Optishot 2

Optishot 2 Review – Best Affordable Golf Simulator?

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In this Optishot 2 review, I give my hands on opinion of whether or not Optishot really is the best golf simulator on the market at this price point.

I don’t know about you, but for me, I feel like one of the coolest things for any golfer to have is an at home simulator in their living room or man cave.

You watch Michael Breed on Morning Drive, and you’re just like, “man that looks cool! I want one of those!”

Especially those of you on the east coast right now. An indoor simulator is probably the only way you’re going to get any real golfing in.

However, up until a few months ago I thought simulators were simply extravagant toys for the millionaires of the world.  Frankly a golf simulator seemed expensive, and out of reach.

Then I started to do some research, and in that process I stumbled upon Optishot Golf 2.

Optishot 2 is a golf simulator that costs right around $500 that on paper, looks like a budget friendly alternative to the major simulators that cost thousands of dollars.

But can a simulator that costs under 500 bucks, actually be any good? The answer might surprise you.

Optishot 2 Facts

Before I go too far into my opinions on the product, I want to take a second to run through some of the basic facts. This will give you an idea of what it is (and isn’t), and allow you to have a better frame of reference as I write about my experience.

This is all included on their sales page, but I wanted to put it here because it’s important and this review should be pretty all-inclusive.

First off, the Optishot 2 is the newly released version of Optishot. The hardware is the same as Optishot 1, however it’s the software that is vastly improved. If you have an older version you can upgrade for $100.

Optishot is a golf simulator that let’s you play full rounds on digital versions of real courses. It also has built in swing tracking capabilities that are gauged by the two sets of infrared sensors that fire at about 10,000 pulses per second.

This isn’t Trackman, it’s not measuring the ball – it’s measuring the club. When it passes over the sensors the rays bounce off the club and give you a reading that is then expanded to give relatively accurate results.

What’s in the Box?

Out of the box Optishot 2 comes with:

  • Infrared Optical Swing Pad
  • Optishot 2 Software (My mac doesn’t have a disc drive, so I just downloaded from their website)
  • 2 Foam Balls
  • 10 Foot USB Cord
  • 2 Adjustable Rubber Tees
  • Quick Start

What Does it Track?

As mentioned, it’s not Trackman, so what it tracks is relatively limited. However it hits all of the highlights, and pretty much included the major things I care about:

  • Clubhead Speed
  • Face Angle
  • Path
  • Distance

This is also enough information to make accurate predictions on where the ball is going to go.

What Courses Does it Have?

As someone who is big on playing well known courses, this was a big deal for me. I don’t want to play fantasy courses, I want to play real courses that people want to play.

Out of the box they do a pretty good job including:

  • The Golf Club Scottsdale – (TPC Scottsdale)
  • Long Island Black – (Bethpage Black)
  • Torrey White – (Torrey Pines North)
  • Torrey Black – (Torrey Pines South)
  • Palm Desert Mountains – (Bighorn Mountains)
  • Palm Desert Canyons – (Bighorn Canyons)
  • Barsebäck Barseback Golf & Country Club -(Sweden)
  • Black Mountain Golf Club – Thailand
  • The Canadian Club – (St. George’s Golf & Country Club)
  • Österåkers Golf Club – Sweden
  • West Maui Plantation – (Kapalua, The Plantation Course)
  • Warwick Hills Golf And Country Club – Michigan
  • Twisted Twig Golf Club -(Crooked Stick Golf Club)
  • Fylde Links – (Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club)
  • Cogs Corner – (Cog Hill Golf & Country Club)

For a surprisingly high $29.95 per course you can also purchase replicas of these courses:

There are also a few others on there as well, but those are most of them. I would have liked to see a package for $100 or so where you could just buy all of them.

It is nice however that they have a “preview” mode where you can play a course up to 3 times before purchasing. So with that you and your friends can save that special round at Pebble Beach for a Saturday night and not have to pay extra.

Ok, so now that you have a bit of an idea of the basic facts, let’s go through the Optishot 2 experience and features.

First Impressions

I have a pretty steady stream of golf stuff that is coming through my doors, but the Optishot 2 Simulator was one of the few products that had me sitting at the front door panting everyday around the time the mail was supposed to show up.

I love cool tech gadgets, and I love golf. Getting my Optishot was like being a kid on Christmas morning.

When it finally arrived, I ripped it open and headed straight down to my office to unpack it and start playing around with it.

At first I was surprised by how heavy it was. The mat itself feels sturdy and seems as though it should be able to take a beating from my clubs.

Optishot Mat

I downloaded the software and got it installed on my computer. And at first I was a little bit disappointed with the User Experience. The software reminded me a bit of a game I might have played a decade ago – but once I got into it I started to come around and was actually pretty pleased with the way it works.

