Choosing the Right Projector for Your Home Golf Simulator

Now more than ever before, it’s conceivable to have your own at-home golf simulator.  Up until a few years ago, a project like this would have cost you tens of thousands of dollars.  But thanks to rapid technological advances, golf simulators and launch monitors have become a lot more advanced, and there are a number of affordable options on the market.

But if you’re thinking about building your own golf simulator, you first need to realize it’s a highly involved process, and the oversight of any single detail can derail the whole project. 

One of the most common hiccups people make is not doing enough research about the type of projector they need for their golf simulator.  In this article, we’re going to tell you about everything you need to consider when making this important decision.

indoor golf design

Calculate Your Throw Distance/Ratio

If you’re like me, you probably didn’t know what the term throw distance meant when you first heard it.  It’s simply the distance from screen to the projector lens. 

To calculate the ratio, just divide the throw distance by the width of the image. 

Because the lens of your projector will be fairly close to the screen, you’ll want one with a short throw.

Match the Aspect Ratio of Your Projector to the Hitting Screen

What’s aspect ratio?  This simply refers to the shape of the image being projected.  You’re going to want the ratio of your screen image to match that of the ratio of the projector image.  When these two ratios match, the projected image will fill the entire screen.

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Consider Resolution

When it comes to resolution, everybody wants their image to be crystal clear.  While I certainly agree that being able to see your shot soar into the virtual distance makes the experience that much cooler, I’d advise against overspending on the sharpest resolution.

Here’s why.  The resolution your projector’s going to give you is only as good as your screen.  And even if you buy the best screen out there, it’s going to show some wear after you’ve hit thousands of shots into it. 

So, my advice is not to skimp on resolution, but also be aware that you don’t want to overspend on this feature either. 

The Brighter the Better

While you don’t need to go crazy when it comes to resolution, you’ll want a projector that’s going to give you as much brightness as possible. 

If your simulator space is fairly dark, you can get away with as few as 1,500 lumens.  But if you have a lot of ambient light, you’ll need at least 2,200 lumens.

Light Source

Part of the brightness conversation is choosing the right light source. 

Lamp projectors are the most cost-effective option.

Led projectors are a popular choice because they eliminate the cost and hassle of constantly having to replace bulbs and they’re smaller in size.  However, they aren’t especially known for their brightness. 

Laser projectors are the most expensive option, but come with the benefits of being low maintenance and providing excellent brightness. 

Don’t Buy the Cheap Stuff

Like anything in life, and especially golf, you get what you pay for when it comes to projectors.  And your projector is arguably the most important piece of equipment in your golf simulator setup.  Without it, your simulator is rendered useless. 

So, don’t buy a projector from a brand that’s less than reputable.  Stick to trusted names even though they might be a little more expensive. 

Extras

Once you’ve dialed in all the details discussed above, it’s time to consider some extra amenities you want if they fit into your budget. 

Do you want wireless connectivity?  What about built-in speakers or customized mounting options?

Conclusion

Your projector is the engine of your at-home golf simulator.  That’s why you need to do the necessary research to find the one that’s best for you, and perform all the necessary maintenance along the way.

Do you have your own golf simulator?  If so, we’d love to hear what projector you chose and why in the comments below.

 

Paul Liberatore
Paul Liberatore

As the Founder of Golfers Authority Paul Liberatore Esq. has spent the last 7+ years writing about the best golf equipment or instruction from the top golf instructors in the world. He has been a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated Golf and GolfWRX. After graduating with honors from Purdue University, he realized that he had a passion for the golf business and the law. When he's not practicing law, or creating golf content on YouTube, he can be found on his syndicated Behind the Golf Brand podcast both on Apple and Spotify talking with the most prolific leaders in the golf industry. 

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