Have you ever considered purchasing your own home golf simulator but decided against it due to its high cost? I’m sure every golfer has gone through this at some point.
During those long cold winters, hitting your clubs whenever you want is nice. But can you justify the cost and space needed?
This article will review ten ways to save money on an indoor golf simulator, including:
Opting for a smaller screen
Shopping for used equipment
Taking advantage of package deals
The other 7 reasons may be the ammo you need to convince your spouse that you need that virtual driving range to hit balls into!
If you want some more inspiration, the bottom of this guide has two great videos with inspiration on how to save money.
If you have other ways to help save money on an indoor golf simulator, let us know below!
How to Save Money on a Golf Simulator
Opt for a partial golf simulator setup
Perform regular maintenance to extend the life of your simulator
Share the cost with friends or neighbors
Below, we break down each of these options in more detail so that you can understand all of the different ways to save money on a golf simulator system!
How Much Does a Golf Simulator Cost?
Indoor golf simulators have grown in popularity in the past few years, partly because the range of money you can spend has widened greatly!
You need several components to build a proper golf simulator system in your house. A list of the components and a breakdown of the price range for each is as follows:
|Minimum Cost (USD)
|Maximum Cost (USD)
|Golf Simulator Software
|Projection Screen and Enclosure
|Computer or Tablet
|Optional Accessories (Tees, gloves, etc.)
|Installation (if not DIY)
From scratch, the total cost of a golf simulator can range from $2,460 up to over $35,000! If you already have golf clubs and golf balls, you can save on this cost immediately.
Below are ten more tips on how to save money on a golf simulator!
Opt For a Smaller Screen
When it comes to purchasing a golf simulator, one of the most critical decisions that buyers need to make is choosing the size of the screen.
Although some golfers might assume that a bigger screen will provide a better visual representation and an enhanced golfing experience, opting for a smaller screen saves money and provide other benefits.
A smaller screen can reduce the cost of a golf simulator in two ways:
a smaller screen uses fewer pixels than a larger one,
the smaller the screen, the fewer projector lamps are required to project the image
Another benefit of opting for a smaller screen is the ease of installation and transportation. A smaller screen requires less space and is more lightweight than a larger one. Hence, moving from one place to another is easier. Installing your simulator in a small room in your house won’t give you as much fuss.
A smaller screen will likely fit in small basements, garages, and other home spaces, making creating a customized golfing environment at home more accessible.
Recommendation for Minimum Screen Size
When choosing a screen size for your golf simulator, many factors come into play, including your room size, wall height, and swing space.
I don’t recommend a screen smaller than roughly 8 feet high by 8 feet wide.
This screen size will only allow you to buy center-hitting golf mats. The aspect ratio might also look a little off with the square screen aspect ratio.
If you don’t need to go as cheap as possible, an 8′ by 10.5′ project screen will give you a better aspect ratio. This will allow a short-throw projector to fill the entire screen from a projection distance of about 7 feet.
The screen size and projector go hand in hand. Once you decide on screen size, you can purchase a projector based on that to provide the optimal projection.
Choose a Free or Affordable Golf Simulator Software
Another great way to reduce the cost of a golf simulator purchase is to look into free or more affordable golf software programs.
Golf simulation software costs are expensive, but budget ones are available. Once you have your screen and everything set up, you need the golf software to display and play on the screen. These can range from free to very expensive, depending on your preference.
Below we will outline some more affordable golf simulator software to help keep costs down.
World Golf Tour
World Golf Tour (WGT) is a golf simulator software and a virtual golf game. WGT Golf has many famous courses, including Harbour Town, Bethpage Black, and St Andrews.
The great thing about WGT Golf is that it is free to download and play and is compatible with the SkyTrak launch monitor. You can purchase virtual tokens with real money, but this is only to upgrade visual things and has nothing to do with the software itself.
Although the graphics may be better on other paid golf softwares, WGT Golf offers multiple game modes, access to swing data, and more.
If you want to make your golf simulator purchase more affordable, WGT Golf is a great option.
GSPros is among the best golf simulator software due to its advanced ball physics and 4K graphics. It is currently compatible with Uneekor and FlightScope launch monitors primarily, but it does have an open-source driver.
Over 500 golf courses are available on the GSPro software, with amazing courses such as Pebble Beach, Whistling Straits, Torrey Pines, and Pinehurst. You can also download and play user-created courses which is a nice touch. You can also compete in skills challenges.
GSPro is a relatively affordable option for your golf simulator purchase compared to other premium simulators.
Awesome Golf is different from every other realistic golf software. The creators sought to make themselves different by creating an easy-to-use, fun type of golf.
The graphics in Awesome Golf are cartoon oriented, and the difficulty is relatively easy, making it more family-friendly.
