The Best Golf Simulators Under $5,000

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Last week we focused on indoor putting greens because Winter is fast approaching in most areas of the United States.  Today we will focus on how you can keep practicing during the Winter months with an affordable Golf Simulator.  

In the world of affordable golf simulators under $5,000 there are really two brands that dominate the Market:  OptiShot and SkyTrak.  Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

The OptiShot 2 has become one of the best selling entry level golf simulators on the market. The system itself is relatively simple in design and makes for a highly portable and user-friendly setup.

The OptiShot 2 tracks the club speed, path and face angle using two rows of high-speed infrared sensors. As your club moves from the back row of sensors to the front row, the OptiShot 2 records every movement. This data is then relayed to your Mac or PC through their integrated simulation software. So with each swing, you can get real-time feedback on your shot, and watch your ball sail through the air just like you’re on the course. The OptiShot 2 is unique because it tracks your club instead of the ball, which means you can actually use foam, plastic balls, or no ball at all. This feature gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to location and space.

Tracking only the club swing does come with some disadvantages. Since no ball data is recorded, the OptiShot 2 cannot accurately read how your club impacts the ball, so if you top the ball or even miss entirely, the OptiShot 2 will show that you made solid contact. This is definitely one of the biggest downsides to infrared simulators. If you normally don’t have an issue making contact with the ball or are just wanting to improve your swing then this will be less of an issue.

The OptiShot 2 is basically a small hitting mat with built-in sensors and is linked directly to your computer. It is extremely portable and the hitting mat can be customized with thicker turf in order to give a more realistic hitting surface. It is a lower priced option that is fun for all golfing types.


The Skytrak is a launch monitor and simulator all in one. It has accuracy that is comparable to systems that are 10 times the price. While it still isn’t in everyone’s budget, it is arguably the best bang for the buck in the industry. 

How it works:

The SkyTrak uses high-speed photometric sensors to record your balls behavior after impact. These sensors read the Speed, Launch Angle, Side Angle, Back Spin, and Side Spin of your ball in order to give you an almost exact simulation of where your shot will land. These key metrics can also be used to make corrections to your technique, which is why SkyTrak is such a popular choice for game improvement.

The SkyTrak unit is set up on your hitting mat, as you hit the ball, your SkyTrak simulates your shots on an iPad or similar device using SkyTraks provided software. The unit is super portable and can be used at home or on the range to provide instant data for every shot.

Now let’s take a look at a few of the options from each manufacturer:

We’ll Start with the OptiShot 2 Golf In A Box Simulator Package

The OptiShot 2 Golf-In-A-Box simulator package comes with everything you need to have your very own home golf room.  This package includes the OptiShot 2 simulator, OptiShot’s high grade hitting net, as well as the hitting mat designed to fit the OptiShot 2 Simulator.  For this particular package, you will need to connect this to a TV, Projector, or computer to view your swing data. This package comes in at $799.  

The OptiShot Golf-In-A-Box 3:  

This package features the OptiShot2 golf simulator system, Net Return practice net, hitting mat, simulation screen, and projector.  With the Golf-In-A-Box 3 Package, you can now get your OptiShot with The Net Return Pro Series Net (widely known as the best golf net on the market), the Pro Series Golf Simulator Impact Screen that conveniently attaches to the Pro Series Net, a durable hitting mat specifically designed to fit the OptiShot2 Simulator, and a HD Short-Throw Optoma X305ST Projector. This package saves you thousands in comparison to many other golf simulator setups on the market.  This package comes in at $2,800.  

Please Note: Many laptops including Apple MacBooks and Microsoft’s Surface Pro have a “Mini Display Port” port instead of an HDMI port. If that’s the case, you’ll need to purchase a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter cable to connect that laptop to a TV or other display HDMI port. Be sure to check exactly what type of port your laptop has before purchasing such an adapter.  Here is a direct link to a mini-display port to HDMI adapter.  

OptiShot 2 Simulator Series Package:  

The Optishot 2 Simulator Series Package from ShopIndoorGolf pairs OptiShot2 with the Net Return Simulator Series Net to bring you the ultimate golf setup for your house for under $5,000.  The package includes: Infrared Optical Swing Pad, Software (which you need to download), Adjustable Rubber Tee’s, Two Foam Practice Balls, Net Return Simulator Series Golf Net ( which a $ 2,495 Value), Net Return 6′ x 10′ Pro Turf (which a $349 value), Projector Mount Kit (a $499 value), 2 Black Carry Bags, and Side Barriers for the Ultimate Safety for Net.  The Simulator Series package is on sale at the time of making this video for $3,642 down from $5,000.  

SkyTrak Golf Simulator Training Package

Shop Indoor Golf’s SkyTrak Training Package is perfect for golfers on a budget looking to improve any aspect of their game.  The SkyTrak is among the most accurate launch monitors available to everyday golfers. Head to head studies show SkyTrak is 98% as accurate as the Trackman, at a fraction the cost.

Featuring real time visual feedback and ball performance data outputted to your iPad, PC, or connected display, your SkyTrak Training package is everything you need to work on your golf game in the comfort of your own home.  With this package you will be hitting into a net, and then using a computer, connected display, or tablet to share the shot data.  

Here is what’s Included In The SkyTrak Training Package: The SkyTrak Golf Personal Launch Monitor, SkyTrak Play & Improve Plan, SkyTrak Protective Case, your Choice of Golf Net Return Net & Frame, Side Barriers, Net Return 6′ x 10′ Pro Turf, Two Rubber tees, and a Duffle Bag (For storing and transporting net).  The SkyTrak Golf Simulator Training Package comes in at $3,400 and financing is available.  

SkyTrak Bronze Golf Simulator Package:

Very similar to the Simulator training package just mentioned, but the main difference is that this bronze package includes a Projector, and projector screen. Here is what’s Included In The SkyTrak Bronze Package:

SkyTrak Launch Monitor, SkyTrak Play & Improve Software, SkyTrak Protective Case, Choice of Net Return V2 Net, Side Barriers & Golf Simulator Screen, Optoma EH412ST HD 1080P Projector (4000 Lumens), Projector Shield (projector floor mount enclosure), Net Return 6′ x 10′ Pro Turf Mat, and Two Rubber Tee’s. The SkyTrak Bronze package costs $4,799.00 right now, which is on sale from $5,000, and financing is available.  

What is your favorite low priced simulator option why?  We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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