Every golfer dreams of playing a round of golf in the comfort of their own home. But it isn’t passing the time in the off-season or sneaking a round in after work. Golf simulators today are high-tech machines that analyze your swing or ball flight and use computerized models of real golf courses to create a real-life experience of playing golf. Using radar, light sensors, or photometric technology they detect countless factors that go into your shot and swing.
For this post we wanted to answer a few of your questions about golf simulators, which have been growing in demand in homes across Calgary for several years.
To get those answers, we turned toto Luke Elvy. A household name among golfers, Elvy is the Vice President of Media at aboutGOLF, a passionate golfer, and a sports broadcaster with 25-plus years of experience. Elvy has commentated and hosted for an impressive number of sports networks including CBS Sports, NBC/GOLF, ESPN, PGA Tour Entertainment, TEN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and US, and more. Notable tournament coverage includes CBS Commentator at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia since 2010 and is the voice of the PGA Tour’s Esports game – PGATOUR 2K21.
So lets get into it.
Luke, first of all, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us to answer a few of our questions on golf and golf simulators. To start us off, can you tell us a little bit about aboutGOLF, where you’re part of their team as the VP of Media?
Thanks for having me Guys. I first experienced the brilliance of an aboutGOLF simulator when broadcasting the 2018 Ryder Cup for Turner Sports. We called the “Featured Group” action from their Atlanta studios. While it was a shame not to be in Paris, having an aboutGOLF simulator with a picture perfect rendition of Le Golf National at our disposal showed me how far simulators had improved in the last 5-10 years. They signed me up as an ambassador after that event & I became the VP of Media a couple of months later.
The reason aG are the best is because the cameras “see” the ball as apposed to “detect” where the ball might have gone. It ensures the short game is the most superior of all simulators and allows for the most authentic indoor experience in golf.
Our first question would be, in your opinion, what does an indoor golf simulator offer to golfers today? Is it just about getting a couple extra rounds in? Or can it really improve our game?
Well, for starters it allows you to play golf year round. A huge bonus! Game improvement in obvious. The data these days are brilliant and allows anyone to get better.
With aboutGOLF simulators we have online competitions & tournaments. As the official Ryder Cup partner, we are currently playing a Virtual Ryder Cup, where the top 12 players get flown to Whistling Straits to compete for a $70KUSD aG Curve (best in class) simulator. It’s an incredible competition and prize!
Plus there are games for the kids, it can be used to watch movies, live stream sports etc. They have become all inclusive home entertainment units, more than just a golf simulator.
Now, the first question our clients ask is almost always, how much space does someone need for someone to play golf in their home, and roughly how long does the install take?
The basic rule of thumb is 15x15x15(feet) to feel safe & comfortable. However, I’ve squeezed mine into 15 deep, 12 wide & 12 high. The install usually takes 2 full days, but can spill into a 3rd if there are issues.
Are these golf simulators just for experienced golfers looking to improve their game? Or do you see more recreational users or even family members using golf simulators? (We know they can be a tough sell for the non-golfers in the family!)
No. The better simulators like aboutGOLF have a variety of fun games on them for people of all abilities (or none) to play. Like Mini Golf, Bar Games e.g. Darts, Beer Pong & Corn Hole. There are Ball-Striking Games and easy settings on all courses & practise facilities. And as I mentioned above, we’ve watched movies & live streamed sports on ours at home. You can use it for workouts, the Peloton has exploded…those Pyrenees Mountains look impressive on a big screen!
How much can a user expect to spend on a mid to high end golf simulator and what are the big differences between different levels of simulators?
Cost is a determining factor for most people and understandably as its a luxury item, but you’re looking between $40-$100KCAD for the mid to high-end simulators. Remember, you get what you pay for. To educate the reader further, a launch monitor is NOT a simulator. The reason why you see a lot of them on the PGA Tour is they are portable for indoor/outdoor use and they would be on the lower end of quality & cost compared to simulators.
Okay now lets get technical, if I’m really serious about improving my game, what can mid to high end simulators offer in terms of technical metrics of my swing or even coaching?
aboutGOLF offers 15 data points on every single shot, which is a silly amount of information. You can overcomplicate things if you get too technical, but I like to know carry & roll out distances for each club (we save every single shot into the cloud so you get a more accurate indication how far every club in the bag goes).
There’s ball speed, club-head speed, launch angle, spin rates, path of attack, attack angle, smash factor etc…when you add balance plates & cameras you can get lost in the amount of information on offer. It’s way more than the recreational player truly needs. But I know people love that stuff so who am I to judge!
For the space conscious buyer, can aboutGolf simulators be used for other purposes? Media viewing?
Yes as I’ve mentioned above, that is the real advantage of aG simulators…they are a fully immersive home entertainment unit. And that makes them, no brainers to me (if they fit you price range)
We understand you are opening a facility that will offer use of multiple AboutGolf simulators in conjunction with a fun atmosphere, food and drinks. Can you tell us a bit more about this? Would this be a good spot for someone to try an AboutGolf simulator if they’re considering a purchase?
Yes! It’s my goal to give as many people as possible access to golf & year round so we are opening an Indoor Golf Centre in Canmore called CanGOLF (opens later this summer). It will have 5 widescreen HD aboutGOLF simulators including one with balance plates & cameras, which will be ideal for instruction. As we want it to be a fun place to hang, we’ll also have full bar/restaurant called The Clubhouse @ CanGOLF. Also the 2nd level is a function room for hire PLUS a 50×8 ft patio which will boast one of the best views of the Canadian Rockies!
As both Canmore & Golf are booming, we are excited to open as soon as possible (August) to entertain all those who either live in or are visiting the beautiful Bow Valley.
Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us Luke! It was a pleasure to talk to you today and we’re excited to introduce aboutGOLF to our clients at Style Developments!