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GOLF GADGET REVIEW! – Dancin’ Dogg OptiShot

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MyGolfSpy has become known for doing very in-depth golf club reviews over the past year.  We have gotten some incredible feedback from our readers during this time...which we greatly appreciate. So we thought you might like it if we added to our review system this year by also including reviews of some of the many gadgets that get sent our way.   Who has time to search through the thousands of golf gadgets being released nowadays to see which ones really work and which ones aren't worth the packaging they are shipped in?  Answer: We do!

And that is just what we are going to do for YOU!  We brought on a few new writers to cover all the golf gadgets and today's article is written by one of our newest spies (GolfSpy Matt).  We hope you guys enjoy the new addition to MyGolfSpy and if there are any gadgets you would like to see us review just let us know!

OptiShot Golf Simulator Review - Introduction

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Optishot Review – Update

Why an update?

Shortly after I posted my review of the Dancin’ Dogg Optishot Golf Simulator, I was contacted by a representative from Dancin’ Dogg.  She told me that the company wasn’t upset about the review, but they were concerned about the fact that I had tried to contact them and received no reply.  She also thought that there might have been an issue with the unit that I received, and she offered to send another unit out for a re-test.  I was impressed with their attitude towards the process and their belief in their product, so I agreed.  Shortly thereafter, another Optishot arrived.  Admittedly, it has taken me quite a while to get around to testing, but I’m glad that I did.  I don’t know if the changes are the result of software, hardware, or some combination, but this machine is nothing like the one I tested in January.

Updated Results

The first issue that I had with the previous unit was distance: clubs went seemingly random, often overlapping, distances.  This is a non-issue with the current unit.  Each club goes a particular, consistent distance.  The distances aren’t perfectly accurate to real life, but they are consistent which is all you can really ask for.

The second issue I had was with direction: the ball had a strong tendency to go right unless I made a huge over the top swing.  Again, this is not an issue with the new unit.  I can actually tell, without looking at the screen, where the ball is going to go.  If I make an over the top, hooky swing, the ball goes left.  If I fail to release the club, the ball goes right.  Good swings go straight.

Conclusion

My earlier review concluded that this was a fun toy for people who aren’t very serious golfers.  That needs to be amended.  I think that given the results of this recent testing, the Dancin’ Dogg Optishot is a good way for those of us in cold climates to keep swinging during the winter, and it’s a fun way to introduce golf to kids or non-golfing friends.

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Written by: GolfSpy Matt Anyone who spends much time watching The Golf Channel has surely seen the infomercials for the Dancin’ Dogg Optishot Golf Simulator.  For those of us currently staring out the window at piles of snow that are growing by the hour, the idea of owning a golf simulator is definitely attractive.  Also attractive, or at least within the realm of reason, is the $400 price tag that the Optishot carries.  Is this the way to keep the rust off of your swing during the winter months or is this another product that will be collecting dust within weeks of arrival?  Read on for my thoughts.

From the Manufacturer

  • Patented technologies provide precise feedback, 16 Infrared sensors record:
  • Club head speed
  • Face angle at impact
  • Swing path
  • Distance traveled/distance to pin
  • Face contact (toe/heel/center)
  • Visual feedback of each shot
  • Growing library of preloaded courses
  • Extremely realistic driving range with multiple target greens
  • Par -3 tee feature ideal for confined spaces, younger players
  • Play up to four at a time, system supports right and left handed players
  • Simple plug-and-play set-up, needs 8.5’ feet of swing space, Windows computer
  • Use own clubs, real, foam or no golf balls at all

System requirements include:

  • Windows 7, XP or Vista
  • USB 2.0
  • 2 GB Memory
  • 3 GB Disk Space

OptiShot - Set Up

One thing that the infomercial says is true: set up could not be easier.  Can you put a DVD into your computer and click “Next” a bunch of times?  Can you plug a USB cord into your computer?  If you answered, “Yes,” to both of those questions, than you can set up the Optishot.  After installing the software from the DVD, the program automatically updated itself with a driving range and a few additional courses.  All in all, installation and updating took about ten minutes.  After that, it was ready to go.

Space Requirements & Physical Set Up

The product literature says that you need 8.5 feet of swing space.  In my house, I have plenty of open square footage, but not a lot of tall ceilings.  In my living room, the ceilings are a pretty standard height and I was able to swing a pitching wedge (choked up to the metal) at full strength without any concern of hitting the ceiling.  I did take the Optishot into the garage for a little testing with all of the clubs, but most of my playing was done in the living room.  One neat feature is that you don’t need to hit a ball to make the Optishot work.  It will work with a real golf ball (which obviously necessitates a net), the foam balls that are provided, or no ball at all.  This is one of the best features as it makes set up and take down that much easier.

