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How do golf simulators work? What's best for me?

golf simulator

Golf simulation technologies have evolved over time to provide realistic indoor golf experiences. Here's a comparison of three types: infrared, camera/photometric, and radar-based systems, along with their pros and cons.

1) Infrared Golf Simulators: These are the budget friendly options like OptiShot2. These systems use infrared sensors to track the movement of the golf club, but not the ball. What else uses infrared technology? Baseball speed gun. It gives important data, but not all the data.

budget friendly golf simulator


Cost-effective: Infrared systems are often more budget-friendly compared to other options.

Ease of setup: They're relatively simple to install and require less technical knowledge.

Real-time feedback: Many infrared simulators provide instant feedback on swing metrics.

Compact: Some models are portable and suitable for smaller spaces.


Accuracy: Infrared systems might struggle with accurately capturing certain shot details like spin and trajectory. Limited realism: Graphics and course representation might not be as advanced and lifelike as other systems. Limited data: These systems might not provide as comprehensive data points as radar-based systems.


Best budget friendly training option for weekend warriors: Infrared systems might not provide as comprehensive data points or playability as other systems, but it is often sufficient for our garage practice sessions without breaking the bank.

2) Radar Golf Simulators: TrackMan, FlightScope and Garmin adopted Radar technology. Radar-based systems use radar technology to track the club and ball, providing accurate data on shot performance.

expensive golf simulator


High accuracy: Radar systems offer precise data on ball speed, launch angle, spin rate, and more. Real-time data: They provide instant feedback on shot metrics. Less affected by lighting: Radar systems work well in various lighting conditions. Wide range of data: They can capture comprehensive data for both club and ball performance.


Cost: Radar systems are often among the most expensive golf simulator options. Accuracy : Radar systems do their job best when it sees the entire flight path of the ball. Complex setup: Installation and calibration can be more involved due to portability of the equipment. Graphics: While graphics are improving, they might not be as visually advanced as in camera-based systems.


Best used for outdoor shot analysis: The radars do their job the best when it sees the ball all the way through its flight instead of the first 10 feet where the ball will hit the impact screen. Radar system manufacturers have focused less on integrating their systems with top of the line games like GSPro, greatly impacting its playability. In our opinion, this is for those who can carry the machine around the entire outdoor field to analyze their shots.

3) Camera/Photometric Golf Simulators: These are the Uneekor QED, Golfzon, Kakao Golf, GC Series. Camera/Photometric golf simulators use multiple ultra high-speed cameras to capture the motion of the club and ball. They're known for providing detailed data and realistic graphics.

best golf simulator QED


High accuracy: Camera systems can capture a wide range of shot details, including ball spin and club path. Real-time data: They provide instant feedback on shot metrics. Realistic graphics: These systems often offer more immersive and visually appealing graphics. Comprehensive data: They provide a wealth of data points that can help players analyze and improve their game. Professional-grade: Many golf professionals use camera simulators for training.


Cost: Camera-based systems can be quite expensive to purchase and set up Calibration: Regular maintenance and calibration might be necessary to ensure accuracy. Technical complexity: Setting up and maintaining camera systems might require technical expertise


Best for indoor practice/entertainment application: With the advancement made in AI assisted flight path prediction algorithm, camera/photometric systems have come a long way. These systems often offer best graphics and integration with top of the line golf games for best playability too. In our opinion, if you have the budget, this is what you want to play with.

In summary, the choice between infrared, camera/photometric, and radar golf simulators depends on your budget, space availability, desired accuracy, and technical expertise. Infrared systems are affordable and easy to set up but may lack accuracy and realism. Radar systems excel in accuracy and real-time data, but they are costly and limited in playability. Camera systems provide high accuracy and comprehensive data, but they come at a higher cost and may need technical expertise to set up. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific preferences and requirements.

Curious what technology Hyde Park Indoor Golf has adopted? Take a guess what would be the best golf simulator for London Ontario! Sign up for our news letter to see what we got!

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