Is the Optishot a Good Improvement Tool or Just a Fun Game?

The beauty of #7 at Pebble Beach.  The danger of #17 at Sawgrass.  The Road Hole at the home of golf.  I played all of them, in my house.  The Optishot provides a great opportunity to play historic courses, but can that experience help improve your normal Saturday round?  I believe the answer is unequivocally yes.  Optishot measures face angle and club path extremely well.  Most golfers can get better by improving swing plane and face angle.  Optishot will help with those.  I played a round a couple weeks ago and was frustrated because I thought the sensors were off.  My shots were either blocks or duck hooks.  I went to the range a couple days later, and shockingly, I either blocked or hooked my first 20 shots.  The Optishot was completely accurate with my ball flight.

The Optishot is also a great tool for practice because it integrates interleaving practice. Load up one of the courses, which are good replicas of places I want to play, and play a round.  Each shot is slightly different with a different club.  I get to practice chipping, pitching, and putting.  The simulation and score creates the pressure and focus of a normal round.  This is a great tool.

Optishot does have drawbacks. The most accurate reading is path and face angle.  The sensors don’t detect fat vs. thin shots because it is reading the club, not the ball.  For that reason, the trajectory isn’t accurate.  You will most likely get a favorable trajectory, which makes holding greens easier.  The club speed isn’t precise, but that is adjustable.  Putting is obviously easier with a putting grid to read greens.  For all those reasons, most players score much better on the Optishot.

Scoring better isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I compare Optishot scores only to other Optishot scores, so I still get the benefit of simulation.  My focus right now is plane and face angle, so this is ideal for me.  I concede there are far more accurate simulators, but for amateurs, the Optishot provides the information needed for improvement.  I highly recommend the Optishot.

My latest round on the Optishot was my best ever!  The fairway looked wide on every tee box. The pin locations were accessible for all approaches.  The greens rolled smooth and straight.  Have you ever had your shots go exactly where you wanted each time?

I hit a sweet draw down the middle of the fairway on #1.  The shot felt good.  I put the approach on the green and 2 putted for a nice par.  The tee shot on #2 landed in the middle of the fairway.  My wedge shot landed close, and I 1 putted for birdie!  I thought, “if I stop now, technically, I shoot under par.”  The round started perfect.

The perfect start laid the foundation for the round.  I hit a wild tee shot to the right of the par 5 3rd that bounced off a house (no problem since fake, right?).  The second shot hit the house again and went backwards.  The third shot landed right of the green, but I chipped it close to get up and down for par.  Even the bad shots were manageable.  At that point, I knew the rest of the round would be smooth.

I finish the front 9 with another birdie and a bogey for a 35. 1 under on the front, which is my best 9 holes on the Optishot.

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The back 9 could derail the round.  A par on 10, but then, I hit my 2nd shot in the water on #11.  I doubled 11, and for the first time all night, I was over par.  The next hole would determine the success of the back 9.  I hit a great drive on the short par 5.  My 2nd nestled just off the green.  An easy up and down for a bounce back birdie!  Even par through 12.  I have a chance to beat my previous best of 76.

I birdie the short par 4 14th and par 3 17th.  I get to 2 under going to 18.  In my mind, I think, “bogey or better finishes under par and anything less than 10 beats my previous record.”  Terrible thought.  I should have focused on making a good swing and trying to par or birdie.  Instead, I tried to avoid a blow up hole.  Trying to avoid disaster almost caused disaster.  I hooked a tee shot left, and then hit my approach even farther left. I faced a tough shot to get on the green in 3, but I made it.  2 putts for bogey and a 1 under 71!  My thoughts probably cost me 1 shot in the end, but I will take my first under par round on Optishot.

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