4 Reasons Why You Need an Indoor Putting Mat
It’s almost fall, and you know what that means — golf season is ending for many of us!
I know. It’s terrible. We all hate to leave the golf course and long for the warm return of spring to welcome a new season. There will never be a replacement for a real golf course, but there are plenty of ways to avoid a winter slump.
As you’ll probably guess from its name, a putting mat is a portable, indoor solution to your golfing needs. It helps players scratch that itch when they can’t play at the country club. More importantly, a good putting mat helps you maintain those gorgeous, straight putts — even when the weather won’t allow you to play.
Are Indoor Putting Greens Worth It?
One of the most common questions you’ll encounter online is whether or not an indoor putting green is worth its price tag. Some players see these tools as cliché office putting mat setups, little more than a bit of turf with a cup at the end.
However, today’s high-quality putting mats offer players the feeling of real grass without the cost and commute. These miniaturized versions of indoor greens are the perfect way to maintain your form, although we don’t recommend trying any chipping drills indoors! (Unless you have a chipping mat, that is.) Even the pros love their putting mats!
Aside from its obvious function as a putting improvement tool, an indoor putting green can help you improve your:
So, summarily, yes! A very high-quality indoor putting green is well worth its cost.
1. Practice Putting Whenever You Want
One of the most obvious benefits of practice putting mats is their unrivaled accessibility.
Many of the best indoor putting greens feature tour-grade turf, offering realistic roll and plenty of ways to practice your putt. Moreover, thanks to their size, indoor putting mats are easy to roll and store, so you can easily practice putting indoors wherever and whenever you please.
You’ll also find plenty of options to choose from. In addition to larger chipping mat rolls, many indoor putting green manufacturers have multiple sizes to choose from. After all, we don’t all have a spacious open-concept room to practice putting; many of us have limited space.
One of the best examples of the versatility of putting mats is the Perfect Practice Putting Mat, available in 3 different sizes. The “compact” Perfect Practice putting mat is 8 feet (2.4 meters) long, making it a strong contender for the best indoor putting green title. However, this tour-quality indoor green is also available as a “standard” 9.5-foot (2.9-meter) roll or an “extra large” 15.5-foot (4.7-meter) putting green. Both the standard and XL mats also have two hole sizes, with a smaller option to practice precision putts.
2. Alignment Aids Make Practice Easier
You may also save money on coaching.
While indoor putting greens have evolved significantly over the years. In the past, they were little more than strips of synthetic turf, but modern putting practice greens commonly include alignment aids and lines to help you coach your own practice sessions. When paired with additional aids, such as a putting mirror, players can turn a few minutes of downtime into an amazing putting stroke drill.
Obviously, most putting mats are purpose-built for practicing your next putt and classic stroke, but you can also polish your breaking putts. Most tour-quality mats feature straight lines by default, but you can easily gauge your stroke’s deviance thanks to the realistic roll of many indoor putting greens.
Even the pros swear by a putting mat. Tour pros — such as Dustin Johnson — have endorsed the use of indoor putting green mats.
3. Avoid Costly Upkeep and Maintenance
Now, anyone with a lawn could easily create their own outdoor golf course. By definition, using such a setup would not be indoor putting practice. It would also cost a lot of money to maintain. You’ll end up paying for tour-quality grass, regular maintenance, and a massive amount of water. Even outdoor turf can be expensive.
Fortunately, an indoor putting green is a much simpler solution. These miniaturized putting greens may not give you the flexibility of an outdoor “course,” but you’ll still get the true roll and feel of playing on real grass. Assuming your choice has a high-quality surface, you’re looking at very low maintenance. In fact, the only thing you need to worry about is if your putting mat lays flat.
Some mats make it even easier to turn free time into practice sessions. For example, the 8.2-foot (2.5-meter) Roll-A-Putt putting mat uses a unique spooling system. Whenever you’re in the mood to practice putting, just unroll your mat, ensure the turf lays flat, and polish your skills for future putts. Many of the best indoor putting greens are similarly simple, requiring little more than 3 steps to use.
4. It’s Better Than Carpet
Finally, an official putting mat is always preferable to your everyday carpet.
Aside from its lack of alignment lines and lack of grass-like texture, a carpet just isn’t the best way to practice putting. Even if your carpet does lay flat on your floor, it offers a vastly different experience. Balls tend to wobble on a carpet, and thicker fabrics force you to hit the golf ball harder than you normally would to get the same results.
All of these factors make it harder for players to practice putting on the living room rug. You’ll never get a prime putt from your standard pile, and that fluffy office carpet isn’t going to improve your distance control.
However, an indoor putting green with a rubber backing is the closest you’ll get to playing on the same surface as the pros in your own home. Moreover, thanks to the included alignment lines and regulation gold cups, you’ll have plenty of built-in ways to polish your indoor putting skills.
Quick Tips to Find the Perfect Practice Putting Mat
With all that said, you’re probably ready to snag your very own putting mat. Don’t put all your golf balls in one bucket, though! First, know what to look for in an indoor putting mat. The best option does more than fit in your office. It should also help you practice putting comfortably, safely, and quickly.
Look for Easy-to-Use Putting Mats
Most putting mats have a 3-step process. You roll it out, smooth it out, and play.
However, many high-end putting mats — like the Perfect Putting Mat Acrylic Edition — come with a built-in ball return. Once your golf ball sinks into those regulation golf cups, you just have to wait for it to come back. Comparatively, other mats lack this feature, and you’ll have to pull your ball from the hole after each putt.
Where Are You Practicing?
You’ll also want to consider the mat’s portability.
While options like the Perfect Putting V4 mat are great for your home, they can be a bit bulky for office use. Consider, instead, the spooling Roll-A-Putt putting mat.
Larger mats will be less portable. A breaking ball putting mat may work well in your recreation room, but it probably won’t fit in your office desk’s cabinet.
You also want to seek out putting mats with a rubber backing. This prevents the mat from slipping and sliding on slicker floors, such as tile or hardwood. Aside from stability, this grippy base provides putting mats with more traction as you smooth them out, ensuring that the roll lays flat and offers the best putting practice possible.
Find the Right Surface
Your final (or, perhaps, your first) consideration is the surface of your indoor putting green. You want to find something that mimics real grass and provides a realistic roll. Even the best alignment aids can’t save you from a cheap indoor putting mat, as your golf balls won’t act naturally.
Velvet and felt are some of the best indoor putting green features. This combination of materials acts much like a grassy course, providing golf balls with “true roll” and realistic trajectories. Many mats with this surfacing are considered tour-quality practice tools.
Practice Putting Anywhere
Is an indoor putting green the right choice for you?
Whether you’re looking for a breaking ball putting mat or an everyday practice surface, the best indoor putting green gives you the tools to keep yourself at the top of your game. You’ll be able to practice putting from the comfort of your own home, all while avoiding the maintenance associated with backyard golf areas.
Just remember to perfect your putting form. Keep your grip tight. Otherwise, you may have to explain to your insurance how a putter made its way through your office window.