Maybe you’re one of the millions of TV viewers who’ve seen them used on Entourage
, Jimmy Kimmel Live!
or the Dan Patrick Show
. Regardless, home-theater–style golf simulators are all the rage. Get one installed in your home and you can play incredibly realistic versions of Pebble Beach, Pinehurst and many other top courses. And midgame, if you happen to find a glitch in your swing, just switch on the swing-analysis mode to display your golf-swing vitals. Best of all, though, you can play at any time, whether it’s the middle of the night, the dead of winter or during a monsoon — it doesn’t matter. You stay nice and dry in your brightly lit home. You can also use golf simulators as home theaters and supersize video-game consoles. So, what’s the catch? Oh, right: the price. Top units from reputable companies can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000 (fortunately, this includes installation, which unfortunately usually takes one to two days depending on customization). You’ll also need to have a sizable amount of extra space in your home, along with at least 10-foot-high ceilings. So, assuming you’re willing to break the bank and you have a spare room lying around, here are some of the best systems:Full Swing Golf
’s compact Champion Series is customizable. The company helps you integrate it into the right space in your home. The unit is available with a 16:9 cinema-quality, drop-down screen, and the hitting mat includes simulated sand and rough. www.fullswinggolf.comHigh Definition Golf
’s simulator models feature custom ball-collecting drapes that open during play and close when finished. All ball-tracking technology lies in the cameras, so there’s no subfloor construction. The units have high resolution and dead-on accuracy, with respect to ball flight and distance. www.hdgolf.comAboutGolf
offers both standard one-screen units and three-screen surround wraps. Standard features include game-improvement diagnostic tools, plus more than 50 championship golf courses. www.aboutgolf.com