QED Golf Simulators

A Closer Look Into Indoor Golf: How Golf Simulators Work

Indoor golf is becoming increasingly popular as technology advances and more people pursue the sport from the comfort of their homes. With the help of golf simulators, players can now enjoy a realistic experience without having to leave their homes. In this article, let’s dive deep into the inner and outer workings of how golf simulators work–from its process to its measurements and other features.

In no time, you’ll be ready for the virtual green. Are you up for the challenge?

How a Golf Simulator Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

At this point, you may be asking yourself: how do golf simulators work? How does its technology work to produce a realistic golf experience?

To fully understand how this state-of-the-art technology processes gameplay, let’s first take a look at its components.

Golf Simulators Components

To put it simply, golf simulators work as a unit. It’s composed of a variety of components working together for the ultimate realistic golf experience even while staying indoors. Some of the common components of golf simulators include:

Computer and Simulation Software

The computer–and its simulation software–is the brain of a golf simulator. It runs the simulation software that processes the data from the launch monitor and club sensors, calculates the ball’s flight and other parameters, and renders the virtual environment on the screen.

Launch Monitor

If the computer is the brain of the golf simulator, the launch monitor is the hearts. These are devices equipped with high-speed cameras, infrared sensors, laser technology, or a combination of these to accurately track the golf ball’s flight. These monitors also provide essential data, like launch angle, spin rate, ball speed, carry distance, and more.

Pro Recommendation: QED has some of the best launch monitors in existence. They’re worth checking out if you’re on the market for newer and more advanced launch monitors to include in your golf setup.

In fact, in actual tests done by QED professionals, golf gameplay data in QED simulators is often only 1% varied from the actual flight of the ball when measured in person. Talk about top industry leading accuracy! Unlike household names like Foresight and Trackman, QED simulators are also the leading simulators in the industry for their adaptability to home and club use and fitted for coaches, club fitters, and players of all ages.

Impact Screen or Projection Surface

This is a large, high-quality screen or projection surface that displays the virtual golf course or driving range. The golfer positions on the mats and hits the ball into this screen, and the simulator uses the data from the launch monitor and club sensors to create a virtual representation of the shot on the screen.


Sensors are used to track more than just the ball’s flight. Some simulators have sensors that track club head data, such as club speed, club path, and clubface angle. This allows for a more realistic golf experience by providing feedback on your golf swing mechanics.

These are only some of the primary components present in every golf simulator. Other golf simulator parts include hitting mats, golf balls, storage details, curtains, and more. If you’re looking for the ideal simulator setup for you, take a look at our latest catalogue of golf simulator products


How Golf Simulators Work: The Golf Process Itself

Now that you know the main components relevant to the functionality of golf simulators, it’s time to discover how this simulator’s process works.


The input of a golf simulator is what sets it apart from other simulation systems. During the golfer setup, the player works on adjusting the tee and hitting the ball. The launch monitor’s radar or laser technology then collects data about the ball’s flight and club head, which is then sent to the computer. This data includes information on launch angle, spin rate, ball speed, carry distance, and more. Advanced sensors can also track club head data such as club speed, club path, and clubface angle.

Data Process and Analysis

The data collected by the launch monitor is then sent to the computer, which processes it with the help of simulation software. This software calculates ball flight using a variety of algorithms, taking into account factors like wind speed and direction, as well as the terrain of the virtual environment. The software also renders the virtual environment on the impact screen or projection surface.


The output of a golf simulator is where the magic of a realistic golf experience happens. The data collected by all the components of the simulator is used to accurately simulate the ball’s flight. This allows players to practise their swing in a virtual environment with real-time feedback on their performance.

Tracking Work and Sensor Technology: A Comparison on Simulators

Tracking and sensor technology remains a vital part of golf simulator technology. Here are some of the common sensor technology types you may expect for your golf simulator.


Photometric sensors in a golf simulator use light to measure the performance of golf shots. These sensors are placed around the impact screen or projection surface and detect how much light reflects off the ball at different points during its flight. Photometric sensors are highly accurate and provide a reliable source of data for golf simulators.


Radar technology uses an array of radar antennas to detect the ball’s movement and calculate its flight path. The data collected by the sensors is then processed to create a realistic simulation of the ball’s flight, taking into account factors such as spin rate, launch angle, and speed.


Optical sensors are also used in golf simulators, although they generally provide less accurate results than radar technology. These light-based sensors require a clear line of sight between the cameras and the golf ball, so it’s essential to ensure proper setup and calibration for accurate tracking. Optical sensors typically have a shorter range than radar technology and may not be able to accurately detect the ball’s launch angle or spin rate.


