Best Golf Hitting Mats Review
Most affordable. Most durable. Or most realistic. Make sure to do your research on which golf hitting mat will work best for your indoor golf simulator.
You finally picked out your golf enclosure, impact screen, launch monitor, and projector. They are delivered and you get your golf simulator installed and working. You go to hit your first ball and as you toss the ball onto your floor, it just keeps bouncing away.
That’s when it hits you that you forgot an important piece to your golf simulator: a hitting mat, duh! Trust us, you don’t want to hit balls off your cement garage floor or basement carpeting. It’s not good for your clubs, it’s not good for your floor, and ultimately it’s not great for your golf swing.
It’s all good because we are here to help provide you with reviews on some of the most talked about golf hitting mats.
How Carl's Place Chooses the Best Golf Mats
Using a five-star scale, we rate each hitting mat on three main pieces of criteria:
- Realism - How it emulates real turf. Does it punish bad shots? Does it accept real tees?
- Practicality - Does the price reflect the quality and performance of the mat? How easy is it to assemble and use? How easy is it to move?
- Comfortability - How thick and soft is the mat? Does it cause joint pain? Can you play golf for long periods of time on it without hurting?
Just a heads up: we don't hand out 5 stars like candy at a parade. A 5 star ranking means it is perfect, and we know nothing is perfect - except Carl's imaginary golf swing.
Comparing the Best Golf Hitting Mats on the Market
The hitting mats we reviewed and rated were:
Check out the video below for an in-depth review of each mat.
TRUESTRIKE HITTING MAT
Realism: 3.75 ⭐
TrueStrike claims that its gel hitting section is just like hitting off a fairway. To us, nothing is ever going to perfectly emulate hitting off a grass fairway, but we would agree that the gel section is pretty close.
Comparing the gel section to the rest of the TrueStrike mat, the make of the gel section is a little looser, while the range mat sections seem to have a tighter "cut."
Golfers cannot put a real tee in any section of a TrueStrike mat, but the range sections do come with holes where you can put rubber tee receivers and then use a real tee in that. However, the rubber tee holes are a few inches off the gel section so they might just be outside the hitting zone.
Otherwise, you'll have to invest in tees that sit on top of your hitting surface, such as Carl's HotShot Indoor Golf Tees.
It is not ideal to putt on a TrueStrike mat as it does have a lip that causes the ball to bounce as it leaves the hitting mat instead of falling off to the turf/floor below.
Practicality: 3 ⭐
TrueStrike offers several different sizes and configurations of their mats, allowing golfers to be able to modify their mat to fit their setup the best. For example, in our showroom, we took the Academy mat and added an extra range mat on each side for more width to make sure we accommodated taller golfers.
Another pro of having a modular and configurable hitting mat is the ability to replace a section at will. If a gel section or range mat section wears out, just buy a replacement instead of a whole new mat.
Each piece has "teeth" that come off the bottom on each side to interlock with the teeth of another mat section. Then there is edge trim to cover the sides and make it look clean. Most of the time, it is easy to put together, but we've had those "teeth" areas be a bit finicky at times and need some tweaks to get them to lay flat.
All that said, it is not the most portable or cost-friendly option. But, you're getting a quality hitting surface for the price you pay.
Comfortability: 4 ⭐
Even after intentionally hitting bad shots, hitting behind the ball, and purposely trying to hit divots, our wrists and elbows were not acting up. This is not the case for all mats.
The range mat sections have a good balance of firmness for a sturdy base, but also softness to allow you to play on it for hours.
However, if you continue to take chunks over and over, it's just natural that your joints will feel it. However, with a TrueStrike mat, they shouldn't feel it right away.
FIBERBUILT PLAYER PREFERRED HITTING MAT
Realism: 3.75 ⭐
Although the turf/artificial grass itself is relatively thin on the Fiberbuilt Player Preferred, the stance area is on the softer side, possibly because the rubber base does have some air pockets built in.
