If you have finally decided to go for the full golf simulator set up at your home or office, the components you choose to use with your simulator are very important.
A golf mat may not seems like a difficult decision, but the size, fibre type, weight and fitting options can drastically change the experience you have in your simulator. Here we cover the mats that we feel stand out and will be an excellent long-term solution for your golf simulator setup.
Why Does A Golf Mat For A Simulator Matter?
Golf mats are available from many different distributors, and the pricing can range from less than $100 to thousands of dollars. The question for many golfers is whether or not the golf mat makes that much of a difference. Here are the things you should know . . .
- The better the mat, the more it will feel like you are playing a shot from the grass
- Higher-quality golf mats tend to offer more accurate golf simulator results
- The best golf mats have enough padding and structure to help prevent injury
- Golf mats that are large in size make the simulator experience more lifelike
- Certain fibers and materials hold up better to daily use
You might be wondering how a golf mat affects performance and your ball flight. Well…cheaper mats have less structure, are lighter, and have lower-quality fibers. When you strike a ball from this kind of mat, the ball pops off the surface very slightly through impact.
This causes less compression, lower spin rates and golf shots that sometimes fly much further than normal (similar to a flyer out of the rough). The takeaway tip is that mats do matter for realism even for indoor use.
- An extra tip that results in a big jump in your simulator experience is to build a foam base around your mat so it sits flush with the ground.
- Consider if your launch monitor sits beside the ball (SkyTrak & GC Quad) or behind (FlightScope & TrackMan). Have you got room for it to sit ball height, or offset for the mat height?
- When buying a mat think if you turn mats around after it is well worn to extend the life of the product.
Best Overall: SwingTurf Golf Mat
The best golf mat for a simulator that we tested was the SwingTurf golf mat. The combination of size, overall fair pricing, and impressive realism make this an excellent option for golfers to consider.
SwingTurf golf mat earned our top spot because of its realism. Yes, it is more expensive than other mats on the market, but when you’re splashing out for the best simulator experience you don’t want to compromise on quality. The fibers and sturdy structure result in great realism for irons and wedge shots.
To top things off the SwingTurf mat takes real tees with ease, meaning no need for ugly rubber golf tees.
The SwingTurf golf mat is available in either the 5’x5′ or the 4’x9′, depending on the size and type of your golf simulator set; these two golf practice mat sizes should work quite well. If you have the space, the 9′ mat is nice to have.
There is no anti-slip base on the bottom of the mat, but thanks to its sturdy weight this shouldn’t be a concern. If you are placing this on a carpeted surface, you should not have much of an issue.
However, on a hard floor, you may need to grab some anti-slip attachment to keep the hitting mat in place. Opt for a thin anti-slip material to ensure that it is not felt under the mat, and the SwingTurf does still have a bit of weight to it to keep it in place.
Durability is always tricky to truly test with a batch of new products, so one of the things we look for on golf mats for golf simulators is the warranty. With the SwingTurf golf mat, you will get a 3 year warranty, and that says a lot about the durability of this product.
This is supported by multiple customer reviews and us beating as many wedge shots we could in our testing without any visible wear.
For a golf mat that can be used for both indoor and outdoor use, the SwingTurf has really fair pricing. Not the cheapest but a worthwhile investment.
Golf Insider Verdict
We love golf hitting mats that are high quality and have realistic turf interaction. With the SwingTurf, we have both these things and the ability to use a real tee. If you are investing in a simulator you will use day after day, and you want the perfect mix of quality and affordability, this is it.
Best Value: Country Club Elite
The components of golf simulators can add up really quickly, sometimes leaving you with a tight budget for your golf mat selection. If that has happened, you may want to consider the Country Club Elite mat.
The Country Club Elite is one of the top-selling golf mats in the game – you’ll find this mat at many driving ranges across the country.
These mats provide a realistic feel, and you can use a real tee, making it feel a bit more like real grass. In order to make the Country Club Elite a bit more durable, the fibers are thicker than other golf mats, and that can make it feel a bit denser than your typical golf course turf.
There are four sizes available in the Country Club Elite, with the 4’x 5′ being the most affordable of the hitting mats. The sizes include . . .
- 4′ x 5′
- 5′ x 5′
- 5′ x 8′
- 5′ x 10′
The stability of the Country Club Elite is good but not great (40lb / 18 kg for the 4′ x 5′ mat). In fact, this is one of the mats that we recommend for portability if you have both an indoor and outdoor setup. With portable golf mats, you will notice that they are a bit lighter and easier to maneuver. This can mean an anti slip underlayer may be necessary.
Fibers on the Country Club Elite golf mat are very dense. Over time when you continue to use a golf mat, fibers will deteriorate (especially if you don’t turn the mat from time to time). The developers of the Country Club Elite golf mat were aware of this and created the product to be quite durable. The 3 year warranty will help ensure that you get your money’s worth from this product.