The big question: does it work as advertised?

As soon as it was loaded, I clicked on the practice range, started swinging, and watched every single ball start right and slice.  I found this pretty surprising (my swing comes from the inside and I square the club face more often than not), though not as surprising as the fact that my 125 yard choked-up pitching wedge was going 80 yards.  I thought that perhaps there was a problem with the unit, so I checked it out according to the instruction booklet.  According to the manual, everything was working as it should.

Very confused and a bit upset, I jumped in my car and headed to work where we have an indoor range and hitting bays with video cameras.  The video and the ball flight told me that my swing was still doing what I believed it should: coming from the inside and hitting the ball relatively straight with a little draw.  I got back in my car to continue testing the Optishot.

Continued testing revealed a number of odd and interesting things:

  • You can swing the same club with the same swing and produce wildly different club head speeds and distances by changing the club that the computer thinks you’re swinging.  As I mentioned, in the interest of being warm, I played most of my golf in my living room while only swinging a pitching wedge.  If I selected “Pitching Wedge,” my clubhead speed was around 60MPH and the ball went around 80 yards.  If I selected “Driver,” my clubhead speed jumped to anywhere from 85-100MPH and the ball went 230 yards or more.
  • You can miss the ball entirely and still produce a good shot.  The product literature says that the Optishot measures angle of attack, but I saw no evidence that it does, or if it does, it doesn’t seem to use the data.  I produced equal shots with flat swings, steep swings, and swings that missed the ball.  Similarly, the Optishot does not differentiate between a flick of the wrists and a rock of the shoulders.
  • You can make a good swing and not have it register.  One part of my recent swing reconstruction has been to hinge the club up early in the backswing.  I found that if I did this too early, the sensors behind the ball would not “see” my club moving backwards.  Similarly, if I came into impact “too far” from the inside, it would not register.
  • The distances that each club travels are inexplicable.  I spent a lot of time hitting each club on the range and I could not get a sense for the logic of it.  I would not have a problem with the device if it told me that my pitching wedge went 80 yards and my 9I went 90 yards and so on.  While that isn’t realistic, at least it makes a degree of sense.  My experience was that my PW went 80-85, my 9I went 82-87, and my 8I went 87 yards except when it went 110.

If you couldn’t have guessed by this list of “issues,” I was severely disappointed with the Optishot.  I sent an email with these concerns to Dancin’ Dog, but I have not yet received a response.  If I do, I will be sure to update this review appropriately.

To close on a positive note, I think the putting is quite good.  While some of the tougher courses can be frustrating due to the undulations in the greens, I found the putting to be consistent and fair.

The Peanut Gallery

The Peanut Gallery will be a regular feature in my reviews.  I work at a golf store with a wide range of golfers: good players, bad players, PGA professionals, equipment junkies, and guys who don’t know TaylorMade from Top Flite.  I also have a number of friends who golf, and a number who don’t.  I like to solicit all of their opinions on the products I review to get a wider range of ideas and to help me look at things from different perspectives.

I invited some friends and co-workers to the house to put the Optishot through the paces.  I tried not to give any hint of my opinions of the device so as not to bias their view.  Overall, it seemed that the less serious/skilled the golfer was, the more they enjoyed it.  My friends who play golf a couple times of year thought the system was pretty cool.  Those who play golf seriously were frustrated more often than not with the results that Optishot provided.

Closing Thoughts

Despite the overall content of my review, I do believe there are a number of positive things about the Optishot: it allows you to play golf inside, at a reasonable price, with limited space.  I think it might be a good way to get kids excited about golf.  Set up could not be easier.  There are a nice range of courses from very easy to challenging.
That said, for the reasons listed above, I do not believe that it is a reliable training tool.  As a toy or a game, I think the Optishot is fun, but as a tool for serious golfers I believe that it is a failure.

Buy Now:  $399.95

P.S. - WHAT GOLF GADGET WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE REVIEWED NEXT?

Review Summary

B
80.00

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Springbok February 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm

This is what I love about MGS. Got the thing for free…. and STILL gave it an honest review.

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Kevin December 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I just bought a used optishot and have been trying it out. I really bought it to practice my wedges for distance so I’ve been doing quite a bit of testing on it before I can trust what it is telling me.

I can see why the guy was willing to sell it for $200 which included a mat. One thing is that (this is very slow swing speed testing, 3mph) I have to hit it almost on the heel before it says a center hit, mostly I get it hit on the toe even when the center of the club is going over the hole.

