Best Golf Simulator Projector 2024 – 8 Step Buying Guide + Setup Examples

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I will take you through the exact process to plan, choose and then mount your golf simulator projector. You will succeed in the task of choosing a golf simulator projector that fills your impact screen with a bright and crystal clear image, mounted from a position that works for your setup.

The absolute best golf simulator projector for 2024 is the BenQ LK 936ST. This fantastic projector boasts true 4K resolution alongside 5100-lumen brightness and 4 directional keystone correction and lens shift. A built-for-purpose golf mode gives the best golf simulator projected images available.

The BenQ LK936ST is a premium projector with a higher price point, however, so I will cover more budget-friendly golf simulator projectors below, perfect for all simulator setups.

Here are the 6 key steps when choosing a golf simulator projector:

  1. Before choosing a golf simulator projector, firmly decide upon the hitting position within your simulator, and also the impact screen height and width.
  2. Decide upon a budget
  3. Using your hitting position, mount dummy projectors to determine your best mounting position. You may pick two or three potential positions. The best position will be away from your swing area and not far behind you, ensuring shadows are not cast on the screen (as we discuss later).
  4. With your potential mounting position determined, you can work out which throw ratio you need to project a perfectly sized image on your impact screen.
  5. Once you’ve decided on a throw ratio, you can choose your golf simulator projector!
  6. If you find more than one model with an appropriate throw ratio within your budget, consider brightness, resolution, and other features as part of your decision. You may need vertical or horizontal keystone correction if you plan to mount the projector on the floor or right at the side of your golf simulator (more on this later).
Best Golf Simulator Projectors 2024
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1 Best Golf Simulator Projector 2024 – 8 Step Buying Guide + Setup Examples

Summary of Specifications for Golf Simulator Projectors

Recommended Golf Simulator Projectors - Specifications

Projector ModelBuy NowResolutionLumensThrow RatioContrast RatioAspect Ratio (Native)Aspect Ratios (in settings)Keystone CorrectionLight Source
BenQ LK 936STBuy Now3840*2160 (4K)51000.81-0.89 : 13,000,000:116:9Auto/4:3/16:9/16:10/2.4:1Vertical + Horizontal (+/- 40 deg)Laser (20000 hours life)
BenQ LK 953STBuy Now3840*2160 (4K)50000.81-0.88 : 13,000,000:116:9Auto, 16:9, 4:3, 16:10Vertical OnlyLaser (20000 hours life)
BenQ TH671STBuy Now1920x108030000.69-0.83 : 110000:116:9'4 others'Vertical ± 30 degrees; Horizontal ± 30 degreesDLP (4000-15000 hrs lamp life)
Optoma EH200STBuy Now1920x108030000.5 : 120,000:116:94:3Vertical Only (+/-40°)DLP (5000-6000 hours)
BenQ TK700STiBuy Now3840×2160 (4K)30000.9 -1.08 :110,000:116:94:3;AutoVertical, Horizontal & Rotational all ±40 degreesDLP (4000 - 15000 hours)
BenQ LU710Buy NowWUXGA (1920x1200)40001.13-1.46 : 13,000,000:116:1016:9, 4:3, Auto, RealVertical ± 30 degrees; Horizontal ± 30 degreesLaser (20,000 hours)
Optoma GT2000HDRBuy Now1920x108035000.496:1300,000:116:94:3, 16:10Horizontal & Vertical (Both +/- 30 degs)Laser
BenQ LH820STBuy Now1920x108036000.4973,000,000:116:916:10;16:9;4:3;Auto;RealHorizontal & Vertical (Both +/- 30 degs)Laser
Optoma ZH450STBuy Now1920x108042000.496:12,000,000:116:94:3,16:10Horizontal & Vertical (Both +/- 30 degs)Laser
LG ProBeam BU53RGBuy Now3840 x 2160 (4K)50000.94-1.143,000,00016:94:3/Vertical Zoom/All-Direction ZoomVertical: ±50%, Horizontal: ±20%Laser
BenQ LW600STBuy NowWXGA (1280x800)28000.7220,000:116:10Auto/Real/4:3/16:9Vertical and Horizontal ± 30 degrees4LED
Optoma ZH350Buy Now1920*108035000.49:1300,000:116:94:3,16:10Vertical +/- 30 degLaser
Panasonic VMZ51UBuy NowWUXGA 1900*120052001.09-1.77 (1.6x Zoom)3,000,000:116:10UnclearHorizontal +/-20% & Vertical +44%Laser
Panasonic PT-VZ580UBuy NowWUXGA 1900*128050001.09-1.7716,000:116:10UnclearVertical +/-40%LCD

