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Guide: Getting Into The Swing Of Mario Golf: World Tour

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

An excellent approach

Mario Golf: World Tour has arrived on 3DS, and if it's not on your current wishlist you should perhaps reconsider. It takes the basics of golf and smothers them in Super Mario charm, with a careful blend of solid mechanics and typical Mushroom Kingdom zaniness. Whether an inexperienced player or a skilled gamer, it accommodates all abilities with an impressive range of content. We get into it in detail in our Mario Golf: World Tour review.

Considering its subject matter, developer Camelot has done a truly impressive job of producing an in-depth title that is full of minor details to discover. Whether playing for casual fun or with the goal of conquering online tournaments, there's plenty to consider when you boot up for the first time or develop your abilities.

With that in mind this guide aims to introduce you to the important details of how to get the most out of your early World Tour experience. It's not gospel, of course, but these are some strategies and tactics that should give you a good chance of getting off to a strong start.

First things first, get into the Club

When booting up the game for the first time you'll immediately be faced with 'Quick Round' Mario Golf or the 'Play as a Mii' Castle Club; we actually recommend that you start with Toad's Booth, the small option underneath. Accompanying a host of statistics and the DLC menu is a Tutorial, which shows you the basics of how to play in around 5-10 minutes. It's well worth looking through these initially to get a firm grounding in how to play. We've included some tips of our own in the final category of this guide.

Once you've viewed the tutorial pages we suggest diving into the Castle Club; it's the perfect place to learn the game and begin on a path to conquering the career aspect, and you'll have the pleasure of playing as your Mii. As you first step in various Toad characters will grab your attention and talk you through what to do — have a look around the various rooms in the building, initially, to get your bearings and enjoy some quirky conversation with the locals.

Once you're ready to play some rounds head to the big exit at the back; when outside you'll be prompted to start a practice round. Head for the first course (Forest) to complete a mandatory practice round that will also establish your initial handicap. In the early running this reflects your ability, and once you get the handicap to 0 or even a + number you know it's going well. After the practice round is a handicap tournament, then the full championship. Once the championship is won — after your third round if you're on form — you move on to try and complete the hat-trick of tournaments by winning the other two main courses.

Importantly if you want extra training, however, is that there are practice exercises to the right of the main courses. Run past the course entrances to the right until you come to an area with multiple entrances with club logos. Here you can tackle practice exercises at three difficulty levels, covering driving, approach shots and putting, for example. It'll be hard to beat these fully early on, but are perfect for improving your game. If you're feeling ambitious, meanwhile, the far right of this outside area has the one-shot-one-putt challenge of the Sky Island course. Head to the far left and you can tackle unlocked 'Mario World' courses for standard rounds, and special challenges with costume unlocks frequently appear.

When progressing through these challenges you will constantly receive coins and items as rewards. It's vital that you regularly head to the shop, in the main building, to check out this equipment as it changes how you play. Some clubs can alter your Mii from a straight driver to one with natural fade or draw (curving shots, in non-golfing terminology) and some equipment affects the following key stats.

Drive — The standard distance for a full power shot with the driver, serves as a gauge for overall power.
Sweet Spot — The higher this statistic, the more cleanly your Mii will strike the ball.
Control — The higher this statistic, the more forgiving your shots will be when your accuracy is off.

How you balance your Mii is down to personal style. In general the items push you to focus on Drive distance at the expense of the sweet spot and control, or you can opt for a weaker drive but greater control. In our experience it is possible, with the correct unlocks, to build up a decent driving distance and maintain the other two categories at about two thirds of the optimum. The shop, ultimately, will likely be the most visited area of the club.

Conquer the challenges

Whether you clear the career aspect of the Castle Club first or dip into Quick Play, there are certainly plenty of options to keep you busy. Our suggestion, however, is to jump into the Challenges menu in single player. Initially you'll have the three core courses of the castle club, and these challenges take various forms — coin collecting tasks in which you must also make par, ring master challenges when you must pass through each ring and make par, coin collection focussed on coins and not finishing a hole, completing a half round with a specific score, a half round 'Character Match', a Time Attack and a Point Challenge, with the latter adding the club slots feature in which you have limited shot options.

There can be variations on each course, but there are huge benefits to completing these challenges. Primarily, each one that's successfully completed awards a Star Coin, and these unlock the Mario World courses, with seven required for each; in our experience all courses can be unlocked with an average of around four completed challenges per course. Whether playing for a short amount of time or for a longer session, these are the perfect way to gain experience, earn coins and equipment and, most vitally, unlock more courses.

