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Finally Taking the Dive into Golf Simulation

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  • Finally Taking the Dive into Golf Simulation

    Last year I picked up golf because, well COVID. I'm looking to build a sim in my new rental but want to make it as moveable as possible. Obviously, my partner doesn't want to look at a golf simulator every time she parks her car. Anyways, I'm looking to spend as little money as possible but still create a fun experience for my friends and me so that we can sit at home, hit golf balls, and not pay greens fees or wait for the WA state weather to magically be clear. I'm sure many of you are in the same boat.

    I have been lurking for a bit now and with my stimmy and tax refund, it's time to splurge a little bit. I will be having righties and lefties over so I am trying to cater to both parties as much as possible.

    SO FAR:
    Mevo+ $2000
    Sportscreen 16' $360
    Imperfect SQ screen 7x131$200
    3D golf mat $200
    Facebook projector $100
    Side net $100
    Total ~$3000

    I have been thinking about other cost savers and I'm wondering if I should just get a used mat from one of the driving ranges near me. I have a friend that works there and says that they replace them constantly. Would that be a good idea or would I start to develop shoulder problems not hitting off a designed concrete mat?

    I also want to avoid buying a second gaming computer. Mine will be just above the garage in another room, plugged into an ethernet cord. Would I have any problems connecting/interference with the Mevo? I heard they can be finicky little guys.

    I will include a picture of the garage just for fun in case anyone sees problems with my build. Ceilings are 9' high and while there isn't a wall-mounted opener, it is against the ceiling. I don't believe that placing the hitting portion of the mat under it would cause a problem for swinging.

    Thank you for the help if you choose to. I truly have been blown away by the kindness on this forum.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Don't skimp on the mat. Look into a Fiberbuilt strip or Divot Action, a couple others too. I have a sweet range mat (rawhide) but it is to stiff for more than 30 or so shots. Kinda beat myself up. I have had a Fiberbuilt flight deck for a week now and it is also fine to play from (putting is fine) as a "cheap" option. I will be tweeking my hitting zone more though, this fix is temporary. Don't skimp and spend more time and money fixing, or hurt your body.


    • banielbtw
      banielbtw commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the advice. I’m young but I still don’t want to ruin my body just yet. I will definitely look into your suggestions

  • #3
    I have a similar setup in my two car garage. In my opinion your budget is reasonable to low. Have you swung a golf club or other stick to make sure the garage rails etc are not an issue? I think that would be my biggest concern with both righties and lefties. I used a driveway marker/alignment stick to feel comfortable swinging and have my guest swing that before their real clubs. Dont forget your mat will take up 1" to 3" of your space. My garage is 9'3" and I can swing all my clubs comfortably.

    With the right and left handed hitters, you may need offset hitting to avoid the garage rails. If so put the Mevo on a sliding rail base (search the forum) and you should be fine.

    You also might want to consider ceiling protection and something in front of the screen to stop the balls from bouncing around garage. I have some fake grass with foam pads underneath.

    For your projector don't skip on the lumens (especially if you will have lots of ambient light) and make sure the throw ratio fits your setup.

    I agree with not skimping on the mat. I started with the Quattro and now I use the Fiberbuilt hitting flight deck hitting strip and quattro. I already have tendentious and swing a golf club doesn't help it. I find the fiberbuilt feels a little too forgiving on fat shots, but you also see it in your launch monitor. If I were to do it again, I would build a stance mat and have a bunch of hitting strips to find my favorite. I currently switch between the Quattro and Fiberbuilt

    Below is my budget vs actual if it helps you
    actual budget
    Mevo+ (selfie stick, battery pack, metallic stickers) 2115 2000
    Screen direct from mill 0 350
    Projector 220 500
    projector mount 58.85 50
    curtain material 151.6 115
    Curtain rail 108 100
    ceiling protection 25.44 100
    ipad holder 19.99 20
    sportscreen 364 400
    Mat 370.78 300
    used screen 13 0
    grommets 3.8 5
    Velcro 9.53 10
    grass infront of screen 95.52 50
    Pinspot light 20.13
    ipad to HDMI adapter 44.52
    3620.16 4000


    • banielbtw
      banielbtw commented
      Editing a comment
      My thought was to keep the mat primarily under the garage opener. That would give at least 8 feet in each direction before the rails. But definitely, a good tip to swing the alignment stick first. No one wants a broken club. I was thinking about purchasing a canvas drop cloth and simply attaching it to the sport screen and then up to the ceiling to create some tension. Should be a $20 fix for ceiling protection and I'm not necessarily going for looks at the moment.

      How did you end up getting a screen for $13? Seems too good to be true. Do I not need an impact screen if I get a sport screen? My thought is that a normal screen would scuff much easier than an impact.

      I haven't been able to swing in there yet, haven't even moved in actually but from what I saw it looks as though there is enough room. Maybe not for tall people but for someone not gifted with long legs, I think I should be alright swinging in there.

      I was thinking about just getting a used roll of carpet for the first two feet before the screen just so that the initial bounce doesn't scuff the ball. Do you believe more protection is needed so that I don't get headshot by a ball in the future?

    • xfactor989
      xfactor989 commented
      Editing a comment
      I bought my projector from another member on this forum who happened to be local. He just upgraded his projector and impact screen. When talking about his set up he asked if I needed an impact screen. So he sold me his used screen for the rest of the cash I had on me which was $13. Pretty much too good to be true but still holding up. He said it was a Supertex and he upgraded to the Direct from Mill Screen. Thousands of shots later the impact screen is still holding up.

      The sportscreen material is not an impact screen, if you care about what is behind the sportscreen do not hit golf balls directly into it. I think I read here someone was anxious to try out their setup before their impact screen arrived and a few shots later the ball went through it.

      Underneath my sportsscreen I put a few fitness foam tiles with artifical grass on top. I roll the grass up between uses and move the tiles against the wall. I didnt want the snow and salt melting on top, you want to keep your golf balls and clubs extra clean to maximize your impact screen life. I also move my hitting mat between uses. A piece of sticky velcro on the floor and mat, keeps it in place and lets you know where to put it back at. I think the carpet should be fine, just something for a soft landing so the balls dont bounce all over the place.

      I went with the harbor freight mesh tarp for the ceiling protection, I like the idea of having a black ceiling. I also have this looped down infront of the sportscreen roller so any high launch shots dont hit the bar directly and come back at me. I have put blankets/cardboard in the tarp.

      I also added pipe insulation around the bar in the bottom of sportscreen, had one come back near me. Also put a plastic wall file folder on the floor in front of it. Just in case a ball comes back again.

    • GullLakeMi
      GullLakeMi commented
      Editing a comment
      Actual vs. Budget - as an ex-finance guy, warms my heart to see this.

  • #4
    Kind of takes away from the "fun sim" aspect, but you could skip the screen and projector and just get a net to hit into. All the info would show up on either your computer or a tv if you set one up. It would help the system be a little less obtrusive for a rental. Would save a few dollars and many people have that kind of setup on here.


    • banielbtw
      banielbtw commented
      Editing a comment
      I was thinking about that. I also have an extra tv lying around so it would be easier. I think I’d still like the ability to upgrade in the future so I might just get the sport screen and upgrade later down the road.

  • #5
    One thing to consider with the mevo is the distance between the mevo and the hitting location and the hitting location and the screen. Make sure you have enough room for the mevo to read the ball flight. I was thinking about a mevo for a minute myself but I didn't have enough room in my garage to have it far enough behind me, there were a few other things that made me lean towards a skytrak after some thought. I also agree about swinging your clubs, it's pretty tight in my space as it's just under 9' but it's different hitting a real shot than even trying to hit a rubber golf ball in my experience at least.

    I'm in Washington myself and happened upon an extra 5x5 hitting mat for my sim I'm building that you can basically have if you want to come get it. I was going to try to sell it but it's probably more hassle than what it's worth and if it helps somebody else get started that'll work for me. It's nice I've been hitting off it for over a month with no issues just waiting on my launch monitor to arrive to be finished. I take a big divot especially with my wedges and I haven't had any issues yet with my mat on my concrete floor in the garage. It's a wittek quattro, I've been pretty happy with it so far.


    • banielbtw
      banielbtw commented
      Editing a comment
      I feel like it may be tight for me as well the more I think about it. End of the day, I get a sliding holder for the LM and just let my lefty friends lose their wrists. I believe the ceilings are 9.5' in this garage but I do not know. Hopefully before purchasing anything ill be able to bring a club in and swing it quickly to see.

      I'll PM you about the mat. I'm definitely interested. I think currently my plan is to create a DIY divot action mat and it would definitely help to have a backup mat in case my idea falls through and I ruin two good mats. I was actually planning on grabbing two 4x5's and creating an academy-style mat if my floorplan allows it. It's hard to plan around a garage that I'm not physically in yet but I'm trying my best. I know I'll have upwards of 20' to play with because the garage can fit a long sedan 200"+ and a doorway with steps which would be around 230" which is more than enough for a Mevo.

      That and I'm still fairly new and I think having a skytrak that close would scare me to death.

  • #6
    I’m new to this world too. My garage is too small - so I’m outdoors with a net and an iPad. The person who suggested making sure you have the depth/distance between the Mevo-ball-screen/net is spot on. I planed for twenty feet, and honestly it’s THE bare minimum.

    I see lots of folks plugging Fiberbuilt, and I don’t have anything bad to say; but you might give the TrueStrike a hard look. I think it’s more accurate on fat shots . And it too has some versatility w stance mats, or building it in a green (I know, not what you want in a garage) but perfect for me.

    My out door SIM / practice area was built around practicing the short game, and then hitting into a net. I’ve got 9 feet give or take between ball and Mevo/net. In Mevo parlance it’s “short indoors” but outside. The Mevo sit at the back edge of the green - not pictured here as I was pitching over it.

    Good luck to you.