The best golf simulator is a system designed for the serious golfer who wants to analyze their swing, and ball speed in order to improve their game and ultimately lower their score. While not every simulator on the market is designed for seasoned golfers concerned with improving their performance, many of the leading models are.
If you’ve decided you want a golf simulator for home use, we’ve got the top models for you. Whether you need a simulator because you don’t have time to make it to the range every day, or you want one so you can enjoy a round on golf on rainy days, we’ve included player favorites that can easily help you improve your game in just a matter of weeks.
As a spoiler, I’ll give you my best recommendation for the top golf simulator on the market, then get to full reviews of alternatives later in the article.
Best Golf Simulator-ProTee Golf Simulator
This golf simulator by ProTee Golf is our top-rated model. It features a wide range of game options and an innovative dual tracking performance that will focus both on the player’s ball and swing performance, providing accurate feedback. The gameplay options provide plenty of variety with courses that are challenging and designed to put the player’s skill level and their swing to the test. This is a system designed for both the beginner and the serious golfer who wants to track and improve their playing performance. A simulator that can really help you lower that score, this simulator is the total package.
Improving Your Golf Game
Many of these systems have made it on our list simply because they come equipped with dual tracking technology, which is said to be highly accurate and able to provide player feedback in a matter of seconds. While this technology is exciting, it’s not the only reason we chose the models we did.
We also looked at user experience as a whole. Is the system easy to set up? Is the included software realistic and immersive? Many of these systems come equipped with the total simulator package including the PC and the projector, so you can begin playing immediately after installing the system.
We found systems that have a reputation for accuracy. For the serious golfer, a simulator’s accuracy is the most important characteristic, because aside from entertainment value, the main reason most golfers buy simulators is to improve their golf game. We’ve included the top models that received a high user accuracy rating.
And we’ve also added a system that rated well as a beginner-friendly simulator that’s budget-friendly and fun to use.
We’ve got it all.
These leading simulators have the technology and the power to improve your golf game, in a matter of weeks, with consistent use. So, instead of hitting the range after work, head on home and enjoy your own personal golf simulator system that’s probably able to outperform the system you’ll find at your local golf store.
Searching for the Ultimate Golf Simulator
Many of the golf simulators we reviewed are designed for both commercial and home use. However, many are also highly portable, so they can also be used by the golfer who loves to travel.
Golf simulator technology has significantly advanced over the past few years. These days you can purchase a system that will track both the clubhead speed and the ball speed, giving the golfer much-needed feedback regarding their performance.
Choosing the Highest Rated Golf Simulator System
Are you unable to get your score lower, but you don’t know why? These simulators come equipped with tracking sensors that will tell you exactly where your game needs improvement.
Let’s begin exploring the leading systems on the market, starting off with a popular simulator that earned a top spot on our site.
Our top-rated product is a system by ProTee. This golf simulator comes with a great software package and the simulator itself offers both ball and club tracking, so you’ll get a full report on your performance with each swing.
|ProTee Golf Simulator||92,000||Ball & Club||$$$$$||5|
|TruGolf GS13||15||Ball & Club||$$$$||4.5|
|TruGolf GS10||15||Ball & Club||$$$||4.25|
|OptiShot Infrared |
Top Dual Tracking System-TruGolf GS13 Studio Golf Simulator
The GS13 by TruGolf comes with the popular E6 golfing software, which is said to offer one of the best immersive golfing experiences around. The top of the line graphics combined with the dual tracking system will instantly transport you to your favorite course. One of the most accurate simulators on the market, this easy to use system comes with everything you need to start playing, right out of the box.
Feature Packed-TruGolf GS10 Studio
This golf simulator features TruTrac technology which provides both ball and club tracking. This type of well-rounded tracking system will give you a more accurate idea of the areas you need to work on. This system is designed for both beginners and serious golfers. Beginners will love how versatile the simulator is while the seasoned golfer will appreciate its accuracy and challenging course options.
Best Software Pack-Skytrak TGC GS13 Studio Golf Simulator
A popular simulator by Skytrak, this system is highly portable and loaded with all the bells and whistles you could want in a golf simulator designed for home use. It comes with a great software package that offers over one hundred thousand course options, allowing you to play a round on your favorite course, anywhere in the world. Perfect for players of all skill levels, Skytrak offers one of the best software/simulator packages on the market.
Beginner-Friendly-OptiShot Infrared Golf Simulator
This infrared golf simulator by Optishot offers fifteen course options and a few ways of tracking your performance via infrared technology. This system is more directed toward the beginner than the serious golfer considering the tracking features aren’t the most accurate, but overall, we found this system easy and fun to use. This is a great buy for the causal golfer on a budget searching for a basic system the whole family will love.
Golf Simulator Buyer’s Guide
What golfer doesn’t dream of playing a fun game of golf in the comfort of their own home? The best golf simulator has made great strides over the past few years due to advancements in technology. With cost reductions, it’s now possible to own a golf simulator for a fraction of the price they were going for just a couple of years ago.
So, what does one of these golf simulator setups consist of?
An In-Depth Look at Golf Simulators
A golf simulator can come in many shapes and sizes. Advanced models will use PC vision-based systems that utilize high-speed cameras in order to track the ball and club in order to get accurate data regarding your performance.
A simulator can be installed in a wide range of locations including golf retail stores, businesses, and private homes, and of course, indoor golf centers.
Most indoor golf centers will have a number of simulators installed and will offer the player a way to enjoy their favorite game when the weather prevents them from playing a round of golf on their favorite local course. Some golf simulator manufacturers now include pressure plate technology and video capability, which is used for teaching purposes.
Some lower priced systems will use a variety of sensors that are contained in a hitting mat in order to monitor the ball and club contact zone and calculate the resulting shot. In order to be able to enjoy a safe game of golf indoors, you’ll need to have the right type of setup in your home. This means you’ll need plenty of space.
Choosing the Right Golf Simulator System
We’ve reviewed basic and pro-quality golf simulator systems, and covered information regarding every type of system available.
This will help you to determine which type of system is right for you, your home, or your business. Many of these systems are perfect for home use, while other types of simulators on the market will require their own dedicated room.
The type of system you choose should be based on your skill level, your goals of growing as a golfer, your budget, and the amount of space you have to work with.
Even a basic system can be very demanding of space.
Now, we’ll begin looking at top of the line systems for home setups. With both top of the line and basic systems you can purchase each component separately, but if you’re a beginner, this can potentially be a disaster if you don’t know what features to look for or how to tell a poor-quality mat or software program from a good one.
Basic systems are a great buy for any golfer on a budget and they come equipped with everything you’ll need to get started perfecting your golf game right away, but top of the line models are what most serious golfers are after.
Top of the Line Systems
These systems are major, and they tend to cost thousands of dollars, but for the serious golfer, the one who finds themselves at the range after work and on the course on the weekend, these simulators can be a dream come true. These setups are fully operational and come with everything you need. Modular systems are perfect for golfers who want to build their own simulator setups. Keep in mind, if you’re new to the world of golf simulators, building your own mega system can be a very expensive learning process. However, along the way, you’ll definitely learn a lot about simulators. If you’ve decided to build your own mega setup, make sure you check out the type of specs that are required for the components you’ve purchased. Golf simulator software and hardware can require different specs for different components. This is often where the lesson becomes very expensive.
Computer upgrades, wiring, screens, mats, and cables can add up fast. The list goes on and it can be made even more complex depending on the type of tracking system you choose. If you’re going about it on your own, instead of buying a ready to use set, make sure you do your research or work with someone who has experience with these major setups. We don’t really recommend piecemealing this type of system unless you’re comfortable with paying ten to twenty percent more than what each component costs. Our recommendation? Go with a package deal and save some serious cash.
Basic Simulator Packages
Most sets will feature five or six components that make up the simulator system. This includes the simulator, net, mat, and software. For most lower tiered simulator packages, you’ll need to purchase a projector and PC separately.
If you decide to purchase a lower priced golf mat for your simulator setup, it’s not going to last very long. If you just want a budget-friendly setup to test out before you upgrade later down the line, then there’s no reason you have to go all out with this test model. However, if you want a mat that’s going to last, you’ll need to opt for a higher priced model and one that can handle daily wear and tear
The mat that’s used is extremely important. These golf simulator mats are actually very expensive to produce and because they’re also pretty heavy, shipping them can be expensive as well.
