Are you a regular or a professional golfer? Either way, sometimes you want to play, but the weather isn’t always friendly, right? Or you’re just stuck at home (babysitting maybe?). A golf simulator comes in handy in such situations. You can set it up in your garage or in that room that nobody uses anymore. But how much space do you need for a golf simulator at home?
In this article, we will discuss the logistics of setting up golf simulators at home and how to build a golf simulator screen. We will also review a few inexpensive options for you and weigh the pros and cons of owning them. Sounds interesting? Read on.
The Ideal Space
We must mention that getting the space first before investing in a golf simulator is vital. So how much space do you need for a golf simulator? Standard golf simulators require a minimum of 8.5ft in height and 10ft wide. For the depth, you’ll need up to 15ft. The height is also determined by the player’s height. Unlike the tall players, short people might get away with tight spaces.
Other determining factors include the accessories you will need, your prowess level, and how far you can swing your longest club. In as much as every individual has a unique level of comfort when playing golf indoors, most people can adjust this comfort fast. I’ve watched people play in both small rooms and large rooms, and at the end of the game, every player has enjoyed swinging the club.
The Perfect Space for a Golf Simulator
We mentioned the minimum space needed for the simulator is 10ft by 8.5ft by 15 ft. However, is it an ideal space? Well, not always. If you can afford 16ft by 10ft by 25ft, this would be perfect. You will have enough space for several players to use the simulator and move freely as they enjoy the game.
If you want to have two players simultaneously, a space of 14ft wide is better. In addition, a 12ft ceiling height is also ideal since it can accommodate your taller friends above 6ft. for the depth; 25ft offers sufficient room for clubs as well as a sitting place when the others are playing.
Can You Use the Extra Garage Space?
The garage space can be a perfect place because most garage spaces have high ceiling heights. However, temperatures can vary in garage spaces. Consider using heaters with proper insulation during winter and fans to create a conducive environment for playing.
What about the Basement?
The greatest concern with using your basement for the golf simulator is the height. Sometimes hitting the driver is hard. Nevertheless, basements have vast stretches of space. You can set up the simulator and still have room left for a TV and bar area. These will provide extra entertainment when wrapping up the game just to entertain your friends and family over the weekends.
Is it necessary to have an addition or a shed?
You’ve probably heard people installing sheds or other additions in their homes. But is it necessary with golf simulators? Well, this boils down to your budget. The moment you begin adding various essential pieces like HVAC and electrical connections, your expenses may become the greatest constriction along the way.
On the bright side, sheds allow you to vary the ceiling heights, which is a win-win with golf simulators. You can install it as required without making significant adjustments.
How to build a golf simulator screen
To build a good golf simulator screen you need the following items
- Golf hit mat
- Golf impact screen
- Golf hitting net
- Golf simulation software
Once these are in place the building phase begins. Consider the following steps
- Simulator room
Paint the walls and the ceiling of the simulator room black. This helps to limit reflections and shadows interference that would otherwise throw off the sensors.
Install a plywood subfloor to make cables run underneath. This gives the room a tidy finish.
Mounting the golf simulator impact screen
You can fully mount an impact frame on the wall to enable you to drape over the impact screen. An impact screen lets you get the full experience of a driving range as it displays all the golf simulation results on the screen.
Cover the impact frame with material that can prevent the ball from bouncing back. If left unprotected the ball may bounce back and hit you or other appliances causing harm and damage.
Adjust the screen tension to prevent the golf ball from bouncing back. It should be loose and not tight like a trampoline.
In the absence or together with an impact screen, you can use the golf net as an additional safety feature and have the simulation results displayed on your tab or PC.
Laying the hitting mat
Cut out a small portion of the subfloor to be used to fit the hitting mat. Ensure that the subfloor and the hitting mat are on the same level.
Installing lights and cameras into the simulator room
This job requires some basic electrical knowledge. You can consider hiring a professional to help you with the setup and get the most clarity of your golf simulator.
Just make sure you set the lights directly above the hitting mat.
Installing the VCam
The Vcam should be installed on the side of the hitting mat. Ensure that when the ball is placed on the hitting spots it sits on the red rectangle inside the screen before the Vcam.
Installing the software
You need a Personal Computer (PC) that can run the golf simulator system successfully. Once the software is installed it should be linked with the other hardware like the Vcam and the hitting mat.
In addition, consider fixing a desk to place your Monitor and PC in the simulator room.
Fixing the projector
When using an impact screen, a projector is necessary. However, the projector must be adjusted to the room if you want to cast clear images. The right projector is determined by the size of your room.
The size of the screen determines the projector installation depth. It also determines how far the golfer stands away from the screen.
Consider the golfer’s height if you want to avoid casting shadows on the screen.
Nevertheless, you can also get great results by using an ultra-short throw projector.
Install Black Side curtains
Consider installing side curtains on either side of the impact screen to deal with errant shots and avoid leaving holes on your wall.
Do golf simulators work?
To answer this question, perhaps we can first understand how golf simulators work. Golf simulation works using a variety of measurement systems that involves sensors to measure the ball movement and possible trajectories. To explain how they work, we will analyze the key components of a golf simulator.
The simulation systems include:
- Simulator mats
- Optical sensor arrays
- Sonic sound system
- Camera ball tracing
These are microchips and infrared sensors that are placed on the simulator mats for these three functions:
- To monitor and calculate the club speed
- To calculate the angle of the club
- To measure the impact and direction of the ball
Optical sensor arrays
This technology uses two opposing sides of infrared sensors. These sensors scan across X and Y paths in both directions. The main function is to determine the ball path, ball speed, and the vertical launch angle.
Sonic sound systems
These are strategically placed microphones around the impact screen. They pick the intensity of sound when the ball is hit and when the ball hits the impact screen.
This system also measures and compares sound intensity.
Radars are used to gather the launch data. They are placed on the side of the player. Radars determine the launch angle, ball speed, and direction. It will also determine the axis, spin, and tilt of the golf ball.
Players use the radar system for both indoor and outdoor golfing experience.
Camera ball tracing system
In golf simulation, cameras are used to continuously monitor the playing area. Basically, you will need 3-4 cameras to get a good simulation.
The high-speed cameras capture the ball launch, speed, downward swing path, impact, and the clubface angle.
The data acquired from the cameras is processed using complex physics algorithms. The algorithms then display data such as backspin, sidespin, swing tempo, trajectory, distance, loft, clubface angle, carry and roll.
The Golf Simulator software
The simulator software has a variety of courses that a golfer can play on. A golfer can train on one specific course and on one specific hole. This helps a golfer keep sharp and improve their skill all year.
It also helps the golfer practice their drive and swing on both private and public courses they might never gain physical access to.
When playing the putt, sensors are also attached to the club to capture all the putt data.
So do golf simulators work? Absolutely, yes!
Inexpensive Golf Simulators for Home
What makes a golf simulator expensive? The size of screen and the technology used contribute largely to the price tags. Golf simulators are available in screen of 16ft, 14ft and 12ft options. However, in most cases, you’ll have a chance to order the poles and customize your enclosure. That means if your space is 13.5 ft. wide, you can personalize it to maximize the size.
A wider screen of 16 feet setup will offer an incredible view when you're playing. For example, a view at Pebble Beach course or Desert based course appears incredible on a screen that is 16ft wide. Nevertheless, you are not at a loss with a screen that is14 ft. wide.
So which are some of the inexpensive options for you?
The Sky Trak Launch Monitor offers extra versatility with width prerequisites for your room. You accurately use 10ft of space width if you want to be on one side when hitting the shot.
As the Sky Trak reads your ball, it won't matter that you're at one side or making a hit close to the edge of the screen. This gives unmatched flexibility, especially when your space is limited. Additionally, both left and right-handed players will have a chance to use your space.
This might be true to most launch monitors, but the Sky Trak launch monitor is priced aggressively, offers exact reads, and is realistic. The sky Trak is a perfect choice if your budget is between $5,000-$7,000.
The ProTee unit has several cameras installed in vertical and horizontal positions to read the ball data. This requires a good position due to the time required to install a unit for an exact read.
All the golf launch monitors that lie on the side offers a better level of versatility, even if space and the width is restricted. The ProTee is a better option, and they provide a sketch for the perfect room for this simulation option.
Are golf simulators worth it?
Yes, they are! For golf enthusiast, simulators offer many benefits including flexibility. In addition, they are cheap, require minimal space and can utilize your home tools. However, you need to understand how to build a golf simulator screen on your own. This will allow you to enjoy the whole experience. In addition, “when you research various questions like do golf simulator work?” or “are golf simulator worth it?” it helps you know what you are getting into.
How much does an indoor golf simulator cost?
Today, you can get a simulator at any budget because we have several options to choose. The cost ranges from $799-$7000. As you can see, this cost range is wide. The Inexpensive golf simulators for home use ranges $799-$3,499. Others cost $4,699-$7,799 and $18,995-$ 70,000.
Choose the one that fits your budget. You can start with Inexpensive golf simulators and advance as you gain experience.
If you have a strict budget you can save some cash by using a TV and a net setup instead of using a screen and a projector. You will regret buying an inexpensive and low-quality projector that influences the screen.
When it comes to installing a simulator, each situation is special, and people will utilize the garage, empty bedroom, or establish a shed to install a golf simulator at home. Ultimately, once you decide the most applicable option, be ready to personalize every position. Nevertheless, knowing how much space do you need for a golf simulator is important.
When considering the available options, measure each space and take slower practice swings to find the space that will work. If you can comfortably play without reaching the ceiling, sidewalls or anything that hangs from your ceiling, then this is the ideal space. This is an important mindset that you should have if you want to maximize out your full potentials and get realistic experience when playing in the simulator.
Creating a realistic budget that will let you plan every important part of the simulator you intend to build is important. This is the initial phase that can be quite frustrating and stressful for many people. For this reason, it’s good to clear out a room and take a club try to test if a full swing will work with the available height and width of the space. We hope this article has enlightened you and that moving forward, you can confidently set up your dream golf simulator.