As earlier reviewed in our last article; TRUGolf Simulators, FULL-Swing simulators, and GolfzON Simulators are some of the high-end golf simulators making rounds in the market today, averaging a price range of $20,000 – $70,000 dollars each between them.
However, in this post, we reviewed and compare our top picks of the best golf simulators for under $1000 against some best golf simulators for under $5000 and $10,000 USD, so golfers with low budgets can afford to play and practice daily to improve their respective skills using some of the best cheapest golf simulators in the market today.
Obviously speaking the Golf simulator technology has so much evolved to the extent that very inexpensive but still accurate golf simulating solutions have appeared in the market today and they are super easy to set up just like a plug-and-play device.
Top 3 Picks – Best Golf Simulators For Under $1000
Through our extensive research and testing, we’ve put together a list of options that will meet the needs of different types of buyers from $10,000USD and below. So whether it’s price performance or its particular use, we’ve covered you for more information on the products.
If you are looking to read reviews on more expensive Golf Simulators from $10,000 to $70,000 you may read this article.
How To Pick The Best Budget-Friendly Golf Simulators For You.
Spending a couple of hundred dollars or thousand dollars on golf simulators is worth every penny. However, it’s still important to consider factors that affect the experience and match it with your goals to accurately purchase the best golf simulator for you.
Some golf simulators came in a whole package setup, while some have to be purchased along with other equipment like a golf net, a hitting mat, and your preferred electronic device to make them function perfectly. You may even have to monthly subscribe to the software of some.
In this guide, we will show you some of the most critical factors you need to pay attention to when buying a golf simulator that will meet your golfing needs:
1. Your Room Space
It’s important to have a clear understanding of the size of the golf simulator you want to buy, and where you intend to position it. You have to know your room measurement width, length, and height against the minimum space requirements of the golf simulator you want to buy.
Also, important for you to know is that golf net setups usually require about 9-10 feet of height, thus you will need at least 10-12 feet between the floor and the ceiling to prevent damaging your home at the top of your backswing.
So also, you need 14-15 feet of width to give you sufficient space to swing freely and avoid crashing into the wall. Lastly, the impact mat should sit 6-8 feet from the net or screen for the device to calculate launch and ball flight.
2. Software and Data
As much as you don’t want to buy a golf simulator that is way too big for your room space or home, you must also avoid buying simulators you won’t be able to read/interpret its data nor access its software.
Cheaper or budget-friendly indoor golf simulators mostly capture club swing data and may produce inconsistent results. Most golf simulators provide insight into ball speed, club angle, degree of launch, sidespin, and distance data. Any further insight will incur more expenses on your budget.
You should also consider what kinds of things you want to do, games you want to play, and activities you want to take part in on your golf simulator.
Golf simulators may be compatible with one or more software solutions. For example, OptiShot 2 in-a-box, which sells a golf simulator for less than $1000, has in-house software that allows you to practice and play multiple different game types including stroke play, match play, better ball, and alternate shot.
3. Golf Nets or Impact Screens?
Investing in a golf net, side barriers, and a hitting mat without passing the budget threshold is very important to note, but the question is: do you want to spend a bit more on these items, or are you content with just having a simulator software and using foam, plastic, or no balls at all?
You’ll have to determine how important it is for you to be able to take real golf shots with real balls. This is obviously more realistic and will be better for your game improvement.
And another kit you can consider to add your budget-friendly golf simulator is an Impact Screen. Several quality impact screens are not up to $250 and they will be durable enough to protect the infrastructure of your house, and enable you to view your ball flight and shot statistics in real time.
It’s important to realize that the less you spend, the less you’ll usually get, both in terms of equipment and software. We know you don’t want to spend more than $1000, but would you be willing to spend $100-$300 on what are considered “bottom-of-the-barrel” simulators?
Do you plan to have a dedicated space where your golf simulator will always be located, or will there be times when you need to move it?
Ease of transportation is another aspect we need to consider. If you don’t have a net or mat, mobility is not an issue at all. Net setups are usually easy to set up, take down and transport. Many nets come with a duffle bag that can store the net and other components.
Maybe you travel periodically and want to be able to easily take it with you. Maybe you just want to pack it away during certain times of the year (like summer, when you can get out to the golf course).
Considering the portability of your simulation would be particularly useful for you when planning of buying a net and mat, then make sure that transporting these items is straightforward.
