At SES we are frequently asked by our customers 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 we carry 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 offers a complete lineup of golf simulators ranging from $8,000 to upwards of $80,000+. The structures are really where the differences lay. The Vista Series is smaller and portable and more suited for residential use. The Signature and Premium are built 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 Vista models typically do not.
Trugolf offers two levels of software: E6 Connect and E6 Golf 1.6. Almost all of the models now come standard with E6 Connect, which is commonly regarded as the best simulator software on the market. This software offers more than 90 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 TruTrac2. The technology is a combination of infrared sensors and microphones. It is offered on all of the models and is easy to use and very reliable. Works great for both right and left handed golfers, simple to maintain and easy to replace if the hitting pad wears out.
Trugolf's Vista Series offers 3 different models all of them come standard with the latest E6 software and the ability to add E6 Connect subscriptions. The Vista 12 is the largest of the new models offers a "full size" footprint while still being portable, and starting 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.
Foresight offers a product called the GC2. The GC2 is first and foremost a launch monitor with the capability to integrate into a 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 around $7,000 for just the launch monitor 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 ok 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 with a hefty upgrade 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 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 in past years.
The Elite is a multi-sport platform with an excellent golf simulation. With this system you get much more of a wide ranging entertaining experience with the multiple sports included. 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.
The Elite is "all on board" offering E6 1.6 software on their golf simulators. They have added an overhead tracking system. 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. These new 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.
Note these are generalities...
When someone is looking for a great golf simulator with towards entertainment and game improvement capabilities we suggest Trugolf. And when someone is looking for a well-rounded sports simulator that is entertainment focused we’ll steer them towards the Elite system.
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.