There are some great budget friendly mats available, but they tend to wear out in about six months.
Quality mats can be costly. If you find a great simulator package and it’s on the pricier side, then the odds are it comes with a top of the line mat.
Mat quality is based on how durable, forgiving, and comfortable they are to use. Unfortunately, finding a mat with all three qualities can be tricky.
With the best golf simulator package, you should be able to find a great mat that’s able to easily withstand daily use.
Most players choose to set up their system in their media room, basement, or even the garage. A net around your system is exactly what you need in order to avoid damaging your walls, windows, and any objects that get in the way of your ball. With the right type of net enclosure, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Viewing Your Golf Results
A simulator package will come with all the gear you need to enjoy a realistic golfing experience. Some players will view their golf results on a PC or their tablet, while others are after a more realistic experience. If you don’t want to see your shot progress on your small computer screen, then another option is to hook up an HDMI cable from your PC to your TV, so you can watch your game on the big screen. Some sets are also compatible with a projector, which is what many golfers prefer.
Some simulator packages available will come with their own short throw projectors and the all-important screen. But if you purchase a simulator system that doesn’t include a projector, there are plenty of options available. We’ve found that the projectors that use a four to three ratio tend to work the best. These short throw projectors are perfect for golf simulator programs.
As we mentioned, you’ll need a computer to run the golf simulator program. Obviously, the simulator software isn’t quite as graphically demanding as a new online game, however, you should use a computer that’s fast and has plenty of memory, so you don’t have to worry about a sluggish performance.
All golf simulator packages will come with a software program. Usually, these programs do a great job of mimicking a driving range environment and provide highly accurate measurements for spin rate, total distance, and carry distance. Most programs will also visually display your shot using a 2D shot tracer.
If you want a program that offers challenges such as longest drive, or if you prefer full golf course play, then you’ll need to choose your simulator package wisely. Many lower priced simulators will come with a very basic program. So, if you want a program that offers more than just a simulation of you knocking some balls at the range, pay close attention to the included software and the features it has to offer. Fortunately, if you’re on a tight budget you can also choose to upgrade and buy better software later down the line.
As we mentioned, all systems will have their own specific space requirements.
The amount of room you have for your golf simulator setup is an important factor you should consider before you buy. If you want to have enough room to comfortably swing the club, you’ll need to measure the amount of space you have to work with and determine whether or not you can accommodate one of these sets.
In regard to ceiling height, we recommend a minimum of at least nine feet. This height should provide more than enough clearance for the average golfer. For some players, ceilings that are lower than nine feet can still be appropriate, but this usually depends on the player’s height and the flatness of their swing.
It’s also important to note that many simulators will have their own height requirements for the net enclosures and impact screens.
How Realistic Are Golf Simulators?
If you’re able to hit your driver two hundred yards when you’re out on the green, then you’re going to want to see that same distance when you’re using the best golf simulator. When you’re shopping around, you want a model that will be at least within ten percent of what you can hit at an outdoor course. If you can’t test out a simulator before you buy, then we recommend reading golf simulator reviews to find out how each model performs and tracks.
Some simulators work by tracking the club, while others will track the ball. Top of the line systems can track both. Typically, if a simulator is able to track both, the user can shape shots. For the serious golfer who wants to improve their game, a swing analyzer type of tracker is a great choice. If you just want to grab a club and swing away, then a club tracker is more than sufficient. It will all really boil down to user preference.
The price for these systems can be as low as just a few hundred dollars or it can run into the thousands. Ultimately, it will depend heavily on your budget, how much room you have to work with, whether you need a serious system for your home or business, or if you just want a basic model for recreational use. Do you need a system you can use for fun after work? A model that allows you to play a couple of rounds at the range in the comfort of your own home? These systems are simpler, easy to set up, and obviously, more affordable.
Do you need a major system for your business or home? These pricier simulators are very realistic and can do wonders for your golf game. If you’re a golf warrior and you’re willing to spend the cash on a simulator that can seriously improve your golf game then a pro-quality setup will be totally worth it.