Recommended Golf Simulator Projectors - Example Screen Sizes

Projector ModelBuy NowThrow RatioExample Image Size in 16:9Example Image Size in 4:3Throw
BenQ LK 936STBuy Now0.81-0.89 : 113ft wide, 7ft 4in tall (with projector 11ft from screen)9ft 4in wide, 7ft tall (with projector 10ft 7in from screen)Short Throw
BenQ LK 953STBuy Now0.81-0.88 : 112ft 5in wide, 7ft tall (with projector 10ft 5in from screen)10ft wide, 7ft 6in tall (with projector 11ft 2in from screen)Short Throw
BenQ TH671STBuy Now0.69-0.83 : 116ft wide, 9ft tall (with projector 12ft from screen)12ft wide, 9ft tall (with projector 12ft from screen)Short Throw
Optoma GT 1080 HDRBuy Now0.49 : 114ft wide, 7ft 10in tall (with projector 7ft from screen)10ft wide, 7ft 6 in tall (with projector 6ft 8in from screen)Short Throw
Optoma EH200STBuy Now0.50 : 112ft wide, 6ft 9in tall (with projector 6ft from screen)11ft 3in wide, 8ft 3in tall (with projector 7ft 4 in from screen)Short Throw
BenQ LH710Buy Now1.13 – 1.46 : 110ft 8in wide, 6ft tall (with projector 13ft 7in from screen)8ft wide, 6ft tall (with projector 13ft 6in from screen)Standard Throw
BenQ TK700STiBuy Now0.90 – 1.08 : 112ft 5in wide, 7ft tall (with projector 12ft 2in from screen)9ft 4in wide, 7ft tall (with projector 12ft 3in from screen)Short Throw
BenQ LU710Buy Now1.13 – 1.46 : 110ft 2in wide, 5ft 9in tall (with projector 13ft from screen)11ft wide, 6ft 2in tall (with projector 14ft from screen)Standard Throw
Optoma ZH406STBuy Now0.50 : 116ft wide, 9ft tall (with projector 8ft from screen)12ft wide, 9ft high (with projector 8ft from screen)Short Throw

Best Golf Simulator Projectors for Specific Setups

Below is a list of my recommended golf simulator projectors for different simulator setup needs.

I have grouped the projectors into three groups from a price perspective:

  • Under $999 : Lower
  • $1000-$1499 : Mid Range
  • Over $1500 : High-End

Best 4K Golf Simulator Projector (and Best Overall) – BenQ LK 936ST

The BenQ LK936ST is the best golf simulator projector available on the market today. The combination of premium projector technology and price is pretty remarkable.

Price: High-End

Not long ago, a 4K, short-throw projector with more than 5000 ANSI lumens of brightness would have cost twice as much money. Sure, the LK936ST is still expensive, but you’re getting a truly high-end projector here. Consider the LK936ST the GC-Quad of projectors!

An additional bonus with the LK936ST is that in addition to a very versatile throw ratio of 0.81, you benefit from digital zoom, and both horizontal and vertical keystone correction AND lens shift. This means this projector can be placed in a very wide variety of positions within the golf simulator space.

Untitled Design 20
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Benq Lk 936 St Projector

BenQ LK 936 ST Projector

  1. 4K UHD Resolution: Offers a resolution of 3840 x 2160 with 8.3 million distinct pixels, providing ultra-sharp images and detailed visuals.

