Using a golf simulator has many advantages. For instance, you can play a round of golf day or night, in any weather. You also get to practice with an unlimited supply of range balls, all without having to pack up and go to the range. OptiShot 2 is one of the most talked-about golf simulators on the market today.
Not only is the OptiSHot 2 golf simulator affordable, but it is also highly accurate as well. Using the OptiShot 2, you can improve your game, lower your score, and better your handicap right from the comfort of your own home. Is the OptiShot 2 worth your time and money? We are about to find out.
Table of Contents
- 1 Before You Buy
- 2 OptiShot 2 Build Material
- 3 Studio or DIY?
- 4 Requirements, Setup and First Use
- 5 Software and Accessories Packages
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 Conclusion
Before You Buy
As with any indoor simulator, there are a few things you need to consider long before you pick your perfect simulator and start setting it up. The first thing to think about is your budget. Many golf simulator studios will easily reach the $5,000 threshold. The top-tier and highest rated models, such as the True Golf model that the pros use, will fetch over $30,000.
There are ways to build a golf simulator yourself, which allows you to save hundreds of dollars (or more!). Though, if you are anxious to get going, you may want a complete set up than buying things piece by piece.
Think About Your Space Needs
You will also need to think about space. Swinging a golf club indoors isn’t something we are often allowed to do. Our mothers will shout that we will break something and that low hanging ceiling fan looks pretty tempting.
Not only do you need enough space to swing the club, but you also need enough space to mount the impact screen, net, and framing, as well as mounting the lights, projector, and sensors.
On top of all that, you also need to have enough room for both left and right-handed swingers with elbow room, above-head room, and space for the backswing. You can view our space requirements article to learn more about ideal space requirements versus minimum required suggestions.
Don’t Forget Frequency of Use
Finally, you need to think about how often you will use the golf simulator. Let’s face it; this isn’t a sports car. Spending $10,000 or more for something you won’t use daily seems to be a waste. However, if you plan to use the golf simulator at least three times a week, then a substantial investment can be made.
For the rest of us, that may play daily for the first few weeks we have it, and then return to the real world, spending a ton of money isn’t going to be a wise investment (and why so many of these things end up on resale sites).
When planning your budget, think about how often you will use it, and be honest with yourself. You will come out ahead with the perfect simulator for you, your home, budget, and time.
OptiShot 2 Build Material
Truth be told, you aren’t going to set up the OptiShot Pro studio and think you have magically been whisked away to some far-away golf land. Total immersion won’t happen here.
You will know you are standing on a sub-par hitting mat and hitting balls into a screen that may or may not make it another season. There is a slim chance you will be blown away with the graphics of the course being displayed, too.
If you keep all that in mind, there isn’t much left that is bad about the OptiShot golf simulator. You are getting one helluva deal, and that low cost comes in the form of mid-tier, or lower, parts.
The good news, though, is that if you can get over that, you will have a powerful simulator and be able to play golf on some of the most beautiful courses from around the world. Yes, the hitting mat frame is made of plastic. Sure, the turf is replaceable and should be upgraded as soon as you can afford it.
However, you will not find a more complete system for the price. As of this writing, there isn’t a brand offering the same studio pieces for this low of a price, anywhere. This alone is what makes the OptiShot 2 such a sought-after simulator.
Studio or DIY?
OptiShot 2 gives you the option of how much included equipment you want to pay for. The Golf-in-a-Box series has several different setups to choose from. The largest package, known as the Pro series, gives you the most, while the standard Golf-in-a-Box offers the least amount of pieces.
If you plan to build your own simulator set up, the standard version might fit your needs better. You will get the basic sensors and software for less than $300 while being able to choose your accessories from any brand or vendor you prefer.
If you are looking for a more ready-made studio set up, the Pro series will give you just that. There are going to be some pieces you will want to either replace or are not included at all; however, these swaps and purchases won’t need to be done right away.
Requirements, Setup and First Use
When you first open the package, you will need to perform your initial set up. Because the OptiShot 2 is considered a mid-tier simulator, the setup will be more inclusive than some others.
