Choosing a Projector for a Golf Simulator Setup

Our team often gets asked about which projectors pair best with our golf enclosures. While there are a number of things to consider when choosing a golf simulator projector, we encourage you to first evaluate your golf simulator setup – particularly the shape of your golf impact screen and the depth of your room.

Aspect Ratio

We always advise our customers to build a golf simulator that maximizes their available space to ensure a comfortable swinging area, which sometimes results in an uncommon or non-standard aspect ratio. 

To maximize available height, many DIY-ers choose a 4:3 aspect ratio for their impact screen.  It’s not difficult to find a projector with a 4:3 aspect ratio, but many 4:3 projectors are lower resolution. Image quality greatly increases when using a 16:9 or 16:10 projector. We recommend building a screen to match your projector’s aspect ratio if you want your projected image to fill the screen entirely. This video explains the basics of aspect ratio and resolution.

Carl’s Tip: It’s a good idea to consider your projector from the very beginning of your golf simulator build project, as the projector specifications may influence your choice in screen size.

Throw Distance

Another important consideration when choosing a golf simulator projector is the amount of depth you have available in your golfing space. Check the projector’s specifications for its throw distance, which is the number of feet you’ll need between the screen and where you plan to mount the projector. The projector itself determines the maximum image size based on how far it is mounted from the screen. Most people building a golf simulator choose to  mount the projector from the ceiling and place it slightly behind the tee to avoid seeing their own shadow in the projected image. However, some customers place the projector on the floor inside the enclosure. Of course, if you floor-mount your projector remember to build or buy a protective cover to keep it safe from golf balls and clubs.

Carl’s Tip: A screen size calculator makes it easy to determine the throw distance necessary for a particular screen size and model of projector.

Resolution and Brightness

When it comes to resolution, our opinion is that opting for the highest resolution isn’t necessarily the best value for your golf simulator. It might be tempting to narrow your search to popular 4k projector models instead of the more affordable 1080p models, but the texture and eventual wear on the impact screen surface might cancel out any significant differences in picture quality. You will likely find that investing in more brightness and/or laser technology to be the features that will really take your golf simulator to the next level.

Projector Recommendations

Here are a few budget-friendly projectors we recommend: