Do you want to play golf at home but the decision is a hard one to take? Read our review if you’re looking for the best golf simulators under $1000!
Golf is an amazing sport itself that takes lots of practice to master. However, it is often not a good time or good weather to take your clubs and go out to your favorite golf course. So, that is why golf simulators are getting more and more popular among golf enthusiasts.
Of course, if you want to invest lots of money into your simulator, you will get more features, better graphics to feel the atmosphere of a golf course. Yet, affordable golf simulators are also quite competitive in this industry.
Before we introduce our best golf simulators list, we would like you to familiarize yourself with what you need to look for in a golf simulator.
Size is the number one factor. If you have a large basement with high ceilings, you will not have huge problems while setting up your golf simulator. Yet, not all of us have huge, empty spaces at home. In fact, many people live in jam-packed flats.
So, when choosing your golf simulator, choose accordingly. Most of the inexpensive simulators will come without a mat or a net which is good for cluttering places. If you plan to have a mat or net, you need to measure beforehand if you have enough space.
One thing you need to decide is whether you want a net or not. The nets can still hold you below $1000. If you decide to buy a net, you should make sure that your ceilings are about 9 feet high. Indeed, it varies depending on the brand but 9 feet is about the standard in this market.
This is important as well after our first two factors. You bought one with no net or mat, you will have less of an issue when it comes to transportation. However, a net can really be a pain in the neck. You need to check reviews if the net is easy to set or displace.
When everything is ready, you understand how great software can level up your equipment. Similarly, a bad one can ruin a $5000 simulator.
When choosing a software, you should be careful about if your needs match what the software offers. If you want to play a multiplayer game against real players and software does not have such a mode, it would be a waste of money, right?
So, these are the criteria that we have looked for and prepared this list for you. You should note that projectors or screens are not included as they would take the price way over $1000. Anyway, let’s take a look.
1. OptiShot2 Golf Simulator Golf in the Box
If you heard about golf simulators, you must have heard about the OptiShot2. This is probably the most famous golf simulator in the world with its easy set-up, accurate data, and affordability. In this version, there is the simulator, a net, and a stance mat. However, you can buy only the simulator.
The OptiShot 2 is a golf simulator that combines the pleasure of playing golf with the comfort of your home. When you unbox, you will see an infrared optical swing pad, OptiShot2 software with 15 courses to be downloaded, USB cable, rubber tees, two practice balls made of foam, OptiShot hitting mat, and full portable hitting net.
So, the only thing you will need after buying this simulator is a projector for better use and improved reality. OptiShot’s mat is 4’ in height and 5’ in width while the net is 7’ in height, 8’ width, and 1’ depth. So, it fits almost everywhere.
You can run the software with your Windows or Mac.
What can you do in the game?
There are 15 most famous courses included in the game which gives you a realistic atmosphere. You can play with three of your friends at the same time.
You can play 6 different modes including the match play, stroke play or better play modes. You can choose different weather conditions and different camera views.
In the game, there are real clubs that you can choose. You can pick your favorite driver to hit at the tee box or putter to finish up the hole.
There is also a realistic swing analysis. So, when you shoot, you will receive detailed feedback such as swing speed, maximum miles per hour and distance. It has awesome statistics and you can track your shot patterns.
Finally, one downside of the game is putting is below average here until you get used to it. When you get used to the game’s physics of putting, you risk your own putting skills in real life.
- 15 real world-renowned courses are a great surplus.
- One of the most realistic golf simulators when it comes to atmosphere.
- Putter physics should be improved.
2. Rapsodo R-Motion and The Golf Simulator and Swing Analyzer
Rapsodo is a relatively newer company; yet, they entered the sector in a swift manner. They now produce baseball, softball and golf simulators and assistant products. The difference is that the R-Motion uses your own clubs to track your swings not a Swing Pad like OptiShot2. So, you will have the comfort of having your own sticks here.
You can place your simulator even in your living room, it is a relatively small device.