The pricing of the Country Club Elite Golf mats is some of the best that you will find for the quality offered. Golfers that are on a budget need to be careful of the quality they purchase for their simulator mat. The Country Club Elite is a smart investment.
Golf Insider Verdict
Overall we liked the performance of these golf mats; there is just one concern with the overall dense feel that the mat has. The more dense feel can be a problem for those that hit behind the ball. If this is an issue in your golf game, there is a chance you could feel some fatigue in your wrists and hands after practice for quite some time.
Best Premium Golf Mat: FiberBuilt Hitting Mat and Putting Green Combo
After presenting you with a great value option for a golf simulator, it was only fitting to give you one of the best golf mats on the market for a golf simulator setup. This FiberBuilt Hitting Mat and Putting Green combo have everything you could need for the perfect indoor simulator setup, of course, this comes at a price.
The Fiberbuilt Golf Mats actually come in several different sizes and styles, and they use the FIberbuilt Grass technology. This is essentially manufactured grass that creates very realistic launch conditions while keeping injury prevention in mind.
The 1×4 section of the FiberBuilt mat features the Fiberbuilt Grass technology, while the other areas have a Performance Turf. After all, the areas where your feet are, do not need to be premium, and this leaves the 1×4 area with a replaceable hitting strip.
This is a large golf hitting mat, but it works as a putting green as well. The 10×4 hitting mat includes two 4.5′ x4′ stance mats, the hitting strip, and then a choice of 10 x 6′, 10 x 8′, or 10 x 12′ putting green. Do some measurements before ordering this one; you will need a good amount of space.
This mat is large and heavy and will not move around on you. We recommend this for an indoor permanent setup and not something that will need portability.
Since the product contains several different parts, you will notice the warranty is not as straightforward as other golf mats. The FiberBuilt hitting strip comes with a 300,000 shot or one year guarantee. Rubber bases on the entire mat come with a 5 year warranty, and the stance mats have a one year warranty as well. Overall durability is good; even for the most avid golfers, 300,000 shots is a lot.
The Fiberbuilt golf mats are a great overall value when considering how much you get. However, this is still one of the most expensive golf hitting mat solutions on the market. If you are setting up your first simulator and not sure how much you will use it, this may be too big of an investment.
Golf Insider Verdict
For the golfers that went with the premium Trackman or GCQuad launch monitors that have all the bells and whistles, this is an excellent mat to complete your setup. However, for the run of the mill golf simulator indoor setup, the pricing and overall functionality here may be a bit too much.
Best Outdoor Golf Mat: TrueStrike Single Golf Mat
The TrueStrike Single Golf Mat is an excellent selection for those with an outdoor golf simulator setup. An outdoor golf mat is typically a bit more durable, and even though you bring your launch monitor and screen in after a session, you may find that leaving the TruStrike Single Golf Mat outside will not do any damage to it.
The TrueStrike Single Golf Mat was designed initially for driving ranges where golf professionals need to teach students and still have that real fairway feel. With the TrueStrike, the mat features a strip made with a gel-type material that will ensure a much more realistic golf hitting surface.
The manufacturers suggest – ‘your club can travel down the way it normally would through the grass on the golf course’. We’re not sure we entirely agree with this, but we can certainly agree it is a great hitting surface.
The TrueStrike Single golf mat is 52″ x 77″. The mat is also 2″ off the ground, and that is important to remember. Some launch monitors struggle with golf mats that are a little higher, especially if there is no room to put the launch monitor on the mat itself.
Even though the TrueStrike Single Golf mats may not look like the largest on the market, they weigh 112 pounds. This is quite a bit of weight, and with the rubber base, we did not notice any sliding or movement.
The durability is impressive on these golf mats, as they are made mostly for commercial use. In addition, the way this is set up with several different hitting strips, you can easily replace one if necessary and still have the majority of your mat working just fine.
The TrueStrike Single Golf Mat is a bit more expensive than other options on our list, and this has to do with the real feel of the gel type golf hitting strip as well as the durability of the product. Any time you move towards something that was created for commercial use, expect the pricing to be considerably higher.
Golf Insider Verdict
The true feel of the TrueStrike Single Golf Mat is quite good; however, there are a few flaws from this particular model. We didn’t love the fact that there was really no extra room to move around while hitting shots. In addition, for some launch monitors, this setup can cause issues. For a premium golf mat for outdoor practice, combined with the right launch monitor, TrueStrike can be a good fit.
Best For Large Size: SIGPRO Softy 4×10
There is something about a golf simulator setup with a large turf grass tee; it’s more inviting, easier to maneuver, and allows for an easy launch monitor setup. The SIGPRO Softy 4×10 is an excellent addition to any golf simulator room and can really help you feel like you’re playing golf outside.
The SIGPRO Softy 4X10 is a mix of value, realism, and forgiveness to ensure you don’t injure yourself while practicing. The hitting strip that the SIGPRO Softy 4×10 comes with will have a soft feel, and plenty of give, and it even takes a real tee.
