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CREATING YOUR OWN HOME GOLF SIMULATOR
Creating Your Own Home Golf Simulator
Hey guys, today I have an interesting article for you if you want to improve your scores, which we all want to do!! I am going to show you how to find the parts to set up your own golf simulator and improve your scores at home.
So, maybe you’re working too much to get in regular rounds at the course, or family commitments are keeping you from the range; whatever the reason, a golf simulator could be exactly what you need.
I am going to discuss what you need today, and a price range that will suit any budget. Let’s locate the items for a home system and improve your scores for your next golf outing.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Any golf simulator system will need the following components, whether you create you own or buy a complete package. Today, I’m going to price the components for various budgets that are readily available locally or online.
These mats will give you a nice feel for practicing all your golf shots. Select one of the following that best suits your needs. You’ll have to incorporate some sensors if you buy your own mat, but you’ll have some options for that later.
The RUKKET TRI-TURF GOLF HITTING GRASS MAT offers true hitting feel for fairways and rough at an entry level price. Train from every lie, including driving and chipping. This mat is adequately sized at 25”x16”, with 3 different surfaces for various attacks. Priced at $60, this is a fair priced introductory matt for your home simulator. There is also a 24”x36” extra-large size available around $90.
The SKLZ GLIDE PATH DIVOT SIMULATOR GOLF MAT is an option that comes in around the $250 price range. You need a good mat that will simulate true turf conditions and not wear out quickly. This mat gives you true ball flight and reduces shock and injury as you follow through.
REAL FEEL GOLF MATS are a heavy-duty commercial golf mat that lets you swing down and through the ball for realistic practices. This mat offers true divot action and a no bounce feel that other mats may exhibit. A new one comes in around $280, but the quality will last you through unlimited practice sessions.
Driving golf balls in an enclosed area, you need a solid, dependable net to capture your shots and return them for quick re-play. The following 3 nets are available in the given price ranges:
GALILEO GOLF DRIVING RANGE PRACTICE NET
This unit offers high-quality netting, easy set-up and an unbreakable steel pole. Easy to set up at home, and big enough to catch any drive, iron or chip shot. A great value, coming in at just under $120.
As one other net reviewed here today contains, the floating target is great if you want to practice outside, or without the simulator. This one is easily removed for full simulator use as well. These targets simply clip on or off, depending where you are practicing and what equipment you have available.
RUKKET HAACK NET PRO
Rukket makes our list again for the DIY golf simulator builder. This golf net is developed and endorsed by NCAA golf pro Chris Haack. Plenty of size at 9’x7’x3’, this unit can be quickly set up and broken down. It also comes with a carry case for moving or storage. A mid-priced addition to our choices at $150.
SPORNIA SPG-5 GOLF SIMULATOR SERIES SPG-5 GOLF NET
This Spornia offers full swing with all clubs and a patented Ball Return System for over 200 golf balls. Large target screen absorbs ball impact, loud sounds and secures the net. The bullseye is a decent feature if you are practicing without the simulator but is also removable, so you can view your entire simulation. Pricing starts at $219. A nice, durable product in this price range.
Now we’re getting into the meat of the home simulator systems. The screens will show you where your shots are really heading. There are multiple options for a screen. Some people have made their own, using a wall at home or a plywood stand that is portable. The chosen surface is then painted with a specially designed paint to replicate the correct surface for projection. There are even stick-on screens!!
I’m not interested in those today, so let’s look at a few for your home package you can use right out of the box.
PULL UP SCREEENS
Pull up screens seem to be the option that will fit any budget, are portable and very easy to set up. Place the stand on the floor, pull up the screen and fix in place. No drilling, no ceiling mounts, no wall attachments. You’re ready to go, and if your room isn’t dedicated to the simulator, you’re out of the way in a few minutes.
APONTUS 100” HW46524-MASTER is a portable pull up floor projection screen with an aluminum case. Moving and set-up are light and easy, thanks to the aluminum frame. End cap brackets are included if you decide to mount the screen to your wall or ceiling later. This item is sold locally at Wal-Mart, and ships directly to your home from the manufacture, Apontus LLC. Cost is in the $175 range.
The DA-LITE FLOOR MODEL C 40253 has a viewing area of 96”X96”. It is a square screen, is manually operated and floor-mounted. The resolution is 1080P, so you’ll get a nice image displayed. This unit is made in the USA, ships directly to your home in 3-5 days, and sells for just slightly over $600.
Although pull up screens will work for most, I have decided to include one pull down screen today. The screen can be mounted to the wall or ceiling and is quickly available for use or storage without being in anyone’s way. They’re also practical if the kids or family want to watch a movie.
