02:10 PM - March 10, 2011 by Steve_OS
Everybody needs to know their role when the golfing gets tough.
The caddie feature in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters is probably the most dramatic enhancement to the franchise. You now have a skilled professional helping you choose shots and giving you advice at crucial times of your round. While you don’t have to actually manage the relationship with your caddie as a part of gameplay (maybe next time), knowing how to get the most out of your caddie is a crucial part of this year’s game.
As Christian Brandt explained in his introduction to his caddie blog (http://www.ea.com/tiger-woods/blog/caddie-feature), the on-screen caddie shows you the shot(s) he recommends and shows you the club control set up, direction and touch for you automatically when you decide to take his advice. All you have to do is work the left control stick for an accurate and powerful swing. It’s a great feature that eliminates the guess work for those that just want to focus on the core of Tiger Woods gameplay: swinging the club.
There are going to be times however where working with your caddie is going to be a little more complicated than that. You can always ignore him or simply turn off the caddie feature completely. Similarly, there are times where your guy just can’t come up with a shot for you and he’ll tell you so directly: “I got nothing here.” And let’s not forget about those Tiger Woods PGA TOUR fans who don’t need any help and who will take pleasure in actively ignoring his advice; the folks who want to hear his suggestions simply so they can NOT listen to it.
Let’s deal with this group first. Listening to the caddie but not taking his shot suggestions is simple. You can still flick the left stick up to see where his suggested shot would go and how he’d set it up but pressing on the D-pad brings up the aiming icon and introduces another “custom” shot mechanic that you can then set up on your own. The easiest thing to do when building a custom shot is to mimic the parts of the caddie’s shot suggestion that you like and change what you don’t like. The shoulder buttons allow you to quickly cycle back and forth between the caddie’s suggestion and your custom shot as you’re setting it up. You can see and match what he’s suggesting side by side with what you’re setting up. It can be like using the caddie’s shot as a template and adding your own aggressive, wimpy or brain dead tendencies to the shot.
This mechanism is especially valuable in bad weather. When the winds are swirling or the fairways are a soggy mess, a caddie with low course mastery isn’t going to account for these elements as much as he should. Some of you will learn this the hard way as you follow the caddie’s suggestions, nail the swing with perfect power and accuracy and still end up hitting spectators in the knee or getting your ball wet and/or sandy. Until your caddie gets his game stronger, it’ll be up to you to craft shots that start with his ideas but ultimately rely on your skills.
The times when your caddie can’t help you at all are always a surprise. From the tee box to the second cut to that evil bunker you didn’t even see until your ball landed there; your caddie can stun you at any moment with a disheartening comment and no shot suggestion. “You’re on your own” or some other line will likely provoke a verbal reaction out of you; probably profane. Of course, not panicking at a time like this is the essence of the sport and that’s why it’s in the game. Your shot building skills are supposed to shine in moments like this and this is why it’s so important to establish an appropriate golfer-caddie relationship early.
Don’t worry though. Your issues with your caddie will be resolved soon enough when the both of you are facing a 63 foot putt for birdie.
Source - Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters Blog