Putting at home is probably the easiest form of practice for any golfer. Birdie Ball has made that process a bit easier, and we think you should know about them.
The main issue is finding a surface that is similar enough to a real putting green to make it effective. Most golfers resort to putting on a carpet, which is not a completely terrible idea if you don’t have any other options, but it’s not the real thing.
You could purchase a mat like this one. I’ve been using it for a couple of years, and it’s perfectly fine for a $35. It even sends the ball back to you.
But what if you want to take it to the next level?
Bonus Content:Be sure to check out my complete guide to putting.
No Realistic Options
For a while I had been searching for a way to have an actual putting green in my house, but the options were just not viable.
I could build a makeshift green with plywood and AstroTurf, similar to what you see in a lot of golf stores. The problem is the speed is not realistic. Additionally, for someone like me who is lacking in the home-improvement department that’s not a project you want to take on.
I could also could go for a higher-end putting green outdoors. There are plenty of companies that will build them for you, or you could do it yourself. That’s going to cost thousands of dollars though.
Or if you are a professional golfer who is a millionaire, you could have a room outfitted with Toyota Camry trunk carpet like Webb Simpson.
Like many of you reading this, I don't want to invest the time or money to do any of these options.
I think I have found the best solution that fits in the middle, and it’s called Birdie Ball. They have invented an indoor putting matt that can be customized to various sizes, and more importantly different speeds.
I’ve been testing this product for over a month now, and I believe it’s the most realistic indoor putting surface I have ever been on. More importantly, it’s not that expensive, and it is easy to set up.
The secret sauce behind the product is an aerated polymer that can be customized to three different speeds based on the types of courses you play. I received a 4' x 14' mat with the medium speed, which is about a 10-11 on the stimpmeter, or similar to the speed of a private golf course. This version costs about $200.
Setting up the mat in my basement took less than 10 minutes. You unroll it, get your holes assembled, and you are good to go. There’s really not much else to it.
Here is a picture of my practice "dungeon"
Every indoor green I have putted on had synthetic turf that was just not realistic. You can hit a putt that should have gone 6-7 feet on a golf course, and instead it just keeps rolling forever. To me that won’t help much with your performance on the course.
The thing I was most concerned with when testing the Birdie Ball was this. How is the speed?
It’s pretty close, and I almost can’t even tell the difference.
I knew this because I was actually leaving putts short from about 10-12 feet, which is something I have never done on any kind of indoor surface. I'm excited to add this product to my practice area, and plan on using it quite a bit over the winter.
This mat is also large enough where I can perform some drills from my favorite book at various distances.
My favorite thing about this product is that you can order it in multiple sizes. You can go as small as 1' x 10' for $44.99, or as large as 4' x 18' for $234.99. You can also customize your speed for three options - public courses, private courses, or championship. If you want to get a little more creative you can change how many holes you have, build a thicker surface to create a deeper hole, or add contours for break.
I highly recommend checking this product out if you were like me, and looking for a more realistic indoor putting experience.
You can purchase the Birdie Ball putting mats on their website here.