The ELITE SCREENS MANUAL 150” M150UWV2 is a ceiling or wall mounted screen with 150” of viewing area. A really large screen, this unit is easily mounted up high, out of the floor space area, and ready for quick use. I stayed around home and found this one at the local Wal-Mart as well. This large screen is in the $300 price range, and will be shipped directly to your home by MaxxA1 or Elite Screens Inc.
Projector prices have really come down as of late. The expensive models are still out there and offer great features for the money, but there are other choices as well. Here’s 3 to consider:
MULTIMEDIA 3D 4K HOME CINEMA THEATE PROJECTOR
This projector uses an LCD lighting system providing a 2000:1 ratio. A maximum supported resolution of 1920x1080 is perfect for you home simulator. This model has a substantial lens life of 20,000 hours. It is advertised as portable, so that could be helpful, depending on the allocated space you have. Projection distances are from 3-10 feet, so add in your net and your screen, to ensure you have enough room size. This unit comes in at just over $50, with advertised free shipping in the USA.
EUG HD HOME THEATRE MOVIE NIGHT HDMI
This model offers an image brightness of 4000 lumens, twice our previous models’, for a super bright display. Native resolution is 1024x600, with video inputs for HDMI, USB, and VGA. This model offers projection distances from 4-15 feet, which should work for most locations. A 50,000-hour bulb, remote control and blue-tooth features are included. Also mentioned is a Keystone Correction Button to quickly give you true, accurate image display. A lot of added features, this EUG model sells in the $250 range, also offering free shipping.
ODYSSEY CINEMA CONCEPTS MK-94
For the Odyssey, lumens come in brighter at 4500, and the contrast ratio of 45,000:1 is excellent. Resolution display is at 1080P and stereo outputs for right and left channels are featured. The Odyssey is 3D-compatable a well. HDMI and S-video inputs are standard on this model. The projector sells for $400 and S&H is quoted at $19.99
I am going to say very little today about computers. Your simulator will need one to run the software and communicate with the various components. You may already have a laptop or something you can use around the house. I would try to dedicate a computer just for the simulator so you’re not constantly moving it around when you or someone else needs to use the laptop.
You can easily visit eBay or a local computer shop that sells refurbished or remanufactured laptops. Expect to pay $250-400 for a very ample used computer to run your set-up. Most places will even offer some warranty and may help you install the needed software.
OPTISHOT 2 GOLF SIMULATOR
Since we have priced all the other components for you to build your system, the OptiShot 2 could be the perfect way to keep your project under budget. Coming in around $300, the OptiShot 2 is touted as the world’s #1 golf simulator for your Mac or PC. The package comes with all the necessary cables, software, infrared swing pad and adjustable extra rubber tees. Also included are fifteen great professional courses for your home projection simulator.
SKYTRAK GOLK LAUNCH MINTIOR AND SIMULATOR
The Skytrak is a full featured and accurate launch monitor and golf simulator in a small, affordable package. You’ll need an iMac or a PC laptop to run the software as we discussed above. Software packages are available from basic to advanced, and prices range from $99-$200 for the yearly subscription fees. The basic practice package is free with the system. Prices for the monitor and simulator start at $1995.
Many of the world’s greatest golfers use a trackman golf simulator. They have top-notch graphics, software and materials for the best money can buy. I am not pricing these today because of the budget I’m shooting for, but if you’re curious head over to https://trackmangolf.com and check out what the pros use.
This is a concern that really warrants our attention. You can’t squeeze your simulator into a small space. You need an area you can comfortably complete a full golf swing; it may be more than you imagine. Go to the room where you want to install your simulator. Take a driver and see if you can comfortably and fully make your swing.
A ceiling height of 10’ is desirable, but you may get by with a little less. It really depends on how tall you are, or if others will be using your simulator as well. 10’ of width should also get you by, but again, maybe a bit more if lefties and righties are using the simulator. Room depth is also important. Different simulators and projectors require varying distances to properly display their images.
A single car garage bay, or a room that was originally designed as a home entertainment theatre should work perfect. If you do set up in the garage, secure your area and your investment. You don’t want unsupervised kids around your equipment, nor do you want the neighborhood dogs testing out your driving matt!!
So guys, there you have it; some solid information if you’ve been thinking about a home golf simulator. I think you could set up something very usable in the $2000-$3000 price range, or even less. Certainly, you could spend more, but give it a go in the basic prince range. You can always upgrade some components as you go along and get comfortable using a simulator. I’m sure there is a market to sell the parts you’d like to upgrade. I’ve gotten more than one nice golf club from others using that strategy. Enjoy your new simulator and make some new friends as well!!
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