5 Best Golf Simulator Projectors – 2019 Reviews & Buying Guide

Many dream of having a life-size golf simulator setup in their home, so they can play their favourite golf courses or practice on the range day or night, rain or shine, any time of the year.

But many don’t give much thought to the projector, which projects the ball flight and simulation onto the screen. Projectors that are low-quality, produce a dark image, or are a hassle to set up can ruin the experience.

Without a good projector, you won’t be able to realize the full potential of your simulator.

In this article, we’ll review and compare our picks for the best golf simulator projectors across a range of different budgets. We’ll also provide a buying guide that will help you narrow down the projector that will suit you best.

We have tested and used all of these projectors. Some offer less capability than others, but they all deliver excellent performance for the cost.


Our Top Picks For Golf Simulator Projectors

Based on our own testing, research, and experience, the following are our top picks for the best golf simulator projectors:

  1. Optoma EH200ST HD Short Throw Projector
  2. BenQ MW632ST WXGA Short Throw Projector
  3. ViewSonic PS501X Short Throw Projector
  4. BenQ TH671ST 1080p Short Throw Projector
  5. ViewSonic PX800HD Ultra Short Throw Projector

1. Optoma EH200ST HD Short Throw Projector

Optoma EH200ST HD Projector Front

The Optoma EH200ST is one of the best projectors for golf simulators.

You see it included with a lot of the popular simulator packages, and there’s a reason for that: it has high lumens for a bright image, it has 3D support, you can mount it from a short distance away, and it produces full 1080p resolution.

Not only can you use this for golf, but you can also use it for things like conferences, training courses, classes, and religious events.

Technologies & Specs

The EH200ST has a 0.49:1 throw ratio. This effectively means that you can get a 100-inch image with the projector placed 3.5 feet from the simulator screen.

It produces 3000 lumens. This means that you don’t have to play in total darkness, and you can see a bright image even with some light in the room.

Other features include:

  • MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link), which allows you to project the display of your smartphone or tablet
  • a high contrast ratio of 20,000:1
  • DLP technology which creates sharp, bright and colourful images
  • an eco-friendly design
  • BrilliantColor multi-colour processing technology for exceptional contrast ratios
  • true 3D support from sources like blu-ray players, game consoles, and broadcasts

What Is Included

The Optoma EH200ST projector comes with:

  • lens cap and carrying case
  • remote control with batteries
  • AC power cord
  • user manual
  • quick start card & warranty card

The projector supports HDMI connectivity, which allows you to easily hook up your laptop, computer, or other device that is running the simulation software to the projector.

It can be mounted on the ceiling or on the floor. People love the quality of the picture and how easy it is to set up and operate. You can read customer reviews here.


2. BenQ MW632ST WXGA Short Throw Projector

BenQ MW632ST Short Throw Projector - Front View

A lot of golf simulator owners have had great success with this BenQ model. BenQ is one of the best projector brands out there today.

This short throw projector delivers clear, crisp images at a WXGA (1200×800) resolution.

Technologies & Specs

The MW632ST has a throw ratio of 0.9:1. This effectively means that you can get an 87-inch image with the projector placed 1.36m away.

It produces 3200 lumens — even more than the Optoma model above. This means that you can add a bit more light to your room and the image will stay bright.

Other features include:

  • a contrast ratio of 13000:1 and a pixel fill factor for clear text and images
  • a vertical keystone function that aligns the image when the projector is placed off-center
  • a 1.5A USB Type-A output that you can use to charge various devices
  • HDMI and MHL connectivity
  • built-in 10W speakers
  • full DLPR 3D support, which you can take advantage of with 3D glasses and a device that can produce 3D content such as a blu-ray player

Users of the MW632ST love the light weight, portability, and crisp and bright image that you can see from any vantage point.


3. ViewSonic PS501X Short Throw Projector

ViewSonic PS501X Short Throw Projector

ViewSonic is another excellent projector brand. The ViewSonic PS501X has everything you need for your golf simulator at a great budget price.

It has short throw capabilities, a sleek white chassis, produces 3500 lumens for a bright image, and has a native XGA 1024 x 768 resolution.

Technologies & Specs

The PS501X has a throw ratio of 0.61, which allows large images of your golf simulation to be projected in small rooms. It has a high 3500 lumens, which is great for getting a bright image without being in total darkness.

Other features include:

  • proprietary SuperColor Technology, which provides a wide colour range through dynamic lamp control and a 6-segment colour wheel
  • a high contrast ratio
  • HDMI Input & a powered USB A port, which provides power for wireless HDMI dongles like Google Chromecast
  • a SuperEco feature that extends the lamp life by up to 15,000 hours

Customers of the PS501X love the short throw capabilities and the high image quality. Just keep in mind that the resolution isn’t the best, and you won’t get much out of the built-in speakers, but for the cost, it’s excellent.


4. BenQ TH671ST 1080p Short Throw Projector

BenQ TH671ST Short Throw Projector - Front View

This excellent BenQ model is ideal for gaming, but its low input lag makes it ideal for golf simulators as well.

The TH671ST short throw projector might cost more than some of the models reviewed above, but it delivers an accurate colour image (92% Rec. 709) at full 1080p resolution.

Technologies & Specs

The TH671ST has a throw ratio of 0.69-0.83, which means you can project a 100-inch image from 5 feet away. Up to 300 inches can be projected.

It has 3000 lumens, which is what we recommend for golf simulator projectors because it allows you to play with the overhead lights on.

Other features include:

  • an input lag of just 16.67ms, with a microsecond DMD response time, for little to no motion blur or image lag
  • 1.2x zoom
  • a built-in 5W stereo speaker
  • LumiExpert technology, which actively detects ambient light conditions and automatically adjusts brightness to produce the clearest image
  • 1080p performance
  • vertical keystone, which corrects the image in the case of off-center projector placement
  • an HDMI wireless dongle

Customers of the TH671ST praise the amazing image quality (lack of “rainbow effect” and other shortcomings), wealth of customization settings, convenient setup, and overall performance. Fantastic value for money.


5. ViewSonic PX800HD Ultra Short Throw Projector

ViewSonic PX800HD Projector - Angled View

This beast projector from ViewSonic not only has a super-high contrast ratio, 1080p resolution and low input latency, but it’s classified as ultra short throw, which means you need even less distance from the screen to get a full image.

If you want a high-end projector with high-end specs, this is a great option to consider.

Technologies & Specs

The PX800HD has a short throw ratio of 0.23, which means that the projector can produce an image of up to 150″ in size just inches away from the screen.

One downside is that it has only 2000 lumens, which is the minimum that we’d recommend for golf simulator setups. But it’s still workable.

Other features include:

  • an input latency of 16ms
  • SuperColor TruCinema Rec. 709 colour accuracy, which gives you the lifelike colour you would only expect at the cinema
  • a 100,000:1 contrast ratio
  • full 1080p resolution

Customers praise the crisp, clear, gorgeous image, but more than that, they love the powerful ultra short throw capability. The back edge of the projector can touch the screen and still produce an image larger than 70″.


Buying Guide

Investing in a good projector for your golf simulator is an important step. Make the wrong move, and you could up dealing with constant issues and inconveniences, if you don’t decide to return the projector and get another one altogether.

Because of this, it’s important to consider all the factors that will affect your experience and match it with what your goals are.

Here are the most important factors you need to consider when figuring out which projector will best meet your needs:

1. Throw Distance & Throw Ratio

How far away from the simulator screen do you plan to put your projector?

Throw distance is the distance from the projector to the screen. What’s the maximum throw distance that is realistic for your space?

Ideal throw ratios for golf simulator setups are in the range of 0.3:1 to 1:1.

Whether you’re using the SkyTrak or another golf simulator, if you don’t use a short throw projector that can product a large image from a short distance away, you’ll normally have to deal with your shadow appearing on the screen.

To determine what throw ratios will work for you, do the following:

  1. Establish where you would ideally have the projector and measure the distance from it to the screen.
  2. Divide this number by the diagonal width of your screen.

