A lot of the same, but also updated at the same time...A formula that works is hard to beat but they've done a good job!
First off, they made a brand new feature called "True Aim". This is a camera view that stays behind the golfer rather than tracking the ball in mid-air. It almost removes the ability to apply spin on the ball, since you can no longer see the ball trajectory and landing location. True Aim really puts you out on the course as a real golfer since you have to play like a real golfer. Another cool feature about TA is that you don't have the circle indicator when you zoom in to view and setup your shots. Instead you have a GPS, which shows you the area of your club distance potential with 3-4 standard hole distance markers (200yd, 250yds, 300yds) as well as how high or low the area is compared to where you are striking the ball from. Last but not least, the putting! It's tricky. With Precision Putting you, as a golfer, really need to be able to read the greens. This means, knowing the slopes, distance, and hills (if any) oh, and not to forget, you must also pay attention to the grass type/texture (slow/fast and wet/dry).
If you go against True Aim, which is what the majority of players do because everyone wants the lowest scores possible over real, or close to real, golfing experiences, that's fine too. Make a quick change to the game options and you're set to go.
Skills Challenges are still here and are fun to complete. Play modes consist of all the same old mini games. Two new game modes have been added: Ryder Cup and 12 vs 12 games. Very fun to play because they actually let you play with a lot of people, which makes for some pretty fun conversations, plus the implementation of simultaneous play...which is really what makes the game modes work because if you had to wait for 11 other players to hit their balls...forget it, I'm out! haha. Plus, for an extra challenge, you can turn off the ball trails so that you can't follow all of the shots from other people.
Thus far, the game looks great. The Courses are well designed and copied. Live Weather is exactly what is sounds like. If you play St. Andrews and at that current time there is a 8 mile an hour wind in a light drizzle...you're playing that course with those exact conditions. Cash has no value anymore because you accrue XP while you play and that XP goes into a cash like bank which is used for both skills and pro shop items. The only plus side to this is that you no longer lose attributes by playing poorly.
All in all this game is very well done, and the new features keeps a repetitive game feeling new. My only downside to note of is that 4 courses are available as DLC with a staggering price tag of $9.99 each...$40 for 4 new courses!!!
Sounds are good, but the music puts you to sleep. If you have a 360 and a PS3...get it on the 360 for the soundtrack options only! Otherwise it's identical in every way.
Overall...I give it a 9.0 because of the new features and how well they can be used otherwise it's nothing new.