Building your own golf simulator in your home is a lot easier and more accessible than you might think. In this guide, I will walk you through step by step how to build your own DIY golf simulator.
That means how to buy the right:
I will tell you EXACTLY what you need to go out and buy it order to build your own simulator. I’ll give you my good, better, and best options for each component. I’ll show you how to find deals on equipment and make things cost as little as possible.
And if this is too confusing, we also showcase some of the best golf simulator packages that include all of your components in one single purchase:
When you are done, you will be able to invite your friends over and play real life courses into a golf simulator screen from the comfort of your own home. One that accurately tracks your shots and tells you how you are playing in real time.
If you have any feedback or questions about how to build your own DIY golf simulator, contact us! We’d be happy to help you out and update this guide to help others out.
Components For Your DIY Golf Simulator
The first thing you need to learn is what components you need to buy for your at home DIY golf simulator. First, we’ll go over the main components and then some fun optional purchases that you might want to make.
The golf launch monitor is the most key component to your whole system. This is the device that tracks your swings in real time and calculates important analytics for each of your swings, including:
- Club Head Speed
- Ball Speed
- Launch Angle
- Carry Distance
- Spin Rates
- Apex Height
- Flight Time
- Angle of Attack
- Launch Direction
- Spin Axis
- Roll Distance
- Total Distance
- Shot Time
- Club Path
- Swing Plane
The launch monitor you buy determines the accuracy of your entire system. Because of this, most of your total cost could come from this device. Luckily, options from FlightScope, OptiShot, and SkyTrak are much more affordable than they were five years ago.
The golf hitting mat is what you will be hitting your golf balls off of in your home. The mat will protect your carpet or flooring and give you a lifelike feeling just like you are out on the golf course.
Some hitting mats have multiple grass types included so that you can mimic fairway, rough, and the green. If you have limited space in your room, a standard golf hitting mat will also work just fine.
Impact Screen and Enclosure
Golf impact screens take the majority of the damage in your DIY golf simulator setup. They are designed to absorb the shock of real golf balls in its impact zone so that it isn’t flying around your house. They also act as the projector screen that you will display your simulation software on to.
Below, we’ll show you the best value impact screens for your money so that you can save a few dollars.
The enclosure of the impact screen finishes off your room and can hide some of the behind-the-scenes components.
If the appearance isn’t as important to you, then you can opt to buy a hitting net instead of an impact screen and still get the same results. A Golf net is a cheaper option that still does the job of absorbing impact from the golf ball. You will still be able to place your projector screen behind the net the exact same as you would the impact screen.
Your projection screen is the part of your DIY setup that looks most impressive to your friends. It displays the golf course from the simulation software on it. When you hit your ball and your launch monitor communicates back to your computer, the projected image will show you how you hit.
We’ll show you multiple golf simulator short throw projector options below that you should check out. All of them are 4×3 with maximum compatibility with the other components in your setup.
Golf Simulator Software
The software you choose to buy will contain real life courses that you can sync up with your launch monitor and play live. There are a few different simulator softwares available today, including E6 Connect, World Golf Tour, and The Golf Club. We’ll run through the pricing and advantages of each below so that you can buy the right one.
Computer or Laptop
You will need a computer or laptop that can run the golf simulator software on it. These programs aren’t too intensive, but you will not be able to use your computer while your DIY golf simulator is in use. It is a higher cost, but you could choose to buy a dedicated computer for your simulator as well.
All of the components above is everything you need to create a high quality golf simulator in your home. If you want to add an additional cost to your final bill but increase the cool-factor, there are some optional components that you could buy:
- A full sized indoor putting green for more accurate putting
- Lounge chairs or couch for the spectators to sit in
- LED lighting for improved ambience
- A beer fridge to keep a couple of cold brews nearby
- Golf club rack
A lot of these optional components just depend on the size of your room and the cost you want to pay for everything.
If the components above look like a lot, don’t worry! We show you step by step the best way to buy each components and get setup below. Before we get to that, our next section talks about all-in-one packages you can buy instead of sourcing each component individually.
