The Most Realistic Indoor Golf Simulator Out There
American golfers have an abundance of options when it comes to where and how to play: golf simulators, golf courses, driving ranges, etc. With more than 16,000 golf courses in the U.S., it would take multiple lifetimes to play even a healthy fraction of them. Furthermore, because of unpleasant weather and course closures during the winter, playing golf outdoors isn’t always an option. While this might be stating the obvious, much of the country’s golf shuts down for as much as half the year.
What options does a golfer have to keep their game sharp or just get in a few swings short of moving to Florida? Well, if you have the space and a shoestring budget, you’re probably thinking about setting up your own indoor driving range: a net, secondhand mat, and a space heater in your garage. If you have more means you’re probably thinking of an indoor golf simulator: including a screen, launch monitor, and projector. Now you’re getting into makeshift professional-grade golf simulator range.
At the top of the range are the indoor golf simulators made by Golfzon. Golfzon simulators are equipped with their Moving Swing Plate, Auto Tee-Up, and multi-surface hitting mats. Combine all those features with T1, T2, or T3 sensors and you get the most realistic golf simulator ever produced.
But how did we get to this point with indoor golf simulators?
The History of Golf Simulators
Golf simulators have actually been around much longer than you might think. In the early days (think early 1980s), there wasn’t much simulating going on. Back then, golf simulators consisted of a player hitting a ball into a net or screen that depicted a 16-bit (grainy) image of a course. Each shot was captured by a radar gun-type device which slowly calculated the time it took to fly from clubface to screen.
From there, the simulator’s computer would calculate a few numbers and then decide how far you may have hit the ball. The golf simulator’s screen image would then move you down the fairway to the next spot and it would continue like this. No tracer, no swing speed, no ball speed, no club path information; no stats of any kind.
Fast forward a few years and golf simulators got better as computers and microprocessors got faster. However, the system for tracking shots on these indoor simulators still wasn’t very realistic. For instance, the golf simulators couldn’t track the direction the ball was hit. So, it was like everyone had the ability to hit laser-straight shots all the time. Good for the ego, but still not a very realistic golf simulator.
Finally, in the early 2010s golf simulator companies started combining radar, an array of overhead light sensors, high-speed cameras, and HD projectors with faster and faster computers to produce not just virtual indoor driving ranges but realistic indoor golf simulators.
Today, golf simulators are incredibly life-like. Golfzon combines HD imagery with realistic 3D graphics and immersive surround sound to make any golfer feel like they are on the course when stepping into the golf simulator.
The Best Golf Simulators Today
Today’s best golf simulators have an array of technology, software, computing power, and course options for an experience so immersive you almost forget you’re playing on an indoor golf simulator.
Want to tee it up at St. Andrews with 30+ mph winds? Or enjoy Pebble Beach on a perfect 70*F day when it’s below freezing outside? Or travel to a far-flung course in South Korea? All can be experienced within a state-of-the-art Golfzon indoor golf simulator.
*Model available only in Korea.
Golfzon’s simulators offer a number of features that aren’t available with other indoor golf simulators. One of the most unique features is a T1/T2/T3 sensor which Golfzon developed.
The sensor is paired with two high-speed cameras to accurately trace club movement as well as impact and ball movement. The sensor, with its wide measurement capability, can capture mishit shots and trouble shots in the golf simulator. Fast processing of high-precision data displays immediate departure of the ball, adding the sense of realism to these cutting-edge indoor golf simulators.
More Than Just a Shot Tracer
Any golfer who has ever set foot on a course knows that hitting a shot from various lies and surfaces is the norm. But, being able to mimic those lies sidehill, downhill, uphill, or any combination of those characteristics on a home golf simulator or local indoor golf simulator, is basically unheard of until now.
Golfzon’s simulators feature our Moving Swing Plate which automatically adjusts to uphill, downhill, and sidehill lies by simulating course slopes from the tee box to the putting green. The golfer controls how much slope you get from the settings at the start.
For instance, if you want to take it easy on yourself you can set the simulator to have mostly flat lies. If you’re a skilled golfer wanting to experience more realistic lies and get the same sensation as those rumpled fairways throughout the United Kingdom.
Once you decide on how the simulator will present various lies, you’ll immediately notice the multi-surface hitting mats. The various types of turf each portray fairway, rough and sand bunker conditions, provide realistic simulation to a real golf course. If you use the right mat for the given condition, you will acquire the exact distance for the given condition within the golf simulator.
The Most Realistic Golf Courses
Today’s Golfzon golf simulators are the closest to the real thing in the industry. This hyper-realism within a golf simulator is a huge technological undertaking. In fact, over 300 Golfzon employees are R&D engineers tasked with gameplay and making the golfer forget they’re even in an indoor golf simulator.
One key discriminator is Golfzon utilizes aerial capture of world-famous golf courses by high-tech drone-mounted lasers, software engineers then deliver a true-to-life, detailed reproduction of each course down to individual trees. Other golf simulators might render a golf course nicely, but it’s impossible to be as accurate when using satellite imagery.
Part of feeling like you’re on the actual course requires looking at it from every angle possible: ground level, aerial, topographical, and whizzing overhead at 200 feet in the air. All of these various angles allow Golfzon programmers to recreate every shot possible on a course within the golf simulator.
The Future of Golf Simulators in America
Golfzon already dominates the screen golf market in their native South Korea. Now it’s America’s turn. As places like Topgolf have seen exponential growth and continue to bring new and current golfers out to green-grass alternative facilities, America is just beginning to scratch the indoor golf simulator itch.
As Golfzon turns up the realism quotient it’s not hard to see how much of the country’s golfers will turn indoors for a quick 9- or 18-hole round that takes half the time and is available year-round.