How to Choose the Best Indoor Putting Mat to Boost Your Game

How to Choose the Best Indoor Putting Mat to Boost Your Game

Having the best indoor putting mat can do wonders for your short game as long as you choose one that’s right for your level, budget, and space constraints.
Alexis Bennett
Updated on
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Real practice for the real course

Lower your score

Are you looking for new ways to achieve lower golf scores while stuck indoors? To be able to practice your full swing and hit golf balls, you need to set up a net, purchase a golf simulator system, or travel to a dome or heated facility.

Instead of focusing solely on your swing, my advice as a former D1 head coach is to utilize a putting mat to maximize your time and space by improving the often-overlooked game.

Especially during the winter when it's more crucial to have the tools to practice putting indoors, consistently using a putting mat (or an indoor putting green) with a simple and repetitive routine will help lower your scoring average. 

Regardless of your skill level, putts make up around 40% of your total score. Even if you aren't able to hit 300-yard drives on the course, becoming a great putter is a skill that can be achieved through practicing and preparing properly. And you don't even have to leave your house to do it!

Top 7 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Indoor Putting Mat

With so many indoor putting mats on the market, it's essential to first decide what you're looking for in a putting mat, whether that's price, size, alignment markings, ease of setup, or a wide range of other factors. Although you may have your own criteria, here are my top 7 factors to consider while searching for the right indoor putting mat for your game.

1. Size

Size is a very important factor to consider when choosing a mat. How much floor space do you have to work with? Do you want to be able to play different putting games with friends or family? At the very least, you'll want to make sure your mat is long enough to practice consistent speed and distance control.

Some manufacturers, including PrimePutt, offer mats in a range of sizes with different numbers of holes, from Compact (1 hole, 1.5' by 9') to XXL (3 holes, 3' by 15'). You can even design your own custom mats.

2. Quality and Durability

Look for a mat that replicates the experience of putting on the green as much as possible. This largely comes down to the quality of your mat, especially the material of the putting surface. The best indoor putting mats have a true roll and a speed that approximates a real green. For example, PrimePutt indoor putting greens are made from thick nylon turf and are tested to have a Stimpmeter of 9-11.

Indoor putting greens can be a significant financial investment, so choose one that is durable enough to stand up to daily practice.

3. Setup and Storage

How often do you plan to use the mat? How easy is it to store and set up, and does it lay flat after being stored for an extended period of time?

Make sure the mat sets up perfectly with no ridges or dents on carpet, tile, or hardwood floor. This is essential to how the ball rolls; you want a smooth surface mat that provides a true roll and accurate green speed for the best indoor putting experience.

4. Convenience

When choosing a mat, you should consider how easy it will be to hit multiple putts on the mat. Some mats offer different hole sizes to fine-tune your putting skills, but it may be difficult to retrieve your ball from a smaller hole. 

A mat with multiple holes, like the PrimePutt's Standard, XL, and XXL sizes, allows you to make multiple putts into three USGA regulation-size holes without having to worry about them bouncing out. Putts that you make roll to the back of the cup rather than bouncing out. 

You might also want a mat with a no-block backstop to keep missed putts from rolling away or back onto the mat. Some putting mats have an automatic ball return system. It's worth thinking carefully about whether you want this feature. 

It's undeniably convenient to have your balls returned to you, but it means that you'll be putting uphill, which doesn't replicate the experience of a real green. Some automatic ball returns are better than others, so there's also a chance that your balls may get stuck halfway down the return ramp.

5. Additional Features

Depending on your practice goals, you may want to ensure that your mat is compatible with alignment aids such as a putting mirror, putting gates, or a metronome.

Some indoor putting greens have alignment lines built into the mat, but these sometimes have a different texture and speed from the mat itself. These can be useful practice tools, though many golfers prefer a mat without markings, as it is much more similar to the experience of playing on an actual putting green.

Similarly, you may come across mats with various gradients and heights designed to help you practice breaking putts. Some golfers may find this a useful feature, though a flat surface is usually preferred for daily mechanical and technique practice.

6. Product Reviews

As with any product, you'll want to read plenty of reviews when shopping for the best indoor putting green. Scan reviews from golfers of all levels and check to see whether professional golfers use the mat to practice putting when they can't get to the golf course.

7. Cost

You're likely to encounter a wide range of prices when shopping for an indoor putting green, ranging from about $50 to $500. Your final choice of putting mat will depend on your budget, but keep in mind that you are unlikely to get a high-quality mat for a budget price. 

If you are planning to use your mat frequently, want it to last a long time, and want it to help you improve your short game, spending a bit more on your golf putting mat will pay dividends when it comes to developing your putting skills.

How a Putting Mat Can Boost Your Golf Game

It's no secret that a higher number of putts per round means a higher golf score. Here is a simple breakdown of the correlation between the number of putts per round and handicap level:

  • Scratch golfers average 31.5 putts per round
  • 1-5 handicaps average 32.6 putts per round
  • 6-10 handicaps average 33.7 putts per round
  • 11-15 handicaps average 34.8 putts per round
  • 16-20 handicaps average 35.8 putts per round
  • 21-25 handicaps average 36.8 putts per round
  • 25+ handicaps average 38.6 putts per round

If you want to shoot lower scores and need a tool to help you daily, look no further than the humble putting mat. Having the complete putting practice package in the comfort of your own basement or living room can help make significant improvements to your game a reality.

By investing in an indoor putting mat for your home or office, you can develop an effective and reliable putting stroke and practice distance control, even if you only have a few minutes a day to devote to your game.

You don't have to wait for the weather to warm up or the golf course to open to dedicate time to these skills! Having an indoor putting mat also allows you to play some fun putting games with your friends, colleagues, or family members to infuse some pressure and competition into your putting practice.

"There is no glory in practice, but without practice, there is no glory."

Final Thoughts

By spending some time perfecting your putting stroke on the best indoor putting green, hearing putts go in, working with your alignment aids, completing putting games and challenges, and nailing your green speed control, you'll be ready to make some serious putts next golf season in no time.

When it comes to purchasing a mat, there are numerous options available at various price points, ranging from beginner to touring professional. I recommend the PrimePutt Tour-Quality Indoor Golf Putting Mat for golfers of all levels who want to see significant improvements in their putting skills and have fun while doing it.
Alexis Bennett
Updated on
Alexis is a longtime student of the game. After collegiate and professional playing careers, she spent 9 seasons coaching, most recently at a Division 1 university. In that time, she led her teams to 8 top-4 finishes in conference championships and led one player to the NCAA Regionals as an at-large bid in 2021, capping the best individual playing career in the program’s history. Now, Alexis hones her expertise as a copywriter and content marketer in the golf niche, staying tied closely to a game she’s loved her whole life.

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