Being as this is a golf blog, I have every excuse to buy golf gear for “research and testing purposes.” But my state locking down in early 2020 due to Covid-19 gave me another excuse. So, what did I buy?
I bought the Perfect Practice putting mat. I was thinking about building my own putting green, but I’m tight on space as I live in an apartment and my garage has to serve more than one purpose.
So, I looked for a putting mat and the Perfect Practice came up several times. I saw it on Instagram as well as in a review by Jon at Practical-Golf.com.
The putting mat is expensive, much more so than most mats you’ll see on Amazon. But I’m glad I bought it. It won’t be the only putting mat I buy, but odds are it’ll be the only one I keep and use.
My Perfect Practice putting mat review will tell you everything you need to know about it. Maybe it’s the right putting mat for you too?
If you buy the Perfect Practice putting mat using this link, or any link on this page, and the discount code THEDIVOT15, you’ll get a 15% discount (applied at checkout.
About the Perfect Practice Putting Mat
The Perfect Practice putting mat is one of a few products that Golf Sply Co. has put out. Golf Sply Co. was created by entrepreneur Oren Kantor. He had started a couple of businesses prior to this, such as a gambling app and selling high-end beauty products online. Neither were winners.
Kantor used to play golf back in school. In fact, he four putted a 30-foot putt during a close match which costed them the match.
He got back into the game and decided to buy a $90 putting mat off Amazon. He was unimpressed with the quality and decided to build a better putting mat himself.
He went through many prototypes. He incorporated a train track line for alignment, inspired by a pair glasses that used to do the same thing.
He also discovered crystal velvet, a material that feels like a pool table. This material Stimps at around 13 on a hardwood floor and 11 on carpet.
Once he had the product designed, he sunk his savings into buying 500 units.
“I had a pit in my stomach,” he says, “but I believed in the product and decided I had to take the risk.”
The Perfect Practice putting mat didn’t take off like a rocket. Oren knocked on a lot of doors – rather, he messaged a lot of pros on Instagram, offering them a free mat to try it out. Pros like Smylie Kaufman, Joaquin Niemann, and Jimmy Walker loved it, so they shared it with their Instagram followers.
Word started to get around that the Perfect Practice mat was the real deal. Oren sold 250 mats on Cyber Monday 2019. He took all the money he earned and put it back into the company, ordering another 8,000 units from China.
He got lucky because he received all the mats from China before exporting came to a standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Tour was suspended and, like me, pros were bored. So they started ordering up mats and posting about it on social media. One of which was Dustin Johnson, who won the Tour Championship and the $15 million FedEx Cup in September 2020. He was also voted the 2020 PGA Tour Player of the Year.
More than 25,000 people have purchased the Perfect Practice putting mat. I’m one of those 25,000 people. I think you should be one too. I’ll explain why in a moment. But lets first look at your options.
Perfect Practice Putting Mat Options
There are three core putting mats to choose from. The difference between each one is the length. Here are the sizes they offer.
- 8ft Compact Edition
- 9ft 6in Standard Edition
- 15ft 6in XL Edition
They also have a couple of variations. For example, they have a left-handed Standard Edition, a Standard Expert Edition that’s without train tracks, and a Limited Edition Acrylic model I wish they had when I bought mine.
The standard models have a natural wood finish. It comes with a wooden backstop to stop you from sending balls through your drywall or window. It also comes with several rails that attach to each other with magnets. This is part of the automatic ball return. There are also two spots in the back to hold golf balls.
That’s all there is to it. There are few pieces and there’s really nothing to put together, especially if you plan for the mat to have a permanent spot in your house.
I opted to buy the Standard Edition. I don’t have the space to leave my mat out – it goes up once I’m done with it. It’s a bit of a pain especially since there’s no easy way to store it. More on that in a second.
So, I saw no point in buying the 8 foot since space wasn’t going to be an issue and I felt like having the extra distance was worth the extra $30.
Why not buy the 15-footer? I considered it to work on my putting distance control. But there are few places where I could realistically use it. And it’d almost take up the entire length of my garage, which is where I use it now.
