I found out that I was terrible at golf in high school. My lack of accuracy makes for a frustrating time. Thankfully, I love miniature golf and golf themed board games! Table Golf Association is a dexterity game that gives players various terrain as they roll their way to a low score.
Hitting the Course
Each round of Table Golf Association will start with players building a fairway using the 25 wooden hex tiles in the box. These tiles are hefty and have a nice printed finish. The tiles are really durable and impressive. The rulebook has 3 sample fairways along with guidance on building your own.
Once you have your fairway built, players take turns in the tee box. Using a flicking action, the metal ball will glide across the tiles with ease. In my first couple flicks, I definitely didn’t realize that it only requires a light tap. You can really launch the ball, so take a couple minutes to practice before playing your first match.
There are some general rules that players need to pay attention to. Players cannot hit the ball over 7 hex tiles on a single turn on a normal fairway tile. Different terrain types like sand or the rough will limit this distance even more. You’ll need to be aware of how far you can flick the ball so you don’t incur penalties as you go.
You’ve got plenty of terrain types to choose from in Table Golf Association. You have trees to watch out for, sand traps that get in your way and even sloped grass tiles which can move your ball in a direction once it stops rolling.
Braving the Elements
The game comes with the weather die that players roll before taking their turn. The die will dictate if you deal with wind, double wind or no wind at all. Using a spinner mechanic (think old school LIFE), you’ll determine the direction of the wind and how the ball will move once it comes to a rest.
If the ball is pushed to the right by the wind, players need to adjust their flick to account for this. It adds a little more strategy since this wind mechanic can make an otherwise straight-forward shot a little more tricky. In our experience, you may want to skip this in your first game or two as you get a feel for the game.
Shooting from a hazard tile will slightly adjust the rules for the player. A ball that’s being hit from the trees forces the player to flick the ball using their middle finger of their non-dominant hand. Landing on a cliff tile means the player has to take the next shot from the previous location of their ball.
These hazards are just slight inconveniences for the players. They aren’t incredibly penalizing which is nice. I never felt like these rules frustrated players at the table. Speaking of tables, have a nice sized table and make sure it’s level before getting started.
A Full Day on the Links
Table Golf Association is a really fun and casual dexterity game. While I may be terrible at real golf, I think golf on the game table is more my speed. While this game is a lot of fun as you flick your way to to a good score, there are some huge misses that could make it feel like bad day on the course.
The rulebook games with 3 sample fairways which is great. Don’t expect to play 18 or even 9 holes at a time. Once one fairway is finished, players need to disassemble and build a new fairway for the next round. This could be 3 minutes if you know exactly what you want or have a plan. It could be 5 or 6 minutes if you spend your time sorting pieces and trying to make something challenging.
There are small quality issues that would make this more palatable. Tiles are double-sided (excellent!) but not numbered (not great!). In between holes, it’s going to be common to say “does anyone see that one piece with the ____?”
The gameplay of Table Golf Association is speedy and fun then dragged down with too much downtime between rounds. Thankfully there are 2 ways to off-set this.
First, if you have endless amount of money, buy another set of tiles so you can always have another fairway setup and ready. The other and more reasonable option is to design these fairways ahead of time or checking out the 18-holes they have on the publishers website. Using a thin Sharpie and putting a number on each tile will save a ton of headaches. This will require extra time on the front-end but will help offset the downtime that can really hamper a game.
EDITORS NOTE: There are configurations that allow for 2 or 3 holes to be built at one time. This will cut out the downtime between rounds. There are two putting hole tiles so a second course can be setup, moving only the tee box between rounds.
We’ll absolutely never play 18-holes of Table Golf Association, but on a lazy Sunday, playing 9-holes isn’t impossible.
Table Golf Association is definitely going to be a hit for those who love golf. For anyone looking for a solid dexterity game, as long as you’ve got the time, this game is a great addition to your game shelf. It’s going to be a hit for both adults and kids and has components that will last.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
- High-quality tiles and components
- A variety of terrain types and obstacles
- Fast gameplay and pro rules for advanced play
- Endless ideas for easy or challenging courses
- Only 3 pre-made fairways in the rulebook is a big miss
- Too much downtime between holes
- Price is a little steep (but quality is great)