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Playing Rounds on a Simulator?

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So my group of golfing buddies decided to get more serious this year but living in Michigan it is hard to improve year round. We have been meeting at a range a couple times a week and on Saturdays we play a round on their simulator. It's not exactly a brand new one but the iron distances are pretty spot on to my yardages from last year so assuming it's not artificially pumped up like I've heard some stores will do. We have only played 3 rounds so far it certainly took some getting used to but it's been fun and we're scoring pretty well (last time my buddies shot 2 over and 8 over while I shot 6 over) probably about 5-7 strokes better than what a good round out on the actual course would be for us. My question is for people who have played on one in the past what are the main things you think will carry over to real golf? For instance the last 2 rounds I have been hitting more fairways and getting more gir's than ever before so I'm hoping that it is due to a drastic swing change and and some other major equipment issues I took care of recently (long story) but is that just how playing on a simulator is is it more forgiving or should I be confident I turned a bit of a corner? 

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I find that they’re a fun way to spend a few hours with some buddies drinking a few beers, but at least for me, they have no relationship at all to playing on a course.  Unless of course, your home course is absolutely flat, is covered in synthetic turf, and is under a weatherproof dome.

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2 minutes ago, David in FL said:

I find that they’re a fun way to spend a few hours with some buddies drinking a few beers, but at least for me, they have no relationship at all to playing on a course.  Unless of course, your home course is absolutely flat, is covered in synthetic turf, and is under a weatherproof dome.

Lol well of course there are countless factors to be accounted for but i would hope that things like accuracy off the tee, distance control (knowing them in ideal conditions and adjusting for shot conditions later on the actual course), and course management would be some things you could take away. 

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One of my association's guys just bought a place out that has a simulator. Bit out of my way and time is short these days, but it might be my only chance to swing the sticks for a while.

 

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6 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

One of my association's guys just bought a place out that has a simulator. Bit out of my way and time is short these days, but it might be my only chance to swing the sticks for a while.

 

I've found it to be quite fun it's worth trying at least once I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Certainly helps you get your golf fix when spring feels so far away. 

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I play in a weekley simulator league.   

There are things that translate well and those that don't.   Distance, spin, flight path are all pretty accurate.   but, you have to remember that the simulator lines you up perfectly every time.  Not only is the screen airmed directly at you target, but you also have walls, and even lines on the ground that help you aim straight.   So, if you have alignment issues, you'll hit more fairways and greens in a simulator than in real life.  

Additionally, Simulators are really great for dialing up your wedge distances, but remember that doesn't really account for turf interaction.   so, take those distances with a grain of salt.   A well struck, crisp pitch shot in a simulator will be equal to a well struck, crisp pitch shot outside.  but mishits, especially fat ones, are forgiven much more in a simulator.

Edited by iacas
unnecessary whitespace

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1 minute ago, lastings said:

I play in a weekley simulator league.   

There are things that translate well and those that don't.   Distance, spin, flight path are all pretty accurate.   but, you have to remember that the simulator lines you up perfectly every time.  Not only is the screen airmed directly at you target, but you also have walls, and even lines on the ground that help you aim straight.   So, if you have alignment issues, you'll hit more fairways and greens in a simulator than in real life.  

Additionally, Simulators are really great for dialing up your wedge distances, but remember that doesn't really account for turf interaction.   so, take those distances with a grain of salt.   A well struck, crisp pitch shot in a simulator will be equal to a well struck, crisp pitch shot outside.  but mishits, especially fat ones, are forgiven much more in a simulator.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very good points I didn't really take the alignment help into account! 

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One of the biggest differences, if not the biggest difference, is the fact that you are hitting every single shot from a perfect lie with flat feet no matter where your ball actually is on the screen. Rather than needing to adjust to the lie and potentially getting bad contact out of the sand/rough, you generally just need to take a little extra club to account for the "lie penalty" that a lot of simulators will give you. The alignment help, as mentioned above, is a really good point, as well.

As for putting, in my experience, it is pretty hit or miss, depending on the simulator. I've played on some that are pretty solid once you get the hang of it, and I've played on some where we just set it to like 12 foot gimmes because it's impossible to putt.

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I’ve only played on a simulator once and that was like 5+ years ago. I thought it was alright but just a little pricey ($50) for what it was. It seemed fairly accurate but the putting was awkward. I’d rather just hit balls at an indoor range. 

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Agreed that launch, flight, distance, spin are fairly accurate. Be aware that some simulators have settings that pump up distances or have spin bias.Some of the beginner settings might increase distance 20% and have a draw bias.

After the season plan on working on swing low point and contact intensely when the thaw comes.

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24 minutes ago, dagolfer18 said:

I’ve never played on a simulator, and I’ve always wondered how to putt with those.

From what I've heard, not very seriously.

My guy's simulator apparently gives everything inside eight feet.

 

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23 minutes ago, dagolfer18 said:

I’ve never played on a simulator, and I’ve always wondered how to putt with those.

Pretty simple just reads ball speed and club face there is no reading greens played 9 rounds between my group of 3 guys and only saw maybe 8? made putts all together. They set a gimme range we play at 8" so anything inside 8" no need to putt. 

12 minutes ago, JxQx said:

I’ve only played on a simulator once and that was like 5+ years ago. I thought it was alright but just a little pricey ($50) for what it was. It seemed fairly accurate but the putting was awkward. I’d rather just hit balls at an indoor range. 

Yikes yeah I wouldn't pay that I think this one is $28 an hour on weekdays and $36 an hour on weekends with 3 guys we can play 18 in about 2 1/2 hours so you're looking at $30 a person when we play on Saturdays which isn't too crazy i don't think. 

3 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

From what I've heard, not very seriously.

My guy's simulator apparently gives everything inside eight feet.

 

Yeah the short game in general is pretty awful (on this one at least) just get 'er in gimme range and move on lol

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Never play in one. I hope to do it a least once in my life. I think is good for course management, you can play just to see how many GIR, nGIR you hit with obviously penalty points fo hitting it OB, water and unplayable. Around the green and putting seames useless. 

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10 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

From what I've heard, not very seriously.

My guy's simulator apparently gives everything inside eight feet.

 

Everything inside eight feet?! Where’s the fun in that (apart from lower scores of course)?

Edited by dagolfer18

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All the guys with 110 mph swing speeds, and typically drive the ball 280 yards average, swear by those simulators...🤷‍♂️

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I'm not a fan of hitting off of a mat but I would for this right now. Winter sucks. 

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I play weekly on a Trackman simulator.  

I find a lot of important stuff carries over to real golf.  For me the most important thing is it keeps me flexible and my golf muscles in shape.  The feedback from Trackman is also awesome and very accurate.

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