Difference Between Golf Simulator and Golf Course

The non-traditional way of golfing has become extremely popular. With golf simulator facilities blossoming around the world, people now have a chance to play the sport in unconventional ways.

It took some time to break out of stigmas related to a traditional golf course, but now, many people are enjoying the fruits of modern technology.

But, how does this cutting-edge technology differ from the classic green activity we’ve all adjusted to? Let’s cover some of the core differences.



There is one major difference between golf simulators and playing on a real golf course – the so-called ‘feel’. Generally speaking, it’s an abstract sensation. For non-golfers, it may sound like some kind of magical sorcery that only true wizards can perform. But in reality, ‘the feel’ comes with practice. A lot of it. But playing long enough only makes you a master of the craft.

When you are observing your next target, you use both your brain and senses, getting a ‘feel’ on how to swing. It guides you through all the obstacles in front of your eyes – the lie, contour of the hole, and especially environmental factors. And those tend to be hard to replicate indoors.

Although, some golf simulators use high-end technology which replicates real-life courses with such high-definition displays and launchers that you may forget the fact you are playing indoors!

The good thing about simulators is that, in case you’re starting to perfect your craft, regular indoor practice truly impacts the overall mechanics and body movements. Later, it helps to awaken the feel of the grass.


Another noticeable difference between the conventional course and indoor simulators is the player’s environment. The sport is naturally played outside, but with factors like a 20mph side wind, or even a lightning danger, some troubles are inevitable.

No one likes to be evacuated mid-game due to an incoming lightning storm. But with a lightning magnet inside your hands, it’s for our own safety to return inside and avoid any injuries.

With simulators, there is no need to fear any unwanted weather conditions that could affect the game. Of course, there is a possibility to adjust the playing conditions such as wind or rain on most simulators. But without a huge industrial fan blowing into your body, there is no possible way to be physically influenced by them.


These two can be tricky for simulators. Launch monitors tend to have a tough time picking up lower speeds. And it’s not completely the launcher’s fault, it is more connected to the impossibility of perceiving the depth of the field.

Usually, players imagine a line over which they swing their shots. Also, the shot depends on the grass the player is working with, and any other aspects that affect the “short game.”  But putting with limited depth perception, it gets harder to judge the distance and break of a putt.

Fortunately, it is not impossible to perfect putts and chips inside a simulator. It takes some time to get around it, but it’s definitely achievable.


Unless you’re living in Illinois or Florida, the two flattest states in the USA, a perfectly flat lie on the golf course is hard to find. When playing indoors, getting a perfectly flat lie is not a question.

Another great possibility of the simulator is that players can set a rough penalty. But the thing is, it only calculates a certain percentage that is being taken of the total distance of a shot. Luckily, there are golf mats with different turf lengths that make things more realistic.


How many times have you been stuck inside a bunker, trying to make your way out of the sand without throwing a fit? Unless you bring a pile of sand with you, there is no realistic chance of simulating a bunker shot. Therefore, you just enjoy chipping off a mat, without breaking a stressful sweat.

It’s debatable whether these distinctions make golf more or less pleasant. But now, without debating, let’s look at some of the distinctions between golf simulators and real-life court visits that make golf better.



No slow groups before you. No tee times and no walking in between the shots. And the most rewarding one – no searching for the ball after a bad shot!

When playing by yourself, you can play 18 holes in under an hour. And even less if you would like to! Simulators let you choose as few holes as you would want.


A major benefit is receiving an in-depth look into your shots. From an overall improvement standpoint, golf simulators play a very reasonable role. Golfers can see exactly what went wrong with a shot and have all the information they need to figure out in order to improve their swing.


This one is pretty obvious and one of the determining factors on why people visit or buy golf simulators for their homes. There is no need to check the weather a week before visiting the court or dreading that heavy cloud approaching your way. You can play any time of the year and get the most out of it.


At the end of the day, both real-life grass courses and simulators have their (dis)advantages. And truly, it is up to you to decide what kind of game you’re willing to play.

Without the environmental factors, rough penalties, and bunkers, players tend to reject simulators since the game is “too easy”. But that shouldn’t be a bad thing!

Being able to play anytime, perfecting the craft, and improving mobility are some of the biggest reasons why simulators got so popular.In addition to that, it can be a great budget-friendly activity for the whole family, or a nice group of friends after a long day of work. Contact us today and book your spot!



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