If you are looking for a fun and affordable golf simulator then the Optishot 2 does the trick. It is easy to use, tracks the most important swing statistics and provides a great simulation experience. I truly love my Optishot 2 golf simulator but have found it does have some limitations. After playing on my Optishot 2 all winter, I changed my ball flight from a huge slide to a nice draw. Even when I took it to the course, I could see that my iron play had improve immensely. Those great iron shots were celebrated until I got near the green. I had really developed some bad habits with my chipping and putting.
After two consecutive rounds of chipping poorly and multiple three and even four putts, I looked closely at my short game practice. The Optishot 2 golf simulator was helping my iron accuracy but I was scoring much worse than the year before. This was the first time that I realized that my golf simulator had limits.
The Short Game
Issue: Ball Trajectory
The Optishot 2 golf simulator tracks your club but does not track the ball. Therefore whatever trajectory setting (low, medium, high) you have for your driver or irons will be used for your sand or lob wedges. When I would take my normal chipping stroke (which is different from my normal swing), I found that I would not have enough power to reach the hole. This is especially noticeable out of the bunker.
This struggle to pitch the ball effectively resulted in me developing a punch shot on the simulator. Anytime I missed the green, I would use a closed clubface and punch the ball. The punch and run shot worked wonders until I had to hit over a bunker. In addition, the punch shot became my go to shot around the green when I went out on the real course. It worked well for some of the time (slow greens or lots of green in front of me) but was very ineffective for certain shots. This resulted in me three putting more and higher scores.
The bunker became an even more difficult problem for me. I have always been very good out of the bunker by opening up my clubface, open stance and hitting about an inch behind the ball making sure to follow through. This technique saved many pars, but not on the Optishot 2 golf simulator! This technique is impossible to use. The ball does not fly correctly using this technique. Therefore, I had to again adjust to a punch shot. The punch shot out of the bunker was great on the simulator but did not help me improve on the course.
I flat out don’t putt on the Optishot 2 golf simulator. I adjust the setting so that when I am inside 60 feet, I manually put in the number of putts or have the computer figure out my putts. This saves time and stress so that I can work more on the other aspects of the game.
There are 3 problems I see with trying to putt on the Optishot:
#1 Time & Reading Greens
Having to spend time trying to read the green and adjust the aiming point for EVERY PUTT. To do it correctly, it takes a great amount of time. Maybe Im being lazy but I feel that the time spent reading the Optishot green is not going to help me read greens on the course. There are no rolling balls, colors or arrows to point me in the right direction. I found that it just became tedious.
#2 Putting Surface
Actually putting on the Optishot 2 does not really feel like real putting. Unless you have a putting surface with a hole rolled out in front of the Optishot sensors then you are putting into an impact screen. Not very realistic. Since I use a thicker turf for covering the sensors, when I putt, the ball actually jumps off the turf since it is higher than the ground below. Putting on the simulator may have hurt my putting stroke.
Finding the right speed on a putt is always difficult but when putting on the simulator, I never really got the feel for it. I felt I had to take a longer stroke than I usually would, especially with lag putts.
Putting on the Optishot 2 golf simulator requires time, an additional putting surface with a hole and a different technique to be successful. Can it be done? Absolutely and I highly recommend giving it a try, but for me it just didn’t work.
The Optishot 2 golf simulator is a great tool for improving your game and I highly recommend it. It is the most affordable golf simulator on the market but does come with some issues especially when trying to improve your short game. Chipping, putting and bunker play are not ideal. If you are looking to improve your short game you may want to get some additional resources (I purchased a Tours Link Putting Green to practice my short game).