Technology and golf has been an increasingly hot topic in the last couple years. Most of the hype has been about golf club and golf ball changes. However, very cool and helpful advancements have been made with golf simulators.
I recently had an experience with the Optishot golf simulator that I wanted to relay to you.
The OptiShot Golf Simulator
First off, I wanted to let you know that we used to own an Optishot golf simulator in our Age Defying Golf Studio about 4 years ago. We didn’t have much of a budget back then but the simulator was pretty inexpensive at $299 so we purchased one.
Winters can be pretty cold here in Boise so adding an indoor golf simulator seemed to be a pretty good idea.
Unfortunately, at that time, the technology was not very good and we ended up selling it to one of our customers. The system was not very accurate and working the computer setup was a bit cumbersome for some of our “not so technologically inclined” clients.
So last weekend I was very surprised to find that our local indoor golf simulator shop, www.golf365boise.com, was using the Optishop product. At first I was disappointed but I decided not to be rude and went ahead and purchased a 30-min driving range session for $12.
Well, I humbly admit that things have changed. I would not go so far as to say that the Optishot system is the best, far from it. However, I would say that it was a very good experience and I am toying with the idea of purchasing a unit again.
For the same price as a golf driver, I could own an indoor golf simulator and play golf regardless of how many inches of snow is on the ground.
For only $300, you might even consider a golf simulator in your home. If so, here is my analysis based on my experience last Saturday.
“Pros” of the Optishot Golf Simulator
- First off, you got to go with the price. Three hundred is incredibly affordable compared to more advanced models selling for upwards of $40,000!
- Feedback. Compared with a driving range, you get feedback on clubhead speed, swing path, centeredness of contact, flight path, club face
angle, tempo, and distance. That is a lot of valuable information. Just think how good you would be if you could drill down on that information and make pinpoint improvements in your swing.
- The Optishot package comes with high density foam balls. You could hit them in your garage without needing a net.
- Play some of the greatest golf courses in the world, for free. One thing I really enjoyed was playing Bethpage Black on the Optishot simulator the very same week the US Open was being played on the very same course! Very cool!
OK, that is the good stuff. But I am not going to tell you that it compares to playing real golf because it doesn’t. Golf is great because it is outdoors and nothing can replace the feeling of making the first tracks in the dewy grass on the morning fairways, listening to the birds and the warmth of the sun on your face. Or pinching a wedge in there low and spinning and watching it dance!
But…it is still pretty cool.
“Cons” of the OptiShot Golf Simulator
- All simulators fall short of replicating the feeling of being on the course. That’s just magic and you can’t simulate it.
- You can use the foam balls but I don’t really like them. I had to use them due to liability issues at the golf shop. The problem with the foam
balls is that you can not feel them so you don’t get that instant feed back that tells you that you struck the ball well. However, you CAN use real golf balls, you just need a net to hit them in.
- I cannot prove this, but I feel that theOptishot was a little too forgiving.
- It may be forgiving because it uses only 16 infrared sensors where as the P3 Proswing uses 65
So my final conclusion is this:
If the OptiShot cost $700, I would say it was a bad deal. Head to head I do prefer the P3 ProSwing better, but it costs more (although I still think it is a great deal at $799).
Since you can pickup the OptiShot for only $299, I think that it is a good deal and would improve your golf game and add to your winter fun (or summer fun if your summer is scorching hot outside).
P3 Golf Simulator
However, if you don’t mind spending more, the P3 ProSwing is the way to go. It is more accurate and you get a more golf courses to choose from. You also get more information. For instance, you can measure whether you are accelerating or decelerating the club through impact. That’s valuable.
CAVEAT: If you do purchase either of these two simulators, I strongly suggest you also purchase the full size golf mat that goes with it. The reason is that the simulators sit up about 1-2″ off of the ground. If you have the golf mats, the simulator sits flush with the level of your feet…it makes a big difference.
Thanks for reading, I would LOVE to know how your experiences have been with either of these two systems.
Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist