Last Updated on January 12, 2022
If you’re looking for the best way to experience golf without having to leave your home, it might be worth looking into some of your options for golf simulators.
There are several products on the market that can help you to emulate a realistic golf experience without having to leave your own home – but if you’re not keen on buying a full golf simulator package, you might be more interested in a DIY option instead.
Fortunately for those who want to try and do it themselves, it isn’t usually that much of a difficult task to create your own. While you might have to spend a little money in order to get all the necessary components, you could still save cash by making your own indoor golf simulator instead of buying a full package.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look into what you’re going to need, how much you’ll be looking to spend, and any other important things to consider when making a golf simulator of your own.
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What can you expect from a golf simulator?
While there are several different simulation products out there that you could choose from, most quality devices will help to provide you with a way to play golf from home.
Whether you’re unable to go out to play at the driving range or you want to focus on game improvement whenever you want during your free time, a golf simulator could be an excellent purchase.
Enjoy golf in the comfort of your own home
One of the best parts of setting up your own DIY golf simulator is the ability to enjoy golf at home. If you don’t have the opportunity to go out or simply don’t feel like it, you’ll have an immersive experience right there waiting for you.
Play at any golf course
From any good indoor golf simulation software, you can often expect to have several golf courses to choose from. Whether they’re basic plains, more interesting landscapes or even world golf tour destinations, you’ll generally have quite a few options available to you.
If you’re a casual golfer just looking to have a fun time, getting a good quality simulator could be a great choice.
Stepping up your golf game
If you’re more focused on improving your golf game than anything else, it’s important to consider that most golf simulators will also be able to provide you with data on your shots too.
Most accurate launch monitors can provide you with club and ball data, and all you need to do is swing and hit the golf ball into the screen.
While some prefer to use foam balls instead of real golf balls, you don’t necessarily need to.
Creating the best one for your unique needs
Plus, if you build a home golf simulator, you can customize it to suit your needs and even save some cash in the process – which is probably one of the reasons why so many people are inclined to go the DIY route.
Of course, you will need to consider factors like space requirements, but most will find that they can easily build their own and enjoy an immersive experience without having to pay for more expensive systems.
What’s needed for a DIY golf simulator setup?
For many creative golfers, it’s not hard to see why creating a unique home setup is one of the most popular options. Many home simulators will require several things to function properly, so it’s worth looking into the different components that you’re going to need.
Most people won’t want to be hitting golf balls onto their walls. If you want to avoid any potential damage that could be caused from a golf swing that hit a little too hard, you’re going to need to invest in a golf net. Also known as an impact screen, these are where you’ll be hitting all your golf shots and they come in two forms; display type and portability.
You can generally tell everything you need to know from the names alone; ones made for portability are easier to put up, take down, and take around with you.
Display type screens are ideal if you want to project your results onto the golf simulator screen.
A screen and projector are both essentials and there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to make your home simulator work at its best without them.
If you have a screen, you need to have a good projector setup. If you take a look online you’ll find that there are plenty of options available to you, so in most cases you just need to search around until you find one that suits your needs.
When you’re taking your shots, you need to have something to hit off of – which is exactly where a good golf mat will come in handy. When you consider that you’re going to be hitting a lot of golf balls at home, it’s not hard to see why durability is a necessity.
You’ll find that there’s much more that hitting mats offer too, with many being made to be easier on your wrists and elbows, which can certainly help to improve your performance and reduce aching.
Plus, many can be quite forgiving too, which is another bonus. If you want the best possible golf mat, it’s worth looking around online for different hitting mats and how they can affect your game.
Launch monitors are well known for being a useful tool for both amateur and professional golfers alike. If you have one already, that’s perfect!
If not, there’s no need to worry, you’ll just need to take a little time to find one that works best for you. For this particular use, it might be worth getting a camera-based launch monitor, since these tend to be better when hitting into a net.
If you already have a launch monitor that uses a Doppler radar-based system, you might want to consider buying a different one specifically for your home setup. The reason for this is that radar-based launch monitors tend to be better suited to games out on the driving range, rather than indoor play.
