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Building your cage net
One of the considerations when purchasing your home simulator is how to set it up once you have it.
I am going to talk you through the basic steps so that you can follow them and get your own home simulator up and running in no time.
What you will need:
• Laptop or computer with installed software
• Special projector screen capable of withstanding golf ball impact
• Cage net (Aluminium Frame included)
• Artificial grass to cover floor
• Hitting mat
• Golf balls
• Another pair of hands
• Pipe insulation (foam)
• Cable Ties
• Double-sided tape
• Power supply near by
Sourcing the required items is not that hard, and if you are on a tight budget you can save money by heading to your local range and asking if they have an old range mat lying around.
The item that is hardest to source is the projector screen.
It is important that you get a good quality screen that can withstand the impact from golf balls, and although the cost will be a little higher it really is worth the extra few dollars.
One of the first things to consider before you begin to put together your cage is the space.
Your cage net will measure 3m x 3m x 3m and you will need this much ceiling height to be able to assemble it. Anything less than 3 metres is very close to the height the club could reach when you are swinging so before purchasing anything check that you have sufficient head room to swing your clubs.
(Do this slowly to avoid damaging something!)
If you are using a projector you need to work out the distance that the projector must be set away from the screen to allow for the image to be displayed both clearly and large enough to create a wonderful game play experience.
You will need at least 5 metres between the projector and screen.
Try to mount the projector to the ceiling to avoid casting shadows on the screen.
Constructing the frame
Once this has been figured out you are ready to put the cage net frame together.
The frame is simple to construct, tubular pieces of lightweight aluminium simply clip together to create the 3D frame.
It is a simple task of sorting the longer tubes with a “nodule” to pair with the same length tubes with a hole for the “nodule” to clip into.
Once you have done this you just need to get the corner pieces in the right corner.
The open end of the cage net will be a two-entry corner piece for a horizontal and vertical tube. While the four internal or back corner pieces will have a triple-entry for two horizontal and a vertical tube.
The difficulty comes when trying to get the net on, and for this two pairs of hands are better than one!!One the frame has been assembled you need “slide” the net from the top into place.
To create tension fix the netting to the frame with the cable ties.
I suggest pulling the net as tight as possible, especially if you are setting up in a tight space, this will stop to much “give” when you hit balls into the net. Using the string provided with the net, wrap around the metal frame to secure in place.
Once the net is up you can attach the projection screen. I did this by using cable ties, allowing for an overhang on the floor. Attach the projection screen at the top from both corners first.
If you want to reduce the chance of the ball flying back towards you out of the cage then I would leave a lot of slack in the screen.
But this also depends on how much space you have behind. I left about 3 inches between the net and the screen, to allow for a little more “give”.
Place your mat level with the entrance to the cage and in the middle, so that you have enough room to swing the club. And so that it is far enough away from the projector to avoid hitting the projector mid-swing.
To fit the projector, you will need to follow the instructions, and then level the projector so that the image is displayed correctly.
Almost done, now for the final finishing touches:
Lay the artificial grass in the cage to create a finished, professional look. I would use some double-
sided tape to stick the artificial grass down to avoid trip hazards.
Finally, to avoid the possibility of club damage or flying golf balls I would wrap the metal frame in foam tube insulation. It only costs a minimal amount to purchase and it really does make a difference, I found this out the painful way when a ball a client hit rebounded and struck me below the kneecap.
And there you have it your completed home simulator set up.