What is a golf simulator?

A golf simulator is a full swing golf system or device that allows one to play golf on a photographically simulated driving range or golf course in an indoor setting. They are not video games, but simply a computer-run facility that requires golf clubs and form. The ball is aimed at a screen one shot at a time on a selected golf course (one of 100 are offered). This is a virtual reality allowing each golfer a true golf experience with tee shots, short game and putting. With each shot the golfer has a detailed analysis of the ball flight which can be used for practice and training.

How accurate are golf simulators?

The short answer is extremely accurate. The more technical answer is as follows: When you hit a golf ball outdoors, its flight is affected by many things that have nothing to do with how you hit the ball, such as changing wind currents, thermals, air density and humidity among other things. Then when it hits the ground, its bounce and roll can be distorted by terrain features, grass height and density, divots and foreign objects. So, any outdoor shot is only an approximate depiction of how you hit the ball. You really have no way of knowing for sure how much of the result was caused by your swing and how much by environmental factors. In a golf simulator, what you’re getting is a pure mathematical representation of your shot as you actually hit it, with all the environmental influences stripped away. If you hit a second shot exactly the same way as the first, the result will be exactly the same. So, in a sense, you could say that a golf simulator is actually more accurate than playing on a course because the ball flight you see reflects exactly how you hit the ball and nothing else.

As a follow-up question, how accurate are the calculations?

In our golf simulators, ball flight is calculated using multiple measurements taken from both the ball as it moves through the air and from the clubface orientation as it makes contact with the ball. Our sensors track club speed to within 0.0137 mph, club face angle to within 0.001 degrees, and club path to within 1.0 degree. The formulas for the calculations are based on thousands of actual test shots done by club manufacturers and researchers, and the details (distance, carry, ball speed, club speed, club face angles, ball spin, etc.) are displayed graphically on the screen after every shot. You not only see where the ball went, but also why. Of course, a simulator’s accuracy is only as good as its measurement capability and the quality of its calculations. Only top-of-the-line golf simulators like our ProTee machines can deliver this level of accuracy.

Can I bring my own clubs?

Yes, we encourage players to bring their own clubs. However, we do ask that your clubfaces are clean and in good condition.

Do you have club rental available?

We do have some standard sets available for a small fee if you are unable to bring your own clubs.

Can I use my own balls?

Of course! We encourage you to use the balls you play with on a real golf course. While using any brand golf ball you like, please be sure the ball is clean and does not contain any Sharpie markings as those markings will rub off and permanently stain our impact screens. You can play a full 18-holes without losing a ball at Downswing’s!

Can I use my own tees?

We will provide a special plastic tee that will need to be used in your hitting sensor mats.

What should I wear?

We do not have an official dress code, but suggest that you wear your normal range or course attire. If you’re not a golfer, wear something comfortable as it does get warm. While our dress code is casual, we do reserve the right to request that distasteful clothing be changed.

Can I bring my own food and beverage into the facility?

Yes, you can bring your own food and drink into the facility as long as your are neat and respectful. However, we do ask that all food and drink be kept away from the putting green and outside the simulator bays. Downswing’s does sell soda, sports drinks, water, and coffee, as well as candy, chips, and other snacks.

How do I book a tee-time and how far in advance are tee-times accepted?

Just like at your favorite golf course, we tend to be busier during the evenings and on weekends. Consequently, we do recommend booking your tee time 5-7 days in advance in order to secure your time slot. To book a tee-time on our state-of-the-art simulators, please call Downswing’s Indoor Golf Center at 413-344-4316.

How much do you charge to play a round of golf on Downswing’s simulators?

We have an hourly rate available for players based on the day of the week, time of day, and season of the year. We do not charge on a per person or per round basis. Rates are based strictly on the number of hours that you reserve the bay for. Please see our Rates page for current fees and specials. (Make this a hyperlink phrase that takes them directly to the Rates Page when clicked on.)

Do I pay for the amount of time that I reserved, or for the time that I use?

Due to the fact that most tee times are in high demand and in order to discourage people from booking longer sessions than required, players will be charged for the time that was reserved, regardless of the actual time used. To avoid being charged, you must call at least 24 hours in advance to change or cancel your reservation.

How long does it take to play 18-holes on one of your ProTee Golf Simulators?

We say it takes approximately an hour for an individual player to play 18-holes. If you have more than one player we suggest you book an additional hour for each player in your group. For example, a foursome would normally book four hours of playing time. If 18-holes is too many, it takes approximately an hour for two players to play 9-holes.

How much notice do I need to provide in order to cancel a tee time?

Cancellations must be made at least 24 hours in advance, however 48 hours notice is preferred.

When should we arrive for our tee time?

Players should arrive at least 15 minutes early in order to provide you with enough time to select a course, choose condition settings, change shoes and be ready for your tee time. We want all players to be able to get their round started on time.

Is the facility available for full facility rentals?

We do offer full facility rentals for a variety of different occasions including birthday parties, corporate functions and other special events. Call Downswing’s at 413-344-4316 or email us at abc@downswingsgolf.com.

Can children use the simulators?

Children under the age of 16 can use our simulators, however, we ask that they are accompanied by an adult at all times.