Best Overall: Voice Caddie SC300 Launch Monitor
“This golf simulator is one of the best advanced simulators on the market. It provides better accuracy and development of data, swing and ball speed, carry distance and launch angle, and contrast to your readings over time.”
Best For Small Spaces: Phigolf Mobile and Home Golf Simulator
“Got a small space? The Phigolf Mobile and Home Golf Simulator is perfect for you. Setup is a breeze and the interface is pretty smooth.”
Best Budget Option: Rapsodo R-Motion Golf Club Simulator
“On a budget? Check out the Rapsodo R-Motion Golf Club Simulator. It can help grow your skill level and increase the distance of your drives all at an affordable rate!”
With accurate readings and enjoyable play, the golf simulator is no longer a device that only the rich can afford.
Whether you are looking for a simulator to entertain the family or a technologically advanced device to improve the distance of your drives and the accuracy of your iron play, the best golf simulators in 2021 are more than capable of providing an excellent experience.
Last updated on 2021-01-20. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- The Rundown:
- Featured Recommendations
- 7 Best Home Golf Simulators In 2021
- The Best Golf Simulators of 2020 Are:
- Things to Consider When Buying the Best Home Simulator
- Questions & Answers
- Types of Golf Simulators
- Materials Needed to Build a Home Golf Simulator
7 Best Home Golf Simulators In 2021
Voice Caddie SC300
Best Overall Golf Simulator: Advanced Simulator That Provides Exceptional Accuracy
The Voice Caddie SC300 uses advanced and sophisticated Doppler radar technology to measure a group of data points on each swing. It also provides those readings in a fun-to-use mobile app that will definitely help you focus on areas you need to improve your swing.
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Phigolf Mobile and Home Golf Simulator
Best Golf Simulator For Small Spaces: Unique Golf Simulator Relies on Entertainment over Accuracy
The Phigolf Mobile and Home Golf Simulator is a video game-style simulator that leans heavily into the entertainment arena, leaving golfers who want more traditional simulation with their own golf clubs on the outside looking in.
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Rapsodo R-Motion Golf Club Simulator
Best Budget Golf Simulator Option: Best Simulator That Uses Your Real Clubs
The Rapsodo R-Motion Golf Club Simulator is a handy device that attaches to any club then shows the results of your swing through a well-crafted interface that works on any PC using Windows 10 and iOS phone or tablet.
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Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor
Most Accurate Golf Simulator
The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor is one of the most sophisticated pieces of equipment you’ll find to improve your game at a price point that is very affordable.
If you are a developing golfer or inexperienced coach, the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor is incredibly adept at providing an experience that will undoubtedly improve your game.
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Blast Golf Swing Trainer
Excellent Golf Simulator for Beginning Golfers
The Blast Golf Swing Trainer is a golf simulator that allows the golfer to clip on a sensor to the end of their club and while they hit their shots, the device sends a wealth of information to the mobile app for the golfer to later read.
If you are looking for an affordable trainer that offers the same response of an at-home simulator, then the Blast Golf Swing Trainer is a worthy product.
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Zepp Golf 2 3D Swing Analyzer
Best Golf Simulator for Instant Analysis of Swing
The Zepp Golf 2 3D Swing Analyzer is the perfect accessory for your backyard net as the program works in unison with a sensor you wear on your glove to produce real-time data of your swing.
Great for your home setup, the Zepp Golf 2 3D Swing Analyzer get your swing to maximum potential without the comforts of the course.
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FlightScope Mevo Launch Monitor
Most Portable Golf Simulator
The FlightScope Mevo is our choice for the most portable golf simulator on the market. Not only does the Flightscope accurately measure a variety of critical data points on your swing, but the monitor is very lightweight and easy to move to indoor or outdoor areas.
The size of a smartphone, the monitor can easily fit in your bag or the cup holder of your car during transport to the range or other outdoor golfing areas.
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The Best Golf Simulators of 2020 Are:
- Best Home Golf Simulator Overall: Voice Caddie SC300 Launch Monitor
- Best Golf Simulator For Small Spaces: Phigolf Mobile and Home Golf Simulator
- Best Budget Golf Simulator Option: Rapsodo R-Motion Golf Club Simulator
- Most Accurate Golf Simulator: Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor
- Excellent Golf Simulator for Beginning Golfers: Blast Golf Swing Trainer
- Best Golf Simulator for Instant Analysis of Swing: Zepp Golf 2 3D Swing Analyzer
- Most Portable Golf Simulator: FlightScope Mevo Launch Monitor
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Home Simulator
Since game simulators are sophisticated pieces of technology, it only makes sense for the golfer to gather an understanding of how well the software and interface work together. Once a golf simulator is calibrated, it is relatively easy to use for golfers of all skill levels.
