Are Golf Simulators Worth It? 16 Facts and Benefits You Should Know

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Bottom Line

Golf simulators are worth the investment as they help improve shot accuracy, boost club speed and shot distance, provide convenient training sessions, enhance chipping and putting skills, develop muscle memory, record data and feedback, suggest better clubs, offer special options for customization, and have advanced technology. They are a great investment, allow you to be in control, provide stress relief, and can be used regardless of the weather conditions. With all these benefits, golf simulators are definitely worth considering for any golfer. Keep reading for more details.

Golf simulators are becoming a popular training tool for players wanting to improve. However, having your indoor golf simulator requires a significant investment. It can cost up to $80,000 for high-end versions. But this will be most likely a one-time investment.

If you get a good simulator yourself, it at least saves you the money of practice sessions on the course.

But are golf simulators worth this much money and all the hype? 

Yes! Golf simulators are much more helpful than you might think. They are for players of all levels, whether beginners or professionals. They help fine-tune one’s golf swing through precise stats and figures. They accurately simulate your steps during each shot. Most of all, you can practice as much as you want while staying home. 

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how golf simulators work. We’ll also review some of their features and other facts you need to know. After that, we’ll go over all the advantages of using golf simulators as a part of your game-improving strategy.

Finally, you will be equipped with all the necessary knowledge and information to decide, for yourself, whether golf simulators are worth the hype!

Advantageous For Game Improvement 

Using a quality golf simulator setup, you can master the golf game relatively quickly. Moreover, since you have the setting always available, you are free to practice whenever the mood strikes—still not convinced by its convenience? Not to worry; we’ve included a list of every advantage of a golf simulator below. You’ll change your mind after going through them:

#1 Boost Shot Accuracy

Golfer making a shot

Shanking a golf shot is common among novice golfers. Even professional golfers have their shots misplaced every once in a while. Ensuring the golf club suits your hand is one way to solve this problem. You can achieve even more accuracy in your shots with the help of a simulator. 

Most modern golf simulators today either use radar Doppler or photometry for detection and tracking, with the higher-end models sometimes combining more than one type of technology (as is the case with Trackman, X3, GCQuad, etc.).

These sensors carefully track the club’s (and/or ball’s) movement before, during, and after impact. The screen shows a set of visual data after each stroke. You can use the data to monitor the angle of the club, pace, and path of the swing and release point. 

After getting the above data, golfers can achieve more precision in the angle and position of their clubs. As a result, their shots will improve one after the other, eventually changing your game.

#2 Boost Club Speed

A bunch of upright golf clubs in a golf club with a golf course background

Club speed is directly related to the accuracy of your swing. You won’t be able to hit the ball farther off the tee if your swing is troublesome. But, of course, it also has to do with your natural aim at the ball, the flexibility of your arm muscles, and the position of your shoulders.

By controlling your swing, you can increase your club head speed. This is where golf simulators come in handy. They enable golfers to practice their swing motion and evaluate their performance using data displayed on a screen. This way, you can increase your club and ball speed more effectively. 

Having accurate numbers in front of you after each shot, and being able to compare them, will give you an idea if your practice and if the changes you make o your swinging, grip, posture, etc. are working or if something else needs to be mended.

#3 Boost Shot Distance

Golfer making a shot in a distance

Shot distance is directly proportional to the golf club’s speed. Golf simulators help you improve your club head speed, increasing your shot distance in turn. Using a golf simulator, you can quickly and easily figure out how far the golf ball will fly off the tee. The estimate of your virtual driving range helps you make better decisions on the golf course later.

Once you know your maximum distance and spin rate, you may concentrate more on other elements such as golf swing accuracy, body alignment, and club placement at an angle to the ball. While training with a simulator, you need to carefully select the clubs that can gradually help you to become a better golfer.  

Again, the instant feedback you get on the screen after each shot is what makes your practice sessions more fruitful because you instantly know if and how much you are improving; nothing is left for chance or guessing.

