DIY Golf Simulator Reviews: How To Build One Yourself At Home & How Much It Costs
Golfing is a lot of fun, but as the weather turns wintry and wet, going out to the course becomes increasingly less appealing or even feasible. Enter the world of golf simulators. These setups are typically available in all-in-one bundles ranging from budget to high-end prices, and they’re a great way to emulate the conditions of the real world either at a pro shop or in the comfort of your own home.
If you decide to look into it, you’ll find that there are many indoor golf simulators for home conditions that you can choose from. However, you may still be wondering why you should even get a golf simulator in the first place. Our homepage will help you learn more about other exciting top brands available in the market today.
Consider buying a simulator if you want to play and practice in any weather conditions. A simulator also has the unique advantage of being incredibly flexible, with different challenges, play modes, a wide selection of courses that easily beats the variety of going to just a single course. A golf simulator is your very own home driving range.
A simulator is particularly great for honing your golf game since these come with sensors that provide you with tons of data on your swing and what you need to improve. As you use your equipment, you’ll start to get a sense of how your gear operates at a variety of different lie positions and approaches. 
If you want to improve your scores and hone your technique  from home while also enjoying a realistic golf experience, you can’t go wrong with a simulator.
If you don’t feel like buying a pre-designed package, there are DIY simulator options out there that typically require you to purchase the individual components of a simulator and put it together yourself.
While building the best home golf simulator is a somewhat complicated process, it’s worth it for the potential savings you can realize. Keep in mind that simulator price tends to correlate with accuracy and performance, so while you want to save, you also want to be careful of skimping too much and ending up with an inferior setup.
Before buying anything, you have to make sure you have enough room for the setup. We recommend that you have a ceiling height of at least 9’, a room width of 12’, and a room depth of 12’ for a comfortable arrangement where you can swing properly.
Once you’ve chosen a space, it’s time for you to pick your components. Launch monitors are the most critical element because they track your swing, so this is where you want to spend the most money to get the most performance. You also have to consider what software you will use, with prices again correlating closely with quality.
You’ll further need a computer capable of running the software, as well as other components like a mat to swing on and an impact screen or projector (only necessary if you’re not going to view your shot on your computer/mobile device). Once you have all these pieces, it’s as simple as connecting everything, turning on the software, and hitting some balls.
That’s how to build a golf simulator at home. Here are the choicest components for putting together the best DIY golf simulator possible.
Table of Contents
Components Required to Build Your Own Golf Simulator
Uneekor EYE XO Launch Monitor: Best Premium Launch Monitor
This launch monitor is an excellent high-end pick. It packs in 2 cameras capable of measuring thousands of frames per second alongside Uneekor’s Club and Swing OPTIX photographic validation technology. Together, they allow for incredibly precise swing measurements, real-time data, and replays of ball strikes so you can refine your game.
The built-in non-marking ball technology means you can use any ball you want.
SkyTrak Launch Monitor: Top Mid-Range Launch Monitor
The SkyTrak is unique in its space for being reasonably priced without sacrificing too much in the way of performance. Its app lets you review metrics like shot shape, angle, spin rate, and distance.
SkyTrak shot tracer technology traces the ball’s flight ensuring spot-on measurements. We found it accurate within 1-2 yards with only the occasional misread, an impressive feat considering its price.
Flightscope Mevo Launch Monitor: Best Budget Launch Monitor
If you want to keep your home golf simulator cost on the lower end, this is a great budget pick that still performs well.
In addition to tracking your swings, if you use the companion app, you can record video and overlay stats, perfect for review and improvement. On the down end of things, it did occasionally fail to show us our stats.
TGC 2019: Best Premium Software
This is a nice piece of software. What stands out the most is its course creator and online library. Users produce their content; then it gets rated so you can find the top courses in its 100,000+ selection.
It also comes decked out with a tour and career mode for added metagaming depth. This is one game that will never get old.
OptiShot2: Top Mid-Range Software
The Optishot2 software comes bundled with their moderately priced simulator packages, making it an excellent mid-range option that can save on other parts like nets and launch monitors.
The courses it features are all “To-The-Tee” replicas that accurately capture world-renowned and exclusive golf courses from around the world. Our only complaint is that the graphics are dated and not very immersive.
ProTee Play: Best Budget Software
Instead of offering standard golf, ProTee Play presents a variety of unique golf-related games. For instance, you might have to knock down bowling pins, score on a dartboard, or even kill zombies with your golf balls.
It’s the perfect fit for kids because it’s fun and useful for training with its realistic ball physics. Do not buy if you want a full golf experience.
HomeCourse Pro Retractable Golf Simulator Screen: Top Premium Golf Impact Screen
The HomeCourse Pro is a technologically driven golf simulator screen. It is a fully retractable system that, at a click of a button, allows you to have a screen setup without it dominating the space of the room it’s placed in.
The screen is also Ballistic-Grade, meaning it’ll last through all your long drives.
High-Quality Impact Screen: Best Mid-Range Golf Impact Screen
What’s nice about this High-Quality Impact Screen is that it comes in custom sizes. You can decide what dimensions you want.
The material is built to absorb ball impact, reduce impact sound, and generally be a low-noise option. It’s also double-sided, so if one side becomes damaged or stained from ball impacts, you can quickly flip it around.