To get accurate data, you will need to program and input measurements for each of the clubs in your bag. This will happen one at a time, and overall should take you about an hour to an hour and a half.
Once you have the system set up and your clubs measured, though, you are pretty much good to go and start playing.
The basic requirements for a successful simulator are a computer (PC or Mac) with at least four gigs of RAM and a video card that supports OpenGL 2.0. You will also need an open USB port and a minimum of three gigabytes of disk space. If you want the software updates, courses, and online play, you will need the computer to connect to the internet as well.
Special note for Mac users, OptiShot 2 is not compatible with MacOS Catalina. OSX 10.8 and higher are compatible, though, just not Catalina.
Software and Accessories Packages
There are two software packages to choose from when you order your OptiShot 2. The most popular option is the Season Pass, and OptiShot made it easy to choose by combining the smaller packages it used to offer into Mini Tour and Pro Tour.
The Mini Tour Season Pass package will supply you with updates, new courses (as they come available), and access to online tournaments. You will have the ability to play on 25 mini-courses and compete in two monthly events. The annual membership costs $49.
The Pro Tour gives you access to every premium course available, as well as updates, new courses, and other standard benefits. Plus, you will get to participate in four events every month where you can win real prizes. The Pro Tour version costs $99 per year.
As for accessories, you can replace any part that comes with your system, including the turf over the sensors. You can also pick up replacement tees, a new pack of foam balls, order gift cards, or buy a new impact screen. You will also have your choice of the various OptiShot hitting mats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now we will answer some of the more common questions about OptiShot 2 and the equipment it uses.
How good is Optishot?
For the money, OptiShot is ranked higher than other mid-tier simulators. The graphics are less intensive than those of SkyTrak and professional simulators, but they get the job done. The worst part is the sensor hitting mat. The hard plastic base is rated as durable, but it easily cracked if you miss-hit and strike it with your club. Other than that, it is a professional feeling simulator that actually works.
Can you use real golf balls with Optishot?
You can use real golf balls, or opt for the foam balls that come with the system. In a pinch, you can swing your club without any golf ball at all. The OptiShot 2 sensors work with the clubhead to detect speed, angle, and mathematically structure the shot angle and distance from these readings.
How much does the Optishot golf simulator cost?
The basic Golf-in-a-Box package will range just below $300, while the full simulator studio system can reach prices over $4,000. With various options to choose from, your price range will offer you a specific package to build from.
Is Optishot worth the money?
If you are looking to improve your game, shave strokes off your scorecard and practice when it is otherwise impossible to do so, then yes, the OptiShot 2 is worth the money. If you are looking to entertain guests with a round of golf on a high-resolution screen that makes the experience seem real, then you may be disappointed.
How accurate is OptiShot 2?
Out of the box, OptiShot 2 isn’t very accurate. However, taking the hour or two required to precisely measure each of your golf clubs and input your swing mechanics into the program, it quickly becomes one of the more accurate simulators on the market.
Can OptiShot be used outdoors?
While it is possible to set up an outdoor studio, it isn’t recommended. The sensors work best with halogen or incandescent lighting. Natural lighting will affect the sensor’s ability to read the swing correctly.
What courses come with OptiShot 2?
OptiShot 2 offers you the following Gold courses to play any time you want. The Golf Club Scottsdale, Long Island Black, Torrey White, Torrey Black, Palm Desert Mountains, Palm Desert Canyons, Barsebäck Golf Club, Black Mountain, The Canadian Club, Österåkers Golf Club, West Maui Plantation, Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, Fylde Links, Cogs Corner, and Twisted Twig.
OptiShot 2 isn’t going to be a top-tier golf simulator that can justify tens of thousands of dollars price tag. That isn’t how or why it is designed. What it is intended for is to allow everyone to own and use a golf simulator in their own home without having to take out a second mortgage.
It is less computer-intensive than the likes of SkyTrak, but what it lacks in graphics capabilities it makes up for in accuracy. If you are looking to save money and get a reliable home simulator, OptiShot 2 is worth your purchase. On top of the monetary benefits, you will also have a base simulator that you can build on and improve over time.