The hitting area itself felt pretty realistic as well. Chunked shots were appropriately punished and showed up in the gameplay.
The mat does not take a real tee anywhere, but there are four holes cut into the corner of the hitting area in which you can place a rubber tee receiver. Note that the holes for the rubber tee receivers are spaced out, so using multiple at one time might be difficult based on the size of your launch monitor's hitting area.
Also, unlike the TrueStrike mats, the Fiberbuilt Player Preferred series does not have a lip when you putt, allowing the ball to fall off the mat to the turf more naturally.
Practicality: 2 ⭐
This rating might be a little harsh, but the higher price and difficulty of assembly were the key factors.
Fiberbuilt is one of the more expensive hitting mat brands on the market, but it's because they make heavy-duty, high-quality products. Speaking of being heavy-duty, the rubber foundation pieces are quite heavy, which makes assembly and transportation physically difficult. Mentally, assembly is not as difficult.
Once you do get it assembled, it tends to stay in place pretty well. Just make sure you don't have to move it because you likely won't be able to keep it in one piece.
Comfortability: 3.75 ⭐
The Player Preferred Series from Fiberbuilt is one of the most comfortable hitting mats due to its soft stance area and "vibration absorption layer" in its hitting surface.
The hitting area has not given us any joint pain at all since we started using this mat. Although it's not rated as highly as TrueStrike in comfortability, we still feel like we can golf on this mat for hours without pain.
CARL'S HOTSHOT™ HITTING MAT
We decided against rating our own Carl's HotShot Hitting Mat because we might be just a tiny bit biased toward them. However, we pulled some customer ratings and reviews to show how others feel about them.
Before reading the customer reviews, we'd like to point out a cool feature about our hitting mat: it comes with a precut hitting strip area. Why is that cool? Once that area wears out, you don't have to buy a whole new hitting mat. Just replace it with the same insert, or one of Carl's Divot Hitting Strips. Or, you can replace it with a divot hitting strip right away.
Whatever floats your boat, sinks your putt, smashes your drive, flushes your iron.
Anyways, on to the customer reviews of the HotShot Hitting Mat.
Customer Michael said: "I tried tall boy turf, started to develop tendinitus in my lead forearm and elbow from impact, then i tried ez tee hybrid and it got worse, finally i decided to go with this one cause it simulates taking a divot and about 2 weeks after i got it, my tendinitus is just about healed up. No more pain. The mat is a little more forgiving than my old mats, but thats a great trade off for me. Id rather have good health, than punish myself physically for good feedback.... It still does give good feedback on fat shots though. The ball will ride up the face when u hit it fat, and if you have ever hit a shot high on the face, it doesnt go as far and feels different..... Its not grabby so its kinda hard to tell its a fat hit if you dont know your distances and launch angles."
Customer DJ said: "It has a nice amount of artificial turf on top and a nice really soft foam pad (underneath) ... It feels nice under the feet. It's got a little squish to it. It definitely isn't hard like some of the other ones I've used before where if you're slightly behind the ball whatsoever, you can just feel that it pumped the brakes and take all that off the club and send you a low piercing shot and hurt your hands. I like the squish that this has. It has that same kind of give as at least the grass in Arizona, which I really like ... I don't see this being one of those mats that's so dense and hard that it's like fatiguing. The divot style hitting insert, I liked how it felt ... it felt a little more clean when I hit the ball."
COUNTRY CLUB ELITE
Realism: 3.25 ⭐
Although somewhat firm when standing on it, the Country Club Elite hitting mat could pass as a fairway. It also will accept a real tee, and has holes to allow for the use of rubber tee receivers.
However, it doesn't feel as realistic when your club hits it. Instead of grabbing your club like grass would do, the club will just skip off the mat and into the ball. The data numbers might be slightly punished on the simulator, but maybe not as much as they would be in real life where the grass would grab the club a bit more.
