Golf simulators are a great tool to use whether you want to get some extra practice or the weather outside is not nice enough to play. Many golfers do not realize that golf simulators work for putting and not just full swings. So how do you putt on a golf simulator?
You putt on a golf simulator just like you do on a real course: with a real club, a real swing, and a real ball. But, instead of getting the physical ball you hit into a hole, the golf simulator will track the swing, ball speed, and your alignment to simulate the ball rolling on the green.
This article explains how golf simulators work and how you can use them specifically for putting. Then, I have some tips you can use for putting on a golf simulator and how to make the most of your practice time.
How Golf Simulators Work
First, we should understand how golf simulators work before we dive into using them for putting.
There are two common ways that golf simulators are used. First, you can play an actual round of golf on them, complete with drives, fairway shots, hazards, and putting. Most simulators have a variety of courses you can choose from. You can play a nine or eighteen-hole round or just play certain holes you like or want to practice.
The second use of golf simulators is for training. Many golf pros and clubs have golf simulators where people can practice their swings, fix mistakes they are making, or try new clubs. These are similar to a golf range where you practice your swing and hit balls without playing an actual round.
When you hit a ball into the simulator, it tracks your swing speed, your alignment, and your ball’s speed and flight path off the tee to simulate the shot.
Before you start each shot, you will see important information on the screen, such as:
- Hole number
- Distance to hole
All this information is the same as you would need and have on an actual course, so the simulator makes the round feel as realistic as possible.
Putting on Golf Simulators
Now we can look at how golf simulators work for putting. As we discussed above, the golf simulator will track your swing power and speed to determine your putt. You’ll also need to make sure that you line up your putt correctly since simulators will have the virtual ball break just like they do on the course.
If you are just practicing and not playing a full round, you can choose certain green speeds, distances, and slopes that you want to practice. Then, you line up your shot and putt just as you would on the course. The simulator will show you how your putt would go on the screen based on your swing. It will either go in the hole, or you have to putt again, and you can line that up and continue practicing.
This YouTube video from ProTee United B.V. shows you how you can practice your putting on a golf simulator:
But, if you are playing a round, you will have to putt on each green. You will see how far you have to putt to get to the hole and possibly how the green is sloping, if at all. Grab your putter and line up your ball. Hit it as you would on the course, and the simulator will show your putt and track how many you need to complete the hole.
Many golf stores and clubs with a golf simulator will also have an actual indoor putting green adjacent to the simulator. Using the putting green, you can place your ball where it landed on the simulator green and complete the hole on the actual putting green. Then, you can input how many putts it took you and go back to the simulator for the next hole.
Tips for Putting on Golf Simulators
Finally, we have some tips you should follow when you putt on a golf simulator. If you follow these, your time at the simulator will closely mirror what you would do on a course, and you will improve your golf game.
Putt Like You Would on the Course
The most important thing to do when you putt on a golf simulator is to follow the same techniques and use the same stroke as you would on the course.
Unless you are purposely trying something new with your putting, pretend you are on an actual course putting and not using a simulator. Being able to focus will only improve your mindset when you are playing an actual round. You will be more confident putting since you have more time to practice it, and you can spend more time reading greens and planning your putt instead of worrying about your swing.
You should line up your ball based on the green speed and slope. Many simulators will have the option to adjust the camera view, so you can choose the angle you want to line up your putt.
Then, take a few practice swings if you would do so on the course until you are ready to hit the ball. It will feel different at first since you are hitting into a screen or net but stay focused, and you will get used to it.
Know the Green Speed
Another tip is that you should know the green speed of the holes on the golf simulator. If they are fast, you will not be hitting as hard, and if they are slower, you need more power behind your putts.
It may take a few putts or holes to figure out how the greens play, just as it would on a normal golf course. You can always do a practice hole or two before you play an actual round to see how the greens are. Or, if you are just practicing putting on the golf simulator, use your first few strokes to test the greens.
The simulator might have some information on the screen to help you read the greens and see how fast each one is playing.
Another thing to note is the slope of the green on each hole. If you are hitting downhill, you should use a lighter swing, and if you are hitting uphill, you need more power behind the putt. You should also line up your shot accordingly if the green slopes to the left or right.
For a good example of what type of information the screen may show for a shot on or near the green, check out this YouTube video from Golf Simulator Videos. You can see some different putts being hit on the simulator and how the screen stimulates the putt based on how you hit it.
Golf simulators are a good way to practice your putting or play a full round of golf inside. The golf simulator uses cameras to track your swing speed, ball movement, and ball speed, then shows you how your putt goes on the screen.
When you use a golf simulator to putt, line up each ball and swing just as you would on the course. Using a golf simulator is a good way to practice your putting if you can use your normal swings and mindset.