  2. Laser Light Source: Features a laser light source with a lifespan of 20,000 hours and a brightness of 5,100 lumens, ensuring long-term reliability and bright, vivid images.

  3. High Contrast Ratio: Boasts an impressive 3,000,000:1 contrast ratio, delivering deep blacks and enhanced image depth.

  4. Short Throw Ratio: The projector has a 0.8 short throw ratio, allowing it to produce large images in small spaces, ideal for indoor golf simulators.

  5. Flexible Mounting Options: Offers keystone adjustment (+/- 40 degrees vertical and horizontal), lens shift, and a short-throw design for versatile setup in various room sizes and configurations.

  6. Exclusive Golf Mode: Includes a Golf Mode setting that optimizes the display of blue skies and green grass, enhancing the golf simulation experience.

  7. HDMI 2.0 Ports: Equipped with HDMI 2.0 ports for high-quality content projection with greater brightness and contrast.

  8. Dustproof Sealed Laser Engine: The maintenance-free, dustproof design contributes to the projector's durability and longevity.

  9. Versatile Aspect Ratio Options: As well as the native 16:9, the LK 936 ST supports Auto/4:3/16:10/2.4:1
  10. Various Mounting Options: Supports different mounting styles, including flush to the ceiling, drop mount, and enclosure mount, for flexible installation in golf simulator setups.

  11. S/PDIF for Surround Sound: Comes with an S/PDIF port supporting 5.1 channel surround sound output, enhancing the audio experience.

  12. Integration with Home Automation Systems: Can be connected to home automation control systems for convenient management via smartphones or PCs.

  13. HDBaseT Connectivity: Features HDBaseT connectivity for uncompressed transmission up to 100 meters, combining video, audio, and control signals.

The BenQ LK936 ST is a high-end 4K UHD golf simulator projector, offering exceptional image quality with a 5,100 lumens laser light source and a high contrast ratio for vivid, detailed visuals. Designed with a short-throw ratio and flexible installation options, it's ideal for small spaces and reduces shadows and glare, enhancing the golf simulation experience. Its long-lasting, dustproof design and compatibility with home automation systems make it a durable and convenient choice for golf enthusiasts.

The BenQ LK936ST is the best projector on the mainstream golf simulator market in 2024. Hands down.

Pros
  1. 4K Ultra HD Resolution: Delivers sharp and detailed images.
  2. Long-Lasting Laser Light: 20,000-hour lifespan with bright 5,100 lumens.
  3. High Contrast: Deep blacks for better image depth.
  4. Short-Throw Ratio: Good for small spaces, reducing shadows and glare.
  5. Flexible Setup: Easy to install with keystone and lens shift adjustments.
  6. Golf Mode: Optimizes colors for a realistic golf simulation.
  7. Several Aspect Ratios: Auto/4:3/16:9/16:10/2.4:1
  8. Versatile Connectivity: Includes HDMI 2.0 and S/PDIF for surround sound.
  9. Dustproof Design: Maintenance-free and durable.
  10. Home Automation Compatibility: Can be controlled via smartphone or PC.
  11. Long-Range Transmission: HDBaseT connectivity for up to 100 meters.
Cons
  1. Cost: at around $4899, this projector is expensive. You'll get the best possible golf simulator images if you do pull the trigger though!

A dedicated golf mode enhances the glorious green colours in your golf simulation software even further to produce the best images possible.

Benq Lk936St Product Page Images 1

Here are some examples of throw distances (from projector to screen) and projected image sizes using the BenQ LK 936ST:

Throw DistanceImage WidthImage HeightAspect Ratio
12ft14ft 2in7ft 11in16:9
10ft11ft 10in6ft 8in16:9
12ft10ft 7in7ft 11in4:3
10ft8ft 10in6ft 7in4:3

Best Full HD Golf Simulator Projector – Optoma ZH406ST

I believe that the best non-4K golf simulator projector on the market is the Optoma ZH406ST. This excellent projector offers 4200 lumens of brightness, solid contrast ratio, and horizontal and vertical keystone correction.

The ZH406ST is a laser-based projector that affords you 30,000 hours of use before you’ll need to think about light source replacement. For the vast majority of users, this means it will last decades.

A throw ratio of 0.5:1 will suit the vast majority of golf simulators, including smaller setups.

This projector has many of the same specifications that used to be offered in the Optoma GT 1090 HDR, which was the higher-end version of the GT 1080 HDR but is no longer generally available.

Price: High End

This projector does fall into the higher price bracket described in this list, though only just. It is much less an half the price of the BenQ LK936ST and if you can’t find room in your budget for the BenQ then the Optoma ZH406ST is a fantastic choice.

Here are some examples of throw distances (from projector to screen) and projected image sizes using the Optoma ZH406ST:

Throw DistanceImage WidthImage HeightAspect Ratio
7ft14ft7ft 10in16:9
5ft 6in11ft6ft 2in16:9
6ft9ft6ft 9in4:3
8ft12ft9ft4:3

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Optoma ZH406ST Pros
  • 4200 Lumen Brightness (Excellent!)
  • Full HD (1920*1080) Resolution
  • Very High Clarity – 300,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • 0.5:1 Throw Ratio – Great for Majority of Setups
  • Horizontal and Vertical Keystone Correction
  • 30,000 Hour Light Source Maintenance Free (Laser)
Optoma ZH406ST Cons
  • Higher in Price than some competitors
  • Keystone correction is 15 degrees in each direction (some models have greater amounts)

Best Budget Golf Simulator Projector – Optoma GT 1080 HDR

The Optoma GT 1080 HDR projector is a solid all-rounder at a great price. The GT 1080 HDR is one of the most commonly used projectors in the golf simulator market for the following reasons.

You get a Full HD image (1920*1080 pixels) alongside a very solid brightness level of 3800 ANSI lumens, coupled with a 50,000:1 contrast ratio means images are bright and clear.

Price: Lower

A throw ratio of 0.49:1 will suit the majority of golf simulator rooms including those with smaller dimensions. There is a 4000-15000 lamp life that depends on whether you choose to utilize the Eco Mode option.

There aren’t many downsides to the Optoma GT 1080 HDR, especially at this price. You don’t get Horizontal Keystone Correction, but I wouldn’t expect this feature in this price bracket anyway!

Here are some examples of throw distances (from projector to screen) and projected image sizes using the Optoma GT 1080 HDR:

Throw DistanceImage WidthImage HeightAspect Ratio
8ft16ft9ft16:9
6ft12ft6ft 9in16:9
7ft10ft 6in7ft 11in4:3
8ft12ft9ft4:3
Optoma GT 1080 HDR Pros
  • Full HD 1920*1080 Resolution
  • Throw Ratio if 0.49:1 will suit most setups
  • Excellent Value 3800 Lumen Brightness
  • 40 Degree Vertical Keystone Correction
  • 50,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • 4000-15000 hour Lamp Life
  • One of the most popular golf simulator projectors ever
Optoma GT 1080 HDR Cons
  • None
  • (Features that the GT 1080 HDR lacks such as Horizontal Keystone Correction, can not normally be expected at this price range)
B844Bc6F 16F5 449F 9122 05F48103B6C7 300Dpi

Is there a Budget 4K Golf Simulator Projector? – BenQ TK700 STI

The BenQ TK700STI offers 4K resolution at well under half the price of other 4K models on the market, making it a contender in many golf simulator setups.

Note that there are many affordable 4K projectors available but the cheaper ones tend to have standard throw lenses (well over 1.0:1) meaning they need to be mounted far from the impact screen to produce a suitably sized image, and hence they are likely unsuitable for golf simulation purposes.

The throw ratio on the BenQ TK700STI is 0.90:1 which puts it at the longer end of the short throw bracket (short throw is defined as a throw ratio of between 0.4-1.0 : 1).

The BenQ TK700STI will project an image 12ft wide by 6ft 9in high when mounted 11ft 9in from the screen, in 16:9 aspect ratio.

Price: High End

In addition to 4K resolution, you also benefit from 40 degrees of both Horizontal and Vertical Keystone Correction and a low input lag of 16ms, making this a solid projector choice for gaming.

