I advise trying to make your golf simulator experience as close to real life, on the course shots as possible. This includes the interface between the golfer and the ground. Good golfers use the ground to their advantage, and all grades of golfers must learn to control their balance and weight transfer effectively.
Golf shoes should always be worn in a golf simulator, especially when you’re working on your full swing shots. Using proper golf shoes in a simulator allows extra grip on the golf mat, which allows improved weight transfer and balance, simulating the feel of being out on the course.
Changing footwear between practice and competitive play alters this dynamic and acts as a barrier to effective practice. Therefore I always recommend using golf shoes in a golf simulator, to allow the most realistic practice possible.
Most golfers will be slightly taller in their golf shoes than any other footwear which is important to simulate for realism.
Advantages of Wearing Golf Shoes in a Golf Simulator
Practice with Optimal Balance and Weight Transfer
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t hit the ball, in the same way, wearing trainers or other shoes. I can still play golf but it’s nowhere near as consistent and I don’t hit the ball as far, losing about 30 yards or more of distance with the driver when using the wrong shoes, which is no fun at all!
Playing in trainers, or worse, dress shoes, means I slip and slide all over the place. You need to be able to use the ground in the golf swing, to wind up into your trail leg and then shift your weight forwards. None of this can be done optimally if you have no grip with the ground.
Avoid Unnecessary Swing Adjustments
Golf practice in a simulator should be as realistic as possible. You want to groove in a golf swing that you can repeat out on the course in the final stages of your club championship. Therefore, you should try to minimize the number of variables at play in your golf simulator for consistent practice.
Consider your height in your practice
Golf shoes make me that little bit taller than when I wear any other shoes. Playing in low sole shoes means I grip the club slightly differently with a different spine angle at address.
Sure, height is one of the more minor reasons to put on your golf shoes, but practicing should be as real as possible, and swinging from an unfamiliar height is could be all the difference in a poor strike.
Disadvantages of Wearing Golf Shoes in a Golf Simulator
It’s easier not to bother with golf shoes
One of the best parts of owning a golf simulator is the ability to just amble in there at 9pm and play a quick 9 holes. It’s certainly easy to walk in and just start hitting in slippers or trainers. You definitely won’t get the same realism or quality practice if you don’t take just a moment to pop on your golf shoes.
Golf shoes can bring mud into the golf simulator
It’s not a good idea to trail wet mud from the rainy golf course straight into your beautiful pristine golf simulator. I like to use my older pair of golf shoes for my simulator, which are a little scuffed but still perfectly usable. I gave them a good clean and they work just fine.
This means my best pair of golf shoes stays in the back of my car to be used whenever I play or practice outside.
Do you wear golf shoe spikes in a golf simulator?
You can wear golf shoes with soft spikes in a golf simulator, as these will not damage any of the hitting mat surfaces. Metal spikes are usually best avoided as with long-term use, they could adversely affect the hitting surface and cause damage.
If you’re planning on attending a commercial golf simulator, check their dress code page to make sure their policy on spikes before you go.
What clothes should you wear in a golf simulator
There should never be a strict dress code for a golf simulator. You may wish to wear your full golfing outfit for maximum realism or you may wish to wear your most comfortable clothes for more comfort. If you own your own simulator then wear whatever you like! Golfers who visit commercial simulators rarely have to follow a strict dress code.
Do You Wear Golf Shoes at the Driving Range?
You should absolutely use your golf shoes when practicing at the driving range. You want to practice your golf shots in conditions as similar as possible to those on the actual course. In a similar manner to within a golf simulator, hitting shots in trainers or other footwear changes the interface between the golfer and the ground, and you will have to make adjustments to offset this.
What clothes should you wear to the driving range?
The dress code at a driving range is usually much less strict than that at a golf course. The driving range may be attached to a high-brow golf club that mandates a certain dress code, however, most are much more relaxed and in many, you can wear what you like. Light and comfortable outfits are always best.
I like to wear a polo shirt and trousers to visit my local driving range but I’m sure any attire other than a football jersey would be acceptable.
Golfing attire has become a lot less strict over recent years, with high-profile stars on the PGA Tour wearing outfits such as hoodies, although they’re still yet to allow shorts in competitive rounds.
Golf Simulator Dress Code – Golf Shoes plus anything other outfit you like
As long as you wear your golf shoes (for optimal practice purposes), then you should wear literally any other outfit you please in your home golf simulator. Commercial golf simulator companies very rarely mandate any dress code policy.
Light and comfortable clothes will allow you to hit bombs, as long as you maintain a good grip with the ground through your footwear.