Missing Golf During Social Distancing? – Those Weekend Golf Guys

Missing Golf During Social Distancing?

Set Up a Golf Simulator

Professional golfers (and some serious enthusiasts) have been using golf simulators for years. Not only do they allow you to play at night or when the weather’s not great, they also let you preview famous courses and give you feedback on your swing and shot.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a golf simulator of your own, now might be the perfect time to set one up. A lot of people don’t realize how easy and affordable a golf simulator can be. Let’s delve into the details to help you figure out if a golf simulator will fit into your life.

How much does a golf simulator cost?

The total budget to set up a golf simulator varies widely. The most sophisticated simulator set-ups can cost upwards of $50,000, but you don’t need to be a millionaire to have one of your own. You can set up a home golf simulator easily with a budget of $1,000-$2,000. That’s still not cheap by most people’s estimations, but consider how much you normally spend on green fees and travel to courses. A single round of golf at a famous course like Pebble Beach costs $500 or more, so for some players a simulator can pay for itself in just a few games.

So how does that budget break down? There are three main expenses in setting up a home golf simulator:

Simulation software

This is the most crucial piece of the puzzle, and as we said the cost varies widely. The most affordable option is OptiShot, which you can get for around $300. Keep in mind you’ll need a computer with a relatively high processing speed to run the simulation. If you don’t have one at home, that will also need to be factored in your budget.

Projector and Screen

A high-quality projector is essential to have a good experience with a home golf simulator. A projector with a resolution of at least 1080p will give you a good amount of detail. Input lag is another important specification to consider. A lag time of 60ms or lower will give you the best experience. You can get a decent gaming and home theater projector for as little as $500, though most will be more in the $1,000-$1,500 price range. Click here for more information about best projectors for golf simulators.

Net and Mat

These components may be included with your simulator if you buy a complete kit. If not, you’ll want to budget $200-$400 for these components. The trickiest thing about buying a net is finding one short enough to fit indoors, since most are designed for outdoor use. With the mat, the price will go up as it gets more sophisticated. A basic golf mat costs around $100. Expect to pay more if you want features like variable terrain or adjustable height and incline.

How much space does a golf simulator need?

Obviously you’ll need enough space to swing your club comfortably, but a lot of players don’t necessarily have a context for what that means. Ideally, you’ll want to have a room that’s at least 15 by 15 feet, with ceilings at least 10 feet high. This will accommodate both right- and left-handed players, and give you enough space to safely swing your club.

If you don’t have a space that large, you can shrink the dimensions slightly. For set-ups designed for a single player, a width of as little as 9 feet can work. The depth and height are non-negotiable, however. In fact, some radar-based software systems may require even more depth to take accurate readings.

The best way to get a feel for whether a room will fit a golf simulator is to give it a dry run. Take your clubs in and swing them. Can you swing freely, or are you worried about hitting the walls or ceiling? Doing this before you buy the system can save you frustration later.

The Bottom line

A home golf simulator can be a worthwhile investment for anyone who enjoys the game. Expanding the options of when and where you can play. Keep in mind the projector can also serve other functions in your home. Any projector suitable for a golf simulator will also work beautifully in a home theater. For serious players, the entertainment potential of a golf simulator is well worth the cost.

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