Getting into golf is easy, but playing it consistently is more difficult than it seems. If you’re finding it hard to make time to go to the course or simply don’t want to spend money on club membership, then the next best thing is a golf simulator. But even a quick lookup of golf simulator prices will have you wondering if buying one is worth the investment.
Golf simulators improve your game by helping you adjust your swing force and angle and by making you capable of putting and pitching in unfavorable conditions. If you can minimize your score on a simulator, you can achieve an equivalent one in a real-world round.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about golf simulators, including their pros and cons, as well as their price range. You will also find out whether simulator golf is harder than on-course golf.
By the end of this post, you’ll know if golf simulators are worth the money in 2023.
Are Golf Simulators Worth It?
Golf simulators are worth their price for most golfers who want to improve their game without paying for course access. The best golf simulators can help golfers adjust their swing force and ball contact for lower scores.
But if improving your game isn’t worth $1000, then golf simulators might not be right for you.
Entry-level simulators cost $1000, and high-end simulators used by indoor golfing establishments can cost up to $25,000.
Yes, you read that right: the best indoor golf simulators can cost upward of $25k!
This vast cost range ensures that at any given price point, a simulator is not worth it for some golfers and well worth it for others.
Golf simulators are worth it for professionals. Their sponsorship money easily covers the cost of state-of-the-art golf simulators. Pro golfers don’t need to put their purse money on the line to get simulators.
That said, golfers prefer practicing on the course when they can. However, golf simulators can provide an excellent option for golf swing training. When they invest in golf simulators, it is because these setups have benefits besides the practicing opportunities they offer.
What Are The Benefits Of A Golf Simulator?
Golf simulators allow golfers to practice golf indoors, get an accurate assessment of their swing, and lower their scores. They also help players customize the settings of the simulator so they can practice in different contexts.
In the context control aspect, simulators are better than real-life golfing. Let’s take a closer look at the ways in which golf simulators can improve your game.
You Can Vary The Conditions
Whether you have a links golf tournament coming up or you plan to play on a lush green course with clear weather, you must practice in similar conditions. Simulators can help produce these conditions. Golf simulators can be very helpful when the conditions of the actual game and the available practice conditions are different.
For instance, you might live in a dry still-wind region, but the course you’re set to play in has higher humidity and wind flow. In such cases, simulators can help you adjust the virtual conditions to match the game conditions, allowing you to prepare for the environment in which you are set to play.
You Can Maximize Shots Per Hour
Even with caddies and high-speed golf carts, golf practice can be time-consuming and inefficient. You spend more time moving than striking. In a golf simulator, you can focus on striking the ball over and over, getting more swings in per hour than is possible in real-world golf.
The number of shots you can practice in any given unit of time using a simulator is much higher than the shots you can execute in actual golf practice.
You Can Improve Your Swing Angle
This is an advantage of golf simulators that is also valid for real-world golf practice. Regardless of the medium of practice, practice can improve the angle at which your club makes contact with the ball.
A golf simulator allows you to improve your swing angle even if you cannot book a slot at your local golf course.
You Can Improve Your Swing Force
Often, swinging with excessive force can be as much a score-racking problem as swinging without enough force. Golf simulators help you adjust the force of your swing with each shot.
You can learn how to increase or decrease the force of your swing based on your distance from the hole. This advantage is also equally valid for real-world golf practice.
You Can Maintain Your Skill Level
The final advantage of golf simulators is that they can be used as skill-maintenance devices. Golfing precision has a “use it or lose it” tendency. If you have a busy schedule and cannot keep visiting your local course for real-world practice, you might get “rusty.”
But if you have a golf simulator installed at your home, then you can practice golf regularly and can stay sharp as a result. This benefit is limited to in-residence simulators and not golf club simulators. If one can visit the club to play golf on a simulator, one can visit a course to play an actual round.
As you might have seen, golf simulators have numerous benefits. Only two of these advantages (swing angle improvement and swing force improvement) are also present in real-world golf practice. In the accessibility and efficiency aspects, simulators can beat real-life golf practice.
Do Golf Pros Use Simulators?
Almost all major pro golfers use simulators for game improvement and feedback. Justin Thomas, Sergio Garcia, and Dustin Johnson are some of the pros known for using TrackMan simulators.
There is no doubt that top-ranking golf players use simulators. However, the extent to which they rely on these simulators is unclear.
When it comes to using a golf simulator for practice compared to using an actual golf course, you should have a hybrid approach.
Golf simulators have their advantages, but actual golf has its own set of perks. To commit completely to just one mode of practice is, therefore, imprudent.
Is Simulator Golf Harder?
A golf simulator is harder to use in some aspects, while on-course golf is harder in others. Ultimately, the score-racking challenges on each side even out, bringing the simulator golf score close to the predicted on-course score of an individual.
True environment conditions, ground resistance, and trajectory shifts make real-world golf hard.
The inherent difficulty in putting and chipping in a simulator game makes golfing on one hard. Depending on the aspect of your game that you want to train, you should choose to practice with a simulator or in the real world.
Final Thoughts: Do Golf Simulators Improve Your Game?
Golf simulators improve your striking and angle, and swing force, both of which can help lower your score. They aren’t as good at replicating true environmental conditions, so you cannot replace real-world practice with a simulator.
Still, their ability to improve your pitching and putting skills are well worth their price, given that you can spare $1000 or more to get better at golf.