Are Golf Simulators Accurate?

Whether they’re made for pro golfers or just a DIY basement set-up, golf simulators are surely increasing in popularity. This begs the question, are golf simulators accurate?

To put it simply, yes, golf simulators are highly accurate, especially high-end ones. Since they depend on motion detection sensors and shot prediction technology, they can precisely measure your shot and analyze your game.

In this article, we’ve gathered all the information about golf simulators and how they work. So, keep reading to find the answer to all your questions.

Are Golf Simulators Accurate?

Golf simulators are highly accurate in predicting your shots. In fact, a lot of pro golfers use simulators to enhance their game and analyze their shots.

Needless to say, a lot of research, technology, and trials go into the golf simulators, so you can rest assured of their precision. Furthermore, high-end golf simulators can cost upwards of $20,000.

However, golf simulators can never predict the randomness of a real-life golf course. That’s because many things can affect a golf game, starting from weather to altitude.

Still, golf simulators are the second-best thing after golf courses. Not only do they allow you to accurately practice golf from the comfort of your home, but you can also choose between different courses as well as play with your friends.

How Do Golf Simulators Work?

Golf simulators that are usually found in bars aren’t accurate at all. Other simulators, though, show such perfect results that they’re used for golf club fittings.

In other words, the accuracy can vary from one simulator to the other. After all, it depends on the simulator’s technology.

That’s because golf simulators need to pick up motion and collect swing and hit data to be as precise as possible. Naturally, the more methods present in the simulator to gather this information, the more accurate it’ll be.


Some golf simulators are photometric, or camera-based. This motion detection method employs a high-speed camera that’s typically set up in front of the player. Sometimes though, this camera is placed overhead.

The camera takes multiple pictures or videos of the golf club and ball, the impact, and the flight. Then, the simulator is able to measure all the different parameters such as speed, launch angle, and spin.

Optical Sensors

Some golf simulators also use optical sensors. These sensors are placed at different points on the path of the golf ball. Afterward, they can track the movement of the golf ball.

However, those devices tend to not be as accurate as camera-based sensors. In fact, some simulators combine both optical sensors and cameras to detect the ball’s launch angle.

Sensor Mats

Sensor mats are crucial for all golf simulators. Otherwise, the simulator would be obsolete.

The sensor mats are typically placed underneath the artificial hitting mat. It serves to measure the speed, spin, and trajectory of the golf ball. After that, it transmits the data to the simulator, which then makes an accurate simulation of the shot.


Infrared simulators depend on light signals. They’re most commonly used in video games and virtual reality. You can imagine how it’s beneficial in the case of golf simulators.

The infrared light can capture the exact position of the golf club. However, it doesn’t track the ball itself. That’s why it can be less accurate on its own, so it’s better combined with other motion detection methods.


Doppler-based radar simulators are highly accurate in tracking motion. That’s because they use electromagnetic waves.

Simply put, the golf ball deflects the waves which then travel back to the radar. Then, the simulator is able to measure and track the ball’s movement.

Unlike infrared and cameras, the doppler radar isn’t affected by light or set-up. So, it works under any virtual condition.

How to Increase The Accuracy of a Golf Simulator?

Often, golf simulators, no matter how expensive or high-end they are, can have problems with precision.

In this case, the solution might be as simple as changing the camera angle or tweaking the settings.

Adjust Settings

You need to adjust the golf simulator’s settings according to yourself and the environment around you. To clarify, all golf simulator software comes with environmental settings, such as altitude and humidity levels.

Additionally, you’ll need to adjust the settings to fit the course conditions and your preferred hand. This way, you ensure the golf simulation is as accurate as possible.

Camera Setup

If your camera can’t pick up the motion of the golf club and ball, it can never accurately predict the shot.

So, you need to optimize the set-up of your camera, or motion detection sensor. Make sure to place the sensors in the correct position, and to pair them up properly with the simulator.

Golf Mat

The golf mat is an essential part of the golf simulator and it needs to be compatible with the device as well. Moreover, you should consider the stability and presence of alignment aid in the golf mat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do pro golfers use golf simulators?

Most pro golfers use golf simulators. The player can use the simulator to practice a specific course before playing it, choose the best-fitting golf club, improve his game, or just for fun! The benefits of a golf simulator are almost endless.

Will a golf simulator improve my game?

Practicing on a golf simulator can be highly beneficial. Sure, you won’t get the feel and conditions of a real golf course, but the simulator can analyze your game and skills. In other words, you can correct any imperfection and improve your skills.

What’s the best golf simulator out there?

There are plenty of golf simulators that range in both price and quality. The best selling on the market would be the Full Swing Simulator, also known as the Tiger Woods simulator.

Yet, each golfer can gain from a different simulator depending on the space available in their home and the player’s needs.


Are golf simulators accurate? Golf simulators are highly precise. They’re able to calculate your shot down to the yard.

Furthermore, their advanced technology can analyze your swing allowing you to improve your game.

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