Golf is a bizarre circle of existence…
We are waiting with bated breath for the snow to melt and the grass dries up for the first shots of Spring. After that, with regular play throughout the summer, we look proficient on the course just when October is about to begin with the club to be removed for another six months. Problem is that when that Spring comes around, we’ve lost the progress accomplished last year and it’s like beginning again.
The most obvious answer is All-year-round play!
If you’re fortunate enough to be in an area with an area-wide golf club with simulators , indoor driving ranges, or domes think of yourself as fortunate. These simulators for commercial use are the best and the room that is large enough to allow you to utilize your full swing is truly invaluable. Unfortunately , they can be expensive and crowded since they are designed to provide for all those golfers who aren’t eagerly waiting for the arrival of spring.
But what happens to those of us who aren’t able to get to a golf simulator or aren’t willing to wait in waiting in line to pay $45/hour to play a few rounds? The best and most efficient year-round solution is to create your own golf simulator.
Building a Home Golf Simulator For Under $2,000
For less than $2,000, you can construct an actual golf simulator from the privacy of your home garage or shed, basement, or any other location that has the electricity and space to swing a golf club.
There are five main components required for the best simulator setup
The Brains and Systems Similar to the OptiShot system, which creates 3-D courses, and utilizes sensors to track the path that the ball follows.
Projector: Displays the course and swing details on the wall.
Golf mat: Recreates the feel of grass on the golf course. It also lets you place tees.
Screen or net: Catch the ball once it’s hit to protect yourself from injury and damage from golf balls flying around.
Space: You require plenty of space to swing your club without restriction (obviously! ).
The costliest part of your golf simulator home project will be purchasing the computer’s brains and the projector, not to forget giving your wife free reign over your credit card in exchange to let you build a golfer’s cave! This is how you put your system in place:
The most difficult part of installing your golf simulator is locate the ideal space. A typical area used by many home simulators measures 10 feet in width, 15 feet long and 10 feet tall. The minimum floor height in basements is 7′. the OptiShot simulator suggests at least 8.5 feet. We recommend more height when you are planning to swing your golf club in the simulator. In general the best place to set up your home golf simulator is in the garage.
The extent of your simulator’s setup will depend on how much space you have available and how frequently you’ll use the golf simulator. If you have room to spare in your garage you could construct a 10ft x15ft by 10ft wooden frame, and then protect it with mesh nets. Within that size of space, you could then put a computer table on one side, build racks for clubs and then cover the floor with a grass mat to create a garage that is realistic 18. Aiming to frame your simulator like this could make your budget go over $2000, but if you’re skilled with a screw gun , you are likely to knock the task out of the park in just a few hours.
The most sophisticated golf simulators such as those used in modern commercial simulators cost up to $50k. Although these systems are extremely effective, they are well beyond the amount we have set for our own home build budget. This is why we recommend this OptiShot for one of the “brains” of your home golf simulator since its performance is unparalleled within the $500-$500 price range. This is the “brains” of your system are where you’ll need to invest the bulk of your money because in the event that the simulator itself isn’t working properly, you’ll be left with just some balls and the net.
The OptiShot has 16 sensors that are highly calibrated and can monitor all clubs that you carry with measurements like head speed as well as angle, swing direction distance , touch speed, and shot form to produce even draws and fades.
YOU CAN GET THE OPTISHOT ON AMAZON FOR AROUND $499 TO SERVE AS THE “BRAINS” OF YOUR HOME GOLF SIMULATOR.
The OptiShot is loaded with several authentic golf courses, including The TPC Scottsdale or Torrey Pines which you can play using your own clubs. Courses can stream on the projector, or to any TV or computer screen.
Apart from being able use your TV, another feature that makes the living room simulator accessible is the possibility for playing foam ball, or even the “no-ball” setting–this is something we strongly recommend to anyone who is facing serious space constraints.
The OptiShot has an exercise mode that provides visual feedback. You can also play the most effective ball or match play with different types of games and even modify the weather. The device requires an laptop or desktop computer (this can add to the overall budget for simulators should you not have one) which can be connected to the TV or streamed directly to the projector.
The second piece of equipment that you’ll need to spend your money for is the projector. While you can technically use a TV to play games, most people prefer using a projector in order to experience the more authentic golf experience of a wider view.
