Data and figures are now routinely used to assess a golf swing, and display units are becoming more affordable. As such, it is not uncommon for golf schools or golfers to have a golf room where you can practice all year round. Whether you want to practice more, play with friends, or escape inclement weather, you can. This review will look at what are the best golf simulators for under $5000 in 2021.
For the serious golfer, the Flightscope Mevo+ is the best option under 5000. It offers excellent levels of accuracy, 16 data points, and a small number of courses on which to practice in fun. The SkyTrak Golf Simulator offers very similar levels of accuracy and better practice options, but you have to pay extra for the course options which takes it a bit over $5000.
Compare the prices of SkyTrak Budget Golf Simulator on Rain or Shine Golf and SkyTrak Bronze Golf Simulator on Shop Indoor Golf.
Golf Simulators Under $5000: Quick Comparison
|Best for Outdoors & Big Spaces||
|Works Great In Small Spaces Too||
SkyTrak Budget Golf Simulator
Optishot Golf in a Box 3
PhiGolf Smart Stick
SkyTrak Launch Monitor
Best Golf Simulator Under 5000 2021: Reviews
1. Flightscope Mevo+
Best Golf Simulator for Less than 5000 bucks for Outdoors
The Flightscope Mevo+ is a launch monitor and golf simulator in one.
It uses radar technology to measure, so provides information on the ball and clubhead too.
It provides up to 16 data parameters, including ball speed, clubhead speed, spin rates, and many more.
As it is also sold as just a launch monitor, it is highly accurate. Mevo+ requires a space before and after the ball, so if you do not have a large indoor space, it might be more accurate outdoors than indoors.
However, our tests showed that it worked reasonably well indoors. The radar requires the unit to be set up about 7 feet behind the unit and requires 10 to 15 feet in front. This is quite a large space, but not unrealistic.
The data is well presented and easy to understand for an average golfer. Although 16 is a large number of data points, Flightscope makes it easier to understand by using color guides (red and green), and the simulator has easy to follow visuals.
The Flightscope Mevo+ is also portable, with the launch monitor capable of linking with your mobile device using an app. It comes in a self-contained and sturdy case, so there is no risk of damage by moving it.
The software that comes with it changes the basic Mevo into the Mevo+. You can practice better with ball flight visualization combined with your data, or play 1 of 5 golf courses.
These offer realistic game play and add considerably to the fun factor. The simulation is realistic and accurate, with the visuals making you feel like you are there.
As the Flightscope Mevo+ is cheap, there are one or two issues that you don’t get with the premium simulators.
Firstly, to measure the spin rate, Flightscope asks that you stick small silver stickers to every golf ball. It works quite well without it, and it is quite a bit of effort, so this is probably 1 for the ultra keen.
Secondly, the unit itself is not the easiest to set up, and getting it flat is important for accuracy. Therefore, shots early in your session can provide data that is not representative.
Overall, the Flightscope Mevo+ offers excellent levels of accuracy, easy to understand data, and enough simulation features for the recreational golfer. It is very well-priced and offers dual function as a simulator and a launch monitor.You can also package it up with a screen but that costs more than $5000.
- Dual Function
- Has 5 courses for gameplay
- Adding stickers to the ball
- Not as accurate indoors
2. SkyTrak Budget Golf Simulator
Best Golf Simulator Under 5000 for Indoors & Outdoors
The SkyTrak Budget Golf Simulator package allows you to play golf all year round in the comfort of your own house.
The package includes a golf net, screen, projector, projector mountings, golf mat, and software.
The only things it doesn’t include golf clubs, balls, and talent.
The SkyTrak launch monitor is a photometric system that uses photo data and advanced algorithms to capture the golf ball flight and spin rates after contact.
It does not capture data on the clubhead but uses the data from the ball alone to calculate all the data you need to measure your performance.
By concentrating solely on the ball, the accuracy levels are high, and the performance is similar to much more expensive launch monitors.
The SkyTrak is very easy to use and portable. It can be used indoors or outdoors, connecting to your tablet or notebook using Bluetooth.
As it uses photometric data, it works equally well indoors as outdoors, requiring less space to calculate the ball flight path.
Should you have any problems with set-up, SkyTrak have a manned helpline that will guide you through the blockage.
The software package provided is designed for practice, and as such the gameplay options that SkyTrak has must be purchased as add-ons.
However, the practice package is extensive in what it offers, with skills assessments, long drive competitions, nearest the pin challenges, target practice, and changeable weather conditions. You can also track your progress over time
The net comes with side protectors and the golf mat is a standard driving range golf mat that can be secured in place easily. The screen will withstand your hardest drives, and the mounting can be adjusted so the images fit the screen perfectly.
If you live somewhere with inclement weather, far from practice facilities, or just want to practice more in your own home, this is an excellent all-inclusive package.
- All-inclusive package
- Accuracy without the need for much space
- Portable and easy to use
- No gameplay option included
3. Optishot Golf in a Box 3
The Optishot Golf in a Box system combines an award-winning golf simulator with a home golf simulator set-up for a very low price.