I’m not sure I trust the distances and swing speeds. I’ve got it setup to high for power but the difference of 16 mph between the medicus swing speed device and the optishot makes me wonder if either is right or which one is right.

In real life, I know a well struck PW for me is a 118 yard carry, and I don’t get that with the optishot. I’ve been trying this for over a week and I have to say, I’m not impressed.

BTW, usually I play 18 holes 3 times a week and my current handicap index is 2.5.

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Sean February 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Been waiting for a good review of the Optishot. As expected, the infomercial seemed too good to be true. I will say that it’d be awesome if you could use the optishot on a game like EA Sport’s Tiger Woods. I’m sure they’ll have something like that in the future.

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Calvin March 22, 2011 at 7:04 am

Sean

This unit DOES work with EA Sports Tiger Woods. PC version only. The last PC version was Tiger Woods 2008, and can be purchased for about $10 on some websites.

One advantage of this older PC version is the additional course downloads for it at this site:

http://www.coursedownloads.com/

Here you can Download courses specific to Tiger Woods 2008. They currently have 1,090 Course add-ons for Tiger Woods 2008.

Enjoy!

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B. Balok February 9, 2011 at 8:43 am

I, also, have been waiting for an impartial review of this system. I do watch the Golf Channel and love the simulator Micheal Breed uses in his show. I figured a $400 version would not make the cut. I am glad you saved me the time and money.

I wonder how much the simulator used on the Golf Channel costs? Anyone know? I can dream can’t I?

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GolfSpy T February 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm

@B. Balok The Golf Channel uses an aboutGolf simulator, the same as what Callaway uses in their indoor facilities, and the same that MyGolfSpy uses at our test facility (Tark’s Indoor Golf). The units at Tark’s were in the ballpark of 45K to install. Our 3 screen unit was closer to 75K. My guess is the set up at The Golf Channel was even more.

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Bill February 9, 2011 at 10:17 am

Take the $399 and go on a short weekend gold trip to Florida. Until you can install a $50,000 to $100,000 simulator in your home forget it.

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Mike February 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I totally disagree with Bill. although still very expensive, there are more than a few very very good simulators out there for $15,000 to $19,000. I saw an awesome one at the PGA Merchandise show last week. Very well designed. They offer the complete set up with screen, computer, enclosure, software for $19,000. Also, if you have a Windows 7 laptop you can reduce the price further.

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Shaggy October 16, 2011 at 1:42 am

Hello Mike.
Can you tell me what is the name of the cheap simulators, like you said?

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Gilles February 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I am very appreciative of this review. I was thinking of getting one next winter but I think I will pass. I currently have a mat and net in my heated garage and I use Swingreader (an IPhone app) to analyse my swing. The next step for me is a simulator. I thought I read once that you could get a shot tracker home version for around 18000$. Does anyone out there know if this is correct?

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mudmonkey February 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

well, of course you are going to take the review of a fellow choking up to the steel on his pw to describe the optishot. Good grief. In my opinion, for the dollar price, it’s a steal. I have owned one for over a month now and have had some ups and downs like anything…..here it goes.

First of all I have an insulated man’s room I set up the optishot that is 35 by 25 , loads of room. I bought a HD projector and a 9 by 10 impact screen to hit real balls in to. ( So much better than foam). In my opinion most golfers think they are swinging a certain way until they see it on camera or on a trackman and then complain that it’s wrong. Face it our swings are shaky, that’s why we have to work for a living.

Hitting into the screen was great until I eventually blew holes through it @ roughly 110-115mph. Of course ordered new cordula screen upon destruction of old one. In the meantime I have carpet hung behind my beat up screen. Also around the sides for safety , good old fashion carpet and an old bed protecting behind the screen.

I find the machind to be fun, inexpensiv and a great winter tool to stop worrying about statistics and practice actual mechanics and stretches of the golf swing. I have found that the problem with most golfers is that on a simulator it takes awhile to realize that swinging your clubs trying to hit them as far as you think you do on the course is a waste of time and a complete detrement to your golf swing. I personally use it to see how I am swinging my club with accordance to the face angle and tempo, if you think that this machine is inaccurate have someone stand behind and watch your clubpath……yup it’s pretty accurate.

The problems I have had with this system is a few minor details , like computer glitches the odd time and a few adjustments they could make but for all in all , leaving in eastern Canada under 6 feet of snow…. that machine is wicked. Dollar per dollar awesome, give it a chance, set it up in the correct sized place to be able to swing all your clubs, hit real balls, see your path. Tinker, load in your clubs specifications, adjust. In my situation , for 1500 Total, awesome , no payments to the bar to use their simulator and no watching the clock and I can already see, feel and know my swing is better…..By the way I am a four handicap, a student of the golf machine theory and love the thought of getting to have this machine for peanuts , 1 year golf membership for hours of fun in the freaking winter….wow. Oh yes, and it doesn’t expire….can only improve.

