How to Pick the Perfect Projector for a Golf Simulator

We’re reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The projector is the centerpiece of your home golf simulator, displaying your simulator software in real-time as you hit balls into your impact screen. But, how do you pick the perfect projector for a golf simulator?

This step-by-step guide has all of the important features and factors you need to consider before you buy your golf projector.

Short Summary

  • Understanding projector requirements for golf simulators, including throw ratio, distance and aspect ratio compatibility.
  • Consider brightness and image quality to optimize ball tracking accuracy.
  • Features such as keystone correction, lens shift and durability are important considerations when selecting a projector for a golf simulator.

If this summary doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry! Keep reading to learn how to optimize your sim with the perfect golf simulator projector.

Related: Check out the best golf simulator projectors you can buy today.

Understanding Golf Simulator Projector Requirements

how to pick a perfect projector for a golf simulator

Before you go and buy yourself a projector, there are a few spec requirements you need to understand first:

  • Throw ratio
  • Aspect ratio
  • Brightness
  • Image quality
  • Display resolution
  • Screen size

Throw Ratio and Distance Considerations

Throw ratio and distance are two important factors to consider when selecting a projector for a golf simulator.

The throw ratio of a projector is the relationship between the distance from the projector to the screen and the projected image’s width. This ratio determines how far away or close the projector must be to your project impact screen.

The distance from the projector to the screen should be as short as possible to ensure the best image quality. This is what a short throw projector is. Its throw ratio is optimized so that your projector is close to your screen.

Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio compatibility is also important when selecting a projector for a golf simulator. The projector’s aspect ratio should match the screen’s aspect ratio to ensure the best image quality.

Most golf simulator screens and software are either 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratios.

Brightness and Image Quality

Brightness and image quality are also important factors to consider when selecting a projector for a golf simulator. The projector should be bright enough to make the image visible in a well-lit room. The image quality should also be high enough to ensure clarity.

Brightness and Image Quality

Brightness and image quality are essential for golf simulators. The display’s brightness should be high enough to ensure that the image is visible in all lighting conditions. The image quality should be sharp and clear, with no visible artifacts or distortion.

Display Resolution

Display resolution is an important factor to consider when selecting a golf simulator. The higher the resolution, the more detailed the image will be.

For golf simulators, a minimum resolution of 1080p is recommended. This will ensure the image is sharp and clear, allowing for accurate ball tracking and analysis.

If you want to future-proof your setup, a 4K projector is recommended. This large image quality is awesome, too, if you plan to watch movies on your projector screen and use it as a home theater.

Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio is the difference between a projector’s minimum and maximum brightness. You might assume that a larger number is better, but the answer is more complicated.

You want a contrast ratio that fits the brightness required for your room. If you have low ambient light, then you don’t need as much brightness to get a clear display, and you shouldn’t pay extra for a high contrast ratio.

Some golf simulator projector options, like ones from BenQ, feature a dedicated golf mode. This adjusts your contrast to make green grass and blue skies pop out better.

Screen Size

Screen size is also an important factor for golf simulators. The screen size will depend on the projector and aspect ratio used.

Projectors come in various sizes and resolutions, and the size of the screen you need depends on the projector you choose. The aspect ratio of the projector also affects the projector.

Now that you understand the basic terminology, let’s go into more detail on a few of these key aspects.

Throw Distance

ultra short vs short vs standard throw golf projectors

Throw distance is how far your projector needs to sit away from your projector screen in order to fill up the entire screen size.

This number is dependent on what type of projector style you buy:

  • Short throw
  • Standard throw
  • Ultra short throw

Short Throw Projector

Short throw projectors are ideal for golf simulators because they can be placed close to the impact screen, allowing for a larger image size without sacrificing image quality. These projectors are designed to be placed within a few feet of the screen, making them ideal for smaller spaces.

Standard Throw Projector

Standard throw projectors are more suitable for larger spaces, as they can be placed further away from the impact screen. This allows for a larger image size without sacrificing image quality.

However, these long throw projectors are not as suitable for smaller spaces.

Ultra Short Throw Projector

I would not recommend using an ultra short throw projector for your golf simulator because of how close the projector sits to the screen. This will put it right in the path of your golf ball.

How to Calculate Throw Distance

Lamp vs Laser Projectors

how to pick a perfect golf simulator projector

Lamp Projectors

Lamp projectors are a popular choice for golf simulators due to their affordability and ease of use. They are also relatively easy to maintain and can last for several years.

However, lamp projectors do not have as bright of light output as laser ones do, and the video quality is more variable depending on the hardware specs.

Depending on your lamp’s life and usage, you will replace the bulb every few years.

Laser Projects

Laser projectors offer several advantages over traditional lamp projectors. They are more energy efficient, have a longer lifespan, and produce a brighter, more vibrant image.

However, laser and LED projectors are more expensive and require more maintenance.