The Optishot calculates the golf ball distance, flight, and spin rates from the data collected by the clubhead passing over the sensor.
You can use your clubs and balls, but the data is calculated by the clubhead speed, path angle, position, and clubface angle as it passes over the reading point.
This means that the Optishot is not as accurate as some of the other systems available on the market in 2021, but it is reasonably accurate, consistent, and makes up for this deficit in other areas.
The Optishot is designed purely as a simulator rather than a simulator added to a launch monitor.
As such, it focuses as much on fun, gameplay features as it does practice and accuracy. For example, you can play on 15 world championship level golf courses, play in multi-player games, and play up to 6 different game types.
The package itself is full of high-quality equipment. The net can withstand ball speeds of up to 225 mph (and yes, you can use real golf balls), and the screen provides High-Definition quality visuals and images.
The unit itself is easy to use, connecting to any laptop or computer. The unit is also portable, as long as your computer is portable and does not require the screen and projector.
It can be connected to a television, but you probably don’t want to be firing real golf balls at that.
Overall, the Optishot Golf in a Box package is an excellent option for a golfer who loves game play and is not keen on practice.
The accuracy and practice options are not suitable for someone striving to become the next Tiger Woods, but the game play is a representative golf experience and extremely fun.
As any practice is better than none, this will definitely help golfers who use it at home become better golfers, as well as providing fun for all the family and their friends.
- Excellent game play options
- Can use real clubs and golf balls
- High Definition visuals
- Accuracy could be better
- Limited practice options
4. PhiGolf Mobile and Home Smart Stick Golf Simulator
It offers fun gameplay options but not the accuracy and realism of other simulators as you use a Smart Swing Stick rather than your golf clubs and balls.
The phrase PhiGolf uses to describe it is “realistic” rather than “accurate”, and that is an excellent description.
The Smart Swing Stick does provide results that seem inline with the quality of the golfer, and the length and speed of the swing.
However, it is impossible to tell how accurate it is without a full-sized club and golf balls, but you can also use it in as little as 2 feet of swing space.
If you are looking for a simulator that helps you dial down distances and improve your accuracy this is not it.
What it is though is a fun golf simulation that you can use at home. The swing stick is responsive, and when this reviewer made a number of intentionally bad swings, the results were what was expected. As such, it can be used to improve your golf swing.
However, it is best used as a game with others. It hooks up to your TV or even a screen with a projector if you have one.
The graphics are realistic, and you have the chance to play on 24 of the world’s best courses, including St Andrews, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, and many more for a small subscription fee.
If you want to practice for fun alone or with friends, this is a fantastic option.
- Usable in a small space
- Fun gameplay options
- Multiplayer mode
- Realistic rather than accurate
5. SkyTrak Launch Monitor
Although this is a golf simulator review, it would be amiss not to mention the SkyTrak Launch Monitor as an option on its own.
The basic package is accurate as discussed previously, using the photometric data and algorithms to calculate the distance, ball flight, spin rates, and clubhead data.
As such, it is an excellent practice tool that you can use on the range or at home.
Also, as part of the standard package, it provides usable visuals on a tablet or computer. These could be easily linked to a large screen TV or screen should you want something larger.
These visuals provide all the information you need to see what is happening with your game.
The unit is accurate and portable, so you can enjoy the benefits anywhere you have space to swing a club. The accuracy is excellent, as good as much more expensive systems. It is also similarly accurate indoors or outdoors.
If you purchase the launch monitor and the most expensive software package, you will get everything you need for a golf simulation for just under $5000.
This might feel like cheating, but many people already have a golf net at home and do not need the screen and projector.
- Provides lots of usable data
- Can upgrade to a range of famous courses
- Accurate indoors and outdoors
- No visuals or imagery for this price
- Software needs annual payment
You can get an entire, weather-proof golf simulation for under $5000. The SkyTrak Budget Golf Simulator provides everything you need, both technical and non-technical, for under the limit.
You can compare the prices of SkyTrak Budget Golf Simulator on Rain or Shine Golf and Shop Indoor Golf.
However, it does not include any courses to play for that price, and even the most strict of practicers will miss that feature. As such, if you go for the SkyTrak, it might be best to pay a little bit extra so you get the 12 famous courses that it has to offer.
If you want a mix of practice and courses for under 5000, the Flightscope Mevo+ is the best option, as it offers high-levels of accuracy and 5 courses on which to play.
This is not as many, but the difference in price is substantial, so it might be worth considering. The Flightscope system works better outdoors than indoors but offers portability so you can move it outdoors if you need the highest levels of accuracy.
So there you have it – these are the very best golf simulators for under 5000 in 2021.
There are also cheaper options available on the market if you want fun rather than accuracy. The Optishot Golf in a Box offers a “realistic” level of accuracy and excellent gameplay options to have fun alone or with your friends.
It’s not really suited for people who are serious about improving their game.
As any practice is helpful, those who hate to go to the range will benefit more from this system than a more accurate, data-based system. Whilst fun, the PhiGolf system is more a computer game that can be used by anyone rather than a simulator for golfers, as the price reflects. It’s not recommended for serious golfers.