Having a golf simulator in your home or office can be a great way to relax and work on your shot when you can’t make it out to a green. With the array of high-tech projectors available today, you can create a massive picture that makes it feel more like you’re playing for real. The best projector for golf simulator use has similar requirements to other gaming applications, namely a high-quality image and a quick response.
If pressed to pick a favorite, the Optoma CinemaX D2 has everything you need for a golf simulator set-up (>>> Find the current price on Amazon). This includes a 240Hz refresh rate and low input lag, so you can play without annoying delays.
Its bright lamp, flexible set-up, and high-quality, true-to-life image make it easy to get immersed in your play, no matter where you have your simulator set up, while its ultra-short throw and advance geometric correction let you put it just about anywhere.
Want to find out if this is the right option for you? There’s an ideal projector out there for any space or budget. Let’s take a closer look at the best models and the differences between them!
Best Projectors For Golf Simulators 2023:
|Optoma CinemaX D2||Optoma UHD38||Optoma GT1090HDRx||BenQ TK700STi||Optoma UHD35||ViewSonic PX748-4K|
|Brightness (Lumens)||3,000 ANSI||4,000 ANSI||4,200 ANSI||3,000 ANSI||3,600 ANSI||4,000 ANSI|
|Throw Distance||1.5' - 2.2'||4.0' - 32.7'||1.3' - 10.9'||2.4' - 19.6'||4.0' - 32.7'||3.2' - 24.7'|
|Image Size||85" - 120"||33" - 300"||37" - 301"||30" - 300"||33" - 300"||30" - 301"|
|Built in Speakers||10.0 Watts × 2||10.0 Watts Mono||10.0 Watts × 2||5.0 Watts Mono||10.0 Watts Mono||10.0 Watts Mono|
|Price||ProjectorScreen.com||ProjectorScreen.com||ProjectorScreen.com||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
The lower the input lag, the less of a delay there will be between what you do and what you see on the screen. Most gamers look for an input lag of 30ms or less and that’s a good benchmark for a golf simulator, as well, giving you a feel that’s as close as possible to being out on a real course. For serious or competitive players, an input lag of 16ms or lower is recommended.
All of these projectors come in at or below that 16ms standard. That said, some of them are faster than others. There are 4 options that offer a 4ms input lag in full HD: The Optoma UHD35, Optoma UHD38, Optoma CinemaX D2, and ViewSonic PX748-4K. The Optoma CinemaX D2 also has a low 16ms lag time for 4K content, as well as a 240Hz refresh rate for 1080p, making it the most responsive overall.
Lowest lag time: Optoma CinemaX D2
If you have a completely dark room, a lamp brightness as low as 1,500 lumens can be acceptable. Most people don’t want to use their golf simulator in a completely dark room, though. If you want to keep the lights on without washing out the picture, a lamp that puts out a minimum of 3,000 lumens is recommended. The brighter your space, the more lumens you’ll need to compete with it.
At 4,000 lumens, the Optoma UHD38 and ViewSonic PX748 are each bright enough to use even in partially-outdoor spaces or rooms with lots of bright, natural light. This versatility is a large part of why they’re among the best projectors for golf simulators. For the brightest projector on the list, check out the Optoma GT1090HDRx, with 4,200 lumens that will keep the image clear in just about any light level.
Brightest lamp: Optoma GT1090HDRx
If you want the sharpest possible picture, you’re looking for a 4K projector. This resolution has 4 times the pixels of traditional HD and can provide incredibly realistic, clear, and detailed images at any screen size.
The contrast ratio and color accuracy are just as important when using a golf simulator. A high contrast ratio ensures the shadows and darker areas of the screen have the same crisp detail as the rest of the picture.
From a color standpoint, you’re looking for a color reproduction that’s at least equal to Rec. 709. This will give you the true-to-life hues on the greens and fairways that make you feel like you’re really out there on the course.
Best image quality: Optoma CinemaX D2
A shorter throw distance isn’t just a benefit in small spaces. It also speeds up installation and gives the projector more flexibility when you’re figuring out where to put the ceiling mount, as well as maximizing the brightness of the image since the light doesn’t have to travel as far before it reaches the screen.
There are three short-throw options on the list. The BenQ TK700STi,produces a 100-inch image with as little as 6.6 feet of distance, around 3 feet less space than a typical standard throw projector.
The Optoma GT1090HDRx cuts that down to around 4 feet, while the ultra-short throw Optoma CinemaX D2 produces that same 100-inch image with less than 2 feet, giving it the absolute shortest throw on the list. This will be especially helpful for golf simulators in spaces like offices, where you may not have as much free space to work with.
Shortest throw distance: Optoma CinemaX D2
Best Projector for Golf Simulators: Full Reviews
Optoma CinemaX D2 Smart
The Optoma CinemaX D2 checks all the boxes that gamers look for in a projector, and that makes it an ideal choice for golf simulators, too. It has the responsiveness you need for modern gaming, first of all, with an input lag as low as 4ms for Full HD content and a lightning-fast 240Hz frame refresh rate to ensure the on-screen action is smooth.