#4 Up To The Mark Training Sessions

HD Golf Simulator Ultimate

You are probably aware that golf is a technical game that needs practice over and over. The dynamics of golf are what make it difficult for newcomers.

You can’t simply hold a club and say, “I am an expert golfer now!” You must learn how to adjust your posture, body coordination, and boost your strokes to succeed in the golf game.

As a new golfer, one way of improving your game is to practice using a simulator at home. It helps you adjust your posture and tune up your swings. While staying at home, you can still access quality training sessions. You can practice your shots virtually whenever you have time.

No need to schedule your practice sessions and course visits based on your work and free time anymore; you can now make a few swings before you go to work or after you come back. You can even play a round at night; the possibilities are endless!

#5 Better Chipping and Putting 

Golf pitching

Pitching and driving well is nice, but no golfer can be considered good without learning to chip and putt. These two are your short-game majors and cannot be disregarded. You can use a golf simulator to practice these.

You have a selection of putting options in most simulator setups. A special software by Foresight Sports, FSX2020 allows you to either use the green to putt a real ball or choose the auto putt option.

The software helps you analyze all the putting and chipping statistics accurately. Using the data, you can also estimate the number of putts during each session. Like putting, chipping can also be mastered by playing daily for 30 minutes on the golf simulator.

It’s worth noting that short game practice on a sim may be challenging at first, and this is true for almost all packages out there ( both pricier and cheaper options). The reason is the lack of field depth in indoor golf; that is, you do not have the necessary depth required to calculate your club and ball speed while putting because you have a screen in front of you.

At first, this is usually a challenge, but you can get used to it with time, and you will adapt your swing properties to the distance you need to achieve. Many golf sims have sections solely dedicated to short game practice integrated into their software; this is the case of Foresight Sports (GC series), Flightscope X3, Uneekor systems, HD Golf, etc.

#6 Smart Memory

Since a golf simulator allows you to practice repeatedly, it gradually develops a stronger memory, or what we refer to as “muscle memory.” It means that by regularly using a particular motor path, your motor neurons train your muscles to become accustomed to the swing. Once you have acquired this muscle memory, you can execute flawless swings without paying much attention.

Thanks to a simulator, your body learns which posture delivers the best performance. As a result, every body part, from the eyes to the arms and legs, begins to coordinate automatically.

So the next time you play a game of golf, you won’t have to worry too much about your body posture and alignment. Instead, you’ll spontaneously make the best shots.

You know what they say: “Practice makes perfect!“, and that’s exactly what a sim provides: unlimited training and practice opportunities.

#7 Record Data and Feedback

Trackman launch monitor and user interface on phone, tablet, and laptop on white background

Most modern golf simulators use high-speed cameras that are highly precise and record the path of the golf ball and the club accurately.

In addition, photometric sensors (camera-based) meticulously measure trajectory, total distance, ball speed, ball flight range, spin rate, club head speed, swing speed, angle of attack, launch angle, etc. and provide instant useful feedback immediately after you make the shot.

“Numbers don’t lie,” they say. This is what a golf simulator does. It records data that may be downloaded as images or videos to your computer, phone or even online to dedicated cloud storage services.

You can use the data and metrics later to compare and evaluate your performance. Some high-end simulators also provide access to platforms where experts conduct in-person training. These methods objectively assess your performance and provide suggestions for improving your golf game.

The stored data can also be used to see how far you’ve come since you started playing (or over a specific time period), or whether you managed to achieve your goal of hitting a specific distance of swing speed. It reflects your degree of improvement based on concrete data and numbers!

#8 Suggest Better Clubs 

right golf club

The wrong golf club selection is another reason you often miss your shots. A golf simulator suggests the best club according to your swing style and your game’s requirements. Using a golf simulator, you can test out various clubs and assess your performance with each.