Essentially, if you want the most accurate launch monitors for home golf simulators, it’s best to go with camera-based systems than radar technology.
Golf simulation software
No good golfing studio would be complete without a good simulator. Most golf simulators and launch monitors even come with a free version of their basic software, which you can run on your laptop or iPad.
Typically, the software will mimic a driving range and keep track of the important parameters, like your club data, ball data, launch angle, spin rate, and much more.
For a more in-depth experience though, upgrading to premium software might be the best idea for your golf simulator room.
Some launch monitors come with their own simulation system while others don’t, so you may have to purchase them separately.
Choosing the right golf simulator software for your needs
In most cases, you’ll find that there are plenty of different products out there to choose from, which can often be both a good and bad thing.
On the plus side, there are plenty of options and usually something that will be just right for your needs. On the other hand, you’ll often have quite a few different golf simulators to consider and filter through, which makes the decision a little harder for a lot of people.
Even so, it’s always best to invest a little time into finding the right one. Since each golf simulator is different and unique in its own way, from price to graphics, you should always take the time to carefully consider what’s on offer.
The same goes for any other components that you need to buy, from hitting mats to golf nets.
Consider that some are focused more around being entertainment systems while others are geared towards those who are hoping to sharpen their skills.
Of course, there are some that can do a great job at both, but these tend to be some of the higher-end models and if you’re looking for a DIY option, it’s generally wise to consider what you want most from a golf simulator and consider which ones will work best for you.
To give you some assistance, here are some of the main characteristics that could help to sway your decision when buying a simulator:
Golf course play
As mentioned earlier, many simulators will have several different courses to play on. This may not be a necessity as such, but it is certainly something that could help you to make your decision. The higher-end options will generally have more, but there are likely to be a few entry-level ones that have a little variety too.
This is most likely something that’s important if you need a setup specifically for entertainment purposes. Even if you don’t plan on playing with friends all the time, it can certainly be a nice feature to have if you enjoy golfing with your buddies but don’t get time to play at a driving range very often.
Whether you’re playing for practice or fun, there’s a good chance that you’re going to want good graphics. Again, this is something that you can expect to get from any premium products, but there are likely to be some cheaper options that still offer decent quality.
For the most part, you might find that there are some great features that only specific golf simulators have to offer, which might help you to make your decision. This could be compatibility with other devices or even a warranty that helps to reassure you that your purchase will be worthwhile.
Price range is one of the most diverse and complicated aspects of picking golf simulation software. You could find one with everything you need, but if the price isn’t right, you probably won’t want to buy it. There are generally good options in all price ranges, with features and quality generally being relative to how much you invest.
How much space is needed for a home golf simulator?
Before you go ahead and buy all the components you’ll need to set up your own golf simulator, it’s important to consider your installation space. You wouldn’t want to invest in expensive systems only to find that you don’t have sufficient space – and while this isn’t too common of an occurrence, it’s always best to consider what space you have and how you can use it to your full advantage.
Here are some of the most important things that you’re going to want to take into consideration to help you make the right choice when buying:
- Room width: There are plenty of different screens and nets with different sizes, some of which might be 5’ wide, whereas others might be as long as 10’. In this sense, you’ll often have more room for variety and you’ll find it easier to find a net that fits the size of your space. For the best experience, we’d recommend that you have a width of at least 12’ available, but this is more of a recommendation than anything else.
- Room depth: Similar to the point above, you should aim to have 12’ space in depth at least for the most comfortable experience, but you’ll often find that there are products that will fit in a shorter space, which could be better for those with more limited options.
- Ceiling height: In most cases, 9’ from the floor to ceiling is a good amount of space, although any more than this is generally better. It will mostly rely on your height and swing, but you should also remember that most simulators and screens will have their own height requirements, which are always worth taking into consideration.
Where’s the best place to put a golf simulator?
Most people choose to put a golf simulator in their garage, but any multi-purpose room, like a home theater, could be a good choice if you have the space. Always think about the room you’re in and what you’re going to need.
