Golf mats have revolutionized the way that weekend warriors now practice and improve their game without having to leave the comfort of their home.
The best golf mats offer golfers the ability to hit not only irons but their woods as well.
Golf mats are versatile, allowing golfers to keep their game finely tuned on those rare occasions where they can’t get to the course.
Here’s our list of the best golf mats on the market that deliver wonderful performance with value.
Last updated on 2020-07-08. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- Featured Recommendations
- 6 Best Golf Mats of 2020
- Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
- Questions & Answers
- What are the different types of golf mats available?
- What are the key characteristics I should look at before buying a golf mat?
- What size should I pick for my golf mat?
- What material should my golf mat be made out of to not damage my clubs?
- Are golf mat tees different from regular golf tees?
- How can I make sure to practice properly with my new golf mat?
6 Best Golf Mats of 2020
Rukket Tri-Turf Golf Mat
Best Overall: Most Versatile Golf Mat
The Rukket Tri-Turf Golf Mat is extraordinarily fun as it boasts three different types of turf to hit shots. Whether you are looking to practice from the rough, the fairway or off the tee, the Rukket mat provides plenty of options with its three different lies.
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Dura-Pro Golf Mat
Best All-Around Golf Mat: plenty of features, ideal for garage or backyard
The Dura-Pro Golf Mat is a spectacular option for the garage or backyard and with a host of wonderful features is easily our choice for the best all-around golf mat on our list.
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Callaway FT Launch Golf Mat
Best Premium Option: Excellent Golf Mat for Confined Spaces
The Callaway FT Launch Golf Mat is a versatile product that works well for individuals who like to put in a little swing work at the office or if you live in a confined city environment with a small basement or backyard.
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The SharperGolf Golf Mat is one of the crown jewels of the premium level of at-home practice equipment. Great for the advanced golfer who needs a nearby practice mat to keep their swing in tune, the SharperGolf product has one of the best combinations of turf and foundation that you’ll find on a golf mat.
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PGM Emerald Golf Mat
Best Large Golf Mat
The PGM Emerald Golf Mat covers over 15 square feet to provide a wide playing area to the golfer that has room to spare outside or in a larger family room. Great for the golfer who is stuck inside for six months of the year due to cold weather, the PGM mat has a woven nylon turf that definitely meets our durability standards.
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Truedays Golf Mat
Best Budget Golf Mat
The Truedays Golf Mat doesn’t offer the biggest surface area on the list, but for the budget-conscious golfer looking for a small low maintenance mat, it certainly provides a solid experience.
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Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
Criteria #1: Material Quality
The quality of the mat’s material is crucial in the product’s performance, durability, and value for the golfer. While we didn’t put value as a specific criterion on our list, the quality of the mat in relation to its price, is an important area to gauge for golfers of any level.
When gauging the quality of the mat’s material we look at all aspects, from the rubber or composite foundation to the texture and feel of the artificial surface. If the mat uses a faux grass to simulate the feel of turf, it is wise to get a sense of how the material responds, and features like that certainly factor into our grade for material quality.
Criteria #2: Durability
The durability of a golf mat is certainly important if you are looking for a piece of turf that can endure winters, while also staying strong during the warmer months when it is in storage. The ability of a golf mat to easily bounce back and perform at a high level is certainly a welcome feature for any golfer who needs a mat to stay fresh for the course.
When judging the durability of a mat, it takes hundreds of swings to notice if the product is breaking down or showing signs of wear. While a golfer may not see that type of repetitive swinging for years, our testers put the mat through a tough regimen to get a better sense of how the artificial turf will endure the stress of countless swings.
Criteria #3: Size
The size of the mat is important when you need to consider the free space you have to place the product and openly swing. Some golfers use their mats outside because they don’t have easy access to a basement or garage, while others have plenty of room to use the mat indoors.
Regardless of where you use the golf mat, knowing the size helps you plan for its placement and the type of workout you can perform with the product. Larger mats may have different artificial grass heights or the addition of an area to place a tee.
Criteria #4: Thickness
The thickness of the mat is crucial to the durability and playability of a golf mat. To absorb the impact of a shot, the mat must be able to bounce back and respond similarly to natural turf. Of course, it won’t be the same, but it must replicate that relationship to give the golfer the feedback they need to improve.