After practicing with different clubs virtually and carefully reviewing each set of data, you can select the club that best suits you. You can also seek a piece of expert advice on the best club by subscribing to the platforms provided by some golf simulators.

Using the simulator software, you’ll be able to figure out which club shaft length and flex rating will be better for you, which club face loft angle can help you achieve better distances, or even which golf balls to use.

This kind of assistance is available in most mid and high-end sim packages and software, from Skytrak’s and Mevo Plus to the X3, GCQuad, and HD Golf; it is usually referred to as “Bag mapping” or “Club fitting”.

#9 Special Options

You can’t get bored of virtual golf sessions on a simulator. A wide range of simulation software adds diversity and innovation to your indoor training sessions.

Many golf simulators allow you to adjust different environmental factors like elevation, humidity, and temperature, affecting the ball’s flight. If you live in a city where there is higher temperature or humidity outdoors, you can practice golf in a similar virtual environment using a simulator. 

That way, your virtual golf sessions will replicate the conditions you have in real life!

#10 Few other Distinct Features 

Golf simulators are no different from other golf accessories in terms of constantly evolving.

In the past, technology constrained the available computer systems used in golf simulators. It has now advanced so far that everyone can access it. 

Golf simulator technology has advanced to the point of bringing virtual golf to a level of accuracy, realism and immersion that is really close to the real deal. Systems like HD Golf or Trugolf’s E6 Connect can almost not be distinguished from reality thanks to the 4K graphics and resolutions of modern sim short throw projectors and the available hardware (CPUs, GPUs, etc.) that can process higher amounts of data without any kind of lag or stutter.

With all current technologies and discoveries, the future is looking up for virtual golf, and I believe the next step will be in Virtual Reality (VR) (1) or even Augmented Reality (AR) (2).

#11 Great Investment

Golf simulator package

A simulator can be pretty expensive for the average golfer. However, life gets easier once you have some money saved and decide to invest it in a golf simulator.

For example, suppose you are a beginner and can only visit your local golf course once a week. Consider how long it will take you to develop your golfing skills.

A simulator is an excellent investment as it saves you a lot of time. You can become a better golfer sooner than you might expect if you have access to a training environment at all times.

With their multiplayer features, many simulators provide competitive game sessions and online tournaments. You can play together with your buddies, practice by yourself or compete against people from around the world.

These virtual training environments can be customized to meet the requirements of every golfer, whether amateur or expert. Additionally, they can replicate the setting of many golf courses where you might play later.

#12 You Are The Boss 

Each golf course has its own set of rules that you need to adhere to if you want to go there and play. For example, almost all golf courses forbid golfers from bringing their pets. So, if you’re single, you might be concerned about leaving your pet alone at home. Some courses even impose specific dress codes, like you can’t wear trainers or more comfortable clothes, etc.

Moreover, golf courses are often busy these days. You must make a reservation in advance to avoid delays due to course unavailability.

You are offered a tee time out of available hours rather than being able to choose your own. Frequently, this tee time conflicts with your schedule, forcing you to give up the golf game for the day.

Why bother with these issues if your home is equipped with a golf simulator? You can choose your own tee time after making sure your friends are available at that time to play with you.

With a golf simulator at home, you are your boss. You don’t have to worry about rules while practicing at home. Your practice sessions will be more relaxed and stress-free, as you don’t need to worry about what to wear, the time of your tee time, traffic, or any players coming after you (that you don’t want to delay), etc.

#13 Stress-Relief

A golf simulator can be a source of stress relief.  Many golfers claim that playing helps them both physically and mentally.

Golf works like magic when you are emotionally disturbed. Once you start swinging your club, your concentration is all on the game. You start forgetting your problems one by one. 

Going to the local golf course whenever you are stressed is impossible. Sometimes you don’t feel like going out. Other times, your schedule doesn’t match that of the course.

The solution to this problem is to have your own golf simulator. It will enable you to alleviate stress by playing golf whenever you have a hard time.

#14 Weather Ain’t a Hindrance

Playing golf in rainy season

Inclement weather often makes it difficult (or even impossible) to play golf.   Courses are evacuated during lightning storms, rain, and snowfall. You cannot even drive to your favorite golf course in such weather.

If the weather remains like this for many days, it will cause frequent delays to your golf training sessions.

An indoor golf simulator at home is the only way to carry out your training sessions, even in unfavorable weather. You may play golf as much as you like at home, no matter the weather. If it’s pouring outside, you can ask your friends to join you for a tee time to play all day!

#15 Go Everywhere, Without Going Anywhere!

Almost all golf simulators offer a wide range of golf courses. So while staying home, you can experience playtime at one of your favorite golf courses, like PGA National or Pebble Beach. If you’ve dreamt of playing golf on the world’s best courses, you can make it come true using a golf simulator.

You can turn your living room or garage into Ireland’s Royal County Down or New Zealand’s Tara Iti. 

This way, golf simulators save you from spending a lot of money, time, and energy traveling to the world’s biggest courses. Those courses come to you, in the comfort of your home.

Moreover, with today’s highly realistic, immersive and accurate golf simulators, you will feel like you are actually playing there!

#16 Great for Social Gathering

group of golfers

Are you an introvert who gets anxious around people you don’t know? As a golfer, you could find it challenging to join golf clubs.

If that’s the case, a modest social gathering in your house can help you advance your golfing skills. Set up your golf simulator, gather a few close pals, and spend quality time together in a private setting.

It will provide you with entertainment. In addition, you can play together and get to see one another’s golfing skills and advancement better. The fun activity can also help you bond better with your friends, and maybe gradually break out of your shell and make new acquaintances!

I’m sure no one will say no to a fun and comfortable session of indoor golf!

Accuracy of Golf Simulators 

Modern golf simulators are highly accurate both in simulation and data calculation. In addition, they accurately reproduce golf course environments, so you never get the impression that you are playing in a virtual setting. For instance, these devices’ audio systems are designed to reproduce the realistic sound of a golf course.

The most modern ones use cutting-edge technology to give golfers the most “real” setting possible. In addition, they are working together with other VR companies to improve virtual golf in real settings remarkably. The graphics also have advanced thanks to the projectors’ magnification and high resolution.

Data analysis and recording stats are entirely different subjects when discussing the accuracy of golf simulators. Most modern simulators are extremely accurate because of the high-precision HD cameras and light sensors. They can record every element, from ball speed to launch angle. 

If you wish to know more about the topic, we have a detailed article answering the question: ARE GOLF SIMULATOR ACCURATE?

Cost of A Golf Simulator

A golfer with money

Golf simulators have become more affordable for golfers—the ones around $20k before can now be purchased for $10k.

However, some brands are still producing high-end simulators with quite a high price tag. But, of course, the more bucks you spend means more quality and features you will be getting.

The price of a golf simulator ranges from $1000 for a basic entry-level device to $70,000+ for a full premium setup. Some mid-ranged ones can be bought for $10,000 to $20,000.

So, there’s a whole range of options to buy from. You can choose one according to your budget and requirements. 

Make sure you check out our post on HOW MUCH GOLF SIMULATORS COST to know everything you need about the topic.

Best Brands to Buy

A complete golf simulator package usually includes the following components:

  • Impact screen
  • Net
  • Projector 
  • Software
  • Hitting Bay
  • Golf Mat and landing turf

All you need to do is assemble and arrange all the components. Then, you are all set to go.

We’ve got your back if you are confused about choosing the best simulator. Here are the five best brands to buy golf simulators from:


Trackman Golf Simulator
Trackman Golf Simulator. Source.

TrackMan produces top-of-the-line golf simulators that are based on radar technology. These are so expensive that only their launch monitors start at the price of $19,000.

