Best Golf Simulator Software 2023
Golf simulators are one of the hottest technologies in golf. Everyone has seen online videos of the ideal “Man Cave”. An old shed or garage reconstructed and revamped into every golfer’s dream. Somewhere they can hit golf ball after golf ball and play the world’s best golf courses without ever having to leave the confines of their home. They’re great fun and ideal for spending time alone or with friends. Even better, they help tune your game, giving pinpoint accurate feedback across a whole range of metrics.
The software options open to you will depend to some extent on the launch monitor that you select. You probably need to ask yourself whether you want the most immersive golf simulation or the most accurate in terms of data.
This article will look at the different types of simulators as well as their cost, what is required when setting one up and even the technology that someone like Tiger Woods uses.
Golf Simulator Software
|GS Pro||$250 per year||Uneekor (QED, EYE XO) FlightScope (Mevo+, Xi, X2, X3)||160|
|The Golf Club 2019||$1000||SkyTrak, FlightScope Mevo+ , X3, Uneekor (QED, EYE XO)||170,000|
|E6 Connect||$2500||SkyTrak, Vista, Approach R10, Uneekor, and FlightScope||90+|
|Creative Golf 3D||$1200||SkyTrak, Uneekor, FlightScope, Foresight Sports||130|
1 needs subscription to SkyTrak plan.
The Golf Club 2019
Anyone who has played golf on a PC will probably come across “The Golf Club“. The biggest advantage of the software is its compatibility with a wide variety of launch monitors and the sheer volume of courses available. Since it comes with its own course designer many users have produced their own courses to play on and there are up to 170,000 published courses for you to peruse! Not all will be worth using admittedly but that will keep you going for a while. Here’s a list of just some of those available. You can even play Augusta National!
In addition to rounds of golf against your buddies, you can also practice different aspects of your game on the range.
Minimum system requirements include Windows 7 64-bit, Intel Core i5-760 @ 2.80GHz, and an NVIDIA GTX 670 or equivalent so even relatively old equipment (in PC terms) can handle the software.
Compatible with SkyTrak, FlightScope Mevo Plus FlightScope X3 Uneekor QED, Uneekor EYE XO, Foresight and many others.
Creative Golf 3D
In addition to the standard simulation options found on most software, Creative Golf 3D also has a range of child-friendly mini-games that might make this your preferred software option.
The course list is now well over a hundred and continues to grow and it looks like it includes a number of courses that you won’t see on other software packages.
While not as expensive as some options the software is certainly not cheap coming in at $1200 if you want a lifetime license for the software and additional courses. This is on top of the extra fees you need to pay to SkyTrak.
If you wanted to add this software to your foresight launch monitor then the additional courses alone are going to cost you $600 a year although given how much their launch monitors cost that’s probably not too surprising.
Compatible with SkyTrak, Uneekor, FlightScope Mevo Plus, Foresight Sports.
Primarily for use with the SkyTrak system. This package is available in many formats but if you’re going to use it with your simulator then you are limited to the iOS version. If you’re going to use it in your simulator then World Golf Tour has to be run on a device that can handle 3D graphics (iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Minis 2-4, and iPad Pro).
Obviously, the processing power of an iPad doesn’t really match up with a beefy PC so you won’t get a lot of the fancier options like hole flyovers. The basic WGT package is free but you will have to pay $199 a year to SkyTrak.
You also don’t get too many courses although the ones you do get are all world-famous like Merion, St Andrews – Old, Bethpage Black, The Olympic Club and Pinehurst No. The 2.
Compatible with SkyTrak.
One of the new kids on the block, GS Pro offers excellent graphics at a price. The software will cost you $250 every year which gives you access to around 300 courses (many user-generated). These include some of the most famous golf courses in the world such as Torrey Pines South Course, Valhalla and Whistling Straits. Many real-world golf courses were produced using lidar data.
Minimum PC specs: 4GB free space, GTX 970, 8GB memory, Stable internet connection, Ethernet port and/or BT depending on Launch Monitor. For higher resolutions, you’ll need more memory and better graphics cards!
Compatible with Uneekor EyeXO, Uneekor QED, Flightscope Mevo+, Flightscope Xi, Flightscope X2, Flightscope X3, Ernest Sports ES16 / Tour Plus.
The successor to E6 golf which was created by the people behind arguably the best golf game of all time Links. The E6 software offers a wide variety of playing modes including mini-games and online matches.
E6 connect will work with iOS but only with Mevo+ and SkyTrak. If you are running this simulator on a PC then you have a wider range of options.
The e6 simulator experience is certainly not cheap however as a licence will cost $2500!
Compatible with SkyTrak, Vista, Approach R10, Uneekor, and FlightScope.
What Different Types of Golf Simulators Are There?
There are a number of different simulators on the market to choose from using a variety of different technologies to capture your golf shots. Prices vary wildly from $600 for the most basic launch monitor up to many tens of thousands for a top-of-the-line golf simulator setup.
Here are six of the most popular and the software you can use with them:
Skytrak launched in late 2014, becoming the first device to be available with accurate launch monitor data costing less than $5,000. This made it much more accessible to the average golfer who before would never have been able to afford such a tool for their own personal use.
Prices for a Skytrak launch monitor start at $1,995, but this only includes the launch monitor. The complete home simulator setup will set you back $8,944.90 with additional annual software subscriptions available.
Skytrak is a useful option if space is limited. It uses cameras to capture the motion of the ball so you can place it right next to the ball, unlike radar-based systems which will usually need several feet between the ball and the device.
A number of packages will work with this device so you will have to decide based on cost and which features are most important to you.