For example, the minimum room width should be the same as your golf net at the very least, and the height needs to be more than the impact screen size.
You’ll need enough to have your net and plenty of space to take a full swing and move around comfortably, so it’s important to keep this in mind too in the space you’re considering. Of course, you’re likely to want more space in the room for other things, like a little extra space for your TV screen, a place to sit, and any other small comforts.
With all this in mind, it’s essential that you consider the minimum room dimensions of the equipment you’re buying to ensure that your home simulator will fit without issue.
How much are you looking to spend for an indoor golf simulator?
There are several different golf simulators on the market, with price ranges anywhere between $500 and $25000 – with some costing even more than that.
If you’re not looking for a full golf simulator package, you don’t need to worry too much about purchasing a premium option for huge amounts.
When going for a DIY home build, you don’t generally need to worry too much about the pricing, since you can buy the components you need individually, sometimes for an excellent bargain.
If you’re not serious about improving your game and are more focused on having a fun time, you could purchase a simple and cheap entry-level simulator. It might offer accurate statistics on your game, but for casual players, getting information on your dynamic loft and smash factor might not be as important.
More expensive options will often come with great features and can be the perfect solution if you want to improve your skills and play during offseason.
What’s available in your price range?
When it comes to price, you have to consider the whole setup – and doing so opens up a lot of room for variety.
When going the DIY route, you could purchase an expensive launch monitor and a cheap hitting mat – or go the other way round and get a good quality mat but a decent indoor monitor (a more common example among those who already have a good outdoor one).
There are plenty of products out there that can all add up to help create the right room for you, but what you can get will often depend greatly on how much you’re willing to spend. With that in mind, here’s a little look into what you can expect to get.
Budget golf simulator
There are plenty of good entry-level options out there, which are generally some of the most popular among those looking for the cheapest prices or simulators for a DIY golf simulator.
In most cases, you’ll want to get everything separately, so it might take a little time and research to find the right products to create your indoor golf area.
Depending on what you choose to buy and how much you care about quality, you could potentially get your whole home golf simulator setup for less than $1000. In fact, if you decide to buy second hand, you could even get much better prices on good brands, which might be worth considering.
Mid-range golf simulator
There are plenty of good options in the mid-range area. You could even get a full home golf simulator package for a decent price, but buying all your equipment individually might be the better choice if you’re looking for the best DIY golf simulator.
Components like the SkyTrak launch Monitor & Simulator Software and Optoma HD Short Throw Golf Simualtor Projector are both examples of products that you might be interested in checking out.
You might be looking to spend a few thousands in the mid-range area, but you might still find it to be worthwhile if you want to create a good quality golf simulation room in your home.
Depending on what you buy and where you look, you could get everything you need and build your own golf simulator room for under $10,000.
Premium golf simulator
Those who have the money to spend on something a little more high-end might be interested in some of the more expensive options from SkyTrak, like the TGC GS13 Studio golf simulator for example.
Costing over $10,000, this is one that’s not in everyone’s price range but has a lot to offer, like more than 150,000 golf courses, or the 1080 HD Ultra Short Throw Projector – just two examples of the many features.
For another $10,000, you could get something like the ProTee Golf Simulator Ultimate Edition. It might cost a lot, but those who want a truly premium experience will consider it to be worth it.
These types of products aren’t necessarily common options among those hoping to build their own set up, since they’re full packages that include everything you would need for the perfect indoor golfing experience without any effort.
What’s best for you?
In most cases, the best options for you will depend on your personal preferences and budget. To get the right equipment, it’s worth taking the time to search around. When you have a better idea of what’s on offer within your price range, it might be easier to pick the best golf simulator for your unique needs.
As you can see, the market for golf simulators has a lot of options. Thanks to this, you’re likely to find exactly what you need if you look hard enough, from more expensive projects to launch monitor technology for an affordable price.
Feel ready to build your own simulator system? After reading through this and learning more about the equipment you need (and much more), there’s a good chance that you’ll have all the info to get started. From the space available to finding something that suits your price range, you should be good to go – so what are you waiting for?