An added bonus is that defeating the Character Match on each course — two in some cases — makes the star version of that mascot available; when selected these star characters have beefed up abilities such as longer drives, potentially a huge advantage when playing others or attempting to set new records: online tournaments do lock out star players in some cases, however. If playing as the Mushroom Kingdom cast is a big part of the appeal, meanwhile, having these superior versions available is very welcome.

Head to the online tournaments

Nintendo and Camelot have a promising and diverse line-up of online tournaments available. Those in the Mario Golf section focus on the Mario World courses and generally have more specific limitations on characters used. In the Castle Club, meanwhile, you head down the stairs in the middle of the main hall — from here you can access regional tournaments that are multiple in number and follow varied rules, while the World Tour tournaments are lower in number and generally require a full round. In addition there are options to establish communities or tournaments of your own, making it easy to play with others.

Like everything else in the game, playing will give you coins and new items to customise, yet it's worth the time to play through the various fixed tournaments on offer. The winners will no doubt be at a very high standard, with significant coin prizes on offer, yet simply taking part will provide you with even more items or clothes sets, and there's no telling how rare some of them may be or whether they're online exclusives. The more items you have the better odds of finding equipment and clothes that have your Mii playing the way you want them to.

Important strategies for winning

Below, in bullet points, are some key points to remember when playing, with these generally focused on the 'Manual' control scheme. These details are also in Toad's Booth tutorial mode.

  • Even if your character is a 'straight' hitter, you can draw and fade the ball manually by holding left or right on the Circle Pad while making your shot. Well worth experimentation.
  • The same skill also allows you to manage the height of your shot, to a limited degree. Down on the Circle Pad during a shot will cause it to have additional air-time, while pushing up will give the stroke a lower arc.
  • Learn the combinations for topspin, super topspin, backspin and super backspin. The key thing to remember is that when you want topspin your third tap — which determines accuracy — should be with the A button, while you use B for backspin. You then tap the same button again for the default spin, or the alternate for the super variation. So, it's A + A (topspin), A then B (super topspin), B + B (backspin), B + A (super backspin).
  • If a shot looks impossible or you don't like the suggested lie, cycle through camera angles (X or touch screen button), switch clubs and explore additional shot options (Y) such as limited-use power shots and items. As you develop a play style, you may not always want to simply follow the game's suggested club choice or shot path — especially in par 5 holes, when you may fancy your chances of making the green in two shots.
  • Be wary of the game's projected ball path when landing on greens, as it often over-emphasizes the gradient or shows a rare scenario of hitting an exact spot. The ball rarely takes a wacky diversion upon most greens, so back your own judgement and practice — judging the wind improves with repetition, too.
  • When putting, the grid on the green shows the slope going left to right or, with a straight line, no slope. A tactic that's served us well is to move the camera along the shot and count the lines. So, if we count five small slope lines to the right between the ball and hole, we adjust five taps on the D-Pad to the left to counteract it. If the slope looks sharper we may, with some grid lines, count two taps per line. Distance is also vital — use X to work through camera angles and look at the indicator (top of the upper screen) that shows distance and when there's a slope up or down. On a flat or uphill putt, adjust your power (shoulder buttons, Y to change the putting power scale) to at least a meter beyond the hole distance, as otherwise putts will often fall short. Exceptions are needed when it's a downward slope, but bold power is often the right way to go; even greater compensation is needed if it's raining.

So those are some initial, basic pointers to help you along in the brilliant Mario Golf: World Tour. If we've missed any key areas or you have queries, hit us up in the comments below and we'll update this guide over the coming days.

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User Comments (49)



MasterWario said:

It's kinda nice they carried things over from toadstool tour, so I can jump right back into it.

And I cannot stress giving extra power (even just a little bit) when putting, especially when its raining. (Although it hasn't actually rained yet for me, I know what its like from toadstool tour. Sometimes you literally had to double your power. XD)



unrandomsam said:

So can you not play the tournaments as a Mario Character ? (I hate grinding even in RPG's never mind anything else in which it is worse as there is no way know whether you are improving or just your character is).



Chris77 said:

Just about to download this. Looking forward to it. Enjoyed Mario Tennis, but it was missing something.



JaxonH said:

Thanks for the guide. Figured out most of this stuff on my own but still learned a few things



sinalefa said:

Waiting for the package to arrive from Amazon. So in the meantime I will read this, and try the tips on the demo.



bouncer0304 said:

Question- when i enter the Mario Golf section, i go into tournements and there's a few available. However, there's a shedule section and despite these being active, i can't play them meaning i can't get the items for each one. This also applies to the ones in the castle club too. Is this because i haven't unlocked those courses yet (for example Yoshi lake)? It doesn't say anywhere about this so am at a slight loss. Thanks!



