If you want to get better at golf, you better practice and you had better hit the driving range. But which range? The driving range simulator or the real one? Well, I can tell you that once you hit on a driving range simulator, you wont ever want to leave your home to practice. I understand that watching your ball fly out into the open air is fun but is it really helping you improve? Because that what a range is meant to do. The simulator driving range on the other hand will get you better and you will feel more ready for the course than ever before. I found that there are 5 reasons why the simulator driving range wins in the battle of practice facilities: time, money, feedback, real holes and more practice.
Driving Range Simulator
What is a Driving Range Simulator?
A golf simulator driving range is a virtual world where you can hit real golf balls into a net or screen and watch the ball flight graphically. The simulator will then give you feedback on your swing. The simulator can be setup in your home and you can practice using it every day of the week.
Believe it or not but the average golfer spends over $2,500 on golf related expenses. That is a lot of dough for golf. So, as an average golfer I am looking for ways to save money on golf any way I can. The driving range simulator does just that. No longer do I have to spend $12 on a bucket of balls. I can hit everyday on my Optishot Golf Simulator and not spend nowhere near the cost of hitting everyday at the real range (12 x 365 days = $4380). Let alone the cost of all the food, drink and other attractive purchases I might find at the range.
My Optishot cost $300 and from there I was able to build a great simulator room for just over $1000 with no extra spending. That is a huge savings on golf. Golf is expensive as is, so why pay to practice when you can have a simulated driving range in your right in your home.
What is more valuable in your life then having more time to spend with your family or friends? The simulator driving range saves you time. No longer do you need to get in the car and drive to the nearest range. The range is in YOUR HOME. You can hit balls anytime you like. I prefer to hit when my kids are in bed and i have the whole rest of the evening to hit golf balls. I would never get in my car and leave my home to go to the real range during this time. Hit balls before work without or on your own schedule. In fact, last year I was able to find the time to hit over 5,000 balls on my Optishot and still work, coach and raise two wonderful kids. The time you will save by having a golf simulator in your home is priceless.
If you want to get more consistent hitting the ball than the simulator driving range is the way to go.
At most driving ranges you go to the process is:
Hit the ball
See how far it goes (which can be very difficult to get accurate)
Try to figure out what happened in your swing (guessing on the issue)
Hit another ball
This is NOT an effective way to improve your swing and this is the sole reason you go to the range….to get better. You miss out the important information that a driving range simulator gives you such as:
What was my actual distance?
Was my swing on plane?
What was my clubface doing at impact?
Was my tempo too fast?
Did I make contact with the middle of my club?
This type of feedback will help you diagnose your swing problems allowing for you to easily correct it. You will have a record of each shot and can get averages for all your clubs. Find out how far on average you hit your 5 iron or 9 iron for example. This is feedback you can take directly to the course and get use out of. Why spend $15 a bucket to come away with a feeling you hit poorly when you can get all the stats you need to KNOW to improve when you do hit poorly?
#4 Challenge Yourself
Another reason to use a golf simulator for your practice sessions is that you can use the built-in challenges to get yourself better. In order to get better at any activity you need to be able to challenge yourself to reach a goal. When on the driving range we really don’t have a set goal in mind when we hit. We hit balls and guess if we are getting better. The simulator driving range is different.
You can really get your iron play dialed in by using a simulator. On the Optishot for example they have different colored rings around the hole that are at varying distances from the pin (it’s called “Pinpoint Range”). The white ring is 15 feet, the green 30 feet, etc.
When I practice on the simulator, I set a goal of getting 50% of my shots inside 15 feet. I can then track it as you see here in one of my practice sessions.
Once done with my practice session on the driving range, i will look at how many shots I got within the 15 foot ring. This helps me stay focus and gives me a record to shoot at each time I practice.
Many of struggle with hitting our driver and go to the range to get better. The problem is that fairways are not always the same distances and how do you really know if you are hitting the ball straight? The simulator driving range solves this problem. Just like with the dispersal rings around the green, the simulator does dispersal lines in the fairway at different distances from the center of the range. So again you can challenge yourself to hit inside the white lines which gives you an idea of how accurate your drives are. Its one thing to know the distance but another to know if you are keeping it in the fairway.
#5 Hit On Real Holes
Another great feature of a golf simulator range is that you can actually practice on a real hole. Pick any hole on any course that is on the Optishot and you can practice playing that hole. Hit ball after ball and get the feel of playing a real round. Pick a spot on the hole to hit to and test your skill. It is more fun to hit to a hole that has sand traps, water, trees and fairways then it is to just hit to a random pin in the middle of a field like most driving ranges.
The driving range is a great place to begin your journey to better golf but why not save yourself time, money, and heartache by getting a golf simulator and using the built-in driving range to improve. The simulator driving range is a great way to take your game to the next level.
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