Infrared technology is another type of tracking and sensor technology used in golf simulation. This technology uses infrared light to track the trajectory of the golf balls and your golf swing, as it moves through the virtual environment. The sensors detect the ball’s movement and send this date to the computer for analysis. This type of tracking is especially useful in simulators where lighting conditions may be less than ideal.


The Golf Simulators Work on Parameters and Measurements on Ball Flight

The parameters measured by golf simulators during the process of the gameplay include the distance, spin, launch angle, and speed.

Calculating Distance
Known as: the total distance a shot travels with its initial trajectory

The ball distance is one of the most important measurements taken by golf simulators. The launch monitor collects data on a ball’s initial trajectory from the mats to accurately measure the total distance it travels. This calculation is based on factors such as launch angle, spin rate, and clubhead speed. By analyzing a large amount of data produced from your golf shot combined with wind speed and direction, you can get an accurate simulation of the ball’s flight on your golf simulator.

Calculating Spin
Known as: the rate at which the golf ball rotates around its own axis during its flight

The spin rate is an important factor in the accuracy of golf simulator technology. Golf simulators measure the spin rate of balls in RPMs, which stands for revolutions per minute. The spin can come in two forms: backspin and sidespin; both are vital to making accurate swing systems and adjustments and improving ball control.

Calculating Angle of Launch
Known as: the angle at which the golf ball leaves the club face

The launch angle is one of the most important factors in determining how far a shot will travel. Golf simulators use data from the launch monitor and sensors to accurately calculate this angle. Generally, a higher launch angle generally results in a higher ball flight with more carry distance, while a lower launch angle produces a lower ball flight with more roll upon landing.

Calculating Speed
Known as: the speed of the ball at impact. 

There are two kinds of speed measured during golf gameplay:

Ball Speed: Ball speed refers to the initial velocity of the golf ball as it leaves the clubface at impact. It is typically measured in miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per hour (km/h). Ball data speed is an essential factor in determining how far the balls will travel, and it is influenced by factors such as the golfer’s swing speed, the quality of impact, and the characteristics of the golf club.

Club Head Speed: Club head speed is the speed at which the golf club head is moving just before impact with the golf ball. It is also measured in miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per hour (km/h). Club head speed is a crucial factor in generating ball speed and, consequently, in achieving longer shots. Golfers with higher club head speeds typically have the potential to hit the balls farther with the golf simulator.

Other Features of Golf Simulators

Aside from the usual main components of the golf simulator, like the monitors, sensors, and simulation software, you may also have to be on the lookout for other additional features that some golf simulators provide. Though they are not present in all golf simulators, they are nice-to-have features that offer just a step up to your usual gameplay experience.

Golf Course Selection

A golf simulator offers varied select options for a variety of virtual golf courses from around the world. This gives golfers the opportunity to hit the balls on famous and challenging courses they might not have access to in real life.

Multiplayer and Social Features

Many golf simulators support multiplayer functionality, allowing golfers to play against friends or other players online. This adds a social and competitive aspect to the indoor golf experience.

Virtual Reality (VR) Integration

High-end simulators work with and incorporate virtual reality technology to create an even more immersive experience. VR allows golfers to feel like they are physically present on the virtual golf course through a first-person perspective.

Skill Challenges and Games

Some simulators come with fun mini-games and skill challenges. These can include target practice, closest-to-the-pin contests, long-drive challenges, and more.

Other Customization Options

Some simulators allow golfers to customize the virtual environment and gameplay settings. Players may be able to adjust weather conditions, wind speed, direction, time of day, tee box positions, and other factors to create different challenges on their golf simulator.


Golf Simulators: A Golf Training and Learning Tool

A golf simulator works tremendously for your golf training and offers more than just a fun way to practice your impromptu golf game. Used as a powerful learning tool, they give golfers immediate feedback on their range and swing mechanics and providing an effective way to improve their game. By tracking data, such as launch angle, spin rate, ball speed, and carry distance, players can quickly identify areas of improvement and work on their weaknesses.

More than that, this tool also saves you a lot of effort, time, and money. We covered all this in a separate article on the benefits of owning a golf simulator at home. Be sure to check it out!

Now, the final questions now are: are you ready to begin indoor play with a golf simulator at home? Are you ready for your first golf swing?


Ready for Launch? Learn More about Golf Simulators

Now that you know a little bit more about how golf simulators work, you can decide if one is right for you. If you’re starting the buying process and looking at options in your local golf shop, you might like this article we made on the costs of golf simulator setups in 2023.

At The Men’s Cave, we offer Korea’s QED series of professional quality golf simulators designed for home and club use. Apart from the simulators, we offer the service of designing and building the setup for a golf simulator that fits your preferences. Get in touch with us if you’d like to explore further.

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