As a professional golf instructor, I have the luxury of having a company launch monitor at the office, but I have been considering purchasing a home simulator for a while now. I’ve spent countless hours searching the internet, comparing prices and functionality, and looking to find the golf simulator or launch monitor that is perfect for me. The amount of information available is mind-boggling and I spent hours going back and forth from simulator to launch monitor and back again, listing the pros and cons of many, until I finally reached my decision.
Now, I’m not blessed with bottomless pockets, so the decision regarding the high-end simulators such as the Trackman and the GC2 (the new GC Quad) was simple for me, I couldn´t afford these simulators/launch monitors. But so that those of you that can afford them I will be brief.
The Trackman is considered by many as the best. Using a dual radar tracking system, the Trackman can record vital club head, swing path and ball data to give you some of the most accurate results. Couple this with the simulation software and you have yourself a truly powerful tool to help you enjoy your golf more.
GC Quad uses quadrascopic cameras to take extremely fast photos of both your ball and club head data, which results in accuracy. Couple this with the FSX simulation software and you have a launch monitor and simulator that can be used indoors or outdoors.
Another alternative is the OptiShot2 a low-end simulator that uses lasers to read the club head data and, using the algorithms, the simulator recreates the ball flight. The biggest problem for me was that the graphics are not that great and although it is accurate enough to be used as a practice tool, I had to rule it out. But for around 300$ it will be a viable option for many.
Graphics from Optishot Simulator
Perhaps the unit that offers the best of both worlds, is the Skytrak. A superb piece of engineering and powered by Rapsodo. The price is what makes this unit appealing, around 1500$ and although you would need to purchase a licence for The Golf Club software for simulation, it is a fraction of the cost of the high-end units, the accuracy is incredible. The numbers you will get are almost identical to the Trackman, which is why the Skytrak is a huge player in the simulator/launch monitor market..
Eventually though, I ruled out the SkyTrak because I found something equally exciting. During my search I came across R-Motion. What I first noticed was the integration of The Golf Club software, a game that I had played before and enjoyed, but then I took a look at the level of information that can be achieved which is far more than any other unit in the same price band at 300$.
The other thing I liked about R-Motion was the inclusion of golf courses to play. Unlike both the Trackman and GC Quad, where an additional purchase is required so that you can use them as a simulator, the R Motion is a piece of technological genius.
All you need is a PC laptop and a place to hit, and you’re good to go. It’s a great place to start for your first simulator, and will give you all the info you need to work on your game.