OptiShot Golf Simulator Review

It’s getting cold, rainy and it’s even snowing for some of you golfers out there who don’t live in a place like sunny southern California.  Luckily we get to play golf all year round here, which gives us more time to review more clubs, accessories and golf products for all of you.  This particular item up for review is something that ALL golfers can you year round even if you have an actually winter season.  Dancin Dogg was gracious enough to send us over the OptiShot Infrared Golf Simulator for testing session.

What exactly is the OpitShot?

The OptiShot is swing simulator with sixteen advanced infrared optical sensors that accurately measure your club through the impact zone, which capture your impact conditions.  It captures your club-head speed, face angle, swing path and toe/center/heel contact.  It gives you visual feedback with each swing so you can see exactly what your ball is doing after you hit it.  Below are some of the listed features of the OptiShot.

Features: Dancin Dogg OptiShot Golf Simulator
  Play with up to four players
Hit all shots from tee to green
Use your own clubs
Ability to tune settings specific to your club set
Practice shots from anywhere on any course
Expanding library of replicated world class golf   courses
Par 3 Tee Feature – great for confined spaces
Supports left or right-handed players
Standard or metric measurements
Entertain friends and family while improving your   game
Durable & Built to last – 180-Day Limited Warranty
Software upgrades and new features

What will you need to get started?

Below we listed exactly what you will need to get started using the OptiShot.  Pretty much any standard computer, or laptop will work with the OptiShot.  I don’t have the most up-to-date computer and it worked great.

System Requirements
Personal Computer with USB 2.0
Windows 7, XP or Vista Windows®
Memory: 2 GB
3 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space
Video Card: 256 MB Open GL 2.0 Compliance   ATI Raedon 9500 or greater   NVidea GeForce 3 6200 or greater   Intel 945 or greater
Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing   device

Getting Started:

So it was time to put the OptiShot to the test.  I took the unit out of the box, read the few simple instructions and because I don’t have the fastest computer, it was loaded in about 10 minutes.  I’m sure the software will load faster for you, since I’m still living in 1999. Needless to say the download was simple and fast.  The one important thing that Dancin Dogg stressed was the correct lighting conditions since the OptiShot uses infrared lighting.  The ambient lighting should be as low as comfortable to ensure best results. The light sources with the lowest infrared content are florescent and compact florescent bulbs. (Those are the cork screw looking bulbs.) Halogen is also high in infrared light and can interfere with the device.  I tried the OptiShot in my living room as well as in a large basketball gym.  I had no issues in either lighting conditions.  It is not something you want to take outside however cause the direct sunlight will cause errors.

How did it perform:

I have to admit, I had a lot of fun with the OptiShot.  I had my father and an advid golfer friend of mine come “play” around with it was well to get some more feedback.  We first started with the basic range feature where you can go on a virtual range and hit golf balls as much as you want aiming at different targets.  You can use an actual golfball (if you have a net), the durable soft golf balls Dancin Dogg provides (net preferred again) or use no ball at all.  The concept of using no golf ball seemed odd to me at first but once we did, it really made no difference.  When using no golf ball it actually made me concentrate more on my swing and being smooth instead of “hitting” into a golf ball.

We ended up using the OptiShot for quite awhile and it ended up being a tool for all of us to perfect our game a little more.  My father struggles with a fade on his drives.  After about 15 minutes of “range” time on the OptiShot and trying different fixes to his golf swing, we had him hitting straight and he was ready to go hit the course.   One of the best things my father thought about the OptiShot was the instant feedback about his club-face and angle of swing.  My father started golfing later in his life but always was a big fan due to his mother and father being avid golfers.  I still remember visiting Grandma and Grandpa up in Sacramento, California and them taking me to the golf range to hit some balls.  Those are some of the best memories of my Grandparents.

Some of the the other fun features allow you to actually go out and play a course, which who wouldn’t like that?  It basically is a golfers dream video game when you truly think about it.  The graphics on the OptiShot were pretty darn nice as well.  It was nice to go “play” a course and have it actually look like a golf course.  If you have the right computer with an HDMI outlet, you could actually connect it directly to an LCD TV and have your results large enough for the whole family to see how poor (I mean good) of a shot you just had.

Final Thoughts:

 

If you live in an area where you can’t get out to a range year round or don’t have to time to get out to the range but need a few minutes of golf swings, the OptiShot is an amazing tool.  Is the OptiShot a full blown golf simulator? Not quite, but it’s pretty darn close and is in my opinion one of the best tools out there.  I have to admit when I found out the price was only $399.00, I was a little stunned.  I really thought it would retail at a higher price value.  I was impressed by the durability of the OptiShot.  I had my 10 year old take a swing at it and chunked hit club pretty hard into the OptiShot and it had no issues at all.  The only negative thing I can say, is you must have the correct lighting.  Other than that, I would recommend the OptiShot for anyone looking to get feedback on their swings or to get out of the bad weather to play a round of golf.

For more information on the Optishot Simulator, check out their website at www.dancindogg.com

 

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