Golf simulators are the answer for any player looking to work on their game regularly. These highly sophisticated golf training instruments allow golfers to play a full-eighteen hole match or practice their swing, even when long work schedules or bad weather do not allow enough time to go to a course.
What are golf simulators used for?
Almost fifty years after the first models came out, golf simulators have created a whole new way to play the sport. The technology behind them makes the playing experience extremely realistic and allows golfers to track progress in a way that is not possible when playing on a course.
Simulators consist of a turf mat, a sensor, and nets to stop the balls. In the case of both built-in simulators and free-standing ones, the net is replaced with a screen that allows the player to visualize the ball's trajectory thanks to the image displayed by a projector. The sensors are connected to a mobile application or a computer server that allows you to pick from a great variety of playing options. Thus, golfers can use these simulators to either challenge their friends in a multiplayer match or practice independently on a virtual driving range.
Things To Consider
When looking for a golf simulator, you'll want to consider the following:
- What type of golf simulator are you looking for?
- How much are you looking to spend on a golf simulator?
- What features are you looking for in a golf simulator?
- Where do you plan on setting up your golf simulator?
What are you looking for in a golf simulator?
- Adult use
- Youth use
Golf simulators can either be portable or attached to a surface. Outdoor golf and free-standing simulators can be carried around and used anywhere, while built-in ones require a larger space to be installed.
Easy to assemble and carry around, outdoor golf simulators allow golfers to play anywhere. Although they do not come with a screen to see the ball landing on a virtual course, these models are great training tools thanks to the web app connected to the sensor that tracks results. These simulators, sold by Skytrak for $3499, are also relatively affordable.
- Resistance of the net
- Offers limited playing options
- Not equipped with a screen
- Worst for multiplayer use
This type of golf simulator represents a great intermediate option between outdoor and built-in models. Free-standing simulators are provided with a screen and projector, but they can also be moved and reassembled anywhere else like the outdoor ones. Golfers can purchase Foresight free-standing simulators for $26,000 or pick a TruGolf one for $33,950. That being said, there are also far cheaper models that won't replicate the sophisticated performance of these top-tier versions. Lower ticket models can be found for about $200.
- Favorite among professional players
- Easy to move
- Can be reassembled on any surface
- Resistance of the screen
- Some do not come with the audio system
- Mat needs to be replaced frequently
Built-in golf simulators offer the most complete golfing experience away from a course. Most of these models are customizable, which means that golfers can adapt them to the space available in their homes or businesses. These simulators are great for multiplayer use and are listed by TruGolf with prices starting at $73,950.
- Provide the best experience
- Have the largest variety of playing options
- Cannot be moved
- Require a large space
- Complicated installation
Brands such as TruGolf, SkyTrak, and Foresight have become the main producers of golf simulators thanks to their advanced technologies. Golfers that choose their products can enjoy an extremely realistic playing experience that can substantially improve their skills.
Known for their great customer service, TruGolf offers some of the most popular free-standing and built-in simulators on the market. Purchasing a TruGolf product is a great experience as golfers are assisted in every step of the process. Free-standing simulators range in prices from $33,950 to $57,950, while built-in models are priced at $73,950.
SkyTrak is the leading brand in the production of outdoor golf simulators. These items are great in terms of quality-price ratio. For $3,499, golfers can get their hands on a SkyTrak outdoor simulator that only takes forty-five minutes to assemble. These simulators are connected to an app that gives instant ball performance data.
Foresight is one of the few brands that produce all three types of golf simulators. Their outdoor models are the most affordable option at $6,000, while their free-standing ones start at $26,000. Golfers that want to invest in a Foresight built-in product can completely customize their simulator with prices ranging from $50,000 to $60,000.
What kind of golf simulators does Tiger Woods use?
Considered by many as one of the greatest athletes ever, Tiger Woods uses golf simulators as a way to always work on his game. In multiple interviews, the five-time Masters champion has admitted that he prefers free-standing simulators. This kind of simulator, as he says, allows him to track results and prepare for tournaments regardless of the weather and time of the day. He also enjoys these models because of the ability to have them assembled everywhere he goes.
How much do golf simulators cost?
Golf simulators represent a great investment for any golfer who wants to play at any time without having to reach a golf course. Outdoor simulators are the cheapest option, with Skytrak selling them for $3499 since they are portable and do not have screens or projectors. Free-standing models are the intermediate option and range in price from $26,000 to $57,900, while built-in ones, which cannot be moved and reassembled, are listed at $73,950 by TruGolf. While the brands we discussed previously are the most reliable, other manufacturers produce significantly cheaper models for around $200-$2000. However, these simulators offer far fewer features and have been reviewed to be less accurate and more likely to experience issues.
Can you putt on a golf simulator?
Golf simulators are a great training instrument because they can be used to practice any kind of shot, including putting. Tiger Woods himself enjoys the ability to practice downhill, uphill, and even sidehill putting on his simulator. This is extremely realistic since most free-standing and built-in simulators are equipped with servers that replicate the playing experience in some of the top PGA tour courses. This way, golfers can improve their technique by adjusting their putting based on the different courses.