Impact screens and enclosures can make a big difference to the realism and enjoyment of any golf simulator, and they are often overlooked!
In this comprehensive guide, we will review some of the best impact screens and enclosures to create an awesome golf simulator for your indoor golf studio. Whether you are a professional golfer or just looking to improve your game, these screens will help you get the most for your budget.
Before we start reviewing the best screens on the market, let’s first understand what you need from a screen.
An impact screen and enclosure have three purposes:
- Display your beautiful graphics for your home golf simulator.
- Stop the ball when it hits the screen.
- Stop the ball and protect the room if the screen is missed… (dare I say it)
Your golf ball will be hitting the screen at 140-200mph, so this has to be a serious piece of kit. Now that you have a general idea of what golf impact screens are and how they can help enhance your golf simulator’s performance let’s take a look at some of our favourite options on the market.
HomeCourse Pro Retractable Golf Simulator Screen (Best For Small Space)
The HomeCourse Pro Retractable Golf simulator screens are an excellent solution for small spaces. If you don’t have enough space to leave your golf simulator setup from day to day, then the HomeCourse Pro Retractable makes it easy to transform your simulator space back into your office space or dining room in a matter of minutes!
The thing that helps the HomeCourse Pro Golf Simulator Screen enclosure stand out as the best for a small space is the fully retractable design. Many golf simulator screens can be folded and put away when not in use, but the HomeCourse Pro screen works with a wireless remote to retract in a matter of seconds.
In addition, the screen itself is made with a ballistic grade material. If your swing speed is high and you worry about wear and tear on a golf impact screen, the HomeCourse Pro is a good solution.
We like the sky netting that helps protect against missed shots; it’s not a dark color, so it doesn’t give the best possible experience you see from the more premium models.
When you look at durability and ease of setup, the HomeCourse Pro is really good; however, the image quality here may not be quite as good. A fixed screen tends to have much better overall performance and a more realistic experience.
Certain imperfections in a screen that is rolled up will be more apparent. This particular model also requires quite a bit of slack, so you may notice the image looks wavier. The thing to consider here is that the convenience of the retractable screen will likely take away a bit of realism, it’s just a matter of which features matter the most for your game.
To set this up in your home, you will need a space with 8 feet of height clearance, 10 feet of width, and at least 8 feet of depth. The distance you stand from the screen does not matter, but the recommendation is several feet for better longevity. Although 8 feet of depth is all that is really required here, 10 to 12 feet is a better situation.
The side barrier netting is a bit loose, so we would recommend having some space on either side of the netting and not putting this right up against a wall.
With a ballistic grade material being used for the screen material, the longevity here is quite good, even when using real golf balls.
The only problem you will have to look out for long term is the motor that pulls the retractable screen up and down. These types of features can eventually cause problems long term, and a warranty purchase with this simulator screen may make sense.
The HomeCourse Pro Screen is a premium screen, but considering the technology with the retractable design, the pricing is quite fair.
When compared to other full enclosures, HomeCourse Pro is slightly less expensive. The problem here is that the lower costs may result in a slightly less clear image compared to the premium enclosure.
Golf Insider Verdict
The HomeCoursePro Screen is a perfect simulator screen for a small area in your home or a portable golf simulator option. We are impressed with how quickly you can turn a space into a golf simulator setup. The overall longevity and quality are good, just not as impressive as the SwingBay.
SIG Premium Golf Impact Screen (Best On A Budget)
The SIG Premium impact screen is the best option for golfers on a budget. This particular model is just a screen and does not have the full enclosure. You will have to get creative about protecting the walls in your home, with no side barrier netting included.
The SIG Premium impact screen is made with a premium fabric that is both thick and smooth. With the SIG Premium, you benefit from a three-layer screen as there are two layers of impact-resistant polyester with spacer yards in the center.
With materials like this, the SIG Premium is quiet and will dampen noise you may find with other harder golf simulator screens. In addition, the smoother surfaces absorb some of the impacts and ensure that your golf simulator screen lasts a bit longer than usual.
We also like how the spacer yarn will help dampen your golf shots and have them simply drop down to the ground.
One of the things that helps the SIG Premium stand out is the image quality. One of the things to be careful of when choosing a golf simulator screen is the aspect ratio. The aspect ratio options for SIG Premium include 1:1, 4:3, 16:10, 16:9.
The image quality provides a crisp image. If your golf simulator software and setup allow, the 4k image quality on this simulator screen is quite good. In addition, there is minimal bleed-through and no grain effect.
Sometimes with lower priced golf simulator screens, pixelation becomes a problem, but the softer material used here has helped to improve the realism.
The SIG Premium is available in five different sizes and four different aspect ratios.
- 7’7″ x 7’7″
- 8′ x 8′
- 8’7″ x 8’7″
- 9′ x 9′
- 9’6″ x 9’6″
- 10′ x 10′
The three-layer system that the SIG Premium has will help increase the longevity of the screen. The problem here is that over time certain areas will start to wear down. As always, make sure you are standing as far back from the screen as possible if you want to try and increase the number of years your screen is in place. More distance equals lower ball speed upon screen impact.
The SIG Premium is our favorite from a value standpoint, and it’s not just because the pricing is lower than some of these other golf simulator enclosures, it’s more about the quality you get for the price.
In addition to the impressive quality images, there are double-stitched black vinyl edges and grommets. The grommets make it easy to hang. In addition, a thin line of velcro will also be located around the edge of the simulator screen material to help with add on’s for side netting.
