I’ve been on the market for a new indoor putting mat. For years I used the “Pro Turf 5mm” putting mat that I purchased from XGrass on eBay which doesn’t appear to be a thing now. Unfortunately, I had to throw it out after our asshole cat thought it was a good idea to use it as a bathroom. I needed to find a replacement…
The Cheap Replacement
There’s a lot of putting mats out there. Most are overpriced for what they are; a lot come from AliExpress and are re-sold at a huge markup on Amazon. That said, I went cheap and ended up going for this 3’x8′ Nylon Putting Mat from Amazon. To my surprise, for the price, the mat actually wasn’t bad. The description says it rolls a 10 or 11 on the stimp which I found to be inaccurate. I’d say it’s closer to an 8-9 the stimp, but that’s only a guess. It’s definitely not what I’d consider “country club” speed. It took some time to settle flat after unrolling, but it was a nice little mat to sit in the corner of the office. If you’re looking for something to work on your putting that won’t break the bank, this one might be an option for you.
Note: This mat likely won’t work well on anything other than hardwood floors.
Enter the BirdieBall Putting Mat
My club’s greens usually stimp around a 10 (maybe faster at various times through the year for tournaments), the nylon putting mat above wasn’t going to cut it for quality practice. Once again, I was on the hunt for a mat. A lot that I found were super-expensive and I wasn’t prepared to pay $400+ for a putting mat no matter how good they were supposed to be.
- Classic thickness (1/2″)
- 3′ width
- 8′ length
- Medium speed | 10-11 stimp
- Two holes cut (one on each end)
- End bumpers (free with purchase)
It arrived fast (free shipping too!) and was rolled up in a standard cardboard box. My initial reaction after unboxing was that it felt cheap. It’s literally a piece of foam. Turns out, that’s not a bad thing, just different than the nylon mats I’m used to. The mats I’ve had in the past seem to take days to lay flat after you unroll them. Not the BirdieBall. After unrolling, it fully settled in about 15-20 minutes (guessing; never timed it) but lays flat enough to putt after a few minutes. The mat is spongy, like you would expect from a piece of foam, but not so much that it leaves deep impressions in the mat when you stand on it. The impressions that are left quickly fade.
- The mat
- Two bumpers for each end
- Two cups with flag
- Hole reducer
- Two hole fill-ins
- One circular foam piece with a hole cut in it (not pictured – still have no idea what it’s for)
- BirdieBall sticker
I mentioned earlier that I got the 10-11 (or “country club”) stimp. The first few putts were a complete disappointment. It was as if I was putting on a hardwood floor. Actually, hardwood might be slower! I freaked out and immediately starting researching how return the product. Turns out, they take shipping fees out of your return (their cost to ship you the product) and it’s not cheap. I didn’t want to take a hit on the return, so I contacted support via phone. They were very helpful and more than willing to help solve whatever issues I had. After explaining my problem, I was directed to a couple YouTube videos showing how to slow the mat down by brushing against the grain with a coarse broom (yes there’s grain). Following their advice, the mat got quite a bit slower and was now usable and very close to the speed of my country club.
If you’d rather not purchase a broom to “fix” your putting mat. Do yourself a favor and just buy the slowest speed they offer. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about it being too slow. If you decide to ignore this advice, don’t say I didn’t warn you. It will be fast and you’ll need to make a trip to Lowes to buy a broom. If you need to brush, small pieces of the mat go EVERYWHERE so be sure to do it outside and not in the middle of your living room like I did.
I’ve had the mat now for a few months and I’m of the opinion that for the price, this is one of the best mats out there. Unlike the nylon mats that are common online, the BirdieBall rolls true and the grain won’t throw the ball off line like the nylon threads can on other mats. You can be confident with the BirdieBall that the ball is going where you hit it which is great for building confidence.
BirdieBall Putting Mat Review
After looking for a few weeks trying to find the perfect putting mat, I found it in the BirdieBall. For quality and price point, you cannot go wrong with the BirdieBall.