The hardest part about setting up your golf simulator will finding a the right space. A common area of space that many home simulators use is 10 feet wide by 15 feet long by 10 feet high. The minimum code for basement ceiling height is 7 feet and the OptiShot simulator recommends at least 8.5 feet—we recommend even more height than that if you plan on swinging your driver in the simulator. With that said, generally speaking the best spot for setting up your home golf simulator will be in the garage.
Not only can you record your swings, but you can actually replay them in a 360-degree view. This basically means that you do not just view your swing as if a camera recorded it, but instead, you get to see it from any angle you like, giving you an intimate understanding of how you perform. On top of all that, the fact that it offers 8 hours of battery time against only 1.5 hours of charging makes it very convenient to own.
This entire process tends to make the practice session less authentic than it should be. With the ability of the turf on the Fairway Pro to move with the swing, no residual force is relayed to your joints. Instead, it serves as an accurate simulation of the give real grass has, and as a result, the feedback comes in the form of loss or gains in ball flight, as with real grass. This makes practicing on the Fairway Pro much more authentic than on other golf mats. In addition to that, the Fairway Pro also comes in a portable, foldable casing, has durable sprigs rated at one million cycles, and a replaceable premium quality turf.
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 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.
“As a professional golfer and tech enthusiast, I demand the best & most advanced equipment available. I love the HD Simulator because of its incredible realism & pinpoint accuracy. I was amazed at the technology and playing experience. My coach and I really like using the integrated video swing & weight transfer analysis to fine-tune my swing in real-time. When it comes to simulators, there is simply no comparison to HD Golf.”
1) You should choose the SkyTrak Budget if you want the best all around golf simulator package for under $5,000. It is possible to create a DIY golf simulator for less than this, but if you want to save yourself time and avoid potential costly mistakes, you are going to love this package. While this package doesn't have the screen size that the three in the $10,000 and under tier do, the SkyTrak Budget Package gives you the same SkyTrak Launch Monitor and projector with a more budget-friendly hitting bay and golf mat all for under $5,000.
The benefit of using a system like OptiShot is that you don’t need to use an actual golf ball. You can use a foam ball or a plastic one. This will allow you to save a ton of money because you don’t need to use a high impact projector screen or net. Cory has seen some people use painter’s tarp or a bed sheet, which will save you several hundred dollars.
Those of you golfers who live in cold climates and can’t always go to the range will significantly appreciate this device. It includes pretty accurate infrared sensors that will measure the club-head speed and point-of-impact by shooting about 10,000 pulses per second at you both before and after impact. Then, the OptiShot software will process the information and give you a fairly accurate illustration of your shot.