Top-Rated Golf Simulators

By Justin Johnson

Technology has changed the game of golf in many ways, ranging from golf club design to training aids and from golf course management to golf apparel. Golf simulators are one of the most technologically advanced game improvement aids. Golf simulators have a mechanism to measure items such as clubhead speed, ball speed, ball spin rate and launch angle by way of varying methods in each simulator. Golf simulators are used primarily in golf stores and fitting clinics but also are installed in residential environments.

P3 Pro Swing Golf Simulator

The P3 Pro Swing Golf Simulator has three levels of simulation and analysis offered in three distinct packages: The Pro Swing Sport, Pro Swing Claret and Pro Swing Golf Digest Simulator Analyzer.

The Pro Swing Sport is the most basic model, offering modest analysis by way of video and a sensor that measures basic data such as clubface angle, swing path, sweet spot deviation and clubhead speed.

The Pro Swing Sport requires a computer with Windows XP or higher and a high-end graphics card. The Pro Swing Claret offers the Pro Swing Sport plus accessories including full virtual golf course, a putting green and an interface for the PC version of EA Sports' popular golf video game title, "Tiger Woods PGA Tour."

The Golf Digest package includes a subscription to "Golf Digest," various partner publications and 15 percent discount to the "Golf Digest" online shop.

Pro Swing is recommended by the PGA Tour. The price of this product ranges from $899 for the Sport model to $1,499 for the Golf Digest package as of 2010

Optishot Golf Simulator

The Optishot Golf Simulator is manufactured by Dancin' Dogg Golf and is primarily intended for home use. This product accurately measures swing and ball flight indicators such as clubface angle, clubhead speed and face contact.

The product uses a sensor built into a hitting plate to measure the items previously mentioned. The minimum PC requirements include Windows XP or higher and a high-end graphics card. The price of this product is $399.95 as of 2010.

Interactive Sports Technologies (IST) High Definition Golf Simulator

The High Definition Golf Simulator from Interactive Sports Technologies (IST) is a high-end golf simulator that is used by golf professionals, instructors and manufacturers.

The simulator is installed in a home or indoor golf center; however, the use of a sub floor is not needed as the entire unit is bolted to the floor.

The High Definition Golf Simulator comes in three models: the Executive, the Standard and the Championship. Each model is a different size, with the Executive measuring 9 feet tall, 12 feet wide and 20 feet long and the Championship measuring 11 feet tall, 15 feet wide and 20 feet long.

IST does not advertise the price of its products, as each unit is customized for its place of installation.

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