Another key question that factors significantly into what golf simulator you will purchase in addition to the screen/enclosure and the projector that you will ultimately select.
What space is needed for a golf simulator? You will need a minimum of 10 feet wide by 8.5 feet in height. As far as depth you will need around 15 feet. This is often times the first question prior to pricing out the cost of a golf simulator. Most people dream of installing a golf simulator as it provides an opportunity to play golf 365 days a year and not have to worry about snow, rain or cold weather.
Picking the ideal space is a major first question that must be answered. Once you have the right space selected, you can then set your budget and figure out what best meets your expectations for your golf simulator. Having gone through this entire research process, we are here to provide the pros and cons of different spaces that you can use.
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The entry point for a golf simulator ranges from $500 to $10,000, but first one must have the space. There are several additional questions to consider as far as space and where is the right place to build this dream golf simulator that you want so badly. We will first review the ideal room size if you are building from complete scratch and then look at other options that provide flexibility. Questions and topics to consider when picking your space:
- Do you have space in your garage?
- Do you have space in your basement?
- Do you want to build a shed for your golf simulator?
- SkyTrak and Versatility
- ProTee and Restrictions
Why the Selection of a Space is So Vital for A Golf Simulator?
Many of you are considering making a sizable investment in a golf simulator. Ensuring that you have accurate measurements of your space and that you can comfortably swing a golf club will be of vital importance as you move forward in this process.
Every person has a different level of comfort when swinging a club indoors, but at the same time many people can quickly adjust. I have witness really small spaces to really large spaces and at the end of the day everyone has a quality time playing the game we all love so much. We are here to support you in your decisions and assist you in being able to play 365 days a year if you so desire.
Ideal Space Size for Golf Simulator
We know that the minimum space requirement is 10’ x 8.5’ x 15’, but what is the ideal space? We would recommend 16’ x 10’ x 25’. This would provide plenty of space for multiple players to be in your space and to move about safely and enjoy the game and competition.
If you are only going to have one or two people at a time you can easily feel comfortable in a 14’ wide space. My current space is 14’ wide with a wall on just 3 of the sides. This allows me to slightly offset the SkyTrak Launch Monitor. I currently have 12’ in ceiling height and never have to think about the ceiling even with my friends that are over 6 feet tall. As far as depth, I currently have 25 feet, which provides space for clubs and to sit while others are hitting.
The wider the screen with the 16” setup provides a rather impressive view and look of the course you are playing. The view at a course like Pebble Beach or a Desert based course look fantastic on a 16 foot wide screen. However, you don’t lose too much on the 14’ screen. Many of the vendors that sell the enclosures have 12’, 14’ and 16’ options. Oftentimes, you are able to customize by the ordering of the poles. So if your space is 13.5’ wide, you can customize it to max out that size. You want as much space as possible.
What are the Pros and Cons of Utilizing Extra Garage Space?
The garage can be an excellent place and one where your spouse will not be angry that you are taking up valuable real estate within the house. One thing to take into consideration is the insulation and how cold does it get in your garage. Currently, living in Ohio, I only need to use a space heater when the temperature drops below 25 degrees.
A couple of layers and a winter hat usually keeps me warm enough to enjoy the round of golf. In a place like Ohio, I typically use my space heater around 10-15 times per year. Keep in mind that I play around 25 days a month. One of the Pros of the garage space is most ceiling heights are plenty high and provide the opportunity to swing with the driver. Overall, the garage has been a viable option and is a comfortable place with plenty of space to play daily.
What are the Pros and Cons of Using Your Basement for a Golf Simulator?
The major concern with utilizing the basement for a golf simulator is that most basement heights will be too short to hit a driver. However, if you are currently in the process of building a house, a simple adjustment to digging out the floor could be a simple, but somewhat pricey adjustment to ensure you have the ceiling height.
One of the major pros is the temperature control that is available in a basement and the extra space that can be utilized to set up a bar and tv for additional entertainment during the round of golf when entertaining your buddies or family. If I were to ever build a house again, I would push hard to have an extra deep dig in a specific area of the basement. Building the ultimate man cave in the basement with a golf simulator as an essential piece would be amazing.
Is a Shed or Addition the Best Option?
I have heard of people building sheds or additions on the house. This will come down to your overall budget and increase it significantly if you are spending money building an additional space.
One of the major pros is the customization options with the ceiling height and other important factors that you can ensure are in place. You can truly set it up as needed and hopefully not have to make major adjustments just to make it work. Once you start adding different important pieces such as electrical and HVAC, your cost might become a major constraint in the process.
SkyTrak and Versatility with Space
The SkyTrak Launch Monitor provides additional versatility with the width requirements for your space. You can truly get away with only 10 feet of width if you are willing to be set up off center when hitting your shot.
With the SkyTrak Launch Monitor reading your ball, it doesn’t matter that you are off center and hitting closer into the edge of your screen. This allows the greatest flexibility if you have a limited space and both right handed and left handed golfers will be utilizing your space.
This would be true of the majority of launch monitors, but the SkyTrak is priced aggressively and provides an accurate read and is very realistic. This is a great option if you are looking to spend between $5,000 and $7,000.
Restrictions of the ProTee
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the ProTee system which relies on several cameras setup in both the horizontal and vertical positions to read the ball data. This requires a set position because of the time it take to set up the system for an accurate read.
Any golf launch monitor that sits to the side provides a greater level of flexibility when the width space is limited. The ProTee is a great option and they do provide a sketch of the ideal space for their golf simulator option.
Summary and Recommendations
Every situation is going to be unique as some will consider using the garage, a spare room, or building an addition or shed to help reach the dream of having a golf simulator at your residence. Ultimately, each person needs to decide which is the most viable option and be willing to attempt to customize to each position.
Having a clear budgeted amount will allow you to plan all of the essential parts of a golf simulator build. This initial stage can seem stressful and frustration, but I would recommend clearing out a space and slowly taking a club and seeing if a full swing works with both the width and the height of the selected space.
As I considered multiple options, I ended up cleaning out the 3rd bay or our garage, measuring and then taking slow practice swings and coming to the conclusion that the space would work. I am able to play golf, free of concern about hitting the ceiling, a side wall or anything else hanging from the ceiling. This is an essential mindset that one must have especially when swinging the driver. Each golfer much feel comfortable in order to maximize his or her full potential and get the most realistic experience in the golf simulator. The golf simulator dream can become reality with the right space. Be willing to think outside the box and find something that works, trust me, you won’t regret it!