Is a Golf Simulator Worth It?

If you’ve started playing golf, then you must have realized by now that it’s not just about hitting the balls with a club.

Golf is a vast game that requires you to learn specific techniques and, more importantly, to know your game. 

This can only be accomplished by practice and what better way to do it than having a practice facility at your home?

Golf simulators are built for that purpose, but for an average golfer, are they worth the hype? 

Let’s find out.

How Does a Golf Simulator Affect Your Game?

A golf simulator brings you many perks that help you in improving your game, making it a great teaching tool. Let’s break it down and see how it affects your game.

Practice With the Best

Golf simulators are equipped with high-tech responsive systems and software that provide wonderful gameplay, making every shot as good as real. 

The real-time feedback on your shots helps you to work on your swing motion, club head speed, and launch angle.

You can play different modes to bring variety to your practice sessions and focus on every part of your game.

Playing through various golf courses and climate conditions improves your competency to play golf in every scenario.

Improve Through Stats

The best thing a golf simulator system provides is statistics.

You can access every detail, including ball speed, club speed, clubface angle, club patch, launch angle, carry distance, and much more, to analyze your shots.

The analytical history provided by a golf simulator system can be used to amp up your game through a side-by-side comparison of your previous and current gameplay. 

Setting targets for the future and achieving them through constant practice can make a huge difference to your game. 

Learn Through Competition

Competition is a good way to test your skills, and the golf simulator system brings that to you! 

You can play with your friends or participate in online tournaments to compete with different golfers across the world at various difficulty levels. 

If you want to play through challenging circumstances, you can go for the challenge mode or design a custom course according to your needs. 

Build a Better Short Game 

The short game is a critical part of golf, and every golfer struggles to master it because it requires a specific ability and skill set. 

Golf simulator systems can put you one step ahead by developing those skills through various practice drills.

You can also go for mini-games that include putting and chipping to have some fun along with practice. 

How Accurate Is a Golf Simulator? 

Most golf simulator systems claim to be highly accurate, but I’d prefer to do an accuracy analysis to check the legitimacy of this word. 

Watch this YouTube video from Handicap Golf that does an accuracy test of the Skytrak golf simulator:

SkyTrak’s performance in a virtual environment compared to the real golf course game was almost the same!

As you can see from the video, the golf simulator was very responsive to the shots. The simulation was quick and smooth, and there was no lag in the gameplay. 

The trajectory and direction were not 100% accurate, and the numbers were also not exact, but I can safely say that the overall data was more than 90% close to the actual.

So if you ask me to rate it out of 10 in terms of accuracy, I’ll give it 9. 

Do Pros Use a Golf Simulator?

A very straightforward answer to this is yes, pros use it too! 

Almost every PGA golfer uses a golf simulator as a permanent practice tool for many reasons, including the ability to play different climate conditions and plenty of PGA golf courses and to access the statistics for a better output. 

Don’t believe me? Watch Gary Woodland’s Full Swing Simulator system in this YouTube video by Full Swing Golf:

Many pro coaches and teachers also use golf simulator systems for delivering golf lessons to their students.

For instance, Michael Breed, 2012 PGA national teacher, uses the FlightScope X simulator for this purpose: 

I’ve researched everything that’s out there, and the features and accuracy that the X2 offers gives me the very best in launch monitor technology allowing my students to practice better towards their ultimate improvement.

Michael Breed

Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Jordan Speith, and many other pros also use golf simulators of their choice, which establishes the fact that it’s a valuable investment for a golfer. 

Is a Golf Simulator Worth Your Money?

For many golfers, the prime question is whether a golf simulator is worth their money or not. Well, that entirely depends on your needs. 

Golf simulators come in different categories, starting from entry-level to top-level, that can cost you from $400 all the way up to $50,000. 

In addition to this, you’ll have to pay for fitting costs and a powerful PC for running the simulator software.

All these charges sum up to a big cost, and investing this much money won’t be fruitful unless you’re not serious about your golf game.

If you’re afraid to spend money on it, I’ll recommend you to try it at your nearest golf course because once you step on it, you’ll have your answer. 

Where Do I Place My Golf Simulator? 

Golf simulators are made to give maximum golfing experience in minimum space, but make sure that you have enough room where you can easily swing your club. 

The minimum room dimensions required for setting up Vista 8 are 15′ W x 20′ D x 10′ H, which is a small-size simulator system with a basic configuration.

To have the full-fledged experience of a golf simulator with a premium configuration like Full Swing Pro or TruFlight 2, you need to go for 17′ W x 24′ D x 10′ H.

You can set it up in your garage or basement depending on the availability of space, and if you feel the need for custom fittings, golf simulator companies also offer that.

Pro tip: Always go for some extra inches than the recommended dimension to avoid problems while fitting your simulator system. 

This YouTube video by Carl’s Place can help you in choosing the right enclosure size for your space:

Consider extra measurements like height, length and width for fitting, buffer space, lights, and sensors! 

Which Golf Simulator Do You Need?

Selecting the best golf simulator system can be difficult, especially with the vast options available in the market. 

To end the confusion, I narrowed it down to three different categories depending on your requirements and budget because these two are the most important factors to consider when it comes to buying. 

If you’re serious about golf and money is not a problem, you should opt for a top-level golf simulator like TruFlight 2 or Full Swing Pro Series. They are equipped with the most modern technology and are mostly used by professionals. 

For an average golfer who wants a good teaching tool for a reasonable price, mid-level simulator systems like TruGolf Vista 12 will do great. You can use them for regular practice and coaching sessions to boost your game. 

Those who are new to golf simulators should start with entry-level simulators like SkyTrak or Vista 8. With all the basic features, these golf simulator systems are enough to satisfy you if you are up for leisure golfing or want to have some fun with friends.

You can make your best purchase by evaluating your situation and picking from the options that fall into the green zone. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What equipment is required for a golf simulator?

A golf simulator requires a launch monitor, a golf simulator screen, a golf mat, a computer, and a projector screen. You can also use golf nets with a golf simulator system. 

How long does it take to play 18-holes on a golf simulator?

Typically, a single player takes one hour to complete an 18-hole round of golf, but you can add up to four players if you want to finish your round in less time.

Do you wear golf shoes at a golf simulator?

Yes! You should always wear golf shoes at the golf simulator because it gives you extra grip and helps in playing better full swings. Another reason for wearing golf shoes is that you’ll be wearing the same shoes when you’re out on the course.

Conclusion 

I’m sure that if you’ve come this far, you’ve developed enough understanding of golf simulator systems to decide for yourself. 

For a golfer who can’t hit the driving range, it’s a great opportunity to practice from the comfort of your home. And if we talk about the price, there are enough available choices to fit everybody’s pocket. 

Based on these facts, I can safely say that a golf simulator is worth it!

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