Considering a Golf Simulator? Here Are the Pros and Cons

Considering a Golf Simulator? Here Are the Pros and Cons


Golf simulators used to be reserved for professionals and the ultra-wealthy. While the best programs and systems are still priced for that demographic, the options have increased dramatically as projector and video technology has advanced.


A golf simulator can still be a big investment, but it’s an increasingly affordable option for enthusiasts. If you’re debating whether to put one in your home, check out the pros and cons below before you make your final decision.

Pros of Golf Simulators

1) You can work on your game any time.

This is especially appealing for people who live in rainy or cold climates. If it’s winter in Michigan, for example, the only way to hit the links is to travel to somewhere warmer—a pricey prospect just for one game. A golf simulator lets you practice your swing regardless of the weather or time of day, no travel needed.


2) You get valuable feedback to improve your game.

Golf simulators use sensors to determine the angle, speed, and spin of the ball after your shot. This data is used to determine where and how far the ball would go on the course, but it can also be extrapolated to tell you things about your shot. This can be an excellent troubleshooting tool, especially if you have weaknesses in your long game you’ve been trying to work on.


3) It makes a great stress-relief tool.

You don’t always have to use the simulator as a training tool. Sometimes, using one can just be for fun. At the end of a long day, you might not be in the mood to haul your clubs around the course. Imagine if you could shoot a virtual round right in your house—no driving or lifting required.


4) They’re very easy to use.

If you can set up a home theater, you can get a golf simulator up and running. While different systems have different installation requirements, most are plug-and-play, with little to no calibration required.


5) You can practice new courses before you play them.

Planning a destination trip to St. Andrews or Pebble Beach? Most golf simulators can let you take a few practice runs before you go, with an array of famous courses pre-loaded into the available maps. You can even adjust the wind and weather conditions, letting you prepare for any eventuality during your vacation.


Cons of Golf Simulators

1) The accuracy varies depending on the simulator.

This is one situation where the adage “you get what you pay for” is definitely true. Top of the line golf simulators are highly accurate in measuring and analyzing your swing. Unfortunately, these high-end models can cost upwards of $10,000. The good news is, most casual players don’t need a simulator with spot-on accuracy. If you’re buying a golf simulator as a way to keep the rust off in the winter, a less accurate model should serve your needs just fine.


2) They take up a lot of space.

Most of the best projectors for golf simulators will need at least 8-10 feet of distance to get a large enough screen to play effectively. There’s also the matter of leaving enough space around the tee area to swing and if you have a wall large enough to accommodate the projector’s screen. If your vision is to put the simulator in your office at work, you’ll likely need to re-think your plan.


3) It’s not the same as actually golfing.

Simulation technology has improved a ton. Projectors now offer ultra-high 4K definition, which comes stunningly close to looking like the real world. Some high-end simulators even offer multi-surface or mechanized hitting pads that simulate a course’s terrain. Even so, it’s still a simulation, and won’t provide the same experience as being out on a golf course.


The bottom line

A golf simulator can be a fun and helpful tool for an enthusiast who wants to work on their game without going to the course. We hope the pros and cons above have helped you decide whether it’s a worthwhile investment for your life.



Karl Kennedy
Author of