I love my Optishot and have used it almost every week for the past 3 years. It has helped me improve my swing, have fun and play more golf. The only thing i was missing was competing against other golfers. I knew I was improving but could I beat other golfers. Like those kids playing videos, i needed a leaderboard to brag about my successes or failures. The Optishot Mini Tour was that opportunity. Optishot Mini Tour is an online series of tournaments and events each month with the chance to win prizes. In the tournaments, you play 2 rounds of golf using your Optishot and then compare your score with other golfers online. The Optishot Mini Tour was what i needed to scratch my competitive itch.
Optishot Mini Tour Review
How To Join
Joining the Mini Tour (Optishot Season Pass) is easy. You can do it on the Optishot website or you can do it by using your login in the system. The cost is $49 for the Mini Tour for a year of online play (If you want more courses and events you can join the Pro Tour for $99 a year). Check out my Youtube video on joining the Tour.
The Optishot Mini Tour is not just playing in tournaments online. For the $49, you get a variety of upgrades from the basic Optishot package. Lets look at some of these features:
With signup you get 25 premium courses in addition to the 15 courses that you get with the original Optishot. These are some nice courses including some that are host to PGA Tour events. As you can see you do get a good variety of nice courses.
Here is a list of some of the courses you get:
Riviera Country Club
St. Andrews Links
Merion Golf Club
TPC – San Antonio, Valero (Texas Open)
Medinah Golf & Country Club
Difficulty Of Courses
I have played a few of the course already and found that some of them are so difficult that they are unplayable by an average golfer. Routinely four and five putting is not very fun and rarely, if ever happens to me. I was extremely excited to play Chambers Bay golf course on Optishot as it is the best course in my home state. What a mistake. This course especially the greens were so difficult that I could not finish the round. I routinely four and five putted, many times finding my ball rolling all the way off the green which on a normal course rarely ever happens to me. The slope of the greens made it almost impossible to putt on them (putting on Optishot takes time to master).
Here is another example of a premium course…Red Wickers…24 foot putt softly hit rolls OFF the green. I tried this same putt 3 times all with the same result. Realistic…maybe…but no fun for an average golfer like myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like a challenge and I may go back and try again but it really was disappointing to struggle so badly. It would be nice to have a difficulty rating on the premium courses so I know which ones to avoid.
Too Many Choices
Other courses I played (Windy City for example) was a good test but did not torment me. Some courses the are better than others in terms of difficulty but what I found is that having so many courses at my finger tips is a waste. In psychology, having too many choices can make your life miserable as you are always looking for something better. I like to play a course multiple times to see if I can improve my score. When I find a course i like i sometimes stick with it. So paying for extra courses is not really a feature that I use.
The big draw for joining the Optishot Mini Tour was to be able to play in online tournaments against other players. I was excited to try my hand playing against other golfers and seeing where I stood on the leaderboard. With the Mini Tour membership you get to play in 2 of the 4 events during the month. Each event lasts one week and you play two rounds anytime during that period.
I jumped right in playing in the Sin City Championship. They have 3 different flights: A, B, Championship and Open. Each flight has a handicap requirement. In order to play in a tournament you need to develop a handicap. To do this you need to play in at least one peer-to-peer game. So I played a round in one and got my handicap. I was in the “B” flight since my handicap was well above the 7.5 to play in the “A” or Championship flights. The “B” flight plays from the front tees so I should do okay.
Well, my first round did not go so well as I had hoped because my putting was so poor. My 2nd round went better and I finished a total of 24 over par after the two rounds. This was good enough for 5th place out of 9 other players. The scores ranged from 0 (really??) to 47 over par.
I won the drawing for the prize…$100 gift certificate to Amazon!!
The leaderboard is good if you are in the Optishot system. It shows the username, number of holes played and each players score for each round. It also gives you an idea of each players handicap which is great because you can compare yourself to other golfers that are your same level.
The online leaderboard (the one pictured above) does not give you any real information at all. It only shows the username and the score. You do not know if they were finished with both rounds or even if they were done with one round. You have to login to the Optshot to see any real information. The real problem was with the scores of some of the golfers. One golfer who is suppose to be a 7.5 or above handicap shot an amazing EVEN par for 2 rounds. A handicap is suppose to measure your best golf scores and rarely will a golfer shoot 8 strokes under their handicap let alone two rounds in a row. So I was skeptical (update…the next tournament a golfer was one under for 18 holes) and it made the tournaments less attractive to me.
With the tournament behind me, I looked forward to trying the next event…Closest to the pin. In this event you get three shots on a par 3 to get a ball closest to the pin. Each player can use up to three entries for a total of 9 shots.
I love the idea but again I came away wanting more. You get to hit only 9 TOTAL shots. It took me around 5 minutes to finish. I wanted more…I waited a week for this event and I was done in 5 minutes. My best shot was 15 feet from the pin, good for 60th place out of 100 golfers or so that had hit balls so far (there can be 10,000 total players). I thought there had to be more to it. I tried to look online for the leaderboard but could not find one as you have to go into the actual event to see the leaderboard. For me, I would rather just use the pin point accuracy driving range to test my iron play. Disappointed again!
The Optishot Mini Tour is a great idea that lacks seems like an after thought. The courses are too tough for the average golfer, the tournaments seem to have some players that are sandbagging and the closest to pin was not captivating. If you like new courses or want a extreme golf challenge then the Mini Tour may be okay but for me I It just didn’t fill that competitive void. Will I play the tournaments…sure…will I play do the closest to pin…yes…but only because I have already joined the tour.
My wish list for the Optishot Mini Tour:
Information on difficulty level of courses
Closest to the pin event allow more shots (ie…take an average distance)
More even playing field
Place to see my individual handicap scores
I truly love my Optishot and play on it almost everyday. It is a great investment to help any golfer improve. The Mini Tour is an addition that you can go without and still enjoy your Optishot.