For example, if your screen is 10 feet wide and your projector will be 4 feet away from the screen, the optimal throw ratio would be 0.4:1. Any projector that can at least meet this ratio will work.

In this article, we only review short throw (or ultra short throw) projectors because they’re simply the best for golf simulators. We don’t recommend using a projector that doesn’t have short throw capabilities.

Note that having the projector above you or slightly behind the ball will minimize the chances of shadows.

2. Lumens

Projector Lumens

Another important factor is the lumens output of a projector. This is a measure of light output and determines the brightness of the image.

In general, the brighter you plan to set the ambient lighting in your room, the more lumens you’ll need to retain a bright image.

If you plan to keep your room dark, we recommend a projector with no less than 2000 lumens. It would be wise to invest in a projector that produces 3000+ lumens, so you can be sure that you’ll have a bright and clear image at all times.

It’s up to you to find an acceptable balance between having enough ambient lighting to see things around you and having a bright image.

3. Resolution & Aspect Ratio

You need to consider the resolution and aspect ratios of both your computer and projector. In general, there are four types of projectors:

ResolutionAspect RatioImage ShapeCost
SXGA & XGA1024 x 7684:3Nearly squareLowest
WXGA & WUXGA1280 x 80016:10WiderHigher
HDTV1920 x 108016:9WidestHigher
4K3840 x 216016:9WidestHighest

The 16:9 4K UHD and 1080p projectors obviously produce the best picture, and they can be used for other purposes like a home theater.

However, it’s important to note that a projector can’t project a higher resolution than what your computer can produce. This means that if your computer isn’t operating at at least 1920 x 1080 resolution, you’ll never see 1080p on the projector screen.

It’s also worth considering the aspect ratio of your computer. If there is a mismatch between the aspect ratios of your computer and projector, you may experience issues like squished or distorted pictures.

1080p resolution isn’t necessary for golf simulators, let alone 4K, but it’s certainly nice to have. What resolution is acceptable for you?

4. Mount Type & Connectivity

Firstly, will you mount your projector on the ceiling or on the floor? Mounting it on the ceiling comes with benefits, but it can be a pain to set up.

There are special floor mounts available for people who want to keep their projector on the floor. These have space limits, so if you plan to use one, make sure that your projector can fit inside.

Secondly, make sure that your projector has HDMI connectivity. Almost all of them do, but old models may not. This is required for getting the simulation onto the big screen.

You can get our recommended ceiling projector mount here and floor mount here.

5. Budget

Money bag

Of course, your budget is very important when shopping for a golf simulator projector. Not everyone can afford projectors that cost $1500+, and fortunately, there are options that cost well below this amount.

With that said, you should realize that the less you spend, the less you’ll usually get — this could be in the form of less lumens, less resolution, or a higher throw ratio.

One of the biggest influencers of cost when it comes to projectors is the throw ratio: the lower the throw ratio, the higher the cost.

In this guide, we’ve tried to include quality projectors over a range of budgets that golfers might have. But the great thing is that you don’t have to drop the full cost of it at once.

Our recommended golf simulator source here provides easy financing options that allow you to pay for the Optoma EH200ST over the course of a year or longer. Don’t forget about this option.


Conclusion

Golf simulators have become a lot more accessible and affordable over the past decade, and this means more golfers and businesses than ever before have been able to have their own setup.

A quality golf simulator projector that produces a bright, clear image on your screen can make for a greatly enhanced experience. Finding a projector that can meet your needs is certainly possible with some research.

Each of the projector options reviewed above offer excellent value for the cost. We’ve given you the information you need to make a decision; now it’s up to you to go the rest of the way.

If you also need help choosing a golf simulator, you can start by checking out this article. Full golf simulator packages often come with projectors that support 1080p resolution.

We highly recommend reading customer reviews of projectors to obtain useful insights as to how they actually perform. This will help you a lot in the decision-making process.


Thanks for reading this guide. What kind of projector are you considering for your golf simulator? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Leave a Reply