- How Much Does A Golf Simulator Cost?
- Cost Determining Factors
- Entry-Level Affordable Golf Simulators
- Mid-Level Golf Simulators
- Top-End Golf Simulators
Since the prices of simulators vary considerably due to the quality and features that each offers, you can start small and build up to a top-end package. Or, if your budget allows, you can always start with the top-of-the-range product.
This piece will discuss the critical components required for a golf simulator and identify those that are compatible across brands. The total cost is set for most golf simulator packages but we will provide you with information on the cost of the individual components.
How Much Does A Golf Simulator Cost?
The price range for a golf simulator ranges from as little as $800 to more than $100,000 depending on the quality and features that are included in the package. We will divide the golf simulators into 3 price ranges identifying the best in every category.
- The entry-level affordable tier includes golf simulators that range between $799 – $5,000. They often make use of a catching net and TV as opposed to a screen and projector in the higher-level models. Purchasing a low-cost projector and screen will disappoint you in the long run and make you wish you waited until you could afford it. Most people regret purchasing cheap projectors and impact screens so please do not do that. If you want a projector and screen, we recommend you look at the options in the next price tier.
- The mid-level golf simulators range between $5,000 – $10,000 and will include a quality projector and screen with a good quality launch monitor. The quality of the screen and projector leads to an increase in the prices. The display and accuracy quality is noticeable. Mid-level golf simulators often include an enclosure to place the screen in.
- The top-end high quality, high feature premium golf simulators range from $10,000 upwards. You will get a full package complete with computers and an authentic immersive experience. It will provide loads of fun for you and the family and you can even partake in international competitions.
Cost Determining Factors
Launch Monitor Cost – $299 to $30,000+
A vital component in the golf simulator setup is the launch monitor. The launch monitor delivers a variety of data points to trace your swing, contact data, and ball flight. You will find the budget models only provide basic data points and the higher-end devices will display the ball trajectory on the screen which is ideal for golf simulators.
The launch monitor can acquire data from the beginning of your backswing, through to the conclusion. It will deliver valuable specifics of what transpires at impact between the clubhead and the golf ball. Launch monitors are usually positioned at floor height near the golfer for exact readings at impact
Data points measured by launch monitors vary but should include ball data and swing data.
Our top recommendations include:
- SkyTrak golf launch monitor was voted Best Value Golf Simulator for 2017, 2018, and 2019 and it starts at $1,995
- Rapsodo MLM launch monitor was voted as the Best Outdoor Golf Launch Monitor Under $500
- Mevo Flightscope Launch Monitor sells for $500
- GC2 performs better than SkyTrak in an outdoor environment and rapid data calculation starts at $5,400
Golf Simulator Software Costs – $0 to $3,000
Most golf simulator packages include their basic software into the purchase price, but often there are upgrades or subscriptions available at additional costs. It is not a given that the software will be compatible with all the launch monitors therefore it is recommended that you check the compatibility before you conclude the purchase.
It is advisable to purchase the software on a subscription basis to ensure that you get regular updates to the software and add functionality or courses that are added. Subscription for the first year is often included in the purchase price.
The top-rated software available on the market today is:
- The Golf Club 2019 is only compatible with PC’s and not with Mac. The retail price is approximately $479 per year subscription or $895 for outright purchase.
- World Golf Tour (WGT) is only compatible with iOS and iPad with a subscription price of $199 per year
- E6 by TruGolf is only compatible with PC’s and one of the most used software packages by the top-end golf simulator packages and is available at $299 per year subscription or $1800 for outright purchase.
- Foresight Sports golf simulators work best on FSX Software that is available at approximately $3,000.
Golf Hitting Mat – $300 to $1,000
Hitting mats are the surface area that you place your ball on for every shot and can increase the overall cost between $300-$1,000. We would advise steering away from the cheap and lower quality materials if you intend to use it regularly. Instead, invest in a premium hitting mat that will provide you with a natural simulation of the surface that you will encounter on the golf course.
