When you are stuck at home and cannot get on the green or to the driving range, especially if it is due to the cost, it is incredibly frustrating.
That is why you should look at our choice for the best golf simulator for under $1000. Not only are the simulators affordable, but they also can provide you with an experience as close as possible to the real thing.
Simulators are a perfect alternative to getting outside on the golf course. There are many different focuses, helping you work on the skills that matter the most to you, whether it is learning to use a different putter or mastering your swing.
You need to think about your budget, the simulator’s features, and even the size of it when shopping for a golf simulator. While it might seem overwhelming to choose a golf simulator, we have broken it down to be easier on you.
5 Best Golf Simulators For Under $1000
1. OptiShot 2 Golf In A Box
2. SkyTrak Lauch Monitor
3. Optishot 2 Golf Simulator
4. The Net Return Home Series
5. HomeCourse Pro Simulator
1. OptiShot 2 Golf In A Box Simulator Package
Best Golf Simulator For Under $1000 (Editor's Choice)
The OptiShot 2 Golf in a Box Simulator is our choice for the best golf simulator for under $1000. This simulator includes a library of world-class gold courses that is continually growing as well as lot more features that will not disappoint you.
The OptiShot 2 comes with quite a few features within the package. It comes with a fully portable hitting net, a hitting mat, 2 foam practice balls, 2 rubber tees, and a USB hookup so you can plug the simulator directly into your computer.
There are eight different types of play with this simulator, including the following:
- Stroke Play
- Better Ball
- Match Play
- Best Ball
- Alternate Shot
- Custom Game Lengths
The 15 courses that come with it will allow you to experiment with different environments and also see some courses that you might not be able to see in person, giving you as close to the real thing as you can get.
Additionally, the OptiShot 2 comes with PinPoint Practice which works to track and record your progress, helping to guide you toward better overall gameplay. Since there are six different target greens to work with, you will be able to really master your shot accuracy. There is also a precision ring and accuracy grid that will really narrow down your shot to get you used to the feeling of an accurate shot.
Luckily for you, the OptiShot 2 is easy to set up. All of the needed elements are packaged within the product, so you will not have a lot of pieces that you need to keep track of in order to get up and going. All you have to do is unwrap your hitting net and mat, hook it up to your computer, and get started.
You will need to make sure that you have a minimum of 8.5 foot ceilings in order to use this or you might find yourself accidentally hitting the ceiling when you least expect it.
The software that you get from the OptiShot 2 is compatible with both Windows and Mac. The courses that come are included have been meticulously modeled after real world-renowned country clubs and world-class golf courses as well as several types of games to choose from.
Additionally, you will get both play mode and practice mode. One lets you master your shot while the other lets you get out on the green virtually, getting your golf game in, even if you can’t be there in person.
OptiShot 2 Golf In A Box Pros
- Comes with everything you need to practice
- Updates regularly with new courses
- Meticulously modeled after real courses
- Plugs into your computer’s USB port
- Compatible with either Mac or PC
2. SkyTrak Launch Monitor & Simulator Software
Our choice for the best high performance golf simulator is the SkyTrak Launch. This is both a monitor as well as simulator software to keep you practicing, even when you can’t get on the green.
There are a lot of features to explore with the SkyTrack Launch. This is both a monitor and a simulator, as we stated above, and it measures a myriad of data points, which is why it is considered the highest performance of the golf simulators. The data points that it can measure include the following:
- Total distance
- Carry distance
- Roll distance
- Back spin
- Ball speed
- Offline yardage
- Club head speed
- Launch angle
- Side spin
- Flight path
- Angle of descent
Ultimately, the SkyTrak Launch is made to turn you into the best golfer possible. With all of those data points, you will be able to see exactly where your weak spots are in your game. It will be able to document your progress as well, so by the time that you are able to physically get on the green again, you will blow away your competition.
It physically comes with a monitor, the simulator, and a USB cable to hook it up to your computer.
The setup for the SkyTrak Launch is incredibly easy. Even if you are not technologically savvy, you do not need to fear this simulator. All you have to do is charge the simulator. Then, you need to download the SkyTrak app on your phone or iPad, or whatever device that you are using with it. Register an account so it can keep track of you. Then, you just need to figure out your hitting area and get started.
If you do run into any trouble with the setup of the SkyTrak Launch, SkyTrak has a whole installation guide as well as customer service reps that will be able to walk you through it, ensuring that the setup is not going to stop you from working on your skills.
