Today’s golf simulators are nothing like the early ones

Today’s golf simulators are nothing like the early ones

Since the 1970s, golf simulators have given avid golfers the benefit of practicing and perfecting their game regardless of the weather. Added kudos goes to the game developers, software engineers and golfers who’ve refined the golf simulator concept during more than a quarter-century into what is now: a sophisticated piece of technological hardware and software.

From the days of Jack Nicklaus through to Tiger Woods, basic golf simulators had to morph many technological developments to become more sophisticated systems. In the early days, they were nor recognised as helpful tools for golf training. Instead, they were considered just novelties or toys.

But the technology has upgraded exponentially since then. Consider how much the telephone has progressed into what it is today … And the same thing applies to golf simulators.

Years ago, the old golfing systems projected grainy pictures of golf courses on the screen for golfers to whack balls into. Once contact was made between the golf club and ball, the golf simulator measured the time it took for the ball to fly between two spots. With some calculations, the device would then decide how far the golfer would have hit the ball; and the simulator would move them, virtually of course, to their next location on the simulated golf course.

Years passed, golf simulations had a another appearance - a more pixelated Nintendo version of the golf game. Its fairways were green strips peppered with yellow and blue geometric shapes that represented bunkers and water hazards. Dictating where the ball went didn’t much improve either.

Today, we don’t cope with lame golf course re-creations. Instead, players walk into to the golf simulator’s immersive 3D environment, complete with software that allows players to choose what time of day they are playing and what the climate and weather is for that day.

Modern golf simulators measure much more than just the golf ball’s flight between two measuring points. Some golfing simulators are even equipped with cutting-edge camera technology that takes 2,000 pictures-per-second, which allows them to calculate the actual ballistics of the golf ball.

Developers have spent years collecting data from golf players’ swings and golf ball flight. This helps to ensure that there is no shot a golf simulator cannot recognize. These incredible machines measure the velocity, trajectory and direction of the ball with such accuracy that you can actually watch the virtual version fly through the air and land on the 3D screen exactly where it would in real life.

And golfing simulators are no longer restricted to supplying one golf course to their users. From the United States to Abu Dhabi, players have the chance to play nearly anywhere. Every course offered has been painstakingly redone to be precisely like the real one, so that any digital lean of the green is precisely like the real green. The system’s software also regulates the ball’s collision to real-life specifications, so hitting a tree won’t yield similar results as hitting a rock.

The truth is, the shortcomings of your dad’s golf simulator might have been hurting his game rather than bettering it. A swing that delivered long yardage in an 1980’s simulator might actually yield a ghastly hook in today’s more-realistic golf simulators. Also, the old simulators failed to factor in the weather. Any good golfer knows that a ball’s trajectory and speed can differ from the wind’s direction and gust.

Today, golfers can practice better indoors in the winter season. Golf simulation is becoming more life like, and for the better. It allows players to better pin-point their problems. Golfers aren’t mindlessly smashing golf balls against a screen. Check out this virtual reality for yourself and see how years of evolution can benefit your game.

If you’re searching for a new source of entertainment, golf simulation is a fantastic way to get off the couch and improve your golf game. Find out what a home golf simulator can do for you.

Image via Wikipedia.

Authored by: Richard Lee

Richard has been traveling since he took a year off from college, where he was doing a BA in Journalism. He traveled half the world, backpacking with his girlfriend (now his wife). They spent time in South America, Asia, Greece and much of Europe. After writing about his experiences for several airline and travel magazines, he never went back to college.