My Garage Rig

I don't have a basement, so here it is... I created this one in my garage. http://www.ballspelsy.com/Golf_Simulator

Note: I changed the canvas screen to a 9x9 power screen and white foam balls because I hit a real ball through the canvas after about a month. I use real balls for putting.  Once I accepted using the foam balls it made sense to just go to the power screen.  I had to switch to white foam balls because the yellow ones were making an imprint on the screen.  Finally, the screen works for me because it is powered, so I can close it and pull the car in with a remote.

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  • Avatar
    Tom Vogt

    cool setup! thanks for all the details.

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    vashon robinson

    what did you use to make the standing mat. i cant find anything thats an 1 3/8 to match the optishot

     

  • Avatar
    Robert Stein

    @vashon: 

     

    My base has been slightly upgraded from the pic on the website, so here is a more recent shot attached. The mat is made as follows, bottom up:  quarter-inch plywood base for light weight but stiff. I removed the base screws on the optishot swing pad and bought replacement screws that were a quarter-inch longer in order to go through the plywood base.  After lining it up, drilling holes in the splywood, I screwed the plywood to the base (up from the bottom into the base). I then added two layers of half-inch foam puzzle-piece flooring for kids (I cut the outer edges to be smooth).  Each layer is glued together.  This makes for a pretty hard surface, so I added one layer of half-inch carpet padding (firm) on top. The top is the indoor-outdoor carpet.  I then trimmed the two sides with metal stair edging.  Keep in mind to get a higher grade carpet because you would be surprised how fast it will wear out as your feet are planted during the swings.  I replaced after one year with a better quality carpet (still cheap though) and it makes a huge difference.If the carpet wears out, just add another layer over it.

    I also added a separate piece out beyond the swing pad, which might look like a waste.  However, it separates and allows me to shift the unit out so lefties can swing too, on those rare occasions.

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    Robert Stein

    I also suggest this as a turf replacement for the optishot.  If you are like me, an occasional guest swing can separate the padding from the turf layer on the optishot turf.  I replaced with this, which is really solid and it has never shown wear or damage in over a year.  http://www.par2pro.com/shop/product\_info.php?products\_id=45

    Bob

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    vashon robinson

    thank you Bob, very helpful. i really like that. the putting thing is what really made me interested. i think im seriously going to try it.

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    Robert Stein

    No problem.  In my opinion the putting part of the game is actually the most helpful in real life golf.  I don't take the full-swing part of the simulator as serious as the putting (a long story). In Summer I don't use the simulator except to warm up before golf.  The putting part is helpful for me to build up a touch as well as a straight stroke. My rule is that it is a really fun game but does not replace the need to go to the driving range during the Summer months.

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    Seth Fuller

    Ok...now I'm hooked.  The SIM rooms are great! Thanks for posting..

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    Brian Fryman

    Hey Robert very nice. Does the aftermarket turf option make the optishot higher than with the original turf (1 3/8")? Does it absorb more of the shock at impact as the original ? If I hit it a little fat it sounds and feels like I'm going to break it. Thanks again

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    Robert Stein

    @Brian Fryman: No, the mats are not higher.  It is a little less padded though.  Honestly I really can't imagine breaking the Optishot unit.  I assume that thing has been tested like crazy.  My problem before was that if you hit the old turf fat, it would catch on the lip behind the ball and rip the turf from the infrared senser toward the tee.  Then it would be impossible to hold down/repair, so it would catch more often.  The one I recommended has never ripped and I bought three just in case.  I've been on my first one for about 9 months now. Crazy, I know.

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    vashon robinson

    can i ask how did you secure the carpet around the optishot?

  • Avatar
    Robert Stein

    When stacking the materials (the layers) I glued each together.  That held it fine until I laid it over the Opti.

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    Ross Garinger

    Bob,

    Can you post or send me a picture/description of how you have the projector screen secured to the ceiling/door rails? It looks like in the picture that it is secured to the door rails, but your Web site mentions that it is secured to the ceiling. I'm looking to duplicate the exact same setup as you because I'm also trying to work around having a garage door that still needs to open and close without me having to take down the screen every time. It looks like you have a separate rod that you bought to attach to the door rails and the projector actually hangs from that. Awesome setup! If I can get some more details I'll be doing the exact same thing in my garage.

    -Ross

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    Robert Stein

    Ross:  Attached are photos of details, but here is the idea... The pipe going across the top is a galvanized gas pipe.  I didn't have one long enough to go across to a pieced it with two couplers.  Anywho, the ends slide into long eye bolts which are mounted to the garage track supports.  I adjusted the height of the eye bolts until the garage door opener's "L" bracket cleared it going up and down. Once this was set up, I then used u-bolts wrapped around the ends of the gas pipe and extend into the mounting screw-holes on the screen.  Set up a ladder to hold the screen up while you mount one end (loosely) and then the other end.  Once they are loosely connected you can then adjust up or down using the u-bolt nuts.  The screen comes with a level, so I used that. Tnis type of screen also allows you to set the up limit and down limit as well, so you can just push a button and walk away.

  • Avatar
    Robert Stein

    One last note:  Because I use white foam balls I decided to switch to orange real balls for putting.  I had someone accidentally tee up a real ball, so moving to a drastically different color helps prevent it in the future...

  • Avatar
    Ross Garinger

    Thanks very much for taking the time to further detail your setup for me and post those additional pictures, that was super helpful! It looks like my setup will be simplified somewhat, although probably not as stable as yours. The projector screen I bought has a D-ring for ceiling mounting rather than mounting holes as yours does. Also, it looks like with the width of my screen the D-rings will line up perfectly below the track supports so I think I'll be able to just use a threaded hook from the support that hooks right onto the D-ring. Hanging the screen using a D-ring and hook won't be as stable as your installation because the screen will be able to swing a bit back-and-forth after impact, but I think it should still be a great setup because any screen would do that anyway to some degree after getting impacted. When I get the projector and get the rig built I'll post my own pics for others to take a look at.

  • Avatar
    Robert Stein

    New thought:  When attaching a replacement turf to the optishot, I decided to put another layer of velcro back-to-back behind the back line of sensors.  This raises the turf slightly on the backend, making it much more difficult to catch the turf on the downswing just behind the ball.  This is often the cause of the turf getting peeled up.  Makes a world of difference and my turf has now lasted over a year without replacing.  I play almost every day through the winter.

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    Robert Stein

    I needed to add two quick points.  First, thought it funny that my dog actually lifted his leg on my OptiShot Mat.  Well played, Basset Hound, well played.  Second, I hit a tee shot right and into the woods.  I went to get it and this is what I saw (see attached).  Optishot really made this possible?  Wild.

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