How to Build a Brag-Worthy Golf Simulator

DIY Golf Simulator with Golf Impact Screen
Custom installation of Carl’s Golf Simulator Enclosure Kit by Nicholas C. of Richfield, OH.

Your buddy spent the winter practicing his swing on the simulator he built and is now kicking your butt all over the course this summer. Don’t let him get used to winning. Here are the tools you need to make a killer DIY Golf Simulator yourself and get swinging with your own home golf practice.

BEFORE YOU START: SELECT A GOLF SCREEN

For your best home golf simulator, your golf impact projector screen is the foundation of your game. Get started on the right foot by determining everything from the ideal aspect ratio and screen size for your room to whether or not you need a finished edge golf impact screen. You’ll want to learn as much about the ideal golf impact screen material as possible, so check out this article all about selecting the right golf impact screen material.

GATHER ALL OF THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO BUILD A GOLF SIMULATOR ENCLOSURE

A golf hitting cage:

Unless you’re a seasoned pro, you probably don’t trust yourself to hit the ball exactly on target every time and need something to safeguard against mis-hits. Wondering how to hang a golf impact screen? Carl’s Place provides full golf enclosure screens for easy setup with low-profile 5′ deep and full-depth 10′ deep sizes. You can also make your own frame here.

Carl’s Golf Impact Screen:

Your screen acts as the primary impact surface for your driven ball so it’s a balance between a smooth texture and the ability to handle the ball speed. There are three different kinds, the Standard, Preferred, and Premium. The preferred is the best value with a smooth enough texture for better HD picture and the ability to handle hits up to 250 MPH. By purchasing the full Golf Simulator Enclosure Kit, you get an easy to install solution with protection again mis-hits. For high-end and commercial installations, our Pro Golf Enclosure Kit is a great choice and you can find a comprehensive assembly video right here.

A projector:

To get that big image you’ll need a projector properly sized for the job.
When you’re shopping for a projector, make sure that you’ll be able to get the image size you need in your mounting configuration by matching the aspect ratio of your projector to your screen with this calculator. For more information on projectors, see this article for things to consider and this article for our top picks.

A swing analyzer, launch monitor or sensor technology:

You’ll need some sort of interface to tell your simulator how you’re hitting the ball so we’ve got four major golf simulator/launch monitor comparisons just for you. Most of these will require some form of a PC to run the associated software.

Best Overall: Uneekor EYE XO

Pros: Industry-leading data accuracy on both club and ball data and real-time footage of ball impact  is provided by high speed cameras.

Cons: The QED bar needs to be mounted overhead and is therefore less portable than comparable floor units.

Bonus: The Uneekor EYE XO pairs perfectly with a Pro Golf Simulator Enclosure kit from Carl’s Place. You can choose to either ceiling mount the QED or mount it directly to the Pro Golf Enclosure for a fully custom setup.

To save even more, these bundles allow you to choose your golf simulator enclosure size, launch monitor and popular software.

Best On a Budget: Garmin Approach R10

Pros: Small, extremely portable radar-based unit that works well indoors and outdoors. Comes with 14 data parameters that will give a great idea of where your golf game is at and what you need to improve on. 

Cons: Garmin Golf app graphics are a bit cartooney and not very realistic looking. 

Best Commercial Quality for the Price: SkyTrak Golf Launch Monitor

Pros: Get the accuracy of a commercial monitor with upgraded camera-based technology that measures the ball’s flight path and distance at a lower/mid-range price starting at $1,995.

Cons: Is a great starter for commercial use but doesn’t offer as many bells and whistles as some of the much more expensive models (but is often highly rated by users).

Best for Indoor/Outdoor Use: Mevo+ Launch Monitor

Pros: Uses 3D Doppler tracking radar technology giving golfers the ultimate practice and play experience.

Cons: The battery life is short, up to 2 hours on a full charge, and up to 1.5 hours in simulator play.

Most Comprehensive Readings: TrackMan4

Pros: Used by the pros, it uses radar technology and tracks a number of different club and ball definitions for your best game, including: smash factor, spin rate, launch angle, carry, ball speed, club speed, dynamic loft, attack angle, club path, and face angle!

Cons: The most expensive by far, it starts at $18,995.

CONSIDER GOLF SIMULATOR ACCESSORIES

Depending on your other choices, you may benefit from a few extras. Some artificial turf, a mat to stand on, or overhead lights may or may not be requirements. As far as golf club organizers go, the Golf Club Display Shelf is one will that fit in almost any space, is reasonably priced at $89.99 and will help you keep track of your clubs in-between games. Get a feel for the fairway without leaving your property with Realistic Artificial Grass, and with a wide range of sizes and high ratings, you’re likely to find a winner.

Summary: Whether you go with one of our golf simulator enclosures, decide to make your own custom design golf hitting frame, or spring for other accessories for your golf simulator in the shed or garage golf simulator, you’re all set for swinging your clubs until you’re the next Tiger Woods… or close, at least.