Simulators are in at the PGA Merchandise Show

ORLANDO, Fla. – It seems that at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show a lot of people are being drawn to golf simulators, and I stumbled upon one that you can play in your own living room.

Dancin’ Dogg is a five-year-old company based out of Traverse City, Mich. This afternoon I spoke with their V.P. of Sales Steve Konold, and he showed me how much fun friends and family can have in their own living room with the OptiShot Infrared Golf Simulator.

The OptiShot simulator features 3D simulation, accurate swing analysis and a library of world-class courses (including Bethpage Black and Torrey Pines). Inside the box is one optical swing pad, the program’s software, balls, tees and a USB cable.

"The revolutionary game was created to create a golf simulator for the masses," said Konold. "It’s something the whole family can enjoy and it will calculate everyone’s club speed, face angle, path of your swing, distance, tempo and your contact with the ball."

The OptiShot swing pad sets up like swinging off a mat on the driving range. The program connects from the pad to your computer at home and provides impressive visuals – it’s as if you really are on the golf course. Then swing the golf club, hit the ball into a sheet or blanket hung up in the living room and let the fun begin.

I played a couple of holes today, and what I realized was that the truth hurts. I tend to fade the ball with my irons and the program showed me instantly after my swing that my club face was indeed slightly open when coming through the ball.

Not only is this something that you can try to beat mom and dad at, but it also is something that can really help you learn about your swing. The more you practice the better you get, and I think it’s safe to say if you could hit balls all day inside, you would.

Well, here’s your chance.

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