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Best Impact Screen?

I'd like to upgrade to an impact screen so that I can use real golf balls.  Alternatively, I'd like to use the same screen so that I could use it for movies like a theater room?  Any suggestions?

  • Brand?
  • Size?
  • Where can I get it?
Jim R

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27 answers

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I actually built my own for less than 100 bucks and it works amazingly well.   Stops my drives dead, and im a 330yd plus hitter.  I used a king size sheet, backed by a canvas tarp (home depot, paint section) with uhaul moving blankets behind that.  i installed grommets along the top and hung it all on whats basically a big shower curtain..  (steel rod hung from the ceiling with metal shower curtain rings)  If anyone needs pics, id be happy to post em! I looked into an impact screen, but if youre willing to put in a couple hours work, you can save a bunch of money, and get a custom size...   happy swinging!

Mike Antram
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I got the screen mentioned above from Par2Pro and am very happy with it.  Price was right, screen is very sturdy (tested up to 200mph, I believe...), yet thin enough to project the image through (I have my projector set behind it).

Jeff Hassan
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Yes I would like to see pics. I used moving blankets before behind a hitting net for my son's baseball net. It worked great. Dropped the ball with no bounce back.  How does the white sheet work for pic projection?  Like to idea and chep to replace the sheet if you get holes.

Thx

Sean Wilson
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Looks GREAT Mike!!  Nice creative idea! (Just might borrow this idea) Can I ask what projector you are using and at what throw distance???

Matt Sehenuk
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matt ---The throw is right around 15 feet..  I have 10 foot ceilings in my garage, so i had to keystone the image heavily.  im glad the setting allowed me to push it that far.  thanks for the compliments by the way!  hope your system works out well!

Mike Antram
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Agreed, Very nice approach to the Impact Screen.  I believe I may borrow the concept as well!

Sean Wilson
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Hi - i know this is a little old.  i looked at mike antram's photos (thank you) and would love to go that way.  i've considered (and don't have an answer) whether it would be better to go with a regular white sheet, or satin - and if satin, would silver satin actually reflect better?  how close to the back wall can the 3 layer sandwich hang?  i'd imagine 6 inches with the weight of mover's blanket stopping the balls.    i'd appreciate any input/suggestions - thanks!

Gary Garland
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Hi David,

Thank you for the reply. I'm still leaning towards doing it myself but it's great to have alternatives.

If anyone knows whether satin will work better than non satin, and whether silver will work better than pure white, it would be much appreciated!

Gary Garland
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Gary- I would recommend a standard sheet actually.  If you look at satin at certain angles, it reflects quite a bit.  If your screen isnt hanging 100% flat, you could loose some of the image in these areas.  Im guessing that youll save a few bucks avoiding satin as well.  Also, i cant vouch for the durability of satin.  My screen has held up for quite a while using the standard sheet.  As far as the distance goes, my screen is 5-6 feet from the back wall, as it partitions off my work bench area nicely.  Anyways, my screen isnt weighted down in any way, so it tends to move a good bit during impact.  i decided that adding weight to the bottom would stop the ball quicker, it may end up putting too much stress on the screen by having the ball strike a more static object.  If you were to weigh down the screen, the ball would certainly stop quicker, but i would recommend doubling or possibly tripling the canvas backing just due to the added stress.  Oh, and weigh down the canvas layers and NOT the sheet.  This would allow the screen surface to move freely without damaging it...   Hope this helps!  and feel free to let me know if you have any more questions about my setup!  

Mike Antram
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thanks Mike - very much appreciated.  I didn't consider the glare - i thought shiny would reflect more - so i'll stick with plain white sheets.  i saw a grommet kit at target (as seen on tv) so i think that will work nicely - and either the canvas and moving blankets will be grometted (hopefully) or else i'll have to do it.

weighting - thanks for the heads up - i figured i'd put weights down, though too much could have the ball come right at me - and not enough will have me chasing around for the balls under the sheets/layers.  I do plan on bungee cords and I guess i'll have to experiment.

This will be in my garage - i don't see that I have 5 or 6 feet available from the wall - well technically i guess that's not true, as a garage bay is probably about 20 feet long - so i'll have to figure out a way to project the screen outwards from the wall.  i'd guess a thick curtain rod holder (for those 3 inch or so wide cloth curtains) would hang it out about 6 to 8 inches - i could then either build up (somehow) or look for another way to push it back - my garage height is probably 20 feet so suspending from the ceiling won't work.