Here are some examples of throw distances (from projector to screen) and projected image sizes using the BenQ TK700STI:

Throw DistanceImage WidthImage HeightAspect Ratio
12ft12ft 3in6ft 11in16:9
10ft10ft 2in5ft 9in16:9
12ft9ft 2in6ft 11in4:3
14ft10ft 9in8ft4:3
BenQ TK700STI Pros
  • 4K (3840*1920) Resolution at a great price
  • 4000-15000 Hours Lamp Life
  • Horizontal and Vertical Keystone Correction (+/- 40 degrees)
  • Throw Ratio of 0.9-1.08 : 1 suits larger golf simulators
  • Low Input Lag (16ms) – great for gaming
BenQ TK700STI Cons
  • 3000 Lumens does project a bright image, but the brightness is less than competitors (it is less suited to projection in bright ambient light environments, though golf simulators usually don’t have lots of ambient light).
  • Throw Ratio of 0.9-1.08 : 1 doesn’t suit the smallest golf simulator rooms
  • Contrast Ratio 10,000:1 is lower than competitors but the higher resolution and low input lag do offset this
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Best 16:10 Aspect Ratio Golf Simulator Projector – BenQ LU710

The BenQ LU710 offers a fantastic option for those looking to build a screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio, as well as golfers who want to combine their golf simulator with a gaming projector setup.

You get a projector resolution of 1920*1200 which conforms to a 16:10 aspect ratio (16:9 and 4:3 are available within settings too).

You’re also treated to a fantastic 3 million : 1 contrast ration and 4000 lumens for bright and crystal clear images.

Price: Mid Range

This projector is feature-packed, but there is one problem, the LU710 is a standard throw model (the throw ratio is 1.13-1.46), meaning that it will only suit larger golf simulator rooms. To achieve an image 12ft wide by 7ft 6 in high, you’d need to mount this projector 15ft 4in from the screen.

There is both horizontal and vertical keystone correction though which adds a degree of versatility to positioning this projector in your setup.

Here are some examples of throw distances (from projector to screen) and projected image sizes using the BenQ LU710 (notice the longer throw ratio meaning you need to mount this projector further from the screen in order to project similar-sized images):

Throw DistanceImage WidthImage HeightAspect Ratio
13ft10ft 2in6ft 4in16:10
15ft11ft 9in7ft 10in16:10
14ft11ft6ft 2in16:9
15ft9ft 107ft 4in4:3
BenQ LU710 Pros
  • 16:10 Aspect Ratio in a Quality Projector
  • 4000 Lumens (Great Brightness)
  • 1920*1200 Resolution (WUXGA) (more pixels than Full HD, fewer than 4K)
  • 3,000,000:1 Contrast Ratio for Crystal Clear Images
  • Horizontal and Vertical Keystone Correction (+/- 30 degrees)
  • Laser Light Source (lasts 20,000 hours maintenance free)
Cons
  • Throw Ratio of 1.13-1.46:1 means the projector must be mounted further from the screen than most competitors. The LU710 is a Standard Throw Projector (not short throw), meaning it is less well suited to smaller simulators, needing a longer throw distance to produce a large image.
Lu710 Front30 1

Buying Guide – 8 Steps

Firmly Define your Hitting Position and Impact Screen Size

This is pivotal! You can’t adequately plan the positioning of a golf simulator projector until you first define your hitting position (where you will place the golf ball or tee) and the size of your impact screen (both the width and height).

Failure to define these essential golf simulator characteristics will mean you are trying to work backward to achieve a perfectly positioned image upon your impact screen. This is really hard to do!

The vast majority of golf simulators adopting a full projector-based setup will opt for either a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio impact screen. Only a few will choose 16:10 or even 1:1.

In general, those with ample room width will choose 16:9 and those with narrower setups (eg 13ft and less) should consider 4:3. Note that using a 16:9 aspect ratio in a narrow room will lead to a screen that is very short in height.