Practicality: 2.5 ⭐
The CCE hitting mats are decently priced and quite easy to assemble: just pull it out of the box and lay it on the ground where you plan to hit from.
However, the mat overall is very stiff and not as light as some of the others we tested. It's essentially impossible to roll up or fold, so the only way to store it is flat. It's not too difficult to move short distances.
The foam on the bottom of the mat is very smooth on the bottom, which causes the mat to shift a decent amount while swinging. However, there are ways to mitigate that, such as: insetting the hitting mat into turf, carpet tape, rug grippers, etc.
Overall, it's an average mat that will get the job done at a decent price.
Comfortability: 2 ⭐
The Country Club Elite mat is noticeably firmer than most mats. From the artificial grass fibers to the foam underneath, it's pretty hard and stiff through and through.
Some people do prefer that, but for us, it did not seem like it would be comfortable to stand on for hours. Plus, it hurt our wrists and elbows when we were chunking shots.
If you plan to use your golf simulator a ton, you'll want to spend a few extra bucks to invest in a mat that feels comfortable to you.
EZ TEE MAT
Realism: 3.25 ⭐
As with most hitting mats, the EZ Tee did a good job of punishing bad, fat shots. It even grabbed the club more than some of the mats, causing a more realistic miss.
The mat also accepts real tees, but does not have holes for rubber tee receivers.
The artificial grass portion of the mat was made of up longer, stiffer fibers that kind of force your foot one way or another when you step on it, which could maybe cause some issues with the transfer of weight in a golf swing.
Overall, though, we felt it was decently realistic.
Practicality: 3 ⭐
Another mat where no assembly is required. Just pull it out of the box and place it where you need to - quickly and easily.
The price is also hard to beat for those budget-conscious buyers. Despite being lightweight, it did not shift as much during the swing because of its more textured bottom; the base of the mat is not made out of foam like Carl's HotShot or Country Club Elite mats, but instead is a rougher material that actually kind of grips the turf below.
However, if you have it on cement or another surface, it might still slide around.
EZ Tee does offer plenty of size options and some hitting strips.
Comfortability: 3 ⭐
The fibers in the artificial grass part of the mat are long and forgiving, making chunked shots not hurt the wrists and elbows too much. The longer fibers seem to help make up for the lack of foam base.
The EZ TEE seems to fall between Carl's HotShot mat and the Country Club Elite in comfortability.
GOSPORTS HITTING MAT
Realism: 2.25 ⭐
The GoSports Hitting Mat was quite firm from the start. Due to the firmness, you do get that club-skipping-into-the-ball feeling instead of the more realistic grabby feeling. Fat shots do end up punished, but not nearly as much as they should be.
The GoSports Hitting Mat is like a fairway, mid-summer, of a desert course in the middle of a drought. If a course decided not to water its fairways or try to grow new grass, that's the GoSports mat.
When we tried to put a tee in the mat, it stood up but didn't go in deep enough to support the weight of a ball. However, it does have three holes for rubber tee receivers on each side of the mat. The rubber tee receivers are included.
Practicality: 2 ⭐
The price is definitely attractive on this mat, but be careful when you invest in a cheap product. Your hitting mat is an important piece to your simulator as you will use it with each swing - don't cheap out on it.
Other practicality pros include that it's easy to assemble and very lightweight, so easy to move and store away when needed. It ships folded in half and is easy to fold back in half after use.
Golf Hitting Mat Comparison - Which mat is the best for you?
In conclusion, choosing the right golf hitting mat can greatly affect your overall experience and performance in your golf simulator. It's important to consider factors such as realism, practicality, and comfortability when making your decision.
Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, there's a mat out there that will meet your needs and expectations.
While some mats may be more budget-friendly, it's important to keep in mind that you may be sacrificing comfort or features that may enhance your overall experience. So take the time to do your research and choose the mat that's right for you. Happy swinging!
Let us know which golf mat you chose and what you think of it.
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