The best golf simulators

Best golf simulators

Golf simulators can improve your game. So, what is the best golf simulator to buy?

The main question is: ‘how much house space do I have?’ Golf simulators are sizeable additions to any home. You will need eight feet or more of space around you, and from floor to ceiling. This amount of space is the minimum necessary to get a good golf swing. 

The best places are basement spaces or a garage.

I would advise you to choose your space before you even start to decide which simulator you want. However, if you want a quick pick we like the Ernest Sports ES16 Tour Golf Launch Monitor

How does a golf simulator work?

A golf simulator mimics what happens on an actual golf course. On a golf course, you will stand at the tee and swing the club. Hopefully, you make contact with the ball, and the ball goes down the fairway. With a golf simulator, you stand on a platform, called a swing pad, in front of a screen. On the screen, you see a realistic projection of a golf course.

The monitor is connected to a computer via a network of sensors around the screen which will analyze your shot.

Then you hit the ball, just as if you are on a real golf course. Immediately the tracking system begins to crunch the data. Speed, the angle of the shot, the distance, the spin on the ball, the trajectory of the ball is all analyzed. 

And that is just the start of the wonders of these cutting-edge machines. These days, simulators are so sophisticated that they can replicate an actual course. Many simulators are modeled on real courses and will offer a choice of your favorites.

Are golf simulators just about your swing?

Those of you who visit this golfing-fans site will know that we go on about your short game. No matter how good your swing is if you cannot get the ball into the hole on the green you will not be a good golfer.

You can get dedicated machines which will help your putting game. These are much cheaper than a full golf simulator and can be an excellent introduction to the world of golf simulators.

What should I pay for a golf simulator?

The simulators are a golfing area where you get what you pay for. Under 500 dollars and you will get a machine which can crunch up some of the data from your swing, but it is limited. These less expensive machines tend to focus on either the ball and how it moves or how you are swinging your club but not both.

Also, there is not much point in using a golf simulator unless you are getting accurate information from it. Some cheaper golf simulators are not as precise as you need to be if you are going to polish your game. 

At the higher end of the golf simulator market, you get much more data. You can expect to get information on the angle of the club face, the speed of your swing and the speed of your ball.

Can I install a golf simulator at home?

‘Yes, if you have enough space and enough money.’ To install top of the range of products you will need a whole room. Fifteen by twenty foot should do it, even for top of the range machines.

The simulator comes with a large projection screen and a video projector. You will see the image of the course. You will have a pad to stand on, and the netting will surround it. The mesh will stop the ball flying all over the room, or out of a closed window.

The actual simulator is a computer. Some link with your existing equipment and some are standalone models. Each has a tracking system so you can analyze your shots.

A set up like this means you can play golf every day of the year. You will never again have to worry about the weather. As an enthusiastic golfer, if you have a spare half an hour, you can get in a few swings. You can almost guarantee that your game will improve.

The bad news is this could cost you as much as a small car. So, if you are going to make this investment, you need to choose carefully.

Try it out first

If you are thinking of making this significant investment, then you may want to try it out first. Look around your area, and you can probably find an Indoor golf facility with a simulator. Using these professional golf simulators will give you an idea about how they work and if they are for you. 

Here are some golf simulators in action.

Until you have seen these machines, you can’t believe how good they can be. Here are some short video to take your breath away.

And here is a DIY version, built by a golfing enthusiast in his garage. Well done that man, you are an inspiration to us all.

Our top five choices for a golf simulator

Ernest Sports ES16 Tour Golf Launch Monitor
  • Doppler Radar & Photometric tracking Technology in One Launch Monitor
  • Ball Data : Carry Distance, Total Distance, Roll Distance, Ball Speed, Lateral Carry Distance, Lateral Total Distance, Launch Angle, Launch Direction Angle, Spin Rate, Spin Axis, Maximum Height, Hang Time, Shot Dispersion, Landing Angle
  • Club Data : Club Head Speed, Smash Factor, Angle of Attack, Spin Loft, Face Angle, Club Path, Dynamic Loft
  • Full simulation : Game play with putting

This simulator is at the top end of the domestic market. It works using Doppler Radar and has a tracking technology as well. Although expensive, it is a good choice as it is one of the most accurate machines on the domestic market today.

As well as Doppler Radar and tracking it provides fantastic data.

It works with two sorts of technologies, Doppler and camera tracking. You will get a full all-around picture of your game. It also includes all the data on the ball you will ever need. It has the carry data, the total distance, the distance the ball rolls, the speed of the shot. You will get the launch angle, the spin speed, and the spin axis. You will even get the height of the ball and the angle at landing. The simulator will also tell you everything you need to know about your golf clubs: the speed of the club head, the loft and the spin, the angle of the club face and the path of the club.

You can analyze and practice every part of your game, from your swing off the tee to your putting on the green.

It also offers as much variety as you can want, even in your wildest dreams. You can play on simulations of ten thousand courses, and that should take care of your next planned golf trip. Or do you want to simulate playing on that unique course of which you have always dreamed? If you have always wanted to play one of those world-famous courses, but doubt you will never get to it, this is the next best thing.

Pros:

  • Superb data analysis and enough information for even the most demanding player.

Cons:

  • Costly, but worth it for the serious player.

SkyTrak Launch Monitor with Game Improve Package
  • Compact Interface and Fast Charge : Sync and Charge simultaneously at fast speeds on your Micro USB compatible devices. Our technology teams make great improvement for the cables performance and 100% guaranteed the safe for your device.
  • Super Compatibility : iPhone 8/8Plus/7/7Plus/6Plus /6s Plus/6s /6/ 5s / 5c / 5, iPad Air / Air 2, iPad mini / mini 2 / mini 3, iPad (4th generation), iPod nano (7th generation) and iPod touch (5th generation). Compatible with all iOS9 devices.
  • Superb Durability : The stainless steel connector heads slot in easily and steadily, and won't get loose or fall out from your devices as your normal micro cables. Nylon braided cord is tangle free and robust promises you a perfect experience in charging your devices.
  • Diverse length: 3.3ft/6.6ft/10ft different length for using on sofa, in bed, in car and some other places. The bundles of the micro USB cable make your life more convenient.
  • Lightning Cable is perfect size.You can use this cable charging in bed, sofa, cars, hotel rooms, and more from long distance.

This equipment features a launch monitor and a golf simulator which will help you improve your game. Its high-speed photography will capture many features of the behavior of your golf ball. It will provide you with an analysis of your ball speed, the distance your ball has traveled, and the launch angle of the shot. It will also analyze the ball spin and club speed.

The set will give you instant 3D visuals of the ball in flight. It provides a good simulation of a driving range, so you feel as if you are getting real experience. The software with the course gives an extensive choice of courses so you can be guaranteed variety, and you will never get bored. 

This simulator is at the less costly end of the market, so it does not have as many features to help your golf game as some of the more expensive golf simulator models. But it is accurate in what it does so, thanks to its high-speed photography.

The system focuses on the improvement of your game. It includes a Game Improvement Package which is designed to keep your interest going and is a lot of fun. You can play the longest drive challenge and the closest to the pin challenge to keep that competitive edge going.

It is compact and portable and will connect to your existing computer. It also integrates with many golf course simulation partners. (This is an add-on and requires a subscription)

Pros:

  • The high-speed cameras provide an excellent swing analysis. You get a lot of data for the money, and the focus on improving your game makes it both challenging and fun. 

Cons:

  • The connection can be slightly unreliable. You may have to restart the machine from time to time.

OptiShot 2 Home Simulator Bundle | Includes Callaway 7-foot Hitting Net & 18 HX Practice Balls
  • New Release - Now compatible with Mac OS and Windows
  • Home Golf Simulator connects to a computer or laptop
  • Connect to a projector/TV or follow your shots on the computer screen
  • Play online against others with the NEW OptiShot Live (included)
  • Includes Callaway 7-foot' Hitting Net & 18-Pack Callaway HX Practice Balls

This equipment is a good starter kit, which is compatible with both Apple Mac and Windows computers. Paying hundreds rather than thousands of dollars, it is a bargain. You can connect this simulator to a projector or a TV or use your computer screen to follow and analyze your shots. It also has an interactive, social function which enables you to play against other players. It comes with extras from the well-respected golf equipment suppliers Callaway, with netting and practice balls. Connect to a projector/TV or follow your shots on the computer screen.

