I often get asked, what do you mean when you say "indoor golf". Indoor golf is an umbrella term for all activities in golf which can be carried out indoors.
Venues include indoor driving ranges, chipping areas, putting greens, and machines. A golf simulator allows golf to be played on a graphically or photographically simulated driving range or golf course, usually in an indoor setting. In some cases, based on the location of the sensing devices, it is now possible to capture data on both ball and club for most accurate speed and directional information, and simulated ball flight behavior.
The data collected is extrapolated to provide ball flight trajectory and roll out according to certain calculated relationships to the ball's flight performance per the tracked motion of the ball or club, adding environmental aspects through which the ball is projected, including terrain, wind, rain and other such influences or obstacles.
A key attribute of any simulator is accuracy. There are several types of measurement system used in golf simulation to achieve this, such as simulator mats, sonic sound systems, optical sensor arrays, radar and camera ball tracking systems. Many golf simulator systems use a sensor mat, which is essentially a rectangular mat containing several infrared sensors and microchips that can monitor the speed of the club as it passes the back sensor, the angle of the club and club speed as the ball and club pass the second sensor following impact and the direction of the ball as the club passes the third sensor.
A ball's flight depends upon many things, including the ball itself, the strike and impact of the club upon the ball, the ball's launch angle, direction, spin rate and velocity, as well as the hitting surface from which the ball is struck and the simulated environment through which the ball virtually flies, suggesting wind, rain, and other environmental aspects that may affect ball flight.
A computer calculates the expected trajectory of the golf ball from data gathered on the swing, and the image of the golf ball flight is then simulated on the screen via a projector.