2-min summary: which golf mats are the best for DIY simulator setups?
Not got time to read the full write-up right now? Bookmark it for later, and simply read this 2-minute summary.
The best golf mats for simulators come from the brands below (the clickable link will jump you to each of the reviews on this page).
- Carl’s HotShot™ Hitting Mat – The best cheap golf mat for DIY simulators
- TrueStrike Academy Mat – The most forgiving golf mat (and our pick for best golf mat overall)
- Fiberbuilt Launch Monitor Studio
- SIGPRO Softy Sim Turf
- “Real Feel” from Country Club Elite
- The Net Return Pro Simulator Turf
While 6 made this top list, the clear winner is Truestrike Academy Simulator Mat (pictured below in our testing setup). The silicone base (rather than foam) is much more forgiving than your typical turf, and being a modular build, you can build it out (or replace sections) over time.
However, you’ll be in for $1k+ there. If you want a cheap golf mat for your simulator, we’d suggest the Carl’s HotShot hitting mat.
And a key point highlighted below. You need a golf simulator hitting mat as a minimum. A landing mat adds a more realistic feel to your DIY golf simulator, as it fills the gap between your hitting mat and impact screen (and also protects floors), but it’s not absolutely essential.
Where to find golf mats for sale
Want to start browsing golf sim mats now? Our favorite stores are Top Shelf Golf, Rain or Shine, Shop Indoor Golf and Carl’s Place. All have a ton of quality golf simulator mats from cheap-premium. However, our top pick for the best golf mat store is Carl’s Place Golf.
|Best golf mat shops
|Carl’s Place Golf (best value)
|Shop Indoor Golf
|Top Shelf Golf
|Rain or Shine Golf
The 3 types of golf simulator mats
Before you pick a practice mat for your sim, you need to understand the 3 types of golf mat. These are different to indoor greens, like the ones we’ve covered in our write-up covering the best indoor putting greens.
As the name suggests, indoor hitting mats are used to tee off, this is an absolute essential part of a golf simulator system.
Once you tee off from your hitting mat, you’ll be hitting against the impact screen, and the ball needs to fall…somewhere.
A landing mat isn’t essential (you could just allow the balls to drop on the carpet) in some cases. However, if you have a hard floor that might get scratched by balls landing, or simply want a look that gives a more realistic feel of being on the fairway, you’re going to want a landing mat too.
Typically, a landing mat will fill the total gap between your simulator hitting mat, and the impact screen.
Hitting and landing mat combo
Some simulator mats include turf for both hitting and landing. Although typically, it’s better to buy them separately. You can save money by buying a hard wearing landing mat, and use that cash to get a hitting mat with a much better feel; a real life simulation.
Golf simulator mats: 2023 “top turf list”
We’ve been writing about simulators and the DIY components that make them up since 2020. Below is a list of the best golf mat brands for simulators.
Top pick for: best cheap golf simulator mat package
As one of the leading retailers in DIY simulator products, Carl’s Place has managed to develop a custom golf hitting mat that’s perfect for practicing golf at home.
One of the most important features of the HotShot golf simulator mat is the fact the hitter area is replaceable. Because let’s face it, this is the area that gets used and abused. And by having a replaceable hitting area, this mat will last for years to come.
The main focus for Carl’s Place here was to focus on a real feel. Not only does that allow you to directly transfer what you learn at home to the green, it’s also comfortable (which can’t be said for those rock hard cheap hitting mats).
Sizes for the HotShot turf are:
- 4’ x 5’
- 5’ x 5’
- 4’ x 9’
The HotShot is one of the best golf hitting mats on the market, and will come inclusive of a 15x pack of simulator tees (3 standard, 6 tall drivers and 6 shortened iron tees).
Top pick for: most forgiving golf mat for simulators
TrueStrike is another premium brand in the golf simulator accessory market. We love a specialist company and that’s what TrueStrike is, literally all they make is professional grade mats for home and range use.
And of all the mats they offer, we’d be heading directly for the Academy Turf. It’s one of the best indoor golf mats in terms of realism, feeling like an actual fairway on every impact. Even better, its modular build means you can replace sections, or add to it over time!
A lot of golf mat brands have a foam layer beneath the turf, whereas TrueStrike has a silicone surface below. Turf impact is a real thing and it doesn’t just hurt, it can cause injury.
The silicone base layer embedded in the TrueStrike Academy reduces this risk hugely. You’ll feel less vibration through your wrist and elbows compared with other mats, as you can see here:
And as expected with a hitting mat of this quality, their nylon polyurethane cushioning helps to recreate the feeling of creating a divot, so you can really see how your practice is going!
If you want a professional grade hitting mat, then TrueStrike is the one for you.
Approx dimensions are 6ft 6’ x 4ft 3’ and you can see more images of the turf from TrueStrike here.
As the name suggests, the Fiberbuilt Launch Monitor Studio mat is designed for home use, specifically for home golf simulator setups.
The Studio practice mats are certainly on the premium side in terms of price, build quality and feel, easily making it one of the best golf mats available for home simulators currently.
Inclusive is a stance mat, and that works perfectly with the 1ft hitting section of the mat, which has 4 tee holes to choose from. And unlike many other mats (especially generic mats not designed for launch monitor use, or cheaper mats), you’ll have a spaced section which is specifically designed for your launch monitor.
The Fiberbuilt Nylon Grass is some of the best in the business. You get the feel you want, alongside durability, but also massive forgiveness on impact, meaning you can take dozens more shots per session than you would using a less forgiving mat.
