Practicing your putting at home is a legitimate way to knock a few strokes off your handicap. Almost any golfer can do it, even with limited space. Recently, I got a chance to try out one of the premium at-home putting systems from Tour Links. Most golfers dream of having a custom putting green in their house or backyard and their products allow you to do it without the hassle of a professional installation.
I've been putting with their 4 x 10 par saver green for the past couple of months, and it is easily the best putting solutions I have ever used. It's certainly more expensive than many of the other indoor putting mats on the market. In this review, I will try to clear up for you what the major differences are, and who this putting green could potentially suit.
What Makes Tour Links Unique?
Tour Links has been around since 2001 and is widely recognized as one of the leaders in professional-style putting greens.
They offer modular greens that feature a patented interlocking base which allows golfers to quickly set up a green that rivals what custom installers charge an arm and a leg for. Their goal was to make a putting experience at home that closely resembles what you will encounter on a golf course, to make practice more realistic.
While many golfers have resorted to using their carpet or inexpensive roll-up mats, this is a solution for the player who wants as close to the real thing as they can get.
Tour Links offers several out-of-the-box greens ranging from 4' x 10' all the way up to 8' x 14'. They also have done tons of custom designs for golf professionals, college teams, and golfers around the world.
Simply put, if you're looking for the best possible solution out there, this is one of the companies you would come across.
Setting Up a Tour Links Putting Green
I've been working with the 4' x 10' Par Saver green from Tour Links, which retails for $779. I recently finished my basement and had a perfect spot for it.
To be completely honest I am not the handiest person in the world. DIY projects make me cringe, and even though setting up the green was supposed to be easy, I was almost certain I would make a mistake.
Three large boxes arrived at my door with a set of instructions. I ended up using the video on their website as my guide, and I tried to follow as closely as possible.
Here is a quick video of me building the green:
Truth be told it's pretty easy to set up a Tour Links green. It took me just under an hour, and I only managed to make one small mistake with the orientation. You are simply locking the panels into place, inserting holes, and then unwrapping the turf on top of everything.
Compared to some of the DIY projects I have seen people do, and professional style systems I've seen, this is WAY easier if you are looking to get a professional-style indoor putting green.
I'll cut straight to the chase - this green is awesome. The roll is absolutely perfect and what you would expect on a high-end course. If you want true feedback on your putting stroke this is definitely going to be one of your best options. I have tried some of the other premium products out there and in my opinion, Tour Links is at the top of the list.
Here is a video of a few putts:
Aside from the performance of the turf, there is something to be said for actually seeing your ball drop into a hole. I've either used a carpet or inexpensive putting mat for most of my golfing life. I do think there is a mental advantage to seeing the ball drop, and it adds to the overall experience.
Also, it's nice to have the barriers to prevent the ball from traveling too far away when you do miss a putt.
I used my vacuum to get the grain of the green rolling in one direction. So one side is a faster putt that breaks slightly to the left, and coming back I have a slower, left-to-right putt. You can expect speeds between 10-12 on the Stimpmeter; their turf is definitely on the faster side.
The only thing that was slightly disappointing was the size. When you hear 4' x 10' your mind assumes that you'll be able to hit ten-foot putts, but you actually can't because of the contour of the green limits where you can stand. It is something you should be aware of before you purchase a Tour Links green.
I measured the longest putts I can take and they were just over 7 feet. This distance is certainly important. PGA Tour players are only making about 50-60% of their putts from this range.
Overall, you can expect exceptional performance out of one of their greens. It's a true roll and it will feel as close to putting on a real green as you can get.
Who Should Buy a Tour Links Green?
There are plenty of inexpensive indoor-putting mat solutions available. I've used a lot of them, and many perform fairly well. If you're on a tight budget they can get you close to optimal putting practice at home.
However, for the golfer who wants a premium solution, I believe Tour Links is going to be one of your best options.
Putting is the part of golf that has been somewhat of a brick wall for me. While I have gotten my handicap close to zero, it's the last part of the game where I haven't been able to make a major breakthrough, so I have decided to make a more serious effort in my practice.
Having this green at home has certainly made me want to practice more because the experience is so much better. Additionally, I have seen instant results. The first two tournament qualifiers I played this year showcased my best putting ever, and I was able to earn a spot in each event. I felt more comfortable over my putts, and I believe that was because I had been able to practice effectively at home and constantly see the ball dropping into the hole.
Long story short, if you have the extra money to invest, and want the best - I think a green from Tour Links will hit it on the mark for you. Almost every golfer fantasizes about having a professional-style putting green at home, and this can make it happen for you.
You can purchase Tour Links greens directly from their website here. If you use coupon code PG417 at checkout you will receive $25 off your order.
Bonus Content:Be sure to check out my complete guide to putting.