Zany Golf

From Sega Retro


ZanyGolf title.png

Zany Golf
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Original system(s): Apple IIGS
Developer(s) of original games: Sandcastle Productions
Sound driver: Electronic Arts/Steve Hayes
Genre: Sports (golf)

Number of players: 1-4
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
£39.9939.99[1] E071SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
Non-Sega versions

Zany Golf is a Sega Mega Drive minigolf game developed and published by Electronic Arts. A port of the titular 1988 Sandcastle Productions game Zany Golf, it was released exclusively in the United States and Europe in December 1990.

Alongside Budokan: The Martial Spirit and Populous, it was among the first batch of Mega Drive games Electronic Arts developed, and was initially intended to be released as an unlicensed game; Sega's last-minute negotiations prevented this, but early copies of the game were not updated to comply with Sega's licensed ROM requirements, rendering those copies of the game incompatible with TMSS and only compatible with early systems. A later revision released in all regions fixed this. Unlike with the other two games, this includes early European copies, making these early copies the only European release to not be TMSS compliant.


Zany Golf, Scorecard.png


The game is a minigolf game played in a 3D isometric viewpoint. It is a golf game only involving putting. Up to four players can play, taking turns (with player 1 having a red ball, player 2 a blue ball, player 3 a black ball, and player 4 a white ball). There are nine holes (half of a golf course). Holes have numerous obstacles that players can interact with.

At the beginning of each hole, every player is given five strokes. The objective is to putt the ball into the hole at or under the par rating for each hole. On completing each hole, the remaining players are given more strokes equal to the par of the next hole. Any player who runs out of strokes is eliminated, and the other players are allowed to continue. The game ends when all players are eliminated or when the last hole is completed. The scorecard is displayed at the end of the round (or it can be brought up during a hole with  START ). Once a player's turn is complete, the player's ball disappears from the course and is replaced by an X mark of that player's color, so it cannot be disrupted by other players' balls.

The player controls a cursor using the D-Pad. Moving the cursor to the edge of the screen pans the view. A screen before the hole shows a full view of the hole and provides information about how to complete it; the player can show this screen again during gameplay with C. The player can snap the cursor back to the ball with B. While the cursor is on the ball, the player can start a shot by holding A and moving the D-Pad in the opposite direction of the intended shot, which draws a line away from the ball. The angle of the line determines the trajectory of the shot, and the length of the line determines how hard the ball is hit. Releasing the button performs the shot.

On occasion, fairies are placed on the course; hitting them awards bonus strokes. Sometimes a timer bonus is offered instead; if the hole is finished quickly, the player earns bonus strokes. If a fairy is present or a timer bonus is available, it is announced prior to the first shot.


Zany Golf, Fairy.png
If a fairy appears, hit the fairy for a stroke bonus.


Zany Golf, Hole 1.png

Zany Golf, Stage 1.png

  • Zany Golf, Hole 1.png

  • Zany Golf, Stage 1.png

Wacky Windmill
The ball has to be shot into a windmill or into the slide down the ramp below to enter the second area. Shooting directly into the windmill awards a bonus stroke.

Zany Golf, Hole 2.png

Zany Golf, Stage 2.png

  • Zany Golf, Hole 2.png

  • Zany Golf, Stage 2.png

Hamburger Hill
The hole is covered by a bouncing hamburger, reached by bouncing the ball off a ketchup bottle that squirts. The hamburger bounces up and down by pressing A repeatedly, with more button presses resulting in higher bounces.

Zany Golf, Hole 3.png

Zany Golf, Stage 3.png

  • Zany Golf, Hole 3.png

  • Zany Golf, Stage 3.png

Will's Walls
Four walls continuously rise from the ground and fall back down. Hitting them leads down to the bottom part of the course with the hole. The third wall must be hit to get to area with the hole; if missed, the player must shoot up and around into the third area.

Zany Golf, Hole 4.png

Zany Golf, Stage 4.png

  • Zany Golf, Hole 4.png

  • Zany Golf, Stage 4.png

Pinball Palace
The hole begins as a game of pinball, where the player can hit the ball with the flippers after shooting it. Two drop targets must be hit before the top-left corner escape chute is activated. Although enough failures to hit the drop targets releases the ball to the bottom part of the course with the hole, hitting the targets and escape chute leads directly to the hole and awards a bonus stroke. The flippers are activated with A, and the table can be bumped by pressing A repeatedly.

Zany Golf, Hole 5.png

Zany Golf, Stage 5.png

  • Zany Golf, Hole 5.png

  • Zany Golf, Stage 5.png

Frantic Fans
Fans positioned along the hole allow blowing the ball in a different direction. The fans are activated by rotating the D-Pad quickly.