When testing the golf simulator, we wanted to see how long it took to set up and once it was ready for use, if there is a delay in the time it takes before your first swing. Finding the right combination of entertainment coupled with advanced technology that will accurately gauge your improvement is vital for passing a final opinion on a golf simulator.
The features of a golf simulator allow the golfer to grasp what can be achieved with the device. Of course, golfers want to know things like distance and swing speed, but the quality of the interface of the golf simulator offers an overall entertainment experience that is an essential reason why golfers would consider the product in the first place.
A sophisticated golf simulator provides golfers with the ability to play courses from around the globe in the comfort of their own home. While that is certainly exciting, if the golf simulator does not deliver a smooth experience for the golfer, then they’ll ultimately be disappointed.
There’s nothing worse than playing with a golf simulator and finding out that the machine does not accurately represent the level of your game. If the device is off by tens of yards with each shot, then the golfer will certainly feel less enthusiastic about the purchase.
But most simulators handle the accuracy element of their interface with precision and confidence as they provide statistics quickly to the golfer. Although it is very important to follow the directions of the setup of the golf simulator, most devices are preprogrammed to read your swing with accuracy the moment it leaves the box.
When we discuss functionality in our reviews, we are talking about how the golfer interacts with the golf simulator and how it responds to those instructions. While some simulators can have a longer learning curve, they typically have an interface that is easy to use once the golfer becomes comfortable.
Although there are simulators on the market that are tough to master, the best golf simulators of 2020 all offer premium functionality to help the golfer set up their device and netting with efficiency for enjoyable play.
While it is important to know ahead of time if your golf simulator is tough to set up, the functionality of the device is far more important for long term enjoyment.
Perhaps the biggest question on the mind of most golfers is if a golf simulator can help improve their game and for most dedicated players, the answer is yes. A golf simulator allows the golfer to hit full strength shots without the need for a course, while providing accurate reading that offers the weekend warrior the opportunity to chart their stats and improve over time.
For advanced golfers, a golf simulator might not improve their game as much as keep it sharp until they can return to the course. But beginning golfers can see vast improvements in their game with the repetition provided by a golf simulator.
Questions & Answers
How can golf simulators improve a golfer’s skill level?
Simulators can improve a player’s skill level through the repetition of hitting the golf ball without the need for a course and its facilities. A golf simulator can provide the backdrop for hundreds of full speed swings per day, a vital necessity for the golfer living in colder environments that can’t play the game for 4-6 months out of the year.
With a plan in mind, golfers can help lengthen their driving ability while dialing in their distance with different irons and wedges. An accurate golf simulator provides the data that allows the golfer to chart their progress and take the steps to improve where necessary.
How much room do you need for a golf simulator?
These do demand a lot of room as the netting, screen and projector setup need certain characteristics to function properly. Whether it be a garage or a large family playroom, the amount of space needed is exclusive to how big the golf simulator and its accessories require.
If you are planning to use a golf simulator in an enclosed area, such as a play or game room, then the height of the ceiling is the most important feature of the facility. Having 9-10 feet of height in the room is vital to allowing golfers to freely swing without the danger of damaging property.
The width and depth of the room are secondary factors that also must be estimated as the screen needed to hit the golf balls into, must have space to move as it absorbs the punishment of the shots.
What is the best size screen for golf simulators?
The minimum size of a golf simulator screen appears to be around 8 feet in width and height. Most screens go over that size but it really depends solely on the size of your room.
Another aspect that must be considered when choosing the right size of the screen is how the protective netting will work in unison with the backdrop. The netting must form a seal around the screen to make sure there are no golf balls that get loose and could potentially damage the surroundings.
Most netting has 4-6 feet of width with 8-10 feet in height. The golfer will also need to match their turf with the screen and the netting as well, although the carpet can be longer than both.
Do I need a special screen for a golf simulator?