Along with this, its high dynamic contrast ratio adds sharpness and realism to the picture so you can track every swing with confidence.
Another plus of the Optoma CinemaX D2 for golf simulators is its space versatility. Its laser phosphor light source puts out 3,000 lumens, enough to keep the picture clear and colorful even when you leave the lights on. This is paired with an ultra-short throw distance, producing a massive 120 inch screen with just over 2 feet of distance.
The 3X3 geometric correction makes it easy to get a square image even in off-center installations, while the Wall Color Adjustment means you can project onto any colored surface without impacting the image.
The Optoma D2 is also an ideal choice for those who want to use their projector for things beyond their golf simulator. The included Android TV stick adds an advanced streaming interface and Google Assistant voice control, with powerful built-in speakers that round out its all-in-one capability.
You also won’t have any complaints about the picture quality, with true 4K resolution and a Color management System for fine-tuning the full spectrum of Rec.709 colors that are supported by the display. The result is an immersive and life-like image for any type of content, from golf simulations to blockbuster movies, and even 3D shows and films. Our more in-depth review of the Optoma CinemaX D2 Smart.
- True 4K image with excellent color and contrast
- Responsive with single-digit lag
- Ultra-short throw distance
- Ideal brightness for most indoor spaces
- Flexible installation with anti-warp and wall color adjustment
- Includes a streaming stick with voice control
- Supports 3D content
- Streaming interface isn’t built in
The Optoma UHD38 is arguably the best projector for gamers in the mid-range price point. Putting it in Enhanced Gaming Mode drops the input lag into the single digits, and its 240Hz refresh rate ensures blur-free action, giving you an immersive and realistic playing experience.
The picture quality of the Optoma UHD38 is ideal for golf simulators, as well. Its native 4K resolution combines with the high Dynamic Black contrast to give you excellent detail and clarity, with an 8-segment color wheel for vibrant, realistic colors.
With the right simulator, it can feel like you’re really out on the green. The bright lamp helps here, too. It puts out an impressive 4,000 lumens, plenty for lights-on viewing or partially outdoor spaces.
Since it’s a standard throw projector, you’ll likely need a ceiling mount for the Optoma UHD38. You’ll need to be fairly precise with your placement, too, since it lacks features like lens shift and has a limited zoom.
On the plus side, its lightweight build makes it easy to mount, and it has broad horizontal and vertical keystone correction. It also offers a range of input options beyond HDMI, helpful for plugging in peripherals or using PC-based simulators. Click here for our more in-depth review of this projector.
- Lowest input lag on the list
- True 4K resolution with Dynamic Black contrast
- Cinematic color with HDR10 and HLG support
- Bright lamp can be used in all light environments
- Horizontal and vertical keystone correction
- Good variety of input options
- Throw distance is on the long side
- Can be tricky to install
The Optoma GT1090HDRx strikes an ideal balance between affordability and image quality. It supports 4K content as well as image technology like HLG and HDR10, with a sharp dynamic contrast and impeccably accurate colors.
Now, the caveat here is that the maximum display resolution is 1080p. This may be a concern for home theater use but isn’t such an issue for golf simulators since many of these programs are designed for Full HD displays.
The DuraCore laser in the Optoma GT1090HDRx puts out an impressive 4,200 lumens. That’s bright enough you can use it even in spaces with natural daylight or semi-outdoor spaces without losing the image quality.
It maintains a consistent brightness from edge to edge at screen sizes up to 301 inches and doesn’t need a ton of space to get there, producing a 300-inch image in the same amount of space a standard throw projector needs to fill a 100-inch screen.
With a single-digit input lag, the Optoma GT1090HDRx is certainly responsive enough for golf simulators, or any other type of game you want to play through it. It also has built-in stereo speakers with a high enough output and audio quality you won’t need external speakers unless you want full surround sound.
It’s also basically maintenance-free once it’s installed, with a long 30,000 light source lifespan and IPX6 dust resistance.
- Colorful and high-contrast full HD image
- Single-digit input lag
- Short throw distance
- Low maintenance with long lamp lifespan
- Accepts 4K and 3D content
- Excellent value
- Can’t display 4K resolutions
- No wireless connectivity or voice control
The BenQ TK700STi is designed with gamers in mind, and that makes it an ideal fit for a golf simulator. It has a super speedy input lag, for one thing, as low as 4ms when you’re gaming in full HD.
This is paired with dedicated picture modes for sports games, RPGs, and first-person shooters, optimizing the already high picture quality to match the style of game you’re playing. For a golf simulator, this means realistic on-screen details with no motion blur or other glitches that can interrupt your play.
The BenQ TK700STi also offers great versatility for use in a variety of spaces. Its short-throw lens means it can generate a 100” image with as little as 6.5 feet, and its 3,000-lumen lamp produces a bright, saturated image even in rooms with moderate ambient light.
Features like automatic keystone correction and corner fit correction streamline the setup process, making it one of the easiest options on the list to install in your playing area.