The SkyTrak Launch is compatible with both Mac and PC as well as mobile devices, such as the iPad. The software lets you challenge your friends as well; making sure that the game is still fun for you, regardless of where you are at when you are playing it.
The software also features several famous championship golf courses as well as long drive competition options, so you will not fall into a rut when you are using this. Instead, you will become a better player and have a good time while doing it.
SkyTrak Launch Monitor Pros
- Unmatched accuracy with Photometric technology
- Voted Best Value Golf Simulator by Golf Digest
- Displays ball flight data
- Easily play with friends
3. OptiShot 2 Golf Simulator
The difference between this simulator and our editor’s choice for a golf simulator is that this one is not the package deal, so it will not come with the balls or tees that you get with the package simulator.
For a budget friendly simulator, you will be incredibly happy with all of the features that come with the OptiShot 2. With the built-in infrared optical swing pad, your OptiShot will be able to accurately determine the following:
- Face angle
- Swing plane
- Club head speed
- Face contact point
All of these features will help make you the best golfer possible and the fact that the OptiShot 2 can simply report back to you with how well you are doing it remarkable. It has 15 different world-class courses built into it as well as eight different game types, including stroke play, better ball, match play, best ball, stableford, skins, alternate shot, and custom game lengths.
The OptiShot 2 is a great choice for both right and left-handed golfers, so you will be able to let the system know which way that you are playing so that it can adjust accordingly. The dynamic driving range display will help you imagine that you are really at a driving range as you perfect your swing.
The setup for the OptiShot 2 is incredibly easy. It comes with all of the features easily packed within one product. To get started, you only need to unwrap the product, and then install the software onto your Mac or PC. Then, just launch it and get playing.
You do need a minimum of 8.5 foot ceilings in order to keep you from hitting your club above your head during your practices, so make sure there is plenty of room above as well as around you.
The software for the OptiShot 2 is compatible with both Windows and Mac, so you should not run into any compatibility issues with it. The courses that come are included have been thoroughly modeled after real world-renowned country clubs and world-class golf courses to give you the most realistic experience possible.
Finally, you will get both play mode and practice mode, just like you will with the package simulator that was our first recommendation. Practice mode lets you master your shot while play mode lets you get out on the green virtually, getting your golf game in no matter where you are physically at.
OptiShot 2 Golf Simulator Pros
- Sends realistic real-time feedback
- Dynamic visual display
- Infrared Optical Swing Pad
- Compatible with Windows and Mac
- Expanding library of world-class golf courses
4. The Net Return Home Series Golf Net & Mat
Another golf simulator that you should consider is the Net Return Home Series. This is a golf net and mat package that will allow you to work on your skills, even when you aren’t able to get outside.
The Net Return Home Series will make home play more contained while still giving you as close to a realistic experience as possible. The simulator can handle ball speeds up to 200 mph, so do not worry that you will hit a ball so hard that you will break the simulator. It also has a one-year warranty, so you will be able to protect yourself in the event that you do break it within the first year.
Some of the best features include the automatic ball return. When the net catches the ball, it is able to easily return the ball back to you so that you can take another shot. You will never need to go searching for where your ball went.
Additionally, having instant feedback will let you know how to adjust your swing in the moment. No need to wonder about what you could be doing better when you can simply adjust as you go and get feedback right away. With that, you will really be able to perfect your golf game from home.
In order to set up the Net Return Home Series, you will need to make sure that you have adequate space. Not only do you need 8.5 foot ceilings to give you adequate clearance, but the simulator itself is 7 feet tall and 7 feet wide, so it will take up quite a bit of room when you set it up.
The set-up itself should only take about 5 minutes. It is made to be easy to use, so the set-up is no different. This is in part because it does take up so much physical room that you need to be able to put it up and break it back down for shortage without any trouble.
The Home Series Net is compatible with both PC and Mac, including working with Apple devices, such as the iPad. The software is what will be able to supply you with that instant feedback while giving you the appearance of being on a course.
You do not need to have an image of a course in front of you in order for it to accurately read your shot, however. Just envision where you want the ball to go and swing. Really, it is the net and the mat that make this simulator so great.
The Net Return Home Series Golf Net & Mat Pros
- Protective side barriers
- 6’x’10’ Golf Mat
- Premium Netting
- Automatic Ball Return
- Instant Shot Feedback
5. HomeCourse Pro Golf Simulator Screen
Our final recommendation for a golf simulator under $1000 is the HomeCourse Pro golf simulator. This simulator is retractable and comes with a screen enclosure, making it easier than ever to really play when you are at home.
This is probably the safest of all of the simulators that we have looked at as far as your home goes. With all of the enclosures in place, it is unlikely that you will be able to accidently lose the ball and wind up breaking something in your home.
The HomeCourse Enclosure simulator has retractable golf screens that are made from HomeCourse Sky Netting. This netting is strong enough to successfully catch the ball without tearing. It also has Pro-Arms in place as well as a Pro-Arm extender tool so that you can create an enclosure that really meets your needs.
The simulator also is made to be portable, so you can collapse it and set it back up again in another room if you needed or wanted to. The material that it is made out of is ballistic grade, so you know that it is not going to suddenly break down on you, even if you are a heavy hitter.
The setup for the HomeCourse simulator is simple and should only take a matter of minutes. It does require some tools to get the enclosure securely in place, but the tools are not going to be anything that you wouldn’t already have a in a toolbox in your home.
You do not need an entire room to set this up, but you do need a space that is at least 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide and 8 feet deep. The screen itself must be installed at 8 feet from the floor with a small amount of slack so that the ball can return back to you once you have hit it.
The HomeCourse simulator does work easily with a PC or an iPad. It is wireless and uses a battery to keep itself running. As we mentioned above, this simulator runs off of a lithium-ion battery. It should be able to run for months on the same battery without needing to be changed. It does have a charging cable so that you can plug in the simulator if you needed.
The simulator also comes with a wireless remote that will allow you to operate the motor easily. The screen that comes with the simulator can be paired up with a projector so that you can really imagine that you are out on a real golf course.
HomeCourse Pro Retractable Golf Simulator Pros
- Durable Ballistic-grade screen
- Sky Netting
- Pro Arms
- Can use a real golf ball
- Pro-Arm extender tool included
Factors To Consider When Buying A Golf Simulator For Under $1000
Golf Simulator Size
The first thing that you should think about when you are shopping for a golf simulator is the size of it. Some simulators are small enough to fit in your living room or garage, but others will take up a lot more room.
You should look at the listed dimensions before you make any kind of commitment with a simulator. It would be horrible to purchase on and discover later that it does not fit anywhere in your home. Smaller simulators often offer a lot of the same features that you can get from a larger one, so don’t rule them out.
Another consideration that you should make when shopping for a golf simulator is whether the simulator is portable. While you are unlikely to be taking it on vacation, you will likely want to put it away when you are at home, unless you have a dedicated place for it.
Likewise, you might want to move it from room to room, depending on your needs. It might also be nice to take it with you if you go out of town on business, keeping yourself in good shape. If you do have enough room and wish to leave it up all of the time, portability might not be a factor for you.
Net vs. No Net
Some golf simulators come with nets while others do not. The net will catch the ball for you, if you are working with actual balls. If you do not have a net with your simulator and are using balls, you might break things in your house.
An exception to this might be if you are using the simulator somewhere safer, like a garage. Otherwise, you are likely to need a net in order to get what you need from your simulator. There are simulators that do not use real balls and therefore need no net to operate.
The software within the simulator is one of the most important factors that you should take into consideration. The best simulators will have software that works with either Mac or PCs and offer a wide variety of courses to work with. You will want realistic and 3D graphics to give you as close to the real thing as possible.
Naturally, the more expensive systems have better software, but there are plenty of affordable simulators that also come with decent software. It is important to review the software before you buy so you do not wind up with any surprises.
Your Budget & Goals
Finally, you will want to think about what your budget is and what your goals are. It is easy to get a simulator that works well that is under $1000, but if that is still too much, get what you can. It isn’t worth putting yourself in debt over. You should also think about what you want from the simulator.
Do you want to work on certain strokes under certain conditions? Are you trying to get your swing right with a certain club? Think about what you want from the simulator before you buy to make sure you are getting what you need.
When it comes down to it, the best golf simulator for under $1000 is the OptiShot 2 package. This simulator not only has some of the best courses in the world recreated for you to practice with, but it also comes with the foam balls and adjustable tees that will make it easier for you to practice.
That said, there are still other simulators out on the market that can work within your budget. The SkyTrak Launch is a great choice if you need a high performance simulator. Just take into account your individual needs and you will be able to make the right choice.