Best Golf Simulator Courses
Imagine playing the best golf courses in the world. Imagine playing some of the most iconic holes the game has to offer. The devilish Road Hole at St. Andrews or the inimitable par 3 7th at Pebble Beach. Now imagine playing all of those courses without ever having to leave your home. And we aren’t just talking video games here.
With simulator technology, you can bring your own game and your own swing to the world’s toughest and best golf courses. With the right software, you can unlock these awe-inspiring tracks and there’s no doubt that as golf simulator technology grows in popularity, more and more courses will become available.
What are the Best Courses to Play on a Golf Simulator?
There are plenty of great courses to play on a golf simulator, but some stand out more than others. Some of these are incredibly difficult to access in real life due to their expensive green fees. Some you can only play by obtaining an invite from the club and some are so exclusive that it’s nigh on impossible to play them unless you are a member or play with a member.
Possibly the most recognizable course is golf, Augusta is a special place. It has transcended the game and entered the public consciousness. It is no longer just a golf course; it is now a sporting arena with few peers. Its name has become synonymous with the Masters and is universally known.
One does not simply play Augusta. The “easiest” way for non-members to play the course is through invite by one of the club’s 300 members. Exclusive beyond exclusive. But thanks to golf simulators it is now possible to tackle the course virtually. Although on most systems it is known by a pseudonym such as Georgia National or Firethorn.
The Old Course – St Andrews
To play the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland, you need to stay in one of the Hotels that has guaranteed tee times on the hallowed links or you need to enter your name into a ballot. If you’re lucky, your name will be picked out. If you’re not, that’s just bad luck. To play the Old Course at St Andrew’s on a golf simulator, all you need is the right software.
The Old Course is known as “The Home of Golf” and is filled with iconic holes. From the first tee shot with a fairway as wide as an airstrip to the Road Hole 17th and then the short par 4 18th guarded by the Valley of Sin.
The peak season green fee at this venerable links is now £295! While it’s one of those courses that you must play that is now an extremely steep green fee although not the most expensive Open venue by some margin!
Pebble Beach Golf Links
To play Pebble Beach is to play a little piece of heaven. One of the most well-known courses in the world, it is an annual fixture on the PGA Tour schedule and has been used as a PGA Championship venue once and a U.S. Open venue on six occasions.
The three holes to look forward to in particular are the 7th, 8th and 18th. The diminutive par 3 7th measures only 109 yards but depending on the wind can demand anything from a wedge to a 5 iron (it’s not uncommon for drivers to be hit, too!). For the par-4 8th, golfers must hit their second shot over a long carry of water if they want to reach the green in regulation. And the 18th stretches along the rugged, beautiful coastline and is a knee knocker for any golfer.
It’s one of the most expensive green fees on the planet at around $600 and of course, that assumes you live nearby. Otherwise, you’ll need to add flights and accommodation.
Rio 2016 Olympic Golf Course
The Olympic Golf Course was built for one reason and one reason only. The herald golf’s return to the Olympics in 2016 for the first time in 112 years. The 7,163-yard par 71 designed by Gil Hanse takes up a special place in golfing history as a result.
Crans-Sur-Sierre Golf Club
One of Europe’s jewels, Crans-Sur-Sierre is noted for its mountainous setting and tricky, smaller-than-normal greens. It has hosted the Omega European Masters on the DP World Tour since 1939. Players can look forward to trying their hand at some of the best and most picturesque holes Europe has to offer, especially the par-3 13th with its amphitheater feel.
Bethpage State Park: Black Course
Ever played a course that has a warning before you even start? Bethpage Black has one and it recommends the course for skilled golfers only on account of its difficulty. That’s intimidating. Less intimidating is the chance to play the layout on a golf simulator. Off the back sticks this par 71 measures 7,468 yards.
Loch Lomond Golf Club
While Loch Lomond is not the most iconic Scottish course you can play on a simulator but that doesn’t take anything away from its greatness. The Tom Weiskopf-designed 7,139-yard par 72 is set along the edge of Loch Lomond and will provide hours of challenging entertainment for golfers.
Spyglass Hill Golf Course
Like Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill is another annual fixture on the PGA Tour. It features as one of the three courses played in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and has 18 holes of brilliance and beauty. And if you’re a pirate lover, the holes are all named after a pirate theme.
Valderrama Golf Club
Valderrama is one of the most memorable courses Europe has to offer. It’s tight and treelined and offers up a challenging test. It has hosted Ryder Cups, WGC events and DP World Tour tournaments. On a simulator or in person it will challenge even the best of golfers.
PGA National Resort
If you follow the PGA Tour then this course should be recognizable to you. The Champion is one of the courses at the resort and hosts the Honda Classic every year. Featuring the famous “bear trap” run of holes this is one of the hardest challenges faced by the pros. Pick the right simulation software and you can play golf here as often as you like!
Can I Use More Than One Golf Simulator Software?
Getting the right software is key to unlocking your full enjoyment of a golf simulator. For one thing, the software you are using must be compatible with your launch monitor. If it isn’t, then you can’t use it. But what about using multiple software? After all, different software has different courses so is it possible to have more than one?
Yes! It definitely is. So, if you already have one software and come across another with some features you really like, you can simply use that too!
Best Golf Simulator Courses: Summary
That’s my list of 10 top golf courses that you could play in your home golf simulator. Have you been fortunate enough to play the actual course?
Until the boffins manage to perfect virtual golf, a simulator is currently the best golf experience you’re going to have short of traveling to these world-famous golf courses. For most golfers, an indoor golf simulation is going to be the closest you are likely to get to these iconic courses unless you happen to be wealthy enough to afford $500 green fees on a regular basis!
If you’re putting together your own golf simulator package then think about the golf course library that going to come with the software you plan to use. If you want the widest possible choice then you might want to opt for The Golf Club 2019.