Impact Screen Size Guide – Find the Perfect Impact Screen Size for your Golf Simulator

Choosing a golf impact screen that is sized perfectly for your golf simulator space is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make in the planning of your simulator. The size of the impact screen is very closely related to your choice of projector, enclosure frame, and the actual position from which you’ll hit golf balls.

The correct golf impact screen size is one that fits perfectly within your golf simulator room, maximizing the available space with your projected image. The perfect impact screen size will conform to a common aspect ratio allowing a projected image to fill the screen with no wasted areas.

The best golf simulator setups often feature an impact screen size that conforms to a 16:9 aspect ratio, such as 16ft wide and 9ft high. Impact screen Sizes in 16:9 allow maximum width and a full HD or 4K image to be displayed without distortion.

You will of course need plenty of room width to accommodate a 16ft wide screen, but a setup this wide should mean you can address the ball with your target line parallel to the centre of the screen.

Total vs Viewable Impact Screen Area

A golf impact screen has both a total area and a viewable area. There will almost always be a border around the screen consisting of the holes, attachments and fixings used to hang the impact screen from the golf simulator enclosure. This is important because your ultimate image size will be smaller than the physical space you have to house the screen.

This is an important point to be aware of because you need to consider the ‘viewable’ portion of your impact screen when planning your hitting position and projector position. Get these things wrong and you will probably end up with some wasted impact screen and an image that doesn’t fill the corners of your screen.

You should also be able to safely house the screen in an enclosure, and it should be set at a safe buffer distance (at least 15 inches) from the back wall.

carl's premium golf screen

Golf Impact Screen Sizes with a 16:9 Aspect Ratio

Here is a list of golf impact screen sizes in a 16:9 aspect ratio. All these impact screen sizes are available at Carl's Place in either Premium (highest quality), Preferred (great value) or Standard (for those on a budget). 

16:9 is the most commonly used aspect ratio for an impact screen and it is the standard aspect ratio used for a Full Hd or 4K display, though it does require more room width than a 4:3 screen.
ASPECT RATIOScreen Width (Ft)Screen Height (Ft)Outer Dimensions (inches)Viewable Screen Size (inches)Viewable Screen Size (Diagonal)

Check out Carl’s Premium (highest quality image, three layer padded screen), Preferred (best combination of price and quality) and Standard (for those on a tighter budget) impact screens, in all of the above sizes.

Please note that I’ve included sizes of screens here from Carl’s Place that include grommet holes for fixings, you also have the option of buying the screen in just a raw material version. The raw impact screen material ships in slightly different sizes that you can see on the site.

Golf Impact Screen Sizes with a 4:3 Aspect Ratio

4:3 is a taller aspect ratio which is more square shaped than a widescreen 16:9 screen. These screens are best for golf simulator rooms with limited width.

Here is a list of impact screen sizes available in 4:3 aspect ratio. All of these screens are available for purchase from Carl's Place in either Premium (highest quality), Preferred (great value) or Standard (for those on a budget).
ASPECT RATIOScreen Width (Ft)Screen Height (Ft)Outer Dimensions (inches)Viewable Screen Size (inches)Viewable Screen Size (Diagonal)

Check out Carl’s Premium (highest quality image, three layer padded screen), Preferred (best combination of price and quality) and Standard (for those on a tighter budget) impact screens, in all of the above sizes.

Golf Impact Screen Sizes with a 16:10 Aspect Ratio

16:10 is an aspect ratio that lies in between 16:9 and 4:3. It is taller than 16:9 but not quite as tall as 4:3. It has historically been used in computer screens or on some tablets.
ASPECT RATIOScreen Width (Ft)Screen Height (Ft)Outer Dimensions (inches)Viewable Screen Size (inches)Viewable Screen Size (Diagonal)

Check out Carl’s Premium (highest quality image, three layer padded screen), Preferred (best combination of price and quality) and Standard (for those on a tighter budget) impact screens, in all of the above sizes.

