By Andrew Liszewski
While I enjoy a round of Tiger Woods PGA Tour on the Nintendo Wii I’m pretty sure my skills with the Wiimote won’t exactly translate to an actual golf club. So for a more realistic golfing simulation in the comfort of your home the Golf Launchpad seems like the way to go.
The device looks like a small patch of artificial turf and includes a high quality tethered golf ball made from Dupont Surlyn. You use your own golf clubs to hit the ball and the clubhead’s speed, path and angle are automatically measured by a series of optical sensors on the Launchpad. This information is then translated to a copy of Tiger Woods PGA Tour running on your PC or laptop (via USB) and you’ll see your actual swing played out on the virtual course. The system is even sensitive enough to allow you to practice your putting but you’ll want to be careful about throwing your clubs into that virtual water hazard when you don’t make par.
The PC version of the Golf Launchpad is available from Prezzybox.com for about $450 but there’s also a slightly cheaper PS2 version available for about $400.