Golf Mat Guide - What Do You Get from a Premium Mat?
If you are serious about building a home golf simulator setup, getting the right mat is an important piece of the puzzle. There are varying levels of quality out there, and they can greatly affect your practice experience.
The main issue golfers will encounter with mats is different levels of durability and performance. As you would expect, the less-expensive models will not simulate golf course conditions that well, and due to the inferior nature of the turf they won't last as long either. Additionally, many golfers will experience joint pain from repeatedly hitting off harder surfaces because there is no "give" like real grass.
So while you can buy a hitting surface for less than $100, many golfers quickly realize that they did get what they paid for (which wasn't much).
At Shop Indoor Golf, we make sure that we stock the best brands in the industry. If you are looking to get a mat that will last longer and perform like real turf, then it is worth investing more.
Fiberbuilt and TrueStrike have established themselves as two of the leaders in the golf mat space because the quality of their materials is much higher. You are getting a commercial-grade surface that will give you a much more realistic golfing experience.
It should be noted that both of these mats will require some assembly. Additionally, their weight does not make them very portable. Most models weigh anywhere between 100-150 pounds, which means you should expect them to remain in the same spot. The benefit is that you are hitting off a much sturdier frame than lesser-quality mats. Both companies also feature modular parts that can be replaced in the future.
If you're using a mixed space, it might make sense to purchase the roll-up turf from Net Return. This is a quality material that can be rolled up and stored in the corner of your room when you are not using your practice space.
Fiberbuilt has a proprietary blend of plastic fibers that try to simulate real grass on the course. Whereas most mats have a harder hitting surface, you can see in this video from their site that the club can glide through their surface quite easily.
Situated in the middle portion of the mat, the performance turf also allows golfers to place a regular tee on it.
The surface serves two purposes - to reduce the strain on your joints to prevent injury, and to offer realistic feedback on your golf swing. With many other surfaces out there, you won't get a true representation of how well (or poorly) your contact would have been on a real golf course. For golfers who are looking to practice more effectively, this is extremely important.
Fiberbuilt also guarantees that the surface can withstand 300,000 swings before showing any wear. One thing to note is that the ball will stand a little more upright on their hitting surface than other mats. Additionally, the club can glide underneath the surface much deeper than other mats. Certain golfers might prefer a firmer hitting surface that a model like TrueStrike would offer.
Each mat requires assembly with a rubber base. You can find out more about that process in this document. One of the key features of this mat other than the proprietary hitting surface is their EPS pods. They provide a solid, but soft surface beneath the turf to stand on. This is another benefit that you get from a premium golf mat that you wouldn't expect from budget models. Overall, Fiberbuilt mats have been one of the bestselling products on our site. They are extremely durable, comfortable to stand on and provide one of the most realistic experiences on synthetic turf.
You can view of all of their models on this page.
Our other preferred premium mat comes from TrueStrike. Similar to Fiberbuilt, this is a commercial-grade mat that will give you a much better experience while you practice.
However, there are some key differences to note between the two brands - mainly on the hitting surface.
TrueStrike uses a silicon gel underneath their turf in order to simulate striking the ball on real turf. You can see a visual representation of how their system works in these images:
The reason they use the gel is to minimize the amount of vibration and shock sent back up to the club, which will help prevent joint injuries over the long term. More importantly, the silicon has much more "give" as your club makes contact with the surface, which allows it to dig into the surface similar to how your club would on the golf course. They claim that the surface can withstand 55,000 golf shots before it needs to be replaced (you don't have to replace the entire mat).
The surface will look like most traditional range mats, and the ball won't sit up as much as the Fiberbuilt turf. Additionally, the club won't glide as much underneath the ball compared with the Fiberbuilt. It's not to say one surface is better than the other, it's just a matter of preference between players.
The TrueStrike mat uses a rubber base, which might make your stance feel a little less soft than the EPS pods that Fiberbuilt offers. Again, this could be a matter of preference between players. Based on feedback we have received, golfers who are looking for a more permanent surface that won't move might prefer the TrueStrike mat since the 100% rubber foundation is slightly heavier.
You can view all of our TrueStrike models on this page.
Wrapping it Up
Getting the right golf mat for your indoor space is a crucial piece of the puzzle. If you want performance and durability it makes sense to invest in a higher-grade solution. Many times golfers will purchase inexpensive mats only to find themselves disappointed (and then eventually buy a higher-quality product).
Fiberbuilt and TrueStrike are the leaders in this space because they provide unique hitting surfaces, and are built to last.
To view all of our golf mat options you can visit this page.