We aren’t quite in The Matrix, but golfers everywhere are wondering, What’s so bad about simulated experiences? Keeping your game locked-in while you’re locked inside can prove to be more work than it’s worth. That is, unless you’ve got your very own launch monitor. Suddenly, from the comfort of your living room, garage or basement, you can tee it up at Pine Valley, Pebble Beach or Augusta National (or any number of spots on GOLF’s Top 100 Courses list).
Ownership of one of these high-tech setups used to be reserved for pros and those willing to take out a second mortgage on their house. But with FlightScope’s Mevo+ ($2,000) and others like it, you can have a professional in-home setup for a fraction of the cost.
It’s time to discover the beauty of the great indoors (and drop your handicap in the process). Here’s how.
1. Launch Monitor
Launch monitors these days might be roughly the size of your cell phone, but they ring in a powerful punch. These tiny suckers are brilliant evolutions in technology. In the Mevo+, radar technology utilizes 16 different data parameters on every swing, from launch angle to ball speed. Just provide yourself 16 total feet of space and the Mevo+ will do the rest, immediately spitting out precise data on every club in your bag. The only catch? If you’re looking for accurate spin data (axis, rate and loft), you’ll have to add metallic stickers to your golf balls. If the other 13 data points on the Mevo+ are more than enough for you, you’re fine to take any ball you own and start swinging.
2. Mobile App
In order to start seeing data, you’ll have to connect your launch monitor’s associated app to your smartphone or tablet. After every shot, your monitor instantaneously sends the numbers from your swing to the app. From here, you can use the app to choose clubs, dive into the numbers or check out the trajectory of your shots.
On FlightScope’s app, users can overlay video and call up data by club, in addition to adjusting the design and visual appearance on the monitor. An associated smartwatch app streamlines the playing process by working in sync with the monitor and mobile app.
3. Hitting Bay
While it’s perfectly suitable to substitute your hitting bay with a net, why would you? The hitting bay is the crown jewel of the indoor simulator setup — providing you with visual feedback on every swing. Purchase one online and it should take no more than 20 minutes to construct and orient with your projector. For a one-time purchase, the payoff is steep.
Hook up a projector and mount it to your ceiling. Use the projector’s HDMI port to connect directly to your launch monitor’s app through your mobile device.
Like the hitting bay, you’ll have to buy this product in addition to the launch monitor. A full-blown projector like you’d see in a college classroom might put a dent in your wallet (the $980 Optoma EH200ST comes to mind), but it won’t be a purchase you regret. The projector doubles as a big-screen TV, perfect for watching the pros tee it up when you and your buddies are tired of playing yourselves.