Whether you are trying to save a bit of money on all those buckets at the range or just want to practice more often, you’ll need a good setup at home to practice. One key piece of equipment you’ll need is a golf mat (the other is a golf net). You don’t want to tear up your backyard leaving divots everywhere and you certainly don’t want to hit off hard surfaces when you practice indoors. How do you pick the best golf mat and what should you look out for? Here is our advice on it.
Qualities to Look for:
- Durability: You will use all your clubs to practice. This means the mat must be able to hold up to your irons, woods and wedges. When it comes to durability not all golf mats are created equal.
- Design: Take a close look at the quality of the materials used. For the best golf mat you want a backing that will keep it in place on a hard surface. A sloped edge is also good as minimizes impact on your club should you hit the edge.
- Price: Buy what suits your budget and keep in mind that even ranges replaces their mats from time to time.
- Size: Check that the mat is big enough to use with all your clubs and that you have space to move the ball around a bit to reduce wear on just one spot. This way it’s sure to last even longer.
- Tees: Ideally you want a mat that lets you replace the tees. As you know, tees break. Or perhaps you just want to use a higher or lower tee. This allows you to increase your practice range.
- Authentic feel: for a truly “real feel” the best golf mat will give you feedback on your shot and won’t jar your wrists and elbows when you hit of firmer surfaces.
The 5 Best Golf Mat Reviews
Callaway FT Launch Zone Hitting Mat
Callaway certainly needs no introduction and their golf mat is true to their reputation. The mat measures 16 x 8 x 1 inches and has a true-turf surface that simulates hitting off a real fairway. The construction is high quality and a unique tee holder lets you use any tee you want. Excellent shock absorption is taken care of by a durable rubber backing. The heavy rubber backing also ensures that it will not slide or shift around when you hit balls. For the level of quality it’s reasonably priced at under $20 (on Amazon).
The one downside of the Callaway FT Launch Zone is that it is very small. If you’re a beginner, or just want a larger hitting surface, then you may want to consider a bigger mat.
Overall, the combination of quality hitting surface, and budget price makes the Callaway one of the best golf practice mats available.
Emerald Par Golf Mat (3′ x 5′)
From mat specialists All Turf Mats, the Emerald Par Golf Mat measures in at 3 feet x 5 feet, and has a 5mm foam backing to reduce club shock when you hit the mat. The thicker backing also makes this mat suitable for use on any surfaces including concrete or wood. The surface is made from ½ in. woven nylon turf, which is very durable and comfortable to hit off of. The mat also includes a 2 in. rubber wooden tee holder so you can practice your drives.
Unlike the Callaway Hitting Mat (above), the Emerald Par is large enough so that you can also stand on it while practicing. Some players may prefer a wider mat, but for most, this is more than enough.
There are not many negative points to the Emerald Par Golf Mat — with a great mid-range price of $79.99, and superb durability (includes 1 year manufacturers warranty and 8 year fade warranty) it is easily one of the best golf mats on the market today.
Want a wider mat? Check out the similar 4′ x 5′ Monster Tee Golf Mat from All Turf Mats.
Jef World of Golf Fairway / Rough Practice Mat
Always in the rough? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This unique golf mat offers a solution to your problem. It features a dual sided hitting surface, so you can simulate shots from the rough or the fairway. It also comes with 3 different sized rubber tees, so you can practice your woods and driver (make sure you have a good golf net!).
The Jef World of Golf Practice Mat is very small (1′ x 2′), which makes it portable to move around, but can also be very limiting as each surface is only 1/2 foot wide. The back is made with heavy duty rubber which helps prevent the mat from shifting when being used. The surface material is a bit cheaper than other high end mats, but for only $25, you can’t ask for much more.
If you are looking for a simple mat for chipping practice, or a small mat you can move around without hassle, then this may be the mat for you.
Country Club Elite Real Feel Golf Mat (4′ x 4′)
Want the best of the best? Then look no further than the Country Club Elite Real Feel Golf Mat. It is used by the finest country clubs and golf academies in the world, including LPGA legend Annika Sorenstam’s Golf Academy. It is certainly better than the mats you will find at your local driving range.
The one factor that makes the Country Club Elite so much better than other golf mats is its deep “real feel” turf. With most other mats, your club will simply bounce/skid off the surface, but with the Country Club Elite, your club will be able to sink down into and through the turf (just like real grass). This will help you simulate the results you would get on an actual course. If you hit a solid shot, your club will flow freely though the turf, but if you hit a fat shot (too far behind the ball), your club will be held up by the turf, and resulting in a chunked shot. In fact the turf is so deep, you can stick a real tee right into the mat!
If you want to simulate real course conditions, then the Country Club Elite is simply the best golf mat on the market. The only downside is that it will cost you a fat $319.
Also see the larger (5′ x 5′) version here: Real Feel Golf Mat 5′ x 5′
SKLZ Glide Pad Divot Simulator Golf Mat
Want to simulate real grass conditions, but can’t fathom spending $300+ on the Country Club Elite Golf Mat (see above)? Don’t worry, the team at SKLZ has you covered. The SKLZ Glide Pad Golf Mat simulates natural grass feel with its unique sliding function. As you swing down and through the ball, the mat will actually slide forward to simulate the feeling of creating a divot. The turf is also thick enough that you can stick a tee into it and practice your driver.
The SKLZ Glide Pad hitting surface is quite small (10″ x 19″), so it is probably not suited for absolute beginners.
Check out promo video below to see the mat in action:
Although the SKLZ mat does not simulate the real grass/divot feeling quite as well as the Country Club Elite Golf Mat, it is less than 1/2 of the price ($149 on Amazon). So, if you are looking for a value alternative, then this may be the best golf mat for you!
Also check out the similar FairwayPro Divot Simulator Golf Mat