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Tiger Woods is recovering from knee surgery but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch him on the links.

Just pop "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09" into your game console and he’ll look just fine — and you’ll feel fine after playing a round with him.

EA Sports has retooled its golf title for the Wii and for the more-powerful Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and the results are pretty good on all sides.

For the Wii, the benefits will be most obvious to newcomers because of the new All-Play features. These remove many of the more difficult elements from the game — and even add a line showing exactly where the ball will go if you hit it with the right amount of force. However, the game still offers some enhancements that experienced players can enjoy.

Developers have come much closer to matching on-screen action to the motions made with the remote. For example, if you wiggle the remote or take a half-swing, the digital club does the same thing. This is a tremendous help when you’re trying to hit the ball with less than full force.

It also helps in some of the 15 minigames that can help you hone your skills.

Most of these elements — so appealing to newcomers and families — didn’t make the transition to the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. And that’s just fine since those consoles attract a different kind of gamer.

However, EA Sports still threw in a few tweaks to make a good franchise even better.

The controls are more responsive and smooth. The graphics have received a boost — even thought they were pretty good to begin with. And new golfers and courses make an appearance — always good news for experienced players seeking a little diversity.

One of the best new elements — also available in the Wii version — is simultaneous online play. Instead of waiting and watching as other members of your online foursome take their swings, everyone swings at the same time. All you see of your opponents is colored lines indicating the paths of their shots. That means games move much more quickly.

Personally, I prefer the Wii because the motion-sensitive controller helps me feel like I’m really playing golf. However, the smoother controls make the Xbox 360 version a bit more appealing — and you really can’t beat the graphics.


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