How to Choose the Best Golf Simulator Enclosure Size

Are you planning to install a golf simulator in your home or commercial facility, but not sure what size to get? No problem! We will make it easy for you to find the best golf simulator enclosure size by breaking down the five biggest deciding factors.

A golf simulator enclosure is a frame with black fabric walls and ceiling to keep golf balls in and ambient light out for a safer, more immersive indoor golfing experience. In this guide, we discuss our full enclosures, but if you only need the golf screen itself, check out how to select the best golf screen size

For the most ideal golf simulator room size, we recommend at least 14 feet of width by 18 feet of depth, with ceilings that reach 9-10 feet high. 

When it comes to making the most of your golf simulator, there are a few important factors to keep in mind: room size, buffer space, golfer height and accuracy, and aspect ratio.

Let’s break down the four biggest deciding factors to choose the best golf simulator size:

  1. Room Space

  2. Buffer Space

  3. Height and Accuracy of the Golfers

  4. Aspect Ratio

You know you want a golf simulator, but can't quite figure out what size to choose.

Usually, when we talk to golfers who aren't sure which golf enclosure will fit their room, they end up using one of our full golf simulator enclosure kits, or they input their room dimensions in our Build Your Own Golf Simulator Tool to help them size out their setup. 

Many customers like the ease of the DIY Enclosure Kit, because it takes the guesswork out of building a golf simulator. You don't have to start from scratch, sizing and building a home golf simulator.

Carl's Place Golf Enclosure Kits give you easy measurements to figure out the best golf simulator size for your room. But, what size golf simulator fits in your room? Here's how to figure it out.

Deciding Factor #1: Room Space

How much space do you have available in your golf simulator room?

Measuring unfinished space for a golf simulatorThe most important thing you must do is take measurements of the space where you plan to put the golf enclosure and account for anything that may interfere with your setup, such as; doors, carpet, turf, pipes, soffits, garage door openers, and rails, etc.

carls-tipTake out your clubs and do a few test swings or tape the enclosure dimensions on your floor for a visual. You'll want to make sure you have enough room to comfortably swing. For most customers, we don't recommend going smaller than 96" high or 100" wide.

  • What is the height floor to ceiling of your available space?
  • What is the width left to right of your available space?
  • What is the depth of the space in front of and behind the golfer?

We recommend getting the biggest enclosure that will fit your space.

For the safety of both the golfer and the screen, we recommend standing a minimum of 10-12 feet away from the screen. Please do not stand closer than 10 feet from the screen. Customers who stand closer will experience bounce back and increase the risk of injury.

Before making a final decision on the size of your golf simulator enclosure, take a few swings in the designated space to ensure that it's the perfect fit. Start with slow swings to get a feel for the area, and once you're confident that you won't hit anything, take some full swings to ensure that your swing isn't being compromised by the size of the space. Don't forget to consider any obstacles that may be in the way, like windows or fans.

In case your golf simulator space has a width less than the ideal 14 feet, the center of the room might not be the best spot for you to swing comfortably. If you find the wall behind you a physical or mental hindrance, then you may need to shift into an "off-set" arrangement, where the hitting area moves closer to one side of the room, allowing for a more relaxed backswing and follow-through.

Golfers will also want to adjust their golf simulator launch monitor and software to be off-set as well to match their physical setup. Most devices or softwares offer such a setting.

Deciding Factor #2: Buffer Space

How much buffer space do you need for a golf simulator?

It is important to account for some buffer space around the golf simulator, both during installation and use. You wouldn't want the impact screen or enclosure touching any windows, walls, or cars, etc.

Here's how to find the largest golf simulator dimensions for the room:

  • Golf Simulator Height
    • Give yourself an absolute minimum of 2-3 inches buffer space from the height you have available. Note: for the Carl's Place Pro Golf Enclosure Kit, it will make installation of your golf enclosure so much easier if you allow closer to 6-7 inches ceiling buffer space.
  • Golf Simulator Width
    • Subtract 4-6 inches from the width you have available (2-3 inches per side).
  • Golf Simulator Depth
    • You need to have enough room behind your golf simulator for a couple of reasons:
      • Keeping your impact screen away from the wall protects the wall from hard-hit balls.
      • Carl's C-Series Enclosures require space behind the enclosure for the backset rear fittings. The DIY C-Series Enclosure needs a minimum of 8.25" behind the enclosure for the rear fitting. The Pro C-Series Enclosure needs a minimum of 9.5" behind the enclosure for the rear fitting.

buffer-space post-itPlus, make sure to pay attention to the space requirements of your launch monitor.