Everything else stems from the hitting position (i.e the mounting position and throw distance – the distance between projector and impact screen) so this needs to be nailed down first. You can learn more about golf simulator room dimensions, tee-to-screen distances, and golf simulator ceiling heights here.

Check out these articles all about impact screen sizes and aspect ratio too.

Impact Screen Size Guide
Aspect Ratio

Choose a mounting position

Where to mount the projector can be one of the biggest headaches that face a golfer in the planning stages of a home simulator. There are numerous terms and nuances to understand.

Your chosen mounting position could be:

  • Above and central
  • Above and off-center
  • Floor and central
  • Floor and off-center
  • On the extreme side wall

Positions above the golfer will either ceiling mounts or mounts hung down from the horizontal bar of a golf simulator enclosure.

The perfect mounting position must fulfill all three of:

  • The projector must be out of the way of the golfer and his or her swing, it must not also be vulnerable to flying golf balls.
  • Most positions behind the golfer will lead to the golfer’s shadow being cast on the screen. You need a position that won’t cast shadows. Positions only-just behind the golfer, mounted at adequate height, may get away with this.
  • The throw ratio of the projector must match the throw distance (distance from projector to impact screen) to create an image that is the same size as your impact screen will be. You can play around with a calculator for this (using any of the projectors above) here at Projector Central.

You can learn lots more about golf simulator projector mounting positions here in my dedicated article. We examine each position in lots more detail.

Where To Mount The Projector

Then calculate the Throw Ratio you need

Once you have decided upon a proposed mounting position, you will need to calculate the throw ratio of the projector you will need to project an image that perfectly matches the size of your impact screen from that position.

For 16:9 aspect ratios, the equation is as follows:

Throw Ratio 2

For example, if you have a projector with a throw ratio of 0.5 (eg. the Optoma GT 1080 HDR) mounted at a throw distance of 8ft from the impact screen, you will create an image 16ft wide (in 16:9 aspect ratio, your image will be 15ft wide and 9ft high).

Note that for 4:3 aspect ratios, the horizontal image width will be different. The horizontal image width gained from the equation above will only be 75% as wide in a 4:3 aspect ratio projection. For example, your 0.5 throw ratio projector mounted 8ft from the screen will project an image 12ft wide (and 9ft high) in 4:3.

Check out the example screen sizes and throw distances on the list on my recommended golf simulator projectors page.

You don’t always have to match things absolutely perfectly, especially if your chosen projector has a digital zoom feature. Digital zoom will be able to adjust image sizes that are nearly there. A digital zoom of 1.2 means that you can vary the throw distance (or image size) by 20%.

As ever, I recommend visiting projectorcentral.com and checking out their throw calculator. You can play around with each projector and see how big the projected image will be from a variety of positions, you can utilize the zoom features too!

Do you need Adjustment Features such as Keystone Correction and Lens Shift?

If you choose one of the projector mounting positions that are on the floor or significantly off to the side, you will need keystone correction.

When you aim a projector at a flat wall from the side, above or below, the image is distorted from a perfect rectangle to a trapezium shape.

This effect occurs because the light making up the far side of the image has further to travel and is shone at an angle. The effect will be greater, the further the projector is from perpendicular to the wall.

Projector positions that are only just off from central will be okay, you can usually just tilt the projector back towards central slightly to achieve the rectangular-shaped image. Note that off-center positions often lead to a very slight reduction in image clarity.

Side-mounted positions will require horizontal keystone correction whereas floor-mounted projectors will require vertical keystone. You’re unlikely to need this with ceiling-mounted positions unless you place it well above the screen height.

Horizontal keystone correction tends to be a feature of more premium golf simulator projector models, whereas the vast majority do have vertical keystone correction as standard.

Keystone Correction

Lens shift is another feature that moves the projected image for you, but this time by physically moving the lens, rather than digitally altering the image (keystone correction).

Lens shift allows you far greater flexibility on mounting positions as you can place the projector where you like and the lens can be adjusted to bring the image back centered on your screen. Note that this is a feature of the most premium of golf simulator projectors.

How will you physically mount the projector in your simulator?

