Indoor Putting Green Reviews
One area of the game that people often neglect to practice is putting. This is a shame as it’s something you can do year-round no matter what the weather. Assuming the pile on your carpet at home isn’t too thick then you could just use that (and for many years I did!). However for a better quality experience and to get the most out of your practice time you should probably invest in some form of golf putting mat.
Why Should You Practice Putting?
Putting is an area of the game that anyone can excel at from 8 to 80. You don’t need to work on your fitness or improve your flexibility to get better at putting. Physical size and strength are not prerequisites to being a good putter.
As little as 10 or 20 minutes a day could soon see you reaping the rewards on the course and lowering your handicap. For most people putting represents somewhere between ⅓ and ½ of the shots that they take. Even small improvements in your putting can quickly result in reductions in your handicap.
Ian Woosnam used to practice on a snooker table prior to playing in the Masters but you don’t need to go to those lengths to get in some quality practice indoors.
What to Look For When Buying a Putting Mat.
First and foremost you need to decide how big a practice putting mat that you have room for. We would all like to have our own home-based golf studio featuring a wonderful golf simulator and putting setup. In reality, most people don’t have the space.
You’re probably going to have to look for a mat that you can roll up and put away easily. This might mean sacrificing things such as automated ball return mechanisms. Unless you have a lot of space then portability should be high on your list of priorities.
If you tend to struggle with things like alignment then you are more likely to benefit from one of the mats featuring alignment aids.
Perhaps your putting stroke is basically sound but you struggle with breaking putts. You should look at one of the mats that feature the option to add slopes.
Other important points to think about:
Does the mat offer a similar speed to the greens that you regularly play on?
How good is the build quality of the mat particularly if you are going to have two pack it away after every use?
Putting Mat Reviews
My personal favorite and the one I use is the PuttOut Pro.
The PuttOut Pro arrives packaged in its own bag for easy storage. It rolls up into a pretty small space if you need to stow it away.
If you’re not able to leave the PuttOut Pro setup permanently then the fact that it is built with a heavy backing should ease your fears. The mat is easy to set up after it’s been rolled-up for some time.
I’ve tried the mat on a number of surfaces. For preference, you would want to use it on a hard flooring surface but I have used it for a long time on a carpet as well and it was excellent.
Should your carpet pile be especially thick then you might find it a little more difficult to get a good roll on the ball. This would apply to pretty much every mat though.
Unlike a lot of putting mats, it comes pre-printed with a number of markings to help you set up squarely to the ball. Having the correct setup is one of the most important aspects of being a successful putter.
No matter how accurate the rifle, poor aim will cause you to miss the target every time. Putting is no different and the PuttOut Pro is an ideal companion to help you improve your lining up.
Being a somewhat frugal golfer I use the mat on its own although will sometimes add items to improve my putter path or the path of the ball.
For those of you looking for a complete solution then the PuttOut Pro offers a number of accessories to enhance your practice sessions.
PuttOut Pressure Putt Trainer: This is a scientifically shaped target that will improve your putting.
It is designed to improve both the pace of your putts and their aim.
Should your putts have too much speed then the PuttOut Trainer will send the ball back the same distance the ball would have gone past the hole. Similarly, inaccurate puts will be rejected.
Good putts would be returned to you and perfect puts would finish in the hole. It folds almost flat when you need to store it.
PuttOut Putting Mirror and Alignment Gate. You can use the mirror in a number of positions to help you improve your alignment and stroke. You can lay it flat to see what your putter path is like using the alignment gates.
You can even prop the mirror up to view your head position while you are putting. The putting gate can be placed at some point on the ball’s target line to check you are starting the ball correctly.
I did try using the gate that comes with the putting mirror and found that it was too difficult for my quality of putting. There are some other gates available however in slightly larger sizes.
All in all these products make for an excellent putting training solution. Even if like me you only decide to opt for the mat then it should improve your putting.
- Heavy-duty backing means it should work well on a variety of surfaces.
- Easy to store with its own drawstring bag.
- Designed to run at 10 on the Stimpmeter. So should be quick enough for the majority of amateurs to practice on.