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Golfspy Matt February 9, 2011 at 10:52 pm

@mudmonkey: I did state that I tested the Optishot with all of my clubs at full length; the results were the same as they were with a choked up PW.

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Andy Greenwald February 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Thanks for the review and details. That’s what’s great about unbiased reviews. I even enjoyed reading about MudMoneky’s experience with it. The more information out there (as long as it is unbiased by advertising/influence) the better.

Just a great place to read reviews and comments. well done!

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Mike Melcho February 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I agree with mudmonkey, I have owned an Optishot for a few months now and have found it to be very accurate with my own golf game and just a few days ago I brought in a golfing friend that wanted to go to the driving range and hit some balls, so I told him to come by my house first. I had him hit balls to see just how the Optishot worked with his game. I have played golf with this person for a period of 4 years now and I know his game, and sure enough everything I expected (knowing his golf swing and game) the Optishot came thru with flying colors, an exact match to his swing, outside to in swing path, club head speed was right on, and he even realized the same thing. I am a golfer with 20 years experience now and a 6 handicap with a past of being scratch golfer. So any one not happy with their Optishot, needs to contact the mfg. and work with them to see if it might be a setup problem.

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Golfspy Matt February 9, 2011 at 10:50 pm

@mudmonkey and @Mike Melcho’s: I am glad that the Optishot has worked out well for you. I appreciate you taking the time to add your experiences to the review. I know a number of people who have been quite happy with the Optishot, as you are. I do not believe that I claimed my review to be definitive, it’s simply a summary of my experiences with the device.

My personal opinion is that $400 is not a bargain if the information is not accurate. To me, that’s equivalent to saying it’s a bargain to buy tires for your car for $20 even if the tires go flat every 20 miles. Yes, it’s a great savings over proper tires, but they still don’t really do what they’re supposed to do, so it’s no bargain at all.

I did contact the manufacturer, which I mentioned above, but I have not received any answers to the questions that I had about the system.

@mudmonkey: I did state that I tested the Optishot with all of my clubs at full length; the results were the same as they were with a choked up PW.

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Doc February 10, 2011 at 8:23 am

As others have previously stated, it’s quite refreshing to be able to read reviews/reports on here, knowing they are based completely on results obtained, rather than biased info somewhat dictated by advertisers. That being said, I’d like to raise one thought….Anyone who reads any of the major publications of our popular golf industry (ie: Golf, Golf Digest, etc) surely recognize the content seems to be constantly directed towards the “high end” consumer group…Almost all of their articles lean toward high dollar, high ticket items, whether its resorts, travel trips overseas, whatever. Now, I assume their readership includes many in that prestigous income group. Time, age, medical retirement, and economy have reduced my spare change to a point that I am not really impressed of green fees at $150.00/250.00 range., and I would bet there are many on here that if asked, would tend to agree with me. I don’t mind seeing some of the high end stuff, but just occassionally include some nice courses that we average guys can afford. I lived and played courses in central/north central Ohio (over 100 by count) and currently live (and have played over 30,by count) in SoCal, and there are many beautiful course in both locations that can be played for $25.00 to 60.00 . If the “biggies” mags won’t find and lower themselves to report on them….who will? Again, sorry, just a pet peeve….
I so much enjoy your method of publication, and frankly it is one I would pay twice the price for (don’t quote me on that!..lol)… I already bought the putter cover…
Doc (buckical)

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Golfspy Matt February 10, 2011 at 9:39 am

I received a call from Morgan at Dancin’ Dogg today. First of all, she couldn’t have been nicer and I truly appreciated the call. Her #1 concern was that I had sent them an email and had not received one in return (she actually had returned my email, but my address was wrong).

A couple of things came out of the conversation:

#1 – The Optishot does NOT claim to measure angle of attack. I was 100% in error on this. The product literature does not state that it measures angle of attack. I must have thought that I saw that on the infomercial and gotten confused. I apologize for my mistake.

#2 – Connected to #1, Dancin Dogg does recognize that the Optishot fails to accurately penalize thin shots, but they believe that it more accurately penalizes fat shots. I agree with this statement. Morgan stated that this is because the Optishot does not measure the ball, but instead measures the club face at impact (face angle, path, speed).

#3 – There is a reason for the discrepancy between swing speed when driver is selected versus PW: the Optishot has expectations about the size of the club based on the type of set you select. I can best explain it like this: if you swing a club that’s 1″ wide through the sensor and the system expects a 1″ wide club, you get an accurate reading. If you swing a 1″ wide club and the system expects a 4″ wide club, it will believe that you swung a 4″ club really really fast.

#4 – There is a new software update coming soon that will provide new graphics, new shot feedback, and new courses. You can see the info about it here:

Morgan offered to send another Optishot to me (I had already returned the previous unit) for further testing. If the results that I get with the new system are different than the ones posted above, I will be sure to make any necessary amendments.

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Rick Cheverton February 10, 2011 at 11:26 am

Wow!! What a review. It was not what I expected. I am very interested in some type of launch monitor and you just saved me $400. I appreciate your candor and thoroughness in your review. Would love to see a review on multiple monitors.

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Cal Kynard February 23, 2011 at 6:07 am

First of all I am a horrible golfer. 21+ and if I break 100, I act like I just won the Masters. That being said, I bought the optishot for a couple of reasons: I have a 10 x 26 room that I have converted into a golf simulator room, and I need the practice. I also use the SKLZ rip and grip it training aid that hits balls into Velcro mat. I used both to acutally test the optishot and get feedback. Amazingly, if I hit the shot right and it “stuck” to the mat right, the ball would go right and vice versa. I was impressed. I am also trying to work on my tempo. Currently the optishot says my tempo is about 60 – 70 mphs, which is ok for now. I want to try and keep the ball in play (that would cut at least 8 – 9 strokes off my game). Once the snow clears and the weather gets better, I will test the results. As of right now, in my opinion, the optishot is a good practice tool to prepare you for the golf course.

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Jeff from Halifax NS February 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm

You had made mention a couple of times in your review about being able to use this without using a ball at all, and I was just wondering what your thoughts on how well it worked when you swung without a golf ball to hit? Did you find the machine to react the same without the ball as it did with? Of the three options (no golf ball, foam ball provided, real ball) which do you prefer to use with this unit?

Also in your comment about talking to the manufacturer you had mentioned something of a software update, however you didn’t provide a link. Was there a link available?

Cheers

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Jasen March 22, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Been using mine since christmas. I like it and it has improved my game. Much like Cal Kynard, I am/was a pretty horrid golfer. While I agree with the review and the comments of the shot doing weird things, it should be noted that this has improved my swing 10 full. If for nothing else, it gets you out there swinging the club over and over and over. Building some comfort, and giving you an idea of what is going on.

I’m very anxious to hear about the new software update. I hope it fixes a good portion of the issues, but if not, I’ll still use it to improve my driver.

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todd April 30, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I own the OptiShot simulator, and I must say my experience has been much better than Matt’s.
I had a problem with my Driver reading correctly , and they sent me out an OptiStix (optimized for the simulator only) Driver for 5.00 s&h . I have had to tweak the clubs a little, but everytime I have emailed the Support staff ( Jon) he has answered me promptly.
He has told me OptiShot will work with Tiger Woods PGA tour 2005- 2008, but did not mention if my system ( running Windows 7 ) will run the Tiger Woods game……..
Does anybody know if it is compatible with Windows 7?

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Dale September 6, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Thanks for the great reviews and personal comments. The question I have is about the durability of the unit. It looks like it would be possible to hit the first set of sensors. If so, would this damage them. I am a new golfer with a bad habit of hit shots fat. I did the math and realized that for what I spend in about 4 months on golf, I could purchase the optishot. I am worried that myself or my children could damage it too easily. Any one have an answer?
Also, what is their return policy? Can I get a 30 day money back guaranty?

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Tim Horhota November 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm

You will want to take a look at this turf. It is guaranteed not to rip and should also protect your sensors from damage.

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JP October 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm

can the sensors be replaced if damaged, what would the cost be or do you have to buy a new simulator. Please reply. JP

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dee October 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm

does anyone know if the unit will work with the new PC EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2012??

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Sean "The Wizard" Wilson November 28, 2011 at 10:13 am

Thanks everyone for the comments. After my due diligence I have ordered the Optishot. Once I receive the unit and have a had some time utilizing I will post another comment. My goal is to have a system to make hitting balls in a net net more enjoyable and get some feedback on swing and ball striking. I am taking @mudmonkey approach, entering this with a clear understanding that this will not be the same as hitting on a course or driving range but should provide better than average feedback on swing mechanics. I am utilizing Golftec’s lessons and video analysis to better understand my swing and only see this as additional understanding of swing feel.

