Beginning at $50,000, the Full Swing Golf simulator lets you play 50 of the world's most famous courses
High flying, deal-making business and the leisurely sport of golf have gone hand in hand for decades, the high-class country club being an exclusive refuge for the wealthy and powerful. With so much money behind it, golf is one of the few sports that can support blue-sky, no-expense-spared technology like the Full Swing Golf simulator. Built into a wall in your home, office or place of business, this immensely popular boys' toy allows you to play over 50 of the world's most famous courses, from the Old Course at St. Andrew's to Pebble Beach, using your own clubs and never losing a ball. A new online mode allows you to play over the Web against your buddies... Provided they have the $50,000 to 80,000 you need to set yourself up with a system!
From robots and motion-capture vests that help you develop the perfect golf swing, to high quality wall-mounted full-game simulators, there seems to be no lack of gadgetry for golf fans to sink their dollar into. And if you want the absolute latest and greatest, the golf sim that lines the walls of homes belonging to Michael Jordan, Donald Trump and Tony Robbins, you're talking about a Full Swing Golf system.
A huge wall-mount screen displays one of over 50 top-flight pro golf courses from around the world in exceptional photo-realistic 3D modelling. A series of extremely realistic playing surfaces lets you tee off using your own clubs from fairway, bunker, green or several different types of rough surfaces. And as you take a shot, two invisible 360-degree infrared curtains record the flight, speed and direction of your golf ball, so that as your ball hits the screen, computer modelling takes over to simulate the flight and eventual landing place of your ball.
The technology is pretty much invisible to the user; you simply plant your ball and tee off, and the simulator does the rest. It allows you to play alone or in multiplayer, either on the same system or through an Internet connection, and modes include full course, single hole, and closest to the pin driving contests, as well as a fully-adjustable practice facility designed to get all areas of your game in shape.
While the Full Swing Golf system has been a huge hit at various shows, and has even been the cause of a few very late nights for members of certain exclusive country clubs, where it's really taking off is in the custom-designed homes of the wealthy and aspirational. A top-of-the-line system at US$80,000 isn't a huge extra on a home that's already costing several million, and setups are selling like hotcakes after the system was used regularly by the characters in HBO's The Entourage, which celebrates the high-stakes Hollywood lifestyle.