- Seems to have good feedback from users.
- No putting cups included as standard you would have to buy a PuttOut Trainer or some other add-on.
- There is no way to adjust speed or to add break. Unless of course, the floor of your house has some built-in slope!
Some others to consider:
SKLZ Accelerator Pro
Produced by the SKLZ company which make a wide variety of golf training aids. I currently have a chipping mat manufactured by them.
The big advantage that this mat has over the PuttOut is it has a built-in cup and will return successful putts to you.
The downside seems to be some people have trouble actually getting the mat to flatten out enough to use.
I think the layout of the PuttOut Pro is better suited to help you if you are working on your alignment too.
- Ball return function
- Alignment guides
- The steep incline seems a little excessive
- It May be difficult to get the mat to flatten out
Abaco Tech Synthetic Turf Putting Practice Indoor Golf Mat
This mat appears to be a little bit gimmicky to me. In addition to the putting surface, there is a collar of what might be termed fringe grass around the perimeter of the mat. It does have the benefit of two different holes. One of the holes features an alignment aid and is significantly smaller than a normal golf hole. If you are able to hole out regularly to that hole it would definitely boost your confidence on the course. That is the only alignment aid built into the mat so you would need to add some alignment sticks or some other mechanism to help groove your putter path.
- Super small training hole
- Some complaints about build quality including some of the fringe grass tending to shed.
JEF World of Golf Hazard Deluxe Putting Mat
Similar to the SKLZ mat, featuring a ball return mechanism. It also has a ‘water hazard’ and ‘bunker’. Pretty pointless in my opinion.
Looking at online feedback suggests quality is not the best
- Ball return
- Lower quality
Perfect Practice Perfect Putting Mat – Official Putting Mat of Dustin Johnson
If you’re looking for a mat with the tour endorsement then look no further. The current world number one has put his signature to this particular mat.
Another mat that features a ball return mechanism although this does appear to be made from wood which means it seemed a little more luxurious. However, for the price, it really ought to. A number of different models are available some featuring two different holes both of which are smaller than the normal golf hole.
Endorsed by Dustin Johnson. It’s difficult to believe there can be many occasions where he would need to use an indoor putting mat. Tour pros are generally playing in the best weather.
- Some alignment aids
- Ball return mechanism
- Higher quality feel
- Hole sizes are smaller to encourage greater accuracy
Loowoko Wood Golf Putting Green Mat
At first glance this appears to be a copy of the Dustin Johnson endorsed model.
You would be right it is just a copy of the perfect practice putting mat. It is significantly cheaper, however. It would appear to have a lot of very satisfied customers so it might be worth a punt if you are looking for a mat featuring a built-in ball return mechanism.
- Looks good due to the wooden construction of the ball return
- Cheaper than the Perfect Practice
- As with most other mats, some people do complain that it is difficult to get the mat flat.
VariSpeed Putting System
This is about the only mat I’ve seen that would make me consider swapping from my PuttOut mat.
Firstly it comes with a brush that allows you to adjust the speed of the mat. It also has what it calls a break wedge which allows you to set up slopes in the mat so you can practice putts that aren’t dead straight.
- One of the few mats that allow you to practice breaking puts
- Speed is adjustable
- Not the cheapest
SharperGolf 10′ x 20″ Premium Indoor Putting Mat
Considering what you get in the box this is arguably the best value for money. In addition to the putting mat, you get a putting mirror as well.
The mat is marked with holes at either end so you can putt from one into the other. There are some alignment lines to help you although I still think the PuttOut has some of the best markings built into the mat. For the price, it’s hard to argue with this mat though.
- Putting mirror included
- Some complaints about it not rolling out flat
If you’re looking for something a little more personalized then you should probably take a look at BirdieBall.
They will personalize your putting mat with a logo of your choice. They also have a number of other customizations. For example the number of flags/holes, speed, dimensions and one thing that I haven’t noticed from any other manufacturer, a stance mat.
While most putting mats are only quite thin you are still effectively standing below the level of the ball. BirdieBall offers you the option of a stance Matt could be the same thickness as your main putting mat.
