The Optishot golf simulator has really grown in popularity around the world and as a golf professional I have spent hours and hours playing around with it. One of the best things about the Optishot is the price point; at around $300 it is affordable when compared with many other models currently available. Do not let the price fool you into thinking this product is sub standard! It works extremely well and comes packed with features you can use for fun or practice.
Let’s take a look at the Optishot, see what it does and how it works.
- Capable of measuring face angles, swing paths, club head speeds and shot distance
- Supports players right and left handed
- Choose between metric or standard measurements
- Shot tracer technology
- Library of golf courses included – See current special offer at the bottom of the page
- More courses can be downloaded
- Only takes 3 steps to setup
- Upgradable software via the internet
- Ships with a limited warranty of 180 days
How Does it Work?
The unit works via a whole bunch of infra red sensors that can track your entire golf swing from start to finish. During my testing I was very impressed with the accuracy of the data collected and it is certainly good enough for home use. After each shot you get a screen shot with all the important swing data you need.
The unit requires a computer to operate properly which has at least Windows XP and 2GB of ram installed. Although this is the minimum I would recommend using a decent PC If possible to make everything run smoothly. Make sure you get yourself a higher end 3D video card for the best possible experience.
You can see how everything goes together by checking out the image below.
You will need a decent sized area and enough height clearance to use the Optishot indoors. Your ceilings need to be at least 8.5 foot high to allow for a full golf swing. I know a couple of people that set their simulator up in the garage as it allows for more height on the backswing.
When it comes to display options I have to recommend going as big as you can. The optimal setup would include a projector but I realize that is not going to work for everyone. As the software runs on a normal PC you can connect the Optishot to any decent display type, although I would recommend HD!
NB! The Optishot will not work outside as it relies on infra red to track the club. Infra red cannot work in sunlight!
You will see in the picture you can clearly read the club head speed, swing path, face angle and which part of your club (toe, heel or square) connected with the ball. This data alone is enough for you to use the Optishot for swing practice allowing you to see any errors that may have crept into your swing. Although all this data is helpful the face angle reading can help you the most during practice time. This angle is so important to get as close to square as possible if you want solid shots out on the course.
The clubhead speed measurement will not necessarily help you fix your golf swing but it can be useful information when it comes to assessing if you are playing with the correct shaft flex.
The unit comes with a pinpoint accurate driving range practice mode which features six different target greens with shot dispersion. This includes precision rings and an accuracy grid to help you work on your swing as well as an option to display data from the entire practice session. It has never been easier to work on your game from home!
The entertaining side of the Optishot is the ability to display realistic 3D images of popular golf courses from around the world. You can either choose to play by yourself for fun or practice as well as inviting your mates over for a little bit of competitive fun! To get an idea you will get Torrey Pines and Big Horn in Southern California included. Currently the product ships with 11 courses and 14 additional courses are available on the internet for download.
The following different game types are supported for up to 4 players.
- Stroke Play
- Better Ball
- Match Play
- Best Ball
- Alternate Shots
- Custom Game Lengths
Simulators like this are especially handy for those who live in colder climates as you can keep playing and practicing right through the winter months. This can make a tremendous difference to your skill level as golf is game you have to play consistently to improve or maintain your skill level.
If you consider the price then it is a really good investment if you wish to take your game to a new level. Some owners have commented on the accuracy of this unit but during my tests I found it to really good, it is possible to get inaccurate information if you have set up the sensors incorrectly. Lighting is also important as if your room is too bright then the sensors will be affected causing random results.
Overall I have to say this home simulator is a great product for home users and can provide hours of fun and entertainment. The attractive price point makes this a winner in my book. Some additional features are as follows
- Automatic flyby’s
- Multiple camera views
- Multiple putting options
- Precision putting grid
- Green & fairway speed control
- Left and right-handed play
- Ability to set shot difficulty
- Custom club sets
- Player management system
- Standard or metric measurements
- Weather customization
- Ambient nature sounds
- Drop ball option
- Game save and resume
Where to Buy?
UPDATE JANUARY 2015!!
Dancin Dogg (the company responsible for the Optishot) have given the worlds favorite home golf simulator an upgrade with the launch of the Optishot 2. The new model (although more expensive) includes many more courses, upgraded sensors and many other extra features.
We have just added our Optishot 2 review after testing for a couple of months. Use the link to check it out!