Similar to the simulators themselves, the prices for projectors can run to the thousands, however the best price is between $350-$500 to ensure the authenticity of 3D renderings and images from the OptiShot. Here are some models that we would recommend:
We strongly recommend avoid using cheap (under 100 dollars) and “mini” projectors that seem to be popping up all over the place. The reason is that the majority of cheap projectors do not have enough luminosity (measured by lumens) required to show an acceptable image in anything that is brighter than absolute darkness. Keep in mind that the brighter you’re looking for your simulator bay, the more robust you’ll need for your projection device to have. Since, nobody wants to be swinging in darkness!
How to Build a Home Golf Simulator Projector
THE EPSON VS230 IS AN EXAMPLE OF A MID-RANGE PROJECTOR THAT CAN BE PURCHASED FOR UNDER $350.
Whatever projector you pick, it is important to ensure that the model has inputs that work with your desktop or laptop computer. The majority of new computers have an HDMI output that will work with nearly all models of new projectors, however we advise checking the connections prior to purchasing.
While purchasing a projector might be expensive, the good thing is that modern projectors can be used to show films or even live TV therefore your golf simulator can also double as a home theater even when not being utilized!
To date, you’re likely to have around $800-$1,000 included with the OptiShot and projector, and another $300 if you’ve constructed an enclosure that is permanent However, those are the final important purchases for your own at-home golf simulator. The remainder of the equipment that are used in the simulator could be bought at your own discretion to enhance the experience of a real golfing experience.
The OptiShot is equipped with an inch high and roughly one foot long hitting area where the actual ball strikes take place but it’s not able to give an authentic golf experience when you swing up on the ball. Because of this, many buyers opt to buy an inlay mat for on the OptiShot striking surface, and raise their bodies to the similar level to the green. A high-quality 3 ft 5 feet mat can cost you approximately 70 dollars. You can either cut an area to the right of the mat, where the OptiShot can be placed or set the OptiShot on the mat if there is no need to alter the mat.
Screen / Net
Many people prefer the setup with a projector because it mimics hitting the ball straight down the fairway to the screen. In this case, you’ll require a sturdy screen to hit or a net to protect in the front. A good projector screen that is sturdy enough to stand up to repeated hits with a golf ball are quite costly, but there are many methods to overcome this without breaking the bank. Here are some suggestions:
Set up a golf net with a pop-up (e.g. Haack Golf Net or The Haack Golf Net or The Net Return Pro) in the middle of a regular projection screen to take the impact.
Utilize golf balls made of foam instead of actual golf balls to avoid damage to your screen projector.
If you’re building your own enclosure, you could use a sturdy Tarp that is similar to that used on the above video (just ensure that it’s light in color to ensure that the projected image will be clear).
How to Build a Home Golf Simulator Net
THE HAACK GOLF NET CAN BE PURCHASED FOR UNDER $150.
Be aware when you’re playing with genuine golf balls, you’ll want to install nets along the sides and on top of the screen to help keep any stray shots out of the way. The cost of your screen and net won’t exceed $200 if you choose wisely.
If you’re looking to take your game more (and you have room within your spending budget) you can consider something referred to as the impact screen. These durable nets and screens are designed to fulfill the dual function of stopping any impact caused by a golfer’s ball as well as providing a clear image from projection devices.
Based on whether you could get a good deal on the projector and screen, you may have some funds remaining to turn your area into a paradise for golf. For instance, if you’ve made the frame from wood for the simulator, you may want to protect the boards by an insulating foam cover since shanks are able to hit the wood and are unstable.
A few avid golfers set install an iPad close to the area of hitting and use something like SwingSmart or SwingTIP to get a more professional swing analysis. The addition of this app is a fantastic way to experience the full power of a top-quality golf simulator, which monitors factors like speed of swing along with swing path and much more.
Total Cost Breakdown
Time to open your tab…
OptiShot – $500
Projector – $350
Golf Mat – $70
Golf Net / Screen – $200
Total = $1200
Options like making your own enclosure or upgrading mats, nets and projectors can bring your total close to $2000.
Don’t Forget to Be Creative
The great thing about installing the golf simulator inside an area of your house is the fact that there’s no right or wrong way to go about it (as as long as you’re not playing in the bay window). Get an OptiShot as your starting point and then explore the possibilities. We’ve even observed people using white shower curtains for $10 as projection screens!
We cannot guarantee that your score will improve after purchasing a house golf simulator. But you’ll surely have fun!