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How To Build a Golf Simulator
Are you thinking about building a golf simulator? If so, this is the guide for you!
There can be a lot of things to consider when building out a golf simulator. So we made this guide in hopes of making it as easy as possible to build your own. This guide will cover everything you need to know - from what equipment you need, the different options to consider, and how to decide.
Or, if you want to jump straight to what we have to offer, see our best golf simulators guide below.
Building your very own golf simulator can actually be broken down into a few simple steps:
Choosing the right space
Purchasing a launch monitor
Selecting golf simulation software
Choosing your desired hitting area experience
In the rest of this article, we will get into the specifics of each of these steps, including the considerations for building out each section.
Choosing A Space To Build A Simulator
Choosing A Space To Build A Simulator
The first thing you will need to do is decide on a space for your golf simulator. One of the most popular spaces to set up a golf simulator is the garage. The garage is a great space for a simulator because it typically provides more than enough room and also prevents your simulator from taking up space in your house. The downside to the garage is that it will take up at least 1 car space and most garages aren't air-conditioned.
Other great spaces to consider are the basement, a guest room or office, a game room, or a backyard.
When selecting a space, the dimension requirements are the important thing to consider. You will definitely want 9+ feet of ceiling height and have space large enough to swing a club and fit your desired enclosure. Be sure to review the specs of your desired setup to ensure there is enough space to build your sim.
There are many options you have when it comes to launch monitors. Here are a few of the best options along with their pros and cons. To learn more, read our in-depth guide on the Best Golf Simulators.
This is the most volatile section of building out a simulator due to the extreme cost differences involved. You may be in the market for a SkyTrak tier at about $2k or you may want to jump to the top for a GCQuad at nearly $20k.
Bottom line is, this is where to do your homework. Be sure to check out our guide below to make the best possible decision on a launch monitor.
Depending on the launch monitor you end up choosing, you may also have to purchase simulation software. Optishot 2, for example, comes with its own software. Systems like SkyTrak do not and therefore must be purchased additionally.
We've created a complete golf simulation software guide that covers the different software options in detail. This guide goes into detail on the ins and outs of WGT, TGC 2019, and E6 Connect Software.
Choose Your Golf Mat
Choose Your Golf Mat
The difference between most mats comes down to their technology and size.
If you thought all mats were the same think again! The materials of a golf mat can have a big impact on the durability and feel of a golf mat. In addition, many golf mats feature added layers and materials that provide a more realistic result when compared to real grass.
For example, TrueStrike Golf Mats feature a silicone gel layer under the mat that accurately simulates the feel of grass. The gel layer also reduces the impact of your shot and is easier on your body over long range sessions. Great if you're a steep swinger!
A solid all-around mat is the SwingTurf Golf Mat. It provides a realistic feel and does a great job of reacting authentically, giving you realistic feedback on miss hits and even fat shots.
To learn more about all the different types of mats, read our Best Golf Mats guide.
One of the decisions you'll have to make is whether or not you want to use a projector and screen.
Using a projection screen will greatly enhance your golf simulation experience. Being able to see the course on a big screen in front of you, and watching your ball fly through the air makes things feel a lot more realistic. However, this option will typically be more costly. Adding a high-quality impact screen and projector could add somewhere in the ballpark of $1,000-$2,000 to your golf simulator setup.
Your other option is to simply use a net and then setup an ipad, computer, or tv next to your hitting area where you can view your shot.
Golf Simulator Buildout - Finishing Out Your Hitting Area
Golf Impact Screens
When it comes to impact screens, the main thing to consider is whether or not you want one that attaches to a golf net, or one that is stand-alone. If you already have a net, then you will most likely want one that can be attached - like RS Tour Screens. Just to be sure the dimensions of the screen match, or come really close, to your net.
Figuring out what projector you need can be quite confusing! The main thing you want to be sure to get is what's called short-throw projector. Short-throw projectors are designed for projections from short distances and will provide the best image for golf simulation.
Another configuration you want to look out for is lumens. This will determine how bright the projection will be. For well-lit rooms, you will want a lumen value of at least 3000. Lastly, you will want to look at a projectors aspect ratio. The aspect ratio determines what shape the projection will be. The closer an aspect ratio is to 1:1 the closer to a square it will be. Most aspect ratios fall between 4:3 (more square) and 16:9 (more rectangular).
Choosing a golf net will hopefully be your easiest decision in this process. The main things you will need to consider are:
What size net do I want?
The size of net you choose will depend on how much space you have and your skill level. A bigger net may be needed for less skilled players to make sure they hit the net even on poorly struck shots! Our collection of nets are a perfect fit for most spaces. It's small enough to fit into most rooms while big enough to give you some comfort on mishits!
Will I use my net indoors or outdoors?
Some nets are built specifically for outdoor use and built with weather-resistant materials. If you are planning on using a net outdoors, then it may be smart over the long run to use a net designed to withstand the elements.
If you've made it this far then hopefully you have a good idea for the different components that make up a golf simulator build. If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the number of choices you have then you are not alone!
That's why we've tried to make it as easy as possible and have put together a guide to help you find the Best Home Golf Simulator Packages. Our golf simulator packages make it easy to get everything you need for your golf simulator in one purchase.
With multiple options for golfers of all budgets, you are sure to find what you are looking for!