Golf Impact Screen Sizes with a 1:1 Aspect Ratio

Here is a list of golf impact screen sizes in a 1:1 aspect ratio, these screens are square and suitable for golfers with the narrowest rooms. These screens are available from Carl's Place in either Premium (highest quality), Preferred (best value) and Standard (for those on a budget) versions.
ASPECT RATIOScreen Width (Ft)Screen Height (Ft)Outer Dimensions (inches)Viewable Screen Size (inches)Viewable Screen Size (Diagonal)

Impact Screen Sizes with a Non Standard Aspect Ratio

Some golfers will find that ensuring a screen that fills their space is more important than image quality or filling their screen entirely with their projected image.

Carl’s Place does provide some screens that don’t conform to standard aspect ratios, for those looking for something specific for their space. It is likely in these circumstances that you will have bars of wasted screen above, below or to the sides of your image.

Aspect Ratio is Super Important

Aspect ratio is important in a golf simulator because getting it right allows you to fill your impact screen with your projected image. Golfers who mismatch their screen size, throw distance, and aspect ratio will waste areas of their impact screens with bars of empty space.

What is Aspect Ratio

Aspect Ratio is the ratio of image width to height. A square image would have an aspect ratio of 1:1.

A rectangular screen that is twice as wide as it is tall, would have an aspect ratio of 2:1. This could then be scaled up to any size where the width is twice the height, for example 16ft x 8ft and 14ft x 7ft.

Match your Impact Screen Size with the Aspect Ratio of your Image

The ideal scenario when you’ve fully constructed your simulator and switch on your projector is that the image fills the impact screen. You don’t want excess, unused, wasted screen. Those black bars above, below or to the sides of your screen will annoy you every time you use it!

16:9 is the most common aspect ratio used in a golf simulator impact screen setup. This is the standard aspect ratio used in newer television and computer monitors. An impact screen that is 16ft wide by 9ft high viewable area, would be able to show the entirety of a HD 16:9 image without any distortion.

There are other sets of dimensions that fulfil 16:9 aspect ratio, such as 14ft by 8ft. You can view detailed sizing tables at Carl’s Place which show you the total dimensions of the screen as well as the viewable screen size. This is extremely useful when planning your perfect projector position to allow a image that fills your impact screen.

We talk all about this in the next section.

Dont forget, you must consider these four spaces, there is a difference between them!

  • The maximum space for your entire golf simulator, including any relief space
  • What about the maximum space on the inside of your enclosure, if using one
  • The maximum space for your screen, including outer edges, eyelets, fixings
  • The maximum screen size onto which you can project an image

Take this into account when planning your simulator and considering low large an impact screen to buy. It’s hard to cut a screen down. You’ll struggle getting a straight edge and you’ll lose the outer edge and eyelets on one side. 

Plan your Projector Position alongside your Impact Screen Size Choice

Aspect ratio and impact screen size are not the only things you need to consider in order to fill your impact screen with your projected image, you need to get the projector decisions correct.

Projectors are like any other display device (such as a TV) and will show the image that is sent to them from a second device, in this case usually a computer. Most computers will try to send out an image in a 16:9 aspect ratio because this is the natural ratio between height and width of most HD displays. Both Full HD (1920 x 1080) and 4K (3840 x 2160) have 16:9 aspect ratios because this is the ratio between the two numbers.

You can change the aspect ratio on your PC but I’m not sure you’d want or need to. Golfers who need an impact screen with sizes fitting a 4:3 aspect ratio can still use their PC as normal, with it’s display in a 16:9 setup (full HD or 4K). It’s the projector that will change the aspect ratio of the image for you.

Notably, iPads and similar tablets use a 4:3 aspect ratio naturally, though the projector can change this back to 16:9 too.

Can my Projector change Aspect Ratios?

The vast majority of new short throw projectors can flick between several common aspect ratios (16:9, 4:3 etc). You can also alter your PC display into a different aspect ratio in the settings.

Throw Ratio

The throw ratio is the ratio of throw distance to horizontal image width projected by the projector. The height of the image would be determined by the aspect ratio.

Throw ratio is equal to throw distance divided by horizontal image width.

This table explains the throw ratios of golf simulator projectors, between standard throw, short throw and ultra short throw models. You will probably require a short throw projector for your golf simulator.
Projector TypeThrow RatioExample Image Width on Simulator Impact ScreenRequired Throw Distance for this Image Width
Standard Throwmore than 1.014 ft14 ft + (21ft for a Throw ratio of 1.5)
Short Throw0.4 - 1.014 ft 7 ft (for a Throw Ratio of 0.5)
Ultra Short Throw0.4 and below14ftless than 5.6 ft

The throw ratio of your projector is intimately linked to your room set up. If you buy a projector with a standard or long throw ratio, you may not be able to project a large enough image onto your screen.

You can see from the table above that a standard throw projector will likely need to be positioned too far from the screen unless it has a zoom lens.

Ultra short throw projectors are fantastic (and expensive) but you’d have to position them a little too close to the screen. I’d be worried I’d nail it with a ball, or that it would obscure my view of the screen from where I’m swinging (especially if you have it mounted in a protective case). A short-throw projector seems to be the sweet spot.

You need to ensure that your chosen projector, at your chosen distance from your screen, will project an appropriately sized image. For your golf simulator, this means buying a short throw projector.

Please check out this dedicated article all about throw ratios of golf simulator projectors here.

Throw Distance

A simpler term you need to understand first is the ‘throw distance’, this simply means the distance from the golf simulator projector to your impact screen. For any given projector lens, the image on the screen will get bigger the further away the projector is.

Golf Simulator Projector Placement

So, using the information above, you should try and decide how far from your screen you will position your projector. This will mean choosing a throw distance based on the throw ratio of a projector you like the look of.

For example, say you’ve been looking at the Optoma EH200ST, available to buy at Shop Indoor Golf. This short throw projector has a throw ratio of 0.5, which means to achieve a horizontal impact screen image width of 14ft, you’d need to mount the projector 7ft away.

The Compromise between Shadows and Protecting your Projector

Next, you need to decide which actual position in your simulator you need to mount the projector. If you’ve chosen a throw distance such as 7ft like in the example above, you need to choose a position such as above and central, above and off centre, on the floor or another position.

The features of the projectors are important here as some are less suitable for floor or side mounted positions (they need keystone correction for this. Check out my in-depth guide on projector position in a golf simulator here.

Impact Screen Size, Attaching the Screen and Bounceback

Impact screens of all sizes will need to be attached to the golf simulator enclosure frame (or room or ceiling) in the proper way in order to ensure the amount of tension in the screen is correct.

An impact screen hung too loosely will pucker and crimple, losing it’s smooth shape and distorting your picture. A screen hung too tightly will not deform enough on ball impact causing dangerous bounceback. I always recommend covering the inner parts of your enclosure frame with foam insulation or special insulation pads in order to prevent violent ricohet events too.

Larger impact screens will need more fixings or bungees naturally, don’t take shortcuts on these as achieving an equal tension in your screen is essential. The fixings are super cheap anyway and you can buy more whenever you need at Carl’s Place.

Check out my dedicated articles all about how best to hang your impact screen, and how to reduce bounce back with practical strategies for both.

What else to Consider when buying a Golf Impact Screen

When you plan your golf simulator build, you need to decide on the following parameters early on:

  • Your hitting position: where you will address the ball, and where most golf shots will actually be struck. This should be the first thing you pin down for certain, as you’ll be able to construct your simulator around it, ideally with your target line aiming straight through the hitting position and through the centre point of your impact screen. This will allow you a centred aim on your screen which is so important for alignment and realism. You’ll need enough room width to accommodate this setup (more than 15ft is ideal).
  • Identify your total room dimensions, including length, width and height
  • You should work out how much of your room can be devoted purely to the golf simulator and how much is needed for other items.
  • The area available for your impact screen and golf enclosure, this room needs to include the enclosure frame and netting, the impact screen and any holes and fixings.
  • Your projector position can be the trickiest planning item to get just right, I explain all the possible positions with their pros and cons in this article here.

I hope you found this article helpful and you now feel confident to buy an impact screen with the perfect size for your golf simulator space. Check out Carl’s Place for top quality, easy to attach impact screens, with crystal clear sizing descriptions when you buy.

Alex @ mygolfsimulator

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 play off a 6 handicap but struggle to get enough practice time in both with work and the cold weather in the UK. I always wanted to have my own golf ‘studio’ at home. Then a few years ago I learned about golf simulators. Once I’d had my first go on one I was hooked! I knew I wanted my own!

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