It's a funny old game, innit? No, not football, golf. But funny or not, golf is rapidly becoming the past time of choice for sports lovers everywhere. Why? Well for starters it's no longer exclusive to snobby old fogeys and naff celebs wearing bad slacks and terrible toupées. These days golf can be enjoyed by anyone. In fact, it's really rather cool.
The only problem is, not many of us can afford to spend all day practising our technique around 18 holes. So thank goodness for the ingenious new Golf Launchpad USB Game Controller. In conjunction with your laptop or computer this incredibly realistic golf simulator allows you to play the world's top courses without leaving home.
Simply plug this nifty USB-friendly accessory into your computer and you can play your favourite golfing video games with your own clubs. Just think, instead of paying mountains of moolah to trudge around a soggy course, you can plug this little baby in and enter a glamorous world of greenery, scenery, bunkers and bogeys.
Golf Launchpad's tethered ball has been designed to reproduce the impact-physics of a free ball to perfection. Not an easy task, as club head/ball collision is a complex phenomenon involving forces of up to a ton.
Utilizing a flexible tether (which permits the ball to spin) and a precisely calibrated pivot, Golf Launchpad's ball is designed to impart the same forces to the club as a free ball. This means that you feel and hear the thwack of your irons and the ping of your woods just as you would on the fairway. What you won't hear is the sound of your shattered ego jangling round your ankles as you fluff yet another easy drive.
And that's exactly why the Golf Launchpad is so effective - it allows you to perfect your swing on top courses without being guffawed at by the bad knitwear brigade. Of course the Golf Launchpad wouldn't be much use without the accompanying software so it comes complete with EA Sports spiffing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 - a stunningly realistic game featuring top competitors and some of the most famous fairways in the world - and a Swing Analyser, that allows you to study and modify your technique. Take the Golf Launchpad down to the local driving range for some outdoors swing analysis. Simply remove the tethered ball, replace it with a standard golf ball and drive off the mat.
Indeed, along with its realistic grass mat and tee, the whole Golf Launchpad package is so spectacularly realistic you could easily become the next Tiger, Nick or Seve without ever leaving home. What are you waiting Fore!?
This product can only be delivered to addresses within the UK.
How it works:
To the computer, Golf Launchpad looks like a USB mouse or joystick. Simply plug it into your PC and you're ready to play major golf titles like EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004.
Golf Launchpad is truly plug and play. There are no drivers to install or configurations to change in your computer. Golf Launchpad™ works with any computer with a USB interface running Microsoft Windows XP, 2000, ME or 98 with sufficient RAM and disk space to run EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 .
Clubhead ball collision is a complex, violent phenomenon. Take a driver traveling at 120 mph, for instance. The collision with the golf ball lasts for less than one-half of a millisecond (1/2000 s) during which forces of up to a ton are imparted by the club-face to the ball. The ball is compressed and the two travel together for about an inch (25mm) before the ball recoils to leave the clubface.
Golf Launchpad's tethered ball has been designed to reproduce the impact-physics of a free ball. Utilizing a flexible tether which permits the ball to spin, and an ultra-low friction, double ball-bearing mounted pivot, with masses and inertias calibrated precisely, Golf Launchpad's tethered ball is designed to impart the same forces to the club as would a free ball. Which means that your hands feel and your ears hear what they should: the thwack of your irons and the ping of your woods, unmistakably reproduced for that exquisite playing experience.
Swing, and the optical sensors embedded deep under the turf track your club over the sensor grid, measuring vast quantities of data off your club, such as angle, velocity, path and so forth. A proprietary digital signal processing algorithms, called a.li.an™, map this data in real-time into dynamical information that is then further processed so that the game's output is unmatched in accuracy. The a.li.an™ algorithm has been engineered and robot tested for accuracy.
Lifelike accuracy in feel and sound, and superb shot rendering precision. Play real golf on the best courses, anywhere, anytime.
Golf Launchpad unit with 8' (2.4m) USB cable.
Netting, and support struts.
