With the inability to get out on a course, a lot of golfers are missing out on the chance to work on their skills.
Luckily, there are some great golf simulators out on the market right now that can help you to play golf, even when you cannot get to the golf courses.
You need to ask yourself, what kind of simulator and supplies do you need? What does it take to set-up a simulator in your home? We are going to break down what supplies you need and how you can get a home golf simulator up and going.
First, a quick word on simulators. Simulators themselves can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars all the way up to tens of thousands of dollars. Because there is such a huge range in pricing, we need to address why.
The lower end simulators still will do a great job tracking your ball, but they will have fewer tracking features than higher-end simulators do. It is best to think about how serious you are about golfing and whether you need all of the analysis features that come with the more expensive simulators. If not, a low-end one might work just fine for you.
Let’s start by looking at the materials that you will need to setup a simulator. There are a lot of options for each category.
A mat is what rests on the floor under you while you play. A mat is essential if you hope to have your floor make it out of this in one piece. Many simulator packages will come with a mat included, but if yours does not, you will need to purchase one. They also wear down the more you play, so it might need to be replaced.
If you already have a projector, you do not need to get another one. But a projector will be able to display the golf course or driving range that you are shooting at. A projector will need to be appropriate for the room and will need to be mounted at the right height. Most projectors will need to be mounted on the ceiling for the simulator to be able to gauge with accuracy.
A net is another piece that you will not want to leave out. The net will prevent a ball from ricocheting all over your house and can even bounce the ball back to you. If you do go with the projector, you will need a screen that can handle impact as well. If you are going to do this without a projector, have a net in the front to catch the ball.
Finally, you will need the simulator itself. A simulator works through running software through sensors that might be placed on your club or around the room. You can buy a simulator package that will come with a projector, golf launch monitor and everything that you need, but the simulator you are looking for might not have a package option.
The room that you set up in also matters. Before you do anything else, swing a club gently in the room that you are going to put the simulator in to make sure there is adequate space. Some simulators require more room than others as well. Here are the space considerations you need to make:
- Room Height: Some simulators will say that having 8 to 8.5 feet of ceiling height is enough. You would be better off if you can achieve a room height of 10 feet, because you also need to think about your own height and how high your swing is.
- Room Width: You also need enough room on the side for the sensors to catch your swing. 15 feet is ideal. Smaller rooms will need more tinkering with sensors.
- Room Depth: Finally, you will also need about 15 feet depth in a room. That way you will have enough room for a projector, screen, and your swing.
Once you have everything that you need to set-up your simulator, you can get to work. Here are the steps to take:
- Place the mat down on the floor. Where it goes depends on its size, but it will at least need to cover an area 8 feet from the wall where you are going to be swinging.
- A projector will need to be mounted at approximately 8 feet high in order to appropriately display the course. You might need to adjust this given the space of the room and your own height.
- The impact screen should be one foot from the wall, but not tightened. It will need to have some slack in it so that it can roll the ball back to you so you can take your next shot.
- You will want to have one foot from the wall to the screen, if you are using one, and then 8 feet from the screen to the tee. It would be a good idea to use a tape measure. There should be 6 feet behind you to the projector.
- The side nets will need to be set up on either side of your impact screen in order to catch the ball and let it roll back to you.
- You will need to set up the sensors that come with the simulator. It is important to follow the directions that come with the simulator.
- Hook your simulator up to a computer. Most simulators will work with either Apple or PCs, but confirm compatibility before you commit. It is best to follow the instructions for setting up the software that come with your simulator.
After you are all set-up, it is time to get playing. Depending on the simulator that you bought, your simulator should be able to track your shots well and let you know where you need improvement. Then, you will be a master golfer all from the privacy of your own home.