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Simply The Best Golf Simulators. Free Shipping & Lowest Prices. Call 1-855-348-4173
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Golf Simulator Buying Guide

Golf Simulators allow you to enjoy an immersive golf experience in an indoor space.  Golf simulators bring real world golf anywhere.  You can play whenever you want -  no matter the weather or the time of day! 


Want to learn more about golf simulators? Check out our other helpful guides:


Golf Simulators include the following components:

Many simulator components can be upgraded.  This means that it is possible to initially start off with less expensive options and parts.  Then, later, you can choose to upgrade, one component at a time, without having to replace your entire system.  Golf simulators can be purchased as a complete package or assembled to your own specifications and preferences.  Golf simulators have an additional benefit.  The projector and hitting bay of a golf simulator can double as a very large screen television/video monitor or as a very large gaming screen that can be used to entertain the whole family!


Space Requirements

The first thing you have to look at when considering a golf simulator is the minimum space requirement for use. 

You will need:

    • Room for your swing
    • Ceiling clearance
    • Space for the simulator components
Our recommendation is that, generally, you should allot room space of a minimum of 10’ length, 10’ width, and 8.5’ height.  For most people, this space is sufficient.  Check your own swing to make sure that these dimensions work for you.  Some of our larger hitting bays require up to 12’ width and 9’ height and 16' lenght of room space.


Launch Monitors

The launch monitor is the part of your golf simulator system that analyzes your swing and/or the movement of your golf ball.  You need to consider what technology you want to use for your launch monitor.  Your launch monitor’s ability to accurately analyze your stroke and golf ball will directly affect the true-to-life nature of your simulator.  It is the core of every simulator system. 

Launch monitors use one or more of the following technologies:

    • sensor pads
    • infrared light
    • cameras
    • radar
As a general rule, the more sophisticated the system, the more accurate it is.  More advanced technologies can analyze more data points of your swing and golf ball.    
When purchasing a launch monitor, define your current and future needs.  Some launch monitors can be used as stand alone products, without providing the full simulator experience.  If desired, they can be used for the sole purpose of providing you with data feedback on your swing and golf ball.  Some launch monitors cannot be connected to simulator software and must remain stand alone products.  Other launch monitors are only meant for use with simulator software.  Other launch monitors can be used both as stand alone products and can be connected to simulator software. 


Browse our complete collection of Launch Monitors with Simulation Capabilities.



Software is the programming within your PC or iOS system that converts the physical data of your swing into a visually immersive simulator experience.

Software options include one or more of the following:

    • Singular player vs. Multiple player use
    • From 18 to more than 150,000 available golf courses
    • Competition in leagues and other online events
    • Training tools
    • Alternative games
    • Pairing with select launch monitors
    • Compatibility with PC, iOS systems, or both


Check out our blog Why Modern Golf Simulators are So Much Fun for more information about software options.


    Hitting Bays

    A hitting bay is the area into which you hit the golf ball.

    There are a few considerations in choosing a hitting bay:

      • Type
      • Size
      • Shape
      • Side Barriers


    There are two types of hitting bays.  The first type of hitting bay includes a basic net that catches the golf ball.  This type of hitting bay does not include a screen and can not be projected upon.  The simulation would be seen on your computer screen.  The second type of hitting bay includes an impact screen.  This hitting bay with an impact screen can withstand the force of a golf ball and can also be projected upon.
    Some basic nets are able to be converted into projectable screens.  In these units, a ballistic screen is able to be attached to the hitting net.  To enhance the clarity of the picture, a darkening valence may be attached to the back of the net.
    The hitting bays that are specifically designed for golf simulators are generally the most immersive types of hitting bays and offer the best experience.


    Hitting bays are available in various sizes.  Some hitting bays are as small as 7’ wide and 7’ high.  Others can be as large as 14’ wide.  All hitting bays function as simulator components, but larger hitting bays offer a more immersive experience. 


    Screens that are more square will require a more square image (4:3) to be projected.  Screens that are more rectangular can accommodate a more typical projection (16:9).  See also the discussion below about Projectors and Aspect Ratio.

    Side Barriers

    Side barriers protect against errant balls.  Some hitting bays come with included side barriers and other hitting bays have side barriers available to be purchased separately.


    Browse our complete collection of Hitting Bays.


    Golf Mats

    The golf mat is the area from which you hit the golf ball.  The golf mat is important because it gives you the feeling of hitting on the golf course. 

    There are a few considerations in choosing a golf mat:

        • Size
        • Features


    The golf mat must be large enough for you to stand on and to swing.  It should be large enough to include the launch monitor.  Typically, a golf mat of 5’x5’ is sufficient.  You may want additional mat coverage under the hitting bay so that the golf ball will not damage the floor.  Some customers prefer that the golf mat reach all the way to the screen for a more immersive feel.  For this reason, many customers choose the 5’x10’ golf mat option.


    Some golf mats allow for a real wooden tee, while other golf mats require rubber tees.  Various golf mats provide a more lifelike grass feeling.  Some mats feature materials that are easier on your wrists upon playing impact.

    If you choose the OptiShot launch monitor, it comes with a specially designed golf mat. 


    Browse our complete collection of Golf Mats



    A projector is what turns all of the data from your play into a pictured image.  For many customers, understanding and deciding upon a projector seems complicated.  We make it simple with our information and recommendations!

    There are a few considerations when choosing a projector for a golf simulator:

        • Picture Quality
        • Aspect Ratio
        • Projector Placement
        • Keystone
        • Throw Ratio

    Picture Quality

    The picture quality impacts how much the hitting bay screen will look like a real golf course.  The projector affects the brightness and clarity of the image on the screen.  The more lumens that the projector has, the brighter the picture will be.  The greater the contrast ratio, the clearer the picture will be.

    Aspect Ratio

    The aspect ratio is the shape of the projected picture upon the screen.  It is the width of the image in relation to its height.  In projecting an image, the aspect ratio in relation to the screen will affect whether the image is solely projected upon the hitting bay screen or whether the image will spill over to the surrounding area or wall space.  The aspect ratio in relation to the screen will also determine how much blank black area may be visible or not at the top and bottom of the screen.  Therefore, the aspect ratio of the projector must coordinate with the shape of the screen in accordance with the customer’s preferences. 

    A projector with an aspect ratio of 16:9 will better coordinate with a more rectangular screen.  This is the aspect ratio typically used with computer screens and TVs.  A projector with an aspect ratio of 4:3 will better coordinate with a more square screen.  There will be less spill over of a 4:3 image off of a square screen than of a 16:9 image off of a square screen.  Yet, a 4:3 image upon a square screen will still include a bit of blank black area on the top and bottom of the screen.   Many customers are okay with side image spill over and prefer, instead, to have the image completely cover the top and bottom of the screen.  Therefore, use of a rectangular screen should be coordinated with use of a projector with a 16:9 aspect ratio.   Our recommendation for the use of a square screen is that you purchase a projector that can project with both the aspect ratios of 16:9 and 4:3 so that you can determine your own personal visual preferences.

    Projector Placement

    Proper placement is the determination of where the projector will be mounted or kept.  Projector placement impacts the visibility of the simulated image.  Placement of the projector behind the player should be avoided as it would result in a shadow upon the screen.  The projector must also be placed in a location where it will be not be damaged during active play.  You don’t want the projector to get hit by your golf ball or golf club.  You also don’t want your projector to get in the way of your golf ball.  Therefore, you should avoid mounting the projector on the floor.

    The ideal placement for the projector is either above the player from a ceiling mount or placed on a table that is off to the side of the player.  The Net Return Simulator Series 8 has the additional option of using its Projector Mounting Kit which attaches the projector to a bar coming from the screen.


    The keystone is the ability to adjust the image if the projector is not directly aligned with and facing the screen.  Most projectors come with a vertical keystone.  A vertical keystone allows for image adjustment when the projector is placed either above or below the screen.  When the projector is located off to the side of the screen, the projector requires the feature of a horizontal keystone in order to properly adjust the image.

    Throw Ratio

    The distance between the projector lens and the projected image is the throw distance.  The throw ratio is the relation between the throw distance and the projected image width.  The throw ratio of a projector tells you what image size you can expect to project from a certain distance away.  As the projector placement and throw distance varies with the customer’s specific preferences and needs, a projector with an appropriate throw ratio must be selected to produce the necessary image size. 


    When purchasing a projector, be careful to check its detailed description to make sure that it has all of the features that you desire and need in a golf simulator.  The names and specifications of each model should be carefully analyzed.  For example, there are two projectors currently on the market that produce drastically different throw ratios while having almost identical names.  Yet, only one of these projectors is compatible with a golf simulator.

    Fortunately, Simply Golf Simulators easily simplifies your selection and purchase of a projector!  All of our selected projectors have fantastic picture quality with strong contrast ratios and bright presentation.  Every one of our selected projectors allows for the player to have a choice of aspect ratio.  Each of our selected projectors provides a throw ratio necessary for a golf simulator.  All of our projectors include a vertical and horizontal keystone.


    Browse our complete collection of Projectors.


    PC or Apple Device

    Within a golf simulator, a computer, laptop, or Apple device is connected to the launch monitor and projector.  The operating system of the computer, laptop, or Apple device processes the golf simulator software.  Make sure that your device’s hardware and operating system are compatible with the golf simulator software that you wish to use.


    Simply Golf Simulators

    Simply Golf Simulators offers the finest collection of Complete Golf Simulator Packages and individual simulator components.  We have the expertise and knowledge to offer you the very best golf simulators on the market.  Simply Golf Simulators takes the stress out of buying golf simulators.  We simplify the process and help take the guesswork out of building and completing your system.  Our expert and knowledgeable customer service can walk you through all parts of the process.  You can reach out to us at any time for additional support and with any questions.  We strive to provide you with the best buying experience possible!  Our collections have options for every price point and budget.  We offer guaranteed lowest prices, financing options, and free shipping.


    Browse our complete collection of Golf Simulators.

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