Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Dancin Dogg OptiShot Infrared Golf Simulator
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on March 19, 2012
I bought the optishot after saving for it for a few months. I read many reviews both positive and negative and thought I'd give it a try. Unfortunately I was very dissappointed. Many of the negative reviews suggested that it was lighting that was the najor problem leading to inaccurate results. I initially made space in an upstairs bonus room and I knew the lighting would probably not be right. Sure enough the results were not accurate enough to be useful. With or without a ball, the distance and swing speed readouts were horribly inaccurate. Full swings with a six iron registered swing speeds no more than 70 mph and thus the computer would only give me 120-140 yds of distance on my best swings. I usually hit a 6 iron 165-175 yds. Many shots went right despite swinging with a severe closed face. Swings with a closed face went straight and with open face went way right. Many swings registed off toe hits but I was swinging with center contact.

OKay, so i moved the unit to my garage which is much better lit with fluorescent lighting. Same results. No change at all. So the lightmade no difference in my trial. Game mode playing actual rounds would have been fun but for the money, it was not worth keeping so I returned it.

So I would recommend passing on this product. I might revisit it in a few years giving Dancin Dogg a chance to get the kinks worked out. But don't waste your money at this point.
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on February 19, 2013
This is my second month with Optishot. Delivery was prompt and the packaging was solid. I ordered Optishot through Amazon because of it's return policy. I had to set-up Optishot in the driveway, under a canopy. Our house has 8 ft. ceilings, and I was afraid of denting them if used indoors. I know some users have trouble using it outdoors, but it seems to work fine.

This is a very cool hardware / software system. It worked "right out of the box", with generic settings. It is brutally honest about your swings, and gave enough feedback to help improve the swing, which immediately showed-up on the real golf course. I'm having my golf buddies over soon to "play" some local courses (Torry Black and White).

Many kudos to their customer service dept. I went to order a special 2 for 1 offer for more premium courses, but the offer had expired by the time I got around submitting the order. A quick email to customer service, and they authorized the purchase anyway, apologizing for not putting an expiration date on the ad. Very nice folks to deal with !I wish all companies were as customer-oriented as them. Kudos for the programer(s) on this one also. Having done some programming myself, the graphics and algorithms for ball flight and roll are excellent. Must have taken them a lot of time to get OG to work so well.

I found a great forum of folks using Optishot:
ottawagolfdotcom

On Edit: I decided to go whole hog on this one. I took Optishot into the garage, and created a full simulator with screen material and a projector. I was so proud of myself that I added the Callaway ball dispenser as a reward. This set-up is awesome and relatively inexpensive at under $900 for the whole shebang.

On edit: It's 6 months now, and I'm loving the simulator even more ! So cool to go into the garage in the morning and play a quick 9. My latest addition is to purchase a 5' X 4' Monster mat and cut an opening for the Opitgolf unit. My current set-up is a 2-piece mat that needs to be readjusted after shots.

The coolest thing is my golfing friends are amazed at the improvement in my game!
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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.
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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!
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on October 8, 2014
I have had the Optishot for about 6 months and I grow more in love with it as time goes along. I am not a great golfer (mid 90's and getting better), but time with the clubs in hand is a good thing and the convenience of having this at home is really enabling me to practice more and to really see what good technique produces in terms of ball striking, swing path, face angle, club head velocity and the ultimate resulting ball flight. It definitely responds differently to good swings/ball strikes than to mishits. It is excellent reinforcement to lessons, etc.

But, even more, this thing is just plain fun! Turn on some music, invite the friends and have a blast. It is not accurate like an expensive flight monitor. As long as your expectations are realistic for a device of this price, you will undoubtably really enjoy it.

Pros:

Club sets are adjustable (lie, loft, etc.) so you can adjust to the specifics of your sticks
Face angle and club head speeds are remarkably similar to flight monitors at Golftec, PGA Superstore, etc.
Graphics are reasonably smooth
Distances are accurate - although it will not read "fat" or "thin" shots too accurately (relying on your feel)
Works very well with foam balls
Just plain FUN!

