The three best ways to improve your golf are practice, practice, and practice. This can be done in a number of ways but an easy way to do it anytime anywhere is a golf simulator. While commercial models are out of the reach of most golfers, there are other more economical options available. That’s why, In this review, we ask what is the best golf simulator under $5000?
We take you through a few important points about golf simulators and give you details on some of the leading golf simulator systems available right now.
Best Golf Simulator Under $5000
Short on Time? Here's A Quick Product Synopsis
OptiShot2 Home Practice Golf Simulator
5 out of 5
Skytrak Practice Golf Simulator Package
Launch monitor and simulator combo
4.7 out of 5
Simulator Software capabilities
You will have to give some thought to exactly what you want to get out of your golf simulator while also keeping the budget in mind. Obviously, the more sophisticated systems with more components and greater technology are going to be more expensive than the more basic systems. All have a place and the good ones can be beneficial but ensure you understand what you are getting.
There are three main golf simulators options:
- Screen and projector, virtual course
- Net and computer
- No net just foam balls/no ball
Let’s look at each one and clarify what they are and what they can do:
- Screen and projector simulators
These are the most expensive options but will give you many features and benefits and allow for a realistic immersive experience. They are similar to the commercial systems seen at indoor practice ranges or golf simulator centers although they will be slightly less sophisticated.
These systems will display your game on a realistic course or driving range in real-time. The graphics quality is generally impressive and you will normally have a choice of a range of courses including some of the more famous ones. They come with golf simulator hitting mats.
- Net and computer
A less expensive option is a net and computer. This will enable you to connect to a mobile phone, tablet or computer. The system will allow you to view your shot, ball flight, and stats. It can still be connected to TV or projector for a larger display but the experience will not be as good as the screen and projector systems.
- No net just foam balls/no balls
Entry-level systems track your club and do not need a net as you will use foam balls. Others simply track your club and use no balls at all. While these systems are highly affordable ad can be helpful and fun the experience cannot compare to more advanced options.
Simulator software features
Again, one has to decide what is wanted from the simulator. The software is what drives the better systems and there is a range of options available. Some are standard while others involve a charge or subscription. Consider what it is you want to do with your simulator.
Possible features include:
- Driving range
- Numeric display
- Integration with other players and tournaments (World Golf Tour for example)
- Number and quality of courses available
The other important software feature is the simulator’s ability to remotely connect with other systems or players for a more competitive or social experience. Online apps can improve the learning experience and offer excellent entertainment benefits.
The quality of the graphics is largely related to the cost of the simulator as well as how you view it. Obviously, watching on a tablet, mobile phone or PC will not be as exciting and rewarding as those that project onto a large screen. Many of the basics systems have the ability to be projected for an enhanced experience with less initial outlay.
The software will also determine the feedback and data the simulator will return. This varies from model to model but can include:
- Club head speed
- Ball speed
- Launch angle
- Fight path
- Back spin
- Side spin
Some systems keep a record of your sessions so you can track your results and measure improvements or detect concerns.
What space do you have available?
Importance of measuring dimensions of the room
While most golf simulators are compact and can be used indoors you will still need to check the space requirements as well as measure the space available. All the options will specify the minimum space required. Before even looking at that, carefully check to see if there is enough space above you to swing your driver.
Don’t make the mistake of investing in a simulator you intend to use in a specific room only to find it is not suitable. Always measure first.
It is critical to consider how important this is for you. While most options are portable some are much easier to move than others. One with a screen and projector will naturally require a lot more effort to move than a more simple net setup.
Obviously, the basic systems that are highly portable have fewer features and technology so you have to balance the two needs. Consider what you want from the simulator and how and where you intend to use it.
This is always an important consideration as any investment in one golf item will mean less for other equipment or actual time on the course. The prices of the best golf simulator under 5000 can range from a very affordable outlay to a more significant investment.
Do remember that the simulator will save you on other costs involved with practice such as time with a pro or trips to the driving range. Even a more serious investment could save you money over time.
Golf simulator vs launch monitor
A golf simulator is designed to track and analyze your swing and chart the ball path. It should give you a display of the ball flight as well as a range of data on the various aspects of each shot. The more advanced simulators offer a highly immersive experience with great graphics on top courses. The experience is entertaining and beneficial to your game.
