Golf stands as a popular sport in the United States and abroad, but sometimes, getting onto a golf course for practice can be difficult, maybe due to weather, distance, or other factors. The good news is that a rainstorm does not have to shut down a golfer’s practice session; instead, building home golf simulators can bring the sport to life inside the home and protect the golfer from the elements or long distances to the nearest course. Top golf simulators can truly bring the sport to life, and even if one cannot afford the best golf simulator out there, this setup can be a boon to any golfer who needs to practice his or her game.
Who Plays Golf?
Many Americans, and many more younger Americans than some realize, love to play this sport. By the year 1900, just over 1,000 golf clubs were already set up in the United States, and there are many more now. And in the year 2015, some 2.2 million people took up the sport of golf, and all these players generate a lot of charitable giving from the sport. Every year, golf will generate roughly $3.9 billion for charitable giving. On the physical course, one typical 18-hole setup will cover anywhere from 125 to 150 acres of land, and sometimes, these courses are in more exotic locations than Scotland or the United States. The single highest golf course in the world is the Tactu Golf Club located in Peru, which is at 14,335 feet above sea level at its lowest point. Traveling to golf courses for practice, though, may be infeasible for golfers who live far from the nearest course, and sometimes, weather such as heavy snow or rain can interfere. For that reason, home golf simulators are ready to help.
The Simulator at Home
What exactly is a golf simulator? Put simply, it is a setup with a large and high-definition screen, a patch of false grass, and the room necessary to swing a golf club and hit the ball indoors. Put together, this system allows a golfer to practice swings and test different clubs anytime, and experiment with different techniques in a wide variety of virtual settings on the screen. This is not a 100% recreation of real golf, but it can come close, and the convenience can make it very appealing for golfers.
According to Practical Golf, building such a simulator can vary in price based on materials used, and can total anywhere from $500 to around $70,000. Several components make up home golf simulators, and the variety of models available can make the total price higher or lower based on the buyer’s needs or preferences.
The turf mat is a good place to start. Cheaper ones are available, and can cost under $100, although they will wear out relatively fast. They may be good for beginners getting used to using a simulator, however. Higher quality mats will cost more and are usually heavy and expensive to ship, but they will do their job very well.
The projector is a central piece to home golf simulators. They can vary widely in price, from cheap models to expensive, high-end ones, and a more pricey one will likely have better performance and reliability, but may be out of some buyers’ price range. Whatever the model chosen, the lighting and size of the room, and the screen resolution desired, will all impact what model should be bought.
Home golf simulators also need netting and an impact screen. The projector places its image on the screen, and the golfer’s struck balls will hit this screen, which is designed to take the impact. Netting on the sides can help prevent golf balls from striking anything else in the room.
Finally, a computer and golf simulator software are needed. The simulator software can vary in content, and choosing the right one is purely personal preference. The computer, meanwhile, may be a laptop or PC that the owner already has, if it can run such a thing. Or, buying a dedicated computer or laptop for the simulator may be necessary, and consulting the vendor may be necessary to make sure that a given PC or laptop can run the simulator correctly.