I've played with the optishot in my house ONCE and almost destroyed some kid's toys (a kitchen) and just received p3proswing by UPS today, so i'm raring to get going - i'll see about the electrical conduit and my buddy's angle grinder.  thanks again for the great tips!!!!!

Gary Garland
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My Screen image ended up being just as wide as a king size sheet..   something like 80 inches which makes the image about 100 inches diagonal in a 4:3 format.   The projector is about 12-14 feet away from the screen, and i play from just far enough back so that i dont cast a shadow on the screen..   probably 10 feet away..   id be more than happ to get actual measurements for ya if youd like!   im just trying to estimate at the moment.. 

Mike Antram
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I find this thread very helpful.  Based on Mike's designs, i bought a rivet kit, painter's canvas, and am searchign for the king size sheet, mover's blankets, and of course, the EMT tubing, etc. - I havne't gotten this very far - however i did build a stance platform (not to hijak this thread) that i think will work well.  i built it for my p3proswing but since my optishot is a similar size, i'll either put it in as well, or rotate the platform and use the optishot outside fo it (properly height adjusted) - looks like they upgraded the software, i'll find out when i reinstall on my new, more powerful machine...

Gary Garland
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Hey Mike,

Thanks for the response.  If you wouldn't mind, I would love your true actual measurements.  Since I know it is all working well for you, I do not feel the need to recreate the wheel.  Also I am finding it hard to find moving blankets bigger than the standard size of 72" X 80".

 

Matthew Glatt
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Hi Mat,

The P3Proswing is a competitor to optishot - i'm sure there's a lot of stuff posted all over the place about it.  I had seen an interview with optishot where they stated they were largely a software company.  The optishot mat has less sensors - also comes with a grass top, is much cheaper, the software looks good, and doesn't require putting tape on the bottom of the clubs.  The P3 has more sensors, costs more, from a distance seems somewhat similar, however it does give more diagnosis for your shot.

for the money, i don't think anything beats the optishot.

i bought the optishot first, used it a little in my house (and hit my kid's toys) so now i'm clearing a good area and i'll try them both head to head - then i'll probably sell the optishot as the p3 also allows USB cameras to look at your swing - if i really like optishot as much or better, i'll keep it - at the least i'll probably have different courses.

Gary Garland
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Hey matt, ill get you some numbers tomorrow, but i was thinking if you were to just sew some sheets together, you could end up with a huge image...  figure two kings sewn together would be roughly 160 inches screen width, if you went to a 16:9 ratio, you would have a colossal image using that setup... just a thought..    my image actually stops about 3 feet off the floor..   of course you would have to have to projector further back, and potentially loose some image quality...   also, as long as you swing a good game in the first place, the actual impact area of the screen could just be the "single Width" whereas the screen itself could be much larger..  some food for thought!    ill post some measurements tomorrow

Mike Antram
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I just made a custom screen for 200 bucks.  9 foot by 9 foot.  It can easily take real golf balls.  Very easily made.  Goto a place that makes tarps.  They should have a white vinyl tarp made for truckers which is amazingly tough.  They should be able to make whatever size you want.  Have them sew in on both ends spots for dowling where you can put in a metal rod which will support the screen and the one in the bottome will allow you to roll it up and keep it nice.  The special vinyl can be cleaned really easily and even those yellow marks if you use those.

I have a seem in mine but you can't even notice it.  Absolutely fantastic. 

You can look at my man cave, "Works in small places"  and that's mine. Just have the dowling a little longer for the top portion and just use a hook on either end to support it to your roof.  You could also get them to put the rings in for you.  Not sure on the cost of that but I would imagine pretty cheap.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Ken Bikow
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heres some pics of how I assembled my impact screen..  I used an angle grinder to cut a slot in some inexpensive electrical conduit for the rings to slide into.  the shower curtain rings have a ball on the one end that slides easily through the conduit, so i can pull the screen out of the way when not in use.  I set grommets in each of the layers of the screen for ease of replacement in the future, but so far, i have had no visible signs of damage.  it was all pretty east to set up in an afternoon..  I had some problems especially with drivers and low irons tending to pull the screen inwards when the ball impacted the screen..  A small bungee cord on either end of the conduit helped to keep the screen stretched out during repeated impacts..  Ive been really happy with this so far, although its not a "home theater" quality screen, the image is quite good.  i use a marantz vp-12s1 projector that i picked up for $300 on craigs list..  I also included some actual screen shots of how the optishot graphics look, and an HD image.   If you have any questions, im more than glad to help! ive had a blast with my setup i would love to pass along my experience..  

Mike Antram