ProScreens 96” x 96”: Top Budget Golf Impact Screen
This screen is well-priced. The mesh material it’s made out of is designed to give a nice crisp image, and it’s rated to take the full impact of a golf ball, owing in part to its durable nylon webbing.
It’s an excellent cheap alternative, but we found that it was less durable than the other options, so you might want to use soft balls.
Maxell MC-EX5001: Best Premium Projector
The MC-EX5001 offers an XGA 1024 x 768 resolution, along with a super bright 5,200 lumens output, so that you can see your screen image even in daylight conditions.
This clarity is possible because of its high dynamic contrast range, which auto enhances tone and color in bright rooms. It also features an accentualizer to bump up image sharpness, gloss, and shade.
Optoma X318ST: Top Mid-Range Projector
An excellent midrange pick is the X318ST. It works using short-throw technology, meaning it can emit large images from short distances, perfect for golf simulator set-ups.
The lamp is rated for 10,000 hours, and it supports 3D content. Digital Light Processing also means you don’t have to worry about color degradation. You can’t go wrong with this model.
APEMAN Mini Projector: Best Budget Projector
We were impressed by this mini projector. It manages to offer 5,000 lumens and a lifespan of 50,000 hours. The machine is kept cool with dual fans, explaining some of its efficiency, and it comes with built-in speakers.
We were disappointed that it only supports up to 1080p, so you have to be willing to forgo 4K.
Fiberbuilt 10’’ x 16’ Double-Hitting Combo Mat: Top Premium Hitting Mat
This massive mat can easily cover up all the space between you and your simulator screen. The proprietary Fiberbuilt grass is engineered for durability and stands up to over 300,000 swings before it begins to show any damage.
This mat also works for putting since it offers realistic check and roll. It’s a great way to work on all aspects of your game.
TrueStrike Academy Golf Mat: Best Mid-Range Hitting Mat
The TrueStrike Academy Golf Mat is an excellent fit for home simulators that have a center hitting position. It offers an experience that is supposed to be close to fairway conditions, and we felt like it was one of the more authentic hitting experiences we’ve had.
This is possible because of its “ruckable” top surface and gel-filled divot simulating subsurface. Jargon aside, we were impressed.
Big Moss High Impact Golf Mat: Top Budget Hitting Mat
This is another excellent choice for those looking to deck out their home simulator. It features a high impact foundation built for full swing use and is designed so the club won’t bounce off the mat.
The shock-absorbent design is also easy on the wrists or joints, which we appreciated. We only wish that this mat was a bit bigger.
The Net Return Pro Series XL Golf Net: Best Premium Net
Net Return is a reliable manufacturer in the golf simulator space, and this high-quality net is proof. We were able to quickly assemble it in just 15 minutes, which is impressive considering how big this net is – it’s perfect for longer flight distances.
It also comes with a 250,000 shot guarantee and a weighted base for safety.
Cimarron Swing Master Golf Net and Frame: Top Mid-Range Net
This Cimarron net is a great mid-range pick that costs considerably less than the premium options. It comes with automatic ball return, meaning the ball gently rolled back to us after every hit.
It’s constructed for outdoor and indoor use and comes with a steel frame to hang the net on, so you can use it wherever, whenever.
Aoneky Golf Sports Practice Barrier Net: Best Budget Net
This inexpensive net comes from a less well-known company, but it still performs great. It features a knotless mesh construction and is reinforced with a rope border along the perimeter for increased durability.
We were a bit disappointed to find that it didn’t include frame or mounting options. Make sure you have something to install it on.
Computer (Optional If Using Software that Works with Phone or Tablet)
CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Supreme Liquid Cool: Best Premium Computer
This computer is decked out with the latest in processors and graphic cards. It’s optimized for gaming at ultra-high settings and resolutions, meaning it’ll work great for projecting simulator software.
Specifically, it has a 9th gen Intel core i7 processor  and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 Series. It also boasts liquid cooling technology and a reader’s choice award from PC Magazine.
Skytech Shiva Gaming PC: Best Mid-Range Computer
Skytech is another excellent PC. While not as powerful as the last model, it still comes with a Ryzen 5 processor, an NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2060, and a 500GB SSD drive, meaning you’ll have performance 30x faster than traditional hard drives.
It also comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor and lifetime free technical support.
iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Element Mini 9300: Best Budget Computer
This budget PC manages to back in a lot of power with an AMD Radeon RX 550 video card. Unfortunately, it only has 8GB RAM.
However, we appreciated the sleek packaging, in particular the computer case with LED lights. Just be warned that it likely won’t be able to handle the 4K max graphic settings of your simulator software.
It can be a lot of fun to build your golf simulator. You have tons of choices in how you customize everything, and in the end, you can rest assured that the set-up is wholly your own. Because there’s so much variation in the potential cost/quality of your set-up, ranging from less than a thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, just about anyone can build their simulator; however, they want it.
The main reason you should consider a DIY build is to save money. While all-in-one packages are convenient, you’re often paying a premium. You can easily set-up a comparable simulator for less money.
You might also want to pursue a DIY build if you’re the type of person who is hands-on and loves working on projects around the house. Alternatively, you may just prefer to know exactly what components are in your high-tech gear. Building it yourself gives you total control.
Once you have a simulator setup, you’ll be able to play golf whenever you want and hone your skills with real-time data feedback. This is one luxury item that pays off for anyone serious about their golf game.