Want cutting edge technology at home? A golf simulator will help take your game to the next level
Best Golf Simulator
When it comes to equipment to help all golfers play better, we are all spoiled for choice.
One particular avenue many companies have gone down is through the development of different ways to practice, whether that be through the use of training aids or what we are going to talk about here, simulators.
Technology has made a huge difference to the way golf is both learnt and played in the 21st century, the best golf GPS watches being classic examples, and simulators have played a huge part too.
We can’t always get out on a golf course, whether that be due to reasons like weather and a lack of time. Covid-19 also meant a lot of people were trying to find the best golf simulator for them as well.
They are extremely handy, allowing golfers to get the perfect home or indoor setup to play in a different form for as little or as long as you like.
There are definitely some expensive options but they really are incredible technology and can be custom-built to your preference for the ultimate experience.
However, they don’t have to break the bank and you can compose your own with a budget launch monitor and practice net or a cool training aid.
To help you decide, we list the some of our favorite simulator designs on the market to help you get the most out of your game.
Best Golf Simulator
Foresight Sports Simulator
+ Tour level accuracy and analytics
+ Clear, built in display that provides accurate data fast
+ GCQuad is portable
– Need a lot of room
Foresight is one of the biggest players in the simulator market, with its hugely popular GCQuad launch monitor being used by many professionals out on tour.
You can bring the GCQuad (or the GC2 or GC2 HMT) to your own home with a Foresight Simulator package, where you can have a lower-priced Sim-In-A-Box or Net-Ready package or the Performance Simulator premium package.
You’ll get a launch monitor of your choice as well as a performance laptop and much more to ensure your home simulator setup is as perfect as you want it to be. You can also buy the launch monitor separately, including more affordable pre-owned options.
As you would expect with Foremost, the detail on offer here is outstanding as the GCQuad in particular gives precise club information such as path, lie angle, angle of attack and strike location.
With the addition of the home setup you can practice how you like, or play golf courses around the world as well as fun games.
Full Swing Golf Simulator
Tiger Woods’ simulator
+ Offers accurate and realistic ball flight graphics
+ Exceptional course-playing experience.
+ Wide range of features enhances versatility.
– Limited locations.
– Lots of space required.
It’s popular in the US among many leading PGA Tour players but has now made its way to the UK, with the first installation located at Silvermere Golf & Leisure.
We paid it a visit recently and tested out the top-of-the-range Pro Series, the same 16 foot widescreen option used by Tiger Woods himself.
The technology is as cutting edge as it gets with patented dual sensor technology that uses an overhead ion3 camera with line tracking infrared sensors. This allows the user to see ball flight, path and strike easily.
You can also play simulated golf courses, other games and then there’s the option to practice your penalties, rugby conversions or even your cricket bowling action along with being able to watch films or play video games like a cinema experience.
Tour proven performance
+ Accurate, fast and informative data
+ Can get this as a complete home set up
+ Huge feature list
– Need a tablet or phone to display data
Another huge name in the golf simulator world is Trackman.
Its devices are used by a number of the world’s best players and the new Trackman 4 – which also featured in our best golf launch monitors guide – offers up accurate data thanks to a patented multi-sensor technology that synchronizes an inbuilt camera with two bespoke designed ultra-sensitive radars.
It also has over 100 simulator courses, full putting analysis, club fitting software, swing video software, online tournaments, skills testing, kids games, on course practice… all from one device. No other launch monitor offers this extensive list of features.
You can buy a single launch monitor and also get a complete home setup as well.
Zen Green Stage
– Difficult to get hold of
As seen in the Sky Sports Golf Studio, the adjustable Zen Green Stage offers up the complete indoor golf experience for both playing and coaching.
It’s an incredible piece of technology that allows for adjustable sloping lies – and it can be used as both a putting green and a full-swing golf surface.
It is said to offer more movement, stability, accuracy, flexibility and connectivity than any other playing surface yet seen in golf. It can be controlled via Wi-Fi from your phone or tablet.
Ideal home set up option
+ Instant 3D shot analysis
– Home set up required a lot of space
Another model that challenges to be the best golf simulator is the SkyTrak.
