Some people play golf to scratch that competitive itch.
Others enjoy the game for its social aspect.
For 39-year-old Dennis Miller, it’s about both improving his game and using golf as mental stimulation.
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area resident has been golfing off and on since he was 12 years old. He golfed at least once each week with his father, who was a greens keeper at a golf course.
Tragically, his father died in an accident at the golf course in 2013, Miller said .
“Once he passed away, I really got into golfing,” Miller said.
After several more years and some more tough times, Miller said he continued to turn to the game of golf to help his mental health. Now he not only golfs outside, but also purchased a Carl’s Place Preferred Screen to fit his indoor golf simulator enclosure.
“The thing that inspired me the most to build my golf simulator and enclosure room is due to wanting to improve my golf game, and the weather isn’t always that great,” Miller said.
“Building a golf simulator, in my opinion, has been a great investment, not only to improve my game, but it helped with my mental stimulation and dealing with stress and other factors.”
“It is also really taking the stress out of being on the course struggling, knowing that I have every opportunity to keep improving at home.”
“(The Carl’s Place Preferred Screen) is one of the best impact screens I’ve ever hit into.”
Miller’s enclosure is made of 1-by-4s, using 6-inch ball bungees to strap his 7.7-foot-by-10-foot impact screen, which came finished with black vinyl edges and grommets, to his enclosure. His room has 10.5-foot ceilings and measures 16-feet-long-by-16-feet-wide.
Did You Know?
Let US help YOU. Carl’s Place offers customizable DIY Golf Simulator Enclosure Kits and Pro Enclosure Kits. The kits can include an impact screen made to order and all other necessary items.
Miller said he golfs somewhere between 10 and 20 hours per week in his golf simulator enclosure. Sometimes he has friends who stop by to join in the action, but a lot of his simulator time is spent by himself as he livestreams on his Millertime Golf Facebook page.
Miller has noticed a significant improvement in his golf game since installing his simulator. He went from averaging scores in the mid-80s to mid-90s to now shooting in the upper 70s and low 80s.
“My distance control, swing speed and swing plane have been my biggest improvements, as well as better ball contact in general,” Miller said.
Although there are a lot of pieces to think about when assembling a simulator room like Miller’s, he said the only hesitancy he had in going forward was making sure he had enough money and space to make it happen.
“The biggest suggestions and tips I would give anyone building a simulator or planning a build is to make sure you budget correctly, shop around, measure twice and make sure you have adequate room,” Miller said. “Watch videos on YouTube, join Facebook groups and other builder groups on other social media and research a ton to get ideas of how they have built their simulators, whether it’s a DIY build or a prefabricated setup.”
Other equipment he currently uses to run his golf simulator includes:
- Optishot 2 launch monitor, but has been looking at upgrading to a SkyTrak or FlightScope Mevo+, while also improving the turf in his enclosure.
- Optishot 2 free software and one year Optishot’s Pro Tour pass.
- Dell desktop computer with 16GB processor, 2TB hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce 1060 graphics card.
- BenQ MX819ST Short Throw Projector.
Some of his favorite local courses include Birdsfoot Golf Course (Sarver, Pa.), Oakmont Country Club (Oakmont, Pa.) and Apollo Elks and The Links at Spring Church (Apollo, Pa.). His favorite pro courses he’s played on his simulator are TPC Sawgrass (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) and Pebble Beach (Calif.).
Overall, Miller loves his golf simulator set up.
“It’s what I could afford to do, it’s fun, and a great way to practice at home,” Miller said. “Thanks again for the amazing screen quality … and dedicated staff to provide awesome customer service and support. Five stars all day!”