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  • Accuracy

    This is my second winter (I live in upstate NY) with the Optishot, just added a projector and use Almost Golf balls as real ones make me nervous in the garage. My question is that I would really like to have the time spent helping my real golf swing. I know the distances can be inconsistent with Optishot but that's not a big deal to me. More important is swing path, face contact location and face angle as that I believe will help me more in lowering my score next year. I'm a 17 handicap and hoping to get under 15 next year. I'm curious as to the consensus of the Optishot improving my game, as some say it's just a toy and won't help. Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated, I'm having trouble rationalizing The $1600 sale price of Skytrak, also research indicates it's not good with Almost Golf balls.

    Thanks to all & Merry Christmas

  • #2
    Hi Zeekio. I've had my Optishot for nearly 4 year now and I can say that it can be very accurate and very good for game improvement but let me add that I've only been playing golf about 4 years. However I'm also a physicist, computer geek, and an EE and love sim golf. Unlike other sim systems, Opti is a fixed tee system, so your stance has to work around that fact. Your swing travels through an imaginary box, so your optishot if you tthink about it, is like an alignment tool for your stance. There are two rows of IR led emitter/receiver pairs. The first row that your club passes through is the trigger and measures the entry point of your club face. The second row is the exit point of the box but also measures club face angle. The entry and exit points measure the club swing path very accurately (to about +/-2%), the outside-to-inside, inside-to-outside and on-plane are what will really improve your game. When your on-plane, you will not fade or draw the ball. Then there is the face angle which is the measure of club face to the exit row of LEDs (open face or close face). Then, of course, there is the club head speed from the entry time vs exit time. All of those parameters are mixed together and when the numbers are crunched, you get your ball flight simulation. According to Optishot they are accurate to the following;

    CLUB-HEAD SPEED - +/- 2.0 MPH
    FACE ANGLE - +/- 1.5 DEGREES
    SWING PATH - +/- 1.9 DEGREES

    Which is not bad. That said, Optishot has only one tee; but on your iron shots, I've found it works a litter better to move the ball forward from the tee an inch or two. It seems to reduce miss reads for me. Because Optishot raises the tee (and ball) about an inch off the ground, people like to buy mats that fix that and level out the surface. I really like them. I have an Ultimat on mine (but after two years of abuse it's not the best condition specifically if you divet with your irons).

    Putting is completely different. It only relies on the exit row of leds as best as I can tell. It seems to be OK on accuracy, but when playing it can be trickiest to get right. It will ruin a good handicap. There are some youtube videos that show how to putt with Optishot and it takes a while to master. In 10ft I'm almost 100% but outside of 20ft, it's rare to sink it first try.

    The game itself has good. All of the courses are replica's of the real thing and play like them with the notable exception that you never lose a ball, and of your in the rough, bump the club up (pick a 4 iron, instead of the recommended 5). Also in sand traps near the green, it will almost always play as a pitch-n-run. There's no way to do a flop as best as I can tell.

    Lastly don't let the LEDs fool you. They are very accurate with face angles swing path and the like. As accurate as any. But the LEDs can be fooled with reflections from the clubs causing mis-reads (specifically with dazzelly drivers and wood/hybrid bottoms) and so you may need to tape drivers. Hunt around for black duct tape and white duct tape and cut the shape to fit. Chances are you won't need to do your irons. If you have some really fancy clubs that your don't want to tape, you may want to find some used clubs that your you can treat and abuse. Those are my tips. Have fun and look me up; Handle is 'CB' on Opti. And merry christmas to all likewise.


    • #3
      I had optishot for 2 years and have since upgraded to skytrak this offseason. As far as comparison, in my opinion, there is none. Skytrak is an affordable launch monitor that gives accurate ball data and flight. Opti shot, as you know, reads club data and then calculates a probable outcome. Skytrak thus far has been the best purchase I have made to improve my game. The simulation softwares (TGC, etc) are entertaining, but the range on skytrak is where the improvement is made. As for optishot, I wouldn't say its a toy, but short of swinging a club, staying flexible, grooving a routine and focus, I don't see it improving anyones game. The reason in my opinion is as follows: The hitting surface is so hard and in no way mimics real course turf (with skytrak you can choose the mat of your choice). With optishot the yardages can be altered (increasing percentage for each club) to give you a distance you believe you hit the ball. Everyone believes they hit the ball further than they really do. Skytrak is fantastic for putting ones ego in check. Optishot in my experience was wildly inaccurate with driver, fairway woods and hybrids if not taped properly. I also do not believe hitting almost golf balls is beneficial and believe me I understand the apprehension of hitting real balls in an enclosed space. Optishot as you probably have experienced is finicky unless the lighting is perfect. Bottom line in my opinion, everytime you pick up a club and swing its more beneficial than not and in my case optishot served its purpose at a very low price point but nothing compares to hitting gamer balls on a realistic turf with instant accurate ball data (skytrak, GC2, etc). If it works for you and you enjoy it that's what is important. Unfortunately all the issues mentioned above just became a hassle and was not enjoyable for me. If you can afford it , you will not be disappointed with skytrak, but I would not upgrade unless you plan on hitting real balls


      • #4
        I had the Optishot 2 for many years. I upgraded to the Jagmanjoe turf as soon as it was available. It was good for my needs at the time but I have just bought the Skytrak and I feel like I should have done it sooner. IMO, it is just so much better to be able to grab a club and swing. No having to change the club on screen, no taping, no messing with lights. My kids were never able to use the Optishot but they love the Skytrak. I say go for it if you are willing to hit real balls.


        • #5
          Yeah. I'm sure skytrak does everything; but Skytrak costs $1844 (amazon) for the launch monitor and driving range software, were as Optishot is $325 (amazon) and is complete with driving range and 16 replica courses. Some people can afford Callaway Irons, others can only afford Willsons. With Skytrak vs Optishot that is an important difference and how they work is completely different. Obviously you have to direct the shape of your stance to Optishot, which is something you don't have to do with Skytrak, but that ihey completely different systems. If Skytrak was priced in the >$500 then it's fair nit-pick. but with Skytrak if you want to play a game, you need to add on Another $1600 for TGC (uhhgggg) or $1800 for E6 (+$2500 for E6 Connect). So with skytrak your investment is in the $3000 range just to do what Optishot does for $350. (Or R-motion or Tittle-X does for less than $299).

          But I will agree with one thing; I think I like the technology of a ball tracker if they can only be made more affordable and marketed and bundled with good fun to use software.


          • #6
            Where are you seeing $1600 for TGC? Skytrak currently is on sale for $1700 and TGC is $800 through St, still a big difference, but your numbers are off. Also, ST offers other software bundles for less as well.


            • #7
              It's splitting hairs, but the point I'm making is simulation software and simulators are expensive. While I'm jumping on Skytrak; a good GC2 setup is close to $6000, so a Skytrak is cheap in comparison to that. It's all relative based on what you can afford and your needs. For me, I love sims that provide me with stress relief (I want to have fun and be challenged). So while I want Skytrak and GC2 accuracy, I don't want to think about the car payment(s) I'll miss because of it.

              You're probably right though on the price of TGC for simulators. It probably is less than $1600 and more in the $899 range. Still your not paying for the 'game' TGC; that sells for $29 on Steam; your paying for the middleware that connects your Skytrak (or whatever sim) to TGC (a 3-star piece of software according to Steam reviewers). So you need to look at it from the point of view of what *value* are you getting for your investment? When the IOT makes devices so inexpensive but with accuracies surpassing optical, you can imagine that there will be push-back from golf sim world because of the financial impact. When you look at what Dancing Dog did with Optishot, not only did he design the middleware, they also designed their own game and with an entry price affordable to all the guys with a car payment.


              • triplebogeysrbetter
                Editing a comment
                Your splitting hairs? You saying wrong information.