Setting it up was a breeze and literally all I had to do was plug the sensor into my computer and it worked. If you’re going to get serious you’ll want to take a little bit of time and calibrate your clubs to make sure you’re getting the most accurate results.

I mostly stuck to my high irons and wedges, and the the calibration was really easy.

I pretty quickly realized that my 7.5  foot ceilings in my office weren’t going to suffice for my tests, so I moved the whole rig up to my living room where I have much more expansive 8 foot ceilings.

Note the sarcasm…

The minimum recommended height is 8.5 feet – but honestly, unless you want to stress about every swing, you might want to make sure you’re at 9+.

One really handy feature is that you can make any course a par 3 course for those of us without the room to hit driver. So I figured as long as I didn’t go above an 8 iron I’d be good.

Well, it was about halfway in to my third round before I put a hole in my ceiling.

2015-01-17 19.22.06

Yeah. That happened.


It was probably my fault for getting a little too excited about a longer par 3 – but still, my fiancee wasn’t too happy when I told her what had happened.

But I digress, let’s get to the question you’re all wondering – does it work well?

My First Round on Optishot

I opted for my first round to be the par 3 version of Cog Hill – as that was one of the few included courses that I’ve played before.

I’ll get into the courses and graphics below.

Considering I was in my living room with a bit of a DIY setup that included a Pendleton Blanket on a C-Stand for my net, I opted for the included foam balls.

2015-01-17 14.39.49

My Optishot setup complete with ever-functional Pendleton blanket.


I’d calibrated my clubs, I stepped up to the first tee and I took a shot.

9 iron, 134 yards with a bit of a slice.

Totally accurate. It had my usual swing path, it had my distance for the club about right, and left me pretty impressed with accuracy as a whole.

As I worked my way through the course I hit balls left and right, had quite a few that were short, and nailed some greens in the process.

The times I pulled it, I felt it. The times I pured it I could tell and the ball would drop 10 feet from the cup.


I knew from the beginning this was going to be a challenge. Putting with foam balls to a hole that doesn’t exist, off a simulator mat – Optishot had a lot things stacked against it as far as putting is concerned.

They do make it quite a bit easier from a playability standpoint by allowing you to call anything from within X feet a gimme.

It takes a little getting used to, but in the end the putting actually worked out better than I’d anticipated.

To really make things better, I’d just getting a 10 foot indoor putting mat so that you actually have  sense of distance and a hole to aim towards.

I setup my SKLZ Accelerator Pro Putting Mat and it made the putting go from tolerable to actually feeling like I was practicing.

Optishot with Putting Mat

After moving to a safer garage location and setting up my putting mat with the Optishot 2.



I mentioned the customized gimme distances, and that’s just one example of how customizable everything is in Optishot 2.

This is a huge strength and really allows you to tailor your experience to your preferences and practice desires.

Want to play St. Andrews in 40mph wind? Done. Pebble Beach on a gorgeous sunny day without the slightest hint of a breeze? You can do that too.

Some of the Optishot 2 Customization Settings

Some of the Optishot 2 Customization Settings

Note, it certainly helps the simulation if you take the time to hook your computer up to a projector or HDTV. While I didn’t have a projector connecting my TV was a cinch and really added to the experience – especially when playing with friends.

Other customizations include setting individualized gimme distances and tee boxes, right or left handed players, green speeds, fairway speeds, in depth practice settings and more.

The bottom line I found is that there was rarely a situation or round that I couldn’t heavily customize to be exactly what I was looking for. Some of them (like green speeds) didn’t matter that much to me since I treated putting on Optishot as a bonus – but it was great to have options.


This is one of the areas where Optishot 2 really shines, in my opinion.

Playing the courses is great, especially when you get some friends and a few beers in the room.

But if you’re actually wanting to improve your golf game, this is where the most change is going to happen.

You can practice on the range or on any course/hole you choose.

Lately I’ve evolved from Candy Crush as my go to time killing game, to “King of the Course” a golf challenges game for iPhone.

In it, one of the frequent challenges is hitting it within a series of expanding rings with the hole in the center.

In Optishot 2, I can do this in real life – and I love it. 

I can select my holes, and then it will tell me what percentage of balls land within 15, 30, 45, and 45+ feet – along with all of the other data it provides.

Optishot Practice Range

I’m able to get a feel for my shots this way, and the swing information that comes up allows me to easily make small adjustments to work on different shot types and shapes.

It’s also kind of cool to be able to go out to say #17 at Medinah #3 and use that as my practice range.

#17 at Medinah on Optishot

#17 at Medinah on Optishot

Medinah #3 is one of the most historic top 100 golf courses in the US.

The 17th green and 18th tee.

