Golf Simulator on a Budget
Golf Simulators are not cheap, so setting one up when you’ve got a low budget can be incredibly difficult. This is made even harder by the amount of options out there, so I’ve put together this comparative guide on all the options you can look into when you’re trying to create your affordable golf simulator in your home.
We’re living in a time where it may be essential for you to set up a home golfing setup if you’re going to keep your practice up. Unfortunately the Coronavirus outbreak has meant many of our golf courses and golf ranges have been closed down for the foreseeable future.
However, don’t worry, as we’re currently also living in a great time for Golf Simulator packages, with more options to choose from than ever, and at many different price points.
Golf simulators were often used globally as a form of entertainment in high-tech bars or ranges like top golf. However, they’ve become more popular in recent years for golf players to still improve their game when they cannot get out on the course.
Due to the rise in consumer interest, we’ve seen many manufactorers attempt to put their foot in the marketplace.
I would say a good price to get a competent golf simulator set up in your home would be around £2,000 – however, if you take a look on the used market, you can definitely reduce this significantly. There are some other more budget friendly golf simulators, and I will break down all of the options for you.
Option 1 – £1,000
The OptiShot 2 is by far the lowest-priced golf simulator package that I could find online. It does come in ata price of $299 (US) – This is unfortunately a little more expensive in the UK, coming in at around £399.
However, the great thing about the OptiShot is that it works with foam balls (provided with the system), but acts as though you’re hitting a real golf ball. This means that your options for location of your OptiShot Budget Golf Simulator are endless! All you need is a screen to show the system on, a laptop, and your OptiShot product. You don’t have to worry about damaging any walls, or staying away from fragile objects in your house.
The OptiShot 2 software must be loaded onto a PC or Mac, and then you connect this to the OptiShot 2 unit itself via USB.
There are various accessories you could add to improve your experience with the OptiShot 2 – However, at a bare minimum you will need:
- OptiShot 2
- Mac or PC (laptop preferred)
- Optional: Screen in front of your swing
- Optional: Net to catch ball
What’s included with the OptiShot 2:
- OptiShot 2 Infrared Optical Swing Pad
- OptiShot 2 Software (Download)
- USB Cable (10 ft.)
- Adjustable Rubber Tee’s
- Two (2) Foam Practice Balls
- 1 Year Warranty
- OptiShot Hitting Mat
- OptiShot Full Portable Hitting Net
- OptiShot 2 SwingPad & Software
- 15 Included Courses & Driving Range
Through this option, you will be able to use your standard club and ball setup, or even no ball at all, this is because it detects the motion of your club.
Admittedly, at this price point, you’re not going to get all of the bells and whistles that you may get with a more expensive option. However, for those of us really on a budget, this is the #1 choice under £1,000!
Option 2 – £5,000
Within this price point, I would likely look towards a more well known brand in SkyTrak. The system itself can be had for a smidge under £2,000 – However, once you’ve added a mat, net and screen, you’re probably looking at more like £3,000-£4,000.
This system doesn’t need to be plugged into a laptop via USB, and you can in fact play it on your iPad wirelessly
The SkyTrak launch monitor is quite a compact package, which makes it a great option if you regularly need to put your golf simulator setup away.
The system will capture and analyse the image of your golf ball at impact. This allows for in-depth analysis of the angles at which you’re approaching the ball with your club face. This is really helpfull when it comes to improving your playing, as you can resolve your hook your slice by seeing where you commonly hit the ball on the face of your club.
The SkyTrak considering the features, is actually quite affordable. You can get as close to the real experience of playing golf as possible from the comfort of your own home.
The SkyTrak uses a high-speed photography sensor in order to measure the golf ball and provide a highly accurate reading of club speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin. These are statistics which you can’t even known on the golf course. It really allows you to micro-analyse your play style.
You can gain access to over 100 European and International golf courses, which are based on real satellite data in order to give you an incredibly accurate experience. Sure, you won’t experience the wind in your hair, and the sun on your back, but this is the closest thing to actually being there!