Published on September 18th, 2015 | by Greg0
OptiShot 2 Golf Simulator: Better Feedback, Better Game
Golfers will stop at nothing to get in some practice- and unlike basketball or tennis, it’s much simpler to play in your office or home. You don’t have to simulate a racquet using your Wii Fit and you don’t need to use a fake tiny hoop, since you can easily set up a small putting green inside. But for more serious shots and a better experience, it’s long been a dream of any serious enthusiast to be able to have a simulator. The only major downside has been the cost.
Now, you can achieve the goal of playing with your own clubs and seeing how you would perform on real courses, without having to pay for expensive tickets or a multi-thousand-dollar machine. The OptiShot 2 Golf Simulator is an improved version of what was previously the best-regarded simulator in it’s class, and while the hardware hasn’t changed much, the software is new and improved. Any enthusiast will enjoy the chance to play on courses like The Golf Club Scottsdale or either of the Palm Desert pair, and it’s suitable even for club houses.
You do need a few pre-requisites- they suggest eight and a half foot ceilings, which made it a little tough to test in our apartments but was easy enough in our offices. Hook it up to your PC or Mac OSX computer via the included ten foot USB cable, and then place the solidly-built, sturdy platform on your floor. Inside are some fancy sensors, and you use the included foam practice balls and rubber tees to help keep your furniture and interior safe. But your swing is totally real, you can use your own clubs, and the sensors work together to detect your strength and other aspects of your performance. We suggest hooking up your computer to a projector or HDTV, which might require a little configuration (or an HDMI output adapter).
There are two basic modes- in practice mode, you can try different target greens, run drills, and help tweak your swing (seeing how straight you hit and adjusting one shot after another is extremely helpful). Putting isn’t as accurate as you might want, and we don’t recommend using drivers, but anything in between was a whole lot of fun. In play mode, you can choose from 15 courses- or purchase extras that are available as DLC, or downloadable content. The interface and graphics won’t blow anyone away- they feel slightly dated- but the courses still feel pretty realistic, and everything is pretty responsive. Sand shots and rough areas don’t quite seem quite “true”, but the rest was impressive.
When weather means you can’t play, or you just don’t have time, the OptiShot 2 is an excellent alternative and it’s a lot of fun to play with a few drinks and some buddies. There’s online play (which we didn’t test deeply), and the company offers regular tournaments and social features, and we liked the small touches like the outdoors sounds. The ball is optional, actually, an you can simply work on your swing- but you can also use real balls, though we strongly suggest getting a net in that case. Overall, this is a great way to improve- and they even guarantee improvement. Available now, online and in stores, for around $400 the OptiShot 2 might just be the best way to practice at home.