This will provide a more authentic feel and provide more steadiness and less opportunity for injuring yourself.
High-end simulator packages offer multi-surface golf hitting mats that include fairway, rough, and sand. As technology grows, so does the quality of the hitting mats. There are hitting mats available that will simulate slopes on the course and tee our ball up for you at the perfect height every time
Our top golf mat recommendations are:
- Callaway Launch Zone Hitting Mat
- Rukket Tri-Turf Golf Hitting Mat
- Country Club Elite Real Feel
- True Strike Hitting Mats
- Fiberbuilt Golf Mat – 7 x 4
Golf Net or Screen Enclosure – $400 to $4,000
Including a quality projector and contact, the screen will enhance your simulator tremendously and provide an authentic real-life experience.
As explained earlier in this piece, the lower end golf simulators make use of a hitting net and linking the launch monitor to your TV. This is the least expensive route to go but does not provide the quality experience you desire. We will recommend that you look at a net that returns your ball to your feet if you decide on this route.
The more desirable way to go is to include a screen and projector. This may increase the cost but will enhance the experience tremendously. The combination of the projector and screen is normally included in the package price of golf simulators but can be purchased separately.
For individual purchase, it would be interesting to look at the following:
- V2 Golf Net Return Pro Series Screen
- SwingBay Golf Simulator Enclosure developed Rain or Shine Golf
Golf Simulator Projector – $300 to $7,000
The projector is key for a top-quality high definition display of the golf course and ball trajectory. The cost and quality vary tremendously but the top-end projectors will provide you with unequaled experience and it will feel and sound like you are out in nature walking on the golf course.
Best projectors for golf simulators
- Optoma HD27 home theatre projector (3200 Lumens, 1080p)
- BenQ HT2150ST 1080P short-throw projector (2200 Lumens, 1080p)
- ViewSonic 4K projector (3500 Lumens, 3840 x 2160p)
- Optoma EH200ST Full 3D (3000 Lumens, 1080p)
- BenQ WXGA short-throw projector (3200 Lumens, 1080p)
To run the software effectively you may have to acquire a computer although most if the top-end packages already include the computer hardware in the purchase price.
If it is not included a look at purchasing
- A gaming PCs that would sell for approximately $700
- Alternatively, you can purchase an iPad for iOS compatible systems at approximately $700
- HDMI Cables to connect your device and projector a minimal cost
Entry-Level Affordable Golf Simulators
You can start in this category by buying individual components and linking them together but it will be highly recommended that you look at complete packages as this will ensure that you have a workable solution and a one-stop solution provider should you encounter any problems.
You may not get a quality projector if any at all, or a screen but it will start you on your way to bigger and better solutions down the road.
The most prominent packages in this category include:
1. OptiShot 2 Home Golf Simulator Package
This is a great solution and it includes the OptiShot 2 software solution, a net enclosure, and a hitting mat. Affordability is key and it provides everything required to practice your golf swing while having fun with friends and family.
2. SkyTrak Budget Golf Simulator Package
The SkyTrak budget option is another affordable package that provides a comprehensive package including the screen, projector, net enclosure, mat, and high-quality launch monitor.
3. SkyTrak Practice Golf Simulator Package
This is a more affordable option providing you with accurate tracking at a reduced price since it excludes the screen and projector. Included in the package is a golf hitting mat and a net that returns the balls to you after impact. It is straightforward to set up and this can be done in less than 30 minutes.
Mid-Level Golf Simulators
Once you have outgrown the golfing net and TV experience or your budget caters for a more advanced system you can move into the mid-level market.
This is a highly contested market as many of the equipment manufacturers have worked for many years to make golf simulators affordable without sacrificing too much of the quality experience offered by the top-end golf simulators.
Accuracy of the data fed back is high and the number of data points measured is acceptable to provide you with the information that you need to improve on your golf.
The inclusion of the projector and screen in this level makes a big difference since you can now display a golf course or practice ground in the background while hitting golf balls at it and display the data on the screen.
