Happy new year! It has been a while, hasn’t it?

As I took the chance to start checking on some old stuff that I wanted to see if they worked or not to delete off my hard drive, I rediscovered the Golden Tee Golf install I had migrated from my laptop two years ago. And then remembered how wonky it was to try getting it to work reliably on Windows 10.

However, I ended up trying something that I somehow didn’t think of last year entirely that ended up fixing my issue…but I think that first we do need to talk about this complete oddity of a game.

Today’s Game Information…in other words, what is Golden Tee Golf?

The story behind how I even became aware of Golden Tee Golf is a pretty funny one. Rather than having seen it from any retellings of the Street Fighter The Movie: The Game pointing out that the developers, Incredible Technologies, were mostly known before AND after that game for the Golden Tee Golf series only, it was because a buddy from Discord once told me about the game years ago while talking about Neo Turf Masters.

The Golden Tee Golf games by themselves are already an odd bunch: Mainly a series made for arcades and taking advantage of that fact, these always come with trackballs on their cabinets, and you have to roll it down slightly to indicate how much you want the golfer to swing back…and then roll it forward with the amount of strength you wish to hit the ball with.

You could say that the only other thing as impressive as…how strong you might feel about Street Fighter The Movie: The Game (in whatever way you feel) in regards to Incredible Technologies’s legacy is the fact that they STILL are around and with modern versions of Golden Tee Golf rolling out for arcades, plug-and-play versions, older versions through Arcade1UP cabinets and even a “free-to-play” mobile version (with quotation marks because from what I’ve read, it has all the expected snags from a mobile F2P game with microtransactions and barriers).

To think that the people behind Golden Tee have kept going with it as long as they have (and to this day still are) even an official Youtube channel with weekly content, shot montages and even tournaments is rather surprising, but also feels nice that they clearly seem to have way more passion/provide more suppor for what they do than what you would have ever expected from this.

But those pushes with yearly editions and special home versions aren’t exclusive to these recent efforts: While there definitely wasn’t much (from what I saw) between 2000 and 2010, there was a home version of Golden Tee Golf released during their rise in the 90s: Peter Jacobsen’s Golden Tee Golf for PS1…and for Windows.

Chances are that you might haven’t heard of Golden Tee Golf before, let alone the PS1 game, which makes the existence of a Windows version even more of a undiscussed rarity. There’s only TWO Youtube videos (as of writing this) showing footage of the Windows version in action. One is a 3-Hole Demo being played instead of the full game, while the other one is a 2009 video showing a hole-in-one recorded from another player’s replay.

All of this introduction is making me want to take a look at what this game includes, as well as talking more about the one big trace of past activity regarding this specific version of the game that I could find (the GTG Stooges)…but for now, to sum up why this game had me hooked after finding about it is the control scheme: While the PS1 version let you adjust it manually with the D-Pad since there’s no trackball, the PC version let you play with the mouse and simulate the trackball motion by moving it backwards to adjust your swing, then push the mouse forward to swing the club. It is sort of reminscent of what Wii Sports did, but it can be surprisingly more precise with the way it works…which could be a blessing or a nightmare depending of how good your aiming is while putting.

In any case, the PC version is pretty much the only official entry of the series available, and the most faithful version to the 90s arcade versions (aside from setting those up in MAME, if you know how to calibrate it) with an easy to understand control scheme that also had support for online and replays through Shadow Games, which puts you against a ghost of a previous player’s game as if you were competing directly with them.

However, you might have a guess about how there could be some weirdness regarding getting this to run in Windows 10, considering how it is a 90s Windows game…and you’d be right!

Initial Diagnostic

I remember this game being pretty smooth sailing to run on Windows 7 back when I had my trusty laptop, but ever since I moved to my current desktop computer with Windows 10, it isn’t so smooth sailing. While a few times the game would launch normally, more often than not it would launch with jumbled colors, assets and not even being able to play since the game would crash when trying to enter a course. It defintely was frustrating with how well it used to be before the move, and even with having tested stuff like DxWrapper and other ddraw.dll replacements, the results were still bad most of hte time.

So…what changed?

