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So you just received your new golf simulator and an indoor golf simulator enclosure and are trying to figure out where to take it for a test spin. The problem is, you’re not sure if your shiny new indoor golf simulator would be a good fit for your garage.  

You may be surprised to learn choosing the correct space for home golf simulators is extremely important. It’s about much more than just avoiding hitting the ceiling. Picking a cramped spot can severely hinder your simulator experience and may even make your golf game worse.  

At Rapsodo, we want your practice sessions to be as impactful as possible. That’s why today we’re here to guide you through the space requirements you need for a proper golf simulator setup, including the minimum ceiling height. 

The Smallest Recommended Ceiling Height

Let’s start by answering the basic question first. Just how little room can you get away with? On average, most indoor golf simulators require a clearance space of 9 feet tall minimum to function.  

This is a great benchmark to start with, but as you’ll soon learn, the bare minimum doesn’t make for an extremely practical simulator room. You’ll have to consider many other factors besides the room being the perfect height for a golf game including the length of your golf clubs, the height of taller golfers, and even the positioning of the launch monitor and impact screen. 

Here's what to consider when choosing a space. 

Any Particular Requirements Listed by Your Simulator

Some home golf simulator brands will include specific instructions for room dimensions in their setup information. It’s always a good idea to read the setup instructions first to get an idea of how the simulator is intended to be used. However, these dimensions are based on averages. If you’re a taller golfer, have a higher swing height, or have a room with more fixtures on the ceiling, you may need more room than the suggested minimums.  

The Height of the Golfer 

This is one of the most important factors when setting up your golf simulator. A cramped space may make you feel like you need a flatter swing to avoid hitting the ceiling. Of course, altering your swing just so you can practice at a virtual driving range indoors defeats the entire purpose of practicing with a golf simulator. To get the best usage out of the Rapsodo MLM2PRO™, you need to take your height and the height of your swing into account. 

If you’re about 5’ 8” and below, a 9-foot ceiling might be perfect for you. But if you’re taller, you may need 10 or even 11 feet. This is because taller golfers usually have lengthier golf clubs. The height of their swing at the apex and follow-through is also higher, meaning the minimum ceiling height for golf simulators will be larger.  

As a rule of thumb, you’ll want the ceiling to be 6” to 9” taller than the height of your shot to give you enough room to maneuver. 

If Friends Will Use the Indoor Golf Simulator 

If it’s just going to be you playing through one of the 30,000+ virtual golf courses Rapsodo offers, then you only have to worry about how tall you are. But if you plan on inviting friends over and playing against them, you need to plan your simulator to accommodate the tallest person using it. 

This means you also need to take into account the height of your friends’ swings. 

The Positioning of the Projector 

This is a crucial step many people overlook when setting up their golf simulator. It needs to be positioned above the player in a place where shadows won’t interrupt it and it won’t be hit by golf clubs or errant golf balls. 

If your ceiling has things like hanging fluorescent lights or garage door assemblies, you may be limited in where you can place the projector and may need a higher ceiling. 

The Size of the Simulator

Some indoor golf simulators are bigger than others. Depending on the size of the enclosure, the impact screen, and the mat, you may need not just higher ceilings, but more width and depth as well.  

Ideally, your tee should be placed about 10’ away from the impact screen to give your shots room and get the most out of your mobile launch monitor shot tracking capabilities. If you aren’t able to maximize your swing and record metrics like shot apex, shot carry, ball speed, and launch direction because your shots aren’t traveling far enough, you aren’t able to practice to your full capabilities. This is why the depth of your golf simulator room is so important. 

You’ll want a wide space as well to capture good shot dispersion metrics and to avoid damage to the room from your Callaway RPT Chrome Soft X golf balls you may have sliced just a bit too hard. 

Keep in mind, you’ll need room behind you as you’re playing and the impact screen should ideally be about a foot away from the back wall, so full dimensions for the golf simulator room may need to be something like 10’ H, 14’ W, 17-18’ D. 

How to Determine How Much Ceiling Height You Need 

While the dimensions we’ve listed so far are great places to start, you’re going to need to measure your swing height to determine how much space you’ll need. 

Rapsodo recommends you grab a few different clubs and chalk or tape to mark dimensions. Start by slowly winding up your swing until you reach the highest point. Do this against the wall so you can quickly mark where the tip of your club is. Next, repeat the process, this time continuing all the way to the follow-through, and mark the positioning of the club tip for that as well.  

Using these two measurements, you can figure out how much clearance you have from the top of your swing to the top of the ceiling. If at any point in your swing you hit the ceiling, the room likely will not work.  

Avoid Ceiling Heights for Golf Simulators That Are Too Large 

After reading this, you may be tempted to go find the largest room you have and set up there. Unfortunately, having a room that is too large can be just as bad as having a room that isn’t large enough. 

Vaulted ceilings or ceilings that are too high in general can cause issues with the operation of your at-home golf simulator. The projector needs to be situated in a space where it can easily project onto your screen without obstruction, but isn’t so high up that it has trouble projecting on the screen, or projects at an angle that causes the image to be distorted. 

The best room for an indoor golf simulator is one that follows the average measurements of 10’ H, 14’ W, and 17-18’ D with some adjustments for the height of the golfer. 

Get the MLM2PRO Golf Simulator from Rapsodo

If you’re just trying to figure out if you can accommodate a golf simulator and don’t have one just yet, you should seriously consider the Rapsodo MLM2PRO™. Used by casual players, serious golfers, and pros alike, the MLM2PRO offers the best of both mobile launch monitors and golf simulators.  

With its dual cameras, it’s capable of capturing your swing, and the impact point in slow motion, giving you a detailed frame-by-frame breakdown of your swing.  

The MLM2PRO is capable of tracking and analyzing a host of metrics to help you improve your game. These include: 

  • Carry distance 
  • Side carry 
  • Total carry 
  • Launch angle 
  • Launch direction 
  • Ball speed 
  • Club speed 
  • Smash factor 
  • Spin rate 
  • Spin axis 
  • Descent angle 
  • Shot apex 

As a golf simulator, the MLM2PRO gives you access to over 30k+ virtual golf courses, including some of the more famous courses in the world. Additionally, you can practice your distance game on the Rapsodo Virtual Driving Range, or challenge friends with connections to Awesome Golf and E6 Connect. 

Best of all? You can get the MLM2PRO for just $699.99. That makes it one of the best golf simulators on the market for the price. 

Get your MLM2PRO today, and read our no-hassle setup guide to start getting the most out of it on day one. 

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By Rapsodo Golf

With an unwavering passion for the game and data-driven insights, we're here to inspire and elevate your Golf journey through articles that help you find improvement and excellence.