If you love golf, but find getting out to the links difficult on some occasions, a golf simulator may be just the ticket. Golf simulators recreate the environment of a golf course using digital graphics or projection, allowing you to play a course using a very small space and minimal equipment. While golf simulators are available at many pro shops, you can also set one up in your own home.
While a driving range can provide a nice sense of how the weather is for that day on the course, a golf simulator is available every day, rain or shine. Since it's set up indoors, you can practice your swing during foul weather or when it's too hot to be outside.
Most golf simulators include software for more than one golf course. As a result, once you've mastered the course, you can switch the setting and play an entirely new course. This not only keeps the game fresh, but presents new types of challenges to hone your golf game.
Limited Space Needs
Few of us have enough room in our yard to install a putting green, driving range or short play practice field. A golf simulator, however, enables this type of play in a very limited space. Most simulators require only enough room to allow a full swing to occur, with a ceiling about 9 1/2 feet high. A 10-by-15-foot room will suffice. Typically, players install a simulator in a garage.
At the very least, you need only provide playing space, a projector and a computer. Most players also buy a net, though this isn't necessary, depending on where you install the simulator. You can invest significantly more, up to tens of thousands of dollars, but a very simple setup can cost only a few hundred dollars.
Most golf simulators include an educational component. Using a video camera or sensors or a combination, the golf simulator tracks the movement of the club head as it approaches the ball, strikes the ball and finishes the swing. This information is downloaded to the computer to provide an analysis of your swing and a checklist of things to consider for improvement.
Use Your Own Equipment
Unlike indoor video games, golf simulators allow you to use your own clubs and balls. This helps you get a better feel for how your equipment operates at different lies and approaches.