One of the keys to grasping onto my 2 handicap over the past 12 months has been practicing putting at home. As a city centre worker and dweller, I find it hard to get up to the golf course and practice mid-week. I try to make time to squeeze in a Wednesday night range session, but it usually that means I play 80% of my rounds on a weekend with a scorecard in hand and the pressure really on.
Putting is key for low handicappers (and probably the best way for higher to mid-handicappers to reduce theirs) so practicing my putting has always been one of my priorities even if I’m short on time.
I’ve been through a number of different routes to get to the point where I’m finally satisfied with the PuttOUT golf mat.
I’ve tried everything from artificial grass from B&Q to the old school “PGA Tour Endorsed” two-tier putting matts complete with lakes and bunkers, but none of them really offered me what I was looking for. The artificial grass was bulky. The other putting matt was super slow when using on carpets. And others I’ve tried had a steep slopes just in front of the hole which didn’t really represent a putt you’d face on the course.
So I decided to invest.
The PuttOUT Golf Mat
First off, the PuttOUT golf mat isn’t cheap. You can pick one up for around £65/£70 – which is quite a bit more than the standard mat you can find online, but having said that I’ve spent way more than this testing the other useless mats I’ve bought over time.
They do say that you get what you pay for, and it’s certainly the case with the PuttOUT mat. The mat’s thicker than most and as a result a reliable base for practicing putting measuring in at 10 on the stimpmeter. For me that’s perfect as it’s similar to the greens at my home club.
I’ve also found that regardless of what surface I use the mat on the speed is fairly consistent meaning no super slow putts on carpet.
The mat comes rolled up with matching carry case – no bulky awkward plastic that you have to fold, no effort in storing it away, you simply roll the mat back into the case. Particularly useful if you’re short on space like me living in a 1 bed flat. I’ve had mine for over a year now and had no issues with the corners turning over either.
The PuttOUT mat is fitted with 6ft alignment lines and pace markers making it useful for checking various aspects of your putting. I find it particularly useful to check my feet and knees are aligned to the target.
The markings also allow you to practice different distance putts and create practice challenges to putt pressure on yourself and best mimic a on course pressure situation.
I always use my matt with a mirror too. It’s not the official PuttOUT putting mirror, but it serves the same purpose and lines up nicely with the alignments on the mat.
PuttOUT Pressure Trainer
The perfect companion to the PuttOUT Putting mat is the PuttOUT Pressure Trainer which comes in at around £20. The training aid looks more like something out of Star Wars both folded and unfolded (it neatly slims down for easy storage) but there’s actually some science behind the futuristic shape.
The pressure trainer features a “scientifically shaped parabolic ramp”. To me and you that basically means it’s designed for the ball to go up the ramp and back down to the distance it would have gone past the hole if it would have missed.
Whilst this may not mean a lot to the average golfer, it’s actually a really cool feature which helps you practice your putting pace and put this into context of the golf course. Something which I’ve not seen with other practice putting aids.
The white plastic circle at the bottom is also the same size as a standard hole meaning any putt that hits that and rolls up the ramp would have gone in! Anything that misses, well, would have missed.
The last cool thing (and feature that will keep you practicing for hours) is the micro hole half way up the ramp – or as they call it “The Perfect Putt”. A ball that hits the pressure trainer ramp with the perfect line and pace will stick and rest in the micro hole.
I can’t explain how deeply satisfying this is, but you’ll understand after 15 minutes of putting when you hit your first one. Believe me, it’s more difficult than it looks! Every practice session is also extended when you decide to just hit “one more perfect putt”.
The Perfect Pair?
Combined, the PuttOUT Putting Mat and Pressure Trainer will set you back around £85-£100. It may seem more expensive than alternatives on the market (and it is), but personally I think it’s well worth the investment and will serve you for years to come!