Now that you have made the investment in a golf simulator for your home or business, you’ll need to maintain it so looks and performs like new. Your manufacturer will have the proper recommendations for their systems, and you should always follow the directions per their instructions. Each simulator on the market is different and although the simulators are similar there are still significant differences in the care of the units.
Control the Dust!
Always demand players use clean clubs! If you allow players to use clubs that are even a little dirty, all that dirt will end up on and around your simulator. Dirt and dust don’t mix with computer and sensors. Dust can be a huge problem for your system, especially in commercial settings. I have a set of showroom clubs that I have available for player to use, I will wipe these clubs down with a wet rag about once a month, just to control the dust. I have my players wipe down their clubs every time they play just to eliminate as much dirt as possible. Even if a club looks clean, it might have a little dirt in the groves of the club; this dirt will end up on your simulator within a few strokes.
The same goes for the golf balls, I only let players use house balls (which are new, never used outside) or new balls that I inspect before they play. If a ball has a few scuff marks on it, when the ball hits the screen it can worsen friction burns on the screen or even damage the screen over time. You want to keep an eye on the balls being used, over time they can crack or even break, while being used on a simulator.
I recommend eliminating as much dirt as possible (describe above) before the players set foot on the simulator. I would dust around the computer, once a week and I would also vacuum the area where the ball is struck by the player at least once a week. If you are running a commercial golf center, I would recommend doing these tasks every day.
Follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for cleaning the projector. Making sure the lens of the projector is clear of debris; can greatly extend the life of the projector bulb, which is very expensive to replace. Most projector manufacturers won’t warranty the bulb at all. So, preventative maintenance for your projector may save you hundreds even thousands of dollars over time.
Keeping your Sensor Area Clean!
All golf simulators use some type of sensor technology to track and interpret the data, to insure good results your sensors must be clean. Again each manufacturer will offer the proper way to clean the sensors, but an easy tip is to keep the area free of debris. Often tiny pieces of the turf will break off and over time this can block or disrupt a sensor. If you have a camera based system, make sure nothing is in view of the camera’s path. Even a small pebble can cause a misread by a camera based simulator. My advice vacuum often and keep all your sensors as clean as possible.
Friction burns will occur on most simulators. This is when the golf ball hits the screen and makes a small mark. You can help to minimize these balls marks by keeping your screen clean. Contact your manufacturer for tips on cleaning their screen. Many of the screens you can just wipe down with a damp cloth (not a paper towel), to remove dust and dirt. Please contact your manufacturer before using any water; some screens will be damaged by the use of water. If it has been a while since you have cleaned your screen you will be surprised with all the dust and dirt that comes off on your cloth.
If you follow these simple tips, it can help to extend the life and reliability of your simulator.
by Todd Mallon