Golf simulators are a great way to hone your game and play spectacular courses from your home. They allow you to work on developing your swing as well as fine tune your approach shot to the toughest greens without having to step outside. For the most realistic and immersive experience, a good projector is one of the most overlooked but essential parts of your setup.
Quality projectors will enable you to play some of the most renowned golf courses while displaying the intricacies in high definition.
The most prominent projector brands are Epson, ViewSonic, and BenQ each offering a wide variety of projectors to cater to nearly everyone’s requirements.
Although some packages include a projector as standard, many do not. To complete your golf simulator setup it is important to understand the various components of a projector and what to evaluate in your search.
What are your needs?
The most important aspect of any setup is the constraints of the room. Calculate your room depth to make sure the projector you select will suit the room you have to work with. Sometimes buying the most expensive product won’t solve all your problems, you need the right projector for the right room. When working with home golf simulators, the goal should be to find the most compatible product for you and your setup.
The more space you have the further back you can put your projector. Most people with indoor golf setups have limited room behind them, so short-throw projectors are the solution. But those with a large area or a lot of room behind them have the ability to select one of our ceiling-mounted or offset projectors.
Also, it’s important to consider the software you will be running, different software runs on different devices that use different aspect ratios. For example, if you get a SkyTrak Launch Monitor it uses an iPad to show you how your swing affects your shot, so a projector with an optional 4:3 aspect ratio will make the most sense.
Projector Features to Consider
- Throw Ratio – A projector throw ratio determines what image size you can project from a certain distance. Look in the product description to find a throw ratio that fits your needs
- Throw Distance – Throw distance is the distance from the tip of the projector’s lens to the screen. The distance determines where the projector will sit in your setup relative to the projection screen. A shorter throw distance means you can move your landing pad even closer to the screen while hitting.
- Short Throw vs. Long Throw – There are two types of projectors that can be used inside of golf simulators, short throw, and long throw. Short throw projectors are designed to be placed closer to the screen therefore cutting out the need to find space for mounting it farther back. Long-throw projectors require space and distance to keep the image from looking too small. If you have limited space, a short-throw option could enable you to have the picture quality you are looking for without the need for space behind you to mount. But, If you have space and are looking to keep your projector out of sight and out of mind, get a long throw projector.
- Brightness – A projector’s brightness is measured in lumens. The more lumens the brighter the projector image. Most projectors include their lumens in their product description, check there for the most accurate information. Seeing the image clearly around the clock is an important feature. For rooms with little to no ambient light, you’ll need a minimum of 1500 lumens. For rooms with windows or ambient light, a minimum of 3000 lumens is ideal.
- Contrast Ratio – Contrast Ratio measures the difference between the brightest color and the darkest color on the image. The higher the contrast ratio the better the image quality. Look for projectors with high contrast to bring you the closest to the course.
- Resolution – All of the projectors at Shop Indoor Golf are 1080p, but there are also 4K options available. If you plan on using your projector for movies as well as golf, consider a 4K option for a better movie-watching experience.
5 Best Golf Simulator Projectors For 2022
1. OPTOMA HD Short Throw Golf Simulator Projector
Optoma makes the best overall golf simulator projectors. This company has really taken their talent and ability in this space and geared it towards the golfers with their own home simulator setup. If you are serious about the projector that you are purchasing and want to make sure this is a high quality setup that will last for years, the Optoma HD Short Throw Golf Simulator Projector is the best choice.
This model features 3000 lumens to provide a very bright picture. Even if you can’t get your simulator room very dark, you will still be able to see the screen. The full HD resolution will give you the feeling that you are out on the golf course, even though you are in your own home.
In addition, the short throw ratio means that you can put the projector a short distance from the area where you will be using it, and the image will not have shadows on the screen.
Another great feature of this amazing projector is the sound quality. Not all projectors are going to come with speakers, but these built-in options have plenty to offer when it comes to the ability to hear the ball land, the birds on the course, and more. The sound experience often underestimated, but it will make the golf simulator’s experience much more enjoyable.
- High contrast images
- Clear colors
- Can connect to a variety of devices with just one cable
- Long lamp life
- Built in speaker
- Fairly priced considering other short throw projector options in this category
- Not a laser projector for golf
2. BenQ TH671ST 1080p
With all of the equipment you need to purchase for a new golf simulator and to be able to play indoor golf, it’s important to pay attention to warranties. A warranty can save you if something comes up, and some of these projects will get quite a bit of use. We love the BenQ 1080 p Short Throw because of the 3 year warranty that it comes with.
This is a Full HD 1080P model with 3000 lumens. Since the projector features an enhanced gaming mode, you can expect it to be very fast and refresh quickly when you need it to. With this being a short throw projector, you can get an image on the projector screen from about five feet away. The high-quality image is plenty clear to see.
