on February 18, 2010
I've had the product for a couple months now and I feel that it is a very good value. I've used the P3Pro and it is a better product, but it is also in another price tier.
I have the system set up in my basement driving range (thankfully I have high ceilings). I have only one window in the basement and the natural light does not interfere with the system. I use the recommended lighting and I use both real golf balls and the 'almost golf' foam ball. I've had five other golfers use the system in an effort to test it's accuracy. Here are our findings:
1. IRONS - Swing Path: The Optishot seems to be quite accurate with tracking the swing path, face (open/close) and impact (toe/center/heel) with irons. I even used impact tape on the club face to see if the toe/heel readings were correct and they were. One of the golfers who normally struggles with a hook was definitely still struggling with his hook and our test slicer was still slicing... pretty good. We used Callaway, Nickent, Ping and Cleveland irons on the system and they all worked well. Rating: 9/10
2. IRONS - Swing Speed: I believe this is pretty accurate. Based on what I've seen my swing speed at on the P3Pro, I think the Optishot is close. I would rate the Optishot an 8/10.
3. IRONS - Ball Distance: Not sure how accurate the distance estimation is. Some of the golfers felt that the distances estimated by the Optishot were well short of what they normally hit. I found it to be about 5-10 yards shorter that what I really hit, but I figure not all irons have the same lofts, so the Optishot just estimates based on the type of irons you tell it you're using (NOTE: b/c this thing does not have a ball sensor it cannot accurately track the ball if you hit thin or fat... however, you club head speed slows down when you hit fat, thus, limiting the distance). Rating: 7/10.
4. DRIVERS - Swing Path: The Optishot seems to be quite accurate with tracking the swing path, face angle and impact (toe/center/heel) with the driver as well. Again, we did the impact tape test and the Optishot was accurately reading toe/heel shots. I do feel that is slightly less accurate than the iron readings though. However, slicers were slicing and hookers were hooking. Rating: 8/10
5. DRIVER - Swing Speed/Ball Distance: Overall a mixed bag. It really depends on the driver you're using. I do think the Optishot does a good job with reading the swing path, but the swing speed and ball distance can very greatly depending on how reflective the club is (I guess). We've tried a Ping G10, Callaway FT-i, Nike Str8 Fit, Cleveland Launcher and Callaway Big Bertha 460. It seems like the Callaway clubs are read more accurately. I know they sell a driver that will work with the system, but who needs another driver just to use the Optishot? Rating: 6/10.
CONCLUSION: The Optishot works well with irons and not so great with the driver. We are using the Optishot mainly to give us feedback on the swing path and face at impact. It's a good tool for higher handicappers or if you're working through swing changes and want to see how the changes are affecting your swing path and impact. For me, the Optishot is almost always in practice mode using the 3DD mode (simulated courses). I've really enjoyed using it and would definitely recommend it if you can't afford the P3Pro... just make sure you have the right lighting conditions. Overall rating: 8/10
Btw, outside of all the serious stuff, it's just fun to get on this thing and whack away in winter time here in Chicago! At $26/hr at my indoor range, the Optishot will end up saving me some $$. Plus, it's nice to go and hit balls any time I want in my basement and get some feedback outside of just the feel at impact.
on June 7, 2010
I'd been thinking of getting a sim for some time and finally took the plunge on this one, which is certainly the least expensive one available. There's plenty of info on this on the internet so I won't go much into it, but I've been quite satisfied so far. Occasionally it won't pick up your swing (maybe once every 20-25 swings) and you have to reswing. Of course that only happens when you've really hit one flush. Distances with clubs weren't particularly accurate for me and this seems to be something that is fairly common, but you can adjust the distances (e.g. increase distance 10%, decrease distance 5%, etc.) to make the sim distances align with your real ones. I was consistently hitting drives of 320+ which felt good but wasn't going to do my real game any good. Incidentally, my average driving distance is more like 265, so I had to decrease driving distance about 17%. Programming in my clubs and setting distances took maybe 30 minutes and was sort of fun anyway.
There are several courses that come with the sim, as well as a driving range that you have to download as an update once everything's installed. There were several updates to download and while they're not necessary to start playing, if you want the newest courses and the range they are, and they take a couple of hours to download. You can play it right out of the box but download the updates overnight.
I was somewhat dismissive of the computing power recommended for this program. My computer is not quite 2 years old and certainly fits the minimum requirements for running the software, but running the program is not smooth. I've turned off everything in the program that takes processing power but it's still not great, though acceptable, and this isn't really DD's fault anyway, but just the way it is with software and computers. But the newer and more powerful your computer the better this will look, and it does make a difference.
Some people have complained that swings with their driver don't register well with the system. Can't say I've had that problem. So far all of my clubs have been picked up by the sensors just fine. One thing that DD has apparently changed though is the measurement of swing path. For example, after a swing you'll get a reading that says something like, "Clubface open 2 degrees, swing path inside out." Sometimes the swing path will be "very" inside out or outside in. Based on screen shots on the DD website, the reading used to give degrees of inside out or outside in. I've sent some emails to DD trying to find out how inside out "inside out" is, i.e. at what degree of inside out does a reading become "very inside out," but I've gotten no response. I suspect it's pretty significant however, based on some testing on my own, so this wasn't that big a deal. If you get "very outside in" it's either a dead pull or a banana into the next fairway. Any swing path less severe than that is likely to turn out okay based on my experience with "carryover" onto the real range after hitting on the sim.
