Golf simulators continue to grow in popularity. With the drop in prices making it affordable to the average golfer, more people are setting up indoor simulators. This enables them to continue practicing during lockdowns and freezing winter months.
To have a great simulator experience you must have ample space to swing the longest club in your bag. Cognizance should be taken of the tallest person that will use the space.
When a ceiling is too low you may tend to make contact during your backswing. To overcome a height limitation you can restrict the length of the clubs you use. This will diminish the enjoyment of not being able to hit your driver.
However, a ceiling that is too high may cause problems when trying to mount a projector to display at the correct angle resulting in a picture that is squashed. Alternatively, you can build a frame to attach the projector to or purchase a projector that can be installed at floor level.
Although there is no exact answer to the question, and it varies between manufacturers, we will look at some of the guidelines that will ensure that you have an enjoyable experience.
What to think about
Factors to consider when determining the ceiling heigh include:
- The maximum height a golfer swings the longest club in their bag
- Your height and the height of the tallest player expected to use the simulator
- Your swing arc, flatter swings will require less height than upright swings
- Recommended height as provided by the various manufacturers
- Other components used in the setup of your golf simulator
- Whether the projector is floor mount or ceiling mount
Ensure that there is sufficient space between the top of your swing and the ceiling to prevent anxious moments during your backswing.
Ideally, the ceiling should be between 9 feet and 10 feet high. Any lower than that will place limitations on what you can do and achieve with your simulator.
Ceilings that are 8 feet to 8 ½ feet will constrain your backswing, limit your club selection, and increase the stress that you may hit the ceiling. You may get away with such a low ceiling if you have a flat swing path. A ceiling that is this low will reduce the fun factor but may be sufficient if you want a junior to get acquainted with the game.
A 9 feet high ceiling will suit the average golfer but may be limiting to taller golfers using a 47-inch or 48-inch driver shaft.
The optimal ceiling height for a free-flowing swing indoors is 10 feet.
A good way to determine whether the ceiling in your simulator room is high enough is by placing a protective cover on the ceiling before starting with a slow-motion swing to see whether it is high enough.
Other dimensions to keep in mind when setting up your golf simulator are the width and depth of your simulator room.
To provide sufficient space for those unexpected toey or deflected shots you should allow for a room that is at least 10 feet wide. Right-handed and left-handed golfers require different widths with left-handed golfers requiring more space between 12 and feet in width. For both left-handed and right-handed golfers to use the golf simulator without restriction, a room should be approximately 25 feet wide.
Some technology requires the ball to travel a reasonable distance, approximately 8 feet, to take accurate measurements to use in the highly complex algorithms that project the ball flight and other data points. It is highly advisable for a room to be at least 10 feet deep allowing for 2 feet behind the catching net/screen. Remember to leave space for the swing to flow freely which could increase the requirements up to 15 feet deep.
Before finalizing your purchase, it would be advisable to match the recommended ceiling height set by the manufacturer with the space that you have available.
Golf simulators are part of the golfing community and will continue to grow in popularity and functionality. As prices decrease, more average golfers will install them as much for entertainment as using them for game improvement.
Space is becoming premium and therefore houses tend to get smaller and lower.
To get value for the money you invest in a golf simulator make sure that you can swing all the clubs in your bag freely and unfettered.
Your thoughts on the use of indoor golf simulators will be highly appreciated in the comments section below.
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.