A thinner mat will make it harder for the golfer to hit crisper shots because it will shift without the heft it needs to stabilize and endure the punishment of repeated swings. A thicker mat has properties that allow it to stay durable for longer stretches of time, enabling the golfer to practice at a high level from the confines of their garage or backyard
Criteria #5: Weight
The weight of the golf mat is important because it helps with durability and the extension of the life of the product. Gone are the days where a good golf mat is a small piece of synthetic turf that snags and hangs on your club.
The latest golf mats utilize a combination of intelligent design and durable materials that craft a mat that can withstand the beating that golfers will inflict over the course of thousands of swings. By having a mat that is sturdy and uses materials that have significant strength, the golfer can provide a foundation for creating an at-home workout that keeps the swing in shape.
Questions & Answers
What are the different types of golf mats available?
We can differentiate golf mats types based on the ground conditions they are aiming to emulate. So, they are:
Driving Range Mats
We can consider this type as the most basic and designed to emulate a driving range. So, it only consists of a tee and a patch of greens. The synthetic grass and rubber sole are usually relatively thick to support high-impact shots.
Fairway Practice Mats
In many ways, fairway mats are similar to driving range mats, especially since they both only feature a tee and a patch of greens. Commonly, the main difference is the synthetic grass, which usually features a thinner nylon (more on golf mats material further below). This way, the thinner surface can emulate the fairway drive with less resistance.
Fairway Rough Practice Mat
As the name suggests, a fairway rough practice mat features one or more rough surfaces besides the fairway surface. Commonly, it is bigger than your usual fairway practice mats or driving range mats to accommodate the different surfaces, and so they are usually more expensive.
Rough Practice Mat
Similar to the above, but only features the rough surface(s). The rough surfaces are mainly made of polypropylene materials to emulate roughness.
Sand Trap Practice Mat
Typically, a sand trap practice mat will feature a nylon surface to emulate the heavy rough, and another surface to emulate sand traps. Thin polypropylene material is commonly used to emulate the tough lies of the sand surface.
The main difference between a putting mat with the other types above is the inclusion of a hole, and sometimes more than one hole. Generally, a putting mat is also bigger than your usual driving range mat to practice your accuracy.
What are the key characteristics I should look at before buying a golf mat?
Characteristic #1: Surface Durability
If you are hoping to keep your golf mat in use for several years, then you must pay attention to quality of the construction of the mat. Most mats are made from a highly durable nylon surface and rubber base so that they can handle the repeated beating of club strikes over time.
Characteristic #2: Surface Function
There are multiple surfaces available for different types of practices with golf mats. Most commonly, players use mats to hit drives. These driving mats have rubber guides that hold tees to secure shots. Other golf mats offer the opportunity to practice pitch shots from rough made from synthetic grass-like material.
Characteristic #3: Alignment Guide
Some mats include lines on the surface of the mat to ensure that your stance is in proper alignment. When coupled with an alignment stick at your feet, you can make sure that your practice sessions are fundamentally sound. When using driving mats, it is crucial to understand your spacing at address to guarantee quality contact.
Characteristic #4: Length Of Golf Mat
Mats come in differing lengths so that you can utilize your irons and wedges during practice. Driving mats don’t have to be terribly long because you shouldn’t be coming into contact with the surface. However, golf mats that have synthetic rough and are made for iron play, do need a couple of feet of length to assure that the club won’t come into contact with the ground.
Characteristic #5: Portability
The more durable the mat, the more it will weigh. With heavier materials, the golf mat could have issues with portability. Thinner mats will be easier to roll and carry in the back of a vehicle or trunk. Heavier mats will need to lay flat and need more surface area to transport. Realize that golf mats are made to lay flat, so if you do roll them up always try to return them to the flat position in storage if possible.
What size should I pick for my golf mat?
Golf mats can vary greatly in size. Thus, choosing the proper size according to your needs is one of the biggest factors in your purchase decision.
Generally, most golf mats range between 2 square feet (1’ x 2’) and 25 square feet (5’ x 5’).
The bigger the golf mat is, the more playing area you will have. It is also worth noting that if the golf mat is too small, you won’t have any place to stand on, and so you might need another surface with a similar level to stand with comfort. This is the case with many portable golf mats.
Obviously, the bigger the golf mat is, the more space it will take in your house. If you have a designated area to put your golf mat on and just leave it there, it might not be a major problem.
Yet, if you need to store the golf mat after each use, it is worth considering that the golf mat will not only need the extra storage space but will also be heavier to move around. Most golf mats with a regular material (again, more on material types further below) will weigh around 2 lbs per sq ft.
In general, a golf mat with around 3’ x 5’ in size will be proper for most applications.
What material should my golf mat be made out of to not damage my clubs?
Most golf mats are built with rubber (mostly black) as the base layer. Normally the base rubber layer is around half an inch thick or so, and there’s not much variation with this.
It is worth noting that base rubber mats are available by themselves. You might need one for extra support, or if you are planning to get a very portable golf mat, you might need one to stand on.
The main discussion here is the top layer, which is the hitting surface. Since this surface will make contact with your club when swinging, of course, we should consider the proper material to avoid damage.
There are 3 main materials that are safe for your clubs, and so commonly used for golf mats surfaces:
These 3 materials are considered safe for golf clubs and are quite durable to handle hard impact from your clubs.
Out of these three materials, nylon is generally the most durable. Nylon has a higher elasticity and stronger tensile durability than polyethylene or polypropylene.
For this reason, a golf mat made of 100% nylon can be considered as the most durable.
How about the other two? Polyethylene is generally considered more sturdy than Polypropylene. Yet, polypropylene is more water resistant with lighter weight.
Another consideration is that a nylon golf mat is generally more expensive than the other two types, but will require less overall maintenance.
Of course, we should also consider the surface type, namely how fast the ball will roll on the surface. A nylon surface is generally smoother than the other two and thus feel more like a natural lawn. The ball roll on a nylon turf is far superior compared to polypropylene or polyethylene turfs, where there is a significant reduction of oscillation (ball wobbling) and deviation.
To achieve the same performance from polypropylene or polyethylene greens, we can use sand reinforcements to improve oscillation and natural feel.
So, in general, we can conclude that nylon is the best choice for club safety, natural feel, and durability, but will cost you more. It’s not saying that polyethylene and especially polypropylene turfs don’t have their applications. For example, polypropylene can emulate sand turfs better than nylon material.
Are golf mat tees different from regular golf tees?
Modern, regular golf tees are used by piercing the ground, and obviously, we can’t use the same application with the golf mat. (Well, we can, but we will destroy the rubber base layer in no time).
So, for golf mats, we can use rubber golf tees that rested flat on the mat. Or, if you want to use your regular tees, you can use a tee holder where you can insert your regular tees on the cross-shaped hole.
It is worth noting that some golf mats (especially the premium ones) do offer the ability to use regular tees. Avoid golf mats that offer fixed tee that can’t be adjusted. You will need different tee height with different clubs for proper practice.
How can I make sure to practice properly with my new golf mat?
To truly answer this question, we should first understand the main differences between synthetic golf mats and playing on real grass. Even the very best of golf mats with the best material and construction won’t be able to perfectly emulate the feel, sensation, and feedback a natural grass can provide. So, there are several disadvantages of playing on a mat:
- First, the club will bounce and slide more into the ball on a golf mat, especially on a big swing. As a result, this can create a solid strike when you shouldn’t, masking the error and hindering your progress.
- If the golf mat is not maintained properly, a damaged surface can lead to elbows, hands, and shoulders injury.
With those two main considerations in mind, here are some tips to make the most of your practice sessions on a golf mat:
- Have the right mindset: you can not fully trust precise and accurate distance when hitting off golf mats. Aim to achieve even more than your usual standard to avoid the illusion of satisfaction.
- Since the golf mat surface is generally more slippery than natural grass, wear shoes with more traction. This way, you can prevent your feet from twisting or rotating during a swing, which might affect your ‘real’ swing on the course.
- Some golf mats feature a built-in stationary tee that can’t be adjusted. In most cases, the tee height is too short for a driver and yet too long for fairway woods, irons, and hybrids. Opt for a golf mat where you can replace the tee, and use the correct height depending on your club.
- You might need to adjust your swing with your short irons. Generally, you will need to adjust to a sweeping swing rather than hitting sharply down with your short irons. You might want to skip the short irons entirely to avoid building bad swinging habits.
- Regularly maintain your golf mat, and if you feel the surface is now too firm, consider getting a replacement to avoid injuries, club damages, and bad swinging habits.