You will need a launch monitor that is compatible with Awesome Golf. The game’s graphical style is not meant to be super realistic, so you do not need the most powerful computer to run it. This helps cut down on the cost of your golf simulator package.
Awesome Golf isn’t going to be for the golfers looking for a realistic golf experience, but more so for someone looking to have fun.
There are no real golf courses available to play on. That being said, it is still an affordable option for golf software.
Cost: $199.99 + $9.99/month or $349.99 one-time payment.
Save on a Simpler Launch Monitor
Launch monitors are one of the essential components of golf simulators. They track your swing, clubhead speed, ball speed, and other critical factors contributing to a good shot.
Different types of launch monitors are available in the market, with varying features and price tags.
By choosing a more straightforward launch monitor, you can decrease the price of a golf simulator. This is because simpler launch monitors have fewer features and are easier to use.
As a result, they tend to be less expensive than their more advanced counterparts. However, cheaper launch monitors track fewer data points, and variables like your club head data and ball flight might be inaccurate.
Advanced launch monitors may have additional features such as GPS tracking, multi-player capabilities, and compatibility with other golf apps. While these features are great, they may only be necessary for advanced golfers
Below we go over one of the more expensive launch monitors and one of the cheapest. Both do exactly what you want them to, with a massive difference in the price. Using a simpler launch monitor, you can save the most money on your golf simulator setup.
SkyTrak Launch Monitor
The SkyTrak launch monitor is one of the launch monitors on the higher end of the spectrum. It is also one of the most popular golf launch monitors you can buy.
SkyTrak includes the addition of Doppler radar technology, which allows it to be one of the most accurate launch monitors inside and outside.
SkyTrak features over 20 data metrics, including”
The fact that it is portable and you can have it with you out at the driving range and golf course but also inside with your golf simulator is a game changer, and also the reason that it is so expensive. This is one of the reasons it is a great launch monitor for an avid golfer.
The FlightScope Mevo is a fantastic launch monitor with a robust set of features for under $500. It offers the same data points as premium launch monitors, making it a highly accessible tool for golfers of all levels.
The Mevo provides valuable insights into ball speed, club speed, smash factor, vertical launch angle, carry distance, and spin rate, to name a few. This makes it an invaluable tool for refining your swing and understanding your golf game on a deeper level.
One of the highlights of the Mevo is its portability. It’s compact enough to be used indoors for your home golf simulator setup and outdoors at the driving range or on the golf course. This gives golfers the flexibility to practice and improve anywhere, anytime.
The FlightScope Mevo is integrated with the FlightScope Golf app, a comprehensive and user-friendly platform for tracking and analyzing your golf performance. The FlightScope Mevo is a versatile and affordable tool that empowers golfers with the data they need to elevate their game.
Garmin Approach R10 Launch Monitor
The Garmin Approach R10 is an excellent launch monitor that you can use for less than $600. It provides all of the information that high-end monitors do and is very easy to set up.
The T10 gives feedback on club head speed, swing path, launch angle, and ball flight. It is also portable, which can be used outside at the driving range and inside for your simulator setup.
The R10 comes with access to E6 Connect, one of the most popular golf simulator software on the market.
Consider a DIY Golf Simulator Enclosure
So now you have your impact screen, launch monitor, and golf simulator software, but now you need to start thinking of the actual enclosure where you will be hitting.
When you hit golf balls at high speeds, you must expect them to bounce back everywhere. The enclosure is a critical piece of your golf simulator setup.
You can often purchase the full enclosure with your entire setup, but this will be the most expensive option. You will also need to decide if you are putting the golf simulator in a garage or its own golf simulator room. There also must be sufficient room for you to swing your golf club.
If you are handy, it will be cheaper to create your own enclosure rather than purchasing a pre-built one. You can also use extra materials around the house to make an enclosure to handle a golf ball. All it takes is a little extra wood or netting to create a small enclosure that will help ensure your golf ball doesn’t bounce away and cause damage.
Or, if you aren’t handy at all, you are in luck. Carl’s Place creates DIY golf enclosures for your simulator setup. They are incredibly affordable and fully customizable, giving you control over screen material, enclosure size, and more. They also have excellent customer service and will work with you to make an affordable enclosure for your home simulator setup.
If you were to purchase a pre-built enclosure, you are looking at a couple of thousand dollars for a good one. If you look at creating your own enclosure, it will cost less, depending on the materials you use.
Repurpose an Existing Projector or TV
If you have an old projector or TV, you can save a lot of money on your home simulator setup. If the projector is compatible with the launch monitor and software you purchase, you can project the image onto your impact screen.
This is a massive saving as suitable projectors will run you anywhere from $600-$1000, depending on the brand and visual range you seek.
