• February 26, 2024, 1:50 am

The best golf simulator projectors of 2023 SoftAIT

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Update : Sunday, November 19, 2023

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Golf is a fantastic hobby. However, being able to play is largely dependent on the weather. Technology to the rescue! These days, you don’t need a shining sun to get in a solid back nine, thanks to golf simulators. Immersive and convenient, simulators let you play virtually on the world’s top courses—from the comfort of your own home. However, to get the most out of your simulated experience, you will need a great projector, and that’s where this list of the best golf simulator projectors comes in.

How we chose the best golf simulator projectors

To arrive at this selection of the best golf simulator projectors, we looked at various projectors across the spectrum and from all price points. We compared features and specifications and cross-referenced them with commentary and analysis from a number of well-respected critics, as well as general consensus and reviews from online users and retailers.

The best golf simulator projectors: Reviews & Recommendations

Seasoned pros will already know that the best golf simulator projectors are actually just general-use projectors. However, there are a few things to remember when shopping for one for your sim space. Aside from budget (which is always a consideration no matter the hobby), brightness and distance are the key factors to consider. In short, you want a bright projector with a short throw—one that sits relatively close to the screen. There are other things to keep in mind as well, such as aspect ratio, which relates to the size of your screen (the standard is 16:9). No matter your requirements, though, you’re sure to find a winner here.

Best overall: BenQ TK700STi 4K Gaming Projector

Specs

  • Brightness: 3000 lumens
  • Display resolution: 4K
  • Connectivity: USB, HDMI, 3.5mm jack

Pros

  • 4K resolution
  • Great picture
  • Affordable price

Cons

Our choice for the overall best golf simulator projector is the TK700STi 4K Gaming Projector from BenQ. Although aimed primarily at gamers, it’s also incredibly popular with golfers looking to practice their swing in a home environment. It’s not hard to see why, given the brightness level of 3000 lumens (get it?). Although it could be brighter (4000 lumens is a good benchmark), it will still perform admirably given a darkish space. This short-throw projector also boasts 4K resolution at 60 Hz (1080p at 240 Hz), giving you a crisp and clear representation of the on-screen virtual fairway. And, as it’s aimed at gamers, it has sharp 10,000:1 contrast plus 4.16ms low latency, resulting in overall picture quality that you can definitely write home about.

And the best part is that it all comes in an eminently affordable package. If you’ve considered splashed out for a top-quality golf simulator, you may be worried you’ll feel the economic pinch, but know that the TK700STi will deliver without forcing you to reach deeper into your pockets than is comfortable.

Best value: Optoma EH200ST Full 3D 1080p 300 Lumen DLP Short Throw Projector

Optoma EH200ST DLP Short Throw Projector

Specs

  • Brightness: 3000 lumens
  • Display resolution: 1080p
  • Connectivity: HDMI, MHL

Pros

  • Excellent brightness
  • Supports multiple aspect ratios
  • Incredible price

Cons

Optoma’s EH200ST projector consistently appears on lists of the best golf simulator projectors, and for a good reason: it’s an incredibly well-specced projector at a world-beating price. This is why it’s our pick for best value.

As an entry-level projector, you can’t go wrong with the EH200ST. Sporting 3000 lumens of brightness, a contrast ratio of 20,000:1, and DLP technology to ensure sharp, colorful images, this projector will help elevate your game. It also has a 0.49:1 throw ratio, which means you can achieve a 100-inch image with the projector placed 3.5 feet from the simulator screen. There’s even an onboard speaker.

Best budget: BenQ TH671ST Full HD 1080p Projector

white BenQ TH671ST Full HD 1080p Projector over gradient background

Specs

  • Brightness: 3000 lumens
  • Display resolution: 1080p
  • Connectivity: HDMI, VGA

Pros

  • 16:9 native aspect ratio
  • Plenty bright
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Darks not great in bright conditions

BenQ’s TH671ST makes a great entry-level projector if you’re working within a limited budget. While it won’t deliver its best performance in a bright room, given the 3000-lumen rating (essentially the minimum brightness spec for golf simulators), it will more than impress in a dark room.

Along with the brightness, this projector offers a clear picture at 1080p resolution plus a native aspect ratio of 16:9. It also features BenQ’s LumiExpert technology to automatically adjust brightness should you need it. While lag may not be of the most concern with a golf sim, it still boasts an ultra-smooth 16.67ms input lag, something your kids may appreciate if you let them play games on it. Overall, it is an excellent budget-minded projector.