The shorter throw distance makes this one of the best projectors for golf simulation. The BenQ 1080p can connect to various devices and is one of the gamers’ best HD projector choices.
- Impressive aspect ration
- It portrays a bright image
- High image quality
- Provides a large free gaming experience
- Always check connectivity choices before purchasing your home warranty
3. Optoma UHD30
Here’s another great choice from Optoma with true native 4K resolution. The Optoma UHD30 has similar image quality specifications to the UHD50X above. This includes Dynamic Black contrast and an 8-segment color wheel for vivid, vibrant hues.
The Optoma UHD30 has a similar input lag to the UHD50X, as well. You don’t have to sacrifice image clarity for lag-free gaming with this model, since the lag stays low even at 4K resolution. A 240Hz processor gives you smooth on-screen transitions and eliminates blurring.
With a wide array of connection options and a simple set-up process, you’ll find it quick and easy to get started with the Optoma UHD30. It’s not quite as flexible from an installation standpoint as other options. The zoom is limited and there’s no lens shift for fine-tuning. That said, it does still include a vertical keystone correction to prevent warping, and has a nice, bright lamp, so it will still work nicely in the vast majority of spaces.
- Native 4K resolution
- 8-segment color wheel with HDR10 and HLG support
- Keystone correction for easy ceiling mounting
- Lamp is bright enough to use in well-lit rooms
- Wide range of connection options
- Low maintenance with long lamp lifespan
- No lens shift
- Fan is on the loud side
4. BenQ TH685i
For those who are on a tighter budget, the BenQ TH685i is likely the best gaming projector you’ll find in the under $1,000 price point. Its input lag is an impressive 8.3ms in Game Mode, which adds other enhancements like the LumiExpert brightness control that prevents eye strain during play.
The built-in wireless connectivity of the BenQ TH685i also gives you more ways to connect to content sources. Along with wired inputs like USB, VGA, and HDMI, you can mirror content from other devices using AirPlay or Chromecast, or stream it directly through the Android operating system. This gives it good versatility as a home theater projector, too, if you want a multi-purpose projector.
The main sacrifice you make for the comparatively low price of the TH685i is resolution. While it supports 4K input, it has a maximum resolution of 1080p (full HD). It also has a lower contrast and smaller color gamut than other projectors on the list. On the plus side, it has a robust array of alignment and installation features, including an automatic keystone correction and vertical lens shift.
- Highly responsive with low lag
- Bright enough for most lighting scenarios
- Shortest throw distance on the list
- Built-in Android operating system
- Easy installation with lens shift and automatic keystone correction
- Lower resolution (max of full HD)
- Color and contrast aren’t as strong
5. ViewSonic PJD5353LS Projector for Golf Simulator
This projector provides the necessary things required for you. It will specially fit the SwingBay Golf Simulator Screen & Enclosure at a 4:3 aspect ratio. It provides exclusive SuperColorTM technology that will give you a vast color extent for accurate picture forecast. In a word, the PJD5353LS can be an ideal option for you to use in education and elegant business grounds for its developed features, adjustable connectivity options, and reasonable price.
Will you get surprised if you know that this projector has flexible connectivity? Yes, it supports most media players, PCs, Macs, and mobile devices as well. This might be the most beneficial feature for you.
Smaller but fits any room you want to use. So if you have a space problem, you got an ideal option for a perfect projector.
- Easy to set up
- Big screen projection
- Versatile projector
- Smart design
- A little bit difficult to adjust the picture
How to set up projector for golf simulator
Mounting a golf simulator projector is a relatively easy process. It’s a good idea to get the following tools and parts ready before starting the mounting process.
- Hitting enclosure
- Ramp system
- Surge protector
- Power cord
Can You Use Any Projector For A Golf Simulator?
Yes, you can use any projector with a USB port and HDMI connection. However, it is important to consider the range of factors that can determine whether or not a projector is right for you. This includes factors such as brightness, contrast, and resolution.
How Many Lumens Does A Golf Simulator Need?
You should ideally choose a projector with a brightness of above 3000 lumens and a minimum of 2000 lumens.
Where Does The Projector Go In A Golf Simulator?
A short-throw projector will prevent your shadow from showing up on the screen, and it will also save a lot of space for your simulator system. It will be placed behind the screen, probably around 6 feet, so that you have plenty of room to swing the golf clubs.
How Much Should A Golf Simulator Projector Cost?
Projectors can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars, and it really depends on what you are looking for. For a basic projector, you can expect to spend anywhere from $200 to $600, but some models will cost much more.