This was another favorite to practice on:

Optishot 2 12th at Sweet Magnolia

One improvement I’d like to see in the next update however is better tools for chipping on the driving range. Considering that’s the easiest thing for me to practice in my living room or garage, I’d love to see the option to set targets closer than 60 yards so I can really work on that aspect of my game.

There are work arounds by doing it on course, but it’s one feature that would be useful.

Optishot Live

The Optishot 2 team is really pushing there live online component, Optishot Live.

Personally, I didn’t get too in depth with this – mostly because of ceiling height restrictions.  Then the night I took it over to a friends house, we were having too much fun tearing up Bethpage Black to want to stop to test the online stuff.

However, what I have seen of it is pretty cool.

There always seems to be someone online that I can compete with in challenges, and if you want to host your own, like the with the rest of the system, you can customize your match or challenge to be exactly what you’re looking for.

Even cooler is the weekly Tour promo they have going on.

During most weeks throughout the PGA season, they’ll open up premium courses to non-premium members.  So for instance, when the Tour was at Riviera, even if you didn’t have that course unlocked you could play it for free between Wednesday and Monday – and by doing so you got entered into a contest to win some free courses.

There always seems to be people playing online, so finding a game isn’t hard – especially when they’ve got a new free course to play. Not difficult to tell what everyone wants to play today:

Sweet Magnolia was one of the bonus courses for a weekend.


It’s a great feature, and if you don’t want to shell out the cash for new courses, this is a nice way to get your fix and mix it up, all while seeing how your game stacks up against the Tour pros on the same course.

Price and Is it Worth It?

Most golf simulators can run into the thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars.

The Optishot 2 Golf Simulator costs $499.

Now, $499 is still a pretty significant chunk of change for the average person, so this all begs the question, is it worth it? 

The short answer? Yes, it’s absolutely worth it – with a caveat.

What you get for this price in Optishot is an absolute steal. While the shot tracking may not be as accurate as say a Trackman, it’s pretty freaking good.

Are the graphics photo realistic? Not even close. But does is detract that much from the experience? Not really – and you certainly can’t complain at this price point.

The fact remains though, using a simulator and hitting off of a mat is still not quite real golf.

Driving, irons, and even chipping sometimes can certainly feel like it with Optishot, but. Sand shots? No way.

I think the people who will use this as one of their primary practice tools is probably the minority – unless you have a permanent setup for it with plenty of space.

For me I think it’s most beneficial for:

  • Getting your golf fix during the off season or inclement weather (playing some of the famous courses can be really fun)
  • Playing with some friends on a Friday night with a few drinks
  • Range practice when you don’t have a range.

I personally don’t think this is in any way a replacement for a driving range or real golf. However, it can be an excellent stand in when you’re not able to get out on the course (especially if you have a way to use it with real balls and not break a window).

And let’s be honest, how cool is it to have a golf simulator in your house?? Extremely.

Have you used Optishot? What do you think? Share with us in the comments.

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Good Things

  • Great Course Selection
  • Surprisingly Good Tracking
  • In depth Customization
  • Fun and Active Live Mode
  • Excellent Price/Value Ratio

Bad Things

  • Courses/Peripherals Expensive
  • Needs More Options for Chipping
  • UX Feels a Little Dated
  • Still Not Real Golf

The Breakdown

Personal Affinity

There are 52 comments

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  1. Aaron Riedel

    This is very cool. I live in MN and the Winters can get REALLY long, I’ve alwyas thought a simulator would be a great way to keep the game fresh and a fun way to spend down time when it’s -20 out but the high cost of the top end simulators made that impossible. This seems like a very nice alternative, my only hang up is ceilings under 9′, a hole in the drywall would not go over well. Cool to see that the simlulator market is moving into this more affordable range, I’m sure there will be competition close behind and I’ll be curious to see what that looks like (can only be good for the consumer).

    Do you have a listing of places you’ll be/courses you’re planning to play this year or is it usually a little more spur of the moment? Just curious what’s next on the docket.

    Keep living the dream!

    • Sean Ogle

      Aaron, I’m still working on it. I have some rough ideas, but I usually end up booking the trips 2-4 weeks out.

      Right now I’m looking at a few potential trips for the year:

      -NYC (Maidstone, National, maybe a few others if connections come through)
      -Midwest (Prairie Dunes, Harvester, Sand Hills(?)
      -San Francisco (Pebble Beach, Spanish Bay, Pastiempo, SFGC(?)

      Some of those are dependent on getting lucky with some of the privates, but we’ll see. It’s been a solid 6 months since I’ve taken a trip (other than Bandon), so I’m getting antsy and trying to get something planned for the next 1-2 months.

      • Blake

        You HAVE to play Harvester! Played it coming back from Kansas to Wisconsin…It surprised the hell out of me! I’ve played many top 100 courses (straits, River course, Erin Hills, Etc…) and the Harvester is not far behind!

  2. Jason Beaudin

    Sean, I have considered this for a while so its either good timing (possible birthday present from the Mrs…) or I just had sloughed it off as a waste of money.

    I have the same problem with the low ceilings so it would have to be a garage set up for me as well

    With two young kids, this might be the best options since I cannot make it to the range 1 or 2 nights a week, let alone squeezing in a round on a regular basis. Plus, as Aaron has stated, might be a good option for those long cold winters in the Northern States or Canada.

    Thanks for the review; I will give this a second look. Might set it up though without the blanket and try and get a ‘Hank Haney’ net to hit into.


  3. Andy


    I have an opti in a very small uk garage, 8ft wide and 9ft high, it’s enough space to swing irons only, however i absolutely love mine.
    This is a very good review, tells you all you need to know, i must tell you that i found once i had calibrated my clubs this cheap sim reflects all my real world distances to within a yard or two, it’s superb in this aspect.
    The sim does not replicate real golf as far as slopes and lies are concerned, for example you can still hit a 3 wood of the pine needles to the green, and this would put some golfers off buying one, dont let it put you off!! it is without a doubt the most enjoyable practice aid i have ever had and most importantly it keeps me coming back for more, i have 2 young kids and to be able to walk out into the garage and practice is invaluble.
    i have to say that it has taught me some very key issues to improve my game, mostly strength of shot, i only used to have a full swing in my bag, but because it is accurate on distance i have learnt to hit half shots, 3/4 shots etc and also distance control on my wedges.
    The best recommendation i can give is this, prior to having it i practiced once a week for an hour, now i have at least 4 hours a week, my real world scoring has come down from around 90-92 to 82-85 mostly because i hit a nice straight iron and my wedges are much improved, i have broken 80 twice now thanks to the practice i have put in on this device, oh and has been mentioned it is a HELL of lot of fun to play. Once your clubs are dialled in on the range there is no better feeling than firing up your fav course and hitting a few draws and fades in from you favourite range, each shot gives you club head speed, face angle, swing path, you know why you’ve hit a slice rather than trying to second guess at the range, after a few weeks you will know why you got the flight you did and a glance at the stats will show you what you already know, it really does inspire a good straight faced swing, will it improve a single figure handicapper? probably not, will it improve your game if you shoot around 90, definately – will both handicappers enjoy it immensely? damn right.
    Smashing some irons into a green and watching the “pro tracer” ball flight using a projector is an absolute scream.
    Anyone who wants to see some vids/pictures of my home setup is welcome to ask.
    For the price this is one awesome product, remember, no matter what anyone tells you about it being inaccurate, not realistic blah blah this is true: if you spend time practicing what it does superbly (bringing the clubface through square) you will hit a better ball, you will drop scores, and you mostdefinately WILL have a barrel load of enjoyment.
    Price seems high to me, shop around, for you guys across th pond i think Dicks sporting goods did the optishot1 for $200, pay for the upgrade and you might save that way, or buy a second hand one.
    I am not affiliated with this product in any way, im simply a very happy UK user, Augusta this weekend gone, dont mind if i do!!!

    • Sean Ogle

      Andy, that’s awesome to hear that Optishot has such a big impact on your game! I share your enthusiasm for the product, and for the price – in my mind it’s totally worth it.

    • VK

      I am in the UK and currently in the same predicament. small garage, small kids, small budget et al. So thinking of building a hitting the bay in the garage. Thinking about Optishot 2 or P3Pro. The P3P is way out of my budget, so Opti2 may be the one. Where did you buy your Opti & also other parts of the hitting bay. Pics will be awesome

    • Jonathan

      I bought the Optishot and was able to upgrade to version 2, I am in the process of getting mine setup. I look forward to sharing my progress

    • Leo

      Hi Andy, Interested in one. Can you send me pics of your setup? my house isn’t that big so want to figure out a good setup beforhand. This only works indoors right? cheers.

    • Tace

      Andy this is great to read. I’ve read so much online directing towards the Skytrak version of indoor golf simulation. I have a 10ft wide garage, but the pitched roof starts at a meagre 7ft with horizontal beams going horizontally across. I think I can get the beams raised to 9ft whilst still having enough width to swing. So for a first timer, do you think the optishot is the way forward instead of shelling out a scary amount for sky tram? I’m a 28 handicapper and just want to improve!

  4. Andy

    Hi Sean,

    Agreed, and excellent review by the way!!
    One thing i forgot to mention, although Sweet Magnolia was available this past masters weekend like opti does every week and give you whatever the pro’s are playing, i believe it is not available other than the weekends free play.
    This was a dissapointment and i understand the reasoning is that EA Sports have the rights, previously it was available on opti as “georgia peach” but got pulled.
    I will check out my opti later this week and confirm if the course has gone.

  5. Dan

    Has anyone had problems with painted clubs? I play with the callaway razr’s so they’re black. I feel like the accuracy is pretty inconsistent. For example, almost 100% of each hole goes the same, when i am in sand wedge distance I hit a full swing that goes 40 ft then the next shot(Identical) goes 90 yards, usually blowing over the green. It is literally every hole the same club, same positioning. I have tried half swings, slicing, full blown happy gilmore swings, and it never changes. First shot goes 40 ish ft and the second soars. I also am not sure if the painted clubs are messing up my swing speed because it doesn’t read anything past 70 mph. Anyone else have this problem? Or play with painted clubs?

  6. KT

    have been using this for 3 years and the only issue is hitting real balls with drivers as there is a bit of inaccuracy. Fantastic for the price though and by using foam balls for drivers and adjusting the speed and distance it is very accurate. As most of the friends that play are either single digit handicap or low teens we find it helps with finding the correct club position at the bottom. Optishot and I have talked numerous times regarding the driver and the biggest issue is the driver. the issue in my opinion is the real ball is still attached to the face at average club head speed, over 112 and under 85 it seems to work very well. For the price it is great and optishot just had a sale of premium courses for $150 you could buy 10 premium courses.

  7. Jess

    Hi Sean,

    I have some questions I am hoping you can help me with. My husband loves golf but I know nothing about golf or anything about golf simulators or what you need. I am thinking of purchasing this golf simulator for him for Christmas, but how exactly does it project onto a projection screen or do you need to use a tv? I understand you need a laptop. I am thinking he can use the simulator in our semi finished basement which has about 10-12ft ceiling height. What else would I need to purchase for it to seem like a real exciting simulator, a net? A drop screen? If so, any kind of projection screen? Or does it have to be specifically a golf projection screen? I apologize in advance if some of my questions seem dumb I just have no idea about any of this. Thank you!!

    • Sean Ogle

      Sorry for the slpw reply Jess, I’ve been on my honeymoon 🙂

      If you want a true simulator feel, you’ll want to buy a projector and a white screen to project onto. The easiest way is to hook your computer up to a TV, but you don’t quite get the same experience.

      It comes with a couple thick foam balls, but I’d recommend buying more for cheap off Amazon.

      You also may want to get a putting mat, as the putting is the hardest part to make feel real. So anything to help orient the experience will be useful. Feel free to email directly with any other questions! [email protected]

      • Joe Michalkiewicz

        My wife bought me an Optishot 2 for Christmas (at my suggestion) and I love it. I’ve set it up in my attic using my laptop and an old VGA projector that I already had. I hung a white queen-sized sheet to use as a screen for projection and to hit foam balls into. Quite by accident I was delighted to discover that the microfiber sheet that I had bought is thin enough to project on from behind the screen, so the projector is out of the way and protected. I’m still learning all the subtleties of the system, but I’m very happy with it.

  8. Juice

    Sean, I bought the OptiShot 2 the other day and I got it all dialed in. I noticed that when I hit a ball thin that it projected on the screen as a straight shot in the air. I also noticed that I couldnt calibrate my irons as it gave me errors. Additionally, the software blinks constantly on the screen, I am using a Mac. Any help??

  9. terry

    hi sean,
    just got optishot for Christmas. had to go out and buy a new computer to run it. I needed more ram and a better graphics card. I set it up last night and it looks great on my 37″ high def tv. as juice said above, I had trouble calibrating my driver? and a few times it didn’t pickup the club at all? any advice on this? I noticed that you have to be careful while setting up to the ball, the sensors pick up the club even if your not trying to make a swing. I also need to build a platform that makes my feet level with the simulator instead of choking up on all the clubs. I have 9′ ceilings in the basement. works out good. would the optishot work better with more lighting?
    thanks terry

  10. Brad

    For those having issues with inaccuracies (especially woods), try taping the bottom of your club. Basically, I cover the bottom with black duct tape. Then I put a strip of white electrical tape along the leading edge. This will help tremendously with the woods. I actually tape all of my clubs. I feel this greatly enhances the accuracy by giving the IR sensors a consistent (white) surface for reflection.

    Regarding thin and fat shots, the Optishot isn’t going to read those accurately. The system works on 2 rows of IR sensors. These are reading clubhead speed/direction/club path/face angle only. So, there is no way for it to know if your shot was fat or thin. It will “read” fat shots more accurately since the clubhead is slowed down prior to reaching the 2nd row of sensors.

    For calibration, you do not need to take full swings. Use more of a slow putting stroke with each club. This system is only discerning the reflections off the bottom of the clubs and doesn’t “care” if it is a fast swing or slow swing.

    Finally, lighting. The system uses IR sensors. These do not play well with sunlight or regular incandescent lights. For the best results you will want to preclude and sunlight from hitting the sensors and use CFLs or LEDs as you light source. Many of us also use LED/CFL spotlights over both rows of sensors. These don’t interfere with the IR sensors and help preclude any shadows.

    I’m more than happy to answer any questions or help in any way to help everyone get the most out of their system.

    When you are ready to really have some fun, check out http://www.onlinegolftour.net. There is a full-fledged Optishot league (tournaments) in action. They are currently getting ready to start their Ryder Cup (4 Jan 2016).

  11. Stacy

    I have the OS2 set up in our living room! I know..it’s crazy and my husband and I play almost daily. However, though I’ve managed to tweak the club sets to match my game, I am having issues with the chipping. That is my strength in my real game, but on the Optishot, I’m not accurate. Do I adjust my stance as if I’m actually hitting a high, lofted shot or does the computer or system adjust. I haven’t played around with the calibration…is that the way to go? I have a short throw LCD and an impact net/screen. It’s helping me with my game and gives me a chance to swing when it’s cold and rainy outside. I also have the Net Return in our garage, but it’s a bit chilly out there so the living room will have to do.

    • Dan Pfeifer

      Have you tried using the different shot angles when you chip? There’s an option on the lower right to choose one of five shot angles. I find I get a really high, lofted shot when I choose the highest angle. Of course, I tend to have to use it more often on the lowest angle … you know, for punch shots out of the woods. 🙁

  12. Chris

    Does optishot offer a putting mode that allows the system to putt for you? Where the result is a combination of distance from the pin and random luck? For example:
    24ft from the pin -> 2 putt
    60ft from the pin -> 2 putt
    39ft from the pin -> 3 putt
    3ft from the pin -> 1 putt

    The DeadSolid golf simulator that I play on has this feature.

    • Dan Pfeifer

      The Optishot has a feature where you enter a distance from the hole you want to have be a ‘gimmie’, then it puts for you from there. It says it determines the number of puts you take based on a statistical formula … whatever that means.

      I’ve set it to auto-putt everything under 10′ and find it generally tells me I’ve two-putt from beyond 5′ and one-putt from closer.

  13. Joanna

    Sean, great in-depth review – thank you! And Andy, thanks for all the info you provided – wow, fabulous improvement in your game….congrats! That’s what I’m hoping for 🙂

    I live near Charlottesville, Virginia and am currently sitting in front of the fireplace watching over a foot of snow fall….would love to be in my unfinished basement (no danger there) practicing my swing.

    I do have one question for everyone: I have a 3bays gsa pro app on my phone which provides feedback on eight different parameters. It is wonderful on the driving range, but I’ve never tried it indoors with sponge balls. Has anyone ever tried it indoors? Did it work? I don’t want to shell out the $$ for the optishot 2 if my 3bays could do something similar. But I’m itching to try the optishot – some good auctions going on now on ebay. Thanks!

  14. Kevin

    Hi, first I would like to say is that I love my Optishop. I have only been playing for a few years now but my first trip to Myrtle Beach my good friends got a lot of my money. As soon as I got back to Ohio I bought one. I love the way it help me with my game. Long story short, the next year I got all my money back and some.

  15. Craig

    I had tried the original Optishot but didn’t work well. Very unreliable distance and ball tracks. I think it was the lighting. At least that’s what customer service told me. I returned it, disappointed, because I wanted to have the experience you are all having. Anyway, I now see the Optishot 2 and am hoping it works better. Has anyone had problems with lighting interfering with accuracy?

    • Dan Pfeifer

      They say in the materials for the game that lighting can be a sticking point. The infrared sensors need good lighting from above to pick up on the ball well. They say sunlight from a window can sometimes hurt more than it can help.

      They also say your clubs might play a factor. Some drivers without a silver bottom, in particular, apparently create issues.

      Go online and you’ll see some guys have a setup where they put lights pretty much right over the sensors. Optishot even sells a driver specifically designed for the sensors.

      They do say it helps to calibrate the sensors in the driving range. They have instructions when you first open the box how to do that. I found that helped. Of course, I also am figuring out that I really am leaving my club face open a lot of the time, too, so don’t forget, as much as you might think it’s the game, it also might be “operator error.”

  16. d

    Got my optishot for 259.00 on blackfriday 2015 at amazon.com. Super worth it at that price. I can see some on ebay for near that price.

  17. Ray

    How accurate or easy/difficult when you’re in a sand trap? And does the ball roll after a shot? All the reviews I’ve seen I see a shot that lands on the fairway or green and ball bounces once then comes to a complete stop. Which seems a bit unrealistic. Thanks.

    • Dan Pfeifer

      I’ve found the ball rolls fairly true. It is worth noting that the Optishot tries to use the point of impact on the club (heel/toe) and face angle (open/closed) to determine spin, so that might make a difference. Plus, I know you can change settings regarding green speed and whatnot. But yeah, I feel like the roll is true as I have it set.

      You do need to make the point to “power up” a little when you’re in a trap and/or adjust your shot angle if you’re facing a steep out — they give you one of five angle choices, ranging from low punch to high lob. There have been a couple of times where I’ve chunked a shot while in the bunker and the ball has stayed in the trap. Obviously, it’s not the same feel as being plugged in sand, but you do have to be conscious of your lie and take a somewhat appropriate shot. Think of it like EA PGA Tour, where you have to maybe take a 30-40 percent stronger shot to get the same distance out of the trap as you would if you were on the fairway.

      If you want to be nit-picky, then where I find the game struggles is when you’re in the deep rough or woods. I find it too easy to hit a solid 3-wood from the lie that the game calls “Forest” when you can’t see anything other than badly pixelated leaves. You can make some real good shots in the game from lies that would require you to take a drop in reality. If you want to be “that guy” when you play with your friends, you could force them to take a drop and a penalty, as they give you that option in the game.

  18. dinesh boodhraj

    Hi, What is the difference between the Optishot 2 and Optishot +3.

    I am looking at getting a set up, but cant seen to find any information on the differences.

    cheers Dinesh

    • Sean Ogle

      Ah I didnt even see they had come out with the +3.

      I know the change from 1 to 2 was all in the software, the hardware was the same. So I’d assume that might be the case here as well, nut I’m not sure.

  19. Mack

    If you buy this thing and it doesn’t work on your PC, you might as well just return it. There is no support to speak of. Just some high school kid asking ‘are you sure you plugged it in?’. They have no idea what to do if the software does not run. The stated requirements are later windows OS and 4Gig of Ram which I have but apparently the software only runs on certain video cards or some other accessory which is not stated. I have no idea what effect it would have on my game since it won’t run. Garbage.

  20. Ken

    Living in FL, I don’t have to contend with winters; but most golf courses here get extremely busy during what we call “the season,” a period of four or five months when many part-time residents are in town. My house and garage are not suitable for conversion to an indoor practice area, so I’m curious about the possibility of using Optishot outdoors (with obvious precautions about foul weather).

  21. Joe

    An excellent improvement I covered the garage floor with 1″ MMA mat then putting green purchased from Lowe’s. I added some holes to practice putts. I have 12″ ceiling and a projection screen with an Epson ultra short throw projector. Home built screen everything for under $2000 all inclusive with the following; Optishot $299, Dell computer $399, reconditioned projector $499, Floor $600, Impact screen $200. This has turned my garage into a great practice facility. I have fluorescent lights and I have had no problems with the sensors

  22. russ

    hey man great review. im curious what laptop are u running optishot on. im seeing confilcting reports about needing laptop with graphics card etc.

  23. Jason

    You mention an overhead projector. Is it possible to play with a regular flat panel tv. I have 1 mounted outside and could hit into my net with a view of the tv.

  24. Gunner

    Fantastic in-depth review…well done! Sounds like a great purchase for any golf addict. I will be getting one after this golf season in the northeast for the LONG COLD winer.

  25. Hane alabdallat

    i have optishot2 i was wondering how much it holds up if you hit a wrong shot , lets say if you hit before the ball or if hit the mat itself , my kid 5 years old hit his club directly on the sensors in front of the ball and broke a piece of plastic around the senors

  26. Jeff

    My question is it quiet. Can I install this in an apartment building? Are the foam balls quiet when you hit them? Does the mat make a big thud sound when I hit it. I have neighbors below me and above me and next to me. I don’t want to get evicted.

  27. Kevin

    Many of you must be quite tech-savvy. I have had nothing but problems with Opti-Shot. I’ve tried numerous lighting set ups all to no avail. I constantly have to calibrate to get anything remotely accurate and it really never is. I’m an 8hcp and strike the ball pretty nicely usually. Over and over with the Opti-shot it will show 9i go 109yds with a slice? Really? Yeah no. Drives go 160yds? Yeah no. I got this as a gift so I’m quite disappointed as I was so excited to receive it. Even for those who seem to have a nice review, it appears that basically you spend $500 for the system (which is in fact cheap for a golf simulator) but then you end up needing to spend hundreds of dollars to get a good set up for it to work properly. Projector, screen, lighting, hitting surface. Overall a mess for me. Sorry.

  28. Scott

    Hey All. Looks like its been a while since anyone’s been on this thread but I’ll give everyone my setup. This was all for under 2k –
    Optishot with extra mat – $325
    Optishot Hitting mat 4’X5′(2) – 100/ea
    Carl’s 250mph hitting screen – $260
    BenQ short throw HD proj – $560
    Lenovo Ideapad – $300
    Ceiling and side hitting net 10×25 – $150
    I have 9’5″ ceilings in my garage so hitting driver is not an issue, however, you’ll also want to make sure you have about a 9’5″ radius around where you’re hitting as well. Things like the garage opener can get in the way and most people don’t consider it until after they’ve got everything in place. Lighting can also be an issue. The less daylight in the room the better off you are. I ended up hanging blackout blinds in my garage. I also hung a light(using a 100w LED bulb) over the Optishot so my main lights in the garage are off while I’m playing. The Optishot works best with LED or fluorescent lighting.
    I hung a shelf near where I’m hitting for my laptop. You’ll want to have easy access to it to make updates. I hung the HD projector from the ceiling. You’ll want to ensure you get a short throw b/c you want the projector in front of you and not behind you or you’ll cause a shadow on the screen. I used 3/4″ PVC to frame my screen and also hung it from the ceiling. When its not in use I can raise it up to the ceiling and still use my garage for what’s its built for! Here’s some extra helpful hints – don’t order the optishot with the extra pad. The pad that comes with the Optishot is crap. I highly recommend ordering a $65 optishot mat from arsene golf(jagmanjoe cover). They make one specifically for the Optishot and its much thicker. You won’t feel like you’re going to break your Optishot with every swing. The Optishot mats are also crap. I wish I would have waited to order them until I got my Jagmanjoe cover. First of all they are super thin and you’ll need to order 2 just to get level with the optishot. So the plan now is to just build a frame that’s level with the Jagmanjoe cover. This will probably be around $60 so still cheaper than buying a single Optishot mat.

  29. Tony L

    Hints: 1) Hitting mat/platforms left in a used garage will be dripped on from overhead wet/parked car and will short out the Optishot device circuit. Cover sensor slots after each use and tape off device bottom. 2) Hitting net/screen can be placed within 8 inches of back wall if heavy blankets placed behind screen. Hot water heater blanket works best. 3) Hitting real balls at full speed tend to bounce off taunt screens and come back at you. Hang screen with bungee cords to absorb the hit, place a length of thick foam padding on floor in front of screen to prevent a second bounce. 4) Steam jet cleaners will remove “ball dirt” from expensive white hitting screens. 5) Fat hits will ruin mat along back sensor row, esp. with beginners. A thin heavy duty impact mat placed right behind the back senor row absorbs the errand blows. 6) Vacuum out and inspect sensor row for particulate matter. “Mat hair” may need to be cut back so sensors are completely uncovered. 7) Secure Optishot device under full mats by building a mat/platform with device cut out in platform. This will prevent sensors from being knocked out of position under the full mat sensor slots.

  30. Lem Clevenger

    I bought one of these a couple years ago. I’ve got it set up in my basement and I hit into a net. It is a great setup for the winter. Fortunately, my ceiling is pretty high so I can swing comfortably. One of the things I found that was a bit help to me was to place a sheet of 3/4 MDF on the ground to stand on so my feet were at the same level as the sensors. It also allowed me to fix a small piece of 1x to the front that helps to secure the Optishot sensor in place. If I find some time, I might route a small channel to better secure the 1x and clean up the overall look.

  31. Drake Ner

    Hey Sean, great review. Very detailed and through. I’ve had the same results with my Optishot. I was very surprised with how well it does, especially for its price point. When I first got it, I had some really off numbers, like one drive went 500 yards. I wish I could hit that out on the golf course.

    I figured out that part of the problem was that I didn’t have my feet level with the sensor pad. I got a turf mat, and put interlocking foam squares underneath it. That made a huge difference and numbers where way more realistic after that.

    I slowly added to my set up and now have an awesome simulator in my basement. I added a Net Return Pro Series net, plus a Simulator screen. The last thing I added was a projector. The graphics aren’t great, but if you want to keep practicing year round it’s definitely worth it.

    The first winter I used it, I hadn’t figured out that my feet needed to be level with the sensor pad. It totally messed up my swing and took me about halfway through the summer before I got my swing back.

    Once I got level with that pad my numbers were more on point, and practicing actually helped. I’ve been able to shave off some numbers from my HC, and hit consistently in the mid 90’s where before I was always over 100.

    This system is definitely not for someone that is a few HC over par, but for the average golfer it is a great tool to have. It’s affordable, costs $299. My total after putting together my sim was $2800 ( I got all my items from shopindoorgolf.com)

    It’s also a lot of fun to have the guys over for beers and play courses. We keep the competition going year round.

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