Ultimately, the Perfect Practice XL Edition wasn’t a practical choice for me. But I’ve been plenty happy with the Standard. I have no complaints about buying it.
What I Like About the Perfect Practice Putting Mat
There are several things I like about this putting mat. Though, for the sake of transparency, I’ve not used any other putting mats. I have nothing to compare this mat to other than actual putting greens. So, that’s something you might want to consider before you pull the trigger and buy/skip this mat.
That said, here are the things I like about the Perfect Practice putting .
Work on Putts Inside of 10 Feet
Odds are you’re not a scratch golfer, otherwise I sort of doubt you’d be reading a Perfect Practice putting mat review from a near beginner.
The odds are better that you shoot in the 80s, 90s, or higher. This means you probably sink most putts from 3 feet. But every foot beyond that your putting gets more and more atrocious. I have stats to back that up.
Distance | Tour Pro | Scratch Golfer | 90 Shooter
- 2 feet | 99% | 99% | 95%
- 3 feet | 96% | 93% | 84%
- 4 feet | 88% | 80% | 65%
- 5 feet | 77% | 66% | 50%
- 8 feet | 50% | 41% | 27%
- 9 feet | 40% | 33% | 20%
- 10 feet | 15% | 14% | 6%
Notice how bad the average 90 shooter is from 9 feet. You’re making one out every five putts and one out of every four putts at 8 feet. Imagine how much you can improve your score if you bump every one of those markers up a couple percentage points.
The Perfect Practice putting mat can help you with that.
Many if not most putting mats are flat. The cup is an inch or two deep. It’s not the same as putting into a regulation cup.
The Perfect Practice putting mat doesn’t use a regulation cup either – I haven’t measured it myself MEASURE THE CUP but I’ve seen others say it’s only 3.25 inches wide. But it’s deep because the ramp creates enough space for the ball to drop in the cup into the auto return compartment.
This is nice because it gives you the feeling of making the putt, something most other putting mats lack.
The other thing that’s nice about the ramp is that it forces you to putt the ball a little harder otherwise you’ll come up short. This is useful if you often leave your putts short (which many mid to high handicappers do).
I’m not 100% convinced the ramp in and itself will help you with not leaving your putts short. I’ll talk more about that in a second.
Finally, when you do leave your putts short, the ramp will send the ball back to you.
The Train Tracks and Starting Lines
This is my favorite aspect of the Perfect Practice putting mat – the lines. That’s because I primarily use this mat to work on my starting line.
From any point on the mat you can putt and see if the ball rolls end over end – if it starts on the line you wanted it to. If not, you’ll see it veer off at some point.
This helps you with your putting stroke, starting line, setup, and more. That’s why I’d probably never buy the Expert Edition – the whole point of this putting mat, to me, is to practice your starting line.
If I didn’t want a mat with lines on it, I’d just save my money and either buy a cheaper mat and/or go to the golf course and practice there.
What I Don’t Like About the Perfect Practice Putting Mat
The Perfect Practice putting mat isn’t perfect. There are a few things I don’t like about it.
Automatic Ball Return is Touchy
The ball return is touchy. The compartment that the ball drops into is slanted so that the ball feeds into the ramp and then momentum and gravity take care of the rest.
But if your floor is uneven, or if your carpet raises the backside of the compartment, the ball tends to get stuck. So, you have to go fish it out.
But the opposite is true too. Sometimes the ball return works too well. Sometimes it runs off the rails or it spits out onto the mat blocking your line.
Ultimately, I think a rail that collects the balls instead of spitting them out on the mat would work better. I don’t want to worry about having to putt faster to avoid an incoming ball that will block my putt.
Can’t Work on Speed or Distance Control
The Perfect Practice putting mat isn’t a great option for working on your speed and distance.
The distance control should be obvious, though, as the only mat that you could possibly do this on is the 15-footer. And you can’t putt PAST the hole, limiting you as to what you can work on.
I don’t think this is a practical solution for working on speed either. The mat unlikely matches your course’s putting greens. And you’re going to have to practice your speeds on every new course you play on.
My other issue with “speed” is that, to me, it seems like you can putt too hard – to get over the ramp – and still hole the putt. Sure, if you hit it TOO HARD the ball will bounce off the backstop. But I’ve noticed that I can putt pretty hard and still hole my putts, yet this hasn’t translated well onto the course.
It seems like a better approach would be to work on putting the ball just hard enough to get up the ramp and trickle over the lip of the cup.
This might be a case of user error rather than a fault with the product. So long as you pay attention to what you’re training yourself to do and make any adjustments so that your practice carries over and helps you improve on the course, then this probably won’t be a problem.
And, ultimately, my issues are pretty minor. The truth is that you’re not going to find a putting mat that mimics a putting green perfect, shy of building your own. But if you could do that, you probably wouldn’t be reading a Perfect Practice putting mat review.
How I Use the Perfect Practice Mat
As I mentioned, I don’t think the Perfect Practice mat is perfect for working on every aspect of your putting game. For example, I don’t think it’s a good way to work on your speed or distance control.
What I think this putting mat is great for is working on your setup, routine, stroke, and starting line. I probably focus on my starting line the most.
Right now, most of what I do is start at the 2ft mark and aim to hole so many putts before moving onto the 3ft mark, 4ft mark, and so on. When I miss, I start over.
I’m sure there are many drills you could use on the mat. The Gate Drill comes to mind. Any number of stroke-specific drills would probably work too.
I’ll update this review in the future as I add or change how I use the Perfect Practice putting mat. For now, I’m just working on having a consistent putting stroke that keeps the ball on my intended line, which this mat is great for.
Perfect Practice Putting Mat FAQ
Can you use this mat on a garage floor?
Yes, I’ve used the Perfect Practice putting mat on carpet, my kitchen floor, and on my garage floor. The harder the floor, the faster you should expect the ball to roll.
How thick is the mat? What are the overall dimensions?
The Compact Edition is 8ft x 9in wide. The Standard is 9ft 6in long and the XL is 15ft 6in long and both mats are 15in wide. Those dimensions don’t include the length or width of the ball compartment and return.
I’m not sure how thick the mat is. I’ll update this review once I find out.
What is the hole size?
I’ve not measured mine (though, I suppose I should). Perfect Practice says the larger hole is regulation size. The other hole isn’t much bigger than a golf ball.
What is the speed of the mat?
The stimp rating is 10-14 depending on the surface you use it on (according to Perfect Practice) – it’s slower if you putt on carpet and faster if you put it on a hard surface, like hardwood or concrete floors
Is there a Perfect Practice Putting Mat discount code?
Yes, use THEDIVOT15 to save 15% at checkout. This code will only work on the Perfect Practice website. It won’t work on Amazon.
Can I use the mat outside?
Yes, but Perfect Practice recommends that you don’t leave it out in the weather as the rain and other elements can break down the putting mat.
Do I Recommend the Perfect Practice Putting Mat?
It’s not perfect. You’re not going to work on your speed or distance using the Perfect Practice mat. And I think you need to be mindful of how you train how hard you hit your putts up the ramp as it seems like there is more forgiveness than you might experience on the course.
That’s just my limited experience, of course.
But I think it’s an awesome putting mat for working on your setup, putting stroke, and starting line. It looks great. It’s not hard to store (I hang mine up with hooks in my closest). And you can perform many drills on it.
The mat isn’t right for everyone. Most of the mats they offer are big, so you’ll either need a place to leave it permanently or plan to put it up when you’re done.
It’s expensive too. You’ll spend as much as $220 for a single mat. This is significantly more expensive than most putting mats you can buy on Amazon.
But I think it’s worth it. I don’t regret my purchase one bit and I don’t foresee me ever buying another mat for my own personal use. Odds are you won’t have to either.
Besides, I can help you a little bit with the cost. If you buy now using my link and use discount code THEDIVOT15 at checkout, you’ll save 15% (savings applied at checkout).
But you don’t have to decide now. Just grab the discount code, click the link, and check out the specs on their website. Odds are you’ll come to the same conclusion I did and soon you’ll be practicing your putting game in your home on the Perfect Practice putting mat.