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After reading a bunch of reviews about the ‘best indoor putting mats’, some of which I was pretty sure hadn’t even seen the product never mind used it, I decided to take matters into my own hands and went out and bought 7 putting mats and tested them all against six different categories to find out which was the best one.
I even bought a stimpmeter to measure how fast each of the putting mats is as part of the hours of testing I did to discover what the best practice putting is.
Wellputt’s mat is the best indoor putting mat based on hours of testing in the categories of set up, quality, usability, storage, features and price. It measures a speed of between 10ft to 11ft and is available in 3 size options of 10ft, 13ft and 26ft. Puttout Pro’s mat is the best value due to being priced under $100.
While some of the differences I found came down to a matter of personal preference as to which one you may choose there were clear factors that separated them, especially when it came to build quality, and we look at all the results of our in-depth testing in detail in the remainder of this post.
What Makes a Good Putting Mat?
When it comes to assessing what makes a good putting mat there are of course no official industry agreed standards which you can simply compare each one against and make your decision from there.
Each putting mat is designed differently, is made of different materials by different companies, is priced differently and is aimed at different types of consumers.
To make a valued comparison of each of the seven putting mats we bought however we spent hours testing each of the mats against the following categories which we determined were the most important to assess what makes a good putting mat:
- SET UP – A good putting mat needs to be easy to set up to encourage regular practice.
- BUILD QUALITY – Putting mats should be built to last and not degrade after hours of putting practice.
- USABILITY – At its most basic a putting mat must be easy to use and provide simple and effective ways to practice your putting stroke for hours and hours.
- STORAGE – Where space is an issue, or where users want to take a putting mat with them on trips, a good putting mat will allow users to easily store and transport it.
- FEATURES – A good putting mat will allow varied and interesting putting practice and supply effective and fun putting exercises. It will also come in various size options to suit different needs of different players.
- SPEED – Effective putting mats will roll at a speed roughly comparable to greens on a course to allow accurate putting practice.
- PRICE – A good putting mat will finally be value for money and be clearly and fairly priced.
Any testing of any product will of course have an element of subjectivity.
Specific elements of a putting mat may be favoured by one particular golfer over another however as a general rule we believe a comparison of putting mats during hours of testing across these categories provides an accurate and effective assessment of each of their individual pros and cons.
How Long Should a Putting Mat be?
One specific question that golfers consistently ask prior to buying a putting mat however is how long a putting mat should be.
Golf greens on a golf course are typically large and are of course not able to be replicated in a home or office environment.
So anyone planning to buy a putting mat wants to ensure that whatever practice they can do on it will enable their putting to improve when it comes to getting back on the course.
And to that end it is important to consider what length a putting mat should be to enable this to happen.
As a general rule a putting mat should be at least 6ft long to enable golfers to work effectively on their putting stroke. Putting mats that enable golfers to also work on their distance control need to allow practice putts of up to 30ft in length but such long mats are difficult for most golfers to find space for at home.
When it comes to putting there are two fundamentals that any golfer, professional or amateur, needs to get right:
- Learning to putt so the ball rolls ‘end over end’ in a straight line, and
- Putting the golf ball consistently the correct distance.
Both of these fundamentals require a consistent solid strike from the middle of putter club face and the simple way to achieve that is through a great putting stroke.
Thankfully your home or office is the perfect place to create a perfect putting stroke for the simple reason that the conditions are totally controlled.
And if you add a putting mat into the mix you will then have a great set up to hone your putting stroke and start to improve your conversion strike rate for short putts in particular.
The complication for putting mats however comes with the second fundamental mentioned above in terms of learning to consistently putt the ball the correct distance.
Because according to Columbia Business School Professor, and pioneer of the ‘strokes gained’ metric, Mark Broadie, the stats show that the quickest way for the average golfer to take strokes of their score is to reduce the number of times that they three putt from between 11ft to 30ft.
And that is based on the fact that on average on 9 greens every round the average golfer’s first putt distance takes place from those distances and as a result of leaving their first putt too far away from the hole they are 7-times more likely to three putt than a PGA Tour player!
