Playing virtual golf at home is a dream for most golfers. But if you don’t have the best golf impact screen, it can turn into a nightmare fast.
A golf simulator screen is a must if you want the ultimate virtual golf experience. Today we’ll take you through the best golf impact screens, why they’re better than nets, and how to chose the right one for your sim setup.
Best Golf Simulator Impact Screens
There are a lot of components to a DIY golf simulator including a launch monitor, hitting mat, projector, simulator software, and impact screen (or hitting net). While most golfers focus on the launch monitor and software, the screen is just as important.
- Impact hitting screens are an important component of a golf simulator and should consider the size, material used, bounce back, weave design, and more.
- You’ll also need to make sure it pairs with your projector for a high quality image and recommend buying them together.
- If you want to save money and skip the screen a golf net can also work as a simulator. However, it’s not as immersive of an experience and will require a tablet or laptop to view results.
- To make your simulator even better you can also invest in an enclosure as well.
Keep reading to learn about the different types of screens and see which one is best for your simulator.
SIGPRO Premium Screen
If you’re looking for a high-end simulator screen this is a great option.
The SIG premium has double stitched black vinyl edges and grommets for extreme durability. It also has two heavy-duty tight knick impact resistant polyester surfaces for a three layer surface.
The thick, multilayer smooth space mesh fabric creates an amazing image experience for life-like simulation. The images are super clear – up to 4K quality with minimal bleed through and no pixelation.
Additionally, it’s very quiet compared to other lower priced nets thanks to the vertical spacers between layers. These act as cushions to dampen the noise and provide a quieter experience.
Finally, the smooth surface decreases how much the ball spins on the surface which increases the lifespan of the screen. It also has minimal bounceback in all sizes (that include different aspect ratios).
Mounting the screen is very easy with zip ties, shock cord, or ball bungees. Plus, it comes with a one-year warranty for residential use.
RS Tour Series Golf Simulator Impact Screen – Best Budget Screen
The RS Tour series is another solid choice for a DIY golf simulator. As Rain or Shine Golf said, “The screen is made from high-quality materials that are designed to withstand the impact of golf balls traveling at high speeds, ensuring that your screen will last for years to come.
With its many size options, the Premium DIY Golf Simulator Impact Screen provides an incredibly realistic and immersive golfing experience. The screen is compatible with a wide range of framing options, allowing you to customize the experience to your specific needs and preferences.”
There are five sizing options to fit all types of spaces; the smallest is 7.7 x 10 (4:3 ratio) while the largest is 9 x 16 (16:9 ratio). All sizes of this hitting screen are crisp white and come with a 6-month warranty.
Cimarron Impact Projection Screen
If you want your simulator screen to double as a home theater, it’s hard to top this one from Cimarron Sports. Here’s how they described this revolutionary dual screen on their website.
“As a dual purpose screen, the 10’x10′ Impact Projection Screen can also be used as a projector screen both indoors and outdoors to provide hours of endless entertainment for your family or friends. Our 10’x10′ Impact Projection Screen is a 100% commercial polyester golf impact baffle and projection screen is the best dual-use golf net on the market.”
One of the few downsides to this screen is the lack of size options. This might make it difficult to find a projector that fits properly. But if the dimensions work and you’re using the sim room as entertainment not just golf, this one is tough to beat.
Net Return Pro Series V2 Flex Simulator Screen
Net Return is known for their high quality nets in multiple sizes but they make a great screen too.
As they described on their website, “The Pro Series V2 Flex Simulator Screen is the ultimate golf accessory for your Pro Series Net. It is an excellent high performance, high impact practice simulation screen with grommets placed at the four corners on the screen for easy mounting.”
It’s important to note that you need a Pro Series net or enclosure for this to work properly. But if you want to upgrade your net this is a great way to provide a simulation experience.
The flex screens provide a clear, crisp simulated image and can withstand thousands of golf balls over time. There is minimal bounce back and the material also absorbs sounds for a quieter hitting experience.
This net accessory works best with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
Homecourse Pro Screen & Retractable Golf Simulator Enclosure
If you want a fully retractable screen that allows you to convert a basement or family room into a virtual golf course, this is one of the best choices. It’s arguably the most portable of any screens and built to last with its ballistic grade material.
