Quick Look: TABLE GOLF ASSOCIATION
Designer: John Garcia
Publisher: Table Golf Association
Year Published: 2022
No. of Players: 1-8
Playing Time: 30-120 minutes
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
The Table Golf Association (TGA) is the first dexterity game that allows you to design and play your own golf course.
Using 25 two-sided wooden terrain tiles, you decide the layout of the course, and make it as easy or difficult as you choose. The game comes with a Tee Box and several different “holes”. You complete the course by adding tiles that include roughs, sand hazards, trees, water hazards, and a cliff, as well as the fairway tiles. The game includes four balls that are basically mini-shuffleboard pieces that you must flick from tee box to hole, while trying to avoid the hazards just like in real golf.
If you do hit into the hazards, each one carries its own unique mechanism to replicate the challenges of real golf. For example, hitting into the sand means you must hit your next shot using the thumb of your non-dominant hand. Each hazard also limits the distance you can hit your next shot.
The game also includes a weather die and spinner that must be rolled before each shot to determine the wind speed and direction. Golf pro player cards, which players can choose or deal out randomly, each have a different ability players can use once per hole.
Whoever has the lowest score after the final hole wins.
TGA can be played solo, one-on-one, in teams, or as a league.
When, I saw Table Golf Association, I instantly knew it looked like it belonged in my office! A game where you can create your own golf course with hexagons, and then tee off with your friends. Who wouldn’t want to give this game a try? I knew I did. I am not a golfer at all, but I do love a great game of putt-putt. I only hoped this game would fill that need.
Rules & Setup:
The set up is simple. Set up a hole with as many tiles as you desire. Calculate the par for that hole. Then, flick the sliders. It really is that simple. That would be a great game in and of itself, but John Garcia and his son decided to make different terrains. If your slider ends up on anything other than the green or fairway, your next flick will be hindered. How? Well, you could have to use your non-dominant hand’s thumb. Or, you could only be able to hit the ball 5 hexes instead of the usual 7.
Theme and Mechanics:
The theme easily comes through. Having to use different fingers and hands depending on where you lay is similar to different clubs. The mechanics of flicking the slider/ball simulates golf/putt-putt very well. The theme and mechanics of Table Golf Association marry well to golf.
After the hole is set up, the first person to tee off must roll the wind die. If the sun rolls, nothing happens. If a single wind shows, then the wind spinner must be spun. This tells the golfer which way the ball will roll once it stops moving. It will move one whole diameter of the slider. If two wind icons appear, then the ball will move two full diameters. This can help or hinder you. If you were teetering on the edge of the cliff, the wind could blow it just off the precipice. However, if you were on the edge of a water hazard, the wind could knock it in. If the slider landed on a ridge, it follows the slope to where it ends.
Out of the tee box, the slider can only fly a distance of 7 hexes. Go in the water? Your next shot is a drop, and you place the slider next to the water where the slider entered the hazard. Sand? A max distance of 4 hexes with your non-dominant hand’s thumb. Trees eat your shot? Not to worry! The middle finger of your non-dominant hand can flick it for 3 hexes. The rough allows for 5 hexes when flicked by any non-dominant digit. The cliff, well, that is out of bounds. You re-hit from the previous spot and take a stroke penalty.
You can decide how many holes you want to play, and the player with the lowest score wins. They receive the trophy and bragging rights.
Artwork and Components:
The artwork on the tiles and their graphic design shine and enhance the golf course feeling. The variability that they give are stupendous. The tiles themselves are made of a nice, sturdy wood. They will not wear down like a chipboard would. The terrains affect your next shot. There are fairways, roughs, sand pits, trees, water hazards, ridges, and even cliffs. The sliders are excellent quality, too. There is a custom wind die and spinner.
Garcia even included chipboard golf clubs to use incase you have any disability. They are also fun to use if you can’t control your flicking. And lastly, there is a trophy. A small golden cup that you can raise over your head if you win that day’s challenge.
I am not a golfer. I love putt-putt. Yet, I was drawn to this game like a moth to the flame. The table presence that Table Golf Association brings amazes me. The large 5” hexagon tiles fill a large table quickly. We filled our large dining room table with the par 5 in the rule set. The base game comes with 25 tiles. You can set up all sorts of different holes and combinations. What can I say about the replayability? It is huge! A trophy is included in the box. So, whoever wins that day’s hole(s) can put it on their desk. Or, a photo can be taken and posted on social media.
The time to set up a hole can take a lot of time. Even the preset ones in the rulebook take a lot of time. You must locate the correct hex, then make sure you rotate it properly as you place it. Then, if you need its backside terrain, you then must search the remaining tiles again for the one you just took out. To fix this, adding a number to each tile on the edge would make finding and identifying the needed tiles much faster. As people upload their homemade tiles to the site, this would aid in setting them up. This would also speed up the game just a bit, and you might be able to get two holes in over a lunch hour.
I don’t know what else to say, but, GET THIS GAME! I cannot wait for the extra tiles to debut. I talked with John, and he showed me a driving range that you can practice hitting the slider to get better control. They are planning more hazards and animals. Table Golf Association even has a membership you can sign up for. You can get a “tee”-shirt and show off the courses you create.
I plan to take this game to work and make it a Friday lunch hour activity. We will play one hole every Friday and award the winner after 6 holes. As I have learned, adults will do anything to get a trophy! Table Golf Association has that trophy!
Players Who Like:
Golf, putt putt, dexterity games, having fun
Find out more at BGG.
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Adam Collins – Reviewer
Adam Collins plays many games. Too many games if you ask his wife. Not enough games if you ask his kids. Adam also designs games for his publishing company Bearded Board Games. He also runs a podcast, Eat Lunch and Board Game, where he reviews games on their merits include their ability to be played over a lunch hour. He also interviews other people involved in various facets of the board gaming community: designers, podcasters, authors, cross stitch designers. He grew up playing games, revived the passion ten years ago, and hasn’t turned back.
Nice review! Your concern was the same I voiced early on. As an owner of RallymanGT and other tile laying games I am ever thankful they put ID numbers/letters on the tiles to help speed through set up. Only other thing I am mystified by is offering a $200 wooden hex box that doesn’t accommodate all the tiles incl. expansions and not instead offering a $50 green grass 4’x6′ neoprene playmat that would do wonders for gameplay in holding tiles in place. That said this is John’s 1st KS project so there are learning opportunities abound.
Other than that I am totally enamored with this game. Totally has a “why didn’t I think of that” vibe for anyone that loves board gaming and golf.