Building up your skills through the career mode is still your best bet for improved performance, and the game offers tournaments through 2009 and beyond. Impatient pros can skip straight to the FedEx Cup, or you can test yourself against the big names in the Tiger Challenge section. These challenges are actually different to the other console versions, and concentrate more on winning holes against real-life golfers than the smaller tests of power and accuracy that 360 and PS3 owners get to try.
Other features winging their way over from the other consoles include the Club Tuner, a very handy workshop that lets you customise each club to compensate for any recurring hooks or slices, or just to lengthen their range at the expense of accuracy. The character designer is also much more robust than previous Wii outings, offering the same level of detail as the other versions even though the ability to import your own face hasn't been included. This being a Wii game, they've also included a suite of mini-games alongside the impressive selection of more serious golfing modes. It's doubtful that most sensible players will appreciate the chance to play keepy-uppy with a golf ball, or use the remote to try and pull other player's shots off-course in mid-air, but there's enough serious business that such frivolity can be tolerated.
Perhaps most excitingly, the simultaneous online play has made its debut on the Wii at the same time as its more powerful, and more net-friendly, rivals. This means you can play a round of golf against friends (using either existing Wii codes or EA's own login system) or just dive into a game against whoever is online. Rather than taking turns, you play at the same time, with your opponents' shots represented on-screen by colourful trajectory lines. It's not as smooth as it was on the 360, with the other player's shots sometimes jerking about the fairway, but it's a huge improvement for a console that is almost always under represented in the online stakes.
It's just a shame that the game hasn't received a graphical facelift to accompany the influx of new features. For a console so famous for its bright and colourful games, it's rather bizarre that Tiger Woods on the Wii is such a drab experience. The golfers themselves look okay, but spotting the point where the fairway turns to green can be surprisingly tricky. It's also strange that the spectators have vanished - though you can still hear them. Given that even the PS3 and 360 crowds were just made up of bog-standard looped mannequins, it seems like a peculiar omission.
Even with the dreary visuals Tiger Woods 09 is certainly the best golf game on the Wii so far. For players who can get to grips with the slightly opaque nuances of control needed to hit the medium shots and putting, it's arguably the best version across all the consoles. And yet I can't quite bring myself to give it the same 9/10 as I gave the 360 version, simply because there's significantly more room for improvement on the Wii where precision and feedback is concerned. With the addition of MotionPlus, the Wii version of Tiger Woods 2010 should be phenomenal. For now it's just very, very good.
8 / 10