5 of The best golf simulators

Best golf simulators

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

The main question is: ‘how much house space do I have?’ An indoor golf simulator is a sizeable addition 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. 

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 Skytrak

How does a golf simulator work?

golf simulator mimics what happens on real golf courses. On a golf course, you will stand at the tee and swing your golf club. Hopefully, you make contact with the ball, and the ball goes down the fairway. With a golf simulator package, 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 to 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 ball flight are 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 home golf 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, you will not be a good golfer if you cannot get the ball into the hole on the green.

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 the best golf simulators?

The simulators are a golfing area where you get what you pay for. Under 500 dollars, you will get a machine that 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 get 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.’ To install top of the range of products you will need a whole room. Fifteen by twenty-foot should do it, even for the 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 golf mat to stand on, and the netting will surround it. The mesh will stop the ball from 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 setup 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, you can get in a few swings if you have a spare half an hour. 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, 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 is a 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.

The best home golf simulator -our top 5

Ernest Sports ES14 Pro Portable Launch Monitor, Charcoal
  • Ernest Sports revolutionizes the game with a great new tool for teaching professionals, club fitters and serious golfers
  • The ES14 delivers critical data instantly - easily and affordably
  • The unit offers a wide range of statistical information including club speed, launch angle, ball speed, Smash factor, spin rate & distance
  • Free ES14 App ( iOS and Android) stores shot details, club averages, audio feedback, and email data

This Ernest Sports ES14 is at the top end of the domestic market. It works using Doppler Radar and has 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 club’s path.

You can analyze and practice every part of your game, from your swing off the tee to 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, which 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 Personal Launch Monitor w/Basic Practice Range Package
  • Launch monitor and golf simulator combination designed to act as a game improvement tool
  • Simulator wirelessly connects to compatible device and displays data as soon as you hit the ball
  • High-speed photography measures the golf ball and provides an accurate reading of your ball with a robust assortment of parameters
  • Measurable parameters include ball speed, distance (carry and total), launch angle, club speed, spin rates and more
  • Receiving your order requires a signature, someone needs to be home to sign for the package

This simulator package from Skytrack features a SkyTrak 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. To keep that competitive edge going, you can play the longest drive challenge and the closest to the pin challenge.

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.

This OptiShot golf in a box golf simulator for home is a good starter kit compatible with both Apple Mac and Windows computers. Paying hundreds rather than thousands of dollars 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 that enables you to play against other players. It comes with extras from the well-respected golf equipment suppliers Callaway, with netting and practice ballsConnect 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 your shot’s loft, 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 a ten-foot square if you will avoid hitting the furniture.

Pros

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

Cons

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

This affordable golf simulator system from Tittle 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 need to have a graphics card installed on your computer and plenty of RAM and storage space 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.

Phigolf Mobile and Home Smart Golf Game Simulator with Swing Stick - WGT Edition
  • Phigolf Mobile and Home Smart Golf Game Simulator with Swing Stick - WGT Edition 2019 OPEN BOX

This launch monitor from PhiGolf gives many 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. This accuracy is because of its 9 axis sensors which pick up the data needed to give feedback on your game. 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-four virtual courses on which you can practice your shots.

This equipment is easy to install and use and is 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 has useful interactive features.

Cons

  • The graphics are slightly underwhelming.
  • Subscription to unlock all 24 courses

Best golf simulator conclusion

Having a golf simulator setup at home allows you to play come rain or shine. Golf simulators cost a lot of cash, and the more you pay, the more you will get for your money. We like the Skytrak unit ‎SkyTrak Personal Launch Monitor w/Basic Practice Range Package

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

The instant feedback 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.