"tournaments are rigged"
That's just asking for trouble, especially on here where nothing is ever grey and everything is black and white, especially in the eyes of Legend level and higher.
I could not see past the fact I believed WGT to be rigged. But, I've changed that opinion over the last couple of years; not entirely, but enough to consider that creating a totally realistic golf simulation is as close as it will ever be with WGT.
I believe that improving equipment improves your game - not immediately, you need however long a person individually needs to get used to his tools. But I also believe that having a lot of credit also improves your game; playing golfers who are better than you improves your game (whereas playing golfers worse than you exposes the algorithm to 'level' up - basically the handicap system doesn't really work in WGT if you have shedloads of money) and playing in tournaments improves your game, but only because the degree of uncertainty and the unpredictability stakes are raised - you're in a tournament, you have to be at the top of your game or you'll lose. People who shoot 55s, 56s, 57s etc will have the best equipment, the most expensive balls, the best boosts (when applicable) and will have played long enough to be supremely confident 98% of the time.
There is much that is not realistic about WGT. It is a product driven game that doesn't take into account that real golfers will become so accustomed to their equipment they rarely make the mistakes that WGT enforces on players with less expensive equipment. It can't be totally realistic, but it's closer than anything I've seen from the 90s when golf simulations were big.
It is a monetised game, it is focused on boosts and help and spending cash to improve your standard - practice is never taken into consideration (unless you're upgrading all the time), all it does is makes you better and more aware that if you've got rubbish clubs, the percentage of a shot not going the way you expect is going to be higher.
There's also the random duff shot generator (as I like to think of it), that either sends a ball in a completely different direction than you aim or somehow is 20 yards short despite all the prevailing weather and conditions on your side and you hit the shot too hard... But there's also the other side of the 2-sided coin... how often do you make an absolute howler of a shot and it ends up being exactly what you intended, either by flukes or the wind?
I think the 'is it fixed' debate will always have its sides. I think it's consistent enough to not be fixed and usually the unpredictability factor that comes into play at times makes you dumbfounded with frustration, but it isn't the game being against you, you just had a bad roll of the dice - *** happens - sometimes a very inaccurate shot is a bonus and an almost totally accurate shot does what you expected the inaccurate shot to do. That's why people get frustrated.
I'm told I'm a good player given the cheap clubs I have. I've played with rentals way above my pay grade and played even better, but that's mainly down to course familiarity (and when I play a hack, amateur or pro who hands me my *** on a plate, I usually put that down to they were a Legend in a former life and know the course or the clubs they're using).
Without ever resorting to some of the snide and condescending remarks many of the members like to make (because they probably feel terribly inadequate somewhere else in their house); it's just what it is. If you never improve your equipment you'll probably remain frustrated, but some weeks you won't and every putt will go in and every wedge shot will land by the pin.
Is the game fixed? Absolutely but not at all (get more money, practice more, but even then you'll have crap rounds, just less of them than with cheap clubs).