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How to build a budget simulator under 3k!

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  • How to build a budget simulator under 3k!

    I wanted a thread for a low budget build, I could not find a thread on this forum for this topic, it seems everyone is talking 5k or more. (Thats alot to me) This is inspired by an old thread on golfwrx.com which first got me interested in a in home range.
    http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/...t-for-my-game/

    I have a14ft wide x 25ft long space in my basement with 8' 9" ceiling height.

    I started my build by buying a 5x5 real feel country club elite mat for $350. This was deeply discounted, but a 4x4 would be sufficient for most people. The mat is very nice, although very harsh on the body when hitting down on the ball. It does let you know when you hit fat! I am about to order a 1x3 strip from fiberbuilt http://fiberbuiltgolf.com/commercial...fairway-grass/ so I can hit off of a more forgiving surface. I have had a shoulder injury in the past and it sucks! The fiberbuilt surface will cost me another $180. Better than a surgery! I think ill cut a section out of my 5x5 CCE mat to accommodate the new FB strip.

    I then bought a 12x24 fishing net from ebay for about $30. The ebay ad said great for golf netting. Wrong. I hung that from the floor joists overhead by stringing a rope through the long edge of the net and hooking the rope over nails that i drove in every few feet. Messing with the net was a major pain, I dont recommend. I ran the net 10 ft down the long wall on the right ( to catch any shanks), and then ran it 10ft across the end of the room (for the backstop). From a top view it would be a large L shape. I only set up for right handers. It didnt take long for the net to get holes all over it. I have since hung a folded painters tarp in the center area in front of the net to take most of the abuse. It is now shredded and need something new.

    Once that was all in place I started hitting balls I discovered quickly that Im limited to swinging irons. I used it every day for a week or so before pulling the trigger on a launch monitor. I am just using this for practice range so irons and wedges covers 95% of my practice anyways. If you were wanting to do actual golf simulation with software then you would want more ceiling height.

    I bought the Skytrak launch monitor new from Rockbottomgolf.com for $1500. It was a smoking deal amd I couldnt pass it up. I believe they ST is usually about 2k. The skytrak only uses ball data and not club data, but for a simulator under 3k I figured I couldnt go wrong at this price. I already had a decent laptop PC, so I didnt count that in the budget. I paired the laptop with an extra 40" LCD TV I already had, so that is my monitor. It works well just not as cool as a projector. I also bought a metal protective case for skytrak for $150, from someone on this forum before skytrak had one available. The verdict on the skytrak is still out. I have many problems with it not reading shots sometimes. I am still hoping to get this resolved, and won't spend any more on my build until I do. Unfortunately I started all of this in Jan of 2017, but was working so much at the time I never got to deal with the skytrak issues before warranty ran out on it. I didn't use it much at all for about a year due to frustration with the no reads and lack of time to deal with it. I have recently started taking interest again. I did not pay for the $100 per year subscription to skytrak for game improvement package. Just using driving range until my no read issues get sorted out.

    One last touch was to lean a large bathroom mirror against the wall directly across from my mat so I could take a look at my setup any time. This is a must and will let you see if you are setting up properly, it has really helped me. Luckily I had the mirror sitting around and didnt have to purchase.

    So at this point about 800 of the budget left for impact screen and all hardware to hang it, side curtains, a projector, a long hdmi cable, and a piece of green indoor/outdoor carpet for the floor between the mat and the screen. I am looking at the SQ screen from par2pro.com. It is on sale now in raw material for $25 per running ft. I would want an 8ft wide screen so $200 for that screen. I am also looking at this screen for $132 which I believe would be lesser quality than the SQ but no idea really. https://shop.virtual-golf-simulator....-x-96-1826.htm

    For side curtains I was considering mesh tarp from harbor freight but looks like that will be at least 50 bucks so looking for something cheaper.

    I have no idea what projector to get and this is the most daunting part of the project to me. I dont need anything amazing for a driving range. Again it would be different if I were paying extra for golf sim software. Im thinking long throw so the projector can be slightly behind me and not get hit with anything. I would like a bright projector so I can use it with lights on. Any help here would be great.

    I am also considering just buying this portable net from amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00NSWHZCS#Ask
    and scrapping the whole screen and projector idea. I could use this net outside on my patio or inside the basement. I could just pair my skytrak with my phone outside or take my laptop out there. That would allow me to practice driver as well as irons, and my build would be done for under 2500! The only drawback would be having to drag the mat and net in and out of the basement. Also the net is only 7ft tall so need to be pretty close to it for wedges.

    Another idea would be to find some cheaper alternative to an impact screen such as a large blanket or quilt, and use that indoors and the net outdoors. A white blanket could double as a poor mans projection screen.

    Hopefully Ill get some pics up sometime but obviously it isn't much to look at. Feel free to comment with details of your low budget setup or suggestions and questions.
    Last edited by Greasegun; 07-11-2018, 09:09 PM.

  • #2
    Great job. Regarding the impact screen, I would highly recommend checking out the direct from mill thread on this forum. It seems that is one top quality screen and you are only paying $17.50 per linear foot for a 10' tall screen. There is some shipping costs involved but I can't imagine it is that much.

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    • #3
      Here is a pic of my current setup. As you can see my backstop leaves something to be desired. I just ordered this 8.5x8.5 SKLZ golf impact net from Rockbottomgolf.com for $120. I can use it in the basement or take it outside, which will be nice. I also just ordered my Fiberbuilt 1x3 strip for $180. My build cost is now up to about $2350. I am still considering a screen and projector, and still need some green carpeting or something for the floor. Open to suggestions on both!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MSUGOGRN View Post
        Great job. Regarding the impact screen, I would highly recommend checking out the direct from mill thread on this forum. It seems that is one top quality screen and you are only paying $17.50 per linear foot for a 10' tall screen. There is some shipping costs involved but I can't imagine it is that much.
        I am looking into that. Have you used this screen before? Can you speak to the durability or noise level? Thanks!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Greasegun View Post

          I am looking into that. Have you used this screen before? Can you speak to the durability or noise level? Thanks!
          I have not personally used this screen but I read through every single page of that thread and the general take away was that the screen is one of the highest quality screens that you can buy.

          Comment


          • #6
            I purchased a standard and preferred from Carl’s.
            https://www.carlofet.com/clearance-p...r-screens.html

            purchased both from the clearance section. I love them. Currently still using the standard. Holds up very well.

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            • #7
              I would recommend the Spornia SPG-7 net with the projector screen add on for a budget simulator set up. All self contained and the price is not bad.

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