What is a golf simulator and should I buy one
The modern golf simulator is a technological wonder.
With a combination of launch monitor technology and realistic computer graphics, simulators can now offer a highly realistic and enjoyable way of practicing and playing when weather conditions or other constraints make it impossible to get on the course.
Until recently, the only practical way for most golfers to access a simulator was during a club fitting session or a lesson with their local pro. But a new generation of increasingly affordable simulators is now becoming a realistic option for home use.
Traditionalists might like to dismiss these as no more than a home entertainment option for golf enthusiasts, and of course they can be great fun. But when used correctly they can be also be a very valuable practice aid.
What to Look for in a Golf Simulator
To install a fully integrated, professional grade, golf simulator system such as the Foresight Sports system, you will need some or all of the following components -
- Launch Monitor
Numerous launch monitors are now available, of varying degrees of sophistication and the one you choose will depend to a great extent on the use you intend to make of your simulator. The more basic models may be adequate if your simulator is intended primarily for home entertainment or as a rainy day alternative to the course.
But for the serious player, intent on improvement, or golf coaches, the additional data provided by the more advanced models will probably be indispensable.
The Foresight offers a choice of four launch monitors, which can also be taken to the range when the weather permits.
- Desktop or Laptop Computer
You may of course already have one or both of these. For full projection simulation, the desktop option is recommended, but the laptop will work well for other types of use.
- Hitting Screen
Purpose built screens into which to hit are available in special material to give maximum image clarity. Maximum realism is offered by a curved screen, but you can save space by opting for a flat screen. If working with the launch monitor is your priority, you can even use a simple net without any image.
Again, different specifications of projector are available depending on the quality of image required.
- Simulation Software
Finally, you will need some simulation software to produce the images into which you will hit. The Foresight FSX 2018 package allows for play on a wide variety of courses, including some of the most famous in the world.
You can also practice on a virtual driving range and take part in skill-building challenges, comparing your performance with others of your handicap group from around the world.
With all these different elements it’s easy to build a custom system to suit your precise requirements and budget, and the Foresight team will also help you design your simulator room to ensure you get the optimum experience.
Buying a Golf Simulator
Foresight simulators are a great option when compared with the other models on the market, but any simulator is likely to be a substantial investment.
For the serious competitor, amateur or professional, there’s no doubt that the detailed data provided by a high-quality launch monitor, and the ability to work on your game all year round, are fast becoming essential. The home entertainment aspect of the simulator is a fun bonus, but perhaps not of primary importance.
For the weekend player the calculation is more nuanced, and it is possible to get less technologically sophisticated, options which will provide a reasonable approximation to outdoor play or practice.
Foresight, Trackman and others provide website options for the design and customization of systems to suit a range of budgets and performance requirements, and it is well worth checking these out if you have previously thought that a home simulator would be impractical or “not for me”.