Golf Insider Verdict
If you are looking for a DIY-friendly golf simulator screen with durable material for a fair price, the SIG premium is a good choice. Golf simulators can be set up in a variety of ways, and the versatility of the SIG Premium makes this a really popular choice, especially among first-time simulator buyers.
SwingBay Simulator Screen and Enclosure (Best Premium)
The SwingBay Simulator Screen and Enclosure is our favorite premium simulator screen. The high quality commercial grade polyester blackout side and upper walls really help you have a complete simulator experience.
The first thing that stands out for us with the SwingBay is the way that light is reduced on the screen, creating a much better image. The sides also help protect your walls, but for us, it was more about the experience of being inside this enclosure and the resulting image on the screen in front of us.
There is plenty of give in the screen to help with bounce backs and improve the screen’s overall longevity. In addition, the secure velcro system is straightforward to set up and will stay stable for years to come.
A 4:3 projected image is best displayed using a projector model with lumens of 3000+. If you are going to spend the money on the SwingBay golf simulator screen and enclosure, make sure your golf simulator software and projector are of higher quality.
The realism from the SwingBay is some of the best we have found and considerably better than the roll-up screen material.
The minimum room dimensions that SwingBay recommends are 9 feet high, 16 feet in depth, and 12 feet in width. The screen enclosure is 8’H x 10’W x 4’5″D. When using the SwingBay; we felt we had the most immersive experience. The size is perfect for allowing you to feel as though you are using a premium simulator while also being able to swing freely.
Longevity is tough to measure in short product testing cycles, we were very happy with how it held up and SwingBay share that during their product testing, at ball speeds of 250 miles per hour, over thousands of shots there was minimal wear. The tight fiber material does not weaken or separate, even if you are using your simulator often. Overall the longevity of SwingBay is quite good, probably some of the best you can find.
The SwingBay is a more expensive option than the HomeCourse Pro or the Sig10 Premium, but it has some additional features that should be considered. Overall this is a strong value, and if you are going to invest in a great launch monitor, impressive simulator software, and all the accessories, it’s worth getting a SwingBay.
Golf Insider Verdict
This was our favorite golf simulator impact screen. The images were clear, it was easy to set up, and it makes you feel like you have an instant golf room in your home.
Buyers Guide: What To Look For In A Golf Impact Screen
A golf impact screen will help ensure that your golf simulator’s graphics are appropriately displayed. However, there are other benefits to the golf impact screen, including stopping a ball at high speeds and making sure errant shots don’t destroy your simulator space. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a golf impact screen.
How big is your space, and what launch monitor are you choosing to run your simulator? Some project screens are designed to fit a small space but may cut off part of your display.
All impact screens are designed to be highly reflective, but the quality of the material will affect how crisp and realistic your display is. This is often an issue with cheaper roll-up screens.
Screens also come in different materials and single, double and triple-ply. The latter is more expensive but will last longer. See here for tips on how to make your screen last longer.
There are three main types of screens on the market: wall-mounted fixed impact screens, roll-up, and fixed frame enclosures and screens. The type of screen you choose will likely be determined by the space you have as well as the amount of money you have to spend. The
The price of the impact screen will often depend on the golf screen material, longevity, warranty, and size. Although we are always on the search for a great deal, this is a piece of your golf simulator setup that makes sense to spend some extra money on.
The problem with cheap golf simulator screens is that real golf balls damage them quickly, and you will be replacing them much quicker than necessary. Remember that the screens with more than one layer of fabric will typically only require one sheet is replaced at a time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the best golf simulator screens on the market.
What size screen is best for a golf simulator?
The 16 foot by 9 foot golf simulator screen tends to be the best size; however, this can vary depending on the simulator package you are putting together. Ultimately the most important feature is that you have enough space in your room to fit the simulator technology and accessories.
What screen do you use for a golf simulator?
The golf impact screen is the only type of screen recommended for a golf simulator. With a golf impact screen, your simulator images are projected onto the screen with impressive accuracy.
Can I use my projector screen for golf simulator?
A golf simulator requires a golf impact screen. With the speed at which golf balls travel, the projector screen must be able to handle very high speeds and repeated hits in the same general area. A golf simulator screen material is made to withstand thousands of golf shots.
How long do golf simulator screens last?
Golf simulator screens typically measure longevity in the number of shots you can hit. A golf simulator screen material will typically hold up for anywhere from 2000 to more than 15,000 shots.
Some higher end screens with great longevity will allow you to replace just one top sheet of the screen material, making it unnecessary to replace the entire screen.
What are golf simulator impact screens made of?
Most golf simulator impact screens are made with a polyester mesh material. The great thing about the polyester mesh is that several layers of this can be added to help create a more clear image, softer impact, and overall quiet noise output.
Tips to make your impact screen last longer
The first tip is to rotate the entire screen once you start to see noticeable wear and tear in one area. This will help to evenly distribute the wear and tear and make your screen last longer.
Another tip is to use new golf balls and replace them quickly when they become scuffed. Scuffed golf balls will cause more wear and tear on your screen. Also, clean your golf clubs before use! Dirt from your clubface will transfer to the ball and increase the amount of dark, ball-shaped marks on your screen.
Finally, move your mat back when it is safe to do so. Ball speed is a major factor in screen wear and tear. The faster the ball, the more likely it is to cause damage. If you can move your mat back, you will reduce the ball speed when it hits the screen.
For information on best golf simulators and golf mats to go with your screen simulator, check out our latest articles. We hope you found this guide helpful! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch.
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