This is a large 4×10 golf mat, but the hitting strip is small. The hitting strip blends in fine with the rest of the mat, but it will need to be replaced at times because of the concentrated area in which you will be hitting these shots. The hitting strip is 28 inches by 12 inches.
The entire SIGPRO mat only weighs 31 pounds. Its large size will help it be a bit more stable, but you may need some kind of anti slip surface to keep it in place.
The overall durability of the SIGPRO mat is quite good, but the hitting strip will need to be replaced from time to time. This won’t be the most durable mat on the market but also not the cheapest quality mat either. Average durability from the SIGPRO with an affordable replaceable hitting strip.
For the large size of this golf mat, the value is quite good. However, you also have to consider the hittable area. The 28 x 12 inch hitting strip is not that large so think of this as a bit of a mix of a carpet to complete your simulator setup and golf hitting mat.
Golf Insider Verdict
It can be difficult with even some of the best golf practice mats to get your launch monitor set up perfect. Having a space that is 4x10x gives you plenty of room and some maneuverability, and it makes it much easier to configure your launch monitor for accurate results. For a permanent indoor setup, the SIGPRO is an option that should be considered.
What To Look For In The Best Golf Mat For Simulator
Many golfers ask us if the best practice mats for hitting into a net in the yard are also the best for a golf simulator. The answer can be a bit clouded. There are a few things you must keep in mind when choosing the best golf mats for simulators.
When you pay thousands of dollars for software and a launch monitor that makes it look as though Pebble Beach has come to life in your living room, do you really want to hit off of a tiny grass strip?
The answer is likely, no.
This is a time when it makes sense to go for the big mat. Give yourself room to move around, to feel as though you are at a real golf course. The 5×5 mat or larger tends to be the best choice for the golf simulator mat. If you have the budget, don’t be afraid to go bigger.
A golf practice mat for a simulator will get more use than other golf mats. When you play a round of golf on your simulator or use the software to do a driving range or skills challenge, you will hit quite a few golf balls.
This is why the golf hitting mats for a simulator are typically priced a bit higher than a lower quality mat. Choose something that will hold up over time; a one year warranty or more is necessary.
To get accurate results from your launch monitor, it is important that your golf hitting mat does not slide or move as you are hitting. Even just the slightest extra movement can cause an outlier on your simulator.
Typically speaking, the heavier and larger the golf mat, the more stable it is. However, if you find an option that works for you that happens to be a bit lighter, you can use an anti-slip mat or pad on the underside that holds it in place.
Some golf mats have tee holes that will fit a rubber tee; sometimes, a high quality mat will also allow you to put your own wood or plastic tees in. The golf mats where you can insert your own real wooden tee will feel much more like a traditional golf course.
In addition, we got better golf ball data when hitting off of a real golf tee with a real golf ball, as opposed to a rubber tee. This doesn’t have to make or break your mat purchasing decision, but it’s something to consider.
Is the ball tray necessary? The golf ball try is an added feature, although some golf mats come with an integrated ball tray. The ball tray can make it convenient and ensure that golf balls are not rolling around your simulator room.
The best golf hitting mat does not need a ball tray; this is an addition you can add at a later date if you feel it will help your golf room.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the top questions we are asked about the best golf mats for simulators.
How thick should a golf mat be?
The thickness of a golf mat will range from around 1 inch to close to 2 inches thick. The thickness of the mat can impact the functionality of the launch monitor, and that is a factor to consider. In addition, the thickness of the golf mat should be enough that you are not going to cause damage to your wrists, hands, and arms from continual practice.
Can golf mats cause injury to a player?
Golf mats can cause injury to a player when they are not set up properly and when they are not of high quality. All of the golf mats for simulators on our list are higher quality and designed to protect against injury. As long as you are mixing some real turf golf in with the artificial turf, you should do just fine with the way these golf mats function.
What golf mat do pros use?
Golf professionals will choose high quality hitting mats that offer the best hitting experience. The specific type will depend on the constraints of the hitting space they have for practice and coaching.
Are golf training mats worth it?
Golf training mats are not only worth it, but they are also necessary when setting up a golf simulator. The training mat or hitting mat will provide some consistency in the shots you take. In addition, growing grass fast enough to keep up with your simulator needs would be quite difficult.
How do I choose a golf mat?
The first thing we recommend looking for in choosing a golf mat is the size. Stepping on and off of a small mat is annoying, and hitting strips that aren’t full mats can make it difficult to hit shots that are at a different height than your feet. Once you narrow down the size you want, think about things like the quality, warranty, and manoeuvrability of the golf mat.
Hopefully, you have a better idea of what is important and what is unnecessary when it comes to golf hitting mats for a simulator. Golf practice mats come in all different styles and sizes, but the high quality ones are typically the better fit for a golf simulator setup.
The SwingTurf Golf Mat stands out as our favorite overall option and has the best feel of all the other golf mats on this list. Remember to consider the launch monitor you are using and injury prevention and stability when choosing the perfect golf mat for your simulator.
For this, check out our more detailed reviews on the best golf simulators.
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