You may not have the authentic feeling that is provided by the top-end golf simulators, but you will be able to have fun and improve your swing at the same time. All of this while you are indoors and protected from the bad weather.
Some of the most prominent golf simulators in this category are:
1. SkyTrak HomeCourse Retractable Golf Simulator Package
This is an excellent golf simulator available through Rain or Shine Golf and it provides you with a full enclosure that you can retract after you have completed your session to open up space.
This can be done by one click of a button. This is an excellent (and affordable) simulator package with a full enclosure and screen. It is arguably one of the best sources for golf simulator equipment out there today.
2. TruGolf Vista 8 Golf Simulator
This is the entry-level package into the TruGolf range. The price of the Vista 8 is right at the top-end of the category and provides top-end features and functions. High definition images displayed on the tensioned screen that removes all creases provide a magnificent view and excellent experience.
3. OptiShot 2 Golf-In-A-Box Pro
This is the top package in the Golf-In-A-Box range and competes well on price when compared to golf simulators that provide a similar golfing experience. It offers a comprehensive package inclusive of the enclosure, screen, and projector.
Accuracy of data will enhance your golfing experience and allow you to improve your game even in the toughest weather conditions.
Top-End Golf Simulators
Reaching the top-end golf simulators will enable you to experience indoor golfing in such detail that you may feel that you are in nature walking the golf course.
The quality of the equipment, software, and imagery is exceptional, and may new technologies are built into the best golf simulators.
For an authentic experience, some golf simulators provide for different surfaces, sloping and undulating greens to make the game more realistic, exciting, and challenging.
If budget is not an issue you can easily spend up to $100,000 on the best packages which will provide fun for the family and friends while you can even compete in tournaments at no extra cost.
Some of the most prominent golf simulators in this category are:
Full Swing systems apply their unique technology and they are the first manufacturer to combine infrared lightwave technology and high-speed cameras for an authentic-looking ball golf game.
The Virtual Green floor makes use of complex patented technology facilitating the golfer to alter the slope and contours on the putting green for a more realistic experience. The 36 challenging putting surface settings are adjustable via the high definition touchscreen.
2. High Definition Golf
HD Golf offers one of the most authentic experiences that you can get on a simulator. It is easy to set up and takedown and provides extremely accurate data points.
Computer Vision Technology (CVT) provides authentic photo capabilities to capture the essence of the highly renowned golf courses in high definition. The authentic atmosphere is built from high-resolution images and satellite data.
TrackMan is possibly the highest-rated launch monitor that has traversed into the launch monitor space. You can build your system as your budget allows.
GOLFZON is a popular brand based in Asia and they deliver precise data through the use of the latest technology.
There are presently 6,200 GOLFZON sites on the internet in more than 62 countries connecting 30,000 simulators where people play roughly 150,000 rounds of golf per day and 365 competitions using the GOLFZON Live Festival software.
5. TRUGOLF Vista 12
TruGolf is a very highly regarded player in the golf simulators arena and they have a team of extremely revered designers that create the best-golfing experience for you. The TruGolf Vista 12 is a leader in the TruGolf range that provides high-definition images and superior swing analysis.
Selecting the right package for you will be determined by your willingness to spend (according to your budget) and the functionality that you want. Golf simulators will provide a tremendous amount of fun, irrespective of the package that you decide on.
Packages have become more affordable as manufacturers move into the lower end of the market and the quality of the data points is very high.
There are many components included in a comprehensive setup and it is advisable to purchase a package deal rather than spending time and money and complete the setup through trial and error.
Our winner in the entry-level category is the SkyTrak Budget Golf Simulator Package since it provides all the components required for setting up a golf simulator at an extremely affordable price.
The mid-level category winner is the TruGolf Vista 8 golf simulator as it provides many of the top-end features and quality and an authentic experience.
The top-end winner is the Full Swing golf simulator for the diversity that it offers, and the technology incorporated into the system
We sincerely hope that this piece has provided you with an insight into the diverse world of golf simulators and what is available. Set your budget and stick to it. Happy golfing with your simulator!!
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.