What are the best Golf Practice Mats on the market today? What should you look for when buying one? Should you even buy a practice mat? I’ll answer all these questions below and review some of the best mats currently for sale.
If you want to take another step towards lowering your scores then you might want to invest in a rangefinder. It doesn’t have to break the bank – read our budget rangefinders article to see what are the best affordable rangefinders on the market.
Should You Buy a Golf Practice Mat?
Practicing your swing in the comfort of your own home is a great way to improve your on course performance. Golf mats have become a popular product amongst golfers due to the opportunity to bring a part of the course to our homes and practice without paying range fees. Apart from working on your striking skills practice mats also provide the fun and enjoyment of the course and can be a great entertainment tool for family and friends.
Conclusion: getting a golf practice mat is a good idea if you’re looking for a way to improve your swing during the off season weather or just want to enjoy part of the game at home.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Golf Hitting Mat?
- DURABILITY: After all this is a product that you’re going to be swinging at thousands of times with your clubs so it’s very important that the mat you choose has the ability to hang in for the long run. In a perfect world this wouldn’t be very important but because not all swings go exactly according to plan your mat will take some abuse. Look for a design that doesn’t have obvious seams where cheap glue may be all that’s holding the different materials together. Also keep an eye on the amount of “grass” or turf per square inch, in our experience mats with a dense layout of turf usually hold up better as well as offer a more realistic feel.
- FEEL: I’m going to go out on a very short limb here and say that all mat manufactures claim to have the most realistic turf that offers a realistic feel. Any player who has spent time on most public ranges knows that this isn’t always true and some mats are just plain awful. Though it may be somewhat of a subjective preference and all real courses do have a different feel most players agree that silicone does offer a more authentic feel than rubber. This doesn’t mean that all rubber mats are bad but silicone does tend to react more like dirt when it comes to density. Do your research and speak to your local pro, chances are s/he has used their fair share of mats and knows a thing or two about them.
- WEIGHT: This is important because of the annoying shifting that lighter mats tend to suffer from. Hitting a golf ball off a stationary tee is difficult enough already, you don’t want to bring more pain and suffering into your life because of a bad design. Look for heavy construction in order to avoid the mat sliding around when in use and don’t be afraid to shell out a few extra dollars when making your selection; chances are it will save you in the end.
Best Golf Practice Mats Reviews 2018
Keeping these design features in mind here are three mats on the market today that you really can’t go wrong with.
1. Callaway FT Launch Zone Hitting Mat
This mini mat may be smaller (click here to see more pictures) than most others available on the market but that doesn’t mean it lacks in value.
Callaway again brings a respectable product to the table with the launch zone and at 16”x8” it is ideal in situations where you find yourself moving your practice area around often.
The Tru-Turf surface does a decent job at mimicking fairway grass and the dense weight design helps keep the mat in place swing after swing.
The built in tee holder allows you to insert your own tees to better simulate real hitting conditions but if you do prefer to use a fixed height rubber tee there is an option for that as well. In regards to durability the Launch Zone holds its own in the wear and tear category, making it a great value for its low price tag.
The convenient size also makes it easier for users to carry around and can fit easily into your car; which is great for users who like to use their own mat at the range.
Possibly the best aspect of the smaller size is the greater accuracy the mat demands during practice.
Due to the compact size greater focus must be given in order to consistently hit on the impact zone, hopefully improving your coordination when trying to strike at the ideal point of impact.
2. FairwayPro Divot Simulator
The FairwayPro (click here to see more photos) does a great job in doing this by not only having grass like response, but by sticking true to its name and simulating the surface’s movement and having it respond like actual grass would.
Because of the mat’s realistic sliding surface the feel you get is very close to what you would get from a shot from the middle of the fairway. You can almost see where the divot would have been after hitting off of the Divot Simulator and the feel varies based on the shot you hit. For example hitting a shot fat feels the same on the FairwayPro as it would if you were to hit a fat shot on the course.
This is due to the sliding track design that pushes the turf forward when contact is made with the club. Compare this to the average golf mat at your local range where any shot that you don’t hit perfect usually means a painful vibration into your hands or possibly even damage to your clubs!
The FairwayPro does a fantastic job when it comes to giving you feed back from each shot and is a more than respectable effort when it comes to replicating realistic conditions. If the divot simulator has any downside it may be its unique design. Because it does offer the sliding track system this could potentially lead to mechanical problems and malfunction.
However, when working properly it might be the most ingenious mat to come around in some time and you can’t argue with the feel it offers. At 23”x17” this mid-size mat offers the versatility of at home use and easy mobility for use in lessons.
3. Dura-Pro Plus Residential Golf Mat
This realistic, made in the U.S.A. mat offers a sturdy construction that looks and feels like the fairway. Like all mat builders Dura-Pro (click here to see more photos) claims to offer a realistic practice experience with their design and they’ve done a great job in backing up their claim.
The base pad assists in saving your wrists if you’re like me and don’t always seem to hit the perfect shot, also helping reduce the likeliness in damage to your club. Golfers have praised the Dura-Pro’s longevity and ability to withstand thousands of shots before seeing significant signs of wear and tear, which is probably the reason why the company has been producing mats for as long as it has.
The residential version of the mat does come in various sizes but the smallest available is 3’x4’ meaning that some golfers who are short on space may have trouble fitting it in their indoor practice areas. But when it comes to outdoor practice, the Dura-Pro can be a great option for most players looking to working on their swing at home.
So, What’s the Best Golf Mat?
There are many different manufactures on the market today who offer decent products, however there are also some mats that shouldn’t be allowed on store shelves. The three mentioned above are quality mats that are all likely to please. If I had to choose one it would be the FairwayPro.
The feel is just too convenient and the response you feel in your club will be sure to correctly communicate your shot to your hands. The FairwayPro’s size and weight is a perfect midway point in regards to convenient size; it’s small enough for easy transport but doesn’t lack in weight and stays in place well. Although there is the risk of the track malfunctioning, it is worth the risk.
Keep in mind that the Dura-Pro and the Callaway do bring a lot to the table in terms of durability, feel and design and I’d be happy to find either one under my Christmas tree; but in regards to uniqueness and feel the FairwayPro can’t be beat.
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