A full setup might cost you around $50k or more. Professional golfers highly recommend these simulators. TrackMan also offers an online platform for golfers to have in-person training. 


skytrak golf simulator
SkyTrak Golf Simulator and Launch Monitor. Source

The SkyTrak launch monitor works on photometric technology using high-speed camera detection. It has taken the golf market by storm. Joe Hallet, one of the top 100 golf instructors, said in an interview with a golf magazine that, 

Anywhere, Anytime. SkyTrak is ready when you are ready to improve.”

Although not as accurate as TrackMan, it is more affordable than many other devices with the same level of accuracy.

You can buy its launch monitor with a basic driving range plan for $1,995 at rain or shine golf. The full simulator package costs from $5000 to $9000 at shop indoor golf.


OptiShot components on white background
OptiShot 2. Source

Optishot has launched two models of golf simulators so far. These are the OptiShot 2 and OptiShot Orbit.

Both of these are quite precise. These come as full-fledged packages with high-quality net, mat and training simulator systems.

Optishot calls this a “golf in a box” setup, which is available for an affordable starting price of $1,000 (and up). You can enjoy up to 15 world-renowned courses with 4 friends at a time. 

The Optishot Ball Flight launch monitor was the company’s attempt to break into the photometric monitor/ simulator market. It is overall a good product, but not quite as popular as their more budget-friendly Golf In A Box series.

I think the reason is that golfers have been used for many years to having cheap, entry-level sims to the point of not considering a (much) more expensive unit from the company. The competition from other excellent units, such as the Bushnell Launch Pro (with almost the same price point) and the Garmin Approach R10 may be another reason!

Foresight Sports 

Foresight Golf simulator
Foresight Golf simulator. Source.

Foresight Sports has a line of luxury golf simulators like the GC2, GC3, GCQuad, and GCHawk.

All of their launch monitors work on photometric technology. These highly accurate simulators are at the top of the wishlist of every golfer. Their GC3 is one of those reliable and accurate personal golf launch monitors/ simulators. The Sim-in-a-box: birdie Plus package is available at around $16,000 only and uses their excellent GC3 launch monitor. 

We do have a detailed review of the Foresight Sports GC3 Launch Monitor.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has helped you learn the benefits of a golf simulator. We know some golfers who tell us how golf simulators have proved to be game-changers in their lives. For beginners, there’s no better device to learn and practice than a golf simulator. 

Before you decide to buy a simulator, it’s important to remember that you need to invest a lot of time and practice in golf. Only then will you be able to see actual results on the course.

You also have to spend a lot of money on a simulator to practice your favorite game at home or simply to follow your dream of getting on the list of PGA Tour players. Believe us; this investment is worth every penny of yours!


  1. Encyclopedia Britannica- Virtual Reality.
  2. Microsoft Corporation – What Is Augmented Reality?


Photo of author

Walter Wilfong

Walter J. Wilfong is a golf enthusiast and a huge fan of virtual golf. His interest in the game dates back to his childhood growing up in Florida. In his professional career, he began working in the golf industry in the 80s and is currently the Director of Operations for a company specializing in golf training and equipment sales.

2 thoughts on “Are Golf Simulators Worth It? 16 Facts and Benefits You Should Know”

  1. You made a good point that as long as a golf simulator is making one improve, then it is worth it to have one. I’d like to buy an indoor golf course simulator soon because I want to spruce up my leisure room soon. Adding more fun equipment in there would be ideal.

    • Hello Alice,
      We apologize for not replying earlier; for some reason, we never got notified of the comment (probably for technical reasons, but everything is fixed now).
      We do encourage you to invest in a virtual golf system, and we assure you it will be a winning investment. Just set your budget and we can help you choose a package perfect for your needs. We do have guides with packages costing as low as 500 dollars and up. Set the busdget and let us know and we wil suggest great sims.
      We also advise you to invest as much as you can afford because you get your investment back in the form of better and more accurate technology, more immersive simulation, higher quality, etc.


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