: Invoked by Coach when he takes his students to Bermuda Isles. All of his "training" consists of mundane tasks that have little to do with golf itself, much to the protest of his students who really want to get some practice in. He explains to you that the purpose of these tasks is to get you to take a breather and not dedicate your entire daily life to golf.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Coach's golf career was ended when, years ago, his overzealous son accidentally hit a drive shot directly at him. Even in the present, Coach's injuries still make it hard for him to shoot correctly.
  • Chain of Deals: Bermuda Islands features one.
  • Collection Sidequest: There’s a Cacher’s Coin hidden in every world.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: When you do the Tidy Park vs. Wellworn Grove match, the moles will move the opposing team's ball forward onto the fairway, but they'll still put your ball into unfavorable places such as bunkers. Justified in-universe as you're playing against Wellworn, who the moles obviously favor over a visiting team.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: The "hot potato" shot that Coach teaches you, which consists of dropping a ball and swinging at it before it hits the ground. It looks cool, but it has no purpose in a formal tournament.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After foiling the plot of the two goth girls trying to raise an army of skeletons, their mind-controlled mole rats are freed, and make the Greenkeeper their new king in gratitude.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Coach is initially loathe to train the protagonist and calls his performance total garbage, despite the fact that he's blatantly shooting better than any of his students. In fact, one of his students, who overheard the whole thing from a couple of tees away, then proceeds to fire off some actually-terrible shots, which Coach commends despite the legitimately good play that he saw from the protagonist not even five minutes ago. It's implied later in the story that Coach refuses to actually try to train people because his heart's not in it: no one has actually shown aptitude in so long that he just doesn't care anymore. Once the protagonist substitutes in during a competition due to a lack of competitive-level players representing Wellworn Grove and helps the team catch up for victory, Coach finally recognizes the protagonist's honest talent and throws his full support behind him, training him for real.
  • Dem Bones: One story mission involves a couple of goth girls trying to raise a skeleton army to attack Wellworn Grove. Naturally you thwart them by lobbing golf balls at them.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: A large number of the "hazards" on the courses can be beneficial if you use them right.
    • The turtles that appear in the waters of Lurker Valley to bounce your ball off. If you don't know what you're doing, you may as well shoot straight into the water. But if you make the right shots, you can get some ridiculous drives off of them and easily set up for an eagle putt.
    • The birds in Cheekybeak Peak are mostly detrimental, but there's a special colored bird that will move your ball closer to the hole. Of course, that bird is usually surrounded by birds that move your ball farther away, so you need to be really accurate with your shot.
    • Puddles, sand, and tar slow the roll of your ball a little, a lot, and completely, respectively. But if used right, you can perfectly place the ball where you need it and not have to worry about roll (as long as you can compensate for the difficulty of shooting out of them).
    • Tidy Park has no greens at all, meaning that the putter is useless. But if your approach game (wedge shots) is on point, the course is one of the easiest in the game due to the lack of other gimmicks and the relatively straightforward holes.
    • Ice in Coldwind Wastes can let you get some really long shots, thanks to give your shots a lot more roll. But it can just as easily screw you over.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: No matter how good the protagonist plays, he'll barely get more than a "Could be better" for a compliment. Facing off against Max Yards, a pro player, and winning each time means very little, and after winning 3 championship trophies, everyone just thinks the protagonist cheated his way to the #1 spot.
  • Earth All Along: After the credits the screen pans around showing the map and all the characters, before zooming out and revealing it to be Australia all along.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: Taking a shot at maximum strength results in a sonic boom sound effect, and a rainbow trail behind your ball. Also, the Mega Albatross medal is colored like a metallic-rainbow.
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: Factors significantly into Tidy Park’s challenge music.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Played for Laughs in Coldwind Wastes, where the Player Character is wearing the same outfit he wears on every other course, but the NPCs wearing heavy winter clothes are freezing to death.
  • Feathered Fiend: The birds at Cheekybeak Peak are notorious for stealing golf balls.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: The bouncers at Tidy Park engage in this. Possibly to unnerve the rowdy gang trying to get past them.
  • First Town: Wellworn Grove is the first area of the game, and isn't too threatening at first.
  • Football Hooligans: Or, rather, Golf Hooligans. Most of the members of Wellworn Grove are this.
  • Foreshadowing: Oak Manor and two characters related to its questline briefly show up in an early part of the game when the player is still in Wellworn Grove.
  • Friendly Enemy: Lara becomes this to the protagonist later in the game. He even lampshades it, not being sure if she's a friend or an enemy.
  • Game Within a Game: Galf and its sequels. They even come with little players' manuals! And, uh, nudist crabs.
  • Gameplay Roulette: The game has a surprisingly wide variety of non-golf objectives for a golf game. To wit, the challenges include, but are not limited to: disc golf, running from point to point on a time limit, driving a remote-control car around a course, and using a drone to drop balls into a hole.
  • Genre Shift: After doing most everything of consequence in Oak Manor, it looks like the Tidy Park arc is going to be a typical Slobs vs. Snobs story. That is, until your welcoming party, where it comes to light that somebody's been taken by a werewolf, and nobody is allowed to leave until the culprit is exposed.
  • Genre Throwback: To top-down golf games, particularly the Game Boy Color version of Mario Golf.
  • Ghostly Goals: The ghost at Oak Manor designed and built the entire golf course, but then died before he got a chance to play on it, so he makes you do it in his place; first with the "junior" course and then the real one.
  • Gimmick Level: For a course with a community that grumbles about tradition and has the Nostalgia Filter on, Tidy Park sure is a non-standard course. First, this course forces you to use the vintage club set; if you equip any other clubs beforehand, they'll just get swapped out when you begin the course. Second, every hole is in a state of disrepair, with fairways that have grown into roughs, puddles everywhere, and no greens; every pin is surrounded by rough, fairway, or deep rough, forcing you to putt very hard or just chip the ball in.
  • Goth Girls Know Magic: They use it to mind-control an army of mole rats and raise an army of skeletons.
  • Granola Girl: There's a fair number of them around Cheekybeak Peak.
  • Grumpy Old Man: The elderly golfers at Tidy Park have the Nostalgia Filter on and don't look kindly upon younger golfers due to their more cutthroat and competitive approach to golf and what the former perceive to be a grave disrespect for the sport. They also ban the use of newfangled golf clubs and require the use of ancient, crappy ones from 50+ years ago.
  • Gusty Glade:
    • Cheekybeak Peak, being on a mountaintop, has wind strong enough that the trees sway like blades of grass. One challenge there has you trying to hit the ball into a target zone...while the wind is blowing as fast as 40 yards per second; it's much harder than it looks at first.
    • Blue Moon Dunes has powerful winds as well, though it's not the hat of that area.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose:
    • Coach challenging you to make some shots on the driving range to see if you're worth giving lessons. Fail? You get to try again. Succeed? He tells you that your abilities are complete shit and that you're not worth his time.
    • At the long drive competition with Max Yards, if you fail the challenge, you have to retry as usual. If you win, Max still gets the trophy because everyone expected him to win so Lucky already had the trophy engraved with his name.
  • Helpful Mook: The Cheekybeaks in Cheekybeak Peak will relocate your ball to someplace less convenient if you land within their detection circles...except for the brown Cheekybeaks, who will move your ball not only back onto the fairway, but a good distance forward, allowing you to reach distances that you can't with a drive shot. However, these brown birds usually have more difficult-to-reach circles than the other kinds. Lucky will shoot for these guys every chance he gets during your match with him.
  • Human Popsicle: Most of the NPCs at Coldwind Wastes are encased in blocks of ice and have to be hit with special heated balls to defrost them. All of them seem to be physically fine afterwards.
  • Idle Animation: The hero will start going over his scorecard and practicing his swing if you leave him alone long enough.
  • Idle Rich: The members of Tidy Park are all rich old geezers.
  • Infinite Supplies: You never run out of balls. Ever. You can throw or shoot them them to the point where the entire map you're on is covered.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's called Disc Golf and it's played with discs. Don't you dare utter the word "frisbee" around Harland and Co.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A few times during the prologue, Lucky can be witnessed stealing from a food-truck. On the final hole, he becomes a stage hazard while he runs from hostile geese attracted by all the food he stole.
  • Like a Son to Me: Coach comes to view the protagonist as a surrogate son figure, and sees it as his second chance to coach someone into a successful golfer after his actual son accidentally hit a drive shot at him years ago, ending his career.
