Hot Shots Golf makes its first appearance on PlayStation 3 with online support for multiplayer competition and a new shot system. The framework is otherwise the same as in previous games in the series, which began on the original PlayStation in 1998. Cutesy characters with large heads and whimsical expressions can compete on six new courses filled with onlookers, animals, and other animated surprises. The new venues take place along a coast, on a mountain range, in the woods, and across a desert. The shot system by default forgoes the horizontal power meter in favor of a swing-based approach in which players use visual cues to time their backswings and follow-throughs. Traditionalists can still, however, revert back to the old swing system from the options menu.
Once again a number of customization features are available to personalize each of the game's 15 characters and six caddies. By competing in different events, players can unlock new equipment such as enhanced clubs and balls. Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds also includes a robust online component, with the ability to create custom tournaments supporting up to 50 players. Online avatars can be tweaked with 300 visual options, including hairstyles, masks, clothing, and more. Players can also send messages to friends, or visit the PlayStation Store to purchase new courses, clubs, characters, and other features. Key play modes include Versus, Training, Tournament, Stroke, and Match Play. Detailed statistics are tracked throughout each mode and challenge, from best average score and driving distance to average putt length and putting accuracy.