If you only plan to use the projector for a golf simulator, there’s no significant cons to the BenQ TK700STi. However, it does have some limitations for multi-use setups. While it does come with streaming capability, this is achieved through an Android TV dongle, which will need to use one of the 2 available HDMI ports.
This can be an issue in more complex setups, like if you want to use it with a cable box or other game system in addition to your golf simulator. Its speakers are also lacking in both output and sound quality.
Again, this may not be a significant issue for golf simulators but does mean you’ll likely need external speakers for home theater uses or other types of game. For our more in-depth review of BenQ TK700STi click here.
- Sharp true 4K resolution with crisp contrast
- Realistic and bright colors
- Dedicated picture modes for different game styles
- Short throw distance
- Bright enough lamp for lights-on play
- Easy to install and adjust the image
- Streaming dongle takes up an HDMI port
- Weak built-in speaker
The Optoma UHD35 ties with the UHD38 for the lowest input lag on the list, at 4.2ms in 1080p. Even if you play in 4K, that only goes up to about 16ms, still well within the range for gaming. It also boasts a 240Hz refresh rate, so you won’t experience motion blur or frame tearing.
The Optoma UHD35 is another excellent option if you want a truly realistic playing experience. Its 4K resolution, high contrast, and 8-segment color wheel produce a detailed and vibrant image, with a 3,600 lumen lamp that keeps that image saturated even in spaces with lots of light. It even has full 3D capability if you want to go fully-immersive with your experience.
One consistent strength of Optoma UHD projectors is that they’re relatively lightweight and compact. This makes the UHD35 an excellent multi-room option, especially considering its high performance in a home theater context. The only caveat here is that it’s not the easiest projector to set-up and align, with a long throw distance and somewhat limited alignment options.
- True 4K resolution
- High Dynamic Black contrast
- Low lag and high refresh rate
- Excellent lamp brightness
- Lightweight and portable design
- Can be trickier to install
- No wireless connectivity
With its 4,000-lumen light source, the ViewSonic PX748 is bright enough for use in any indoor light environment, and can even maintain a saturated, detailed picture in semi-outdoor spaces during the daytime. This is good news for golf simulator owners, letting you keep the lights on while you play, and accommodating a wider range of setups and spaces.
Now you will need a good amount of space for the ViewSonic PX748, which uses a standard throw distance. Of course, you’ll need a large space for the golf simulator in general, so this isn’t an issue for most users.
Its installation is very flexible even aside from its bright lamp, with a 1.3x zoom, anti-warp capability, and 2D keystone correction. It’s equally flexible from a connectivity standpoint, with dual HDMI ports as well as USB inputs and networking connections that make it easy to integrate into LAN-based home automation systems.
The sharp Ultra HD resolution and HDR contrast of the ViewSonic PX748 are perfect for golf simulators, bringing a level of realism and detail to the picture you won’t get from less sophisticated projectors.
It’s just as impressive from a color standpoint thanks to its SuperColor technology. It’s responsive, too, with a measured input lag as low as 4.2ms and the 240Hz refresh rate that’s the standard for high-end gaming projectors.
- 4K resolution with HDR and HLG support
- SuperColor technology for a vibrant picture
- Robust connectivity, including smart home integration
- Powerful lamp suitable for any light level
- Single-digit input lag with high refresh rate
- Good range of image adjustment features
- Long throw distance
- No built-in streaming interface
How to choose the best projector for a golf simulator
simulator, in our opinion. Even though it’s not a fast-paced multi-player game, it can still be very frustrating if what you see on the screen doesn’t coincide with what you’re doing.
Beyond that, it all comes down to the quality of the image that you see. Remember that this isn’t only a factor of the projector itself. It’s also about how the projector works within your space.
Even standard indoor lighting can make it hard to see some dimmer projected images, so if you want to be able to play with your lights on, make sure you get a projector whose lumens are on the high side.
While the Optoma CinemaX D2 is the strongest choice across all categories, the truth is it depends on what you’re looking for (>>> Find on Projectorscreen). The affordable price of the Optoma GT1090HDRx makes it a top choice for budget-conscious buyers, while the ViewSonic PX748-4K combines a bright lamp with 4K resolution and sharp contrast, for an immersive image in a range of viewing environments.
Any one of the projectors above is the right one for a certain kind of user. Use the feature breakdown and reviews here to decide which one you need!
This depends on the type of simulator you use. Most simulators released today are designed to connect through HDMI, like other gaming systems and A/V equipment. Older versions may use a VGA or composite hookup, which may mean you need an adapter to connect it to a projector.
Full simulator kits will often come with the right screen included, so if you don’t want to hunt down parts and pieces, that’s a good way to go. You can also buy stand-alone golf simulator screens like those by HomeCourse and SwingBay.
One thing’s for sure: you don’t just want to use any old screen. Golf simulator screens are built to withstand repeated impacts from golf balls, and often come with enclosures that can keep balls from bouncing back or flying off into your walls and ceiling, protecting your space from damage.
REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING: