Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club


R-Motion simulator fits in your hand, lets you play 100s of virtual courses

April 24, 2017

The R-Motion golf simulator is so compact you might not even know it’s there. At least not until you hit a shot and watch a computer monitor showing your ball sailing over the first green at Pinehurst No. 2.

The R-Motion requires nothing more than your clubs and a ball and a PC. It uses a slide-on motion sensor similar to what’s been developed for training aids like Swingbyte and SkyPro, but R-Motion’s technology is singularly focused on simulating a round of golf on one of 15 virtual golf courses. The high-resolution animation features let your virtual player see hazards that are hidden from your current view, along with typical flyovers and even a virtual camera setting that put you inside the flying golf ball.

But these are just the cool aesthetic tricks. The meat of R-Motion’s technology is the slide-on club tracking unit. Multiple clips allow the user to slide on the club tracking unit to any club and additional clips can be purchased separately in addition to the four included with the purchase. The R-Motion sensor was developed by Raspodo, a company whose motion capture technology is also being used by Major League Baseball pitchers to track arm motion and velocity. The R-Motion sensor slides on to the clip close to where the shaft meets the grip. It tracks the club in three dimensions to measure velocities at impact and various angles of shaft and clubface, including smash factor, sidespin, backspin, swing path, carry distance, roll and deviation. It also has the unique ability to assess clubhead vibrations at impact to better assess the quality of contact. For example, more vibrations would mean less efficient transfer of energy and so a relatively shorter shot.

As well, the course library includes hundreds of additional virtual designs that are part of The Golf Club video game. The Golf Club is generally regarded by gamers as that rare virtual golf game that’s especially true to the skills required by the actual game itself. Developed by HB Studios, it also includes a course designer feature that's resulted in the design of some 130,000 virtual golf courses. Partnering with the R-Motion sensor and your own clubs just might make The Golf Club's virtual reality even more realistic.

The R-Motion unit, which weighs just 10 grams, communicates with your PC via Bluetooth through a dongle inserted into a USB port. The unit, which includes four clips and a charger, as well as the dongle, retails for $300. A package of 10 additional club clips retails for $90.