OptiShot has been around for while. Almost everyone is familiar with the OptiShot2 simulator, which uses high-speed 48MHz infrared sensors to measures the club head and, with the help of some magic/science, calculates your ball flight.
And for only $300, you can have you our own home simulator and play some fantasy golf courses that might be loosely based on some noteworthy tracks (for example, Long Island Black).
The biggest flaw with OptiShot2 was its accuracy. Because it doesn’t measure the golf ball, more avid golfers were frustrated that the OptiShot2 wouldn’t always give the most accurate readings (although, everyone appreciates the occasional 350 yard drive).
In addition to the OptiShot2, OptiShot debuted the PURE system at the PGA Show earlier this year. While a bit more pricey than the OptiShot2 ($625), the PURE is a putter dedicated system that, with the use of a high speed camera, captures ball distance and direction and club and face angle.
Yes, this might cost a little more than a PuttOut, the PURE is a steal when you compare it to another camera-based putter simulator: the Foresight GC Quad.
BUT OptiShot seems to have let their newest release fly under the radar. Enter the BallFlight.
The BallFlight uses three ball-tracking technologies—camera, radar, and infrared camera triggering—to provide a very comprehensive simulator system that might have the industry leaders (Trackman and Foresight) looking over their shoulders.
Like the higher end systems, BallFlight will be able to provide users with data on total and carry distance, ball speed and spin rates, horizontal and vertical launch angles, and club head speed. Furthermore, you can get all of this data regardless of whether you’re using BallFlight indoors or outdoors, and with every club in your bag, from driver to putter.
And here’s the best part… the BallFlight is only $6,000 (or available in monthly payments as low as $195).
Yes, there’s no denying that the BallFlight is more expensive than the OptiShot2 and the more established SkyTrak Launch Monitor (which is only a high speed cameras system). But then again, the BallFlight also comes with game software, driving range, full video data display, free software upgrades, carrying case, USB connection cable, and a one-year warranty.
But it yet remains to be seen how the BallFlight will compare against the Trackman and Foresight GC Quad, which both retail in the $20,000-area. In fact, the biggest separating data point between the two systems in club-head data (e.g., swing path, face angle, angle of attack). But is that really worth an extra ~$15,000?!
In addition, it can’t be that long until OptiShot, SkyTrak, or another manufacturer comes along and develops an affordable simulator that also gives you those data points.
Bottom line, I might have an idea what I want for Christmas this year.
While it’ll be interesting to see how the BallFlight stacks up as it gets into users hands, this is great news. Ultimately, as technology and software becomes more accessible (and affordable), amateur golfers can anticipate that a higher-end home simulator might finally become something that doesn’t require you to put a lien on your house or put one of your kidneys on eBay.
Cover Image via Instagram
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