When considering investing in a home golf simulator, it’s important to be mindful of the space and equipment you’ll need for a proper setup. That often leaves many golfers wondering where they should start in this process.
This article will cover what you should know. That’ll include:
There’s a lot to cover here, so let’s get right into it.
To give you the answer right away, most experts will say the ideal amount of space for a home golf simulator will be in the range of 10 feet tall by 20 feet in length by 15 feet in width.
That amount of space helps accommodate for:
That said, if you can go bigger than that, it’s not a bad idea. That will especially be true if you want others to use your simulator with you. After all, it is a good entertainment piece. Plus, more space helps accommodate more comfortable seating and the ability to make the room feel like a complete experience like you’d get at an indoor golf facility.
You can also go smaller than that with some concessions. For instance, if the simulator setup is something you’ll mostly be using alone and you’ll only be hitting right-handed, you wouldn’t need it to be as wide. Plus, launch monitor-based setups often allow you to get away with a room that isn’t as long.
Now that we know the ideal room size let’s look at the minimum size needed for popular simulators like SkyTrak, Trackman, and Foresight Sports.
Here’s a quick breakdown of manufacturer recommendations for popular options:
As you can see, there are varying space requirements here. Something like a Foresight Sports GCQuad simulator setup will require quite a bit of space, even at the minimum, to get the most out of it. On the other hand, you have more space-friendly options like the SkyTrak retractable setup.
Ultimately, it comes down to your specific use cases and how much space you have available.
For instance, if you’re using a small garage launch monitor setup, something like the SkyTrak retractable would be great so you can easily put your equipment away when you need to bring cars in and out or use your garage for other things.
If you have a larger space, like a large indoor/outdoor golf simulator setup, going with something like the GCQuad setup could work well.
The next decision you’ll want to make when choosing your simulator setup is where different options place the camera. Most popular options capture signals through a launch monitor, which typically saves some space here. Let’s take a look at how the camera setup affects the previously mentioned options.
With SkyTrak units, you can get away with a space that isn’t as long since the launch monitor typically sits pretty close to the ball on most setups. You only need a few feet between where you’re hitting and the launch monitor to make it work. Check out the picture below to see an example.
With a foresight simulation setup, you also get the added benefit of the launch monitor being able to capture data pretty close to the ball. Take a look at the image below to see how it’s just around 3 to 4 feet away from the ball.
Trackman is the option that has the most specifications for the camera setup.
From the ball to the Trackman, you’ll want to have somewhere in the range of 6 to 9 feet for accurate analysis of your shots. Plus, you’ll need to have a 10 to 12-foot flight distance before the ball hits the screen.
On top of all that, the Trackman also has external cameras that need to be in line with the ball (around 7 feet to the side of the ball).
You can see all this outlined in the image below.
You'll have a few options when choosing a hitting mat for your simulator setup. Plus, some simulator setups will come with a mat, depending on the one you choose.
If you have a small space, this will be the best option. A small mat is usually in the range of 5’ x 5’ or 4’ x 9’.
Those with a bigger space who want some room to swing and move around will like an oversized mat. These typically range from 8 to 12 feet long and 6 to 10 feet wide.
If you want to make a bigger investment, you could also go with a complete AstroTurf covering or similar options that cover your entire space. This is usually the best fit if the room or space is completely dedicated to your simulator setup.
When picking the screen size of a golf simulator setup, most golfers will find they prefer them in either 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios. If you have a wider space, a 16:9 ratio will be better, whereas 4:3 will work better for taller areas.
Most will agree that the larger the screen they can accommodate will be the best for an immersive golfing experience. The following sections will break down popular screen size options within those aspect ratios. Ultimately, it’ll come down to measuring to see what you can fit.
The most common 16:9 screen sizes are:
The most common 4:3 screen options are:
Many golfers will find that 4:3 options will fit better in their space. The typical room in a home simply isn’t wide enough for many 16:9 options available.
Lastly, you’ll want to figure out how far away you need to place your projector.
The main thing you’ll want to be concerned about is the throw ratio of the projector you choose. The throw ratio is how wide the projector's image will be compared to the distance from the projection screen.
For instance, if you had a throw ratio of 1, it would cast 1 foot in screen width for every 1 foot it is away from the screen. That means if you had a screen that was 10 feet wide, you would need to place that projector 10 feet away from the screen.
Many golfers prefer a projector with a throw ratio of 0.5 in their simulation setup. It creates a good balance between the budget you’ll need to spend on the projector and optimizing your space by not requiring the projector to be too far away.
Ultimately, you’ll need to measure your space and budget to choose the best option.
That’s a wrap on this one. You should now have a better idea and plan to choose the appropriate simulation setup for your needs.
Ultimately, it comes down to the space you have available and your budget for equipment. With the right balance, you’ll be on your way to a great virtual golfing experience! Just remember to take your time and do the appropriate amount of research before buying.