Question for @mudmonkey
I am starting with the hitting net and HDTV but will be going to a projector and impact screen. What HD projector do you use and what impact screen?
Does anyone know can you port to a HD projector and HDTV at the same time?

thx
Sean “The Wizard” Wilson

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Andre December 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm

So, what happened? Have you changed your opinion? :)

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Mike December 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I am a fifteen handicap so take my opinion for what it is worth. I do not agree with the review in total. Yes, the swing speed seems off and the unit failed to read what I thought was a good swing from time to time. Also, removing the tee after hitting the driver was tedious. I also damaged the unit by placing the ball to far forward on the pad and it was replaced without issue. Here is how it benefited me. I was extremely over the top and had no idea. By using the machine’s analysis I in time corrected it. I did not tell my friends I was using the optishot. However I was hitting the ball much better and scoring better. They noticed I was using a different golf ball and thought that was the reason for my improvement. I let them continue to think that , and laugh to myself as they now play the same ball. PS, I do not like the putting so the machine will automatically give a one or two putt.

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Tap III December 30, 2011 at 10:54 pm

So overall is the product worth the money. I have a daughter that plays on the golf team in high school would like to konw if this will help her game improve this winter or hurt her game from course play. Could this be the ultimate pratice tool for juinor school age golfers. I am also a middle school golf coach. Please respond. Thanks

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TheDime December 31, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Just posted opinions on recent purchase of Optishot on their Facebook page. Not pleased with it. It did “freeze” up too often. It did not register multiple swings and had us more surprised when it did register a stroke than not. In conclusion, we must have been sent the version that was broken from a previous review. Very disappointed in its performance.

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James January 5, 2012 at 11:04 pm

I have to say that I was pretty surprised at the poor review that this product received. I got this as a present from my wife and I have to admit that it is helping my swing. I had to adjust the swing speed up to my typical distance, roughly 120%. Once I did this i saw that the majority of my shots were going the distance I typically hit at the range and on the course. It also helped that I input my actual clubs and dimensions into the software. Overall, I am happy with this gift and it allows me to swing the clubs when I get home and its dark. I would definitely recommend this product. Not sure if I have an updated version but Im pretty sure it did update upon install. Great angle feedback. Just my 2 cents…

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psti January 16, 2012 at 9:03 am

Does anyone have the problem of the shot not registering when the driver is used? the Optishot will not register my swing with a driver, no problem with all otehr clubs.

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Qnub January 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

Optishot has a problem reading some drivers…depending on the design and reflective surfaces of the button of your club…for me, I use an old King Cobra knockoff club I had from the 90′s..the bottom is smooth and one colour and the optishot will read it well..my other TM drive has a lot of contours that really give some crazy readings….others have had success taping the botton of their club…usually with a stripe of white electrical tape on the leading edge and black everywhere else…this is so the IR sensors just read the white strip..good luck

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psti January 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm

thanks, just to further complicate things I have discovered that when I don’t use a ball (just swing through with a tee only) it is registering my swing every time. I will try the tape and see what happens.

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diane 17.7 March 13, 2012 at 10:21 am

I have tried Optishot and have found that in almost all my clubs and that of my playing partner that the distance is not very accurate and am wondering if we did something wrong setting it up. I usually hit my 7 iron 100 yrds, my 8 iron 90 yrs, my 9 iron 80 yrds, etc. and find that in order to get those distances with Optishot that we have to club up 2-3 clubs. Very frustrating! I was at a golfshow this weekend and demoed some drivers that had some kind of digital device measuring speed and distance which mine measured 90 clubspeed and 190 yd drive (usually I hit 170ish so I may have to buy one of those drivers) yet with the optishot most drives are only around 140-150 yd drives with around 60 clubhead speed. Once and awhile it gives me almost and over 200 hundred yd drives which I very rarely hit in real life (I wish) yet it didn’t feel like a good swing to me. Was also wondering what is a good tempo (what should I be aiming for) mine is usually around 1.6-1.8. Have also had trouble with freezing; even after several swings and different positioning of club on mat and even changing the club; this too is very frustrating. I do find that the sand shots are pretty accurate as far as getting out.

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Timmy April 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm

When i am trying to hit my normal full swing distances i found that if i put the shot selection on Power they were fairly accurate. I live in an apartment right now so i hardly ever use a ball but I’ve been pleased with the system. It might not be perfect but i played 54 holes last night and was able to manage a round of 58… (albeit with a ludicrous amount of mulligans :) ) but the fact that i was able to hone in 3-4 decent shots per hole was enough proof for me that the system works well enough for my intentions. For me the amount of fun that i have had this last week after my purchase was well worth the price tag, especially if this thing can last me a few years. now i just need to find a way to stay away from this thing till these huge blisters heal.

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Ferdinand May 25, 2012 at 11:49 am

Is there a working(better) version of optishot vs non-working?

