ExPutt Putting Simulator Review – Is It Worth It?

It is an exciting time in golf – we’re seeing the emergence of new tech making golf more fun and helping us improve our golf games. Here, we review the ExPutt RG putting simulator, as we continue to sort true innovation from golfing gimmicks.

We dig into ExPutt’s accuracy, build quality and all the cool games it has to offer. We also look at how it stacks up against other options in the market and who will benefit from investing in an ExPutt putting simulator.

What is ExPutt?

ExPutt is a home putting simulator that allows you to improve putting mechanics, practice varying putts on different courses, and have fun with the whole family.

How does ExPutt work?

ExPutt uses a high-speed camera and specialised putting mat to track the putter head and golf ball as you hit putts. The ExPutt putting mat is only 5ft long, but based on the initial roll of the golf ball it can accurately track the direction and length of every putt you hit.

Games & modes

There are three main modes inside the ExPutt software.

Putting practice

ExPutt offers you a comprehensive practice putting centre where you can dial in your stroke mechanics, practice any length and break putt you wish, or set up a sequence of putts to test your skills.

During this mode, you gain feedback on your putt accuracy and distance control along with a bundle of other useful metrics analysing your putting stroke.

ExPutt practice mode data

Even if ExPutt stopped here, there would be a lot of value provided, but on top of this, there are two more modes for you to geek out on.

Play Mode

Play mode is nice and simple – 9 holes, you’ve hit every green in regulation and you now have to 2-putt each green to shoot level par for your 9 holes. Most putts are in the range of 15 to 40-feet so this is tough work on sloping greens!

You can also opt for multiplayer in this mode which will allow you to get very competitive with friends and family.

Challenge Mode

Challenge mode tests your mid and long-range putting across some of the most famous courses in the US and UK. You’ll be faced with varying putts from 15-feet upwards and are rewarded with points for accurate lag putts and holed putts.

In this mode you often get more than one attempt at each putt, allowing you to refine your pace control and green reading on multiple attempts if you don’t get it right the first time.

Skill development vs fun

Is the ExPutt here for fun or skill development? Before testing, I was dubious that it would be anything more than a fun toy, but I have to say the realism and accuracy (covered in the next sections) are really impressive.

There is no doubt this is great fun for all – experts, beginner golfers and complete newbies will all have great fun as they get to grips with ExPutt and its challenges.

However, this also shapes up to be a really interesting putting analyzer and putting practice tool for club golfers and elite golfers.

Accuracy

To test the accuracy of ExPutt we planned to hit putts with both ExPutt and TrackMan taking readings…the issue is the ExPutt mat is only 5ft long before it hits the foam buffer, and TrackMan needs a minimum of 10 feet of tracking to track the ball and club head.

Our backup was to perform side-by-side testing hitting 5 putts on each and comparing key metrics for putting performance. Given the different distances and green speed conditions, we focused on accuracy rather than distance metrics.

Swing PathºFace AngleºLaunch Directionº
ExPutt-2.20.70.3
TrackMan-2.40.90.5
Average testing data for 5 putts with ExPutt & TrackMan. Note minus values are left of the target, positive values are right of the target. All metrics are relative to the target.

This is super impressive, the differences in numbers aren’t necessarily errors, more likely variability in our tester (me). However, these findings give me great confidence that ExPutt can be used for some really high-level putting practice when focusing on start direction and technique.

Realism

This level of precision continues as we move to the game interface. Rather than being arcadey, the ExPutt really reflects putting on the golf course. A slight pull or push will only go in if your pace control is good. And putts that are far too aggressive bounce over the hole, rather than slam into the back of the hole – this is realistic and just as annoying as on the golf course.

The accuracy combined with the realism makes this a really credible option for golfers wanting to work hard on their putting mechanics during the winter, or between games. It also raises it as a new option for those considering buying a putting mat.

Build quality

The ExPutt matt is made out of a neoprene-like material (wetsuit), with a high-spec finish. I’ve not come across this before for a putting mat, but it doesn’t crease, rolls out perfectly and offers a great roll.

ExPutt putting mat setup

The hardware components (camera, remote and camera mount) all work well and feel robust enough but are a level below the built quality of the putting mat.

What are the cons of the ExPutt?

