How much space do you need for a Golf Simulator?


How much space do you need for a golf simulator? What are the minimum dimensions? What height does a golf simulator need? Size Matters! We take you through exactly how big a room you need to not run into size problems.

To build a golf simulator you need a space that measures 12 feet long, 10 feet wide and 9 feet high, larger rooms are always better. You need 15 feet of width to enjoy a centred aim. You may require more length, width or height depending on you, your launch monitor and your impact screen setup.

Aim to comfortably swing your driver and not have any anxiety at all about hitting the ceiling or wall.

 LengthWidthHeight    
Minimum Dimensions12ft10ft8.5ft
Comfortable Dimensions18ft15ft10ft

There are specific considerations for the length, width, and height that you need. We cover these further in this article.

What if my room is too short?

You need at least 12 feet (3.05m) in length for your simulator. In this length, you need to have your hitting mat, space for your backswing, space for your through swing, space for the ball to travel, space for your net and screen and also a bit of space for your net and screen to deform backward slightly without ricocheting off the wall behind. 

Note, I have seen simulator setups with only 10-11 ft length, however, I feel this length doesn’t allow comfortable golf swings and doesn’t give the ball very far to travel before impact with the screen (and ricochet back to you).

It is likely you will need more than 12 ft, especially if you are using a full projector based simulator setup.

If any of these aspects are different from normal then you may need extra space. For example, if you have a wider backswing, you’ll need a longer simulator or risk hitting the wall with the club. The last thing you want from a golf simulator is that your swing gets worse because of your room size restraints. 

A smaller room will also limit the amount of extra ‘swing studio features’ you have in your simulator. Of course, having a small simulator may seem better than no simulator and I would agree that it is. However, be aware that a small simulator space will limit your ability to set up cameras to record your swing and put up mirrors and similar endeavors. 

What impact does room length have on equipment?

A small simulator room means you may need a good impact screen and net that won’t deform too much and hit the wall behind. You don’t want the ball ricocheting backward and hitting you between the legs every time!

A shorter simulator space will have an impact on your choice of projector. You’re likely to need a short throw projector, in any case, to focus the image onto your screen.

If you have a short simulator space you’d need to ensure that the image wouldn’t be focussed too small on your screen from your intended projector placement position. If you have a good projector you may be able to use zoom lensing to alter the size of the image.

A small space will also give you issues with projector placement. You don’t want to hit your projector with your swing and you also don’t want your own shadow on the screen image. We have lots of articles about projector choice and placement coming soon.

My chosen projector is the Optoma GT 1080 Darbee. It is a very capable short throw projector. I love it!

Placed at a distance of 6 feet from the screen, this projector will give a diagonal image size of 165 inches across with a 16:9 aspect ratio. This is okay but may not fill your screen.  A longer room (and hence increased distance from projector to screen) allows a much bigger image to be projected onto your screen.

There is so much to learn about golf simulator projectors. We have a whole range of articles coming up soon so keep an eye out. You can access all our other content here.

I found an excellent website with a projector calculator. This allows you to choose your projector and throw distance and it’ll show you the size of the image at a given distance. Knowing these numbers is essential when planning a simulator build.

The room length can also have an impact on the golf simulator itself. Most golf simulators use photometric technology to calculate all the measurements you’re interested in. Most of these simulators can be used in smaller indoor spaces.

If you’re planning on a smaller indoor space for your simulator then check you’re desired simulator system will fit well into your space.

Some more high end simulators like TrackMan require a longer space because they use radar technology. The TrackMan website states the TrackMan4 needs a minimum distance from radar to net of 16ft (18ft for the TrackMan3e).

How much room width do I need for a golf simulator?

Having a wide enough space is just as important as length for your simulator build, if not moreso. You need enough space to swing your driver or the longest club. The minimum room width I’d recommend having for a golf simulator build is 10ft (3.05m).

What if my room is too narrow?

If your golf simulator room is too narrow you’ll end up with one of two scenarios.

  • You can’t swing your longer clubs at all
  • You can swing your longer clubs but you end up set up with the ball (and simulator) right at the side of the room. This means when setting up to hit a straight shot at the screen you’ll be aiming at the far right of the screen (for a right-hander). To aim at the centre of the screen you’d effectively have to aim left. I know I wouldn’t be able to practice this way and would probably develop a good going fade/slice with all clubs. Some people may feel differently though.