I've also seen some complaints about lighting having to be perfect to get accurate readings. I haven't had that problem either. I have it in a large front room with just a lamp on and it works fine. No problems with shadows, needing overhead fluorescent light, etc. The foam balls they give you do bounce off stuff. I bought a $30 net from Izzo to catch them and it works great. Finally, the device itself sits 1.5 inches off the ground. They sell a mat on the DD site but it's as expensive as the device itself. I had some spare carpet that was 1/2 inch and just folded it over three times and it works fine. But be aware that you'll need something to stand on when you hit.
I really think this is an excellent product. I didn't give it five stars because it wasn't perfect, but for much of an improvement over it you have to spend $700 more, and for the best sims around you will drop tens of thousands of dollars. If money's no object get a custom job and drop the $50K. If you just want to be able to hit balls when it rains and have some idea what your swing is doing, this is your huckleberry.
UPDATE: I mentioned above that computing power was playing a big role in the choppiness of the sim. That's true, but not as much as I thought. Once I removed Vista from my machine and put XP on instead, the smoothness of the sim increased dramatically. Faster computers will still work better, I'm sure, but in this case the problem seemed to be that Vista sucks, not that a brand new computer is required to run DD.
on March 27, 2015
As long as you use it as a game, you'll enjoy it. But if you are looking at this as game improvement device, you will likely be disappointed. This unit is not a substitute for an $8,000 to 20,000 ball tracker. But for the price, you cannot beat it.
You also need to patiently calibrate your club offsets and lofts, and adjust your distances and swing speeds (be honest). If you play it out of the box, it can be a bit frustrating as you'll not get accurate readings. Your subtle draw will become a nasty hook. Most club offset information can be found on the internet...at least for late model clubs. Before making these adjustments, I was registering 325 yards with my 3 wood...I wish! Even after you set everything, go on the driving range simulator and 'fine tune' your swing speed and distance. I suggest hitting a few shots with each club on the virtual driving range. Throw out the obvious misreads, and tweak it to the way you really hit each of your clubs. If you do that, the game is a lot more realistic and will hold your interest.
The simulator does not recognize a 'top' as it reads the club speed passing over the sensors...not the ball or ball strike. So, you'll find yourself over-swinging in order to maximize your distance, since you'll not get punished for topping the ball. If you chunk it, the simulator will recognize the 'slowed' swing speed, and punish you with a shorter distance and/or face angle.
Putting - forget it. I think I've made one putt over 10' in 3 months on the simulator (I'm not quite that bad of a putter). It's just not an accurate putting simulator. You can never seem to get the speed right. I think the sensors are too far apart for putting, so the speed of your putter head probably decelerates and arches by the time it reaches the second row of sensors. There's a setting you can use while playing a round to add one putt after you get inside of 10' of the hole. You really need to use that to get realistic scores. It makes you work on getting those approach shots tight!
Lastly, you'll find yourself manipulating the simulator. You can swing any club, and change the club selection on the screen. Since my driver doesn't read accurately every time (black sole), I will use a hybrid (silver sole), and change the setting on the screen to the driver. Since it only calculates swing speed, swing pattern and club face angles, the ball will still travel "driver distance", without the misreads I sometimes get with the driver.
In summary, it's an economical solution for something to do on bad weather days. Take the time to set up your clubs! If you live in an area that will not allow you to get out during the winter time, and you love to play golf, this is an economical solution.
on November 6, 2010
I have had the optishot system now for 1 week and I am very pleased with this product. I currently play to a 3 handicap and wanted to have a way to keep the game sharp over the cool months. I have 8 and 1/2 foot ceiling with flourescent lighting in the room where I have the system set up. I am using all of my regular clubs Callaway X forged irons, 2 and 3 hybrid, 3 wood TM superfast, and Driver TM superfast. The system has no problem reading any of my clubs. I have recently hit balls into a simulator at my local golf store and my swing speed with the optishot is dead on. I was hitting my driver with a swing speed of 115 MPH there and I am doing the same with this system. Also, surprisingly to me, my club distances on normal/muscle back set up is dead on to what I hit on the course (I was amazed by this). I even have a secondary club that I retired when I had it re-shafted because I lost 10 yds on it, and on this system it even picks that distance variance up! My overall rating for this system would be 8/10. I now have a range I can go to and groove my swing without having to leave the comfort of my home!
on March 20, 2012
Lets first start off with the good. After adjusting for the exact specs on my irons, you must do this to get accurate results, my good shot iron readings are great. In fact I would say 90% or more of the time I agree with what the system says I hit my shots. Before looking at the screen I can almost always say, I opened the face, closed the face or hit it perfect and the screen says the same thing. The only thing that bothers me slightly is it will show a thin shot just as good as a solid strike. My miss is almost always thin so I get a little better results than I should. I think really horrible shots are represented too good in the system. I have yet to hit a 60 yard miss hit even though I know some of my swings created a really bad shot.