The modelling used to simulate how putts break and roll on ExPutt is superb. However, personally speaking, ExPutt is not a tool for improving your green reading. The graphics are HD and well crafted, but a 2D TV screen is very different from reading greens in real life. The perceptual skills needed to read greens may improve for beginners and high handicappers, but I would estimate this wouldn’t be the case for more elite golfers.

On the same theme, short putts (under 4 feet) feel harder to hole than in real life – I think this is because a realistic hole is missing from your vision over the ball. You do get to putt over some nice alignment points, but I feel the lack of the hole takes some getting used to.

I really like going from straight putts in practice mode into the variable practice you find in challenge mode. When you have breaking putts you can shift your entire aim using the controller on the screen, or just aim left/right of centre on the ExPutt mat. I really like the latter option to provide a new challenge, however, on large breaking putts, you do need to get out of your putting zone and shift the screen across, otherwise, you’d be putting off the matt at a 45º angle.

Finally, I had a few issues staying connected to the wifi when testing out this unit, but I’m sure by the time you read this those issues will be resolved.

That wraps up all the cons I can throw your way before you consider buying. It is a thorough analysis and hopefully, you can tell, we are really impressed with the ExPutt after our testing.

Alternatives and price

The ExPutt sits at a really interesting place in the market. There is nothing similar to it, and little in its price range $450-500.

To get this level of putting mechanics (both club and ball data) you’d be looking towards a SamPutt Lab at $3,000, or up to top-of-the-range launch monitors at $8,000 – $20,000, although launch monitors obviously offer much wider benefits.

Below this price point, you’d be looking for a normal putting matt, with none of the data or simulator aspects. This makes the ExPutt unique, but also makes it tricky to sell to golfers, who have little to compare it to and how it could improve their golf game.

Who is this for?

With this in mind, below are who we feel should consider the ExPutt:

  • Golfers of all levels who want to practice putting but have poor/no winter greens.
  • Keen golfers who do not have enough space for a 10+ foot putting mat.
  • Low handicap and elite players who want feedback on putting mechanics.
  • Casual and non-golfers who want to own a putting simulator for fun.

Golf Insider verdict

We are all judgemental and I’ll admit before I got my hands on the ExPutt I was sceptical – it seemed a bit gimmicky. But after some thorough testing, I am really impressed. The accurate data on putter swing path, club face angle and start direction, along with the realistic practice putting mode makes this a seriously useful tool.

The wider ExPutt package provides fun for the whole family, where I feel the lifespan is pretty long, thanks to the wide range of greens and potential putts that you’ll have in playing and challenge mode. The surprise from this testing is that this is a really credible option for keen golfers who want to work on putting mechanics between games or through the winter.

Putting practice sessions on ExPutt

Golf Insider is here to help golfers get better, based on our background in skill acquisition here is our 30-minute plan for improved putting on ExPutt.

Practice mode

20 putts blocked practice from 2m (6.5-feet). Focus on getting start direction to 0.0º, use swing path and face angle to improve this number, and remember, face angle at impact will account for ~95-97% of start direction when putting.

20 putts varied practice. Start at 2m (6.5-feet) and work up to 10m (33-feet). Keep the focus on start direction, using swing path and face angle to dial in your performance.

Challenge mode

5-10 minutes on challenge mode with a focus on pace control with your refined technique.

Play mode

Finish off by playing 9 holes and seeing what you can shoot. Trying to switch your focus away from putting mechanics and onto hitting the ball towards your target to help transfer your skill onto the golf course.

Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider

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A PGA golf professional, with a PhD in Biomedical Science and MSc in Sports Biomechanics & Psychology. I currently spend my time lecturing part-time at Leeds Beckett University and working with elite athletes. In my spare time I build Golf Insider UK.

2 thoughts on “ExPutt Putting Simulator Review – Is It Worth It?”

  1. Hi Will,

    Great write up on the Ex Putt. I bought this putting simulator last year and like you was quite surprised at the accuracy and feed that was provided. I was quickly able to fix alignment, swing path, and face angle issues that I didn’t know I had. I also noticed an immediate improvement in my on course putting.

    The only cons with this device were that without a hole to look at in the distance, I became too robotic in my putting and lacked the feel that I needed for the course. I wish the distances were a bit more customizable too.

    Reply
    • Thanks Ron,

      I was super surprised too, but I’m always keen to promote useful, accurate golf products.

      I 100% agree the distance~percecption thing is the downside. I see this far more for improving mechanics than green reading.

      I hope your golf is going well.

      Will

      Reply

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