At Rain or Shine Golf, we are here to help make your dream of owning your own golf simulator a reality. This all-encompassing golf simulator comparison guide will recommend the top golf simulators on the market for just about every budget and need. So whether you are a PGA professional or the Average Joe, we will help you find the perfect golf simulator package so you can Tee It Up Anytime, Rain or Shine.
You can now purchase launch monitors from Foresight, Trackman, and Flightscope. Additionally, there are more premium packages from high-end home golf simulator companies like Full Swing Golf, SwingTrack and TRU GOLF. At these levels, you can expect to get much more accuracy concerning ball flight as well as your swing information. Additionally, the simulation software becomes much more robust.
Inaccurate– What most people look for in golf simulations is a way to play the actual game in the comfort and convenience of their own home, and a simulation should feel like the actual game, says Golf Digest. You should not expect anything other than a true simulation when you buy one of these devices, and if you aren’t getting that, then you need to look for a different simulator. Once again, reviews are your friend, and you can use them to tell you what simulators offer the real deal.
Almost every single simulator package is going to require a computer to run its software. Hardware is an added cost that many golfers will not consider. It’s possible you may already have a laptop, tablet, or desktop option that is capable of running the software. Most systems will require a more robust graphics card, which you can easily upgrade on an older computer if you are handy.
At this price point, you are most likely looking at an OptiShot simulator. It’s currently around $300, and this is the entry level. You can have plenty of fun with a product like this, but be aware that the accuracy is limited. Optishot only measures the speed, path, and face angle of your club. From there it calculates where your ball is going but is not directly measuring the actual golf ball after impact. So you might not make great contact, but OptiShot would simulate a shot that was struck almost perfectly. It is essential to understand that the info provided could be misleading on individual shots, which could frustrate players.
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where there is a local golf center with simulators and indoor driving ranges/domes consider yourself blessed.  Today’s commercial golf simulators really are top of the line and the spacious room allowing you to use your full swing really is priceless.  Unfortunately though these simulators can be both crowded and costly as they look to cater to all of the other anxious golfers who are not so patiently awaiting the arrival of spring.
Something to note about Skytrak is that currently it only gives ball data (spin, distance etc). It will not provide measurements on your actual swing. The unit itself must be next to the golf ball, and some people have had issues with damage from errant swings. However, Cory believes Skytrak is going to fit the needs of most golfers at this price level. SkyTrak has several software integrations that will allow you to play golf courses and has a tremendous native software package for practice.
I've had this for a couple weeks now and have played a few rounds on TGC. Pretty fun. As others have noted, this won't register fat and thin swings. My distances also seemed off (short 15 to 20). Adjustments to the club's loft and shaft length (from head to bottom of sensor) helped dial my real distances I guess by changing club speed. It seems like path and club angle at impact are accurate. Can't really tell on side spin and have toed some swings that register as straight shots.
This is a plug-and-play product that is compatible with Windows, PlayStation, and Mac. All you need to do is to hook it up to your PlayStation, PC, or Mac and start Tiger Woods (or LPDR-TOUR) and you will be up and running in no time at all. Play ultra-realistic golf and get swing analysis data while you play on the world’s greatest golf courses in EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008.
A ceiling height of 10 feet is a “safe” distance that can accommodate most golfers’ height and swing type. Cory mentioned that he was able to build a simulator in a room with a ceiling of 8′ 2″. However, the couple was shorter than average and had very flat swings. It may be possible for you to swing clubs freely in a ceiling lower than 10 feet depending on your height and how flat or vertical your swing is. Don’t forget to consider other golfers who might be using the space if you plan on having friends or family members use it also.
If you are like most golfers, you will get the best value with your golf simulator investment in this tier. Whether you want to dial in your distances or have endless entertainment, the three time Golf Digest Best Value Golf Simulator, SkyTrak, paired with one of the three golf simulator bays below provide an excellent value, all for under $10,000.
On the premium side of the spectrum is aboutGolf’s Curve. Stated in the name, this simulator’s screen is constructed in a 180-degree arch, providing an immersive and panoramic aesthetic that’s boosted by ultra-HD resolution and custom lighting. A three-dimensional, high-speed camera and tracking system extract data from dozens of images per shot, providing accurate ball and club figures on any type of shot regardless of speed, spin or launch angle. A balance and weight-measurement system is placed under the mat to help you understand the distribution of weight, and the Curve’s data collection features an A.I. clubfitting process. As for gameplay, there’s no shortage of first tees, with 76 venues like St. Andrews, Pebble Beach, Whistling Straits and TPC Sawgrass.
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