The Best All-in-One DIY Golf Simulator Packages
If this is too daunting for you, then there are also easy DIY golf simulator packages that you can buy. These packages contain all of these components in an all in one kit. You just buy the kit and you have almost everything you need to get started.
We outline everything in this post in three options:
This is so that you can pick the option that is right for your price point and setup.
Here are the best golf simulators in a full package.
OptiShot Golf in a Box 2
If you want the easiest all-in-one DIY golf simulator package that doesn’t hurt your wallet too much, we recommend the OptiShot Golf in a Box 2 package. It doesn’t give you a full impact screen and enclosure, but the setup still looks pretty smooth as you can see below.
The Golf in a Box 2 comes with:
- OptiShot 2 Infrared Swing Pad Launch Monitor
- Hitting Mat
- Pro Series Hitting Net
- OptiShot Golf Simulator Software
- All required accessories and cables
The package ranges from $1275 up to $1828 depending on what size of net and hitting mat you opt for. Not having the full golf screen and enclosure saves you most of your cost.
This package does not include:
- A computer to run your OptiShot software
- A TV or computer screen to display your shots in real time
If you have an extra TV lying around and a laptop you don’t mind losing control over while you play, then this won’t cost you any more money. Overall, the OptiShot Golf in a Box 2 is the best price system.
Buy the OptiShot Golf in a Box 2:
PerfectBay Golf Simulator Package
The PerfectBay is the best all in one simulator package available on the market today. It gives you every single component outlined in this guide in one complete package. You can choose your screen size so that it fits your space and otherwise, the whole package comes directly to your door. The impact mat aspect ratio will fit your project screen perfectly.
You can buy the PerfectBay package with either the FlightScope Mevo Plus or SkyTrak launch monitor. Both work fine, but I like the Mevo Plus because it sits behind you and out of the way.
After you buy PerfectBay, the only thing you need is a projector screen and projector mount, which you can find below.
Buy the PerfectBay Golf Simulator Package:
SwingBay Golf Simulator Package
Without getting into commercial use options or insanely expensive ones, the SwingBay Golf Simulator package is the best experience for your DIY golf simulator setup. It has a number of premium features over the PerfectBay:
- A military grade screen that can withstand hits up to 250 MPH
- Nice polyester siding that looks great and blocks out ambient light
In general, the SwingBay is a real nice all-in-one option. The cost is nearly double the PerfectBay, but you’ll be covered for many years.
Buy the SwingBay Golf Simulator Package:
Still want to look at different options and sourcing individual components for your DIY golf simulator? Let’s show you how to figure out how much space you need for everything and then how to buy each component.
Golf Simulator Room Dimensions
In order to figure out what you need to buy, you first need to know what dimensions your room should be in order to fit your golf simulator projector, enclosure, hitting mat, launch analyzer, and entertainment.
Most of the projector screens and impact mats are 8 feet tall. You’ll want a ceiling height of at least 9 feet tall in order to fit your DIY golf simulator in your room. Also remember that you need enough clearance for your full swing. Always make sure that you have enough room for the components you are buying.
Your room width is important so that you can fit your enclosure and screen into it. In my research, I’ve found that 10 feet is a minimum width that you should have. This is also enough width to save you in case you happen to hit a ball off the side of your club.
Some of the simulator enclosures that you can buy require 12 feet wide, so make sure you check for that.
For your room depth, you will want to take into account the space between you and the impact screen and the impact screen and the wall. Some of the launch monitors are setup behind you, some above you, and some to the side of you, so you also want to take that depth into account. We recommend a minimum room depth of 10 feet and 12 feet would be better.
If you plan to have some entertainment space behind the hitter, then add another 6 feet to your room depth in order to accommodate some seating and a walking path behind the current folder hitting into the screen.
Next, we’ll show you step by step how to build your own DIY golf simulator from scratch. We’ll go over which components we recommend, no matter if you have a tight budget or none at all. You will be up and playing a round of golf in your home in no time.
