Golfing Indoors – The Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of golfing indoors

golfing indoors - simulatorSo eager to start the golf season here on Cape Cod, I’ve settled for golfing indoors! But there are a lot of pros and cons when you play golf in golf simulators.

Last week I met a friend at the new iGolf Indoor Golf Center in Pembroke, MA to play a few holes and try to get my swing back in a groove. It’s a great venue with five HD bays available for play and dozens of virtual golf courses to choose from. We chose Pinehurst #2. We could have “traveled” to St. Andrews in Scotland or headed west to Pebble Beach, but as this was our first time back in the tee box we decided on a course that was a wee bit shorter and with no water to speak of. Even so, in the two hours we played, we only made it through to the 14th hole. Call us slow, or super careful… but it takes a while to get used to managing the simulator set up.

Golfing Indoors - Simulator ScreenWhy so slow? One of the best things about playing in a golf simulator is also something that’s guaranteed to slow you down. There is just so much information coming at you every time you swing a club! Swing speed, clubhead data, distance are only a few of the stats you get as feedback. You have to filter it all, and that takes a bit of practice. I’m sure it’s just a matter of choosing what to work on. Make a choice and concentrate on that aspect of your game.

For me, it is definitely swing speed and distance.

After a few months of not playing, my speed is less than slow, and my distance? you can guess. But I’m not discouraged. Heading back out to play again next week and will report back. If you are thinking of trying out a golf simulator, here are a few things to consider.

The Pros:

  1. Playing indoors, in a controlled atmosphere… no wind, no rain, no freezing snow…. or if it’s hot and humid outside – indoor golf offers air conditioning!
  2. Great feedback for every swing. Take what you learn and focus on improving. I suggest focusing on only one aspect of your game at a time. Otherwise, it can get too confusing. — Direction, swing speed, distance.
  3. Use every club in your bag.
  4. Easy way to experience a golf course you’ve never played.
  5. iGolf offers lessons, so you can have an instructor give you valuable feedback based on both performance and data.

The Cons:

  1. Electronic feedback is not always accurate, but a good estimate at best. But it’s enough of an indicator to work with.
  2. You may hit into a “bunker” but getting out is not the same as really playing in the sand. Too easy in a simulator.
  3. Golf balls are provided by the facility, so you don’t always get the same “feel” when playing as you do using your own favorite golf ball.
  4. Putting is difficult in a simulator if not impossible! You can set the “gimme” level to within a few feet so you don’t spend five strokes trying to ease the ball into the virtual “hole.”
  5. The HD simulator screen is ok, but there is nothing quite like playing the real course. And of course, playing golf outdoors, no matter the weather, is always an experience to treasure.

Have you played golf in a simulator? Did you like it or hate it? Add your comments in the space below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *