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How Can a Swing Simulator Improve Your Game?

Mar 5, 2014

Golf is a game of repetition and muscle memory. The more you practice shooting the right way, the easier it will become. At Golf Academy of America, training is a top priority for students, both with instructors and on their own.

Classes are taught by some of the most experienced PGA professionals in the country, who work one-on-one to improve each student’s game. But what happens when class is over and students want to do “homework” to lock in the perfect stroke? That’s where swing simulators step in.

There is a huge range of virtual golf technology, ranging from at-home models to the higher-end versions used in golf super stores, or at Golf Academy of America’s campuses. Benefits range from practice to entertainment, or maybe a little of both.

Using a swing simulator is similar to teeing up on the course or driving range. A platform, often covered in AstroTurf, is set up in front of a projector screen, which displays a green. Golfers swing and hit their ball into the screen, which is covered with sensors. The sensors are connected to computer software, which calculates multiple aspects of the shot. Many simulators also include radar and other motion tracking devices around the projection screen. These analyze the ball as it flies. The result is invaluable data on speed, shot angle, distance, spin and trajectory.

Golf Academy of America uses aboutGolf Simulator, the exclusive on-air simulator for the Golf Channel. A flight monitor is combined with radar and high-speed cameras to assess swing and trajectory. Because of its superior graphics, wide range of virtual courses and top-notch technology, this simulator is considered the cream of the crop.

John Shelley, a PGA Golf Professional at Golf Academy of America in Dallas, likens aboutGolf Simulator to virtual reality. “It’s about as accurate as you can get,” he said. “Simulators are a good plan B for bad weather, and instant data-driven feedback works well for many of our students. We see them playing for practice, and also to be competitive.”

Swing simulators are also just plain fun. At Golf Academy of America, you can play Pebble Beach or St. Andrews, all in climate-controlled comfort. The system adapts your shots to course conditions—right down to grass type and height. “You can see how the ball reacts,” said Shelley. “You get the feedback and learn from it. It’s a great tool to have.”