If you plan on mounting your golf simulator projector on the ceiling, you will need a mount. Luckily, the vast majority of projectors are compatible with a universal mounting system.

Carl’s Place sell three types of projector mount, one that will mount the projector flush with the ceiling, one that allows you to mount the projector from a horizontal bar (as in with a golf simulator enclosure), and another that drops down from the ceiling.

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Drop Mount Projector Mount Rasterized
Frame Mount Projector Bar Compress

Resolution, Inputs & Contrast Ratio – Achieving an Optimal Image

Most golf simulator projectors offer a Full HD 1920*1080 resolution, which equates to over 2 million pixels. I believe that a Full HD picture will be more than satisfactory in the vast majority of golf simulator setups.

A bright light source and solid contrast ratio numbers also contribute to image clarity in addition to the number of pixels included in the image.

Remember that in order to get the most out of your high-definition imagery in a golf simulator, you need a premium-quality impact screen and enough computing (graphical) power to run the software in HD.

Premium quality impact screens are made of bright white materials that don’t allow light to bleed through the fabric, reflecting the projected image as it was intended. I recommend Carl’s Premium Impact Screen for these reasons.

An alternative projector resolution offered by a few models (including the BenQ LU710 above) is 1920*1200, displays offering this resolution satisfy a 16:10 aspect ratio. 16:10 occupies a space between the very wide 16:9 and the taller 4:3 displays.

There are more pixels in a 1920*1200 display than in Full HD, but fewer than in 4K.

They are also termed ‘WUXGA’ which stands for Widescreen Extended Graphics Array and are often seen in widescreen gaming monitors.

4K golf simulator projectors are now available for sale and are often seen in setups shown in golf simulator forums and Facebook Groups. The 4K projectors themselves are still at the higher end of the cost spectrum but prices are falling year on year.

You will need an even greater amount of graphical power to run golf simulation programs in 4K resolution, at least without seeing buffering or the whole experience running poorly. A high-quality impact screen will be required to appreciate the difference.

You can learn a lot more about the simulator setup requirements to gain the most from a 4K golf simulator projector here.

4K Golf Simulator Projectors

A high-quality golf simulator projected image is definitely achievable with a Full HD setup. Remember that there are other considerations that contribute to image quality (brightness, contrast ratio, impact screen materials, computing power) other than just resolution.

Projector Brightness – Think about the Ambient Light in your Golf Simulator

Most golf simulators don’t have excess ambient light. The majority of setups have dimmed lights and no open windows with sunlight beaming through. If your simulator is similar to this, then you don’t necessarily need a projector with market-leading brightness.

Projector brightness is measured in ANSI lumens. The general range for golf simulator projectors is between 3000 and >5000 ANSI lumens, with more lumens equalling a brighter light source.

Simulators with only dim ambient light can definitely enjoy a bright projected image with any of the projectors in this list, including those offering ANSI lumens numbers at the bottom of this range (~3000). The projectors boasting 5000 or more lumens have very bright light sources.

A few years ago, many golf simulator projectors only offered lights with brightness ratings around 2000 ANSI lumens, so all of the projectors on this list will be nice and bright.

Golf Simulators that do have a bit more ambient light, whether it be natural light coming in through windows or brighter electric lights, should consider a projector with a brighter light source (more ANSI lumens). Aim for 3800 or more in this case.

Lamps and Lasers – How long will the light source last without maintenance?

I love the peace of mind that comes with knowing my new golf simulator projector will last for a long long time without the need for maintenance and lamp/light replacement.

Many of the projectors in our recommended projector list feature lamps with many thousands of hours of play. Some of the more premium models work using dust-free design systems, which prolong the life of the projector even further.

The laser-based projectors last 2-3 times longer than those using DLP lamp technology. A lifespan of 20,000 hours can be expected of the laser-based projectors.

Say you use your golf simulator for two hours, four times per week, every week. A projector featuring a lamp rated for 6000 hours will therefore last 14 years. A 20,000-hour laser system will last 48 years!

