The gameplay in Mario Golf was significally improved from the previous two games. It features dramatically improved graphics and ball mechanics and physics, mainly due to the fact that the game is in 3D, it features some unique hazards that were not featured in previous games, some hazards taken from Mario related games.
Power and Accuracy
This game also incorparated a "sliding bar" which helped determine the players shot by the character attributes of the character he is playing as, wind speed and direction, weather it's raining or not, ball spin and of course the landscape of the course. This gives the game a more accurate feel to it.
New Game Modes
This game features a lot of new golf related game modes such as speed golf, ring shot, mini golf and skins match. There are a few elements that are different from it's Game Boy Color Version, which is the fact that there are no roleplay elements in this game.
The aim of speed golf is to finish the course as fast as you can, although amount of shots taken are not taken into account, on most occasions, it would help to complete the certain hole in the least amount of shots possible.
This game modes shares almost all the same game elements as the classic golf game mode but every hole, there is a ring somewhere around the course, mainly around the middcle of the fairway and rarely anywhere else, and if you can get the ball through the ring, you get a score bonus or extra power ups for a certain amount of time which you can use anytime on the course, these can include extra power, extra accuracy or a slower power gauge so you can get the exact shot you want.
Mini golf, hence the name is your average mini golf course, and has never been featured in a Mario Golf game ever since, the controls were very figity and some of the courses seemed rushed and almost impossible from some angles at times.
This match is where you are randomly assigned to an NPC and you play a normal round of golf, the one that finishs the course with the best score wins, nothing too special about it.