Tethered regulation golf ball on precision ball bearing pivot.
Custom developed turf and rubber polymer base for authentic feel and comfort.
EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 Windows Edition (Windows XP, ME, 2000 or 98 required. See system requirements below).
Swing analysis software (LPDR) is not included, however, it is available for free download. Please see information below.
Golf clubs and computer not included.
Swing analysis software (LPDR):
LPDR is a sophisticated software driving range simulator for Golf Launchpad. LPDR provides swing and shot analysis, featuring aircraft style instrumentation, shot speed and angle, as well as ball launch data and trajectory graphs.
LPDR requires Golf Launchpad and a PC with with Windows 98 or later. LPDR requires about 25Mb of disk space.
System requirements for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004:
OS: Windows XP, Me, 2000 or 98
CPU: 333 MHz Pentium II (500 MHz without 3D)
RAM: 128 MB or more
Disk Drive: 8x or faster CD/DVD drive
Hard Drive: 1.3 GB or more of free space
Video: DirectX 9.0b compatible video card*
Sound: DirectX 9.0b compatible sound card
* Video card must be 4 NB or more. 3D accelerated mode requires 16 MB and one of these chipsets: ATI Rage 128, Radeon or greater; NVIDIA TNT or TNT2, GeForce or greater; PowerVR Kyro or Kyro II
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What are the system requirements for Golf Launchpad?
A: Golf Launchpad is a USB device compatible with Windows XP/2000/ME/98. For system requirements of Tiger Woods 2004 on the PC platform please see below.
Q: Does Golf Launchpad work with game consoles?
A: Golf Launchpad is currently only available for PC.
Q: Will Golf Launchpad be compatible with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005?
A: Even though Golf Launchpad still ships with Tiger 04 (because of the 18 course selection and amazing graphics) it is fully compatible with 05.
Q: When will I need to purchase consumables for Golf Launchpad?
A: Certain components of Golf Launchpad will experience wear and will require replacement over time. These are the tethered ball, the turf, and to a lesser extent, the net, all of which are easily replaceable. The frequency of replacement depends on amount of use.
For instance, the Golf Launchpad's tethered ball is made from Dupont Surlyn, the way most golf balls are made, so that the tethered ball provides the same sound and feel as a regular golf ball. Sound and feel are the primary ways in which a golfer knows how well he or she has hit the ball and is an integral part of the Golf Launchpad experience. Golf Launchpad's ball will generally provide anywhere between 200 and 500 drives; however some users will get much more from the ball. Eventually the Surlyn will wear and the ball must be replaced.
Q: Why a tethered ball?
A: Golf Launchpad's tethered ball is removable, so you have the best of both worlds. A tethered ball is more practical for indoor play, and playing isn't the same unless you feel the ball. And you wouldn't know you're hitting a tethered ball because the tethering system has been designed so that the dynamic mass of the tethered ball (think of dynamic mass like the swing weight of a club, which is different from the static weight of the club) closely approximates the mass of a free ball.
Combined with a strong, light-weight, and flexible tether that allows for free ball rotation, and real Surlyn construction the sound and feel are indistinguishable from your experience on the course. And, should you want to practice at the range with Launchpad, simply remove the tethered ball (no tools required) and hit a regular one.
Q: Can I putt with Golf Launchpad?
A: You most certainly can! With the custom engineered turf, putting feel is in no way compromised, yet you can hit irons with confidence and comfort.
The Golf Launchpad is designed for use with clubs or drivers that have a reflective surface. Clubs should be kept clean for best results. Clubs or drivers with a black or matte finish are not recommended.
This is a fantastic piece of kit which has improved my actual game too. I only started playing golf in August and already can go round my local par 3 course in +8 for the 9 holes! It is magic for playing for fun in the living room of the flat and I can take my son on round St. Andrew's. One word of warning - if you have a light fitting hanging down from the ceiling - don't use the driver! Have learnt to chip, putt and pitch also with this product. Fully recommend it. Clive Wells, London - 1st June 2005