The good news is that cheap simulators also tend to be portable.
Our Top Recommended Golf Simulators Under $1000.
Based on our own research, expert opinions, testing, and experiences, here are our top recommendations:
- OptiShot 2 Golf Simulator – Golf in A Box Series,
- Garmin Approach R10 Golf Launch Monitor & Simulator for Home,
- Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor,
- SwingLogic SLX MicroSim – Home Golf Simulator,
- PHIGOLF Home Golf Simulator,
- SMARTGOLF AI Golf Simulator,
- OptiShot 2 Golf Simulator,
- EXPUTT Real-Time Putting Simulator EX500D,
- Voice Caddie Golf Swing Simulator,
This device and its complete package is by far more worth than $1,000, but as we speak the current price of this simulator is less than 1,000 USD.
If we’re talking about an amazing golf simulation experience that allows you to hit real golf balls and simulate your shots in a virtual environment; the Optishot 2 golf in a box is about the best all-in-one package. You can get it for under 1000 dollars as it is one of the cheapest simulator solutions on the market but packs lots of value for the price.
The Optishot 2 Golf Simulator has been a top-selling low-cost golf simulator system for some time now, the Optishot 2 golf in a box comes with everything you need to get a great golf simulator experience whatever the weather is outside without spending more than the cost of a new set of clubs.
What Comes With The Box?
- Optical swing pad and software,
- A 5ft tall, 8 points Portable hitting Net,
- Optishot Hitting Mat,
- A 10ft USB cable for connection to the system,
- Foam Practice Golf Balls,
- 2 Adjustable rubbers tease.
The 5 feet tall net and the hitting mat provide a realistic Fairway.
Optishot 2 Golf In a Box Set Up.
The setup is quite an EASY process, just unpack the hitting mat, and the hitting net. You install the software on your Windows or Mac device and start swinging. However, we strongly recommend a minimum ceiling height of 9-10feet tall to accommodate the eight points hitting net. Six feet wide and nine feet plus height is even better recommended.
Many golfers really love how easy the Optishot 2 golf-in-a-box simulator is EASY to set up and use at home, however, the accuracy cannot be compared with the more expensive golf simulators systems like the TruGolf, Full swing, and SkyTrak.
Although the Garmin R10 approach is a launch monitor it’s also a reputable golf simulator under 1000 USD. This device has gained massive media attention in the industry and many people consider it to have revolutionized Golf Simulator technology.
Similar to how SkyTrak launched in 2014 function, the Garmin R10 approach is however the first launch monitor under $1000 to have golf simulation capabilities, and it’s also the first launch monitor to measure detailed club paths and parameters that you could previously only get in devices that are over 2000 USD.
Garmin R10 Approach allows you to practice and analyze your sessions on a virtual driving range or play courses at home, T hero contains over 42,000 golf courses, and E6 connect software. Above all, you can capture video of your shots.
How To Setup Garmin R10 Approach Simulator.
Setting up Garmin R10 Approach is very EASY to do within 120seconds, just set up your desired golf net and hitting mat with the R10 resting on its tripod mount 6-8feet behind the ball and you are good to go.
It’s considered a portable launch monitor and can easily be moved from the home to the driving range or wherever else.
You must set up the R10 to do three main things; First, to directly measures data parameters using radar technology. To capture the behind-the-hitting area, your stats include ball speed, carry distance, and total distance, as well as the club. Your hit measures are overlaid on top of each clip.
The Garmin golf app has very high ratings through the app. This device is unarguably one of the best golf simulator experiences.
Just like the Garmin R10, Rapsodo mobile launch monitor MLM is not a true golf simulator, in the sense that it doesn’t simulate your golf shots in a virtual software environment, but because of the excellent quality of the product, the reputation of the company behind it, and the list of amazing features that it has, we had to include it on the list of our best golf simulators for under $1000.
MLM is a unique launch monitor the first on the market to take advantage of your phone’s camera, that is it runs through your mobile device to records your shot for playback and provides an active Tracer. So you can see your ball flight and measures the important speed and launch parameters.
Rapsodo is continually improving the MLM and coming out with new features for it. Some of the most noteworthy updates since launch are the ability to use the MLM Indoor with a golf net, and not just Outdoors on the Range. Plus the integration with a virtual coaching platform.
Rapsodo is currently only available on iOS but they’re working diligently on releasing the Android version in the near future.
