Best Golf Practice Nets

Updated May 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

25 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
355 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best golf practice nets

Last Updated May 2019

Heading out to the driving range to practice your golf swing isn’t always possible. You need to find the time to drive there and fork over money for balls, and you might have to cancel the trip if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Whether you’re an amateur or a pro, a golf practice net is a great way to avoid these problems.

If you want to improve your golf game, you need to hit balls regularly, and a practice net provides you with a convenient way to do so without the hassles and expense of visiting a range. If you’re in the market for a golf practice net, we can help.

This guide introduces you to some of the features you need to consider when shopping for a golf practice net. We examine everything from construction and assembly to specialized features such as automatic ball return. This provides you with all the information you need to find a net that’s in your price range and sturdy enough to survive your hardest drives. When you’re ready to buy, take a look at our favorites, too.

A golf practice net can help you in a number of ways, notably by improving your stance, swing, and accuracy.

Key considerations

Durability

There are several elements common to most golf practice nets, but the underlying need here is strength. A net should be rugged enough to stand up to the regular abuse that you and your clubs will be dishing out. While all golf practice nets can be used indoors, if you plan to leave one set one up on your lawn or driveway, check that it can handle weather. Is it made of rain- and wind-resistant materials? The product details should clearly state whether the net can be used outside or if it’s an indoor-only net.

  • Net: The netting should be woven from a material that can stop balls without ripping or fraying, such as a strong polyester.

  • Structure: The support structure that holds up the net – usually made of a lightweight material such as aluminum or fiberglass – should be durable enough to take hits without bending or shattering. If there are any metal elements, they should be resistant to rust and corrosion.

  • Turf mat: Some nets ship with a turf mat (usually made from nylon), which should also pass the durability test and not fray or otherwise break down over time. Nylon divots are a sure sign that your turf mat isn’t cutting it.

Portability

As mentioned, the support structure is made of either fiberglass or aluminum, resulting in a lightweight net that’s easy to carry around. If you’re going to be transporting your practice net frequently – or even taking it apart often for storage – the net should be easy to put together and break apart. The addition of a carry bag allows you to keep all the elements together and move or store them more easily. You can assume that your first attempt to put the net together will take a little longer than the manufacturer states, but after that it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to go from storage bag to hitting your first shot, or vice versa. Avoid any practice net that takes more than one person to set up.

Stability

While golf practice nets are pretty rugged in their own right, they can still occasionally use a little help to keep from moving around while being barraged by balls or wind. Some come with ground stakes to stabilize the net outdoors. Others incorporate rubber feet or some other form of nonskid material on the bottom of the frame to keep the net immobile for use indoors.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re leery of using real golf balls with your practice net, try using foam or plastic practice balls instead.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you’re ready to take your golf practice net to the next level, pair it with a golf simulator.


Staff  | BestReviews

Golf practice net features

Driving vs. chipping

There are two different types of golf practice nets: driving and chipping. Some practice nets incorporate elements of both, such as including a target with a driving net, while others physically combine both types of net in one bundle.

  • Driving nets: These nets are basically driving ranges shrunk down to net size. With these, you can practice your big, “aim for the green” shots.

  • Chipping nets: These practice nets are more compact and built to practice your shots closer to the green. They often have multiple targets so you can practice chip shots of different lengths.

Ball return

If you purchase a net with some form of automatic ball return, you’ll spend much less time chasing balls around. These nets are usually slanted in such a way that the ball strikes and rolls down the net and returns roughly to where it originated. Even nets that don’t include such a feature should still have some way of collecting balls so that you can easily retrieve them without having to wade through yards of netting.

Turf mat

While not standard with all golf practice nets, a turf mat is one item that should be used with these nets, if only for shot consistency. A mat also protects your lawn, garage floor, or other surface where you use the net. The turf mat should be rugged and large enough that you can easily use it without driving it into the net along with the ball. Ideally, the mat also has some way to incorporate a golf tee.

Carry bag

A golf practice net should ship with a durable carry bag that is large enough to hold the net and its components for storage or travel.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some manufacturers offer various accessories with their nets, such as targets and side barriers, that you can purchase separately.

Golf practice mat prices

Golf practice nets start at around $30 and can easily reach up into the hundreds of dollars. On the low end are more compact chipping nets. Inexpensive driving nets can be found for around $80. As you go up in price, you can expect to find larger nets, a more rugged build that can withstand the onslaught of larger balls like soccer balls, and advanced features such as robust ball-return capabilities.

Tips

  • Set up your practice net in a safe spot. Even large nets aren’t going to stop every shot, so be sure you position the net in front of a backstop that will minimize damage if a shot goes wild.

  • Don’t rush your shots when using a practice net. Line up and address the ball as you would if you were out on the course.

  • Invest in a swing analyzer. If you are having trouble with your swing when using a practice net, a swing analyzer clips to your golf glove and can not only analyze your swing but also give you tips on how to improve it.

  • Use the turf mat. Even if you plan on using your golf practice net outside, use it with a turf mat to protect your lawn. Using a mat inside and outside will also provide you with the most consistent results when taking shots.

  • Buy the most durable net you can afford. A golf practice net is all about taking as much abuse as you can dish out.

  • Use canopy weights. If you’re using a net on a surface that won’t work with stakes, such as your driveway, consider using canopy weights to secure the net and keep both your shots and the wind from knocking it over.

  • Aim for the target. A target on a golf practice net can increase the fun factor by providing you with visual rewards when you hit it. It also offers a great way to practice your chip shots.

Other products we considered

During our research we ran across a number of golf practice nets that didn’t quite reach the top five but that we still wanted to share. The first is the affordable SteadyDoggie Golf Net Bundle, which includes a net, configurable chipping target, and a storage bag. Its three-foot depth allows you to use it in places where other practice nets won’t fit. The GoSports Golf Practice Net is also moderately priced and stands out for its ball-return capabilities. Finally, if you mainly want to work on your chipping game, give the Rukket Pop-Up Golf Chipping Net a shot. This practice net is available in several colors and ships with three targets and a dozen practice balls.

One major way that a net helps is by forcing a golfer to focus solely on the shot instead of on where to put the ball.

FAQ

Q. Can I use a golf practice net with other sports?
A.
Depending on how rugged the net is, some can be used by those seeking to improve their skills in soccer, football, baseball, lacrosse, and other sports. Check with the manufacturer to find out if the net can be used in this manner.

Q. What is the easiest way to improve my swing with a golf practice net?
A.
Outside of a swing analyzer, one of the best ways to improve your swing involves nothing more than a little tape and a little time. To start, place a strip of impact tape on the hitting edge of your club. Take a few shots, noting the ball’s trajectory and how the shots feel. An examination of the tape will show how solidly you’re hitting the ball. Use this information to adjust your swing accordingly.

Q. How far apart should the turf mat and net be?
A.
This largely depends on the size of the net. With a larger net, you can set the turf farther away, while a smaller net will require you to be closer. The best positioning when you’re first starting out with a net is to place the turf as close as you can to it (so the net will catch all your shots) without being so close that your swing hits the net.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jacob
    Jacob
    Editorial Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Rich
    Rich
    Writer

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