Jon Sherman is the owner of Practical Golf, a website dedicated to being an honest resource for the everyday golfer who is looking to enjoy the game more, as well as improve. He is the author of the bestselling book 101 Mistakes All Golfers Make (and how to fix them). You can find him on Twitter here - @practicalgolf, where he is happy to chat about golf with anyone.
1) Choose the TruGolf Vista 12 Golf Simulator if you don't quite have the budget for GolfZon but still want a stunning golf simulation experience and fun game modes for your friends and family. Ranging from $18,995 to $22,995 in price with various customization options, the TruGolf Vista is a full turn-key solution. It comes with the E6 Connect Golf Simulator Software that includes online tournaments and events, 4K compatibility, multi-player functionality, and mini games such as long drive competition or various target practice games. The TruGolf Vista has it all for premium homes but is an excellent commercial golf simulator as well.
Not Considering Your Needs– Do you really need a simulator with all the bells and whistles? Do you need one that offers dozens of simulated courses when you will really only play a couple courses in real life? It depends on how far you want to go with your training and if you use the simulator as a substitute for the real thing. Some people use simulators to experience what other courses are like that they will never visit, and you need to factor in your preferences when you purchase a simulator to ensure you are getting something that fits you well.
This is the most crucial piece of the puzzle for your home golf simulator. The actual sensor system you choose will have an enormous impact on your experience. After speaking with Cory, I came to understand that there are endless variables. It all depends on the kind of golfer you are, your budget, the size of your room, how important accuracy is to you, and a host of other factors.
The Tittle X Golf Simulator provides you with the comfort to practice whenever and wherever. It does a decent job at compressing thousands of dollars’ worth of experience into a 7.9-gram device. The E6-edition software provides authentic representations of golf courses, as well as realistic simulations of how the ball would travel based on your swing. With the swing stick and the safety stick, you do not have to worry about the risks of swinging a club indoors, either. The only drawback here is perhaps the system requirements of the software. Because it generates 3D graphics in real time, it requires you to not only have s system with 1GB RAM from a dedicated graphics card, but also 25 GB of free disk space.
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.
I built my home simulator late last summer. I went with the SkyTrak w/Game Improvement Pkg for $1750 on sale, Rukket Haack Golf Net for $129, a used commercial grade 5×5 hitting mat (Grade A) for $200 off eBay. I used my old laptop and used it for displaying the shot data. I set mine up in my garage. I leave the net up full-time and move the mat in/out of position, if needed. This is a very workable and relatively affordable solution for $2079 in total.
SkyTrak makes mostly high end golfing simulators, and this one continues that tradition. It’s great for playing golf in the garage, and it lets you feel like you are in the actual game, thanks to the smart design and wealth of features to pick from. All of the components are removable and retractable, making it ideal for spaces where you live or park your car, as you can get the simulator out of the way easily when you need the extra space.
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.
Some systems could cost you as much as $50,000 – $70,000. High-end home golf simulators can be outfitted in nice enclosures, and have the best of everything. If your budget fits into this premium category, it’s best to work with a home golf simulator company directly. It’s a significant investment, and you want to make sure you are going to be satisfied with your money.
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.
Features– That brings us to the final consideration- the features. You can get a bare bones simulator that only does the basics, but you’ll get more mileage out of a fully featured simulator. One that can simulate different weather conditions or even allow you to play a virtual facsimile of actual golf courses will give you a lot more assistance than one that is decidedly simpler.
Although the infrared sensors are the Optishot’s main features, it might not be enough for the experienced golfer. The reason is that this device will not measure the golf ball like many other systems out there. You’ll likely make a great shot every single time you hit the ball because OptiShot does not take into account gear effect and therefore doesn’t track the ball.