Away from the career mode the main addition to the menu is Live Tournaments. Taking part in these daily and weekly events is easy - you just play through the tournament as you would in Career Mode, and your performance is added to the relevant leaderboard. Needless to say, it won't be long before the top spots are the sole preserve of the maniacally dedicated, posting scores of 70 under par, but as a concept it's mostly welcome. Play The Pros is a bit more interesting, since it ranks players of the game alongside the actual tournament scores of PGA professionals. As a bridge between game and sport, it's a very clever idea and plays well into EA Sports' increasing obsession with presenting their titles as real life sports broadcasts.
Finally, there's Tournament Challenge, which replaces the Tiger Challenge mode. Rather disappointingly, it's one of those modes where you're placed into a famous moment from sporting history and have to replicate - or improve on - the performance of the pros. Unlike the varied challenges of previous games, it feels obvious and uninspired. There are even notable omissions, with the course designer conspicuous by its absence.
Crucially, however, the game itself remains almost completely unchanged, the creative inertia all the more noticeable given the radical overhaul the series enjoyed over the course of its 2008 and 2009 incarnations. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since the game is about as polished as videogame golf is likely to get on the current hardware, but nor does it justify another full-price release.
Given the game's focus on using RPG-style stat levelling to improve your golfer, there's just not enough incentive for players of PGA Tour '09 to start from scratch with another rubbish creation, hitting weak drives and fluffing easy putts because the skill of your carefully crafted avatar hasn't reached the appropriate numerical mark. For those who have already gotten good at this stuff, it's a grind getting back up to speed again.
Looking back over the list of new features, there's really very little here that couldn't have been offered as premium downloadable content for the last game, were it not for the commercial necessity of releasing boxed products with bigger numbers at the end of the title. Unlike the faster-moving world of FIFA, where fans will always want to play with the latest squads and kits, maybe it's time to accept that Tiger would be better served by following the Fight Night model, only releasing a new entry in the series when there's a game worth making, not just because the calendar has rolled over. It won't happen, of course, but if the cycle holds true then at least Tiger Woods 2012 should be a belter.