So if you are looking to shave a number of strokes off your score get focusing on those mid to longer-range putts.
Unfortunately having a putting mat that is 30ft long is not straight forward for every golfer based on space constraints at home or family life not allowing it.
But if having such a long putting mat set up in your home or office is possible that would be the ideal length to work on both the two fundamentals of putting and practice both your short putts as well as those mid to long range putts which cause the average golfer so many problems.
Understandably though not all putting mats are available in long sizes and below we list in the table the length options available in the putting mats we tested.
|PUTTING MAT||LENGTH OPTIONS|
|Champkey PUTTECH PRO||1 option – 8ft 9in|
|FORB Home Golf Putting Mat||2 options – 10ft, 12ft|
|Longridge 4 Speed Track Putting Mat||1 option – 9ft|
|PuttOut Pro Golf Mat||3 options – 7ft 11in (slim + standard), 12ft|
|SKLZ Accelerator pro||1 option – 9ft|
|Wellputt Putting Mat||3 options – 10ft, 13ft, 26ft|
|Perfect Practice||3 options – 8ft, 9ft 8in, 15ft 6in|
[Note – In another post we look in detail at whether practising your putting on a putting mat is better for your stroke than putting on a carpet. Check it out here.]
Best Indoor Putting Mat (Overall and Best Value)
There are some great options out there when it comes to choosing the best indoor putting mat and whatever your requirements there will be a putting mat that meets them and enables you to practice and improve your putting whenever you want to.
In our hours of testing we looked at seven of the top puttings mats currently on the market and assessed them against the categories of set up, build quality, usability, storage, features and price.
In addition we measured the speed of each mat using a PGA approved stimpmeter and the table below presents a summary of the pros and cons for each of the seven mats that we compared head to head.
|Champkey PUTTECH PRO||– Low price (approx $50)||– Rough textured surface|
– Cheap plastic materials
|8-9ft. Unconfirmed due slope. Stimpmeter requires a flat surface|
|FORB Home Golf||– Simple roll out set up||– Does not wrap to store easily|
– Does not roll entirely flat to enable practice to all 3 holes
|11-12ft. Unconfirmed due to length of mat and ball rolling off the end.|
|Longridge 4 Speed Track||– Simple roll out set up + storage|
– Excellent quality
|– Brush required to create 4 speeds takes effort to maintain|
– More expensive mat over $100
|– Track 1 – 8.75ft|
– Track 2 – 9.5ft
– Track 3 – 11ft+. Unconfirmed due to length of mat.
– Track 4 – 12.5ft+ Unconfirmed due to length of mat
|PuttOut Pro Golf||– Carry bag gives great storage and portability|
– Accompanying app for practice drills and games
– Price point under $100 gives great value for money
|– Small mat option only allows practice up to 6ft||10ft. Unconfirmed due to length of mat|
|SKLZ Accelerator Pro||– Low price (approx $50)||– Rough textured surface|
– Cheap plastic materials
|8ft+ Unconfirmed due slope|
|Wellputt||– Simple roll out set up + storage|
– Multiple line markings + accompanying app allows varied practice
– Excellent quality + roll
– 26ft option allows distance control putting practice
|– More expensive mat over $100||10-11ft. Unconfirmed due to length of mat|
|Perfect Practice||– Excellent quality materials + roll|
– Can be ironed to ensure flatness of surface.
– Small hole enables very focused practice
|– Set up + storage not as easy as rollout mat types|
– More expensive mat over $100
|11-12ft. Unconfirmed due to length of mat|
We also scored each of the indoor putting mats for each of the six categories we compared them against with either a 0 point, 1 point or 2 point score.
0 points were awarded where the putting mat was found not to be up to standard or had an identifiable weakness or fault.
1 point was given in a category where the putting mat was found to be of an expected standard while 2 points were awarded where we found the putting mat to have performed above average.