How to Build Your Own DIY Golf Simulator [Step by Step]
If you still want to buy your own DIY golf simulator and components, this next section is for you. For each component, we’ll tell you budget options and more advanced solutions that look great for your home. After you buy these components step by step, you’ll be able to build your simulator.
Buy Your Launch Monitor
FlightScope Mevo Plus (Good)
The Mevo Plus by FlightScope is our first pick for launch monitor. This launch monitor tracks over 20 parameters and works VERY well. When you buy the monitor, you get an E6 simulator software license for free, which is a $300 perk.
The Mevo Plus sits behind you while you swing, nice and out of the way. The FlightScope app is also well done, allowing you to analyze your swing in regular and slow motion.
The SkyTrack launch monitor is more popular than the Mevo Plus and costs a little more too. It has Shot Tracer technology which gives you live real-time flight path information about your golf swing.
The SkyTrack sits right beside your ball and watches your swing up close. This can be a little confusing if you have friends or family members that are both left and right hands.
ForeSight GC3 (Best)
ForeSight is a commercial launch monitor brand. However, their GC3 is branded as a personal launch monitor and the price point is better than the GCQuad solution.
The GC3 has a Triscopic High-Speed Camera System that tracks your ball as you hit it from the side view. It has a display which gives you live data on your swing right after you hit it.
OptiShot 2 (BONUS: Hitting Mat and Launch Monitor in One)
One special option you can buy is the OptiShot 2, which is a launch monitor built into a hitting mat. It will not give the same ball flight accuracy, but it is a lot cheaper than buying a different monitor and hitting mat separate. If you buy the OptiShot 2, you can skip the next section on buying a hitting mat.
The OptiShot 2 has 32 infrared sensors that sit on either side of where you hit the golf ball. These sensors measure your club as you come down and make contact with your ball. It measures club speed, face angle, path, total distance, face contact, and tempo. This data is used to calculate the ball’s trajectory and flight path.
Buy Your Hitting Mat
Real Feel Country Club Elite (Good)
The Real Feel Country Club Elite is a solid indoor and outdoor mat for a large or small space. It is created and sold by Rain or Shine Golf. The 4×5 sized mat is big enough to stand on and hit off of. The mat has been designed to feel and react just like real grass.
For a little more space, the 5×8 option is real nice as well.
SwingTurf Golf Mat 4×9 (Better)
The SwingTurf is a realistic fairway hitting mat. It costs a little bit more money than the Country Club Elite, but has a few extra features. You can insert a real tee into the surface to hit off of, which I really like. The surface is also much more forgiving, so you don’t get such a hard shock on your body after swinging on it.
Again, the bigger 4×9 foot size is my preference, but the smaller size is good value as well.
Fiberbuilt Studio 4×7 (Best)
The Fiberbuilt Studio golf hitting mat is a great premium option mat for your own home golf simulator setup. The mat has a specific 1-foot wide hitting area that mimics real fairway. There are four tee holes included so that you can tee up some drivers. On the far side of the hitting section is a 2-foot spacer panel where you can sit a ball tray or launch monitor.
The biggest drawback to the Fiberbuilt Studio is that it is hard to play with friends who use different handed golf clubs.
Buy Your Impact Screen and Enclosure
Homecourse Pro (Good)
The Homecourse Pro is a good golf simulator enclosure kit . It’s biggest advantage is that it is retractable so that you can close it up and hide it out of the way when you aren’t using it. This is ideal if your DIY golf simulator is in your home theater or garage and can’t stay out all the time.
The Homecourse Kit comes with a ceiling mount and remote control. It can hide all of your cables strategically so that everything blends in nicely.
We already sung the praises of the PerfectBay as one of the best golf simulator packages, but the impact screen and enclosure can also be purchased on its own. Made from high quality material, this enclosure can handle everything you hit at it. The black meshing around it looks nice as well.
The SIG10 is a highest quality simulator screen that you can buy for your home. It is specifically designed with the right aspect ratio so that your golf display fills the entire screen without any white space. It comes with protective foam padding around the sides and top of the screen to protect the frame of the screen and keep wires hidden and out of the way. You can buy the SIG10 from Shop Indoor Golf below.
Buy Your Projector
Optoma GT780 (Good)
The Optoma GT7880 is a good golf projector. It is a bright 3800 lumens, which will look great in any space. Our only knock on this project is that it is natively 720p quality. However compared to other cheap projectors, it is still a great choice with a ton of features.
BenQ TH671ST (Better)
The BenQ TH671 is a high quality 1080p projector that is actually marketed as a golf projector. It has 3000 lumens worth of brights and high color accuracy. This is a short throw projector, which means that it can sit as close or as far to your projector screen as you need it.
Optoma EH412 (Best)
The Optoma EH412 is our pick for the best golf projector. It is a super bright 4500 lumens, which is top of the line. It also supports a 4K video input and high color accuracy. The lamp has a 15,000 hour life and it comes with a built in speaker, which is a good idea. it isn’t that much more expensive than the BenQ either, so it should still fit into your price range.
Buy Your Golf Simulation Software
A lot of the launch monitors come with one of the golf simulation software licenses included when you buy the device. If you need to buy your own software on the side, we go through all of the top options below
The E6 is the most popular golf simulator software today. It is in use by thousands of indoor golf businesses and at-home golfers. An E6 Basic Subscription costs $300 per year and you get 12 rotating courses that change every month. For $450 per year for the E6 Connect Expanded Subscription, you get unlimited access to over 90 courses. Each course in E6 was hand designed for golf simulators, so you get the highest accuracy play.
E6 is compatible with the SkyTrack, FlightScope Mevo, and TruGolf brands of launch monitors.
Buy the E6 Connect below:
TGC2019 (The Golf Club)
TGC2019 is the most realistic golf simulator game available. It was originally created and released for PC and consoles and then adapted for golf simulator play. TGC2019 features ovr 150,000 golf courses, but the large majority of them were user created for PC and do not translate well over to your DIY golf simulator. In reality, there are over 300 good quality playable courses to try out.
TGC is an awesome software, but it is more suited for advanced techy people. The E6 Connect is a much smoother experience to setup, sync with your launch monitor, and start working with.
TGC2019 is compatible with the SkyTrak and FlightScope Mevo launch monitors.
World Golf Tour
If you went with the SkyTrack launch monitor above, then the World Got Tour is a golf simulation option for you. WGT Golf is a free simulation game that is developed and sponsored by TopGolf. It features over 20 professional courses, a virtual driving range, and realistic golf simulation physics.
If you purchased the OptiShot launch monitor and hitting mat above, then OptiShot has their own free golf simulator software for you. It comes with 15 professional courses, plus the option to buy more real life courses ad-hoc as you wish. The graphics and polish aren’t quite as nice as the E6 or TGC, but OptiShot makes the barrier to entry much smaller.
OptiShot can be installed from the official website.
FSX Play is the ForeSight branded simulation software, so it works best with the GC3 or GCQuad launch monitors. It features some of the most realistic graphics out of any simulator and is developed with the Unity engine. Because of this, you need a pretty beefy computer to run everything.
FSX Play requires you to purchase each course individually and there are over 18 real courses so far. Courses are pretty pricey though, $150 or more per course! FSX is only for those who want the highest quality DIY golf simulator.
Buy a Computer (Optional)
You also need an appropriate computer or laptop to run your golf simulation software. Most of the software above recommends a GTX 1060 graphics card. Check out Amazon for some of the best deals on new laptops with a GTX 1060 that you can buy today.
All of the laptops in the link below are compatible with golf simulation software:
Putting it Together
Once you get all of the components for your DIY golf simulator, you need to put it all together and set everything up! Everything you buy will come with instructions on how to properly install and set things up. The general order you will have to follow in order to put your own golf simulator together is:
- Mount your impact screen and simulator enclosure
- Mount your projector screen and setup your image to be centered in the screen
- Place down your hitting mat
- Install your launch monitor and make sure that it is tracking your hits properly
- Install your golf simulation software on your computer
- Connect your computer to your projector screen
- Use the simulation software to setup and synchronize with your launch monitor
If this sounds complicated, don’t worry! The hardest part is buying all of your equipment. And hopefully our guide has made things easy enough.
Optional DIY Golf Simulator Setup Accessories
Once you’ve built your DIY golf simulator, there are a lot of fun add-ons to include in your space that you might initially overlook! I’ve previously listed out my top 5 finishing touches, but for now, let’s go over the basics:
If you have your buddies over to play, you would like them to space for them to sit. This can be as easy. You can use folding chairs in the garage or as complex as movie theater seating in the basement.
You can hear the instructions and effects of the simulation, so be sure not to skip out on some fun surround sound. These days, the most popular choice is a soundbar.
Make sure you have some ability to keep beverages cool. Again, this can be as simple as a cooler with ice, or as high tech as a smart coffee table that includes a fridge. Maybe your man cave already has a bar, but if not, consider a portable mini bar such as a globe bar to add a little fun to the room.
Golf Club Storage
Sure you can throw your clubs on the ground, but the simple act of buying a golf rack or hook can really help to keep your place looking good.
This is more for those golfers looking to set up in their garage. Don’t forget that garages get dark at night. Luckily, LED lights are everywhere these days, and a simple lamp installation, or even Christmas lights can make the difference. Neon lights are great too, just be sure to place them far away from any ball impact zones.
Again, for my garage-folk out there. Don’t forget that garages can get really really hot, and really really cold. Depending on the climate you live in, be sure you’re ready for the elements to come. Don’t forget, one of the huge benefits of a golf simulator is to be able to play no matter what the weather is! So ensure that the room has at least some sort of climate control ready to go.
DIY Golf Simulator Videos
Need some more inspiration? Check out some of the videos of other people with their DIY golf simulators.
Golf simulator setups have a lot of moving parts, and that can make them pretty confusing and arduous to tackle. A true control freak like me needs to do a lot of research on all the different components before settling on the best one, which can take quite some time given all the above pieces to the puzzle.
That being said, a lot of smart companies have realized this and done the hard work for you. A lot of the golf simulation software out today plays nicely with the launch monitors on the market. And the size and features of the hitting mats and impact screens are very close. Overall, it is possible to make a cheap DIY golf simulator setup for your home.
Once you are done, your setup will bring you endless entertainment and even improve your game. I hope with this guide I’ve helped you get one step closer to having your own DIY golf simulator setup in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a home golf simulators cost?
A golf simulator can cost as much as you want it to. If you are on a budget, you can cut some budget and create a simulator in your house for around $1000. At the very least, all you need is a launch monitor, hitting mat, and a golf net. For a more immersive experience, you’ll want a project, an impact mat, and one of the top golf simulation software.
What is the most accurate golf sim launch monitor?
If accuracy is important to you, the most accurate launch monitor for home use is the ForeSight GC3. ForeSight is a commercial golf simulator brand and most of their products are suited to indoor golf businesses. The GC3 offers the highest quality at-home solution.
What is the best golf simulation software?
There are a few top tier golf simulation softwares available, including E6 Connect, TGC2019, WGT Golf, FSX Play, and OptiShot. Each of these come with over 15 real life golf courses to play. The E6 Connect has over 90 simulated golf courses, but the yearly cost can be a bit high. TGC2019 has over 150,000 golf courses, but most are user generated and do not work well with golf launch monitors.
Should I Buy a Golf Simulator Package or Build My Own?
The nice thing about buying a full simulator package is that everything you need comes shipped to your door and ready to build. You don’t have as many choices to make because the launch monitor, impact screen, hitting mat, and all accessories are chosen. On the other hand, building your own system allows you to buy what you want and search for deals.
Last update on 2024-02-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API