Thursday, December 15, 2016

InFIT Sim and It's Been a Good Run

I loaded my clubs into the back of my Subaru Forester Tuesday afternoon for a round of golf at Pebble Beach -- one of the more distinguished courses in the country (except I really didn't know I'd be playing Pebble Beach). I had an hour of golf simulator time scheduled at InFIT in Albertville, about a 50 minute drive northwest of Lakeville. InFIT was looking for people willing to play a round of golf on their simulator in exchange for writing an online review to help get the word out about their facility. I was only too happy to help.

Here's my review:

This was my first time playing on a golf simulator with the exception of when I was fitted for my clubs last spring.

Colton spent 15 minutes with me to make certain I knew how to get the most out of the simulator experience — how to aim my shot, read the green and understand the graphics on the HD display as well as some basic computer inputs to the software. He then left me on my own to enjoy a round of golf in a comfortable 70º environment while it was only 8º outside.

Playing a round of golf on the InFIT simulator is fairly straightforward. There were at least 20 actual courses to choose from. I chose Pebble Beach.

The experience gives you very real feedback. It shows the flight of the ball; ball speed; distance and some other data related to each swing and shot. Every time I felt I’d hit a bad shot the simulator was right there to confirm it. You know the feeling you have when you’ve pulled a shot, hit a ball pure or pushed it — the simulator confirmed all that my club head was telling me at impact. I could look at the HD display and watch as my ball went just where it felt like I’d hit it. I was very impressed.

The greens are fast and once you get used to their speed they’re quite realistic. They run between 10.5 and 11.5 on the stimpmeter. The display will show you the contour of the green as well as your ball’s height above or below the hole and distance to the hole. You line up your putt toward the hole on the screen after factoring in the breaks and let the overhead optical sensors show your result on the HD display. It’s actually quite cool and works much better than I imagined it would.

After holing out you’re advanced to the next tee.

A feature I found helpful was the “mulligan” button on the computer. I was able to play a shot more than once in a variety of ways.

The only drawback I could find with the simulation was that there didn’t appear to be a way to factor wind into the simulation. I would imagine it’s only a matter of time before you can do that. Possibly it’s already there but I didn’t see it and played my round with no wind.

I played just fine using running shoes. You can wear your regular golf shoes but I don't feel it's necessary.

I found the experience very fun and beneficial and although it’s a bit of a hike for me to play there — I’ll be back. It was that good.

I think I'd like to try and get there once each month during the winter. That's my plan.

I fired up my 6.5 year old MacBook Pro yesterday morning to make a quick lap around the patch before stepping onto the treadmill for a couple hour walk -- but there was a problem. My trusty laptop was so painfully slow. It was unusable. I rebooted it twice more but without any improvement. I tried running an antivirus program but closed out of it when I realized it would take all day to run. I decided the best thing I could do would be to take it to the Apple Store at Mall of America and let the folks behind the Genius Bar run some diagnostics on it.

And they did.

It took less than 5 minutes for the technician to find that my laptop had suffered a hard drive failure. He said the hard drive could be replaced but I would either have to do it myself or have someone other than the Apple Store do it because my laptop was deemed "vintage" and they no longer provide parts or service for something of its age. I could probably have it resuscitated for a around $100 but I figured we'd had a good run together and maybe it was time to move on.

And so I did.

I'm now blogging and tapping through the net with a 15" MacBook Pro with a retina LED backlit display, 16 GB of SDRAM, 512 GB SSD with Touch Bar Technology. Funny thing though -- there are no USB ports on it but it does come with 4 USB-C ports. I had to go back and get an adaptor so I can plug in my devices.

So far so good. The Touch Bar Technology is kinda cool stuff and I think I'll enjoy using it. Maybe I'll expand on what it's about in another entry here.

Time to go and write out some Christmas cards! We considered taking a pass on them this year but we've relented and will have them in the mail soon to some of you.

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