Mounting Solutions for Golf Simulator Projectors

Once you decide on a projector, mount it in place. There are three common ways to mount a golf projector:

  1. Ceiling Mount
  2. Shelf or Wall Mount
  3. Floor Mount

Ceiling Mounts

Golf simulator setup with ceiling mounted projector and golf ball on tee location

Ceiling mounts are a great way to save space and keep your TV out of the way. They are easy to install and can be adjusted to fit any size TV. The main disadvantage is that they can be difficult to reach if you need to adjust the angle or make any other changes.

If you have a high ceiling in your garage, you might need to install a special bracket to ceiling mount your projector.

Shelf or Wall Mounts

Floor mounts are an alternative to wall or shelf mounts. They offer a few advantages, such as the ability to adjust the height of the mount more easily.

Floor Mounts

Some choose a floor projector mount enclosure installed in front of their golf balls or hitting mat. This can greatly simplify installation but requires buying another golf simulator accessory.

This way, the projector will sit floor mounted in the enclosure and shine onto your screen.

Connectivity and Compatibility

Video Input Options

Golf simulator setup with projector and golf ball on tee location

When selecting a projector for a golf simulator, it is important to consider the video input options. Many projectors are equipped with HDMI, VGA, and composite video inputs, allowing for various connection options.

Some projectors may also have USB ports for connecting to a computer or other device.

Audio Output Considerations

One underrated component to consider is the audio output of your projector. Some golfers don’t need to hear any output from their simulator, while others want to hear the wind breeze and impact of every golf ball hitting the green.

Make sure your projector connects to your speakers properly and plan out how you will get audio in your simulator room.

Additional Features to Consider in Golf Projectors

Vertical and Horizontal Keystone Correction and Lens Shift

Keystone correction is the ability to adjust the image shape to fit the screen, while lens shift is the ability to adjust the image position without changing the shape. Both of these features are important for ensuring a clear and accurate image.

Maintenance and Durability

Maintenance and durability are also important factors when selecting a golf projector. Look for projectors with long-lasting bulbs and easy-to-clean filters.

Additionally, make sure the projector is designed to withstand the elements, such as dust and moisture if you plan on installing it in a garage.

Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio is an important factor to consider when selecting a golf simulator. The aspect ratio is the width to the height of the image projected onto the screen.

A higher aspect ratio will provide a wider field of view, allowing for a more realistic golf experience. Today’s most popular aspect ratio is 16:10, which will give you a full wide-screen display.


Choosing the perfect projector for a golf simulator is not easy, but with the comprehensive guide we’ve provided, it’s much simpler.

Remember, the crucial factors to consider are:

  • throw ratio
  • aspect ratio compatibility
  • brightness
  • image quality
  • display resolution
  • screen size

Your projector must balance these features while fitting into your room’s specific layout and lighting conditions.

Remember, your golf simulator is a long-term investment, and your projector is the centerpiece.

Don’t cut corners!

The right projector can significantly enhance your golf simulation experience and even improve your real-world game.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of projector do I need for a golf simulator?

For a golf simulator, you’ll need at least a 2,500 lumen projector. For bigger screens and brighter rooms, look for a 4,000 or 5,000 lumen laser projector for optimal performance.

Can you use a regular projector for golf simulator?

It is not recommended to use a regular projector for golf simulator purposes. Instead, an impact screen and a 3000 ANSI lumen projector are the most suitable options for creating an immersive and realistic golf simulator experience.

Impact screens are designed to absorb the impact of a golf ball, allowing for a more realistic simulation. The 3000 ANSI lumen projector provides a bright image in brighter light.

What size projector for golf simulator?

When choosing a projector for a golf simulator, you should look for one with at least 2500 lumens and a native 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio. Projectors with throw ratios ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 provide an ideal image without casting a shadow.

Do you need 4K projector for golf simulator?

No, your golf simulator does not need a 4K projector. A 1080p projector is sufficient and offers good image quality, while a 4K projector will provide a better visual experience with more detail and clarity. If you have the budget, investing in a 4K projector can give you an even better experience.

How do I choose a golf simulator projector?

Choosing a golf simulator projector involves understanding a few key specifications. These include throw ratio and distance, brightness, image quality, display resolution, and screen size compatibility. You also need to consider your space’s layout and lighting conditions, which will affect the type of projector that will work best for your simulator.

What is the best projector for golf simulator for bright room?

A laser projector is the best projector for a golf simulator in a bright room. Laser projectors are more bright and vibrant, making them suitable for well-lit rooms. However, controlling ambient light for the best image quality is important regardless of the projector type.

Should golf simulator projector be on floor or ceiling?

The placement of the golf simulator projector, whether on the floor or ceiling, depends on your room’s space constraints and layout. While a ceiling mount keeps the projector out of the way, a floor mount is easier to install and adjust.

Ryan William
Ryan William

With over 25 years hands-on experience in the golfing world, Ryan is not just an avid golfer but a topical authority. His journey has had him delve deep into the nuances of the sport, from mastering the swing to understanding new golf technology. As an entrepreneur, Ryan is at the forefront of the latest golf trends, reviewing all new clubs, accessories, and training aids. His insights and expertise are backed by a prolific writing career, with over 1000 articles published across various platforms. Ryan's commitment is clear: to guide and inform the golf community with unparalleled knowledge and passion.

Leave a Comment

Modern Golf Apparel