For many golfers, the idea of a golf simulator seems like magic. You step into a room, swing a club, and suddenly you're playing a round at Augusta National. And you see all your measurements: ball speed, carry distance, spin, launch angle, club and flight path and more.
But how do golf simulators work? Let's take a closer look at the different types of technology that make these amazing machines possible.
Radar-Based Golf Simulators
Radar-based simulators use doppler radar technology to track the movement of the golf ball. Radar-based golf simulators can be very accurate and can provide a wealth of data about your shot. However, they are also quite expensive. They are excellent outdoors and can be just as good indoors if you have the same.
One of the more popular models based on radar technology is the Trackman. It also combines a camera and has long been a favorite of PGA players and coaches.
Infrared-Based Golf Simulators
Infrared simulation systems work by using infrared beams to track the movement of the ball and clubs. Infrared simulation systems are less expensive than both photometric and radar-based systems; however, they also provide less data about the shot and create a less realistic simulation.
Nevertheless, infrared simulation systems can still provide an enjoyable experience for those looking to play indoors without spending a lot of money. And they are accurate enough to help improve your game.
Camera-Based Golf Simulators
One type of golf simulator is known as a photometric simulator. This type of simulator uses one or more high-speed cameras to track the movement of the ball and clubs. The data collected by the cameras is then used to generate a 3D simulation of the shot analyzing various measurements during a golf shot - capturing things like ball speed, spin, launch angle, distance, etc.
Photometric simulators can be more expensive than other types of simulators, but they can also offer a more realistic experience because they can capture more data points. Tiger Woods uses Full Swing, a golf simulator using high-speed cameras, and innovative and intuitive software.
No matter what type of technology they use, all golf simulators work by tracking the movement of the ball and then using that information to generate a virtual representation of the shot. So, if you've ever wanted to know how those amazing machines work, now you know!
And, if you're ready to step up your game, have some fun, and improve your practice time - rain or shine, indoors or outdoors, see below.