Take yourself back 25 years, when personal computers were just becoming the norm in society. Clunky, confusing and bearing -- gasp -- dial-up modems, they were a far cry from today’s sleek models. Just like PCs, golf simulators have evolved immensely and rapidly through the years, becoming a much more integrated part of our lives. If you haven’t seen simulators since their primitive beginning, you’ll be blown away by how fast, realistic, sophisticated, and easy to use they’ve become.
One company, Full Swing Simulators, truly broke through from the rest of the pack in 2012 when it combined an overhead camera with infrared technology. This patented system could independently and precisely measure -- not just calculate -- launch conditions of the club and ball at impact, and again the ball in mid-flight as it headed towards the screen.
As a result, it created the most realistic-ever virtual ball flight with no lag -- you could see the entire shot exactly as you would outdoors. Golfers of all levels realized that this was no longer the simplistic simulator they’d seen in the past, but rather a legitimate, immersive way to practice, play and improve -- with immediate and invaluable swing and shot data. Upgrades have since further enhanced the system. And this year, Full Swing added instant replay of the club moving through impact -- so that you can visually analyze your swing while reviewing your numbers.
You can find Full Swing simulators today in thousands of homes, offices, bars, indoor golf centres and golf courses -- allowing players all over the world to get their golf fix regardless of daylight, weather conditions or their busy schedule, with more flexibility than ever.
Tour pros are even using them to prepare for events. “Before the actual tournament, knowing that I’ve played that course eight or 10 times leading into that event,” is invaluable, says PGA Tour pro Jason Day, one of many Tour pros -- including Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth -- with a Full Swing simulator in their home. “It’s like I’m playing practise rounds before actually setting foot on site. That’s key -- to be familiar with the course and know exactly what lines to take on my shots. Then when I get there, it’s like I played it many times before. But it was all from playing in the simulator -- which is tremendous.”
Full Swing Simulators are not just for Tour players
Imagine the convenience of having one in your own home. You can play Pebble Beach, Kapalua, Pinehurst, or dozens of other courses in less than an hour. Without having to hop on a plane or even into your car. In fact, you can play in your pyjamas, if you want. No tee times necessary. And because no one is watching, beginners can simply relax and enjoy the game.
Full Swing simulators have redefined home entertainment, as well. They double as in-house theatres with HD projectors and 12-to-16-foot screens for movie watching, sports viewing, and video games. And they’re available with up to 13 different interactive sports programs.
Best of all, Full Swing's more accessible than ever: Each simulator’s now so physically streamlined that it can be installed wherever you can swing a golf club. "I use Full Swing for my own work and also when my friends come over to have a good time,” says Spieth. “It offers great feedback to help anyone's game improve. Plus, it’s extremely realistic and a lot of fun." Where can it take you?