Is OptiShot 2 Worth It? Reviewing the Affordable Golf Simulator
If you’ve ever searched for an affordable way to take your golf game indoors, you’ve probably seen the OptiShot 2 golf simulator. At under $500, the OptiShot 2 is in the entry-level golf simulator category, which comes with plenty of pros and cons to debate. I put the OptiShot 2 to the test to answer all your burning questions, including the most important question of all: is the OptiShot 2 worth it?
What Is the OptiShot 2 Golf Simulator
Let’s start with the basics, what is the OptiShot 2 golf simulator? It’s a home golf simulator made to be used indoors. The OptiShot is a pad with an artificial turf surface and two rows of sensors that straddle the ball. These sensors measure club speed, path, face angle, swing tempo, and face contact (ranging from heel to toe). The OptiShot also calculates carry distance and shot shape. These are all very useful data points, and you can get a pretty good simulator experience with this information.
Because the OptiShot only measures your club, not the ball, you can use the simulator with real golf balls, foam, or plastic practice balls, or with no ball at all.
What You Get With OptiShot 2
When you purchase the OptiShot 2, the standard package includes the simulator and software download with 15 courses and a virtual driving range. The package also includes the USB cable to connect the simulator to your computer, two practice balls, rubber tees, and a one-year warranty.
For those who want to build a more robust simulator, OptiShot offers various packages to turn the simulator into a complete golf room with additional mats, netting, a projector, and impact screens. However big or small you want your indoor golf setup to be, OptiShot has an option for you.
OptiShot 2 Pros
There is a lot to like about this simulator. For starters, the price point of $449 is affordable for a golf simulator, so anyone looking for a golf simulator on a budget should keep the OptiShot on their list.
The OptiShot is also very versatile. The only piece of equipment you really need to get up and running is a computer. If you’re looking for the most basic indoor golf setup possible, you can simply plug the OptiShot into your computer and swing away – with no ball or net – and use the data to hone your swing and play simulated golf on 15 different courses.
Depending on what your space – or your spouse – allows, you can build up from there. Add practice or real golf balls, plug into your TV or a projector, hit into a golf net and off of a robust golf mat, or go all out with a complete golf enclosure. The OptiShot 2 works with all types of setups.
In my opinion, the biggest difference-maker between the OptiShot and other affordable at-home golf simulators is the flexibility to use practice balls instead of real golf balls. I just don’t have the space to hit real golf balls indoors without risking breaking a window or damaging a wall. With the OptiShot, that’s no problem. I just use foam balls and whale away worry-free.
Other simulators around the same price point capture ball data, and require the use of a real golf ball. This comes with plenty of perks, but is also a deal-breaker for many people.
The last perk of the OptiShot that’s worth noting is its durability. I’ve been hitting on the unit for five years and it’s stood the test of time. The unit itself has held up flawlessly. Because I’m left-handed and the USB cable plugs into the same side of the unit that I stand on, it has to wrap around the hitting pad itself, and over the years I’ve had to replace a couple of them. Other than that, it still functions great to this day. Considering the beating it’s taken, that’s impressive in my book.
OptiShot 2 Cons
Nobody expects a sub-$500 golf simulator to be perfect, so let’s nit-pick the OptiShot 2 so you know exactly what to expect before making the purchase.
Most of my issues with the OptiShot stem from its limited data capabilities. Because the unit only tracks your club, you miss out on some key metrics. The unit can’t give you some important information about the way you strike the ball. While it measures your strike location horizontally (whether you hit it off the center, heel, or toe), it does not measure where you hit it on the club vertically. In other words, whether you hit one thin, fat, topped, or pure, OptiShot will essentially give you credit for the same quality of strike.
The OptiShot gives enough information about your swing to have some pretty productive practice sessions, but compared to the most high-tech launch monitors and golf simulators out there, you don’t get an in-depth look at your game. Sure, you can use the path and face angle data to fix your slice and shape shots, but if you’re trying to learn how to flight the ball high or low, or improve your efficiency, you’ll need to spend a little more money on a simulator that gives ball and club data.
The functionality of the OptiShot is pretty good, but not perfect. Because the ball sits on top of the unit that is about an inch tall, you need to make sure you stand on a slightly elevated surface so you don’t spend the entire winter practicing hitting the ball an inch above your feet. I stand on a hitting mat that sits next to the OptiShot in my garage, but you can also splurge on the OptiShot-specific mat that has a cutout for the unit.
Is OptiShot 2 Worth It?
It’s not a question of is the OptiShot 2 worth it or not, the question is who is the OptiShot worth it for?
For under $450, the OptiShot 2 is worth it for golfers who want to keep swinging over the winter, and want to keep an eye on their swing speed, and primary fundamentals like path and face angle. Just keeping those things in check and keeping a club in your hands during the offseason is extremely valuable.
If you need a complete, in-depth look at your golf swing, and want to know what your golf ball is doing in addition to your club, you’re going to need to make a bigger investment into a unit that captures more data, and one that requires the use of a real golf ball.