Einherjar said:

Putting was always my pet peeve :/ Taking shots like a pro, landing on a 5er for an eagle put...and putting like an idiot, scoring a par or even worse, a bogey
To be honest, most of the time im better of with just a chip in



bouncer0304 said:

I've just had another look and one of the ones on the Mario Golf quick play tournaments is Cheep Cheep Lagoon which i haven't played yet. Think i need to get cracking and unlock those courses since the time on them is nearing its end. One thing i've noticed is that the courses you unlock in game will offer clothing as a play prize while the dlc only offers the winner coins, which means it'll be unlikely that someone will miss out on clothing by not downloading dlc which is a good thing since some can't/won't download for whatever reason. I only wish that had been explained better as i'm guessing i won't be the only one to make that mistake.



Monsti said:

Very good advice in this guide. I hated the demo because I thought the automatic controls was boring and I didn't get the manual controls. Now I get them and the game is super addicting.



JadedGamer said:

Again NL to the rescue. Looked all over the internet for a starters guide to this game,but no one delivers like you guys. Nice to know I canmaster practicing later. And good to know where I should start. To challenges I go..



dok5555555 said:

Can someone please tell me how I can play the free DLC Trial pack. I already downloaded it, I just don't know how to acess the trial courses, don't see them anywhere?



Dyl_73 said:

This game is brilliant. I got a little bit lucky too. I got TWO holes-in-one and an eagle on my very first round. Seriously! For the doubters I put the proof on Miiverse (name BuffaloDyl).



NintyMan said:

I'm currently struggling big-time on putts in general. It's what keeping me from definitely deciding to get this game, even though I do want to get this game. I'm currently practicing them in the demo before I get the main game, if that approach is all right. I want to spend my money wisely and don't want to end up spending it on a game I can barely play! My Mario Golf skills from Toadstool Tour must be incredibly rusty.



Fandabidozi said:

Think I need to practice more on the demo before getting this. I started out fine but got worse the more I played. Overthinking it I guess



ThomasBW84 said:

@bouncer0304 That's possible, by the time I was given online access pre-release I'd unlocked everything. That would make sense though. Do those challenges!



ThomasBW84 said:

@unrandomsam The Castle Club tournaments have you playing as your Mii, but even default abilities should allow you to challenge for cups, and the coin rewards for online comps seem sizeable. You could be in 1000th place and still get a silver cup, for example, as it creates bands of gold, silver and bronze winners based on scores.



ThomasBW84 said:

@dok5555555 There's a "Trial Tournament" under Tournaments in the Quick Play area, that seems to be your way in to see the DLC ones.

@Gen0neD Once you buy the DLC, you can pick the courses in any Mario Golf Quick Play mode, and there are even new Challenges for each too if you need a few more Star Coins for course unlocks.



bouncer0304 said:

@ThomasBW84 i'm now confused- i completed the three championships but i can't access courses like Yoshi Lake or Cheep Cheep Lagoon. Also, as i said before, despite me unlocking the three main courses, i can't play any of the handicap tournaments at all in the Eurpoean tournaments for those. I can see them when i select schedule but only two are coming up as being available. Again in the world tour only one is available for me to play despite there being another three being available under schedule.
In the Mario Open section, under tournaments, i have a few available, but again there are several under schedule which i can't access. However, one of these courses is Peach Gardens and i have unlocked that as i've just completed a challenge and got a Birdo costume by completing a timed challenge. The two tournaments (fixed character and coin rush) for that course are unavailable to play and it's frustrating that there is no clear explination as to how to be able to play the courses under schedule!
Am i being completely thick or is it a case of this not being explained very well? I can't be the only one who's hit a brick wall and can't seem to go forward at all? Have i missed something?

EDIT- i misunderstood about the Mario Courses- i've now unlocked Yoshi's lake by doing the challenges and getting star coins, however, i still can't play some of the tournaments which is giving me a headache. What's the point of putting these tournaments up if people can't enter them?! There's clothing and items i really want but no way to play the tournaments which offer clothing/items as play through prizes! Have i completely lost it, being really stupid or am i right in saying that there should have been some sort of proper explanation? That's the only thing that's spoiling this game is it's lack of explanations on how to unlock certain tournaments, otherwise an excellent game overall!



DadOfFour1972 said:

I played the handicap tournament and then set about the tournaments via the single player menu before tackling the ones in the basement. Very addicting trying to beat my scores and improve my ranking - getting into trophy positions etc
Very good game and can see this becoming my second biggest time sink behind animal crossing



boywundr said:


I'm having the same issue in America. I can't access the tournaments in the basement at all. I really want to check them out as well as snag the Gameboy clothing, but there are two bars blocking my way. Does anyone know how to access them? I've won 2 of 3 courses and completed some of the challenges, but still blocked from the online. What is going on?!

Thanks for any help!!!