The OptiShot software is simple and gets the job done well. It will provide data on your swing speed, the angle of your club face, and the path of your shot. It is reasonably accurate, but not as good as the more expensive models.

It is probably best suited to players who know they have some particular faults in their game and want to sort them out quickly. If you know you need to smooth out your swing or change the loft of your shot, then this will help you.

Although it retails at a very reasonable price, be warned that you will need some add-ons to get it to work.

As sold, it includes a swing pad with infrared, balls, tees, a USB cord, and the software. You will need to provide a PC or a Mac and a screen (computer, TV or projector).

This equipment gets installed in your home and requires less space than some of the top range models. But you will still need at least ten-foot square if you are going to avoid hitting the furniture.

Pros:

This is a great golfing tool for improving your long shots and the angles of your shots. If you want to keep up your practice in the winter months, but do not want to spend a fortune this is a good buy.

Cons:

  • This product is not so good at analyzing and helping you develop your short game as your long shots and your swing.

Tittle X Golf Simulator Air Golf Pack, Trugolf E6 Edition
  • Improve your golf game and analyze your swing while having fun
  • Use indoors in small rooms with the short swing stick
  • Tee off or hit the range regardless of bad weather or darkness
  • Great for both experienced and beginner golfers

This budget option might suit you as you start with the game. It is ideally suited to indoor practice and fits in a relatively small space. (about eight feet by eight feet)

This golf simulator is designed to work with your computer. The accompanying TruGolfE6 software goes on your home computer. You then use your smartphone and a device fixed on your club to analyze your swing. As it gives real-time representations of your swing, you do need to have a graphics card installed on your computer and plenty of RAM and storage space on your computer as the files will be significantly large. 

It is small and light. It gives a very realistic representation of a golf course. It comes with a safety stick, to prevent any accidents as you swing your club indoors.

Pros:

  • This equipment is an excellent simulator for the money. And it is a good way of testing a golfing tool before you invest in a more expensive product.

Cons:

  • You will need to ensure you have the correct computer set up, including a fast graphics card and enough memory for this to work correctly.

P3ProSwing Grasstop Golf Simulator & Swing Analyzer, Green, One Size
  • Direct from the Manufacturer (P3ProSwing)
  • Full swing analytics
  • Durable design built with steel and made to last
  • 20 virtual golf courses, driving range and skill challenges
  • Most accurate golf swing analyzer

This is a product which gives a lot of features, good interactivity, and accuracy for the cost. It is a mid-market rather than a budget option. One outstanding feature is excellent reliability and efficiency, which the manufacturers claim to be over ninety-nine percent. This accuracy is because it has dozens of infra-red sensors which pick up the data needed to give feedback on your game. The system provides data on the angle of attack, swing tempo ball speed, and ball spin. It will also provide data on the club head, face angle, speed and the toe and heel of the club. Its functionality means you can play with multiple players and also join in online competitions. The system offers you variety in your play. It provides twenty virtual courses on which you can practice your shots.

It comes with a one-year warranty. This equipment is not too difficult to install and use and a great deal of fun.

Pros:

  • A good number of features for the price. It’s a good entry product before you step up to a full professional quality golf simulator. It’s a very accurate tracker and useful interactive features.

Cons:

  • The graphics are slightly underwhelming.

Best golf simulators conclusion.

Golf simulators cost a lot of cash, and the more you pay, the more you will get for your money. Although it is expensive, we recommend the Ernest Sports ES16 Tour Golf Launch Monitor

This is outstanding in two areas; the amount of data the system gives to you and the accuracy of the data it generates. This system uses the newest technology, and you can feel confident that what it is telling you is correct.        

The detail it provides allows you to look at every aspect of your game. Then as you practice, it will give you feedback as you improve. If you purchase this product, it is hard to see how your game would not improve. You will need space to install it though.

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