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DP27 June 21, 2012 at 8:30 am

Based on the mixed reviews and experiences I am wondering if anyone has seen any other options at a similar price point ($200-500) that are available?

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Stargazerm August 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

It is great to read these reviews. I might be posting this too early, but how does the Optishot compare with the P3Proswing product? They seem similar but the P3proswing seems to be more expensive but has more readers. I was wondering if anyone has a comparison with the two products.

john

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Ed S November 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Overall, it has been a great practice aid to me as it gives me feedback. I know it is accurate because I can tell when I pull, slice, draw or fade the ball. The feedback on the swing plane and ball flight is VERY consistent with what I see on the course from my swing. Distances are also pretty accurate with what I see on the course, as I measure a lot of my shots using the Skycaddie SGX :)

Most of the accuracy problems noted by others seem to be related to one of two things when using irons. First, if there are ANY shadows across the sensors, (golfer, club etc.), you will tend to get some erratic readings. The sensors need consistent lighting with no shadows, (florescent works great). Second, you must be properly aligned to the target line to get accurate shot results. The majority of amateurs have alignment problems to begin with. If your swing cuts across the target line due to poor alignment, it will report inside/out or outside/in swing. Your club face may be reported open or closed as well. So, those with poor alignment are missing their targets in real golf as well as on the Optishot. Hint: If it says you have an outside/in swing, try hitting the same shot with a really flat swing plane. If it still says outside/in, you’re cutting across the target line due to bad alignment.

It is also worth noting that if you fat or top the ball on the Optishot, the MPH readings will be greatly reduced (I suspect that is because it takes the club longer to travel from the back sensor to the front sensor). Generally, whenever I get a rather low swing speed, I believe that I have fated the ball, (even slight fat seems to reduce the swing speed some thus shot distance). Occasionally, thin shots will show up at reduced swing speeds as well. Divots after contacting the ball do not seem affect the swing speed much at all.

Here are some suggestions to gain greater accuracy using the product.

1. Lighting – My system is installed in the garage. I put up thick curtains to block outside light, (infrared light from the sun will affect the Optishot sensors). I installed florescent bulbs in the overhead light. However, because the Optishot was not perfectly centered under that light, there were still shadow issues. I bought a $20 adjustable floor light and installed a 100W florescent bulb in it. I placed it so it shines down on the Optishot , (and no it does not affect the swing area and it has a shade), and wham…no more shadow issues! The erratic readings went to almost zero. Remember… ELIMNATE all sources of outside lighting (including regular light bulbs) and install consistent florescent lighting so that all shadows across the sensors are eliminated. The result after making these changes: The swing speed matches pretty closely to my Doppler radar readings. Generally, it will read within 0-4 MPH (consistently within 2 MPH)of the Doppler readings (which are accurate and I have tested it at the golf store). Occasionally, Optishot will read approximately 8-10 MPH greater, but I generally can tell when that happens, (usually when I hit an absolutely perfect shot).
2. Alignment – You should start with your club face parallel with the back sensor. Then align your feet to the target line. If you consistently get outside/in or inside/out (slice or hook) and that does not match what you consistently do on the course, check you alignment first!
3. Clubs – I recommend that if your driver produces erratic readings that you get a roll of metal repair tape. That tape is light and flexible. I put a small piece and both the toe and the heel of the bottom as both were curved quite a bit. I also cut pieces to cover the Burner “B” and the red painted design things around the bottom edges of the driver. Optishot now sees the driver much more consistently and the readings track the radar readings fairly closely. My radar readings on the driver go from about 108 to about 118 MPH. Optishot generally reads from about 105 to about 116 MPH.
4. Irons – I was able to get my 2009 Burner Irons to read MUCH more consistently by putting metal repair tape on the bottom of the irons. The tape was installed from toe to heel in 3/8″ strips from the leading eadge of the iron back. This apparently provides much better (straighter) refelctions to the sensors. I checked with Optishot tech support and they confirmed if your iron bottoms are “brushed”, (kind of dull brushed aluminum look), they may not yield consistent straight reflections. The metal repair tape apparrently makes it easier for the sensors to get the straight relections required.
5. Set Up Your Clubs – Start with a stock set of clubs and hit some iron shots. Game improvement will probably work best for most cavity back clubs. If you’re a low handicap and use blades, there are a set for those as well. Play with the clubs until you find a stock set that performs the most consistent. With my Burners, game improvement did the trick. I entered the loft, offset and club length for each and away I went.
6. Netting – Consider getting a net to hit into. I purchased the Calloway 6×7 hitting net for about $70. That works wonderfully using the Almost Golf Balls. I would recommend you grabbing a box. They are rated at about 1/3 the distance of real balls and will not break anything. They are really durable. You get a sufficient feel from them to tell if you hit them on the sweet spot, toe or heel. You may get a flat spot or two on them, but that will not affect your Optishot results.
7. Hitting Mat – Be sure you get a hitting mat designed for the Optishot. You can order a decent one from Amazone for about $180.