Deciding Factor #3: Height and Accuracy of the Golfers

When it comes to choosing the depth of your golf simulator enclosure, it's important to consider factors such as limited space, lighting, and the skill level of the golfer.

If you’re a skilled golfer with consistent accuracy, and have a smaller room or a darker environment, a shallower enclosure may be the way to go. However, if you want to protect your surroundings and create a more immersive experience, a deeper Pro Enclosure is the better option.

Novice golfers can benefit from a 10-foot or deeper enclosure as their struck balls, including shanks, would be completely contained. Skilled golfers may also prefer the containment and "immersivity" of a deeper enclosure, but might also prefer more free space to avoid the potential of modifying their swing if they feel too close to their surroundings.

Keep in mind that a 5-foot deep enclosure may not be sufficient for launch angles with wedges and higher irons. While TrackMan's PGA Tour launch angle averages suggest that balls should not go over the enclosure, inconsistent amateur golfers may still experience this issue. 

Deciding Factor #4: Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio simply refers to the shape of the image being projected. When the ratio of the projector and the screen match, the image fills the entire screen and you will not see black masking bars.

Many home golfers come to us wanting 16:9 golf simulators, but when we do the math, and we often find it doesn't fit their room.

Common aspect ratios for golf enclosures

4:3 Aspect Ratio Golf Simulator

4:3 is often preferred for golf simulators because it allows you to go taller, giving you more room to swing, without needing a wider room. This ratio has the shape of a CRT TV.

Aspect ratio of a golf simulator enclosure

16:9 Aspect Ratio Golf Simulator

If space allows a 16:9 aspect ratio for a golf simulator screen is great for 4K and HD images. This ratio has the shape of a typical flat screen TV. A little math here, bear with us, we hate math too.

To swing a club the average golfer needs a bare minimum of 8' ceiling height. That's the ":9" part of the aspect ratio. A helpful hint: 16 is bigger than 9, so your room must be quite a bit wider than it is tall. But how wide?

16-9 aspect ratioIf you want a 16:9 aspect ratio golf screen, you need a minimum of 14 feet width available in your room. Many home golfers just don't have this space (and they want their golf simulator taller than 8'), so they tend to opt for aspect ratios that require less width.

16:10 Aspect Ratio Golf Simulator

The 16:10 is an aspect ratio mostly used for computer displays and tablet computers. Because the 16:10 aspect ratio lets you get away with a golf simulator in a narrower room than the 16:9 ratio, they tend to be a bit more common for home golfers.

Several golf simulator projectors have a native aspect ratio of 16:10 making for easier setup. BenQ has the LU710 and LK936ST projectors that work great in golf simulators.

1:1 Aspect Ratio Golf Simulator

An aspect ratio of 1:1 is a square and is usually chosen for golf simulators if space is limited, although it increases the chances of seeing black bars. If your enclosure is a square, use a projector capable of a 4:3 aspect ratio to maximize the image.

Non-Standard Aspect Ratio Golf Simulator

You will also see “other or non-standard”. These golf screen sizes help to fill the space you have available for safety but are also not standard ratios, meaning the image will not fill the screen perfectly. This does not hurt the screen, it is only a matter of if you want to see blank space. Learn more about aspect ratio.

carls-tipDid you know we can also make custom size golf simulators and custom finish screens in 125 different ways? Just keep in mind, if you are trying to maintain a standard aspect ratio, if we change the height then we also must change the width (and vice versa) to maintain the shape. Remember aspect ratio is in reference to the shape.

Build My Simulator

Keep in mind that we use three main terms of measurements when we talk about golf simulators at Carl's Place. 

1. Viewable Screen - the area of the screen that can be filled with a projected image

2. Total Screen Size - the viewable screen plus the finished edges

3. Enclosure Size - the outer dimensions of the frame that holds your golf screen and black enclosure materials

Pro Enclosure_screen_dims_help-jpg-1

4. OK, fine! There is one more term we use: listing size. The listing size is a customer friendly measurement we use with our most popular golf simulator enclosures sizes. 

For example, our 9' x 12' enclosures ... such a nice, short measurement. But if you're tight on space, you have to pay attention to the exact enclosure size. For the DIY Enclosure, a 9' x 12' enclosure's full height and width is slightly larger, at 9.33' x 12.19'. 

So, make sure to check out the specifications table in the Resources section of our DIY Enclosures and Pro Enclosures pages. 

You are now an expert on golf enclosure sizes! Go forth and choose the best golf simulator enclosure size with confidence!

Build My Simulator

For more great information check out our articles: “Troubleshooting Bounce Back Tips” and “How to Extend the Life of Your Golf Screen”.

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