Yes, a screen for a golf simulator must have a thickness that allows for the projector to clearly show the virtual course but also handle the impact of the shots. For that reason, most golfers use screens that are seamless and reinforced with a multi-layered hem.
The screens also need to accommodate the attachments with the netting and how it will interact with the artificial turf on the floor of the room. Most manufacturers specially design the screens to handle the impact with help of piping that can be inserted in pockets along the edges of the sheet.
Manufacturers also rate the material and make suggestions if real golf balls can be used on the screen or if it is better to use softer balls to minimize wear and tear.
Types of Golf Simulators
Photometric simulators use photography along with measurements to create the simulated ball flight. Since the amount of time that the ball is on the face of the club is so slight, the photometric simulator uses a high-frame rate camera to take a series of pictures.
These pictures are then used, along with the immediate measurements, to craft an accurate representation of the shot’s sidespin, launch angle, backspin, smash factor, and ball speed.
The data is immediately fed into the simulator’s processor to take advantage of the proprietary software to provide numbers that golfers can use to measure their improvement.
Doppler radars capture the physics of the swing during the takeaway, downswing, and through the impact zone. Launch monitors using a Doppler radar uses microwaves to measure these specifications.
Once a golfer hits a shot into the microwave field created by a Doppler radar, the ball disrupts the wave field allowing it to be measured for speed, spin and launch.
The radar can quickly process the golfer’s swing information allowing the software to produce a replication on the computer screen. Doppler radars are sophisticated and offer a high level of accuracy to allow golfers to gather information to use to improve their game.
Infrared simulators measure the swing speed of the golfer’s club, but they don’t measure the quality of the contact. Even if you miss-hit the golf ball, say you chunk it or hit it fat, the shot replication on the infrared launch monitor won’t show the results of the mistake.
These simulators can be used with alternate golf balls, such as foam or plastic golf balls, so that makes them highly usable indoors. Also, if using alternative golf balls, you don’t need a full sized mat, but rather one that can handle the impact zone.
Materials Needed to Build a Home Golf Simulator
A hitting mat is needed for golf simulators to allow golfers to simulate a real full-swing experience. Mats come in a variety of sizes, from small rectangles that can handle full speed swings to full-sized mats that golfers can completely stand upon.
The mats are made with the combination of padding and carpet that replicates real turf. The best hitting mats can withstand thousands of swings without tearing or wearing down.
For golfers that want the full experience, a projector and screen can allow players to take full swings. To utilize a projector, users need a large space like a garage or a playroom. The projector must be hung from the ceiling so the golfer won’t interfere with the screen.
A high-definition projector is ideal for use with the software provided by the golf simulator.
A hitting net can come in the form of a smaller, more shallow net that offers more portability, while larger nets provide a longer capture area. The best hitting nets give users a strong weave of netting along with a sizable hitting area.
The hitting net must have the durability of being able to withstand the punishment of thousands of swings. If using indoors, and with real golf balls, the net must capture all shots so the interior area isn’t damaged.
Simulator software comes with the equipment package that includes the launch monitor. Some new monitors require the user to download the software onto their computer, tablet, or smartphone.
The best simulator software offers a clean interface that is easy to use and clearly shows the golfer’s swing results.
The launch monitor uses a radar to capture the details of the swing. Everything from swing speed to launch angle is instantly measured by the simulator’s software. The resulting measurements are translated on the screen in the form of a shot.
The launch monitor’s software enables golfers to accurately see what their shot would look like if they were on the golf course. The monitor’s ability to register multiple facets of the swing makes it a sophisticated piece of equipment.
Golf simulators utilize desktop computers, mobile smartphones and tablets. The computer must have the ability to handle the processing needs of the software to instantly respond to the golfer’s swing. When choosing the right computer or tablet to host the software, it is important to read the software’s requirements first before making the simulator purchase.
The best golf simulators are a combination of exceptional innovations and clean interface technology. All of the best golf simulators on our list provide value and excellent playability for golfers looking to improve their game from the comfort of their own home.
Our choice of the best home golf simulator, the Voice Caddie SC300 Launch Monitor, utilizes an innovative radar technology to capture all the details of your swing. Along with an easy to use mobile/tablet app, the SC300 measures swing speed, carry distance, ball speed, launch angle, and smash factor.
A great way to enjoy golf with friends and family, the golf simulator is a wonderful original way.