At SES we are frequently asked by our customer to give them a quick overview of the golf simulators that we carry. Often knowing a few pieces of key information about a product can really help to steer a customer in the right direction. So we thought it would be a good idea for us to come up with some highlights and quick pros and cons of the simulators we carry. But just to be clear to those who read this... there will be some favoritism with the products we carry. This is not some long case study, by an independent panel; these nuggets of information were put together by the staff at SES, whose job it is to find the best product for our customers. we sincerely hope you find these simulator reviews to be useful as you're learning more about the world of sports simulation.
Thank you, Todd Mallon - President, Sports Entertainment Specialists, Inc..
Please note: All of these simulators listed below can be customized, modified and offer many of the same exciting add-on accessories. For the purpose of this review we’ll set those similarities aside. If you are interested in these topics please check out our blog or contact a member of our sales staff.
TruGolf Simulator Review
Trugolf offers a complete lineup of golf simulators ranging from $8,000 to upwards of $60,000+. The structures are really where the differences lay. The Technique series is smaller and portable built for residential and commercial use. The Signature and Premium are built more for commercial use but also work well in some high-end residential applications. These two structures are designed for permanent installations and do require professional installation (which we can provide) where the Technique models typically do not.
Trugolf offers two levels of software: E6 and E6lite. All of the models except for the Personal come standard with E6, which is regarded as one of the best simulator software on the market. E6 offers more than 80 courses, full practice range, competition modes and lots of player options. Dynamic graphics and real physics provide the most realistic 3D imagery and gameplay available. A great feature of the software is the “Post Swing Analyzer” (PSA), standard on all models. The PSA gives you easy to read feedback after every shot and gives you BOTH club head data as well as ball flight data. Not many simulators on the market today offer this level of analysis standard.
The sensor technology for Trugolf’s simulators is called TruTrac. The technology is a combination of infrared sensors and microphones. It is offered on all of the models and is easy to use and reads a very high percentage of shots (97%+). Works great for both right and left handed golfers, simple to maintain and easy to replace if the hitting pad wears out.
TruGolf Update! New for 2016:
Trugolf has launched their new Vista Series. Which offers 3 different models all of them come standard with the upgraded 1.6 E6 software. The Vista 12 is the largest of the new models and offers a great footprint (size) while still being portable, great 1.6 software and starts under 20K. Also available for the price conscious customers there is the Vista 8 Personal, which features E6 software and you supply the computer. The biggest difference we noticed with the new Vista line are the new screens. The screens lay flat so no more wrinkled screens (or very little) and much quieter impact over their predecessor; the Technique Line.
- Top of the line software
- Great for residential and commercial use
- Easy to understand Post Swing Analyzer
- Many models to choose from
- Better suited for entertainment
- Great warranty on the Signature and Premium
- Low cost to replace consumables (hitting pad, light bulb and screen)
- Is required to be used indoors
- Not ideal for club fitting
Foresight GC2 Simulator Review
Foresight offers a product called the GC2. The GC2 is first and foremost a launch monitor with the capability to integrate into a full-immersion, projection-based simulator. The GC2 acts as the engine for a Foresight simulator. The idea behind this product is to start with the base GC2 and build your perfect setup from there. The GC2 starts at just under $7,000 and can go up to around $40,000 for a complete setup. Structure options are pretty limited, but if you’re already using it as a launch monitor your choices are much better.
The software for the GC2 real breaks down into two categories: Club Fitting and Golf simulation. The club fitting software is awesome; it truly is second to none. Great for a single user or the entire clubhouse, it tracks and stores data easily and is perfect for all you pros and club fitters out there. The Simulation software is solid with two distinct options: Performance Simulation with over 80 courses and Creative Golf 3D which offers over 50 courses and another 19 entertainment/practice scenes. These two software options can both be added to a system for the golfer looking for training and fun.
A GC2 uses a stereoscopic camera to lock onto the dimple pattern of the golf ball, so it’s extremely accurate (99%+). Works great indoors or out. Foresight offers apps in both the Apple and Android markets for flexible data gathering. The GC2 by itself only gives you ball flight data, but have no fear you can add the HMT to give you club head data at the same level of accuracy. Accurate enough for many touring professionals to use!
Foresight 2016 Update!
Foresight continues to roll out courses of their FSX software, with a course library topping out around 55. The new base software packages includes 5 courses compared to just 1 last year.
- Ultra-portable (the GC2 is smaller than a shoe box)
- Very accurate
- Works great outdoors
- Perfect for someone looking to have a launch monitor with a simulator option for winter
- Great for club fitting
- Fairly expensive to get a decent simulation setup (problem addressed with Sport Xp Golf above)
- Relatively cumbersome for switching between right and left handed golfers
- HMT requires sensor markers to be placed on your club face
Visual Sports Simulator Review
Visual Sports is a company that offers their golf software and simulation on a multi-sport platform. This manufacturer offers three models which come standard with their golf software, the VS12G, VS14 and Elite. With these systems you get much more of an entertaining experience and less of traditional game improvement. This is the perfect family sports simulator, where dad can have his golf and the kids can play the other sports. Because this appeals to more than just golfers, this simulator is a perfect fit for commercial settings like family activity centers game rooms and also trade shows. Very popular in the international market (probably because of the soccer program) the models are portable and relatively inexpensive.
Visual Sports 2016 Update!
Visual Sports is "all on board" offering E6 1.6 software on their golf simulators. They have added an overhead tracking system called SwingTrack. This provides video playback of the ball at the point of impact, which is great for checking the face angle of your club face at impact. The new SwingTrack cameras boast a full and comprehensive analysis of your swing. With 600 fps, it has the fastest frame rate on the market for an overhead camera sensor. This camera system captures your club data, including path, face-angle, and point of impact in real-time, as well as allowing for post-shot playback to view your swing with meticulous detail. With the interface with E6 Golf’s post-shot analysis, you won’t miss a single point of vital swing data.
- More sports equals more fun for a wider audience
- Easy to setup and use
- Great commercial benefits
- Good for right and left handed golfers (depending on the hitting pad you choose)
- Better for indoor use but can be used outdoors (in a tent)
- Golf software is great with E6 but full swing analysis with Swing Track limits your dimensions to a minimum width of 14’ and 10’ height
- Additional courses are fairly expensive
- Assembly can be a little tricky the first time (but we’re happy to help if you need us)
A Quick Recap
Note these are generalities...
When someone is looking for a great indoor golf simulator leaning more towards entertainment we suggest Trugolf. When someone is more focused on game improvement or needs to use the system outdoors, we recommend Foresight. And when someone is looking for a well-rounded simulator that is entertainment focused we’ll steer them towards a Visual Sports model.
At SES we truly strive to match up our customer’s needs with the products we feel are the best on the market. We are always evaluating new products and if we find a new golf simulator that meets our standards we’ll add it to our list of reviews. If you have any questions about these products please feel free to contact us at your convenience we are always happy to hear from you.
The SES Staff
Please note: This article is written only to help inform potential customers. In no way does Sports Entertainment Specialists, Inc. or its agents, guarantee or warrant any claims in this article. All customers are encouraged to do their own research and create their own business plan.