How To Set Up A Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor.
The MLM is fairly simple and EASY to set up, just follow the following steps to set up your Rapsodo MLM;
- Charge The Device,
- Install the Rapsodo App and the golf app on your phone,
- Calibrate it to the device,
- Choose a playing mode and start hitting the data parameters.
After the setup, you can start measuing your golf speed and shot pin, not only can you view your shot distance, you can also see exactly where your shot lands via the GPS view.
Rapsodo premium subscription has alot of advantages in them as they store up to 10,000 shots inits library and access coaches.
Another wonderful feature of Rapsodo MLM is the Connect coaches feature which allows MLM users to receive virtual paid tutorials from coaches that have signed up to the platform. Coaches can take advantage of the playback and Tracer features and view shot data to inform their critiques of your swing.
The Rapsodo simulator has very high ratings, people love it’s Mobility and amazing features it offers, however the absence of Android version is a disadvantage to the get a bigger market share of the golf simualtor niche.
SwingLogic SLX micro SIM home golf simulator formerly known as Tittle X is an excellent alternative to the Optishot 2 that most people feel has better accuracy and is more geared towards game improvement. The SLX micro SIM takes features of simulator equipment, worth thousands of dollars and merge them into a 7.9 G device ( as shown here) .
The latest version of SwingLogic SLX uses the E6 connect simulator software by Trugolf which is one of the best simulator software available in the market today.
The SLX micro SIM isn’t designed to use any balls, although you can swing your own clubs with foam or real balls if you want and its best for beginner golfers because it is design to be child and beginner-friendly.
How To Set Up SwingLogic SLX Simulator.
If you want to use this simulator, you need to mount the SLX micro sensor included on to your own club on the included Stick setup, and follow the few set up guide in the SLX micro SIM buyers manual to walk you through the process involves quite a few steps.
You need to register the device install E6, connect on PC or iOS prepare. The device, establish some connections each other, then you can start playing by waiting for vibrations from the device
You can play 3D rendered, real world golf courses in 4K resolution and practice on the Range. There are various play modes and you can sign up for a dollar 9.99 / month subscription to get 40 courses and many games.
We recommend it for recreational golfers. However judgding by the price the SLX micro sim is impressively accurate and delivers great golfing entertainment, thanks to its ULTRA realistic 4K graphics.
The PHILGolf simulators kit gives you as close to a real golf experience in your home as you can get, you can hook it up to your big-screen TV and feel like you are there on the golf course.
You get to experience playing on 24 of the world’s most famous golf courses from the comfort of your living room. The PHILgolf simulator allows you to play all aspects of the game from driving to putting.
The innovative Bluetooth sensor connects to your Apple or Android phone for more realistic play and works up to 30 feet away from your phone ( that is quite an impressive distance ).
The PHILGolf software allows you to analyze your swing. So not only can you have fun but improve your game at the same time by improving your swing
PHILGolf simulators also allow up to 4 people to play at the same time, which means bad weather doesn’t have to keep you and your friends from competing with each other again.
When looking for one of the most affordable yet highly accurate golf simulators for home use that is under 1000 USD, the Smart Golf AI simulator with a swing stick is a game changer to consider buying.
This simulator is recommended for beginners that want to horn their swing skills and boost their golfing confidence in the corners of their comfortable homes. Although, some professionals also use Smart Golf AI to get back to fitness and it can be useful at all levels of skills.
SMARTGolf simulators can be used to play golf inside your bedroom, seating room, garage, or any small space in your home. No additional setup is required to use this device and you can set it up to place on your PC Macbook or Android device.
7. OptiShot 2 Golf Simulator – Standalone Version.
You can save quite a bit of money by forgoing the golf net and hitting mat in the Golf in a box simulator package reviewed above and just getting the Standalone optishot to the system. However, you may have to be restricted to using only foam balls, plastic balls, or no balls at all.
The main appeal of the Optishot 2 is gaming and entertainment with various game modes and potential for online and tournament play.
This device can be used for game improvement but to be honest we don’t recommend relying on the Optishot 2 standalone version for that you can play with up to four players, use your own clubs and access a library of top golf courses. You can play any of the 15 optishot courses.
There are eight different game types, which include stroke play, match-play, best ball, and skins. You also have many customization options at your fingertips. For example, you can change the camera view, view a putting grid, change the measurements, and alter the weather practice mode.
With this device, you can turn any golf course into a practice range. In the pinpoint driving range, there are six different target greens with precision rings and accuracy grids. You can hit any one of them to improve your shot accuracy. You can also place your ball anywhere you want on any course and either follow the ball after the shot or keep playing from the same spot over and over.
How Optishot 2 Is Set up and Works.
Optishot 2 consists of an optical swing pad with 16 high-speed, 48 megahertz infrared sensors that measure; club-head speed distance, face angle swing plane face, contact point, and Tempo.
Also included, is the optishot 3D software which contains the golf courses and simulation display for setup, all you need to do is unpack the optishot and install the software on your PC or Mac then, follow the instructions to connect it to the swing pad.
The Exputt offers an amazing putting experience with its accurate ball measuring technology and putter movement in a number of top-notch simulated golf courses. You can take your putting to the next level with the adoption of EXPUTT device.
The RG, which is the latest version with a bunch of new features, is greatly loved by golfers and you can see that in its near-perfect App reviews 4.8/5.
Exputt had also been discovered to be an effective game changer for beginner golfers, on several occasions have we seen that users improve their putting skills a lot within a short period of time.
Some of the parameters you have access to on Exputt RG include ball speed, launch direction, distance, impact angle, and putter path.
The RG is designed to simulate the putting experience you get on a real golf course, in real time. The innovative tracking technology allows you to practice your putting with precise accuracy from the comfort of your own home.
How It Exputt RG Works.
This putting simulator consists of a long, narrow putting mat about 48 feet x 13 feet with a backstop at the end. It uses an ultra-high-speed camera to precisely measure your putter and ball movements, perform a comparative analysis, and simulate the results in a virtual course environment. The Exputt RG can simulate weather conditions, green speeds, and of course, slopes & breaks.
exputt rg Setup
The setup process is fairly straightforward, but in order to ensure correct operation, it needs to be done properly and with care. You’ll need a TV to use the simulator.
Detailed setup instructions are provided upon purchase. But here’s a concise summary of what you need to do:
- Attach the high-speed camera to your TV or mount it on the included camera stand.
- Roll out the putting mat.
- Establish some connections between the mat, camera, and TV.
- Check the height of the camera and its distance from the putting mat.
- Follow the syncing instructions on your TV.
- You can also use the RG on your mobile device through the new Exputt RG app.
With the Exputt RG simulator, you use your putter like a mouse. There are various keys on the putting mat that you select by resting your putter head on them.
Lastly on the best golf simulators for under 1000 USD is Voice Caddie Golf Swing, this device does not offer visual effects and the ability to play virtual rounds, nor can you test your skills in any challenges. However, the SwingCaddie300 thrives when delivering necessary insight into each shot to help you make better-calculated decisions on the course.
You can link the device up to Voice Caddie’s iOS or Android application, which is where the magical data insight begins. The app analyzes historical data to determine your averages during a practice round and over time. That aids you with club selection and improves your distance control.
Best Golf Simulator For Under $2000 – $5000
Golf simulators for under $1000 have become a lot more accessible over the past decade, but there are some categories of Golf simulators that are more expensive than the 1000 dollars budget-limit, and can still be categorized as affordable simulators. Such simulators can cost between $2000 – $5000.
Each of the simulator options we are about to review in this segment are the best golf simulators for under $5000 which offers excellent value for their respective prizes.
FlightScope Mevo+ Portable Simulator for Golf – Best For Under $2000
The Flightscope Mevo+ is the perfect practice golf simulator under 2000USD for golfers to use at home (indoor) or to take to the driving range for golf practice sessions, either by warming up for a round or having some fun with family and friends. The Mevo+ has various advantages over the ordinary Flightscope Mevo and it provides 20+ accurate data parameters including:
- Carry distance,
- Total distance,
- Club head speed,
- Ball speed,
- Smash factor,
- The angle of Attack,
- Spin rate,
- Spin axis,
- Spin loft,
- Horizontal launch angle,
- Vertical launch angle,
- Lateral landing,
- Roll distance,
- Shot shape,
- Apex height,
- Flight time.
This post had been able to convince you of the availability of affordable yet accurately functioning Golf simulators under $1000. In conclusion, our overall best golf simulator for under 1000USD is Optishot 2 Golf-in-a-box and we believe if you give it a trial, you will definitely enjoy each of them.