If you are on the lookout for a putting mat these days it is hard to escape the marketing of a Perfect Practice putting mat.
The mat is heavily endorsed by many PGA pros and with Dustin Johnson as the face of the marketing campaign it would seem that there is only one logical choice for the average golfer to make when it comes to buying a putting mat.
But is the Perfect Practice putting mat actually any good?
We have spent hours and hours testing one and comparing it directly to other putting mats across various categories including set up, build quality, usability, features and of course price. We even tested its claimed speed with a stimpmeter!
And in this post we take a look at what we found to help you decide for yourself whether you think a Perfect Practice putting mat is worth it.
Setting Up and Storing the Perfect Practice Putting Mat
When it comes to set up the Perfect Practice putting mat is easy to get ready for a practice putting session.
It only takes a couple of minutes to unroll the mat itself and put together all the pieces which include a ball chute return and backboard.
The ball chute return also has built into it helpful little magnets which makes attaching the four separate wooden pieces which form it very straight forward and after that you are ready to get practicing your putting.
The short video below demonstrates what you need to do to set up the Perfect Practice putting mat.
As you will see from this video it is an easy process but like many putting mats the end of the Perfect Practice putting mat does not always lay flat straight out of the box or after having been rolled up in storage.
There are two ways to get a Perfect Practice mat to lay flat. The first is to leave the mat rolled out for a period up to 24 hours after which the mat will settle and smooth out. The second is to use an iron to flatten out the mat which is possible due to the Crystal Velvet material unique to Perfect Practice putting mats.
This ability to iron the mat to get it to lay flat is a unique feature to the Perfect Practice putting mat which we have not seen in other putting mats we have tested due to them being in general made of a carpet like material.
The high quality carpet fibre putting mats we have tested – such as the PuttOut and Wellputt mats – do also settle to lie flat shortly after being rolled out but in terms of giving extra confidence to the user that the Perfect Practice putting mat is giving them a smooth surface to practice their putting on the ability to iron it is a nice touch.
The Perfect Practice putting mat however is not perfect with regard to set up and by definition storage despite this feature though for a couple of reasons.
Firstly many golfers simply do not have the desire or space to leave a putting mat lying out constantly to ensure it is flat and secondly due the thickness of the mat it can take a little bit of time to get rid of any bumps due to the material of the mat being quite thick.
I must confess also to getting a bit lazy on occasion and can’t often be bothered to wait a few hours or run an iron over the putting mat when I have a rolled up putting mat beside it which takes only seconds to roll out and lay flat.
This is probably me splitting hairs though and the Perfect Practice putting mat is unquestionably easy to set up and provides an excellent high quality surface for players to hone their putting stroke on.
If you are looking for differentiators with other mats however it is also without question bulkier than others and is not as simple to pack up and store, and also take with you wherever you want to practice your putting whether that be in the office or on vacation.
[Note – to see our direct comparison review of 6 other popular putting mats check out our post here.]
Quality of the Perfect Practice putting mat
When it comes to the build quality of the Perfect Practice putting mat it is clearly an excellent product.
On opening the box after you buy it the first thing you will notice is the smell of the wood it is made from which is a sign of the high quality materials it is built with.
Many other mats we have tested, particularly those which include ramps, are typically made of cheaper plastic and so it was a pleasant feeling to use a putting mat that has clearly been designed and built to an excellent standard.
The extra touch of building magnets into the ball return pieces is another sign of the attention to detail that has gone into the making of the Perfect Practice mat as has its use of unique Crystal Velvet material featuring Tru-Roll Technology for the putting surface of the mat itself.
Virtually all other putting mats on the market are made with carpet fibres to create a putting surface and many of these are of varying quality that do not give a true roll when you strike a putt.
Due to the quality of the materials used in the product the Perfect Practice putting mat does not have these issues and the quality of the product is tough to question.
How Does the Perfect Practice Putting Mat Work? Features & Usability
You may think it a bit of a daft question to consider how a putting mat works.
Surely you just roll it out and get practicing your putting but different manufacturers of putting mats on the market take different approaches to the putting practice options they give to golfers through different features or markings they add to their putting mat.
So how does the Perfect Practice putting mat work to provide golfers with ways to improve their putting?
The Perfect Practice putting mat works by having two tracks of markings that golfers putt along to both a standard size and miniature target hole. Both holes are set at the top of a ramp to encourage players to strike the ball firmly with short putts and three sizes of mat allow practice from 7.5 feet, 9 feet and 15 feet.
The three available sizes of Perfect Practice putting mats – the Compact, Standard and XL edition – are all marked the same way and although each allows different maximum distances of putting practice the tracks on all these mats have clear markings to indicate how far you are putting from all the way down to increments of 0.1 of one foot.
When you buy a Perfect Practice putting mat there is also an accompanying smartphone app that gives plenty of hints and tips to guide players to practice their putting better including a ‘5-Day system’ to help you get started.
I must confess I am not a particular fan of putting mats that include ramps up to the hole however that is a personal preference of mine and in no way diminishes the quality of putting practice sessions you can put in using the Perfect Practice putting mat.
The inclusion of a reduced size hole in particular is an excellent feature that is intended to reduce lip outs when golfers get back to a golf green on the course by improving their accuracy through being forced to focus on a smaller target.
And the ball return chute makes it easy for users to hit a load of putts consistently from one distance.
The only feature it misses when compared to other popular mats on the market is any markings that help guide players with the length of their putting stroke and encourage putting strokes that ‘accelerate’ through the ball.
This is what the ramp is intended to get you to do by itself and so again is a matter of personal preference as to what markings and features you prefer on your putting mat to encourage you to make a positive putting stroke.
How Much Does the Perfect Practice Putting Mat Cost?
The Perfect Practice putting mat is a good quality product but that quality is then reflected in the price.
I always look at the $100 mark as being a line in the sand when it comes to putting mats and for any mats that go above that mark I am definitely looking for extra features and justification for that higher price.
The game of golf is expensive enough as it is without adding in the cost of any training aids into the amount of money it costs any golfer to play the game regularly on a golf course or driving range.
When it comes to price therefore a Perfect Practice mat is one of the higher priced mats on the market and although it is a good quality product it would be remiss of us not to be clear that there are cheaper putting mats out there which are of good quality and therefore offer better value for money.
What is expensive to one individual however is clearly different compared to another so to help summarise the Perfect Practice putting mat options out there we have added the table below to provide a summary of the details of what versions are available.
And if you are interested in buying a Perfect Practice putting mat you can check out the latest price on Amazon now through the links included.
|PERFECT PRACTICE PUTTING MAT||MAT LENGTH (MAX PUTT LENGTH)||WIDTH||HOLES||COLOUR OPTIONS||PRICE|
|Compact Edition||8 feet (7.5 feet)||0.75 feet||1 (2.5″)||x1 (Green)||Approx.$160|
|Standard Edition||9 feet 6″ (9 feet)||1.25 feet||2 (2.5″, 4.25″ standard)||x27 (Green,Barstool, US Colleges)||Approx.$190|
|XL Edition||15 feet 6″ (15 feet)||1.25 feet||2 (2.5″, 4.25″ standard)||x1 (Green)||Approx.$230|
How Fast is the Perfect Practice Putting Mat?
When it comes to putting golfers can get a bit obsessed about green speed and so when anyone looks at a putting mat it is often a key consideration how fast it is.
The manufacturers of the Perfect Practice putting mat claim that the mat will roll out at between 10 feet and 14 feet on a stimpmeter with quicker speeds being achieved when the mat is rolled out on hard floors compared to thick carpets.
But rather than just take their word for it we took our own stimpmeter to see how fast our own standard edition of the Perfect Practice putting mat was.
The Perfect Practice standard mat measures between 11 and 13 feet on a stimpmeter when rolled out on a hard kitchen tile floor. The speed varies depending on the surface it is laid out on and compares to a regular golf course green reading of 8 feet and the speed of PGA Tour greens that most weeks measure at about 12 feet.
As the short video of our stimpmeter test of how fast our Perfect Practice putting mat measured shows however these speeds are unconfirmed due to the ramp on the mat.
To accurately measure the speed of a putting mat the golf ball should be allowed to roll out by itself on a completely flat surface to enable a speed to be recorded but as you can see the ball consistently rolls up the ramp and over the end of the mat.
The ramp itself is clearly not a flat surface and because there is not enough length of mat to allow the ball to roll out when sent down the stimpmeter we can only estimate the speed of a Perfect Practice putting mat.
A speed of between 11 feet and 13 feet seems a fair assessment given the speed the ball rolls over the back of the mat, and given the standard edition mat’s overall length of 9 feet 6 inches, but as the manufacturers admit this speed will vary according to the type of floor surface you place the mat on.
And for those of you who are interested this compares to the greens at a US Open or USPGA which will usually get anywhere from 13 to 14 feet on the stimpmeter while on the slippery surfaces of Augusta the reading can get as high as 15 as they dry out in the sun.
At the British Open things are a bit slower due to the winds that are typical on links courses and the R&A therefore sets a maximum speed of 10.5 feet.
Compared to that however a lot of home and office carpets and rugs, particularly those with a tighter nap, will measure about 15 to 18 feet on the stimpmeter.
And a cheap nylon level-loop pile carpet can even be higher than 20!
[Note – In another article we go into detail as to why practicing on a putting mat is better for your putting than putting on a home carpet and you check it out here.]
Perfect Practice vs Wellputt putting mats
Carry out a simple search for a putting mat on the Internet and you will be faced with literally hundreds of choices one of the most prominent of which will be the Perfect Practice putting mat.
But how does it stack up against other popular putting mats on the market of which there are many good ones?
One of these is the Wellputt putting mat which comes in three varying sizes – 10 feet, 13 feet and 26 feet – and which I also own and have tested over hours and hours.
So here is our take on the Perfect Practice vs. Wellputt putting mat match up.
Both the Perfect Practice and Wellputt mats are good products that are equally effective at enabling golfers to practice and improve their putting. With little difference in price the key variance is the ramp and holes on the Perfect Practice mat that do not exist on flat Wellputt mats that are easier to set up and store.
Another key point of variance between the two mats is the fabric of the putting surface.
While the Wellputt mats are made of a carpet fibre material the Perfect Practice mats are made of a unique Crystal Velvet material which is more similar to the cover you would find on a domestic ironing board.
Indeed the Perfect Practice putting mats can be ironed to ensure an entirely flat surface.
From a personal perspective however I prefer the Wellputt putting mat to the Perfect Practice mat for the following reasons:
- It is quicker to set up and easier to store in the box it came in.
- It includes markings to guide golfers to ensure they accelerate through the ball with their putting stroke.
- It is flat and does not include a ramp which has increased my tendency to hit the ball too hard on the course.
If I am honest though the second and third of these reasons are entirely subjective and only the first reason can legitimately be seen to be an objective and clear differentiator between the two mats.
So in short my view is that if you want a putting mat with a ramp and ball return you will prefer the Perfect Practice and if you prefer the ease of set up and storage of a flat Wellputt mat you will consider it the better option.
Both putting mats are without doubt excellent products on which your putting practice will not go far wrong and certain individual features on the two mats will push you one way or the other.
One final thing though to consider though is that only the Wellputt mats offer an option – a 26-foot mat – which allows you to practice distance control with your longer putts as well as your stroke on short putts.
Whether you have a space or not to accommodate such a large mat though is another matter and therefore whether such an option would make a difference to your final decision.
And if you are interested in checking out a visual review and comparison of the two mats side by side check out our YouTube video below.
To see the latest price of a Wellputt putting mat on Amazon now you can click on the links below:
Perfect Practice vs. PuttOut putting mat
While the Perfect Practice putting mat is unquestionably one of the most popular putting mats on the market there are plenty of other good quality products for golfers out there to consider.
One of these is the PuttOut putting mat which I also own in addition to the Perfect Practice mat and here is my take on the Perfect Practice versus PuttOut match up after spending hours and hours using both.
Perfect Practice mats allow short putt practice up to 7.5, 9 and 15 feet while the PuttOut mat comes in only one size for putting up to only 6 feet. The PuttOut is flat and easier to set up and store while the Perfect Practice includes a ramp and ball return. The key difference is price with the PuttOut being much cheaper.
Another key point of variance between the two mats is the fabric of the putting surface.
While the putting surface of the Perfect Practice mats are made of a Crystal Velvet material that is similar to the cover you would find on an ironing board the PuttOut mats are made of carpet fibres with a Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) backing to ensure they grip any flat surface they are laid out on.
Indeed the Perfect Practice putting mats can be ironed to ensure an entirely flat surface.
Beyond these differences in how the mats are designed the key factor when it comes to differentiating between the Perfect Practice putting mat and the PuttOut is price.
With both being excellent quality products which allow users to effectively practice and improve their putting stroke anyone thinking about whether to buy one or the other will first and last in my view be influenced by price.
Yes, the Perfect Practice mat allows the practice of longer putts but while it is priced well over the $100 mark the PuttOut putting typically comes in at less than $100 making the price difference quite substantial.
If money is no object you will move on to comparing the features of both mats and on this point it is again likely to come down to your preference of a flat mat vs. one with a ramp and ball return but if price and value for money is the key factor in your purchase decision the PuttOut is the clear winner.
And it even comes with a handy storage bag, which no other good quality mat on the market does, to let you easily take it with you to wherever you want to practice your putting!
If you are interested in buying a PuttOut Pro putting mat you can check out the latest price on Amazon now:
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