If you are looking at purchasing a golf simulator, it is essential to look at the accuracy of the model you are buying. Golf simulator packages come in all different types and sizes, but the accuracy from one to another can also vary. The more accurate the golf simulator, the more enjoyable it will be to use and get results on the golf course. If you are using a simulator that does not accurately portray the results of your golf swing, there is really no point in using it. As a former Class A PGA Professional, I have spent quite a bit of time testing out golf simulators. Here is everything you should know about how accurate golf simulators are.
How Accurate Are Golf Simulators?
Depending on the golf simulator that you choose and the individual components, you can expect that it will be about 90% accurate. The better the launch monitors and golf simulator software, the more accurate your simulator will be.
The most important thing that a simulator does is it takes ball data from your golf shot via the launch monitor and use this information to go through the software and then show you your results. If any part of the simulator is set up incorrectly or your launch monitor is inaccurate, the overall golf simulator accuracy will not be as good.
There can be a fine line between an accurate and inaccurate simulator for players who are setting up an indoor golf simulator in their home. Knowing how to set up the model and then ensuring that the numbers inside are accurate will be a very important step.
When you purchase home golf simulators, there are a few things that you should consider to help ensure that you get the most accuracy possible.
What To Look For In An Accurate Golf Simulator
Accurate golf simulators will help you feel as though you are out on the golf course playing a round when you are in the comfort of your own home. The best indoor golf simulator setups will ensure that you are feeling as though it is just another day on the course. Here are a few things to consider if the main goal of your simulator setup is accuracy.
Type of Launch Monitor
There are several different types of launch monitors that you can choose to incorporate into your golf simulator setup. Some of these include using infrared light, while others are doppler radar. Regardless of the time of launch monitor you purchase, this is where it makes sense to spend a little extra money.
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Whether you go with the infrared light system or the high-speed images, carefully check all reviews of launch monitors that are available to you. Depending on whether your simulator golf setup is indoors or outdoors, you will need to choose a launch monitor accordingly.
The data points that a launch monitor collects are then translated into the golf software to develop the shots you see and the overall results. As you can imagine, the more data points that a launch monitor can pick up on, the more accurate your results will be.
It is crucial for a launch monitor to look at things like ball flight, golf ball speed, club path, launch angle, and more. Some golf launch monitors like the Mevo Plus have more than 16 data points and can work both indoors and outdoors. Clearly, this is a model that would work for even a professional golfer.
The next important concept for setting up an at-home simulator is the simulator software that you choose. From an accuracy standpoint, the simulation software should be of the highest quality that you can afford. Some simulator software will only work for driving range or game type formats; others will give you entire golf courses.
The simulator software typically comes with a free version and then a paid addition that you can use to get a more realistic experience or have access to better golf courses. The software will work much better if you have accurate data coming into your simulator via a launch monitor.
Another crucial aspect of the golf simulator’s accuracy for an amateur golfer is checking on the setup of the simulator. When hitting indoors, you have to be very careful that the optical sensor has enough light and is properly positioned. Optical sensors or an infrared light system can have a major impact on the model’s overall accuracy.
For the most part, you should know about how far you hit golf shots. If you hit your six iron 150 yards, you should be getting distance around this general area when you use your simulator.
If you find that you are making good contact with the golf ball and hitting surface, but the ball is only flying 120 yards, chances are there is an issue with your setup. The setup must be exact to get accurate results.
What To Do With A Innacurate Golf Simulator?
If you find that you have an inaccurate golf simulator, you will not need to go and purchase a completely new system. Sometimes there are a few tweaks that you can make to get your current system to work for you.
Launch Monitor Upgrade
As always, the launch monitor is the most important component of a simulator. If you haven’t yet invested in something like the Trackman Launch Monitor or the SkyTrak Launch Monitor, you may want to consider it.
These are still models that will work for golfers at home, but they are going to have accuracy that even professional golfers are satisfied with.
Call In An Expert
Those that are very serious about a golf simulator may want to consider calling in an expert to set up the system for you. These experts can consult on a golf net, golf mat, launch monitor, software, and more. Although this is not the most affordable option for a golf simulator installation, it can be the most accurate.
Experts pay attention to exactly how a system needs to be set up in order to get the appropriate club data. Many golfers are interested in a simulator but don’t have experience in technology, and this can be difficult. If you want to ensure that your system is appropriately set up and designed, the expert can be a game-changer.
Check Connections and Positions
Although the overall concept of a golf simulator may seem confusing, it is relatively quite simple. A launch monitor will gather club head data, total distance, club path, and more and send the results to the golf software.
Once the information is sent to the golf software, the results are simulated on the screen. If there is a problem with the connection between the launch monitor and the software, it will end up causing inaccurate results.
Similarly, if you don’t have any of the sensors or cameras in the proper position, you can expect that the results are also not going to be accurate. Play around with the position of the launch monitor in the room. Make sure that there is enough light for it to work correctly and that there are no issues with any of the sensors.
Depending on the system you purchase, some can be very sensitive, and there could be other issues in the golf simulator room that is throwing off their accuracy.
Are Golf Simulators Worth It?
One of the interesting things about golf simulators is that they are relatively new to the market for most golfers. Golf simulators were typically only found in a golf retail store or at a special club fitting facility for many years. However, with the increase in technology that we are seeing, most golfers now have access to golf simulators in their own homes.
Although a complete golf simulator setup is still quite a bit of money, it is much more affordable than it was in the past. Golf simulators help players that have to make it through a winter season or have to deal with a lot of rain.
For players that are really into trying to improve their scores and become better players, the golf simulators are well worth the pricing that you will pay. Look for something initially that is affordable, then upgrade through the years. Ensure that you will sue the simulator enough to make it worth it.
We highly recommend using a golf simulator that has an indoor-outdoor launch monitor. Having one of these portable launch monitors that you can take with you on and off the golf course is a tremendous benefit.
Hopefully, you now feel as though you are ready to get your accurate golf simulator set up and running. These simulators will help your golf swing improve and allow you to have much more fun with your golf game at home. Although simulators are typically around 90% accurate, if you do things correctly and invest in the right equipment, you could see much higher accuracy. Know your golf game and the strengths and weaknesses, and then you will be able to determine if the golf simulator setup is accurate.