You’ve likely seen plenty of top quality, high-definition golf simulator setups. But you might be wondering how can I build my own golf simulator with that fully immersive, high-def golf simulator experience?
There are several factors that play into having a projected image that makes it feel like you’re actually out on the course. Those factors include:
Golf impact screen quality
Golf simulator projector specifications
Mobile device or computer capability
Golf simulator software specifications
Amount of light in your golf simulator area
Below, we’ll take you through how to tune up your space to get yourself the best high-definition golf simulator.
GOLF IMPACT SCREEN QUALITY
The quality of your golf impact screen is vital to having a high-definition image in your golf simulator.
Carl’s Place offers three different impact screens: Standard, Preferred and Premium. As you move your way up from Standard to Premium, you not only increase the tightness of the weave in the way the material is made, but also the thickness of the screen itself.
How does screen quality affect the golf simulator image?
A golf screen with a tight weave leads to a smoother screen, which provides a smoother image. All golf impact screens are made to withstand balls flying into them, so they will all have a little texture to them. However, golf screens with a tighter weave have less texture, with less effect on image quality.
Golf screen thickness is also important for building a high-definition golf simulator as it helps keep out ambient light from behind the screen. If you use a thinner screen with ambient light behind your golf simulator, you might end up with a washed out image on your screen. We’ll talk more about ambient light later in this article.
Also make sure you’re cleaning your clubs and balls before using your golf simulator. Dirt from balls and clubs can transfer to the screen, which leads to a lower quality image. If you happen to get your screen dirty, this is how we recommend cleaning it.
GOLF SIMULATOR GRAPHICS
From projector and computer to golf simulator software, the technology involved plays a large role in making sure your golf simulator is high-definition.
A lot of golfers will want that 4K resolution, but many don’t realize all that goes into making sure the highest resolution image gets projected onto their impact screen. Check out this deeper dive into golf simulator graphics.
Is a 4K projector worth it when you’re projecting onto a textured golf screen?
If you have the budget for it, 4K projectors offer 4x more pixels than the standard 1080p resolution. A discerning eye will notice the difference if you’re projecting onto a premium impact screen. Particularly if you have a 4K and a 1080p side-by-side. Otherwise, not many indoor golfers will be able to tell the difference between a golf simulator using a 1080p projector versus a golf simulator using a 4K projector.
Curious how a more affordable 4K projector stacks up against a high-end one? We compared the BenQ TK700STi with the LK936ST.
GOLF SIMULATOR PROJECTOR
The projector is where the high-definition image needs to start. Make sure the projector you’ve purchased or plan to buy has the capability to project an HD image (1080p or better resolution) at the aspect ratio of your screen. This will help you fill the screen with a high quality image, providing a more immersive experience.
Also, you’ll want to keep an eye on other specifications such as brightness (lumens) and colors. Both will play into the quality of the image on your screen.
Let us help you if you’re having trouble figuring out what projector is best for your space.
GOLF SIMULATOR COMPUTER
Once you have the projector picked out, then you need to make sure your computer has the capability to produce the quality of graphics you’re looking to achieve.
If you’re looking for a 4K image, you’ll need to make sure your computer is capable of sending that 4K image to the projector (which needs to be 4K capable too). Same for the 1080p high-definition image. Software is typically higher resolution on a computer than it would be on an Android tablet or iPad.
Many golf simulator softwares will provide you with minimum computer specifications needed to run their product. Our computers in the Carl’s Place showroom have plenty of power for both 4K and high-definition setups, which also sets us up for future updates and upgrades to softwares. Here are the key specifications:
GOLF SIMULATOR SOFTWARE
The last key piece of the pie is the golf simulator software. Most golf simulator software options, including popular options such as TGC 2019, GSPro and E6 Connect, are capable of producing as high as a 4K resolution image.
Just double check before purchasing that the software you want is capable of producing the image you want in your golf simulator.
It is key to make sure that the software, computer and projector all have the capability to produce an image to your liking for your high-definition golf simulator.
GOLF SIMULATOR LIGHTING
The last piece to getting a great image in your golf simulator is not only the ambient light behind the screen, but just overall ambient light in your golf simulator room.
Whether it is bright overhead lighting or windows, you’ll want to be sure to block out as much ambient light as possible or desired. If you have the space, ordering a deeper Pro Enclosure from Carl or using darkening curtains are great ways to keep your screen in a darker environment.
Just be sure that your launch monitor will work in a darker environment, and if you’re concerned about that, maybe try a pin light or spotlight over the hitting area where it is focused on the ball and not leaking out to your screen.
BUILDING A HIGH-DEFINITION GOLF SIMULATOR
How much does a high-definition golf simulator cost?
You can build your own high-definition golf simulator for under $20,000 using a Carl’s Place Pro Golf Enclosure Kit. Here are several examples from our team at Carl’s Place on how they would build a premium golf simulator:
In summary, to build the most realistic golf simulator, you need a high quality impact screen in a low light environment, as well as a projector, computer, and software capable of producing the same high resolution image, whether that be 1080p or 4K. Get started putting together all the components you need for your own high-definition golf simulator in our build your own golf simulator tool.