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The Golden Tee follow-through. Those familiar with the game can picture it now. It’s an artful, picturesque motion recognized in bars, restaurants and fraternity houses alike. The thud of a palm to the trackball. The hand thrust toward the screen and the leg-off-the-floor follow-through are some customary traits of this virtual golf art form. The GT tee shot is the hallmark maneuver of barroom arcade games. Everyone has their own unique style and flavor, but they all have something in common. They all involve coming absolutely unhinged when striking the ball. Necessary or not, you can’t let your boys see you delicately hitting THAT fucking tee shot. It’s the only arcade game where a pre-game stretch is recommended. But what else is behind this iconic arcade game and the trackball swing we identify it with? It’s not just a long drive contest.
The incredibly diverse techniques, from stepping into and ripping the drive, to the ‘easy does it’ double-thumb putting, are part of why this game is so damn fun. It truly is a great game, and very intricate. The novice player just rips the driver, guesses on his approach, and kicks it around the green for a double or triple bogey. Contrarily, the Golden Tee veteran understands and implements the many strategic subtleties of the game. Drive placement, approach club selection and spin control are vital to setting up your birdie putts. Need to bend your shot? Shaping your approach is doable, but it’s an acquired skill that will take some trial and error. Once you reach the dance floor, the men are separated from the boys, and differentiating rookie from pro is simple. Most go with the double-thumb roll for maximum accuracy. And the breakers are no joke. Watching a casual Golden Tee user try and find the right line on a four-foot break is akin to witnessing Ryan Seacrest try to navigate his way around a set of D-cups. It’s not going to be pretty. Only some dedicated seasoning can turn you into a solid putter.
If Golden Tee Home Edition isn’t prominently displayed in your house, break off a piece of your social budget and make it happen. It’s a natural fit if there ever was one. In an environment filled with moderate to exceedingly inebriated golfing enthusiasts, it’s the perfect time killer, and will often draw a crowd. It’s also the ideal game for the competitive hot head. Tourneys, or even a casual round between classes, will undoubtedly lead to intense emotions and an unpleasant exchanging of words. If U.S. currency or a pre-determined quantity of alcohol to be consumed isn’t riding on your game, you’re doing it wrong.
After a few dedicated seasons behind the trackball, you can start to work toward the ultimate goal, the GT World Rankings Leaderboard. And when you hit that #1 tee box for the first time, don’t forget to turn the cap backwards, roll up your sleeves, get solid footing, and step the fuck into it.
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