The complete scoring list of all seven indoor putting mats that were tested is shown in the image above and highlights the best indoor putting mats we found were as follows:
- BEST OVERALL INDOOR PUTTING MAT – Wellput putting mat.
- BEST VALUE FOR MONEY INDOOR PUTTING MAT – PuttOut putting mat.
The ease of use and set up of the Wellputt putting mat combined with its availability in 3 sizes, including a 26ft option to enable it to be used to practice distance control, made it the overall winner in our tests.
With a price point of under $100 we also found the PuttOut putting mat to be of exceptional value however and because it comes with a handy storage carry case, making it the best mat to take with you to whichever location you want to practice your putting, we voted it to be the best value for money putting mat.
To get a visual review of all the mats reviewed head to head check out this video on our YouTube channel!
Best Indoor Putting Mat With Ball Return
When looking at different indoor putting mats on the market you will quickly notice they frequently fall into one of 2 types – those that have a ramp or incline up to the hole and those that roll out flat.
Unless you play a lot of your golf at Augusta it is unlikely that you putt on many greens which have a steep incline or slope up to the hole which begs the question as to why many indoor putting mats have them?
As a general rule putting mats have a sloped incline to help establish a golfer’s muscle memory to always accelerate through the ball with their putting stroke and reach the hole with their putts. An uphill slope also allows the mat to include a ball return chute to deliver the ball back to the golfer after putting.
When learning to play golf with my father as a youngster I will forever remember his often repeated mantra that ‘100% of short putts don’t go in’ as I left yet another putt short of the hole when playing with him.
And it is for this very reason that certain indoor putting mats include a slope or ramp up to help the golfer establish a repetitive ‘positive’ putting stroke where they accelerate through the ball at impact and do not leave the ball short of the hole.
Decelerating when striking the ball with your putter is one of the most common technical mistakes that the average golfer makes when putting and leads to many missed putts.
Personally I do not believe it is important for a putting mat to have a slope or ramp to ensure a positive putting stroke when you subsequently reach the golf course.
Indeed I have often found when using such mats for too long in practice I have a tendency to consistently hit the ball too far past the hole when I get to a real golf green.
It is however a matter of personal preference and including an uphill ramp on a putting mat is a well established design feature to help players improve their acceleration through the ball with their putting stroke.
Another common feature that comes hand in hand with such a design in many putting mats is a ball return. After a putt is holed on an uphill sloped putting mat it will then be returned to the golfer where they stand via a chute attached to the side of the putting mat.
This of course provides the added convenience of the golfer not having to move to collect their golf ball when practicing their putting and in theory therefore will enable them to hit more putts in the practice time they have available.
Again I am never convinced of the hardship of having to walk a few feet to collect your golf balls when putting on a flat indoor putting mat however if that is an important element for you then it is worth focusing in your search on putting mats with slopes and ball returns rather than purely flat ones.
The Perfect Practice putting mat is the best indoor mat which includes a ball return based on hours of testing in the categories of usability, set up, quality, storage, features and price. It is made of excellent quality materials, is available in 3 sizes and can be ironed to ensure a very flat and smooth putting surface.
Products mentioned in this article (including Amazon link for the latest price):
- Wellputt Putting Mat
- PuttOut Pro Golf Mat
- Perfect Practice Mat
- Longridge 4 Speed Track Putting Mat
- FORB Home Golf Mats
- Champkey PUTTECH PRO
- SKLZ Accelerator pro
Golfing Focus recommended training aids
Check out our complete list of top picks of golf training aids here. We’ve tested and used a bunch of training aids over the years and our selections are battle-tested and can be recommended without hesitation!
Other top articles related to this topic:
- Are Putting Mats Worth it?
- Will Putting Practice on Your Carpet at Home Burn Your Scores?
- Good Putting Numbers – It’s About 3 Putts Not Putts per Round
- Is a Putter Fitting Worth it? It Removes a Variable or Three
- What Putters do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Guide
- What Percentage of Putts Do Pros Make? TV Does Not Tell the Story
- Will Putting Practice on Your Carpet at Home Burn Your Scores?