How Accurate Are Golf Simulators? Do Golf Simulators Measure Swing Speed?

How Accurate Are Golf Simulators

Golf simulators are golfers’ best invention of the 20th century. Their discovery dates back to 1970, but we’ll get into that history in a different article. Today, we want to critique the accuracy of your favorite golf simulator. We appreciate that you can practice your swings at your convenience, irrespective of the weather, terrain, or time of day and night. But how accurate are golf simulators? Let’s dig deeper into modern research that will wow you.

You might also think, ‘but I don’t have enough space or money to invest in a golf simulator.’ Have a look at this detailed article that looks into the latest sleek designs that can fit in your closet without breaking the bank, all pun intended. So now you have every reason to follow along, right?

Understanding Golf Simulators in a Nutshell

Traditionally, simulators used to work with radar-based systems. However, these proved challenging indoors where the spaces are more confined. See, radar systems are excellent for distance and long-chain goals, especially when used outside over long distances. They can capture the balls say, at 180 – 200 yards. However, when moved inside, the radar is challenged in 14 feet of ball flight, especially on the spin.

Ball spin is one of the most significant data in golf, right? For this reason, manufacturers resulted in using high-speed cameras. Now high-speed cameras are very precise in providing ball spin data. In addition, modern simulators will give you club data, swing paths, shaft bending, etc. This is excellent data for club fitting.

They are also developing the software further to capture putter fitting data, including putter roll, angle, and all relevant systems. They are working on capturing and analyzing non-intrusive body motion data as well.

Do you understand what this means? That very soon, you can self-train and fit your club. Amazing right?

Now Let’s focus more on their accuracy.

A Look at Modern Advanced Golf Simulators 

You’ve probably heard of high-definition (HD) golf simulators, TrackMan, Trugolf, and other premium golf simulator brands. What are they all about? You can’t really see yourself when you’re out in a range. You mainly rely on what your trainer tells you. However, with an advanced golf simulator, you can access a pro-instruction studio with all the tools you need to get better.

You get accurate real-time stats on your swing and easy-to-use data points. You can also overlay your swing with a professional’s swing, sync them and compare how well you play. This way, even if you’re not a pro, you can quickly learn and improve on your points of weakness.

They also offer different courses mapped in real-time to make your golfing experience realistic and interesting. Imagine playing golf in Hawaii, then heading to Italy in the comfort of your home in the evening.

Do Professionals Use Golf Simulators

Do Golf Simulators Measure Swing Speed?

Advanced golf Simulators have sophisticated launch monitors which not only measure the swing speed but also detect the angle and speed of the ball. They also measure the ball’s spin rate. In the range outdoors, golfers measure swing speed using a radar. The working principle of radar is slightly different. It measures the swing speed on impact. Therefore, we can be certain that our favorite indoor simulator gives more accurate readings.

Why is Swing Speed Important?

Swing speed is important to know; not necessarily to know how to swing but to help us measure clubs to fit us. For example, a softball will not benefit a golfer with a lower swing speed. For starters, a low spin ball helps you better control the game.

As you grow in experience, a multi-layer golf ball comes in handy. And as a pro golfer, a high spin ball will help you around the green while maintaining a straight flight off the tee.

How Can You Increase Your Golf Swing Speed?

Some people think swing speed is relevant to arm muscle power. While there’s a sight correlation, you can equally achieve a powerful shot using other body parts harmoniously. In your first dial swing, you need to turn your legs harmoniously, then your knees in a gentle rotating motion, and your hips will gladly follow along. This sequence allows you to harness power from the ground upwards, reducing arm resistance.

From the hips, you then turn your torso, then the shoulders, and finally turn the arms for the perfect swing. So now, instead of just relying on your arms, you have employed your entire body energy on the club.

Can Golf Simulators Detect Slices?

Absolutely, yes. A golf simulator maps out the curve for you so you can easily understand the mistakes you’re making. However, some previous models tend to exaggerate these curves, making you think the slice was worse than it actually was. Luckily, the statistics you get are super accurate if you’re practicing on the newer models that use high-speed cameras.

If you keep working on the mistakes, your shots become more accurate eventually. Let me explain the science behind slices for a better understanding.

What Causes a Slice and How Can You Fix it?

The flight of every golf ball does two things; either proceed straight in the right direction or curve right or left (what we call a slice). So how comes some balls slice while others draw? In a nutshell, the face vector determines the starting direction, while the club path determines the direction of the curve. Let me explain further.

In an open face, the ball starts to the right of the target line, while in a closed face, the ball starts to the left. This phenomenon is called the face vector. Now, if the club’s path is moving to the right of where the face is pointing, the ball will curve in the opposite direction; to the left. If the club’s path is moving to the left of the face, it will curve to the right. If the face and path are pointed in the same direction, the ball will move straight, and there won’t be a curve.

The magnitude of these curves depends on the differences between the two vectors. The smaller the difference, the smaller the curves. A bigger difference will definitely result in a slice.

Key Factors to Consider When Investing in a High-Tech Golf Simulator

Key Factors to Consider When Investing in a High-Tech Golf Simulator

While there are several factors to consider when investing in a golf simulator, the following four top the list.


Does your simulator look more like a video game or more like a real-life golf course simulation? The more skilled you are at playing golf, the more realistic you need your simulator to be. The technology that makes a simulator more realistic includes using dedicated high-speed cameras, as discussed above. It also includes a 3D model of the course, which in most cases are real-life terrains with beautiful real-life imagery.


As a beginner, accuracy might not necessarily be your priority. However, as you get better, you need a reliable simulator to help you keep improving your stats. Most modern simulators are accurate to 1/10 of 1 degree at the impact angle. Spin rate accuracy goes up to 99%, ± 100 RPM. Such high stats are achieved through measurement, not calculation. So be on the lookout for reliable inbuilt trackers in your simulator.

Ease of Use

Modern simulators have touch screens with clickable commands. We call this the user interface (UI). How easy is it to navigate through when you interact with your UI? Keep off the techie user interfaces unless you are a computer guru. You also need to be able to diagnose simple error codes without necessarily calling technical support.


Should you experience errors beyond your understanding, your manufacturer should avail of their customer support team as quickly as possible, whether physically or online. For most, they can log in to your system and offer back-end diagnosis without your involvement. That’s the type of brand you should consider for your next purchase.


Today’s simulators can support more than one sport. While your main focus today is on golf, it would be an added advantage to access other spots where you can bond with your friends and relatives, especially the young ones.

Some simulators can also be used as projectors, where you can watch a movie or make your floor-to-ceiling presentations more memorable at work.

What Will Future Golf Simulators Look Like?

With Augmented and Virtual Realities advancing daily, we’re looking at possible talking golf simulators with robot caddies. We might also invent pocket-size simulators just like the chunky computers have evolved into smart tablets and pocket-size mobile phones. Enough of the fantasies; what do you think golf simulators of the future will look like?

People Also Ask:

Do Professionals Use Golf Simulators?

Yes, they do. Tiger Woods and Spieth Jordan use the Full Swing Golf Pro Series, while Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson use the Trackman Simulator. Let me also add that Bubba Watson also owns the High Definition Golf simulator. At least beginners can relate more to Bubba, right?

Does a Hole-In-One On a Golf Simulator Count?

Holes-in-one is rare and hence considered special. But do they really count? Absolutely not. On the brighter side, that would be an amazing shot, right?

6 thoughts on “How Accurate Are Golf Simulators? Do Golf Simulators Measure Swing Speed?”

  1. Thank you so much for this post about golf simulators. So I just recently took a liking to golf because it is a very laid-back sport and it’s easy to relax. I have yet to learn much about it, though. I want to get better, and I am assuming the simulators can help with that. One thing that I have noticed is when you talk about the speed of swinging, one can get a good speed by using other parts of their body as well. I can attest to that! I watched one of my friends from the military, and he is a small guy, but he taught me you should be using your legs and hips as well as your arms.  

    • Hi, Jessie, and thank you.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Great to hear about the benefit of the article, too.

      There is no question that simulators can help you a lot. When you have a little time, the weather stops your training, and for many reasons, a simulator help with all these things.

      You would like to read this article about some of the benefits of using a golf simulator.

      You mention the speed of swinging. So many believe it is a question about power, but the technique is the key. Suppose you walk with a baseball player and ask how he throws the ball or javelin thrower. All these throwers throw their thing with all their body!

      Not only is it good for performance, but in many cases help, it prevents injuries.

      Don’t hesitate to contact me to help you with anything else or if you have any questions.

  2. A family friend has been inviting me to a golf game, but I always turned it down even though she said, “it’s only for fun.” She said she just wanted to spend time with me and wanted me to have fun. Actually, I wanted so much to try the game, but I am embarrassed to say yes because I just don’t know how to golf.
    I never thought there was such a thing as a golf simulator. Perhaps I can practice my “golf moves” with this. I am just not sure if we have enough space in our house. And did you say even professional golfers use golf simulators? I thought they didn’t need one! ☺
    Anyway, how much time do you think I should allocate per day to practice so I can be ready in two months’ time?

    • Hi, Alice, and thank you.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Great to hear about the benefit of the article too.

      First, here is an article about how to build a golf simulator at home.

      But as you have played it very little, I recommend starting with train and play and see if it is for you.

      But understand me, it is a great sport. And having a simulator at home is popular for families and friends to have quality time together!

      About the time. If you want to be a World champion, you need a train a lot. But for playing golf with friends, you can start after not so long. two months are more than enough. Just starting is the key thing!

      Here is a great post for you as a beginner in golf.

      Don’t hesitate to contact me to help you with anything else or if you have any questions.

  3. I had no idea how golf simulators worked until your article. You gave a detailed description that was easy to understand yet also in depth without going into too much detail for someone just starting to understand. I like the inclusion of video examples as I am a visual learner more than audiotry. 

    • Hi, Spencer McLean, and thank you.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Great to hear about the benefit of the article too.

      Don’t hesitate to contact me to help you with anything else or if you have any questions.


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