At heavier use (say 20 hours a week), your 6000-hour lamp will last 5.5 years and the 20,000-hour laser will still last 19 years. Fantastic lifespans if you ask me!

Light Use (5 hours a week)Medium Use (10 hours a week)Heavy Use (20 hours a week)
4000 Hour Lamp15 years7.7 years3.8 years
10,000 Hour Lamp38 years19 years8.5 years
30,000 Hour Laser115 years57 years28 years

Protect your Golf Simulator Projector

I recommend protecting your golf simulator projector in both the physical and financial sense.

The projector is likely to be one of the more expensive elements of your golf simulator setup, so it would be a worthy addition to your home insurance as a separate item. Alternatively, you could take out gadget insurance. If you nail your BenQ LK936ST with a skyed driver shot and break it, its bad news!

To physically protect your projector, the main point is of course to ensure it is out of the way of both your swing and flying golf balls. There is always room for accidents though, especially when trying to break your swing speed record!

5 Compressed Large

Consider a floor mount setup that includes this projector mounting box such as this Swingshield Box from Rain or Shine Golf. Similarly constructed boxes could be attached to ceiling mounts but I have not seen one commercially available.

Extra Golf Simulator Projector Resources

Take a look at my other projector articles here, each is dedicated to helping you choose the perfect golf simulator projector for your setup.

We have articles with specific information about projector mounting positions, including floor-mounted setups. We also cover projector specifications in detail (in relation to golf simulators) such as resolution, brightness, contrast ratio, throw ratio, and keystone correction. We even cover simulators that are set up without projectors.

I also strongly recommend you check out the Throw Calculator at Projectorcentral.com. This is an invaluable tool for all golfers planning a simulator build.

Summary – What Key Factors Determine your Perfect Golf Simulator Projector?

I hope you’ve found the buying guide above useful, and that it provides some context to all the specifications and numbers listed in the pros and cons tables for each projector.

The best golf simulator projector for you and your setup will be determined by the following:

  • How big is your golf simulator space? This is the biggest determinant of your projector needs.
    • The size of your space will determine the size of your impact screen and hence your projected image.
    • Room dimensions are important in and of themselves. In particular, room length determines your hitting position and hence the likely throw distance (distance from projector to impact screen), room width will also determine how much space you have on either side to mount the projector. Remember you’ll need keystone correction if mounting it on the floor or off to the side.
  • Your budget directly determines whether you can afford the more premium features of a golf simulator projector such as 4K resolution.
  • The ambient light in your simulator room. More ambient light (say if you have natural light coming in through windows) will mean a brighter projector is better (>3800 ANSI lumens).
  • How much stock you place in each projector specification. Different golfers will value each projector characteristic a little differently.

I recommend you test projector mounting positions with a dummy projector (cardboard box) so you can check that you definitely won’t smash it with a flailing 3 wood. Once again, don’t forget to play around with the throw calculator at projectorcentral.com.

Remember that you can always opt for a budget or mid-range projector and then upgrade when your budget allows. As long as they’re in good condition, most of these projector models will hold their value well.

I hope that you’ve found this guide helpful. Please check out all the other golf simulator projector resources here at mygolfsimulator.com

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Alex @ mygolfsimulator

Alex White is a 4 handicap golfer and is a familiar face at Hexham Golf Club, England. He launched mygolfsimulator.com in February 2020, where he has personally authored over half a million words on golf simulators, earning a reputation as an expert in this area. His knowledge extends beyond theory; Alex has personally designed and constructed three distinct golf simulator rooms over the last four years. He also provides consultation services for fellow golf enthusiasts looking to create their own home golf simulators. In addition to his golfing pursuits, Alex is a dedicated medical professional. He earned his medical degree (MBBS) from Newcastle University in 2014 and currently works as an emergency medicine registrar in the north-east of England. Alex recently achieved the FRCEM (Fellow of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine) qualification, marking a significant milestone in his medical career.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

alex

Hello! My name is Alex and it is my mission to bring you all the information you need to build your own home golf simulator! I hope mygolfsimulator.com helps you on your journey to better golf at home!

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