The same goes for an old TV.
One way to keep the costs down for your simulator setup is by using a hitting net and hitting mat instead of an impact screen and then a TV to display the picture from your golf software.
This may not be a fancy simulator setup, but does do the job cheaply. Hitting nets are much cheaper than impact screens.
Shop for Used or Refurbished Equipment
Shopping for used or refurbished equipment is a great way to reduce home golf simulator setup costs. Like anything else, people will purchase high-end equipment only to barely use it and then sell it.
Golf simulator equipment is no different.
But you want to ensure you are purchasing reliable equipment.
You can use places like Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace, but you must know these are private sellers. You have to believe what they are posting in the description is correct. Some sellers may let you see the equipment turned on beforehand, but it depends on the seller.
There are more reliable places to purchase used golf simulator equipment, such as:
These websites are much more reliable because the equipment is sold by a company that inspects it and ensures it has no problems.
Shopping for used equipment will help reduce the golf simulator’s cost and allow for a better golf simulator experience.
Take Advantage of Sales and Package Deals
Taking advantage of sales and package deals is a great way to help lower the cost of a golf simulator setup.
For starters, a good deal means getting a product for a lower price than its usual cost. This means you can save some money that can be put towards other expenses or savings.
Also, most retailers offer seasonal sales where they can reduce the cost of products by up to 50%. So, if you’ve been eyeing that golf simulator for a while, watching for upcoming sales is a great idea.
Great times to look include Black Friday and also during summer months. Most avid golfers want to have their simulator setups completed before Winter hits.
Furthermore, package deals can also be a lifesaver when setting up a golf simulator on a budget. A package deal typically involves bundling different products together at a lower cost. This means you can get everything you need to set up a golf simulator in one purchase, rather than buying everything separately, which will cost you more.
Also, retailers offer a variety of packages to choose from that suit everyone’s budget, needs, and preferences.
Getting a golf simulator package deal can ensure that all the products you receive are compatible and complement each other. A package usually includes a golf mat, projector, simulator screen, golf net, and other equipment necessary for a seamless setup.
Opt for a Partial Golf Simulator Setup
Opting for a partial golf simulator setup is a great way to reduce the total cost. If you prioritize the essential components, you can save money and use those savings to purchase the needed equipment later on.
You only need a hitting net, mat, launch monitor, and software to start your indoor golf simulator setup. If you stick to the budget options, this should be fine.
Some hitting mats, like the OptiShot, have a built-in launch monitor that connects directly to a TV.
Starting with a partial setup will also allow you to see how much you will use the setup in your home to play golf. If not used as much as you thought, you have yet to put that much money into it and should be able to sell the equipment for what you paid.
Perform Regular Maintenance to Extend Equipment Life
Golf simulators cost a lot of money. You have invested a lot of money into the simulator and want to ensure that it lasts for years to come.
That’s why completing regular maintenance is crucial for prolonging the lifespan of your golf simulator equipment. Because the simulator is indoors, golfers think it won’t require as much maintenance as outdoor golf equipment.
However, this is far from the truth.
One of the main benefits of regular maintenance is preventing dirt and dust buildup on the screens and sensors. Over time, this can interfere with your shots’ accuracy and diminish your courses’ visual quality.
You can maintain a clear and accurate image by wiping the screens and sensors with a microfiber cloth and using compressed air to remove dust buildup.
Another critical aspect of maintenance is checking the wiring and connections. The constant movement of the simulator can loosen wires or create breaks in the connections. Regularly inspecting these areas and ensuring everything is connected properly can help prevent damage to the simulator and ensure it operates correctly.
Finally, staying up-to-date with software updates and new technology releases can keep your simulator running smoothly. By keeping your simulator software up-to-date, you can ensure that it continues to provide you with an authentic golfing experience.
Completing regular maintenance may seem like a hassle, but it is crucial for the longevity and performance of your golf simulator equipment. By taking care of your simulator, you can ensure that it continues to provide you with hours of entertainment.
One of the last ways to help keep the golf simulator costs down is by sharing it with friends or neighbors. If you have friends nearby who share the same love for golf as you, it can be beneficial to share the costs of the equipment.
One way to do this is to create a group with access to the golf simulator. You first need to decide where the golf simulator will be located. If it will be in someone’s shed or garage, you must ensure everyone has fair access.
The only downside is that you might have unwanted people in your space or want to use it when someone else is playing golf. You must create a schedule so everyone knows when to use it.
The great thing about having a group share the cost is that each member can split the maintenance responsibilities. The equipment should stay clean and allow for prolonged use as long as the maintenance is done.
Videos on How to Save Money on a Golf Simulator
Looking for inspiration? Check out these two videos about how to save money on a golf simulator. They are highly recommended!