How To Build Your Own Indoor Golf Simulator

Dan Gold
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How to Build Your Own Golf Simulator

This sounds hard to believe, but it can be done! Dan Scheinberg designed a golf simulator for his kitchen table. It is a clever piece of engineering and a lot of fun!

The how-to-build-your-own simulator involves building a platform for the computer, printer, and monitor, equipping a golf club with a Wiimote and accelerometer, and writing a little custom software.

The following steps walk you through Dan’s “how to”.

Step 1. Place the computer, the printer, and the projector in a square arrangement and adjust the “squareness” so that the projector image fills the entire screen.

Step 2. Place the platform on top of the projector’s lamp and adjust it so that the bottom of the green surface is roughly one inch below it.

Step 3. The platform can be made of anything that will hold its own weight and will reflect the image from the projector. Dan used a piece of acrylic for his.

Step 4. After putting the platform on the printer, make a mark with a pencil on each corner of the platform.

7 Materials You Will Need To Build A Golf Simulator

For the putting green:

  • Artificial turf (use as much as you'd like depending on the size of your putting green)
  • A stapler
  • Baseboards

For the main simulator:

  • A computer
  • A monitor (large monitor or TV)
  • A DVD player
  • A VHS player
  • Monitor stands
  • Remote control
  • Computer speakers

For the virtual golf course:

  • Ping Pong tables or large sheets of plywood
  • Individual golf holes (around 200 yards each)
  • Golf ball markers
  • Golf flags
  • A putter

For the virtual golfers:

  • To have your own likeness put on the game
  • A digital camera
  • A computer with photo editing software (such as Photoshop)
  • An inkjet printer
  • A large flat area to take a picture

For sound:

  • An amplifier
  • Big speakers
  • A microphone
  • Amplifier stands
  • RCA cables
  • Speaker wires

Golf Hitting Mats

This is usually the area where you will be focusing on your ball. It is important that this area not have an incline and that it not be extremely flat either. This is not a huge concern because even if the area has a little slope, it would not make that much of a difference.

You can have the area where you will be hitting on a flat hardwood floor or buy a mat to cover it and make it a little softer. There are plenty of types of mats you can buy in the market. If you are trying to save money and you already have a lot of matting, then it will be adequate to use those. If you are needing something new or something specifically meant for golf, there are different types of mats that are made for golf. They are usually thicker, have a lot of cushion in them and the surface is rubber.

Using a golf mat is a good idea if you are a beginner. The mat will make it easier for you to learn the proper swing. Even then, you still need to ensure that you have a good amount of space to be able to get the full swing down.

Make sure that if you are playing on a mat it has a skid resistant backing to it. This is not only so that the mat will stay in place, but also so that if you hit your ball it will not start sliding away from you with you chasing it.

Projector Screens

When it comes to a golf simulator, the image is one of the main draws, along with the ball flight. You need a projector that's bright enough to provide a clear image in your viewing environment.

Screen sizes range from 50 inches to 120 inches. Basically, you're looking for higher screen sizes for more realistic views, a full view of your swing, and the ability to make virtual ball contact.

Consider the screen size relative to your room size and consider a smaller screen if you want a smaller setup without requiring a projector that's too bright.

Projectors come in different resolutions, so for golf, 1080p resolution produces realistic ball sizes and a crisp virtual game.


To start constructing the golf simulator, you will need to buy a projector since this is the unit that will project the image on the screen. We chose to buy one and are very happy with the decision.

It can, however, be expensive to buy one new, especially if you are just starting out.

There are many good projector units on the market today that you can affordably use to build your stand alone golf simulator. Today, many can be purchased directly from the manufacturer or on Amazon.

When looking for a projector, here are a few things to consider.

Fixed or variable throw: Unlike liquid crystal display (LCD) projectors, DLP projectors do not have a throw ratio. DLP projectors have a fixed throw or focus point.

  • A fixed throw means that the projector will project a specific image size regardless of the distance between the projector and the surface it is being projected on.
  • A variable throw projector has the capability to change the thrown image based on the distance of the surface to the projector.

Lamp replacement time: Any projector on the market will include replacement lamp information in the instructions. The average lamp life is approximately 10,000 hours. Most DLP projectors recommend lamp replacement every seven to ten years.

Golf Hitting Net

Golf is a sport that requires an impressive amount of practice to get good at. To improve your game you will need to hit a lot of balls, and that alone can be pretty monotonous and frustrating… This is where training equipment such as the golf hitting net and swing analyzer can help solve a lot of the common problems and annoyances of practicing your golf skills. Using this type of training equipment will enable you to indulge in a lot of practice hours in a short time. You can also increase your focus on important parts of your swing and keep your rhythm. These types of training equipment will also allow you to try new types of swings without going outside. They will allow you to practice hitting balls in nearly any weather condition. The training equipment used for practicing on your own at home can be just as good as practicing with a professional swing trainer.

How can I set up a hitting net?

It is easy to set up a golf training hitting net. You can use a net to work on your short game near the green or you can also use it to improve your putting. If you are on a budget you can make your own net fairly easily from inexpensive materials such as a hoop with a net and a few weights. You can also buy a net that has a stand and is compact enough to be used indoors.

How do I know which type of a net to buy?

Simulator or Launch Monitor

The options are limitless when it comes to how your simulator is contained. What will be used to hold the video monitor is very important when determining if the simulator will be portable or if it will be setup in a permanent location. You also need to determine how the simulator will be powered. The typical options are electric or gas (or diesel).

Video Features

A simulator should be able to accurately and realistically convey the conditions on the course you are playing. The size of the video monitor will have a dramatic impact on the simulator design. There is a big difference between a simulator with a 15” and a 56” screen. You should also experiment with the settings on the monitor to match the style of monitor you purchase.

Golf course design software is an important piece of the golf simulator puzzle. The course must remain true to the hole you are trying to simulate. Most golf course design software can interface with many different type of monitors. There are many good golf course design programs on the market; each has its own advantages.

Your simulator should be able to be set up your indoor golf game within minutes. This will ensure that you can enjoy your simulator to the fullest.


Building a golf simulator may seem like playing God, but it is easier than you may think and offers endless opportunities for practice and scientific insight.

A golf simulator has many uses, but the most obvious is to hit hundreds of balls a day, anytime you want.

Just like a driving range, a simulators allows you to take hundreds of shots, without the crowds and noise of a traditional range.

It’s possible to increase the difficulty level of the simulator to an almost unbelievable level. One thing that your sim will do for sure is increase your accuracy, as you don’t have to run the risk of slicing or hooking a ball into a water hazard.

The only limit to your precise shot location is the accuracy of the simulator simulated course, and as far as I know, simulators capable of in-play adjustment of the hole and distance are still in the conceptual stages.

You can practice the same swing over and over and use video analysis software to view your swing from every angle and with the opportunity to correct every aspect of your form.

The only real limit to your practice time is how much time you spend at the computer, as the actual physical access to the golf course is not necessary.

Golf Simulation Software

Most golf game manufacturers have developed their game software so that it can be used with popular PC golf simulation programs such as Swing Catalyst. In fact, some of the better golf simulation video games now have a built-in swing analysis function.

The game manufacturers are bringing their golf simulation games to the next level with enhanced graphics capability and new advanced options that make the player feel as though they are really playing a round of golf on the course.

An example of a enhanced graphics capability and new advanced options is the option for the player to see the curvature-of advice-line on the digital golf simulation game that is viewable on Microsoft’s PGA Tour 2005.

If you are looking for a real time video of action on the golf course in a beautiful golf course setting, then you have to check out the virtual golf game software that comes with a side by side stacked video suite made just like the television coverage of real time golf tournaments.

The newest golf video game software has a beautiful springlike setting that features the player playing on a genuine 18 hole golf course. Now you will experience the real feeling of taking on a classic golf course in beautiful springtime weather.

How Much Does A Golf Simulator Cost?

Golf simulators have come a long way over the last few years thanks to the advent of powerful gaming consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. That means that there are more golf games than ever before that allow you to pull off that perfect swing in the comfort of your own home!

Also, thanks to the 32 track magnetic head and a greater number of 3D objects, these golf simulators are much more realistic than ever before.

There are other factors to consider before buying a golf simulator. For instance, you should think about the space you have available, the reactions of your friends and family, and the cost.

To help you make a decision we’ve put together this guide to lead you through all the questions and concerns you might have ahead of purchasing any one of these golf simulators.

Let’s start with a glance at the most important numbers.

How to Set Up A Golf Simulator

Setting up a golf simulator at home can be a lot of fun.

The golf simulator is incredibly inexpensive and provides hours of entertainment and a way to get ready for an actual golf game. It is also a great way to improve your golf game.

But no matter if you choose to build your own golf simulator or buy one that is prebuilt, you need to consider two very important things:

You should get the best golf simulator you can afford.

You should get a golf simulator with a good degree of customization so that it suits you best.

Space Requirements

A golf simulator allows you to simulate playing golf in any environment. You can play well at your own convenience just by using your device and camera without the need for you to wear socks or shoes on a golf mat, even during the winter. As long as you have enough room in the room, you are ready to play golf with the help of a golf simulator. On the other hand, when you are playing on an outdoor golf course, there is no need to notice the bad weather. On the contrary, as an indoor golf simulator player, you are required to also anticipate the change of weather on the day of the game. An indoor golf simulator can enhance the level of your game significantly. In addition, building an indoor golf simulator is a way to save money, time, and help you enjoy the game more. The following are some of the important things that you should know when you decide to build your own indoor golf simulator.

Screen Setting

There are three screens: Player, Hole, Scoreboard.

Player: This is a virtual golf that the player is presented with. It is used to simulate all the aspects of outdoors golf.

Hole: The outdoor golf hole is replicated to give the feel and correct hang to the player.

Scoreboard: This is used to keep track of the players’ score, putts, etc.

The screens should be mounted low to counter player’s height. Moreover, the screens should be secure and well-balanced to avoid any accidents.

You can adjust the placement of the screens or move them to other areas with ease.

Projector Installation

Choosing the right projector for simulators is key. One needs to consider the environment in which it will be used. If there are other light sources, then a projector with a high contrast ratio is needed. Companies like Sony’s HD projector will project a 100… image size with a contrast ratio of 1000:1. If the intent is to use the simulator in complete darkness, then any projector would work.

Projector installation is done using three main types of installations. The first one is where the projector is placed on top of a tripod and shots are hit to the wall. The second is to install the projector inside a box and have it projector on top of a sheet of plexiglass.

The high torque of the projector is needed to prevent shaking of the plexiglass. The third way is to use a light tunnel which sandwiches the projector inside using a smooth surface so that the user can be positioned in a well lit environment; this is my favorite.

The projector should be placed as far as possible from the golf ball so that parallax error is reduced. This can be done by putting some space between the projector and the wall. It should be placed so that the beam can directly hit the ball. The eyes of the user must be lined directly with the center of the projector screen to reduce the chances of the user straining to interpret the images.

Computer Setup

More often than not, most golf games do not have a proper set of controls that are designed to simulate the sensation of playing the game as accurately as possible. A typical PC based game just has the keyboard keys or joystick as the input device which is a far cry from the actual experience of playing the game.

It is important to get your PC set up to properly simulate as much as possible of the final experience. Whether you invest in a new PC or just put a bit of work in setting up your existing PC, it will make the overall experience much better.

For a more realistic experience, it is best to invest in a new PC with dedicated graphics processing and a large screen as this will give the most detailed environment in which to play the game. You can either develop a system yourself or ask a computer shop to set up the system for you. When configuring your PC, it is best to be honest about how serious you will be using it, as this can affect some of the final decisions.

If you are not so serious about using the simulator, you can purchase a pre-configured PC based on your budget and requirements. This can help speed up the process of building your simulator as the PC is already set up and ready to use. If you want to develop the PC yourself, you can use the links below to help you with your decision.

Mat Placing

If you want to build your own indoor golf simulator in your own home, here are some important points to keep in mind when you’re placing the mats.

Consider access to the area.

You want to be able to go to your golf simulator and play often. If you have to climb a flight of stairs to get to the indoor golf simulator, it’s going to be tough to get regular play in.

If this is the case, make sure the area is easy to access. Consider having a door or window to swing the club into the area.

Also, make sure you can easily swing into position and then back out of the simulator. For most indoor simulator mat kits, this means that you want to make sure the entrance and exit areas are at least 3 feet wide.

Consider where your door is.

If you’re putting your indoor golf simulator in the corner of a room, consider your door.

Are you going to kick balls into the wall or have the potential to strike your door as you’re swinging into your golf simulator?

You want to avoid these potential hazards, so consider these points carefully when you’re approaching the design of your indoor golf simulator.

Net Setting

Golf is a game of skill and a lot of practice. There are many things that you need to practice so that you become a better player. There are many indoor golf simulators available in the market, but we go for the best. We go for the best because we don’t want to regret any decision. Building your own golf simulator is not only fun but also rewarding.

Some people have set up their own golf simulator at home, but they are not satisfied with the result. They think they can save a lot of money by doing that. It may true that some people are able to save some money by building their own golf simulator. But they don’t expect to become a better player of golf by doing that. If they want to become a better player, the first thing they should do is to hire the best golf instructor. That will give you the opportunity to learn more about golf.

But if you want to save a lot of money, or if you don’t want to waste a lot of time, you can build your own golf simulator. The following are the steps that you need to follow:


I hope that this guide has given you a light on what you may want to consider when building your own golf simulator. From the various features to the kind of gaming platform you may want to use, this guide should have answered some of your questions. If not, just type in “How to build golf simulator under $XX,XXX” in your favorite search engine and you’ll find more information. Finally, you may want to compose a detailed budget and a plan of action. Just kidding, you won’t need a plan.

Build Your Own Golf Simulator Enclosure

Assemble the frame of the enclosure in any room you have available. The best option is to find a room that’s about 20” x 20” and a height of 7-8 feet. Pick a room with hardwood floors for a quieter ride. You’ll need to hang the enclosure from ceiling, so it’s best to work with someone for this part. The frame of the simulator should feel sturdy while shaking it up and down and side to side.

Next, measure your TV and mount it in the front of the box. It’s important that the TV is mounted to slide out, up and down and side to side. This will allow you to move the screen out and get behind it, simulating an open fairway. On its own, in a dark room without the visual of the TV, you’ll be surprised to see how realistic the simulator feels.

Take a simple router bit and cut out the back of the box so you can add in the speakers. This is the same deal as the TV and mount. Make sure that the speakers can slide outward, up and down and side to side.