It’s every golfer’s dream to have their own in-home golf simulator. The truth is, you can’t always make it to the course or driving range to play or practice. And having the ability to make some swings whenever you feel like it sounds pretty darn cool if you ask me.
The truth is that up until just a few years ago, building your own golf simulator was something that would have cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
However, there’s been a recent boom in launch monitor technology and golf software that makes this dream project not only possible, but much more affordable. In fact, it’s now conceivable to build your customized simulator, even if you’re on a budget.
Here’s how. . .
You Need Space
Building your own customized at-home golf simulator is an involved process that isn’t going to come together overnight. In fact, there are a lot of steps involved, and each one needs to be carefully considered.
The first is making sure you have enough space to build a simulator. If you live in a townhouse with a spouse and a couple of kids, chances are you’re still a few years away.
However, if you have a space you can turn into a man cave, a garage, basement, or spare bedroom, the first step you need to undertake is measuring its dimensions. Remember, you’re going to need enough floor-to-ceiling room to not only make a full swing, but for a golf ball to travel into a net or screen.
Once you’ve determined you have enough vertical room, you need to make sure you have enough length and width. When taking these measurements, keep in mind that you’re going to need room not only to make a swing, but also for the ball to travel and your launch monitor to pick up all the key data points before the ball hits the net.
Launch Monitor and Software
This consideration is going to eat up the majority of your budget, so make sure you know how much money you can afford to spend before you get started.
Golf simulator launch monitors and software can cost as little as $500 and as much as $10,000 or more. In this regard, you get what you pay for. Just keep that in mind and leave yourself enough room so you can complete the project.For a complete guide of which launch monitor and software combos you might want to consider, visit our tech reviews page.
Impact Screen and Enclosure
So, you’ve ordered the launch monitor and software package that’s going to best suit your needs. While it’s on its way, use this time to consider what you’re going to do about your impact screen and enclosure.
This is where the customization of your setup can really begin. You get to choose what your enclosure is going to look like, and what kind of impact screen you’re going to utilize.
If it’s within your budget, maybe you want to have a dark enclosure with custom lighting that highlights the hitting area, but keeps light away from the impact screen so you have a crystal clear view. Or maybe you want room for a club rack and bar where you can set your favorite on-course beverage. When it comes to customization of your enclosure, it’s completely up to you and what your budget allows.
Concerning a hitting screen, I suggest allocating some of your funds for a quality one. You want one that’s going to stand up to thousands of balls being hit into it. After all, it’s here that you’re going to watch the flight of your shots, see the contours of the courses you’re playing, and read all your shot data.
Accessories and Extras
Now that you’ve got your launch monitor, software, and enclosure in place, it’s time to put the finishing touches on your customized golf simulator space. This is where our creative side and attention to detail can really come through.
What kind of wall décor do you want? Something that pays homage to the game’s greats and history? Maybe some flags you’ve collected from iconic courses? Memorabilia from your alma mater?
And what about seating? Is the modern look of bar stools what you’re after? Or would you rather have a couple of recliners where you and the boys can kick back and watch the game on Sunday in between rounds?
More than any aspect of this project, the final step of adding extras and accessories is where you can put your fingerprint on a space that’s truly yours.
Having your own customized at-home golf simulator used to be a pipe a dream. It’s not anymore thanks to the development of user-friendly, affordable launch monitor and software packages that the everyman can use.
With the right planning, a little know-how, and some research ahead of time, building your own customized home golf simulator is more realizable than you probably think.