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DIY golf simulator: The sub $5000 2024 home setup guide

Choosing a golf simulator is confusing. Even with premade packages there are a ton of optional upgrades for hitting mats, projectors, launch monitors and enclosures. And depending on the setup, there could be a 5-figure difference in price, which makes it hard to know where the money savings can really be found.

Ready to get stuck into our 2024 DIY golf simulator guide? Jump to any section by clicking the links below:

Top 3 DIY Sim Stores

Not sure which are the best stores that have DIY simulator components for sale? Here are the most popular 4 simulator stores online, with our pick for best value going to Carl’s Place.

Save cash by using their clickable tool here to build a DIY sim.

DIY Simulator ShopLink
Carl's PlaceCarl’s Place Golf (best value)
SkyTrak Golf
The Indoor Golf Shop Shop Indoor Golf

What’s needed to build your own DIY golf simulator

Launch monitor (the brains of your golf sim)


The tech behind your DIY simulator is the launch monitor. In “general”, you really get what you pay for with golf launch monitors. The more you pay? The more stats you’ll get. And the more stats you have, the higher the chances of you getting feedback that will improve your game. 

So below, we’ve got prices from high to low. I personally feel the SkyTrak+ offers by far the best value for money at the moment.

  1. Foresight QuadMAX – the best launch monitor overall BUT, expect to pay $20k for the privilege
  2. Foresight GC3 – The best alternative to a QuadMAX for those on a tighter budget, and also from Foresight. Expect to pay around $6k.
  3. SkyTrak+ – one of the best launch monitors for budgets of under $3000. Head for the SkyTrak+ if you have a smaller sim room (otherwise we’d pick the Mevo+).
Best launch monitor under $3,000
SkyTrak+ Launch Monitor
The new SkyTrak Plus is our pick for the best launch monitor under $3,000 in 2024. Available directly from SkyTrak, with finance available.
Buy from Carl's PlaceBuy direct from SkyTrak
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DIY golf simulator enclosures

Put simply, you don’t NEED an enclosure. See our detailed guide to picking a golf simulator enclosure here.

A golf simulator enclosure will generally come with:

  • Surround
  • Side barrier netting
  • Foam padding for the pole/frame
  • Piping kit
  • Bungees etc to secure your impact screen

You could go with a golf impact screen and side barrier netting (covered in the next section) over a full-blown DIY golf enclosure. But, there’s a simple way to save around $1,350 on your DIY golf simulator enclosure which makes it insane value for money. 

How? Do it yourself of course! Here’s an example of how…

If you click here, you’ll see a DIY golf simulator enclosure for sale. And here, you’ll find a complete enclosure.

The difference? The piping kit…that’s it. I mean, if you read the first link it literally tells you it includes everything except the piping kit, when compared directly to the ready-to-go simulator enclosure.

One option is to go to your local Home Depot. You’ll need an EMT pipe, a pipe cutter and cut them to size (the first link includes a video of how much pipe you need, how to cut the pipe and to what lengths).

Materials should cost no more than $300. And the saving (at time of writing DIY kit is $1399.99 and the SIG8 complete golf enclosure is $3000) is $1350 after paying for EMT pipe and a cutter.

Or, if you’re lazy like me, you can get a DIY enclosure and add on a piping kit here, still saving around $1350, but with a piping kit that fits your simulator enclosure right out of the box.

Put simply? The DIY golf enclosure with impact screen from Carl’s Place offers the best value for money online.

Golfer Logic's top pick: The best golf simulator enclosure
Carl’s C-Series Enclosure
Carl’s C-Series Enclosure
Grab our pick for the best simulator enclosure in 2024.
Get the C-Series enclosure
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The budget golf simulator enclosure setup (side netting and impact screen)

DIY sim enclosure cheap

Besides it being easy to customize, the main reason we’re building a DIY home golf simulator is to save money.