DxWnd, my beloved (and IPXWrapper)

No idea how I hadn’t EVER thought in using DxWnd before from the last two years where I struggled to find an answer to this…I had used it for other games before and MAYBE I had tried it but wasn’t sure how to fine tune it to work or look well enough. But you know, new year, new ideas!

This is the configuration I used to be able to launch GTG in windowed fullscreen mode, which is not only convenient for Alt-Tabbing but also for recording/screenshots. While the “Optimize CPU” and “Terminate on window close” options might be unecessary or optional, “Run in Window” and “Desktop” in the position menu are necessary to get it running as a window then have it displayed fullscreen.

The second screenshot shows that I’m using “Full Bilinear” for Filtering, and that’s because in ddraw default, the scaling/stretching is clearly non-integer and looks really ugly, while with Full Bilinear, even if some very small artifacts might be visible if you pay enough attention, looks great enough to be playable…and with the age of the game, you would have to get used to graphics like this anyways. Also, the cursor might feel sluggish in the main menu, but once you are in-game, you’re good to go. Also, don’t forget to bump up the resolution in the game settings to 1024×768 🙂

You CAN decide to disable “Run in Window” so that it runs in native fullscreen, and it works fine as well as looking crisp clear, but if you have issues with games that switch resolutions on the fly, run at a low native resolution, or would like to record your games…then take the other option. You can take screenshots natively with Print Screen through the game (though these will be saved in .PCX, very old format, so you’ll need something that can open/convert them), but if you want to record videos, then take the other option. I already tried myself with OBS and Fraps to no avail, so save yourself that if you were thinking about doing so.

One more thing, though. You will want to have the “Handle Exceptions” button enabled in the Compat tab of the DxWnd settings for the game for a reason: If you want to try the game online through the LAN option and Radmin/Hamachi/Whatever you use, you’ll need to have IPXWrapper set up on the game’s directory (and configured properly) so that it can work due to how the game originally used IPX connection…and then have the Handle Exceptions option enabled so that the game doesn’t crash when you try hosting the game. In general, if there’s a crash that you can consistently reproduce but could be ignored from the situational reason it happens and can be fixed with Handle Exceptions…it might help that game be more stable overall, so you should definitely enable it if needed even for something small.

Also, before you ask, I have NOT tried this online with someone else before…yet. But chances are that it might work with how I had played Atomic Bomberman online with IPXWrapper before.

Quick Summary

  • Install the game
  • Get DxWnd
  • Import these profiles and then configure them to point to your gtgolf.exe (if DxWnd is not in the game folder)
  • (Optional) Setup IPXWrapper with it to be able to play it online through the LAN option.
  • Launch the game through DxWnd or launch the executable while DxWnd is open.
  • Go get a good feel tee shot

Ending words

As I said before, there’s more that I could get to talk about this game, mostly not just because of the way its set up and made, but also because of the die-hard community that used to be there for the game around the early 2000s that while unfortunately has vanished with time, the remains that can be found through Archive.org and their creations through some Shadow Games and even custom courses can be seen today to have a window on how dedicated these were.

But until then…there’s ONE oddity that remains, not only present in Windows 10 but ALSO happened to affect me with Windows 7. The game has a menu/title screen music present in the files, but no matter what I did, this never played in-game and I was always greeted with a music-less menu (though any other music in-game DID work). That was the reason why I had ripped it frmo the game years ago and then uploaded it on its own…but now that I can reliably record the game, I think that it is due that I do record some proper footage not just from the original courses, but also from these crazy custom courses that probably no one aside from those stooges that were there (or anyone that tried researching them) ever knew about.

And until then, just take my word in that there were quite a few of those…one of which was made to be in SPACE of all things. Not even Mario Golf ever dared to do space golf.

Well, now at least I’ve set a precedent on how to work on this topic later on, as well as now having an easy reference on how this thing should be configured to be running in modern computers thanks to having found that solution. The whole can of worms on this game, what it takes from the other games and the tale behind those GTGStooges that were dedicated enough to even make custom courses for the game, will be a story for another day…and I hope you’re looking forward to hearing it when I get around to it.

Thanks for reading, and see you next time!