Detailed Guide for Golf Mats
After being involved in the golf simulator industry for the last fifteen years we feel highly qualified to write about what you should be looking for in a golf mat.
- How realistically does the experience of the mat replicate that of hitting off real turf?
- Is the mat going to improve or worsen your golf?
- How durable is the construction, workmanship and materials used to make the mat?
- How will the mat help you avoid injury, so you can practice everyday if you want to?
- Is the mat good value for its price?
Most of us unfortunately have had the experience of hitting off a worn-out concrete like driving range mat at some stage, or we’ve bought a budget mat thinking they all must be the same. But a number of things happen with inferior quality mats.
Firstly, if the club contacts the mat, you either get the dreaded “bounce effect”. Which means that if you hit behind the ball, instead of getting a fat shot, the club bounces up and you’re liable to top the shot. This gets you trying to hit down more, and now your impact’s getting steeper, where as what you actually should’ve been practicing was having a shallower impact? So you’re getting worse instead of better and that’s one reason why golfers traditionally haven’t liked hitting off mats.
Or worse, the mat actually “grabs” the leading edge of the clubhead and stops it dead in its tracks. The PGA coaches in our testing team have unfortunately seen some horrific injuries to wrists, elbows and shoulders from mats that were either rock hard, or way too lush and stopped clubs.
We avoided these negative in the design of our Sim Master Premium Hitting Mat. Our mat is constructed of 1 ¼” knitted nylon turf, supported by a 1/8” urethane stabilising layer, all underpinned by a ½” foam base for added comfort and stability.
The effect of the long dense fibre system is that it absorbs and dissipates the blow just like natural turf would. A mat is never going to feel exactly like a fairway, but this comes as close as anything we’ve ever tested—and our team has literally tested hundreds over the years.
So it you hit a fat shot, it feels like a fat shot. Now you can be working on what you should be with your golf! Correcting your faults, not adding to them!
One element of a realistic simulator experience is that the surface gives you correct feedback, but you also want the whole experience of playing to feel real and a part of that is being able to use real tees. So many mats don’t have fibres packed anywhere near as close together as the Sim Master Two, so your confined to using rubber tees. But with the Sim Master you can put real tees, at whatever height you like in for driver shots, shorter tees for fairway clubs and hybrids, and even really short tees for irons shots off par threes. With the Sim Master Two you are practicing as you would play in the real world.
Of course, because of the dense pile cushioning system, with injury prevention technology, there’s another other advantage. You can hit all day, every day on the Sim Master Two, without risking injury.
That means your golf is more enjoyable. And without getting sore the desire to play and practice is heightened.
The user experience is of course key but over the years we’ve tested hundreds of mats which initially felt great, but were thread bare and rocklike after only a few months, sometimes weeks! Not so with the Sim Master Premium Hitting mat.
Only the highest quality materials are used at every phase of its construction, and that process is checked and re-checked again at every manufacturing stage.
A final few points to look out for when purchasing a mat. It’s a good idea to make sure it’s compatible with both Doppler Radar and Photometric based launch monitor systems. Plus, it’s good if it’s light enough to be able to be easily rotated, so you can get maximum wear out of your mat. And yes, the Sim Master ticks the boxes on these criteria too.
Finally, there’s the price. You might think that high price mats are always going to automatically be better, but buyer be warned, this is not always the case.
The Sim Master Premium Hitting Mat,
is not the most expensive mat on the market but we’ve done all the hard work for you in making sure with it, you’ll have the best practice and play experience of your life. It’s priced at $—– We think it’s great value for money for the level of excellence you’ll be buying.