By the end of this article you will know all about floor mounted projectors in golf simulators. You’ll understand why some simulator setups necessitate a floor mounted projector and others don’t. We explain the essential features you need in a projector to allow floor positioning whilst still achieving a perfect image. You’ll also learn which specific projectors will be great for your simulator.
A golf simulator may require a floor mounted projector due to space restrictions. The projector must feature vertical keystone correction in order to project a square image from below the impact screen. A protective case specifically designed for floor mounted positioning is essential.
The Optoma EH460ST is my favorite projector at the moment to floor mount in your golf simulator. I’ll explain all about why later in the article.
Why Floor Mount your Golf Simulator Projector?
It sure is nice to not have to worry about hitting your projector with your swing, or casting shadows onto your impact screen.
With a floor mounted projector you can swing freely and further reduce any indoor swing syndrome you may be experiencing.
Many golfers find floor mounting a projector in a nice turf backed enclosure more aesthetically pleasing too!
What Features must a Projector have to be Floor Mounted?
Vertical Keystone Correction – Essential
Vertical Keystone Correction is a must have for a golf simulator projector mounted on the floor.
Keystone correction is the process of skewing the image vertically or horisontally to project a perfect rectangular image. It is required when a projector is mounted in a position that is not perpendicular to the screen.
There will be a resulting loss of clarity in the image.
You could just about get away with it by simply tilting your projector upwards but you would sacrifice a rectangular image (ending up with a trapezium) and I suspect the resolution would be impacted.
You might need Horizontal Keystone Correction
Your projector will need horizontal Keystone correction if you wish to place the projector off centre, as well as on the floor.
Again, you might get away with tilting it, but risk a trapezeium shaped image and lower resolution.
Horizontal keystone correction is harder to come across in a short throw projector and is a feature of the more premium models.
You still need to get the projector basics right
So, you’ve chosen to floor mount your projector, what now? Not so fast!
Floor mounting your projector will not solve all the decisions and potential headaches involved with achieving the perfect golf simulator setup.
You still need to match:
- The projector’s throw ratio with your mounting position, and
- The aspect ratio with your impact screen dimensions, and
- The number of lumens (brightness) with the ambient light of your room.
Central vs Off-Centre Floor Mounting Positions
Central Hitting Position, Central Floor Projector
A central floor mounted projector may look great but you want to still be able to hit the ball at the impact screen without rebounding upwards off the projector enclosure. Low lofted clubs like 2 iron may not clear the projector as they travel from your mat to the screen.
This holds true especially for those with rooms wide enough to allow a central hitting position.
Off Centre Hitting Position, Central Floor Projector
Those with narrow rooms may need to set up and hit from off centre, towards the side wall. Your room dimensions may allow no other option. If this is the case then a centrally placed floor projector can be a good option.
You can still benefit from the central projector position and it won’t be directly in the way of your target line.
Central Hitting Position, Off Centre Floor Projector
Golfers with narrower rooms might have to set up towards the side of the room, centrally mounted floor projectors will work okay in these setups.
In this case you may wish to choose for an off centre projector, relying on horizontal Keystone correction to optimise your image. This will allow a centred aim and a floor mounted projector that doesn’t get in the way!
My Recommended Golf Simulator Projectors for Floor Mounting
The following three projectors will all be great additions to your golf simulator, whether you choose to floor mount them or not!
Crucially, they’re short throw HD projectors that feature vertical Keystone correction.
Optoma’s fantastic EH460ST is a 4200 lumen, short throw behemoth of a golf simulator projector that features both horizontal and vertical keystone correction.
This makes it perfect for floor mounted and off-centre floor mounted projector positions.
This projector has a throw ratio of 0.5 so will produce an image width of 10ft from 5ft away. Like most golf simulator projectors the native resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixes.
You can check out the Optoma EH460ST at Shop Indoor Golf!
I also really like the Optoma GT1090 HDR projector, which has amazing stats. However, this projector has been very difficult to get hold of in 2020 since the pandemic struck.
The Optoma EH200ST is another fantastic short throw golf simulator projector and is a little cheaper than the EH460ST.
This projector benefits from a 0.49 throw ratio and vertical (but not horizontal) keystone correction, making it suitable for centrally located floor mounts. Again there is a 1920 x 1080 pixel native resolution and you benefit from 6500 hours rated lamp life.
You can check out the Optoma EH200ST at Shop Indoor Golf!
