Golf Simulator - Which should I buy? Trackman Vs Foresight
Golf simulator technology has now evolved to the point where a number of advanced systems are within the reach of individual golfers.
Two of the best known are the Trackman, probably best known for its launch monitor technology, and the Foresight.
These systems are in some respects very similar, but there are also key differences which it is important to understand.
Launch Monitor Comparison
A high quality launch monitor is probably the most important element of any simulator system and although both Trackman and Foresight offer good options there are some differences in their technologies.
The Trackman 4 is the company’s “state of the art” product, and uses a radar system to track the ball and produce a myriad of data such as club speed, launch angle, carry, total distance, spin, smash factor and many others.
The Foresight GC Quad, by contrast, uses a system of four cameras to produce some 200 high-speed images of impact to calculate a similar set of data points to the Trackman.
For purists, the clubhead impact data (face angle, effective loft etc) provided by the Foresight technology may seem preferable as its cameras can “see” the clubhead in a way which the Trackman radar cannot.
So one distinct advantage of the Foresight is its ability to indicate precisely where on the clubface the ball was struck, which is very valuable information for players troubled by off-center hits.
However, testing seems to show that the clubhead data produced by Trackman is generally very similar to that shown by Foresight.
Likewise, the Foresight ball flight data seems to map very closely to that of the Trackman even though it is based on calculations rather than actual observations.
As well as being used indoors with simulators, both of these launch monitors can be used outdoors on the range, and the GC Quad now even features the ability to adjust predicted ball flight according to air temperature and barometric pressure.
Of course, this adjustment is not necessary when using an indoor simulator and in this situation the GC Quad may score a little higher for accuracy given its ability to photograph the actual millisecond of impact.
That said, the differences in the data provided by the two systems are in practice probably so small as to be of little consequence for the average handicap player.
Which simulator system you opt for will therefore likely depend on your preference for the visual aspects of the simulator, the surrounding set-up and, of course, your budget.
Both Trackman and Foresight simulators feature excellent graphics allowing the golfer to get a virtual reality type experience of playing a wide variety of courses including some of the best known in the world. You can also hit on a virtual driving range or take part in all kinds of different practice challenges.
Hitting mats, screens and surrounding protection are also important elements of a safe and enjoyable simulator experience.
Trackman features an aluminum, easy to assemble, FlexCage to house and protect both your simulator and the room, but the company also offers a custom design solution to fit your system into whatever space you have available. For all indoor simulators, a certain minimum is of course required, but fitters will work with you to design an optimum system.
It’s also worth noting that if playing improvement rather than home entertainment is your major goal, then it’s always possible to use your choice of launch monitor with just a regular hitting net.
With so many different elements in their customizable systems, it’s difficult to provide accurate cost estimates for either of these simulators, but it’s fair to say that both are mid-range systems.
Both company websites offer a detailed quote service and “design your own” feature and it’s worth taking some time to fully explore what will be a substantial investment.
Trackman or Foresight
These are two excellent quality simulators and the choice between them will in the end come down to a personal preference, expense, and the emphasis you wish to place on the source and precision of the launch monitor data.