Planning to install a custom golf screen and not sure what size to get? Whether you're designing for a commercial golf facility or a DIY home golf setup, this article walks you through how to select the best size golf screen for your space.
When it comes to selecting the perfect golf screen size, bigger is almost always better. Not only does a larger screen make for a more immersive and enjoyable experience, but it's also safer for the golfer and for the room. Of course, you'll want to make sure that the screen you choose fits comfortably in your space.
Let’s break down the five biggest deciding factors for choosing a golf screen size:
How much space do you have available in your golf simulator room?
First, look around the space where you plan to put the golf screen. Are there things like doors, carpet, pipes, soffits, vents, lights, etc., that will interfere with your setup? For most people, we don't recommend indoor golfing in a space 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 available space in front of and behind the golfer?
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. Golfers who stand closer will likely experience more bounce back and increase the risk of injury.
Deciding Factor #2:Buffer Space
How much buffer space do you need for a golf screen?
It's important to account for some buffer space so your golf screen avoids touching anything. There are an infinite number of ways to design your golf simulator, but generally speaking we recommend:
Golf Screen Height Give yourself a minimum of 4 inches of buffer space from the height you have available for your golf screen.
Golf Screen Width Subtract 4-6 inches from the width you have available (2-3 inches per side).
Golf Screen Depth You will want 12-16 inches of space between the wall behind the screen and the screen itself.
NOTE: This general guideline assumes you are using our 6” black ball bungees and hanging it from a 1-inch pipe. If you are using a different method, this guideline should get you close, but make sure your design will allow for fine-tuning the fit of your screen. You will need to allow for some movement, never install it in a tight or rigid fashion.
Make sure to pay attention to the space requirements of your launch monitor.
Our Build Your Own Golf Simulator Tool not only allows you to put together custom screens and enclosures, but includes all the extra tips you need to know as you plan your build.
Deciding Factor #3: Actual Screen Dimensions
Now that you have mastered the first two deciding factors for choosing a golf screen, let's get on the same page about the dimensions of your golf screen.
You'll notice two main terms of measurements when we talk about golf screens.
Viewable Screen - the area of the screen that can be filled with a projected image
Total Screen Size - the viewable screen plus the finished edges and trim
And, there's actually another screen-related term you need to pay attention to if you're going to attach your screen to a frame or some custom-built enclosure.
Enclosure Size - the width of the frame that holds your golf screen
Please allow for slight sizing variances as all Carl's Place golf screens are made by hand.
Deciding Factor #4: Height and Accuracy of the Golfers
Make sure you have enough room to safely swing the club. A larger golf screen will give you more room to accept mishits. However, if you're in danger of having golf balls flying around the space, we highly recommend using one of our golf enclosures.
If you have friends who are golfers (or more importantly, who are NOT golfers), make sure to consider their wild swings as well.
Deciding Factor #5: Aspect Ratio
While it may be mentioned last on this list of screen size tips, aspect ratio should certainly be part of your decision-making process when sizing a golf screen. In fact, it may be the most important factor in building a golf screen you love. But we had to get you thinking about room size first.
What is aspect ratio?
Aspect ratio is the width of your screen in proportion to the height of your screen.
Ok, great, who cares if your screen doesn't fall into a perfect standard-size screen? For one, your projector does. Projectors make images in a certain size. Typically they can make 16:9, 16:10 and/or 4:3 images, but it depends on the projector you get. If you select a golf screen that doesn't fall inside those standard aspect ratios, you'll have to do some manipulations to get the image to fit well.
In short, a 4:3 aspect ratio is most common for golf simulators because it can give you a taller space compared to a 16:9 aspect ratio (when width is your limiting factor). A 4:3 aspect ratio gives you more room to swing, without needing a wider room.
While the 16:9 screen is great for 4K projectors, such as the BenQ LK936ST or TK700STi, and HD images, it also means you will need a wider room, which many indoor golfers simply don't have.
Golf Screen Image: Fit or Fill
We've noticed in the golf simulator industry that there are golfers who want their projected image to perfectly fit their impact screen, and also golfers who just want to play. If you fall into the first bucket of players, you'll need to make sure you order an impact screen that matches an aspect ratio that your projector is capable of outputting.
16:9 Projected Image on a 4:3 Golf Screen
The image below shows how fitting the width of a 16:9 aspect ratio projected image leaves unused space on the top and bottom of a 4:3 aspect ratio impact screen. The other option would be to fit the height perfectly, but then you have image overrun on the left and right sides.
In order to perfectly fit the screen, you'll want to be sure your projector has 4:3 aspect ratio capability. Just be aware that if you want a true 4K image, going to 4:3 will likely cut that resolution down a little bit.
If you just want to golf with an image on your screen and it doesn't have to be perfectly lined up to every corner, this situation would work just fine for you!
What about throw distance?
Keep in mind that throw distance - the amount of distance between the impact screen and your projector placement - plays a big role in how large the projected image will be on your screen. We help you through all the factors you need to consider when choosing a golf simulator projector.
Custom Golf Screen Sizes and Finishes
Did you know we can also customize the finishing and size of your golf screen? 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.
Whether you're a master DIY-er crafting the ultimate golf oasis, or a budget-savvy handy person confident in building your own golf simulator, these five tips to choose the right size golf screen will steer you towards the perfect impact screen for your needs.
If you're looking for a hassle-free and efficient way to get your golf simulator up and running, you might want to consider Carl's easy-to-assemble golf simulator kits. These kits provide a convenient all-in-one solution that will have you golfing in no time. For more information on selecting the best size golf simulator enclosure, check out our article “How to Choose the Best Size Golf Simulator Enclosure”.