Now woods and hybrids seem way off. I have tried to adjust the system to get these to show up better but it has made very little difference. For some reason I seem to get WAY to much distance from all my woods. I have never hit a 245 yard 5 wood in my life. And my average 5 wood is in the 225 range which is easily 20 yards longer than real life. I did a little adjusting down of my 5 wood so it makes more sense. But more worrisome is the discrepancy in ball flight with my woods. I believe I am pulling all of my hybrids but I am getting a straight or slightly faded ball flight. I need to go to the range to see if the system is right or I am right. Needless to say if I am really hitting my woods as good as the system states I became a much better player overnight.
Also chipping on the system is much easier than in real life. This is the area I pick up the most shots compared to how I really play. Point of reference I am a 30 HD in real life and a 13 HD in the Optishot. Most of those shots are picked up with my chipping.
If I had it to do over I would still buy the system. Like I said it is great for irons, except for the thin shots, and it is fun, especially because I am such a better player in the system than in real life I get a good ego boost.
on September 18, 2014
My husband is very pleased with this so far, although he's only had time to play a few times. We had a hard time finding the 'ideal' set up where he would have enough clearance to swing, good lighting (non-natural light), and wouldn't break something if the ball came flying at it. He VERY successfully created a 4'x4' elevated platform that makes him the same height as the golf simulator. After reading many posts online about people going all out with customizing their simulator he went to home depot and picked up insulation/foamboard and plywood cut down to 4'x4' glued the pieces all together with wood glue and then topped it with a astroturf rug we bought for $20. Definitely a 'man cave' piece but he's loving it!
on February 9, 2016
If you have the space in your house and live in the North East I would highly recommend this. It does need the correct lighting for it to work correctly. I wish I could hood or loft my shots with this otherwise it would be a 5 star review from me.
on July 22, 2010
Rolled the dice and bought the Dancin Dogg Optishot over the P3Proswing. I liked that I didn't need to tape my clubs and that they included a bunch of "free" courses. I've used the Dancin Dogg about 5 times now and I have to say its pretty impressive for the cost. The unit wasn't perfect out of the box but after some tweaking to the club settings I feel that my iron and woods play is closely represent to my real life game. The 3DD golf is a lot of fun and the practice mode gives me enough feedback on my swing mechanics that it has already helped my game. I would recommend this product for any mid to high handicapper or to anyone who just wants to have some fun with their golf clubs when they can't make it to the course.
on September 30, 2011
This is a great product to me. With the 3DD update, the product has improved a ton. I bought all of the new courses. I installed it on my new MAC because I was way faster than my Dell. The only issue I had was poor performance from an outdated PC. Installed it on my Apple 17" pro and corrected my lighting and everthing was great. I bought the 48" x 60" Monster Tee Golf Mat to go along with it. I cut the mat so that the lauch pad would fit. Both work great together. Saved me $500 on a custom mat that someone elst built. To get accurate data, you have to go in and customize a club set to your own golf clubs and estimated distance. After I did this and am completely satified. Took me 2 weeks to figure this out. If you dont do this, you will get standard data back from your swings. I get great feedback. Somehow it knows when I top the ball too. I hear a lot of ppl complaining about the feedback but i dont know why. Maybe they didnt customize the setting or they dont have a good set up. I am going to update my review with a picture tomorrow, with my set up.
on January 22, 2011
I have had my Optishot for about 10 months now. About twice a week, two or three friends and I play a round. We have played almost 4000 holes combined so far. We hit "almost golf" balls into an eight foot screen with a projected image from the computer. First of all, it is absolutely worth the money. We have a ton of fun on it.
I have had a couple units. The first unit got really hammered by golf clubs and eventually cracked. I contacted their support, got a return authorization and sent it back. I received a new one about 10 days after I sent the old one back.
It is pretty accurate, not perfect. I read about a lot of people hitting the ball not very far. Mostly, you cannot hit the ball fat, you cannot hit the unit with the club head. This will always show a slow club speed, as it should. You should tee up everything that you are taking a full swing at. I discovered after doing this, the unit is surviving much better, and my shots are going much further.
Also, you really need to use generic clubs. Those huge, fancy drivers get misread and you will be lucky to get it 80 yards with your super-mega-power-bertha driver. I use a shiny 3 wood for my driver and get very good results. I also increased the power of the driver to 120%. This helps with egos and makes it a bit more fun powering the drives.
The software, 3DD Golf, is pretty good. The graphics are awesome. I would just like to see different games like skins or best ball, and have the ability for the software to handicap the players. You just get stroke play. But it is a really good, realistic, golf simulation.
All of the courses are great. I also have a couple premium courses which cost an extra $50 each. It's a bit of a bummer they cost extra, but they really are some great courses.
Overall I would recommend this product. It has been a lot of fun for all of us.