Can You Use Any Projector for A Golf Simulator?
Home golf simulators are amazing. They bring the game into your home and allow you to play some of the world’s best courses either alone or with friends. They’re fun, sleek and exciting. To own one is an aspiration almost every golfer has. But it’s not quite as simple as getting a launch monitor and away you go. There are requirements when it comes to technology and software and anyone looking into building their own golf simulator needs to be sure they will do their research properly.
The main components of a golf simulator include a launch monitor, mat, netting and a projector or screen. This article will discuss the importance of a projector for a golf simulator, the requirements such as the resolution and brightness, the mount type and whether or not you can simply use any projector for your golf simulator.
Why Do You Need a Projector for a Golf Simulator?
When it comes to projectors and golf simulators, they aren’t actually a necessity. It is possible to have a setup where a projector is not used. With this simulator, golfers will use a TV or laptop connected to their launch monitor. Thus, there is no need to project any images with a projector. The downside to this is that they will not get the same immersive experience when hitting toward a screen with the golf course projected on it.
This is where the need for a projector comes in. To truly experience a golf simulator in all its glory, golfers need a screen and projector. While there is nothing wrong with hitting into an empty net and seeing your shot play out on a screen off to the side, it just isn’t the same having the whole course laid out in front of you.
Can You Use a Regular Projector?
The short answer is no. The longer answer we’ll get into right now.
There are a couple of reasons why you can’t use a regular projector for golf. Firstly, there’s the screen. A projector screen for a golf simulator must be able to withstand hundreds and thousands of golf balls striking into it.
Unfortunately, regular projector screens simply do not have this durability and whether it’s on the first shot or one hundred and first shot, it will wear down and break. So you need an impact screen that can withstand thousands of golf shots and still give you a clear image.
The next reason centers around the projector itself. While it is technically possible to use a regular projector as long as you have all the necessary cables and connections, it may not provide the proper experience you are looking for.
When it comes to choosing the right type of projector, there are a few things you need to consider. Firstly, there’s the quality of the image produced. Then there’s the brightness of the image and also how easy it is to set up the projector. Projectors that are awkward or unwieldly to set up just aren’t worth the effort. Golfers also need to consider the throw ratio which in layman’s terms means the distance from projector to the screen divided by the width of the image.
Due to space restrictions, most involved in the golf simulator industry would suggest using a short throw projector. Standard throw can also be used when mounted to the ceiling and there is enough depth from the projector to the screen.
In terms of pixels, a 1080p projector will be sufficient to run a simulator adequately with 4k being the ideal choice. It’s also recommended not to use an LED projector. This leaves laser and lamp projectors as being suitable for use.
What Resolution Do I Need for my Golf Simulator Projector?
When it comes to the resolution, as mentioned above, 4K is preferred though Full HD 1080p and WUXGA is also acceptable. To get top-of-the-range simulator software, such as E6 CONNECT or TGC 2019, a 4K projector is required. This helps to unlock the full potential of golf simulators and the truly immersive experience they are capable of.
As well as pixel resolution, golfers should also take into account pixel angular size which is the perception of each pixel by our eyes via the retina. To choose the best resolution based on height, size and distance from the screen, some calculations are required. This article from BenQ lays it all out in easy-to-understand detail.
Light Source – How Bright Should the Projector Be?
For a golf simulator projector to work effectively, it needs to be brighter than a standard home theater projector. This is because there needs to be enough light in the room so that your camera can see your club and track the spin of the ball.
When considering how bright it needs to be, we measure it in lumens. A 3000-lumen projector is adequate for a smaller screen but when it comes to something larger a minimum of 4000 lumens, or a brighter laser projector will be required.
Mount Type – How Should the Projector Be Mounted?
When it comes to mounting a golf simulator projector, there are four options. Ceiling mounted, frame-mounted, floor mounted and placed on a table or cart. The general advice is to not go with a table or cart as the projector will cast shadows due to the golfer’s frame, which will diminish the experience of the simulator.
Floor-mounted projectors are the low-cost option but can also create shadows as well as being in danger of getting damaged from bouncing back off the screen.
It’s overhead projectors that most professionals choose. Either ceiling or frame mounted. The benefit is that the projector is out of the way of golfers and their golf swings. There is no chance of damage due to bounce back and it will heavily reduce the possibility of shadows.
Why Should I Use A Short-Throw Projector?
A short-throw projector is often the best choice for a golf simulator setup because it allows you to avoid any annoying shadows on the screen. Of course, if you can ceiling mount the projector then that can also work but not everyone has the ceiling height or room depth to achieve it. If you have plenty of space then this is less of a concern.
What Is Throw Distance?
This is just the distance between the lens and the screen you are trying to project onto. It’s important to know this because if you want to get the right projector for your room and screen size then you will need to know the optimum distance to position your projector to fill the screen.
What Is Throw Ratio?
This is the relationship between the throw distance and the width of the image. It’s telling you that from a certain distance, you can project an image of a certain width. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say you brought a projector with a throw ratio of 2 and you had a screen 10 feet wide then you would have to mount your projector 20 feet away!
Knowing the ratio for the projector and the image size you want to produce will determine both the projector you should buy and how far back from the screen you can position it.
Can You Use Any Projector For A Golf Simulator: Summary
Choosing a golf simulator projector can be an expensive exercise so it important to get the best projector for the job. If you want the best possible graphics then you’re going to need a 4K projector and don’t forget that you also need one with a decent brightness level unless you want to try hitting balls in the dark! You probably want to be looking at around 4000 lumens.