Hope this helps you out and have fun with your new Optishot…I have had a blast and play almost daily (sometimes hitting 300-400 balls a day…lol). I have made my swing a lot more consistent with the feedback I gain from the Optishot. I am looking forward to seeing the results next golf season from the daily practice I put in using Optishot!

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Warren Palmer December 30, 2012 at 12:00 am

I got home from Hawaii this fall and decided to do something about my golf game. I purchased the opti-shot and set up a full impact screen and booth with an overhead, short throw projector in my shop that has a 9″-2″ ceiling height. I am 5″-10″ and have plenty of swing room with this configuration. I have multiple, overhead, fluorescent fixtures that I can adjust to optimize my lighting conditions. Mine projects an imagine 10′ wide by 61/2′ tall. If you use a projector, it is important to purchase one with at least 2500 lumens to get good screen contrast. My shop floor has a short, 1′ wide x 3′ long, recessed trench drain that allowed me to build an insert into this recess to contain the sensor pad and make it flush with the 12′ x 12′ piece of putting green carpet that completely covers the floor of my booth. I cut a hole in the center of the carpet, 9′ from my screen, for the sensor pad and that way my left-handed brother is able to use it also. I actually built a “stimp” meter and determined my carpet to be a 9.5. This equated precisely to a moderately slow green speed in the “settings and environment” portion of the set-up menu. I have put thousands of real balls across this pad (some of them were pretty wild) and I’m here to tell you that this thing can take a beating! It is true that the machine gets confused sometimes when you put a wild swing across it, but for the most part it is pretty darn consistent. It cannot sense the height of your club at impact but I find that I can tell by where my ball impacts the screen whether it was a good contact or not. By using all of the provided shot data, I have been able to radically improve my swing (according to the device), and have improved my game from the mid 90′s to my first, below scratch, game today! I live in Alaska, so this is the best I can hope for in the winter months. I can’t wait to see how this all translates to the real course this summer. I’ve found the small, arial view of each hole to be quite helpful for planning your strategy, once you have a good handle on your club choices, since it has a built-in range finding feature. Finally, I retrieved some formulas for converting club head speed to ball speed and took this info to our local golf shop’s high dollar simulator. The two were totally consistent with each other, both the irons and the drivers. To be perfectly honest, I liked the opti-shot system much better, especially the putting arrangement. Best of all, it doesn’t cost $30 per hour to use and you can enjoy it in the comfort of your home. If you get one, take the time to set it up properly and I think you will thoroughly enjoy the experience.

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Eddie March 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I have purchased the opti shot simulator and find it to be a fairly effective learning tool. The swing speed is not realistic. I never hit the ball 290 to 300 yards. However I did notice that a lot of my shots were slicing and not going very far with my 7 iron. 130 yards. At the range and and on the course my seven iron ranges between 150 and 170 yards depending how I work the ball. At first I couldn’t understand what was going on. The simulator was saying I was going straight through the ball but I was still slicing. It did tell me the club face was open at impact but my swing felt normal. After adjusting my stance both open and closed to compensate and still getting a push or slice result I realized I wasn’t rolling my hands over enough at impact. Once I made this little adjustment with my hands at impact the ball traveled straight or with a slight draw at the distance close to what I normally hit the ball. I hope that when I get to the driving range I don’t find myself hooking the ball from rolling my hands over too much. We’ll see. Great tool for eliminating the boredom of just hitting into a net. BTW I’m a 10 handicap.

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tom January 26, 2014 at 7:08 pm

A year ago I purchased the golf simulator with projector and screen, after a year i have had problems with distance and simulator picking up the swing now i can’t use a driver at all. I bought a new mat, thought that might help, it didn’t. Hope someone can help get this straightened out! Not happy now, but i was enjoying it most of the year.

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Tom Caron November 27, 2014 at 10:33 am

I am and early user of optishot and believe it is the best virtual option for the money. I use an HD projector to a 10 x 10 impact screen with full surround pad for the unit.
If the game has you hitting the ball too far then adjust your club set. The game like allof these simulators requires some setup to give you the best feedback and results. I have never had a problem regerting my club swing with my clubs. The best news is that the compant is still around and continues to support their product with updates, i.e. Optishot 2 and online play.
Very happy optishot owner here!
Tom C – Boston,MA

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