Golf simulator enclosures aren’t exactly cheap…the cheap option is to use an impact screen and side netting. The problem is to get a quality impact/hitting screen alongside quality netting or a surround, isn’t going to be much cheaper than just heading for the cheapest version of this golf simulator enclosure.

But if you’re going to go for any, we’d be heading for a combo of the RS Tour impact screen which can be found on Rain or Shine here. Then if you want some cheap side barrier netting, you’ll want something like this. You’ll still make a decent saving when compared to buying an enclosure.

Best golf impact screen for 2024
Carl’s Place Impact Screen
Carl’s Place Impact Screen
Our pick for the best golf impact screen for golf simulators and home use in 2024.
Buy the Carl's Place impact screen
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Golf mats

Golf simulator mats usually come in 3 forms: hitting, landing or a combination mat (a hitting and landing mat in one). 

By doing a little research rather than just buying a simulator package that includes a ridiculously expensive mat (they can cost $3k and beyond), you’ll be able to make a cheap golf simulator at home. Or, you’ll be able to make a better one for the same price!

We’ve written about golf simulator mats in the past, and from where we’re sitting you have two options here.

Cheap DIY golf simulator mat setup

There’s a good chance you’re on a budget, but want a quality hitting mat, combined with landing turf. These are few and far between. 

But…enter the Net Return Pro Turf!

If you’re looking for a cheap setup, this is going to be the mat for you. A combo (hitting and landing mat in 1) that we’ve actually found for less than $600. Quite a deal when you consider most quality hitting mats even without landing turf, tend to sit in the $500-$1200 range. 

Premium DIY golf simulator mat setup

If you do have the budget, then I’d suggest checking out the TrueStrike Academy hitting mat. But you’ll certainly need to pay for it in comparison to the Net Pro Return Pro Turf above. The

TrueStrike hitting mat, combined with a separate landing mat turf purchase will stack up to just under $1500. The positive here is, you’ll get a better simulator mat setup than most package deals, for the same cost or less.  

Unlike most other hitting mats that use a foam liner underneath, this uses silicone. Essentially, instead of smashing into your mat like a brick wall when you miss an impact, you’ll get a turf-like feel, as if you’re making a divot. 

I mean there’s that side of realism, and then there’s the fact that it’s much easier on your joints. Missing impacts on a lot of golf hitting mats really does hurt!

The TrueStrike Academy hitting mat doesn’t come complete with landing turf. That’s no problem, you can couple the TrueStrike mat here, with a landing turf such as this one for sale on Top Shelf Golf. 


benq diy sim projector

The next piece of your home DIY golf simulator puzzle is a projector. Which is the best golf simulator projector?

Well, it’s not exactly one size fits all approach. It really does depend on where you’re mounting the projector (and how far from the impact screen), the size of the room allocated for your sim and naturally…budget. 

What you will need for indoor golf simulators is a short throw projector. This projects an image from a short distance (unlike a cinema projector for instance). 

Typically a budget of under $1000 will suffice for a golf simulator projector. With a budget of $1k you’ll be able to grab a short throw projector like the BenQ TH671ST.

The BenQ TH671ST can be set from 0.69:1 to 0.83:1 ratios which –  put simply – means you can project a quality image into your enclosure and directly onto your impact screen from as little as 4.5ft-5 ft away. That’s well inline with the approx 7-8ft distance that the average projector is going to be mounted from the impact screen. 

Tech wise, the BenQ TH671ST is rated at 3k lumens and has 10k hours of lamp life. SmartEco modes are on offer and you’ll get a 16.67ms low input lag (i.e. basically nothing). 

Tech & software

DIY sim software skytrak

Typically, you can use the likes of a mobile, tablet, PC or a laptop to connect to your launch monitor, projector to then relay images to your impact screen, receiving data within the launch monitor app. However, this will vary depending on the launch monitor and projector.


There are plenty of 3rd party simulator software providers out there. But, they are a bolt on to extend and upgrade your gameplay, rather than a cheap DIY simulator option. As an example, the E6 Connect simulator software below could set you back around $2,500 on PC, and $1,500 on iOS.

Put simply, most launch monitors either include their own simulator software, or it’s an add-on. Some are lifetime software subscriptions whereas others are paid annually. The own brand simulator software offered by the brand of launch monitor you purchase is going to be the best deal. An example is the SkyTrak here, with software included.

However, if you do ever want to change/upgrade and have a few thousand to spend, there are the likes of:


  • GSPRO user created course (over 300 to choose from)
  • Incredible 4k graphics
  • Play locally, or multiplayer online

E6 Connect Software

  • Multiplayer with commercial grade functionality
  • Over 25 courses included

The Golf Club (TGC)

  • Inclusive of 150,000 courses
  • Custom course design
  • Multiplayer

Requirements for laptops / gaming PCs for golf simulators

If you want to make the most out of your do it yourself setup, you’ll need some computing power. Whilst gaming laptops are a good option, generally you’ll find you’ll get better bang for your buck by using a specific gaming PC for your golf simulator.

Before you drop $2k+ on a gaming PC, it might be worth checking that:

  1. You can’t just use your current PC or gaming laptop
  2. You can’t upgrade your current PC or gaming laptop to meet software requirements.

Below, we’ve highlighted some min requirements set out by Foresight. But remember, technology moves ridiculously fast, so it’s always better to go for higher specs than lower specs on your golf simulator PC.

Graphics Card

Graphics cards are the most important component of a golf simulator PC.

Put simply, pretty much every brand recommends that your golf simulator PC runs off something like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 as a minimum. 

This is find for mid range sims like SkyTrak and Mevo+, but the likes of the GCQuad you’re only going to get optimal performance and make your sim stretch its legs with something like the GeForce RTX 3070ti, or more powerful options like the GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090 (cost is likely to double from the 3070).

A sub-par graphics card may also limit your gameplay and gameplay analysis if you plan to use GSPRO software. This is constantly evolving, so more and more computing power is needed as time goes by.

Generic simulator PC specs

Alongside graphics card requirements, you’ll also be needing a decent base spec on your gaming laptop or PC. 

As an example, here are some baseline specs set out by Foresight Sports for their FSX Play software, which would be needed to run the GC3, GCQuad and GCHawk:

  • 64 bit windows or better
  • 7th Gen or better Intel i5, i7, and i9 processors (they don’t recommended AMD)
  • 8GB Memory
  • As mentioned above, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 as a minimum, but Foresight recommends going for the RTX 3070-3090 graphics card for optimal performance.

DIY golf simulator cost

The main cost of your building your DIY golf simulator for home use is the launch monitor. And if you want something close to professional level tracking (e.g. ball speed tracking within 1mph, launch angle within 1 degree), you’re going to need a budget of around $2000 just for the launch monitor.

That’s going to get you something like the SkyTrak or FlightScope Mevo Plus. Or, if you have a budget of around $3000, you’ll be able to grab the new SkyTrak+ which is within 2% of Trackman’s accuracy (a $20k+ launch monitor).

When you combine this with a simulator enclosure, hitting and landing mat, projector, software and more, you can build a good golf simulator for under $5000.

However, this cost can quickly increase towards $8000-$10000 using something like the Full Swing KIT launch monitor and $20000 plus when looking at the GCQuad.

Best overall launch monitor in 2024
Foresight GCQuad
Foresight GCQuad
Foresight's top-of-the-line GCQuad is our pick for both the best stand-alone launch monitor this year, and the best launch monitor for use in a home golf simulator setup.
Check Price (GCQuad Only)Check Price (GCQuad simulator setup)
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About David McSweeney

David is one of the founders of Golfer Logic, and on a mission to improve his swing, while sharing advice, tips and "eureka!" moments with the GL community.

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