Flightscope was originally founded in 1989 to measure projectiles for the defense industry and is still prominent in this space across 24 countries. But their technology has also been used to create amazing golf launch monitors.
Their flagship product, the Mevo+, retails for $2,196. Unfortunately, that is the price for the launch monitor alone with none of the other necessary components that make up a home simulator. There are other add-ons available offering a wider range of features such as additional courses and metrics.
They also produce the Mevo but that is really only useful as a launch monitor whether on the course or when playing indoor golf.
Garmin made a bold statement in 2021 when they released their low-cost launch monitor, the R10. The reception to the new player on the market was extremely positive both in pre-sales and reviews.
The monitor costs only $599.99, a fraction of the price of most of its competitors. While the R10 is not quite as accurate, the statistics it produces are still incredibly impressive, especially for the price. There are certain accessories that can be bought along with the R10, such as tripods, travel cases and software subscriptions.
Garmin does not offer a full home simulator setup and if this is something you are interested in, would have to create it yourself.
Foresight is best known for its state-of-the-art launch monitor, the GCQuad. It’s a piece of tech that has won numerous accolades such as Golf Digest Editor’s Choice in 2021 as well as being a firm favorite among many professionals.
Foresight offers a number of different services. There’s the sim-in-a-box service that delivers an easy-to-assemble home simulator straight to your door and a build-your-own option that allows you to choose the ideal configuration in keeping with your space requirements.
The prices of the sim-in-a-box range from $4,999 for a setup without a monitor all the way up to their $33,995 albatross package. The launch monitors included in the various packages include the GC3, GCQuad and their latest innovation, the overhead monitor, GCHawk.
Professionals use a variety of simulator technology, but Full Swing may be the most popular of all. Amongst the litany it stars it can boast as a user of its technology is Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and the biggest name in golf, Tiger Woods. This firmly puts Full Swing into the position of the market leader at least in terms of tour validation.
That means they can charge market-leading prices. Their cheapest simulator option is the Sport which starts at $44,900. The Pro 2.0 costs a minimum of $54,900 and their virtual green starts at a whopping $70,900. Full Swing is for people with very deep pockets. However, if you pay top dollar, you undoubtedly get best-in-class technology.
A name likely to be familiar to us all is Trackman. They have been one of the market leaders ever since launching in 2003. At one point, Trackman was the only launch monitor to be considered by the pros. It was on every range at every tournament. And today it still retains its pedigree.
Trackman doesn’t come cheap. Like Full Swing, their lowest price is actually a very high price. $45,490 is the minimum amount you can spend on one of their simulators. Along with state-of-the-art technology, you will also get experts who know exactly how to design and create the best simulator for you.
Which Golf Simulator Software Has the Most Courses?
When it comes to available courses, the numbers differ from software to software. Foresight’s sim-in-a-box: Albatross package includes 25 premium courses such as St Andrews and Pebble Beach. Garmin has a choice of over 42,000 courses though with weak graphics and anyone using The Golf Club software can enjoy access to over 170,000. While there are some premium, real-life courses, many are user-generated.
Which Golf Simulator Software Has the Best Graphics?
Similar to the number of courses, figuring out which simulator has the best graphics is all down to the software used. Numerous types of software are available for simulators with varying compatibilities depending on the launch monitor. While many offer high-quality graphics, E6 connect is our top choice. The software supports 4K graphics display and is compatible with most, if not all, the leading brands. TGC 2019 and Creative Golf 3D are also great options.
What Do You Need When Setting Up a Home Golf Simulator?
If you decide to go it alone and set up a home simulator by yourself there are a few things you will need.
Space is the first major consideration to take into account. Do you have enough space to fit a home golf simulator safely and securely? Trying to swing in too tight a space could result in serious injury.
Sticking with safety, netting is all important. Whether you are hitting into one or putting it up along the side of your home simulator, it prevents balls from ricocheting off walls and other surfaces and protects players.
Another no-brainer. Golfers need to strike off a softer surface to avoid injuring themselves. Carpet just won’t do.
While some DIY home setups use a white bedsheet with a net behind it, the recommendation is to get a proper screen. Not only does this make your experience safer, it also makes it more enjoyable as you get to see the graphics the way they were intended.
In order to see the graphics on a screen, you need a projector. Most of the time, projectors are ceiling mounted which is another consideration to take into account when judging space requirements.
Well, duh! How is all this tech going to come together if you don’t have a launch monitor?
As seen above, having the right software is imperative. Take your time and do your research before settling on one.
Which Golf Simulator Does Tiger Woods Use?
Tiger Woods, along with many other professionals, uses the Full Swing Golf Pro Series. And if it’s good enough for him then it’s surely good enough for you!
Alternatives To A Simulator
In recreating a round of golf, the current simulator systems do a pretty good job although they aren’t as immersive as VR. Virtual golf using a VR headset would probably be the next logical step. There are already a few titles available from more cartoon-style games such as Walkabout minigolf to more realistic simulation software like Golf+ and the Golf Club VR. I suppose in an ideal world what you want is to marry the ability of a launch monitor with the immersive quality of a VR headset.
No doubt as technology improves we should get some impressive results.
Best Golf Simulator Software: Summary
Golf simulators vary in price; even those at the lower end of the market cost a substantial sum. Costs can be kept down by creating a DIY setup but the best advice is to not cut corners. Doing so could result in serious injury. The main two costs though are the launch monitor and simulator software. Getting the right combination can enhance your experience no end and provide hours and hours of entertainment no matter what the weather.
So are they worth it?
If you have the money and you love golf, then yes! It’s every golfer’s dream to set up their own home golf simulator and if the financial aspect is ok then we say go for it. Just please invite us for a game!!!