Best ceiling-mounted: Panasonic PT-VZ580U 5000-Lumen WUXGA 3LCD Projector

white Panasonic PT-VZ580U 5000-Lumen WUXGA 3LCD Projector

Specs

  • Brightness: 5000 lumens
  • Display resolution: WUXGA
  • Connectivity: Wireless

Pros

  • LCD display
  • WUXGA 1900 x 1280 resolution
  • Easy installation

Cons

This 2017 ceiling-mount projector from Panasonic may be getting long in the tooth, but it still comes recommended due to its fantastic brightness. Designed primarily as a conference room projector, it has 5000 lumens of brightness, so it looks sharp and luminous even in a bright room. If your golf sim space is on the bright side, this is one to consider.

The PT-VZ580U is a ceiling mount projector, which makes it ideal for those who want to save some space in their golf sim room by getting the projector up off the floor. Installation is a breeze, so don’t worry if you’re not very handy. It also runs on the quiet side, allowing you to focus on what’s important: your golf game.

Best standard throw: ViewSonic PX748-4K UHD Projector

white ViewSonic PX748-4K UHD Projector over white background

Specs

  • Brightness: 4000 lumens
  • Display resolution: 4K
  • Connectivity: USB, Ethernet, HDMI

Pros

  • Excellent brightness
  • 4K resolution
  • 1.3x optical zoom

Cons

  • Won’t work in small rooms

The best golf simulator projectors that we’ve looked at so far have all been short-throw projectors, making them appropriate for smaller rooms. However, if your golf sim room is on the larger side, you’ll need a projector to mount further back. The ViewSonic PX748-4K projector is meant to be used in standard throw situations and excels in that.

It’s plenty bright, for one. With its lumens rating of 4000, you won’t lose any of the picture, even with the lights on. It’s also 4K with SuperColor technology under the hood, giving it a vibrant and crystal-clear image. It even has a short lag rate of as low as 4.2 ms, meaning it can double as a gaming projector should you ever get tired of hitting the virtual links. If your room (and budget) will allow, remember this one for your best golf simulator projector.

Things to consider when choosing the best golf simulator projectors

Aside from budget, the major contributing factor to the best golf simulator you go with is your golf sim room. Everything else depends on this.

First, if your room is on the small side (and it probably is), you’ll want a short-throw projector. The throw is the distance between the lens and the screen; short-throw projectors can comfortably be placed between three and eight feet from the screen, while longer throws will be farther away and usually installed on the ceiling.

You’ll next want to think about aspect ratio, which your screen’s shape will determine. Finally, there’s brightness. If your room is sufficiently blacked out, 3000 lumens will be fine. Of course, brighter is always better. Additional factors like color accuracy can also contribute to your enjoyment.

FAQs

Q: What should I look for in a golf simulator projector?

Ideally, you want a bright projector (at least 3000 lumens) with good resolution and high color accuracy. Remember that you’ll rely on the projected image to represent the fairway—the clearer and more accurate the image, the better your experience will be.

Q: Where is the best place to put a golf simulator projector?

Place your projector on the floor, away from swinging clubs. You’ll want to place it so that you fill the screen, of course, and don’t cast any shadows from players. If you have the space, mounting it on the ceiling can be an effective option.

Q: How many lumens do I need for a golf simulator projector?

Broadly speaking, you want a projector that has 3000 lumens or more. At 3000 lumens, you’ll be able to see the image well in darkness. If your sim room tends towards the bright side, you’ll want to go with a projector with more lumens, such as 4000 or 5000.

Q: What is the best resolution for a golf simulator projector?

Generally speaking, 1080p or WUXGA (1920×1200) are the minimum standards. These are also cost-effective. You can go higher, to 4K and above, and while higher resolutions are generally better, the impact screen (what you hit the golf ball against) will also affect image clarity.

Final thoughts on the best golf simulator projectors

When shopping for the best golf simulator, we recommend going for brightness over resolution. As long as your projector puts out at 1080p, you’re good to go. While gaming projectors are nice and all, they’re made for fast-moving images and lots of detail. Golf sims display the fairway, and as long as you can make out things in the distance, such as sand traps, you’ll be fine. That being said, a good color balance is key. If you’re going to splurge on one area, make it brightness. With good blackout curtains, a brightness of 3000 lumens will be fine, but if you can pump that up to 4000 or even 5000, you’ll be good to go in even bright light. Remember, your golf simulator projector is your key to golf fun, regardless of the conditions outdoors. Enjoy.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.



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