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GOLF VACATIONS MAGAZINE – PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
How would you like to prepare for your next golf trip by practicing all the shots you need on the exact course you will be visiting – without ever leaving your home?
The folks at Full Swing Golf, a San Diego company that has been producing world-class golf simulators for 27 years has been doing this for not only recreational players but PGA Tour players with some of the most advanced simulator technology and installations you will find.
Although simulators are most often seen at professional events, in multi-family recreation rooms, business establishments, sporting goods stores and golf learning centers, Full Swing Golf has quite a large clientele of home users–including such notables as European Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter and PGA Tour winners Mark Wilson and Hunter Mahan.
Now mind you this not for the average home. First of all, you need a pretty good-size space. Full Swing’s Vice President of Sales Chad Coleman notes that the average horne installation is in a 10,000-square foot dwelling or larger, although some have used their garage to house these in. And the price tag begins at around $45,000. But for those with the resources, one of these simulators can be a game-altering experience . Being able to pick one of 80-top courses and play in the comfort of your own home in about 45 minutes and even be able to dial up the wind-speed for a shot can be a great way to get ready for a golf excursion before leaving – and a nice way to remember it after returning as well.
Full Swing utilizes infrared technology that measures ball speed, launch angle, anu ilirection at the speeu of light. Their proprietary Ion Performance Cam measures ball spin characteristics such as back spin, siue spin ancl spin axis without extra markings on the ball. This camera also captures extensive club head data such as speed; club path and face angle. The 3D lifelike graphics makes the course come alive with a viltual reality as trees blow, waves crash, rivers run, birds chirp, and the sun sets. Up to 80 courses are available, including Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, Kapalua, Bethpage Black and many more.
“The great thing about having one of these things in your home is that you don’t have to get ready and go somewhere to practice or work on your game if you have a few extra minutes,” said Coleman. “You can practice for 10 minutes if that is all the time you have while doing other things and have your own interactive practice facility.”
While one of these simulators just completes the ultimate Man Cave, in a large den it can have all sorts of family uses. The Full Swing Golf simulator can also be used for high-end home theater, video gaming, web browsing, and other simulation expelienccs.
Coleman also noted that some users play a virtual tournament with friends either on the same machi.ne or i.n different places at the same time with on-line tournaments and leagues, including Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin contests.
In addition to the homes of world leaders in business, politics, athletics and entertainment, Full Swing Golf simulators are also featured in the PGA Center for Learning and Performance; the Hank Haney Academies–home of The Golf Channel’s Hank Haney Project; in the ‘Dan’ Cave, home of NBC’s The Dan Patrick Show and in over 200 Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy stores.
For those wanting to get real serious about developing their swings using the simulator, the company also offers Swing Catalyst that comes with a balance plate that measures weight shifts, detailed pressure points and stance width to give real-time feedback on weight transfer and foot pressure. This software stores and organizes all swing data from shots and has drawing tools and side-by-side comparisons and fully synchronizes ball flight data and visual representations.
The Swinguru Pro training system can also be added and combines full body 3D visualization with simple interactive feedback featuring multiple views and angles for motion capture. This program can actually let you know about solving faults such as swaying and then suggest fixes and drills to eliminate them. These are great tools for teachers – or a real student of the game who wants to work on their own to get ready for a golf excursion before leaving- and a nice way to remember it after returning as well.