What impact does room width have on equipment?

As long as you can swing the club then your simulator will still work

You could be hampered by aim problems as explained above.

You may have to buy a smaller screen than initially intended. As long as you factor this in before purchase then you’ll be okay. The same applies to your enclosure. If you’re buying a specific size enclosure then you need to make sure it’ll fit in your space before purchase. If you’re making it from metal conduit piping as I did then you have a bit more flexibility. 

A narrow room may preclude you from buying some of the wider, more premium mats.

Room width shouldn’t affect your netting or blackout curtains, you’ll just need to size them accordingly when you install them.

Will you be using your simulator for both lefties and righties?

One problem with a narrow room is that if you have everything set up perfectly for a right-handed golfer and then you move the simulator to the other side of the mat for a left-hander, then you’ll find that you won’t have space. You may hit your projector, you may find the left-hander is set up right at the left wall.

You might just get away with it or it might be unusable for your left-handed friends.

Achieving a centred aim with Skytrak

This is so important for simulators that use a projector. 

Have you ever used a simulator where the didn’t feel right? 

If you drew a straight line through the ball towards the impact screen, parallel to the mat, would it hit the centre of the screen, or the side? 

To aim at the right (or left) of the screen, means your target line will not be the target line displayed on your screen. The centre line of your launch monitor’s driving range will be well away from where you’re aiming. 

For your golf simulator to have a centred aim means your shots hit the target line on the projected image. To accomplish this set up you need the hitting section of your mat directly in line with the centre of your screen.

This means right handed golfers will need to address the ball more towards the left of their simulator. Left handers vice versa. 

Centred aim means you need a wide enough simulator. Exactly how wide depends on your height, your swing, your enclosure and whether you have anything against the wall. You’ll probably need 15 feet or more of width for this setup.

Can you offset the target line on a launch monitor?

Yes you can, sort of. You can do this for Skytrak’s driving range, and for the practice facilities of other launch monitors.

You can offset the centre line on the Skytrak driving range to accommodate those with target lines off to the side. This sort of solves the problem but isn’t perfect. Other launch monitor software allow you to do this too.

This offset doesn’t solve the off-centre problem when using simulation software to play courses, such as WGT or TGC.

How much room height do I need for a golf simulator?

Height is comfortably the most important dimension when planning a golf simulator room. If your ceiling is too low for you to swing a club your simulator build journey ends here.

The minimum height you need for your simulator would be 8.5ft (2.59m) and a comfortable height would be more like 10ft.

I’m planning a post on what options you do have with limited height space. If you’re taller and want to swing driver then you’ll need more height than this. 

What if my room isn’t tall enough?

You could say that you have quite a flat swing so you’ll be okay. I would argue, however, that altering your swing or trying to maintain a sub-optimal swing plane to suit a small space is counterproductive and will not allow you to progress as a golfer.

You may need to find an alternative space or delay your simulator build until you’re in a position to access a better space (eg you’ve moved house).

You could do a halfway solution. If you have just under the required space for your driver swing then why not have a simple hitting bay set up where you practice your wedges and irons. This would include an enclosure, mat, and netting. You can get cheaper simulator hardware that tells you the carry distance of your shots (rather than being a full simulator).

This way you could improve your game at home still rather than giving up your simulator journey completely. You can even add extra ‘swing studio features’ such as mirrors, cameras, and swing video computer software. 

What impact does the room height have on equipment?

You will still need an enclosure and netting for an irons and wedges hitting bay. The enclosure will have to be an appropriate height if you’re buying a ready-to-build enclosure. Again, if you’re building using metal piping or similar materials you can size it appropriately.

You won’t need a projector for this setup, or a screen. Your mat will not change. You can save on the simulator and either have a very simple hitting bay or add in a piece of kit that tells you your carry distance. There are GPS systems that have a launch monitor feature included, whilst stopping short of being a full golf simulator.

What are the minimum ‘ideal’ dimensions for a golf simulator?

We’ve talked about the absolute minimum room dimensions for a golf simulator at the start of this article. You could say that the ideal dimensions for a golf simulator would be one with unlimited space. Not many people have a garage the size of an aircraft hanger though.