Zany Golf, Hole 6.png

Zany Golf, Stage 6.png

  • Zany Golf, Hole 6.png

  • Zany Golf, Stage 6.png

Chaotic Castle
The ball has to be shot up a hill to enter into a castle or tunnels outside it, leading to the second area with the hole. Entering the castle gate, which is intermittently guarded with a portcullis, awards an additional stroke.

Zany Golf, Hole 7.png

Zany Golf, Stage 7.png

  • Zany Golf, Hole 7.png

  • Zany Golf, Stage 7.png

Ambling Ant Hill
The course resembles a giant ant hill, with eight slopes facing the eight main compass directions and holding areas behind each. Players start in the south holding area. At the end of all areas except the south, there is a bumper which can be activated with A to hit the ball back to the top of the hill. However, the hole on the hill moves at will while a ball is in play.

Zany Golf, Hole 8.png

Zany Golf, Stage 8.png

  • Zany Golf, Hole 8.png

  • Zany Golf, Stage 8.png

Knock-Out Nightmare
This hole consists of a Breakout-style scenario where the player must destroy targets while given control of a paddle. The paddle can be moved with Left and Right. After all the targets are destroyed, corner escape holes are activated, which lead to a checkerboard-like putting green (if the hole is hit before the targets are destroyed, the ball shoots back out and all previously hit targets will reappear). Certain squares on the green flash, which, if rolled over at any time (not only while flashing), teleport the ball back to the start of the green.

Zany Golf, Hole 9.png

Zany Golf, Stage 9.png

  • Zany Golf, Hole 9.png

  • Zany Golf, Stage 9.png

Energy Enigma
A two-part hole which consists of a giant computer on the lower level and a field of false holes surrounding the real hole on the top level. To complete the hole, the player must hit two buttons on the giant computer, then shoot into a suction tube that leads to the top level. Alternatively, there is a mouse hole on the bottom level which is either empty, shows white eyes, or very rarely shows red eyes if both buttons have been hit. If a ball is shot into the mouse hole while the red eyes are displayed, that player completes the hole automatically. At any other time, the ball is pushed out of the hole and the shot may be attempted again. In a multiplayer game, only one player needs to successfully enter the mouse hole.


Holes have been renamed to have alliterative names (for example, Windmill Hole was renamed to Wacky Windmill and Fans was renamed to Frantic Fans). The Mega Drive version omits the Magic Carpet hole, which requires a mouse. Instead, the bonus hole from the computer versions, Mystery, appears after Ambling Ant Hill, renamed to Knock-Out Nightmare.

Production credits

  • Written by: Will Harvey, Jim Nitchals, Ian Gooding, Doug Fulton
  • Sega version by: Brett G. Durrett
In-game credits
Zany Golf MD credits.pdf

Magazine articles

Main article: Zany Golf/Magazine articles.

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
Aktueller Software Markt (DE)
Complete Guide to Consoles (UK)
Console XS (UK) PAL
Génération 4 (FR)
Hobby Consolas (ES)
Joystick (FR)
Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming (UK)
Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming (UK) PAL
Mega (UK) PAL
MegaTech (UK)
Mean Machines (UK) PAL
Mean Machines Sega (UK)
Player One (FR)
Power Play (DE)
Sega Power (UK) PAL
Sega Power (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK)
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Tricks 16 bit (RU)
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
22 reviews

Zany Golf

Mega Drive, US
ZanyGolf MD US Box Back.jpgZanyGolf MD US Box Spine.jpgZanyGolf MD US Box.jpgZanyGolf MD US Box Spine2.jpg
ZanyGolf MD US Cart.jpg
Rev C Cart
Mega Drive, EU (Soft Case Release)
ZanyGolf MD EU Box.jpg
Zany Golf MD EU Cart No Rev Letter.jpg
Zany Golf MD EU Manual.jpg
Mega Drive, EU (Hard Case Release)
ZanyGolf MD EU Box hard case.jpg
Zany Golf MD EU Manual.jpg
Zany Golf MD EU Rev D Cart.jpg
Rev D Cart
Mega Drive, BR
Zanygolf md br cover.jpg
ZanyGolf MD BR Cart.jpg

Technical information

Main article: Zany Golf/Technical information.

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 ed5d12ea
MD5 6a23d5585b4fe6532d10f440f78af19a
SHA-1 4f9bea2d8f489bfbc963718a8dca212e033fb5a2
512kB Cartridge (US/EU) Revision 00 (without TMSS support)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 74ed7607
MD5 e389d35d584f1db39d6abf9d5b21162e
SHA-1 f1c3b211c91edfed9c96f422cd10633afa43fdf0
512kB 1990-07 Cartridge (US/EU) Revision 01 (with TMSS support)


Zany Golf

ZanyGolf title.png

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