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Rory McIlroy PGA Tour adds a free course with update

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour added another golf course, free to all with the game, in a comprehensive title update that went live yesterday. The inclusion of East Lake Golf Club brings the total in the game to 14, 10 of which are real-world.

East Lake's arrival will also add another event to the career mode, the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola, which coincidentally begins its first round tomorrow in real life. It will be automatically added to the schedule. The Tour Championship concludes the four-round PGA Tour Playoffs at the end of the schedule; before East Lake's inclusion the game's season finale was held at TPC Sawgrass.

East Lake was the home course of Bobby Jones, the hall-of-fame golfer who later founded Augusta National Golf Club and helped design its course. Jones, who won the 1930 Grand Slam (all four major tournaments at the time) is said to have played the first and last rounds of golf of his life at the course.

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour was harshly criticized for the lack of real-world golf courses available when it launched two months ago. EA Sports promised that free content updates for the game would deliver more; last month players got TPC Scottsdale, which also added the Waste Management Phoenix Open to the schedule.

The new course arrives along with a comprehensive title update that addresses several blemishes golfers have noticed. The flop shot, an over-effective short-range shot, has been "improved," according to patch notes. That may actually mean reducing its effectiveness to conform with reality. Cosmetic issues such as pop-in-and-out of golfers, crowd, wildlife and structures during transitional camera shots also has been addressed. The roster of real-world golfers has been tuned-up, too, to reflect their real world performance.

The full list of improvements and adjustments can be seen here.

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour did not score well with critics when it launched July 14 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Polygon gave the game a 6, noting that the technical improvements to the swing and gameplay made it regrettable that they couldn't be used with the wider range of features found in the preceding Tiger Woods PGA Tour series.