GOLF SIMULATOR SCREEN AND GOLF ENCLOSURE GUIDE FOR 2020
What do you need to build a golf simulator?
Now that you have made the investment into a home golf simulator , now its time to plan how you are going to set it up. We will walk you through the various steps to make sure you select the right golf enclosure and the right golf simulator screen.
1) CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION FOR YOUR GOLF SIMULATOR
How much space do I need for a golf simulator?
Most home golf simulators end up in a garage or basement. If you are lucky enough, you might have a bonus room that would work. The first step is to make sure you have enough ceiling height in order to swing a club. 9 ft is minimum and 10 ft is ideal. Also keep in mind that some sensors will raise you up 2-3 inches. Have some one slowly watch you swing a driver and see how close to the ceiling you get. Room width needs to be a minimum of 10 ft. 12 is better and 15 ft wide will allow you to setup for RH/LH players. If you only have 10 ft of width, you will be swinging more from the right side of the golf enclosure ( 3 ft from right and 7 ft from left ). If you can do 12 ft wide, then you are almost centered ( 5 ft from right and 7 ft from left ). 15 ft wide puts the ball right in the middle. Room depth for your indoor golf simulator needs to be 12 ft minimum. Most golfers will be hitting 8-10 ft from the golf screen. Window, doors, fans, garage door frames, circuit boxes and duct work can come into play setting up a home golf simulator. Take lots of pictures and even do a rough sketch of the room with dimensions. Most golf simulator companies will take your info and provide a quick layout.
2) HOW DO I BUILD A GOLF ENCLOSURE OR A GOLF CAGE?
Most golf cages and golf enclosures are built out of 3/4″ -1″ emt conduit that you can get at any home improvement store. The pipe comes in 10ft sections and is in the electrical dept. Cost ranges from 4 -10 dollars per 10 ft section. Most golf cage packages do not include the piping due to the high cost to ship a 10 ft section. 3/4 pipe works fine in 10-12 ft wide spans. 1″ works great in a 15 ft golf cage setup. The piping can be wrapped in pipe insulation that comes in 6 ft sections. Also available at all home improvement stores. This insulation just slides over the emt. The connectors that build the golf cages are typically provided in the golf cage kit. They consist of 2 way, 3 way, 4 way, T-connectors and splicers. The pipe just slides into the connectors and you tighten with pliers. Extremely simple to build these golf cages. Netting, panels and the golf impact screen attach to the golf frame with ball bungees or nylon ties. The connectors are not available at your home improvement store and have to be purchased thru your golf simulator supplier. A step up in golf cages are some of the 1.5 sq aluminum frames. These high end golf frames include all the components and the entire golf cage is covered and padded. Instead if using ball bungees, the sides and pads attach to the golf cage by wrapping around the frame and attaching with velcro. The golf impact screen is adjustable and padded on all 4 sides. This golf frame is strong enough to hold lights, sensors and the projector.
3) WHAT IS THE BEST GOLF IMPACT SCREEN ?
Golf impact screens are mostly made of a poly blend that combine durability with a nice smooth HD image . Some factors to consider when buying a golf impact screen are image quality, durability, and bounce back. If you are a recreational golfer who uses his golf simulator a few times a week, the supertex golf screen is best for you. It comes in 120″ widths, takes a real golf ball and has an outstanding HD image. We recommend a net, pad or panel behind the golf screen to help with durability and bounce back. 80% of golfers purchase this golf impact screen. Next up is a poly golf screen. More durable than the supertex, yet has a slight grain to it, so the image is not quite as crisp. We recommend this golf screen for garages/barns since it is more stain resistant. The top of the line golf impact screen is the poly spacer golf screen. It combines the durability of the poly with the HD image of the supertex. It actually has a cushioned layer that helps with bounce back. This is our premium golf impact screen. If you have a high club head speed, we recommend a pad behind any of our golf impact screens to help with bounce back
4) WHAT SIZE GOLF ENCLOSURE DO I NEED?
Once you have a room and golf screen picked out, you then have to decide what size golf enclosure you want. Typically widths are 10, 12 and 15 ft. Golf screen sizes on a 10 ft wide ranges between 108 x 108 to 120 x 108, 12 ft wide ranges between 132 x 108 and 144 x 108 and 15 ft range between 168 x 108 to 180 x 108. Sides and top are the most important factor in setting up a golf cage. If you are hitting 8-10 ft from the golf screen, you need a 10 ft deep golf cage to catch all errant shots. This is important if you have any kids or beginner golfers using your golf simulator. If you don’t need a 10 ft deep golf cage and want something less obtrusive, you can do 2,3,4,or 5 ft sides/top. The smaller sides and top work great on a golf enclosure that doubles as a home theater.
5) WHAT IS THE BEST PROJECTOR FOR A GOLF SIMULATOR?
Most indoor golf simulators use a short throw projector with at least 3000 lumens and 1080 p (1920×1080 px ) resolution. High lumens is required due to the size of the projected image and how far away the projector is from the golf screen. There are 3 ways to mount your projector , 1) on the ceiling, 2) on the golf cage frame and 3) on the floor.
Ceiling mount projectors are usually mounted 10-14 ft from the golf screen and are 9-2ft high. If you have a real high ceiling or a sloped ceiling, you may want to consider the other options. Ceiling mount projectors are behind the golfer at the center point of the golf screen . They do make projectors that can mount off center, but they can be real expensive for that feature. Golf frame mount projectors must be mounted on a golf cage with at least a 1-1.5″ frame. These are ideal for freestanding golf cages that are setup for trade shows and events. Another advantage is the ability to run all the cables along the side of the golf cage. No need to run cables into the ceiling. The last option to mount a projector is the floor mount. Make sure you use a projector box that has built in fans to keep the projector cool. If it gets too hit, it can damage the bulb. These projectors are usually ultra short throw and mount in the 5-7 ft from golf screen range. They typically are used for smaller golf screens. Before you purchase a projector, make sure you check the throw distance for the screen you are using. Some projectors have to go back 18-25 ft in order to fill the golf screen. Most projector manufacturers have a throw distance calculator. Check with your golf simulator company for more info.
6) WHAT IS THE BEST GOLF MAT?
This is one area you do not want to cut corners on . If you are hitting 100’s of balls into a golf simulator, you want the best mat. Most commercial grade mats are a combination of turf and rubber backing. The backing gives you the cushion to absorb those wedge shots. The turf allow you to feel like your playing outside. Most golf mats have a 3/4 inch rubber backing . The real feel mats have an extra thick layer of turf that allows you to use a real tee ( just like outside) . Make sure your golf mat is big enough to fully stand on with a driver. We use a 5 x 5 golf mat. 4 x 5 can be small. You don’t want your heels hanging off the sides when your teeing it up.
7) HOW MUCH DOES A GOLF SIMULATOR COST?
Its important to set a budget on how much you want to spend on a home golf simulator. Complete golf simulator packages with golf cage, golf screen, sensor, projector and computer start at around 2500 and go up to 25,000. Golf cages with golf screen start at 299, golf mats around 299, golf sensors/software range between 299 and 18k, projectors are 650 and up. Once you have the basic golf simulator setup, you can always upgrade the sensor down the road.
Now matter if your budget is 2000 or 20,000, its best to partner with a golf simulator company that has over 10 years experience in the home golf simulator industry. In addition, find a supplier that manufactures all of their own components. Some companies will use a 3rd party supplier for their golf enclosures and golf screens. This results in an additional markup. Checkout all of these golf simulator packages that can be customized to fit your exact specifications.