There are loads of tools & ways to get better at golf, each with their own characteristics, advantages & disadvantages.
One of the most expensive golf improvement tools is the golf simulator. Just about everyone wants a golf simulator, so you may wonder: How much do golf simulators cost?
In this article, we will tell you exactly how much golf simulators cost.
How Much Do Golf Simulators Cost?
Golf Simulators typically cost, on average, around 5000$ to install in your home. Prices for golf simulators tend to range between 100$ and 75,000$, depending on the quality, realism & comfort of the simulation you want to experience.
Golf simulators come in all sorts of shapes and qualities, which are elements that effect a golf simulator’s price greatly.
You can find rudimentary golf simulators for only a couple hundred dollars. On the other hand, you can go all out like Donald Trump, and spend 50,000$ or more on a golf simulator to put in a White House.
State-of-the-art golf simulators can actually reach prices exceeding 75,000$, and will even feature curved screens and a huge fake turf mat. These pricey golf simulators offer incomparable experiences, bringing both realism and convenience that almost exceeds real life.
The average price of a decent golf simulator is around 5000$, including components and installation.
Types of Golf Simulators
There are 3 main types of golf simulators:
1) Radar-based golf simulators: simulators that use radar technology utilize the Doppler effect to calculate the golf ball’s trajectory. This technology is similar to that used in speed radars police officers use to measure car speed.
2) Photometric-based golf simulators: simulators that use photometric technology deploy high speed cameras that take thousands of pictures of the golf ball per second.
These images are then sent to the processing unit (usually a computer) to be analyzed thanks to computer vision technology. Calculations are made from the different images in a split second in order to determine the speed and trajectory of the golf ball.
3) Infrared-based golf simulators: simulators that use infrared technology measure the club head speed and trajectory while swinging. Thanks to this club head focus, the use of a real golf ball is not required.
This means you could use a foam ball instead of a real golf ball to protect your walls, or to buy a cheaper simulator screen that is less impact resistant.
Prices of Individual Golf Simulator Parts
Golf simulators typically use a launch monitor system to detect the flight path, speed and spin of the balls you shoot at a simulator screen.
The higher the quality of the launch monitor, the more golf ball metrics the launch monitor will acquire. Acquiring more metrics means the simulation software will have more data to give you a more realistic simulation gameplay.
A launch monitor tends to range in price from 250$ to 10,000$. On average, launch monitors for golf simulators will cost around 3000-4000$ for a good one.
Simulation software is required in a golf simulator because it is what is displayed on the simulation screen. Simulation software accepts the golf ball metrics acquired by the launch monitor and uses them to show you the result of your shot on screen.
There are multiple different simulation software available on the market, and they come with different features and prices. It is important to make sure your golf simulation software is compatible with your launch monitor.
A golf simulator’s simulation software determines the best graphics you can see on screen, how well the acquired ball metrics are transferred to the simulation, which golf courses you can play on, and more.
A very well known simulation software is The Golf Club 2019, available for PC only. It costs about 500-1000$ depending on where you buy it.
In exchange, you gain virtual access to over 170,000 golf courses, high detail terrain data, optimized dynamic shadows, improved ball physics, and more.
Processing Unit or Computer
Unfortunately, a golf simulator’s simulation software cannot run on a toaster, so you will need a processing unit to run the software and connect to your screen or projector.
A processing unit is a piece of electronics that runs your simulation software and makes the calculations required to take your launch monitor’s acquired metrics and to translate them into a virtual shot on the virtual golf course in the simulation.
For golf simulators, the most common processing unit used is a computer, but you can sometimes use a tablet instead.
The computer you run the software on better be good if you want it to run the simulation software smoothly. The more performant the computer is, the better experience you will have on your simulator.
In fact, if your computer is too weak, your simulation software will skip frames rather than provide smooth animations. In addition, weaker computers will not be able to provide realistic graphics. Instead, weak computers will provide blurry images on screen.
We highly recommend a more powerful computer for your golf simulator, such as a gaming computer, fully equipped with a graphics card. The Alienware Aurora R14 is a great one-stop shop high performance gaming computer that will give you great graphics and simulation smoothness:
Computer prices may be higher since the pandemic due to materials and shipping shortages. The price of a good computer for a golf simulator can easily be in the multi-thousands.
Fake Turf Mat
You are probably not going to want to shoot golf balls directly off your marble floor, so you will need a fake turf mat for your simulator.
A fake turf mat is basically a mat with fake turf on it. It will give you a much more realistic golf turf feel, in addition to protecting your floor.
The price of a fake turf mat can vary greatly according to its size and quality. You can expect to find fake turf mats between 50$ and 1500$ in price.
You should be able to find a decent fake turf mat for a couple hundred dollar or less.
We recommend the GoSports 5’ x 4’ Fake Turf Mat PRO as your simulator mat, illustrated below:
It is a great size and trusted by many in the industry. To preserve its integrity, it comes with 3 rubber tees that can be reused indefinitely instead of digging a wooden tee into your mat.
The GoSports 5’ x 4’ Fake Turf Mat PRO uses commercial grade synthetic turf that feels realistic, and it is very durable. The bottom of the turf mat is layered with thick foam, which protects your floor and eliminates slipping.
The GoSports 5’ x 4’ Fake Turf Mat PRO is great for any golf simulator.
Golf Net or Enclosure
There are two types of golf simulator configurations when it comes to nets or enclosures: a simulator with a net, or with an impact-resistant screen.
Golf simulators with nets are less pleasant visually because the net is placed in front of the television or projector screen to protect it. The net is between you and the screen, partially blocking your vision with a black mesh.
This configuration does not feel realistic, especially since the golf ball never actually hits the simulation screen.
However, if you buy an impact-resistant projector screen, you do not need a net in front of the screen. This option is more expensive typically, but so much more visually pleasing and unobstructive.
In addition to nets, you can buy some enclosures, either in netting, foam, or other protective materials, that wrap around the contour of your screen to protect your furniture. These enclosures can be very useful for preventing the golf ball from flying everywhere dangerously.
Depending on the option you choose, you should be able to find something decent in the 200$ to 3000$ range.
You will need a screen to display the visuals coming from the simulation software. Without it, you will not be able to see the result of your shots.
One item you can use as a simulation screen is a big television screen, paired with a net in front of it so that you do not shoot the ball into your screen.
A better, more realistic and pleasant option is to use an impact-resistant projector screen. You can directly shoot a golf ball at this screen, thus nullifying the use of a net in front of it.
With an impact-resistant screen, there will be no visual obstructions, and your golf ball will actually hit the screen, which increases the perception of realism.
A simulation screen can cost anywhere from 100$ to 5000$.
If you do not use a television to display the visuals from your simulation software, you will use a projector screen.
To display images on a projector screen, you need a projector to project.
Projectors, like almost everything else, come in various qualities. Different projectors also generate more or less brightness. A higher brightness is typically more desirable because it gives a clearer image.
Projector prices can very from around 100$ to 1500$.
A golf simulator can take up significant space in your house, and if you do not have enough, you may need to build a new room!
Building a new room annexed to your house can be quite pricey. On average, depending on the room dimensions, it can cost 20,000$ to 75,000$ to add a room to your house.
Despite being expensive, adding a new room to your home can ensure you will have the best possible custom configuration for your simulator.
There you go! After reading this article, you have discovered how much golf simulators cost.
This knowledge will be especially useful to you if you are buying a golf simulator second hand! Always pay lower than retail!
Would you like to own a golf simulator? How would a golf simulator help your game? Let us know in the comments down below!