A launch monitor will also analyze your swing and provide data on the shot but the experience is more analytical and less of a realistic or immersive experience.
This is a great value for money golf simulator that includes a hitting mat and net for a realistic golfing experience. The net has side barriers and a height of 7 feet. Sandbags are supplied to keep it firmly in place. It is quick and easy to set up and user-friendly to operate. While it does not have a golf simulator impact screen it delivers an impressive experience in this category.
The OptiShot software needs to be downloaded and you can connect directly to your device or stream it to a compatible TV. Naturally, a projector can also be used for an even bigger and better experience.
It is highly accurate with 32 high-speed infrared sensors. They are carefully calibrated to follow your club throughout the swing and feedback is practically instant.
There is a range of courses to choose from including some of the more famous ones that most only ever dream of playing on. The system monitors and analyzes the club speed, tempo, impact angle, and ball direction.
The OptiShot2 is highly portable and can be used in most spaces. All you need is an area of at least 8.5 ft height x 16 ft length x 12 ft width.
This is an extremely popular golf simulator for your house and will allow for beneficial practice or loads of fun. You can play or practice alone, in groups together or against others online. It is a top-seller that is highly rated by most that have used it.
If you want a quality home golf simulator that is close to the commercial options available, the SkyTrak option is one to consider. While it is still a fair investment it is way less than the professional models and you will get a lot of bang for your buck.
The package consists of a few components. The Net Return Pro Series V2 Golf Net has side barriers and a 6’ x 10′ golf mat. The net is tough and can handle ball speeds as fast as 225 mph, something most golfers will not achieve. It conveniently returns the ball to you.
The setup is highly portable and you needed a space of about 8′ high x 10’ wide x 12’ deep. It works indoors or outdoors just ensure there is enough height for your diver backswing.
You get the SkyTrak Launch monitor, a durable metal case and game improvement software. The quality and accuracy are good thanks to the high-speed photometric technology combined with quality software and algorithms. It can be viewed on your tablet or computer or you can couple this to your TV or projector for a more immersive experience.
The system is user-friendly, highly portable and ideal for the serious golfer wanting to work on his or her game or a great source of entertainment for friends or family.
This is an innovative simulator that works without the need for nets or balls. It is ultra-light and compact making it extremely portable. It is also user-friendly and one can set up quickly and easily and practice pretty much anywhere any time. While not as sophisticated as the above options it is highly affordable and will allow golfers to get in some practice or have a bit of fun without breaking the bank.
It has something to offer everyone from the serious golfer to those wanting entertainment. One can play a relatively realistic game incorporating all aspects of golf. It also has a goal-setting ability, tracking system and tests monitor your progress. There is also a fun side to the simulator. You can play online and compete in multiplayer mode as well as on a global level for an extra bit of excitement and competition.
The device has a 9-Axis sensor and works with iOS 9.0+ or Android 6.0+. The Bluetooth has a range of up to 10 m and the battery takes 2 hours to charge and will give you around 4 hours of use.
Consumer feedback is normally a very good indicator of the value and quality of a product. The feedback on the ProAdvanced ProInfinity Putting Mat is overwhelmingly positive and most were delighted with the product.
It offers pretty much everything you would want in a putting mat and is equally well-loved by those wanting serious practice as those keen for a bit of fun. It is a versatile mat that is highly customizable for a variety of challenges. One simply needs to position the supplied wedges to create the desired challenge and experience you are after. There are also four speed options available. It allows you to work on both distance as well as accuracy for greater consistency and confidence on the green.
The mat is 20 inches by 10 feet and can be used indoors as well as outdoors. The materials and workmanship are of a decent quality to ensure durability.
Given how important putting practice is, this is an easy and convenient way to save a few strokes on the course.
We did extensive research in order to bring the best golf simulators under 5000 and while they are all great options, the OptiShot2 Home Practice Golf Simulator stood out as a clear winner. It is highly versatile and offers accurate feedback as well as a value for money immersive experience. It is a great way to improve your game or enjoy some entertainment.
Consider your requirements and budget in order to find the very best golf simulator for your needs.
The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.