Links was the name of a series of golf simulation computer games, first developed by Access Software, and then later by Microsoft Game Studios after Microsoft acquired Access Software.
Links 2003 was released on September 30, 2003. Microsoft positioned the game as the best golf game ever published.
The game includes the Arnold Palmer Course Designer so that players can create new courses quickly.
This game uses disc checks and Securom, Macromedia, Starforce, Tagès and other protection systems are being rejected by Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10 for security reasons (KB3086255).
The line of golf games was a flagship brand for Access, and the series spanned several years: from 1990 to 2003.
Several versions of the game and expansion packs (containing new courses and golfers mainly) were created for the Mac and PC over the years.
In 1991, Links won Computer Gaming World’s 1991 Action Game of the Year award.
The gold game is rather unusual in the control. The game courses are copies of existing major golf courses from around the world.
A fair bit of practice with the mouse is needed to be able to play this game reasonably well.
The graphics for golf games are generally static so its easy to support extremely high resolutions while not stressing the CPU extensively.
Links 2003 is the last version of golf released as developers moved in to new types of games possible with the advent of better graphics cards.
- You’ll be amazed at how realistically the graphics work here — you’ll see every blade of grass and ripple of water, and even hear birds chirping
- The realism goes even further with more accurate ball physics — you’ll feel like you’re really out there, adjusting for the wind
- Test your skills in six all-new championship courses
- Try out an online tournament with the all-new Match Maker
- Improved player stats & handicap information, along with a library of new objects to create your own course, with the updated Arnold Palmer Course Designer
There are several free courses available on the internet that can be downloaded.
Here is the archived list of courses available. Here is a list of free courses.
Here is the 1.07 update for Links 2003. You will need it for most new courses.
The wide number of free courses means that the game is far richer.