If you’re thinking about the possibility now or in the future for a golf simulator and are still planning your new home or addition, it’s worth doing the right planning early on in the process.
You might not think it’s much of a challenge to install a golf simulator, and it really isn’t. But after having seen countless unconsidered sacrifices for space by jamming an outdoor sport into a relatively tiny space, I predict that any design ideas you might have for your sim have at least some minor flaws that could possibly be easily corrected.
Golf is played outside. Higher is ALWAYS better, wider is ALWAYS better, and deeper is ALWAYS better. Consider that drivers are long. The footprint of a drive can be 11′ end to end, 7′ wide by almost 10′ high in some cases. And that’s just the footprint of the swing. It’s best to plan for 12 feet of ball flight and at least a foot of open area between the screen and the wall behind it. And don’t forget a comfortable 8-15 feet behind the sim, depending on if you want seating, a place to set beverages, and room for your friends and their clubs.
I’ve seen folks dig existing basements deeper, knock down walls, and jam sims in tragically short or narrow spaces, sometimes eliminating left-handed play. One guy put a sim in his living room. Another really rich guy made the sacrifice of a giant beam passing through the center of the top of the screen. My favorite was the guy who crammed his sim into a short 12′ wide space in a dark corner of his basement where his pool room had two oversized tables and a massive bar and a home theater that reminded me of IMAX. It was a five minute walk from the refrigerator to the sink in his kitchen–he had more wasted space there than his sim room.
A great standard golf simulator area is 15-16′ wide, 10-12′ high, and 25-30′ deep. Going up to 25 feet wide enables real excitement with a super wide curved screen–maybe up to 180 degrees. And, getting that ceiling as high as you can–at least 10 feet–makes a big difference.
In all cases, your sim room can be designed to double as an excellent home theater, a video game room, an workout room, and/or a multi-sports sims for the kids and grandkids (unless Dad thinks he can throw a slider). In all cases, the right planning helps ensure an optimum setup when the time is right.
Article written by: Bill Bales
I work with New England Media and provide free expertise to any of our readers. We can assist any homeowner on how to optimize their simulator plan–and how to avoid the egregious mistakes we see every day. Visit www.Clarity.Golf.com or email anytime: BillBales@Clarity.Golf.