Cons:

Fussy about lighting - needs dark area lit by CFL's. Sunlight and regular bulbs crush accuracy.
Limited free courses with need to purchase more to have full access. (Although I've been well amused for 6 months without buying more)
Woods may need reflective tape - especially any club with a non-reflective sole
It will occasionally miss a swing here and there - I cannot explain why, but it is rare (1 or 2 per two-player round)
Updates seem rare, which is odd in this day of constant tweaking of software
You MUST get a mat and create a relatively similar stance level or good bye real life game

It has drawbacks for sure, but the pros vastly outweigh the cons. It took a little while to adjust to freely swinging clubs in the house. And, it was almost alarming at the bad swing path and speeds I was getting. But, as I got accustomed to letting it rip inside and as practice improved my swing path, face angles and club speed, the Optishot clearly register and showed the improvement. All while having fun. I love my Optishot, plain and simple!
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on October 29, 2010
I'm kinda shocked that this product has so many good reviews. I found it to be completely useless except as a cute golf game. I had hoped it would help me work on my swing during winter months. But, this is no practice tool.

I hit a 7-iron from 135-150 yards. The best I could do with the OptiShot was about 80 yards. It would show that my club head was open about 18 degrees with an inside to outside swing path. Yet, the ball would land on the right edge of the fairway 10 or 20 yards off-line. I tried a couple different clubs to see if anything changed, but it didn't. Hit a ball like that in real life and it is gone to another fairway.

The graphics did not indicate hooks or slices. Open club face just shows a straight push. Closed club face shows a straight pull. I hooded the club face about 45 degrees and managed to get the ball to go a little left, with an indication that my club face was closed two to ten degrees.

It comes with no manual. There is an on-line manual, but I was unable to find a download version. The link supplied took me to a broken page. I could not find a link on the Dancing Dog website for a manual download.

Hit a fat shot and bang it a little bit and the sensors go out. I had to unplug the USB cord and replug it to make it come back on. They say you can't break the LEDs but I don't see how they could be that tough being right where the club strikes if you strike a couple inches fat.

The height of the striking surface is problematic. It is about a half-inch higher than any practice mat I ever saw and well over an inch higher than the floor surface it sits (or you stand) on. If it had worked, I would have set up spacers to level out the floor. As it was, I boxed it back up and returned it the day after it arrived.
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on June 27, 2011
For those of you reading reviews and considering purchasing Optishot, don't wait! This is the most fun and realist golf game! My friend and I were uncertain about the durability and playability of the game. I have had the game over a month now and it is just like it came out of the box. It's extremely durable. Both myself and hacker friends have given it some good whacks and it takes the beating. More importantly, it's real golf! Not Wii. I had Optishot for 2 weeks before I went out to play a real round of golf. I shot a mulligan free 79 (par 70 course). I normally shoot about boggy golf. Some days 85, some days 95. Optishot's feedback is so informative, and so fast, you can hit numerous balls on the range and quickly understand what you need to work on. Better yet are the graphics of the courses. Very realistic. The system cycles so quickly, a foursome playing 18 holes takes about an 1 ½ hours. It is a blast! I say to my friends, "where else can you play golf, never lose a ball, drink your own beer, and not pay a green fee!" I have spoken with the guys at Optishot, they are reachable and helpful with the questions I had about the game. Don't wait to purchase this game, you'll be glad you did! Pete, Dallas, TX
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on January 6, 2011
i purchased an optishot with a lot of excitement and built an entire simulator with a 130" projection screen and all. now before i go much further let say i am an 6-8 handicap, and not a beginner. from the opening of the box, the unit didn't make it past hole 9, the screws in the back immediately fell out from no solvent, the top got ripped and destroyed the sensors. when i contacted dancin dogg, they were aware of this being a problem (since mine apparently was built in 2008, yet purchased in dec 2010. apparently they never secured the screws proeprly. and they are undersized as well. they openly admitted this was a problem they have resolved in more recent production, but aparently my unit was too old though i bought it in dec 2010. well you would think dancin dogg would jump through hoops to make good, after all i did have literally one use out of this, and it was an older model before optishot was around. they would forget to email me back, forget to call back, claim to send emails i was not receiving, and just made excuses. so far it has been 7 days and i am yet to get a simple email with a return shipping label. you are extremely lucky if you can actually get anywhere by calling them, but don't expect them to be prompt, because they are clueless what they are doing, they won't call you back the same day, and msot likely email either. my experience with dancin dogg has been horrible and they are selling products that never made it passed quality control, just to move product. any idiot could have figured out something getting whacked by a golf club naturally will vibrate, this item is cheaply built, nor properly tested, (at least the ones they built in 2008, once again that is the date on mine when these are supposedly brand new models.
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on January 21, 2014
I received my OptiShot in perfect condition. I set it up and within an hour of hitting balls, it begins to rattle. The sleeves on the base of the item which the screws hold the top and bottom together had cracked. The base was flopping loose from the top. The USB connector wouldn't stay connected, so I sent it back to Amazon for an exchange.

Replacement product arrived. I connected it to my computer and began hitting balls. The second time I used it, the plastic guide for the tee sheered completely off. Not a big deal since the tee would still work. The thing rattled a bit when I hit balls, but I didn't think much of it. Today I peeled off the grass and the plastic under the grass is severely cracked (broken) in several places. Clearly, the source of the rattle. It is broken beyond use.

I contacted Dancin Dogg to discuss each broken unit. The first time they claimed shipping damage, yet all packaging was in perfect condition. I offered to send it directly to them, but they talked about a two week turn-around. An exchange with Amazon was two days.

When my second unit broke, I again contacted Dancin Dogg. And here is a direct quote from their support group:

" Both of the issues you describe have been noted in the past and considerable time has been given to both thinking and designing to overcome them. Until a new OptiShot comes along, we can certainly help you with replacing your unit. If it is less than 180 days old then all you would need to pay for is to ship the broken unit back to us. If it is outside of the 180 day warranty then you may still purchase one of our refurbished units for $150.00 plus the shipping."

I again returned the unit to Amazon for an exchange. If this one breaks, I am out. I will request a refund and update my review.

-Update-Amazon has refused to replace the item under the assumption the next will be defective as well.
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on March 2, 2013
Initial Review: I was going to buy a new Driver, for a similar price, but what's to tell me it is going to fix the wicked slice I have had for years. But lets take a step back, I have reviewed this product for about 15 months and was hestitant. I got it, packing was great and setting this up was very easy. I was up and running within the hour. I did the range feature, hit 10 balls and sure enough, I had a grouping all sliced to the right, all within ten yards from each other. YEP...it reads my nasty swing well enough.

I got this item to get through the winter months with a club in hand. Then I factored how much I was going to spend per bucket at the range with NO ANALYSIS this spring. The money starts adding up and by the time spring comes, I had just spent several months with no club in hand. My wife wants to learn how to play which I have no problem with but imagine how much I would spend on her learning how to hit. And now my 4 year old also wants to learn. So why not we enjoy this at home.

30 days after purchase: WOW...Since purchase I have spent a good time playing. After a solid week of "entertaining play", I have shifted to working on my grip, swing, etc. The analysis I got made me see I was coming from outside-in and I was able to see consistency in swing speed. Little things such as these have made this product worth it. Just today I hit 100 balls before coming to work in my living room. I failed to mention there was 5" of snow outside. For instructional purposes, I have pulled a couple good tutorials on YouTube and practice at home. I have seen some great results before even going outside. Playing an actual course will be the test but in the first 30 days of OptiShot, I have controlled my swing and have worked on my grip to reduce my slice by a lot. On to the "fun", I have played several courses with friends and it has been a great time. Played at night, we each had a beer and sure enough, 5" of snow outside. More to follow as I continue to use it to rid the slice!!!
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