As we said, there is a simple tracker to attach to your club so that you can use your own clubs. Thanks to this feature, you will play as if you hit the balls for real. There is “The Golf Club” game in your pack which you will be able to play 15 top golf courses.
It also works as a swing analyzer. For every shot you take, there are club swing and ball launch data so you will easily improve your real golf game. You will know what you need to do to develop your shots.
There is the charging cord and with a full battery, you can swing for 4 hours non-stop.
- Great affordability is an awesome thing especially if it is your first golf simulator.
- The data is so accurate that I could see my weak points and stronger points clearly.
- Sometimes it takes a while to synchronize the ball.
3. PhiGolf Mobile and Home Smart Golf Game Simulator with Swing Stick
The third on our list is PhiGolf Golf Simulator. The company developed a great set overall and the other customers seem to agree with me, giving the simulator an average of 4.1 stars on Amazon. The pack comes with the PhiGolf WGT Edition Device, PhiStick Simulated Golf Cub, PhiGolf Original Simulator App (and its license is for life).
So, if you enjoy playing golf at home and go for swing analysis, the PhiGolf can be the right simulator for you.
I want to start with the first thing that I loved about PhiGolf: It works as if it is your playing partner, and even sometimes as your instructor. The simulator provides you with a daily program to motivate you to practice golf every day. One day, it says work on your drive, the other day it says putt 10 holes today. Another thing is that there is the PhiliGolf Ability Test. You can see your improvement day by day through this test, which is also great for beginners or people who want to improve swiftly.
One negative thing is that the possibility of camera angles. There are only two camera angles, one behind your character, the other is from a weird angle.
What does the game offer?
It offers online or offline games. You can play in the practice range or in embedded golf courses the game has. The first 8 courses are totally free of charge and if you want, you can buy 24 more courses by paying 2 dollars a month. If you think of other golf games’ lifetime deals, it can be considered easy on the pocketbook.
Lastly, there are online world championships. These championships are monthly ones and you can always compete against the best golfers (at least in the simulator) in the world, and maybe who knows, you can be the world champions.
- The game gets competitive as more and more people play it.
- When you stick the sensor to your golf club, it is wonderful for analyzing your swings.
- More camera views would be an awesome surplus.
4. The Net Return Pro Series V2
The Net Return is no golf simulator if you compare it with the other recommendations that we just had. It does not have a screen or an application to play the game; however, it is a great way to practice your golf skills.
The Net Return V2 is a set comprised of a stance mat and a net that fits enlarged spaces like your garage or your garden. It does not calculate the data much but it gives you feedback. You can use any of your clubs to practice and the net is designed in a way all the golf balls will come back to you. The whole setting up the net and takes up about 10 minutes.
The pack includes side barriers for the net, two rubber tees, carry bag and sandbags to hold the barriers along with the net and mat.
How does the feedback work?
The ball rolls back past you, it means you hit a hook. The ball reaches you, it means you hit a straight shot. If the ball does not reach you, it means you hit a slice.
- You do not need to worry about reality as it is reality itself.
- There are many upgrades to boost your golf-play experience. It is well-thought.
- Less competitive especially if you do not have anyone to play with.
5. Premium Pick: OptiShot2 Golf In the Box
This is a little bit more expensive than our limit of $1000 but it is definitely worth it. It has all the features that Golf in the Box has but its net is much higher quality and syncing is much easier than the first version.
Just like the first one, the setup is super easy and bears every reason why I love OptiShot2 in the first place. It reads every swing accurately.
What I noticed in the Golf in the Box 2 is that it has better optimization than the first one. It feels like my laptop merely executes a normal game, not a full-fledged simulator.
- A better net in a golf simulator means better performance.
- I love how multiplayer mode works.
- Putting is still problematic.
To sum up, it is our list of best golf simulators under a thousand dollars. In order to maximize the fun out of your golf game, you need to practice more and more. Thus, a home with a virtual golf course is a great way to do that. Enjoy your game, fellows!