- Putting Mats appear to be their specialty
- Can start to get expensive
Odyssey 12 Foot Putting Mat
Brought to you by a company that produces some of the best putters so you would expect a high-quality mat. Featuring a slight incline as you reach the holes forcing you to strike the putts with authority. You can also use a foam wedge to create breaking putts.
- Brought to you by one of the best putter brands
- Selection of holes so you can vary your aim.
- Seems to have a few negative comments with regard to how well the ball rolls and how flat the mat is
Big Moss Competitor V2 Putting Green
A more expensive model but does seem well-liked by golfers. Now comes with what they call a break snake which allows you to create custom contours to practice breaking puts.
- A well-regarded manufacturer
- Good quality
- Relatively expensive
A well-respected name in the industry they produce a number of options for those with deeper pockets and plenty of space. For example, their 10′ x 12′ combo mat will give you a good size parking area along with a heating mat for your golf simulator needs.
Wellputt offers a wide variety of putting mats ranging from 10 feet up to a mammoth 26 feet. Endorsed by Cameron McCormick the mats are generally well-received. However, not everyone is going to have the space for a mat of 13 or 26 feet in length.
Wellputt Big Tilt
Looking to create a more realistic putting experience? Then you’re going to need something which can recreate the slopes you get on a normal green. Wellputt has devised the Big Tilt platform.
If you have deep pockets then this could be the putting mat to end all putting mats. I believe the product is priced at $18,500.
Indoor Putting Green Reviews: Conclusion
So that’s my rundown of indoor putting greens.
I purchased the PuttOut Pro around 18 months ago (Nov 2019) and haven’t regretted it since.
Personally I think the ball return mechanisms are a little bit gimmicky. If you really feel the need to get the ball returned then either use the PuttOut trainer or get one of those old-fashioned ball return machines.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
What is an indoor putting green?
An indoor putting green is merely a surface created to mimic the characteristics of a golf green. It allows you to practice your putting stroke when you are unable to visit the golf course.
They can range from very basic up to very complicated. Incorporating features such as ball return mechanisms, alignment aids and the ability to add slopes.
Are putting mats worth it?
Firstly it would depend on how much you are prepared to spend both in time and money. If you are not going to spend much time practicing then there’s probably not much point in getting a putting mat. If you’re only prepared to buy the absolute cheapest then again it’s probably not worth it since the performance is unlikely to be great.
However, if you are prepared to put the effort in and get a reasonably decent mat (around $100) then it should be. A few minutes of practice every day should see you improving your scores.
Is it bad to practice putting on the carpet?
I wouldn’t recommend working on distance control unless you have a carpet with a short pile. Even then you would probably be better off getting a properly designed putting mat.
If you are merely working on the mechanics of your stroke then there is nothing stopping you from working on that on your carpet at home. For example, if you’re worried about the path of your putter head on short putts. You could straighten it out by practicing up against the skirting board. Alternatively, you could place two clubs parallel, a putter head width apart, and use that as a guide for working on your stroke.
Do you look at the ball when putting?
In a lot of other ball games, your focus will be on the target rather than the ball itself. For example, Jordan Spieth will turn to look at the hole when attempting a short putt.
Some studies have shown that even amateur golfers can benefit from looking at the hole rather than the ball. The best thing to do is to give it a try yourself. test out whether you tend to leave the ball closer to the hole when looking at the hole or looking at the ball.
I’ve personally tried looking at the hole and also putt with my eyes closed, but for me, it didn’t seem to make a significant difference.
What is a Stimpmeter?
A Stimpmeter is a device for measuring the speed of greens. It is actually a very simple device. A V-shaped length of metal with a notch near one end. A ball is placed in the notch and the Stimpmeter is lifted slowly until the ball is dislodged from the notch.
How far the ball rolls after leaving the Stimpmeter in feet is the stimp reading.
You would generally perform this measurement on a flat piece of green and do it in opposite directions and then take the average. Professional Tournaments generally have greens running between eleven and thirteen. Typical private courses might be around 9 or 10. Your average municipal course is probably more like 8.