Best Golf Simulator For Home
Golf simulators are all the rage nowadays. Not only are they great for practicing your game and tracking metrics they are also a fantastic way to destress and have fun, either alone or with friends without ever having to leave home. In the past golf simulators were something reserved for professionals and custom fitters but advancements in technology and lower costs have made them available to the general public at much more reasonable prices. A simulator package can now be achieved for a fraction of the price of what it used to cost.
This article will take you through the requirements for a home golf simulator ranging from equipment to software to space. It will look at the possibility of an outdoor simulator, how to choose the right simulator for you, the costs of simulators and launch monitors and how to build your own simulator.
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What Do You Need for A Home Golf Simulator?
When it comes to building a home golf simulator system, the first thing to do is understand exactly what it is you need. There are plenty of considerations to be made prior to construction.
The most important part of any home golf simulator setup is the launch monitor. Without it, you can’t track a single thing. There are many on the market to choose from. At the budget end, you are looking at around $600 but if you have the money you can easily spend tens of thousands on a premium golf launch monitor.
Obviously, space is going to be a huge factor. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the space, you aren’t going to be able to have an indoor golf simulator. The sides need to be wide enough so that you can fit the screen in and the ceiling needs to be high enough to accommodate the top of your swing and most likely an overhead projector.
If you are using a radar-based launch monitor then you will need more space as there is usually a minimum distance you need to keep between the device and the golf ball. You need to be able to make an unrestricted swing with your golf clubs otherwise you won’t be achieving maximum benefit from the simulator experience.
Nets are an important safety feature. Whether they go behind the screen or to the side, they stop the ball from rebounding off walls and causing injury. We have all been guilty of the odd shank or two and golf netting or an enclosure can ensure that a simple mishit doesn’t translate into disaster.
Whether you’re hitting wedges or irons or the big stick, you need a proper golf mat. Trying to create some sort of do-it-yourself mock-up for your home setup will only result in disaster, broken clubs and wrist injuries.
A screen is necessary to hit into and display the simulator graphics. A budget golf simulator might look to cut costs by using an old computer monitor rather than a large screen and projector but this would degrade your virtual golf experience.
In order for the simulator graphics to actually show up on the screen, they require a projector. This is usually fixed to the ceiling and golfers need to be wary that it needs to be high enough to avoid their swing. If you are struggling for ceiling height you might consider a short throw projector on the floor just in front of where you are standing.
In order to get the best graphics and courses available, golfers will need to decide on the simulator software they want to download. Be sure to do research and ensure the launch monitor and software are compatible prior to purchase. If there are particular courses that you want to play you need to check that out too. Some of the software only includes a very small range of courses for you to play a round of golf. Some even charge an annual fee for course packs or individual courses.
Can I Have an Outdoor Golf Simulator?
Yes! It’s actually quite easy to set up a golf simulator outside. You will largely need the same equipment as you do for an indoor simulator with only a couple of adjustments. Firstly, instead of having a screen to project the graphics onto, you will just use a net. And instead of a projector, you can use a laptop or TV to act as your display. And hey presto, you have everything you need.
Which Home Golf Simulator Is Right for You?
We can’t tell you which home simulator is right for you. After all, we know nothing about you. But we can tell you the parameters you can use to search for your home simulator. Depending on what is important to you, you can choose to focus on aspects such as graphics, available courses, software compatibility, size and price.
By conducting research across these five headings, you will be able to pick the best golf simulator for your needs. Below we’ve picked our favorites at different price points. In order to get the best golf simulation don’t forget you’ll need to add in things like a screen, hitting mat and an enclosure.
Golf Simulator for Home Space Requirements
Space is the main consideration to take into account prior to investing in a golf simulator. They do tend to take up quite a bit of space and you first need to be sure you can fit one comfortably into your home. At a minimum, golf simulators require spaces of 12 feet in length, 10 feet in width and 9 feet in height. Even at these dimensions, you may feel a little cramped. More comfortable dimensions would work out as 18 feet in length, 15 feet in width and 10 feet in height.
Best Golf Simulator Under $1,000
The best golf simulator for under $1,000 is the Garmin Approach R10. The nifty bit of kit costs just $599 and blew the market wide open when it first launched, bringing quality launch monitor technology to the regular golfer. The Garmin R10 offers a wide range of metrics, features and strong, albeit not pinpoint, accuracy.
If a person is clever and a bit thrifty, they could have the simulator, software and all the necessary equipment for less than $1000. This model has the added advantage that it is small enough to carry with you on the golf course so you can use it to check your swing while you are playing.
Definitely, the best value in town if you want to play golf at home!
Best Golf Simulator Under $2,000
Going slightly higher in price with a budget of $2,000 we have Flightscope’s Mevo+. Although there is a 2023 version of the Mevo+ that costs over the budget, the standard Mevo+ comes in at $1,699. It offers superb performance at a fraction of the price of some of the top names on the market.
Improved accuracy, performance and added parameters makes the Mevo+ a premium choice at a great price. Golfers will need to be creative though if they are to buy it and set up a home simulator for under $2,000.
SkyTrak can be a great alternative at this price point. It uses cameras rather than radar so you don’t need quite as much space as you would with some of the other options.
With a launch monitor at this price, you can build a very nice system all-in for around $3-$3.5k.
Best Golf Simulator Any Price
But if you’ve got an unlimited budget, we recommend Foresight Sports GCQuad. A firm favorite among professionals complete with state-of-the-art technology and a wealth of features, the GCQuad is amazing.
Perhaps the best part of Foresight’s offering is the possibility of their sim-in-a-box, where they deliver the full simulator in an easy-to-assemble package. Their Eagle Plus package will set you back around $26,000 but if you’re able to spend that sort of money on a home simulator, you can be assured it will bring you a lot of happiness.
Other great options at the top-end of the market include Trackman which you will see many pros take with them to the practice ground at tournaments.
If you’re a big fan of Tiger Woods then you might want to take a look at the Full Swing KIT. The monitor was developed in conjunction with Tiger and can now be used indoors and out. At least you can practice like him even if you can’t quite play like him.
Whatever price point you are looking at Rain or Shine golf is a great place to buy your simulator. If you are UK-based then you could give Golf Bays a try.
How To Build Your Own Golf Simulator
Building your own golf simulator isn’t as difficult as one might think. The launch monitor and software are integral. Aside from that, you simply need to ensure you have enough space, netting, a screen, a hitting mat and a projector or TV.
Best Golf Simulator for Home: Summary
Golf simulators are exciting bits of technology that help bring the game into your home. They are perfect for solo practice or as a bit of entertainment with friends and are available at a number of price points. A top-of-the-range setup will cost over $26,000 while a very comprehensive DIY setup using the Garmin R10 could be achieved for under $1,000.