With the click of a button on the wireless remote (which is included) you can convert your room back to normal in 30 seconds. The motor is battery run which also improves the aesthetics of the simulator setup so you don’t have wires anywhere.
This screen and enclosure weigh a total of 88 pounds and come with bracketing for 20 inches off the wall. Transforming your space with this screen and enclosure isn’t cheap but it’s well worth it. Plus, it does have a one-year warranty too.
SwingBay Golf Simulator Impact Screen and Enclosure
This screen and enclosure make for a great simulation experience and one of the top picks in the quest for the best golf simulator enclosure.
As Rain or Shine Golf said, “The light dampening enclosure blocks out the surrounding light giving you a brighter and more life-like image. The sturdy enclosure is built with premium materials that promise long life and superior durability.”
This setup from Swing Bay includes an impact screen (with 4:3 aspect ratio) made of ballistic grade woven polyester. The blackout curtain for the enclosure is ripstop nylon and comes with 1.5″ aluminum extrusion and ball bungee installation. It also comes with triangle side netting with two sandbags, frame padding flaps, and integrated Velcro assembly.
The recommended size for this enclosure is 9’H x 12’W x 16’D.
How to Pick the Right DIY Golf Simulator Screen
As you can tell there are no shortage of options when it comes to finding the right impact screen for your simulator. Consider the following to pick the right one for you.
Net vs. Impact Screen vs. Golf Simulator Enclosures
First off do you even need one of these impact screens above? Or, is it better off to just have a net? Ultimately, it depends on the type of simulation experience you want to create.
If you’re trying to keep costs as low as possible – since simulators can get expensive – a net is the better option. But if you want a real simulation experience that feels like you’re on the golf course, opt for a premium impact screen.
To make it even better and provide incredible image quality, opt for a golf simulator enclosure too. It’s a hefty price tag but if you want the best simulation experience, it’s worth it.
Compatibility with Projector
Before getting into different sizing features it’s important to make sure that your screen is compatible with your projector. You need to make sure the “throw ratio” works with the right type of screen.
It’s recommended to buy your projector and impact screen together to provide the best simulation experience (and easiest installation process).
Read our full post on golf simulator projectors.
Size of Impact Screen
Size is one of the most important factors when choosing the right impact screen. If you can find a room with the right dimensions, finding the right size screen is key to completing your simulator.
Most screens are 8’ H x 10’6” W – this provides a 5:1 ratio for most short throw projectors. Always make sure the size ratio with your screen will match your projector for the best simulation experience.
Like a net, there are tons of options available when it comes to different size screens. Also, make sure your screen allows for room behind it so it’s not directly against the wall.
Golf simulator impact screens need some room – roughly 2–3 feet – to allow for some give from high speed shots. You can also add some padding behind the screen as well.
The resilience and durability of different impact swings is also very important. The last thing you want is to buy a screen and need to replace it every few months as it can get expensive.
Most screens are built using polyester fabric which is built to last. You always want to double-check how many layers are part of the screen as more layers leads to longer durability.
Additionally, make sure to compare different weave patterns as the material used makes a big difference. If a screen has loose weaves it tends to be cheaper and not provide as good of an image. But tight weaves are more durable, provide a better picture, and are a much smoother surface.
The more expensive the screen, the higher durability and weave pattern.
Retractable Screens vs. Standard Screens
Another thing to consider when buying a screen is if you want one that is retractable instead of one that is always up. Retractable screens are a great idea if you intend to use the area for other activities and not a dedicated golf room.
Similar to durability, you’ll also want to consider the bounce back features of a hitting screen. While it’s convenient to have an “auto return” feature with an indoor putting green, this isn’t what you want with an impact screen.
You want an impact screen that provides as little bounce back as possible. This will ensure you can safely use the monitor indoors and not damage anything around it (or injure yourself).
To minimize the amount of bounce back make sure there is plenty of room behind the screen. Do not put the screen directly next to the wall as it can cause a ricochet effect.
Additionally, when installing make sure to reduce the tension so the screen can move naturally as it withstand impact. If a screen is too tight it can also cause the ball to bounce back toward you or anyone else hitting shots.
Finally, a good impact screen that doesn’t bounce back will also provide a quieter hitting environment. This is important if you’re using indoors to not interrupt other family members and if used outdoors can help reduce noise for neighbors too.
Do you plan to use the screen only for your golf simulator or double as a movie theater too? Some screens and software work for more than just golf which is great if you install a DIY simulator in a family room. This way you can hit balls and play virtual golf but also use it with family and friends too.
Finally, the last thing to always consider with screens is the budget for your simulator setup. The good news is that there are nets and screens for all types of budgets.
If you want a great simulation experience with high image quality, don’t skimp on the screen.
FAQs About Golf Simulators
Do you have more questions about screens and other components of a golf simulator? If so, keep reading the most frequently asked questions and answers now.
What size impact screen is best for a golf simulator?
Most golf simulator screens are 8’ H x 10’6” W (or bigger). While golf simulator enclosures are significantly larger which help with mishits and can make it even quieter for indoor use.
You’ll also want to check the aspect ratio as it can impact the image quality and overall golf simulation.
How much do golf simulator screens cost?
A golf screen typically costs between $350 to $1,000 depending on the size, screen material and weave pattern. Even the cheapest ones can withstand ball speeds of more than 150 mph (and some premium impact screens up to 250 mph).
Can I use a projector screen as a golf impact screen?
No, this is a bad idea as projector screens are not built to withstand the force of hitting golf balls at high speeds. Don’t forget that ball speeds when hitting a driver are 150 mph or more (or if you’re a long drive competitor more than 200 mph).
Needless to say, this kind of power will destroy a standard projector screen fast. If you build a golf simulator make sure to factor in a budget for an impact screen or net. These are built to withstand more force and complete your simulator setup.
What can be used as a golf impact screen?
Screens, enclosures, and nets are the best options. It depends on the simulator experience you want and your budget.
The price of impact screens varies greatly depending on size, retractable vs. standard, graphics, and more. While some golfers choose a net instead as they’re cheaper and last a long time.
Can you use an impact screen outdoors?
Yes, you can build an outdoor golf simulator but it’s always recommended to have a roof overhead. Simulators are not cheap and the last thing you want is the elements to destroy your screen, mat, or monitor.
But if the only option you have is a covered patio or carport, it’s better than nothing. Just make sure to properly store your launch monitor, mat, and consider a retractable screen to protect your investment.
Do you need an impact screen for a golf simulator?
If you want to provide the best virtual experience then yes a simulator is needed. A screen not only stops the golf ball after every hit but provides the image for your simulator too. While you can opt to use a net vs. an impact screen, it’s not as good of a simulation experience.
Can I put a golf simulator in my garage?
If your garage has the right dimensions (and most do) then yes, you can install one. The size of the space is one of the most important factors when building a golf simulator as there are certain requirements for the launch monitor and net.
You’ll need 7–8 feet from the screen or net not to mention room behind the net to avoid bounce back. Additionally, you’ll need space behind you with certain types of launch monitors and projectors.
Make sure to double-check the recommended size rooms for your simulator before spendings thousands of dollars on one. Click here to learn more about building a DIY golf simulator.
How long do golf simulator screens last?
Most screens are built to last with high-end material but the weave pattern and fabric play a big role. Most golf impact screens come with a 6 or 12-month warranty as well.
A home golf simulator is a great way to play and practice year round. For avid golfers, it’s a great investment in your game – as long as you have the correct space for your simulator!
Since you’re hitting real golf balls it’s essential to find a good screen to complete your golf simulator setup. While it’s easy to want to spend most of your simulator budget on a monitor and projector, your golf screen is key to making it all work together.
If you have enough room it’s a good idea to opt for a golf simulator enclosure as it provides a great experience. The private simulator I use has an enclosure and it makes a big difference in the overall simulation experience.
But if you want to save money and get a simulator screen in the future, a net can work well. A great option is to buy the Pro Series net then by the accessory simulator screen in the future to complete your setup.
Finally, always make sure to have some room behind it for optimal screen tension and enough space. Otherwise, a golf ball can bounce back and cause some serious damage (side barrier netting for errant shots isn’t a bad idea either).
Final Thoughts on Best Golf Simulator Screens
So, what is the best golf simulator screen? It depends on the golf screen material, size (for aspect ratio), and which golf simulator software you’re using.
It’s best to always buy your golf simulator screen with a projector to ensure the aspect ratio will display properly. Also, if you have a bigger setup you might consider a golf simulator enclosure as well.
Check out these articles to learn more about room dimensions, how much space is required, and other simulator topics.