The other thing to worry about is how far away you’ll need to site the projector to maximize the size of the image on your simulator screen. If possible you want to go for a ceiling mount but the majority of projects will also need a short throw projector to avoid producing a shadow of the golfer on the impact screen.
Here are some projector recommendations:
Optoma GT1080HDR Short-Throw Projector
If you’re in the market for a short-throw projector for your new golf sim, look no further than the Optoma GT1080HDR. This state-of-the-art projector packs an impressive punch with its 4K input, lightning-fast 8.4ms response time, bright 3,800 Lumens and 50,000:1 contrast ratio. It’s sure to bring your games to life in stunning clarity and vivid color!
The GT1080HDR is designed to make installation easy, even in smaller spaces. With its 120° image projected from just four feet away, it fits easily into any room without sacrificing image quality. The vertical keystone correction plus/- 40 degrees lets you project the image onto the screen off-center – a great feature for those who want more flexible image setup choices.
This device also offers plenty of connectivity options, including dual HDMI (1.4a 3D support). Plus, with its long lamp life of 15,000 hours, you can enjoy up to four hours of viewing time every day for 10+ years.
The most exciting thing about this projector is that it supports true 3D content from almost any source, including 3D Blu-ray Disc players, 3D broadcasting, and the latest generation game consoles. You’ll be able to see every detail of your favorite games and movies in amazing depth and clarity with its 144Hz rapid-refresh rate!
Overall, the Optoma GT1080HDR is really impressive. Here are some of my favorite features:
- HDR10 technology with 4K input enables brighter whites and deeper black levels
- Fast response time of 8.4ms with a 120Hz refresh rate
- Short throw lens allows placement closer to the screen, ideal for smaller spaces
- Bright, razor-sharp images with 3, 800 Lumens, 50, 000: 1 contrast ratio, and full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080)
- Long lamp life of up to 15,000 hours enabling an average of 4 hours of viewing time every day 10 plus years
- Flexible connectivity with dual HDMI (1.4a 3D support)
- Easy image set-up with vertical keystone correction plus/- 40 degrees
- True 3D content supported by 144Hz rapid-refresh rate
I love how user-friendly the GT1080HDR is – it’s perfect for anyone looking for a powerful, yet convenient short-throw projector!
• HDR10 Compatible: Enjoy brighter whites and deeper black levels with a six-segment color wheel (RYGCWB) plus sRGB & REC. 709 color profile support.
• Fast Response Time: A lightning-fast response rate of 8.4ms with a 120Hz refresh rate for enhanced gaming mode.
• Short Throw Lens: Place closer to the wall than standard throw projectors, and enjoy a large 120′ image projected from four feet away.
• Bright, Razor-Sharp Images: 3,800 Lumens, 50,000:1 contrast ratio, and full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080) for a clear, detailed image.
• Long Lamp Life: Up to 15,000 hours of lamp life with an average of four hours of viewing time every day for 10+ years.
• Flexible Connectivity: Connect to gaming consoles, media players and other HDMI devices such as Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Apple TV; inputs include dual HDMI (1.4a 3D support).
BenQ TK700STi 4K HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector
If you are looking For a 4K projector that doesn’t break the bank then the TK700STi Should be on your radar.
This projector offers an unbeatable combination of features and performance that make it ideal for golfers as well as gamers and movie buffs alike. For starters, it has short-throw capabilities capable of projecting at shorter distances (100’at 6.5ft) than its predecessor, the TK700.
It also features Android TV and has low latency 16ms at 4K/60Hz with low input lag. Plus, it’s compatible with major consoles such as Sony PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, and Google Stadia for huge, bright, sharp images and equalized audio.
The setup process is straightforward, thanks to its 1.2x zoom flexible throw distances, 2D Auto Vertical Keystone, and Picture Rotation Adjustment for squared images. The device is also user-friendly, allowing you to cast with AirPlay and Chromecast without needing any app.
If you’re looking for more entertainment options, the projector is Google-certified with access to over 5,000+ apps in the Google Play Store. Finally, Benq provides an industry-leading 3-year limited parts and labor coverage plus a US-based customer service team should anything go wrong.
What I love most about this projector is just how much value it packs into one package. With its impressive specs and features, the BenQ TK700STi can easily be used in a golf simulator as well as gaming and watching movies or shows. Here are some of its standout features:
- 4K 60Hz 16ms, 1080p 240Hz 4.16ms & 3000lm
- 100” at 6.5 ft
- RPG FPS Sport Game Modes
- Compatible with PlayStation 5, Xbox, 2D Keystone & eARC
Overall, the BenQ TK700STi 4K HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a powerful projector that doesn’t skimp on features. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or simply enjoy watching movies, this projector will provide you with an amazing experience.
While the brightness is a little on the low side at 3000 lm this is the trade-off you have to get the 4K resolution without a larger price tag!
BenQ TK700STi 4K HDR
• 4K LOW LATENCY: Low latency 16ms at 4K/60Hz low input lag, Game Mode/Game Sound Mode to fine-tune audio and images
• PRO PERFORMANCE: Compatible with major consoles (Sony PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series X, Google stadia) huge, bright, sharp images and equalized audio
• EASY SET-UP: 1.2x zoom flexible throw distances, 2D Auto Vertical Keystone, Picture Rotation Adjustment for squared images
• USER-FRIENDLY: Cast with airplay and Chromecast. No app is needed. Remote controls both Android TV and projector
• INDUSTRY-LEADING WARRANTY: 3-year limited parts and labor coverage; our US-based customer service team is here when you need it
• 4K 60Hz 16ms , 1080p 240Hz 4.16ms I 3000lm, 100” at 6.5 ft, 2D Keystone, eARC, Golf Simulation