Essential Accessories for Floor Mounting a Projector
An absolutely essential accessory for a floor mounted projector is a protective box in which it can sit. This will usually have artificial grass on the top side for added protection and aesthetics.
Protecting your Floor Mounted Projector
Some golfers who are skilled at DIY will build an enclosure like this themselves. However if you want a sturdy, well ventilated enclosure that looks the part, check out Rain or Shine Golf!
What other Projector Features Are Important to Understand?
The throw ratio of a projector determines how large an image will be projected on the screen from a given distance. Throw ratio is actually a feature of the lens within the projector.
Terms you should know include:
- Throw Distance: How far from your impact screen will your projector be mounted
- Horizontal image width: the size of your image along the horizontal side.
Typically in a golf simulator you need to seek a ‘short throw’ projector which has a throw ratio of between 0.4 and 1.0.
To plan this out you need to decide:
- the size of your impact screen (horizontal image width)
- exactly where you intend to hit from. This should be marked out early within your simulator setup and everything else will be built around it. Consider drawing a chalk line around your mat and make another mark where your tee position will be.
You can make slight adjustments to the size of your image using the zoom features of your projector but these are only small changes.
I have a dedicated post all about projector throw ratios here. Please check it out!
Resolution, Lumens and Contrast Ratio
In general, the higher the contrast ratio and resolution the better. There are some important bits and pieces to know about lumens and contrast ratio in particular.
However, I recommend focussing your projector search filters on the things that could sink your simulator if you get them wrong. In particular ensure you get the correct throw ratio and whether you need features such as keystone correction.
Aspect ratio is the ratio between the horizontal and vertical sides of your projected image. You can change the aspect ratio either in the computer settings or force the projector to display whatever is on your screen, in that aspect ratio.
You can have a cinema and TV style image (the most commonly used) which is around 16:9.
Alternatively you can opt for a 4:3 image which is taller and much more square. These are great for very narrow rooms where you don’t have a lot of width and want to avoid very short image top-to-bottom.
5 Mounting Locations to Consider for your Golf Simulator Projector
Above and Central
The ideal position to mount your golf simulator projector is above the golfer and in line with the centre of the impact screen. This means you don’t have to rely on any keystone correction and you’ll have a beautiful centred image with optimal resolution.
However, depending on the height of you and your room, you may be struggling to find a position in an above and central location that doesn’t get in the way of your swing. Mounting the projector too far back will also cause your own shadow to be casted onto the screen.
Above and Off Centre
‘Above and off centre’ is the next best mounting location after ‘above and central’. You will have a projector that is still at an optimal vertical height and you won’t have to worry about the ball striking it on it’s way towards the impact screen.
However, you will need to either tilt the projector (causing an imperfect rectangular screen) or rely on horizontal keystone correction to achieve a perfect image. Remember, not all projectors come equipped with horizontal keystone correction.
Side mounting a projector is a different sort of setup to most. Just like floor mounted simulator projectors, you won’t need to worry about striking the projector with your swing. It’ll be out of the way to the side and also at a convenient height to match the centre of your impact screen.
However you’ll have to rely fully on horizontal keystone correction which is a feature of more premium projectors. This may slightly reduce the crispness of the image.
Floor Mounted Central
A centrally located floor mounted projector will be well placed to produce a nice rectangular image on the screen, relying on vertical keystone correction to skew the image back to normal.
There is a risk that the projector will be in the way of your target line and the shots you hit on a low trajectory. This problem will vanish if your room is narrow and you have to line up with your target line towards the side of your room (see above).
Floor Mounted Off Centre
This is a great projector position. You’ll enjoy the benefits of a floor mounted projector whilst having a clear path from your central hitting position to screen. You will have to tilt the projector towards the centre of the screen or rely on horizontal as well as vertical keystone correction.
I have a dedicated post all about positioning your golf simulator projector within your simulator room. It’s one of my most popular posts. Check it out here! 😀
You should definitely consider floor mounting your golf simulator projector, particularly if you struggle for height and width in your golf simulator room.
Don’t forget to buy your floor mounted projector enclosure to keep you and your projector safe.
You’ll definitely need a projector with vertical keystone correction and you will need to consider horizontal keystone correction an essential feature if you plan on mounting off to the side.
I recommend the Optoma EH460ST for most golfers with floor mounted projector setups. It’s a great projector that benefits from vertical as well as horizontal keystone correction, a short throw ratio and fantastic picture characteristics. Check it out here at Shop Indoor Golf!