EDIT: I figured out I had to go to the board and enter from there. Ugh, sorry for being so dumb.



bouncer0304 said:

@ThomasBW84 i've just had a thought- you know the tournaments under schedule, are the dates and time relating to when these tournaments start and not end and that's why i can't access them ye? Have i been completely daft and misread the whole thing?

@boywundr Don't worry about it! I've found things needed to be explained better, and truthfully, the manual on the cartridge doesn't explain things well. Glad you're enjoying it!



Yorumi said:

One thing I think should be added to the switching clubs section is to pay attention to the green accuracy area. If you use a driver in the rough your accuracy will need to be perfect. Sure you'll get more distance but if you're off by even a tiny bit the ball will go no where. It's generally not worth the risk and you end up wasting a stroke when you don't at least have some bit of leeway on your accuracy. Basically when switching clubs pay attention to accuracy and decide if you think you can get your accuracy in the range.



LittleIrves said:

Just entered the first World Tournament... -7 for now. Had some opportunities to do some serious damage but just missed a few putts. Gotta improve on that score in a few days.

The online aspect will really elongate this game for me. Really enjoy video golf but the three normal courses went by quickly, and I don't love the Mario-ified holes as much. Good luck to you all and see you on the green!



ThomasBW84 said:

@bouncer0304 To actually enter tournaments you go to the red and blue boards in the Castle Club basement, for that batch, and you can enter the Mario World ones via the Quick Play menu, then tournaments, and then you choose from the little icons. You may need to make certain progress in the castle club to do its ones (that might explain the longer run dates), and as for the ones in the quick play section do your best to unlock the relevant courses in challenges.

I hope that helps a bit, I'm not 100% sure of the issue your having, I'm afraid



bouncer0304 said:

@ThomasBW84 I figured that in the schedule sections, the number of days left is relating to when the tournaments launch and not when they finish. So a tournament with 2 days left and Wednesday's date is basically when it's going to start. I think only so many will be available at one time but it's daft to show so many knowing full well people can't enter them yet making them think that time's running out- why not show them a week in advance instead? Also, there's no clear explanation anywhere stating that information. I've come across others who've had the same problem so maybe it's worth mentioning in the guide? I know it seems simple now but i have to say that i've found that things haven't been explained all too well in some parts which is a shame. It just made me think i'd missed something important like clothing. Thanks for your help though!

EDIT: I should also.add the reason i got confused was because the active tournaments had how many days there were left and it looked like the scheduled ones had already started by showing how many days it had left aswell. So basically, the active ones show how many days there are until it ends which the schedule tournaments show how many days until they start. A small note in the manual would have helped though!



AkDeath said:

So am I to understand that when playing in tournaments, everyone has different gear on thus making some people have a huge advantage? I see that the leader of "America's tournament" has -23, that is damn near impossible to get with just the regular gear. I think that's absolutely ludicrous if that's the case, everyone should be on a level playing field.

Also, is there any way to turn off all the "ghost" shots during tournament play? I find it very annoying when I'm trying to put and there are like 20 balls with people's mii faces attached to them bouncing all over the screen. Gotta say I'm a bit disappointed with this game so far.



Yorumi said:

@AkDeath I havn't found any gear that makes all that much different. With no gear on a mii I can drive far enough to get it on the green in 2 shots on a par 5. I think all the gear I've gotten has increased my distance but like 7 yards. Also I can assure you anyone doing a -23 isn't doing it because of gear, that's skill and maybe a bit of luck. Anyone with all the gear unlocked has played the game a lot, that's all practice. They could hand you the best gear in the game and you're not going to have a prayer at shooting -23 until you've put in a ton of practice.



AkDeath said:

@Yorumi The question is, what is the max stat boost you can get from gear in the game? I'm guessing it's not 7 yards. -23 is impressive gear or not, but I have a problem with the fact that gear can be used in tournaments. That's not fair and it cheapens the whole experience for me.



Yorumi said:

@AkDeath by the time you practice enough to win tournaments you'll have unlocked all the gear. As far as I'm aware gear never surpasses star characters so that means it's not going to add all that much. And as I said I can already get to the green on a par 5 in 2 strokes so there's not really any difference it can make. I'm also not sure I don't already have the best gear because everything I'm unlocking has the same stuff as gear I already have unlocked. This isn't an rpg where it's the difference between a level 1 and a level 200 character, gear so far has made very little difference at all with my character.



Tekshow said:

@Yorumi really? Starting gear for me was a 200ish drive and now I can top spin to 300 on a lot of shots. Which gives the ability to Eagle a lot of holes. Plus my control is so high I can chip in all the time, although that could be just practice. Still the Club tourneys are all played with Mii golfers... And I like my pimped out avatar with all the swag.

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