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Home > Hardware Reviews > Games

Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Golf Launchpad

1. Introduction

logoHow Realistic Can Computer Gaming Get?

Most computer games allow us to live in a world totally outside reality. Either we are transported to another time or age or we possess superhuman abilities about which we can only dream in reality. With regards to sports games, computer gaming allows us to hit the ball 500 feet, shoot twenty three pointers in a row and get a hole in one at Pebble Beach. What if we wanted a tad more reality, what could we do?

Well, Electric Spin is ready to test the limits of reality in gaming with the Golf Launchpad. I have been using the Launchpad for a couple of weeks now and I can safely say that I have never had so much fun and been so frustrated at the same time. The only reason I am frustrated is that this thing is so realistic, it truly mimics my real golf swing. Read on for a full review of this amazing golf simulator.

Here is a description of what the Electric Spin Golf Launchpad can do from the Electric Spin Web site:

What is Golf•Launchpad™

Golf•Launchpad is a family of home golf simulators for Windows / Mac ($249) and PlayStation2 ($199). Think of Golf•Launchpad as a high-quality golf pad or golf mat embedded with sensors and digital signal processing - effectively a specialized game controller for golf!

Attached to the rugged, low-profile, 3 Kg/7 lb unit is a tethered, regulation golf ball attached to a silky-smooth double ball-bearing mount for a completely authentic golf experience, right down to the thwack of your irons and the ping of your driver. Golf•Launchpad is the ultimate home golf simulator that allows you to create, with your large screen TV or projector, the ultimate indoor golf experience!

When you swing your clubs — wood, iron or putter — Golf•Launchpad measures your golf swing thousands of times each second (club head speed, path, angle) and translates this into information that EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour software renders on-screen with breathtaking realism and accuracy.

Use all the clubs in your bag, or if you’re restricted by ceiling height, substitute a shorter club for a longer one (most people can swing a 6-iron safely with 8 foot/2.3m ceilings), and enjoy the full-game from — driving to putting. Play golf at home on the world’s best golf courses with unbeatable comfort and convenience! Even tee off against competitors online!

Golf Launchpad/USB features

  • PC & Macintosh compatible
  • Suitable for indoor/outdoor play (outdoor play on laptop)
  • Over 800 world-class courses available (inc. EA's Tiger Woods and Microsoft LINKS 2003 and newer)
  • Sharpen your game using Golf•Launchpad's swing analyzer: LPDR
Also play on PlayStation2 with Golf Launchpad PlayStation2 Adapter (sold separately)

Golf Launchpad/PS2 Features

  • Golf Controller for your PlayStation2 -- just plug and play
  • Incredible realism with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007-2003 (sold separately)
  • Also compatible with Hot Shots Golf Fore

General Features

  • Play awesome, super-realistic golf without having to make a tee time!
  • Best-in-class simulation feel and accuracy
  • Play the world’s most incredible courses with all your clubs, from “Big Drives” to 3 foot “knee knocking” putts!
  • Amazing engineering allowing you to hit a real regulation ball with all your fury in your living room!
  • Super silent netting lets you enjoy the “thwack” of your irons and the resonating “ping” of your Titanium Monsters!
  • Simultaneous right- and left-handed play
  • Precise game play through optical sensors and “high speed” digital signal processing for the real golf enthusiast!
  • Tethered Surlyn ball on precision, inertia-matched mount
  • Tethered rubber tee
  • High-quality turf on polymer rubber base for comfortable iron play

OK - got the idea? Now, I'll tell you my thoughts and experiences.

I should let you know that I am a pretty fair golfer - about an 18 handicap on most days and courses. I love the game, I have just never been able to "master" it. Winter in New England is still here and I have been itching to get on the course, so the Launch Pad showed up at the perfect time.


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