  • The Load: Any time you're partnered with someone in a 2v2 match, they will suck. You won't be shooting to play well, but rather to correct their awful shots while still trying to keep a decent score.
  • Made of Explodium: The undead skeletons you have to defeat by shooting golf balls at them don't simply collapse into a pile of bones. They burst upon getting hit. The same is true for the RC car and the drone (a simple quad copter drone) that explode if they hit a tree or land too rough.
  • Made of Indestructium: Those golf balls being sold at a conspicuous stand at Cheekybeak Peak? Turns out they're actually Cheekybeak eggs. Eggs that can somehow survive being slammed with a club head and then flying over 250 yards, potentially into a tree or rock.
  • Meaningful Name: Max Yards is good at hitting the ball as hard and as far as possible, but that's pretty much all he's good at (other than shilling products). Then again, in his mind, that's all you should need to be a good golfer, and if that strategy doesn't work out then it's the course's fault for being too small, not yours for hitting the ball too hard.
  • Mini-Golf Episode: There's a hidden mini-golf course in Wellworn Grove, where you're tasked with proving a pair of scientists wrong by completing a mini-golf course in fewer strokes than predicted.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The owner of Tidy Park greatly resembles Morgan Freeman. Especially with his white suit.
  • No Name Given: The protagonist is never given a name. On scorecards and tournament listings, "PLAYER" is given in lieu of an actual name.
  • No Respect Guy: The protagonist, hoo boy. His initial encounter with Coach is a scolding of his apparently-terrible abilities despite hitting better than all of Coach's students. When he competes in the Wellworn Grove Open, even if he finishes by a large margin he doesn't get an interview unlike the two runner-ups who blatantly dodge the news crew's questions and he has well over half of his winnings taken by his vengeful wife and the staff he works with; even Lara wishes they'd have a bit more respect for him. He seems to take it all pretty well, at least.
  • No-Sell:
    • You can perform a Focus shot that not only slows down the power meter's speed, but also negates the wind for the current shot.
    • After completing all of the required tasks at Oak Manor, you gain access to a Ghostly Tee that lets you tee off on almost any terrain, i.e. you can shoot from bunkers, deep rough, etc. as if the offending terrain isn't there. It doesn't work for shrubs though.
  • Nostalgia Filter: The grumpy old golfers of Tidy Park have this going on. They reminisce about playing for leisure and cleanliness over playing for a low score ("a tidy six is better than a messy four") and require members to use vintage clubs any time they're on the property.
  • North Is Cold, South Is Hot: Inverted with Coldwind Wastes, which is the southernmost course, and Bermuda Isles, which is north of Wellworn Grove (though not the northernmost). Justified when the zoom-out at the end of the game reveals the world map to be Australia, which, being in the southern hemisphere, would naturally be colder to the south and warmer to the north.
  • One of the Boys: One of the hooligans working for Lucky is a girl. She's the one in the black baseball cap who leads the rap battle against Tidy Park.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: One can be found in a waterfall at Blue Moon Dunes. She wants you to throw treasure into her pond as tribute.
  • Palmtree Panic: Bermuda Islands, naturally.
  • Point Build System: Every level-up earns Skill Points, which can be spent to make skills better. You can also decrease your Power if you're hitting too hard, since increasing power will periodically decrease your other skills.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate:
    • The Pro Woods and Bladed Irons give the highest bonus to distance out of all clubs in their category (+15 yards), but they both give you a penalty to your Strike stat, meaning that if you miss, you will feel it.
    • Max Yards can regularly hit at least 300 yards, yet he is a terrible shot. A lot of his tee shots end up in bunkers, or worse, water. The problem is that the first time you face off against him, it's in a longest shot competition, the exact only thing he's good at!
  • Prehistoria: Lurker Valley has shades of this. Features tar pits as hazards, dino skulls and mammoth tusks as set dressing, and the NPCs are all cavepeople who speak in You No Take Candle.
  • Recurring Boss: You engage Lara in match play twice (once in a 2-vs-2 match, and again in a more conventional 1v1), unlike other opponents who each are only played against once.
  • Retraux: Galf, which is meant to capture the look and feel of 8-bit golf games, particularly Golf on the NES. The manual for it lampshades this, explaining that a lot of the less-optimal elements of the game are due to in-universe hardware limitations, such as only having 8 holes instead of 9 due to memory restrictions and a bug allowing non-putter clubs to be used on the green.
  • The Rival: Lara, possibly Driven by Envy, because she didn't seem to care about improving her game until the protagonist started to impress the Coach.
  • Shout-Out: The coach being a retired black golfer with a Career-Ending Injury in the hand is very likely an homage to Chubbs Peterson.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Coldwind Wastes.
  • Smug Snake: Max Yards treats you with utter contempt and brags about his pro golfer status. Yet when he plays against you in match play at Bermuda Isles, he's shown to make some hilariously bad plays, regularly ending up in bunkers and scoring bogeys, and blames his bad performance on the course. When you beat him, he claims it's because he's too big for such an "amateur course", instead of admitting that you're a better golfer than he is.
  • Sore Loser:
    • Beating Max Yards at Bermuda Isles has him complain that the course is too small and crappy for him, instead of conceding that you may be a better golfer than he is.
    • Lara seems like she's going to avert this when you defeat her at Oak Manor, but then the only thing she admits is that you have better equipment, not that you're a better player.
  • Special Attack: You have a three-segment meter that can be used for special shots, and each shot depletes one segment, while perfect-accuracy hits slowly recharge the meter. The following special shots are available:
    • Focus: Nullifies wind effects and slows down the power gauge.
    • Power: Grants additional yardage to your shots.
    • Tee: Places a "Ghostly Tee" under your ball, allowing you to shoot as if you're on the tee, even if you're in troublesome terrain like roughs and bunkers (which only marginally reduce the power of irons and wedges, but reduce the power of woods by at least 50%). However, it doesn't work if your ball ends up in a shrub, which forces the penalty no matter what.
  • Split-Personality Team: Played with. One of the characters in Oak Manor was apparently sealed away in several headstone vessels, each of which wants you to commit minor acts of evil.
  • Surfer Dude: Most of the NPCs at Bermuda Isles.
  • To Be a Master: The hero wants to be the world's best golfer.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Well, he's the only blacksmith, but he can forge new clubs out of special minerals, including one that produces electricity. Naturally, he looks like a dwarf and has a thick Scottish accent.
  • Unwanted Assistance: A few times through the game, the player will be paired up with another golfer. Unfortunately, the other golfer is usually out of shape, leaving most of the work to the player. Oh, but don't worry, they'll still "help" by hitting the tee shot, which usually lands the player in a sticky situation.
  • Variable Mix: An even more dramatic version of the tense green music plays if you're on the green with two or more strokes under par.
  • Victorious Chorus: Plays heavily into the background music for Blue Moon Dunes, in keeping with the 'Home of the Champions' theme.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can tee off anywhere and hit or throw balls anywhere, including at NPCs.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Need to hit onto a green, but there's water all around it? The best strategy is actually to hit one of the bunkers, where the ball will stick to the ground instead of bouncing. The Galf manual even alludes to exploiting bunkers for this purpose.
  • Wasteful Wishing:
    • On Blue Moon Dunes, the female Wellworn Grove hooligan has come into possession of a genie, and used her first wish to make her hat and boom box flash rainbow colours. She doesn't know what to do with her other two wishes, so she sells them to you for $1000 each, as the protagonist, in inner monologue, wonders why she doesn't just wish for money instead. After buying both wishes, she realizes too late that she screwed up... she should have wished for a rainbow-flashing shirt too!
    • For that matter, the protagonist himself just uses both wishes on new golf clubs. The genie proceeds to "upgrade" the Wellworn Woods and Irons, but other than greater shot curving they don't exactly do much.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: All manner of obstacles can be solved with the right club, and plenty of balls.
  • Widget Series: It's a golfing RPG that has a Frisbee golf gang, crocodiles, and angry geese. A Weird Australian Thing, if you will.
  • World of Jerkass: A lot of the characters in this game are assholes, or at least very blunt. Some of them do warm up to the protagonist, but others still remain shady or rude as hell.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Lara has pink hair. The two goth girls also have their hair dyed a variety of colours.
  • You No Take Candle: The inhabitants of Lurker Valley are clearly well-versed in golf, but as befitting of the area's prehistoric motif, all have very simple grammar and Beige Prose.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: