Certainly the most common question we get asked is....Which Tracking device is best for my golf simulator??
Well, being an independent Golf Simulator specialist with various tracking devices under our roof, we can show you what each device offers. That's the important factor about all tracking devices, one device will suit one person but not the next. Ultimately this means there is no 'best' tracking device. It's about understanding what the device can offer you for its price point and whether it fulfils your needs.
So the main factors to consider when thinking about your device:
- What data is tracked and what data is calculated? This will be a big factor on the accuracy of a system.
- What data points does it offer? Entry level systems will offer ball data where as more sophisticated systems will offer ball and club data. Then each system may offer more data within those parameters. IE: club data, some devices may offer impact location and lie angle where as club face and path would be more of a standard club data point.
- Portability - some devices offer portability and this depends whether you want to be able to take the tech to the practice ground etc. If this is not needed then a fixed system maybe more practical.
- Calibration - This will vary for device to device. The portable devices will always need calibration for each session. There are different ways to calibrate but once you understand how to do it then its very straight forward. Fixed devices are calibrated on first setup so don't need to be calibrated for each session.
- Commercial or residential: A big factor is where its being used. Residential can mean that the system could be more technical to use/calibrate but because it's being used by the same user isn't so much of a problem. Commercial needs ease of use to operate by all renters of the system and ceiling mounted is favourable due to theft.....sadly it does happen!
- Software: Again a big factor. Is the system limited to one software or can you have multiple software options. What's the costs of the software, subscription or outright purchase. Also what features are important to you and does that software offer it. Does it have the courses you want to play?
- Right/left handed play. Is this needed and can it be done and how easy is it for mixed handed players to use the system.
- Stickers/marked ball - It's important to know what implications your device needs to operate. Some devices need stickers on the club face to show specific data. Also some systems need marked balls or metallic stickers on the ball to track spin.
- Putting - a factor that's become much more important in recent years. Simulators have always been considered 'tee to green' machines but with technology evolving putting is now tracked much better. Camera systems will always do a better job for tracking short putts compared to radar devices.
- Video Analysis - Many systems now have the ability to offer swing analysis. Trackman offer a fantastic app that means you can use your IOS device to record your swing, and that integrates seamlessly into their software. Other devices have swing analysis but may require purchasing additional high speed cameras to unlock that feature.
- Budget - Probably the biggest factor because tracking devices prices range from £500 through to £20,000! It's important to make sure your budget can meet you expectations.
This is just one key component area to a Golf simulator but in all honesty, it's the most important. The tracking device is part of the engine for any Golf simulator so in some scenarios its worth stretching the budget here to fulfil your requirements, even i this means lowering your budget in another area.
Next blog post: Volume 2 - Impact Screens