                Review your facts first.
                “It's splitting hairs, but the point I'm making is simulation software and simulators are expensive.”

                Again TGC isn’t 1600.

            • #8
              While Optishot may not provide the accuracy of the more expensive golf simulators on the market, it can and will improve your game. I am living proof. When I purchased my Optishot three years ago, I struggled with a bad slice, had a difficult time hitting greens, and shot in the high 80's. With the Optishot, I focused solely on my iron accuracy (I don't hit my driver on it) looking at my swing path and clubface angle specifically. i worked on a few drills using the Optishot and focused on having my swing path inside and my face angle more closed. Now I hit a nice draw. I was able to start to break 80 for the first time in years and got my first hole in one this year. I have never taken a lesson but hit on my Optishot almost everyday. If you are interested I will send you some links to articles I have written on about how to improve using the Optishot.

              With that said, It really depends on your budget. If you can afford the more expensive systems by all means go for it but if you are like me and just want to play and improve without breaking the bank then the Optishot is a good option. I do suggest getting a short throw projector if possible and the thicker turf.


              • #9
                Nice website golfallyear! Another worthy option for comparison is the R-Motion system. I have owned my Optishot for a few years. However, I am now using the R-Motion/TGC combo exclusively.

                The R-Motion currently costs $199. That comes with 15 courses. If you want to spring for the full version of TGC, online play and the TGC tournaments, it is an additional $499. So, $700 gives you the full system. This is pretty competitively priced with Optishot.


                • #10
                  Thanks to everyone for the great information, I'm frankly humbled by the time and efforts of your replies.

                  Golfallyear, any info you are willing to share related to using the optishot for game improvement would be greatly appreciated . I'm actually trying to accomplish what you seem to have which is develop a consistent draw .

                  I just installed the Jagmanjoe turf and have noticed some improvement in consistentcy vs the homemade one I made .

                  I'm going to stick with what I have for this year at least as it appears when all is said and done the upgrade to Skytrak is going to exceed $2k, just not something I can rationalize.

                  Thanks again and Merry Christmas

                  - Zeke


                  • #11
                    I love your website Golfallyear. I think I finally understand tempo with Optishot now. So you taught this old dog a trick on that one. I agree with you on the sand traps close to the green. The game designers got lazy there I think. On sand traps it always does a hard chip-n-run; if your too soft on the chip, you won't get out of the trap, but too hard and it will be on the opposite side of the green. If you hit the green it runs. So yeah, green bunkers are not useful and I really don't understand the game designers ideas on that except that it may have been too complex to model and that was their compromise.

                    Putting is modeled pretty well. If you ever wondered how accurate the Optishot measures face angle, all you need to do is try putting. My tip on that is to move the ball forward an inch from the tee, (about an inch from the front LEDs) and simply ignore the back row of LEDs. Just align the putter face with the LEDs for a straight shot, and the position your stance around your ball as you would putting on a green. However reading the greens is like you say; worthless mind clutter. I think the game designer's intent was to show the balls moving under gravity if left to roll on a straight line, so with the grid of balls all moving, you can see how the ball moves for a 1yrd by 1yrd square. So with some practice, you can almost get a feel for it. But if you want a game of pure frustration, play 'fast' greens without a 'gimme' distance. If you're playing the tours, putting can make or break you handicap which determines the class your in, and the tee off location.

                    There is a good tutorial on Optishot putting on Youtube; Search 'Optishot putting tutorial'. Putting 101, 102 and 103. For realistic putting, don't use the arrow keys to adjust, use your stance and putter face angle relative front LEDs to make the shot.

                    Have fun and best holiday wishes to all.



                    • #12
                      Anyone interested in starting an Optishot league using the peer to peer games? We would pick a course and play online. I could then post the scores on my website at the end of the week (including standings etc). Winner gets to pick the course for the next week or something like that. Rules would need to be agreed upon. I joined the Optishot Tour but it really is not what Im looking for. I need some competition for the holiday break lol. Send me a message if interested or post here.