SkyTrak offer launch monitors as well as a complete home setup for the golfer with space to dedicate to their game. The launch monitor delivers instant and real-time 3D shot analysis and ball-flight data, and the company offers a high-definition simulation package for the ultimate setup.
With this comprehensive setup you can also play different golf courses and other various games like longest drive and closest to the pin.
Versatile for the home
+ One of the best home simulator packages on the market
+ Can be used for golf and as a home cinema
– Need a dedicated room to set up properly
aboutGolf is another big player in the simulator market. A common package from the company will see you receive its 3Trak Software, a Patented 3Trak Launch Monitor, a high performance laptop and a one year subscription.
You can also get them custom built to fit your home perfectly and the ability to also use the technology as a home cinema is a huge bonus too for the movie buffs.
Huxley Golf Greens
Realistic Greens Simulation
+ Realistic golf experience
+ Customisable to anyone
– Quite a large investment
We maybe stretching the term best golf simulator here, but Huxley All-Weather Golf Greens are the ultimate home putting green for golf lovers.
They provide a first-class, professional-quality surface that is ideal for both short game practice and are low maintenance.
They will receive a full golf shot or chip realistically, and also provide a true ball roll for putts. You can basically design them yourself to fit any size and shape of garden, too.
Swing Caddie SC300 Portable Launch Monitor
Best budget simulator
+ Handheld with clear and quick data provided on screen
+ Great value for money
– Not as much data on offer as more expensive options
A cheaper alternative in the launch monitor market is the SC300 from Swing Caddie, which gives you precise numbers like carry distance, swing speed, ball speed and more.
It does this thanks to calibrating atmospheric pressure sensors and the latest in Doppler radar technology, and it also tells you your numbers thanks to voice assistance.
Tested up against the launch monitors that cost upwards of £10,000, the Swing Caddie SC300 performs within 1-3% of these far more expensive machines.
Pair this up with the best golf net and you have a very nice home simulator.
PuttOUT Putting Mat
Ideal for putting practice
+ Multitude of drills
+ Great for perfecting your putting stroke
– Not as good without investing in the full PuttOut Home Practice Studio
Complete with printed alignment guides, target points and distance markings, the mat simulates a medium-to-fast green.
It measures just under eight feet in length, has a stimp reading of 10 and rolls up neatly into a bag with a strap for easy transportation. The tacky surface on the underside ensures it stays in position and our testing has shown it be hard wearing and high quality.
It’s easily one of the best golf training aids and a great way to improve your putting stroke and work on drills in the comfort of your own home – and it’s especially good paired with the PuttOUT tool, gate and mirror.
What to consider when buying a simulator
As you would expect, a golf simulator can be a significant investment so before you go pulling the trigger, be wary of some of the below factors.
Space – The first thing to think about is how much space you have and how big the simulator will be. Most of the time, the more expensive the simulator, the more room it will take up because the full screen, enclosure and turf/mat will require significant space.
Importantly, whatever simulator you go for, you need enough space for the simulator setup and to swing your driver unimpeded because it is the longest club in the bag.
You need to measure the width, length and height of your space and compare it to the minimum space requirements of every golf simulator you look at.
Accuracy – Next up you have to think about how accurate you want your simulator to be. Some are better than others, obviously the premium models at the top of this page are the best in this regard but you can also get more budget-friendly models with good accuracy too.
Features – Next up think about how many features you want your simulator to have. Are you just going to use it for golf practice? If so a cheaper model will suit you best whereas if you want more, then some designs offer the opportunity to play golf courses, GPS functioanlity, or even change the setup into a home entertainment system, or cinema.
Portability – If you don’t have a lot of space, or you don’t want a specific room for your simulator, you might be better off just going for a good launch monitor that you can take to range or wherever you practice. The question is do you want to have a dedicated place where your simulator will be located, or will there be times you want to move it?
If the answer is yes to the former question then a larger simulator will work well for you.
Whereas if you plan to move your simulator around often, you may not want a full simulator setup with screen and projector unless it’s marketed as retractable.
Price – This is the big one. Not everyone can afford the big models above, some of which are in the thousands of dollars price point. As such above we have tried to include products that help simulate the golfing experience, for a variety of price points but it should be noted, with full golf simulators you often get what you pay for in terms of performance and quality.
As such if you can afford the top models, it is worth the money and effort to work out which model you want.
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