How Accurate Are Golf Simulators?

If you were wondering exactly how accurate golf simulators are, you’re not the only one. Reliable technology supports most golf simulators, and there are some insanely accurate golf simulators out there.

However, their accuracy depends on quite a few factors. No wonder, since golf is one of the most heavily analyzed games. Slight differences can enormously influence the final result in this game.

We’ll help you discover the factors golf simulator accuracy depends on, how to set it to get accurate results, and what causes differences in results.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

What are golf simulators?

In case you don’t know, golf simulators refer to a set of equipment that lets you play golf on a graphically simulated course. It includes simulator mats, optical sensor system, sonic sound system, ball tracking system, radar, and cameras.

Golf simulators give you valuable information on club speed, clubface impact and angle, club path, ball path and speed, vertical and horizontal launch angle, and spin. High-quality accurate golf simulators give you the same, but with greater precision.

How do golf simulators gather information?

Golf simulators gather information through launch monitor technology so that they can accurately show statistics of your performance. Its accuracy depends mostly on the quality of the four following tools.


Cameras take high-speed images of your swing primarily through impact. Then, the impact position and these images are analyzed to determine both the ball and the club data.

Doppler radar

The launch monitor emits signals that the ball interrupts as it flies through space. The system then calculates data based on where and when the ball interferes with these signals.

Optical sensors

Optical sensors, usually positioned inside a hitting surface, track the club and ball as they pass the sensors. The sensors then determine factors like club path, horizontal launch direction, and ball speed.

Infrared light

As the ball passes infrared light waves, the system tracks data such as launch angle and direction, and ball speed.

The most accurate golf simulators typically combine more technologies and track both club and ball data. They process all the data from your shot and then determine where the ball is supposed to go. Given that golf simulators require calculations, it’s logical that the more data a golf simulator gets, the more accurate it will be.

How to set a golf simulator to get accurate results

Before you start to play, make sure that the golf simulator is set right. You can’t expect it to display correct results if it’s improperly set. Don’t ignore the instructions of the setting. It exists to make your indoor golf experience smooth. Also, don’t be in a hurry. Take your time to understand its system.

Simply put, golf simulators are data communicators. The more accurate the information you give a simulator, the more exact the results it shows you. Ensure that all of the cameras and the sensors are properly positioned and connected.

Check the software to see if it’s calibrated, as well as if it functions for your location. Temperature, humidity, elevation, and other environmental factors can influence the distance of your shot by up to 40 yards!

Mat affects golf simulator accuracy

It may sound crazy, but another thing golf simulator accuracy depends on is mats. Although they aren’t a big issue, they still impact your overall performance. Hitting off the turf and hitting off the mat are two different experiences.

The type of mat plays a minor role in the distance of the shot. The club can behave differently through impact, especially on chunked or mishit shots, which leads to different results from mat to mat, even more so compared to grass.

High-quality mats that closely resemble the real grass are your safest bet for precise results. The size of the mat helps as well. Full-size mats win here because they provide you with enough space to swing freely, as you would outdoors.

So, how accurate are golf simulators?

You know by now which factors affect the accuracy of golf simulators. While there’s no one size fits all, it’s safe to say that high-quality golf simulators tend to be pretty accurate. As we already mentioned, they can process more data, which, in turn, increases the accuracy of the results.

However, accurate golf simulators are just a dream if they aren’t properly set up. Remember that the type and size of the mat matter too. Giving yourself enough space for a perfect swing plays a vital role in getting precise results.

Indeed, the results will slightly differ compared to real golf. Nevertheless, practicing on high-quality golf simulators brings with it huge benefits.

Besides, it’s fun. So, don’t forget to have some!



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