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by golfallyear View Post
                        Anyone interested in starting an Optishot league using the peer to peer games?
                        Sure. I'll join you. Do we just setup a Date and time and course. How would you like to handle any timezone differences?


                        • #14
                          Great...I would like it to be live so we would need to agree on a day and time to play (if it is not live no big deal but i think it would be pretty cool to all play at the same time). At one point I put together a 12 event tour based on the real PGA tour events. I set up each event with the Optishot equivalent course (see below). We could use that schedule if we wanted, we would just need to agree on a time and day to play (I am PST). I think 4 to 8 players would be best. We would also need to agree on the settings but lets see if we can get a couple more players before we discuss the rules.

                          Anyone else interested or have ideas please let me know. I really think it could be fun.
                          Event Schedule

                          1 Safeway Open Palm Desert (Mountain) 500
                          2 World Golf Championship Black Mountain (Thailand) 550
                          3 Sentry Tournament of Champions West Maui (Plantation) 500
                          4 Farmers Insurance Open Torrey Pines (North) 500
                          5 Waste Management Phoenix Open The Golf Club At Scottsdale 500
                          6 Sony Open West Maui (Plantation) 500
                          7 Masters Barsesback Golf Club 600
                          8 Honda Classic Warrick Hills 500
                          9 US Open Torrey Pines (South) 600
                          10 Canadian Open The Canadian Club 500
                          11 PGA Championship Long Island Black 600
                          12 BMW Championship Twisted Twig 2000


                          • Chuck
                            Chuck commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Looks good. I like your selection of courses. Since the timezone is going to be at minimum a 5-hour spread, and more for some, if we avoid the intersect with work hours and figure about 2hrs/match, how about 5 pm/EDT on Sat or Sun for tee-off? Also, I think we would need to change course for the first three; I don't recognize them as standard courses (correct me if I'm wrong).
                            Last edited by Chuck; 12-28-2018, 04:57 AM.

                        • #15
                          Lets plan on say 7pm EDT on Saturday (this gives me time to watch my kids play sports on Saturday). All the courses are from the 15 that come with Optishot (I created them before I joined the Mini Tour). How about a setting of 5 foot gimme putts. Do we want to use Handicap?

                          I found this on the forum for Optishot Tournment settings. Do we want to use these settings?
                          Ball Settings

                          1. Players MUST set the ball type to the actual ball they are physically hitting. Players are to hit either a Real ball or Foam ball if their setup allows, due to unreliable data from the No Ball setting.

                          Clubset Settings

                          1. Players Driver settings MUST be set the to following, dependant on the ball and turf type they are using.

                          a. Real Ball, Stock Turf - 100% Speed, 88% Distance.............

                          b. Real Ball, Thick Turf - 100% Speed 88% Distance...............

                          c. Foam Ball, Stock Turf - 93% Speed, 88% Distance.............

                          d. Foam Ball, Thick Turf - 100% Speed, 88% Distance... Note May need to tee lower to get accurate swing speed.

                          e. No Ball Setting - 100% Speed 88% Distance ......................

                          2. Players MUST set the Loft and Offset Setting of all clubs to the loft of the club they are physically hitting

                          3. If using a 3 wood instead of Driver due to Height Restrictions Use Identical settings to those you would normally use as per your ball and turf setup above.

                          4. 3 wood and 5 wood MUST NOT exceed Speed 100% Distance 100% . Players can always adjust lower.

                          5. Players Irons MUST be set to achieve real world distances and both Speed% and Distance % settings may be altered up or down to achieve the correct distances.

                          6. Players may set the Putter Speed % Setting between 80% and 100% to reflect there real life Putting stroke. The Distance % MUST remain at 100%
                          When Putting, players MUST hit either a real or foam ball, unless using the No Ball Setting for the whole round.

                          7. Players MUST NOT carry out any adjustments to any Clubset Settings during a round.


                          • Chuck
                            Chuck commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I have one question golfallyear. It took me a while to find the %distnace in the club settings. Is there a reason why distance is 88%?