The dimensions you’ll need for a comfortable space are:

  • 18ft long
  • 10ft high
  • 15ft wide (if used for right and left-handed golfers)
  • (13ft wide if used for either right or left-handed golfers

A space at least this big will allow you to avoid the problems listed above with rooms too short, narrow and not tall enough.

  • You should be able to take a full swing with your driver and not feel any anxiety about hitting a wall or ceiling.
  • There should have room to mount your projector and achieve your desired image size on your screen without issue.
  • You should be able to address your ball so that your target line is in the very centre of your hitting bay, extending to the centre of your impact screen.
  • All your equipment should work in the space you’ve set up (double check this if you’re buying a high-end simulator).

Do you have room for anything else in your simulator room?

What about mirrors and swing cameras?

I believe the perfect golf simulator doubles up as a swing studio. I’d like to be able to record my swing from several angles, see my swing with well positioned mirrors and have room for a computer to run my simulator software. Having these items will feed into your length and width considerations. 

What about space for seats and other items?

My perfect golf simulator would also double up as a home theatre for watching movies. It would be warm enough (not a draughty garage) and have some comfortable chairs that I could move into position when not using the simulator itself.

You could even add a bar for when your mates come over for rounds on the simulator.

Such items are definitely not essential and if you only have room for the simulator in your space that is totally fine.

Cheaper options for restricted space

  1. A hitting bay without the simulator – a cheaper option all round. You could add a GPS/launch monitor which will allow you to hone in your wedge and iron carry distances. 
  2. A irons and wedges only simulator bay if you’re restricted on one or more of height, width and length

Conclusion and Your Next Steps

I hope this article has answered some of your questions about the required dimensions for your golf simulator.

Please follow these steps to assess your space needs. 

  1. Swing your driver at the driving range and get a friend photograph you. Make the highest swing you can. Make the flattest/widest swing you can. Then use the photo to try and see how high up the range your club goes. I went to a bay next to the driving range wall with slats on the wall. I saw which slat related to my club by looking at the photo. Then I used a tape measure to see how high this was. You can do the same with width if you address the ball on the mat then use any floor markings to see how wide you go. This will give you your height and width absolute minimums. 
  2. Once you’re progressing with the planning of your simulator, visit https://www.projectorcentral.com/projection-calculator-pro.cfm to work out whether your proposed projector and proposed projector position will give you your desired image size on your impact screen.

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Commonly Googled Questions Recap

How tall should a golf simulator ceiling be?

The minimum height you need for your simulator would be 8.5ft (2.59m) and a comfortable height more like 10ft. Height is comfortably the most important dimension when planning a golf simulator room. If your ceiling is too low for you to swing a club your simulator build journey ends here. You should be able to take a full swing with your driver and not feel any anxiety about hitting a wall or ceiling.

How big is a golf simulator?

The absolute minimum dimensions you need for your golf simulator are 12ft (3.65m) long x 10ft (3.05m) wide x 8.5 ft (m) high. There are many reasons why you will need a larger space than this. You need as much room as you need to comfortably swing your driver and not have any anxiety at all about hitting the ceiling or wall. You could say that the ideal dimensions for a golf simulator would be one with unlimited space. Not many people have a garage the size of an aircraft hanger though. The dimensions you’ll need for a comfortable space are:
  • 18ft long
  • 10ft high
  • 15ft wide (if used for right and left-handed golfers)
  • (13ft wide if used for either right or left-handed golfers

How much room do you need for Skytrak?

The absolute minimum dimensions you need for your golf simulator such as Skytrak are 12ft (3.65m) long x 10ft (3.05m) wide x 8.5 ft (m) high. There are many reasons why you will need a larger space than this. You need as much room as you need to comfortably swing your driver and not have any anxiety at all about hitting the ceiling or wall. You could say that the ideal dimensions for a golf simulator such as Skytrak would be one with unlimited space. Not many people have a garage the size of an aircraft hanger though. The dimensions you’ll need for a comfortable Skytrak space are:
  • 18ft long
  • 10ft high
  • 15ft wide (if used for right and left-handed golfers)
  • (13ft wide if used for either right or left-handed golfers
 

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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