If you have a reasonable budget for your simulator turf, we’d suggest taking a hard look at the Fiberbuilt Launch Monitor Studio.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Shop Indoor Golf (SIG) even before we mentioned them; they’re huge in the golf simulator industry. So big in fact, that they now have their own range of golf simulator practice mats. Their range has now expanded to include:
- SIGPRO Softy
- SIGPRO 3D
- SIGPRO Fairway Series.
So, the question is, which is the best golf hitting mat in the SIGPRO range?
The real factor here is budget. For lower budgets, you’re going to be looking at the Fairway Series Turf. It’s going to represent around a 50% saving when compared to the premium SIGPRO Softy.
The Fairway Series is definitely one of the best golf mats on the market. But everything the Fairway Series does, the SIGPRO Softy does better, and that means, the Softy:
- Feels more realistic
- Looks more realistic
- Lowers chance of injury from turf impact
- Has a replable hitting area (whereas the Fairway Series does not)
- Is bigger (4’ x 10’ as opposed to 5’ x 5’).
If you don’t have a $1k+ budget for a golf practice mat, the Fairway Series has a ton of great reviews, and is perfect for a home simulator setup. However, if you do have the budget, it’s going to be welcomed by going for the premium SIGPRO Softy over the Fairway Series.
The “Real Feel” from Country Club Elite
We’ve come across a ton of durable simulator hitting mats. The problem is, they just don’t have the feel you’d expect, meaning what you learn can’t be transferred to the course. Usually, this is because the material used is tough (so it lasts). Whilst that’s fine for a bit of fun, it doesn’t allow you to improve your golf game, and missing an impact isn’t exactly forgiving on your joints.
This is where the Real Feel Country Club Elite golf practice mat really stands out. Whilst it’s durable, it gives you the exact feel underfoot and on impact.
That’s thanks to the long dense fiber system alongside the divot design for a much more true experience compared to other mats. And, unlike other mats that need simulator specific golf tees, you’ll be able to use wooden tees with the Real Feel Country Club Elite!
Whilst this certainly isn’t a cheap golf mat, it’s a top line one. So, if you have the budget, this is a turf brand worth considering. You can grab your turf in the following sizes:
- 4′ x 5
- 5′ x 5′
- 5′ x 8′
- 5′ x 10′
If you’ve already been browsing golf practice mats, The Net Return doesn’t really need an introduction. Their Pro Series range of mats, turfs and nets are used in thousands of DIY golf simulators worldwide.
The Net Return Pro Turf is their flagship mat, perfect for home and indoor use whether you’re practicing putting directly into a net (see our guide to golf hitting nets here), or have a full simulator setup with an impact screen.
This is a landing mat and hitting mat in one. Unlike your typical 4ft x 5ft or 5ft x 5ft hitting mats you’ll typically find for sale, this combo mat is 10 ft long and 6ft wide!
It’s one of the most durable simulator mats on the market, partly thanks to its 5 mm backing and 42 oz face weight. And unlike cheaper mats, this emulates the feel of practicing on the fairway.
Jump over to online retailers, and you’ll hardly have trouble finding positive reviews (there are 100s).
If you’re looking for a combo golf mat (landing and hitting mat in 1) and 6ft x 10ft is the perfect size for your DIY setup, the Net Return Pro Golf turf is the mat for you.
Where to buy golf simulator mats
Unlike clubs, bags, shoes and other popular items, there aren’t a ton of retailers that truly specialize in simulators (see our guide to home golf simulators here) and accessories, so the range of indoor practice mats they offer is kinda’ limited. Apart from the shops selling golf mats below, it’s also worth flicking through our guide to used golf simulators.
We’ve been researching and writing about simulator mats, impact screens, enclosures, launch monitors and more since 2020. These are the online stores that consistently stand head and shoulders above the rest.
1. Carl’s Place
Carl’s Place is probably the most well known simulator retailer for DIYers. Whilst they do have golf practice mats and landing turf from a range of well known brands, they also have a selection of their own-branded items, which offer excellent value for money.
Their full range of golf similar mats can be found here.
Shop Indoor Golf and Rain or Shine Golf are two of the biggest suppliers in the industry.
Alongside selling everything you need for a DIY simulator setup, Shop Indoor Golf has a ton of cheap golf practice mats on offer; plenty of hitting and landing mats at reasonable prices.
Shop Indoor Golf have some own-branded products (SIG), and they’re massively popular with those looking to create a DIY setup on a budget at home.
Put simply, Rain or Shine Golf is huge in the golf simulator industry and has a ton of mats for sale. They’ve sold over 8,000 golf mats since they started trading in 2015!
As a key supplier for DIY setups you’ll not just get an awesome product range, you’ll also have access to quick delivery and 0% finance!
Top Shelf Golf tends to get overshadowed by the above two on many occasions, but they shouldn’t. They offer some of the best prices on home simulator products including practice mats for golf simulators.
You can jump over to their range (they have all the best golf mats from Net Pro Return, TrueStrike and FiberBuilt for sale) here.
Golf Simulator Mat FAQ
What is a golf simulator mat?
There are two main types of golf simulator mats; hitting and landing. As the name suggests, the hitting mat gives the feel of teeing off on the green. The landing mat fills the gap between the hitting mat and enclosure, protecting flooring and giving a much more aesthetically pleasing feel than just carpet.
How much do the best golf mats cost?
The best golf simulator mats cost in the region of $950-$1500. Taking the TrueStrike Academy as an example, the cost of a 4’ x 7’ is $1,149. The price rises to $1,349 when upgrading to the 4’ x 9’ simulator mat.
Who manufactures the SIGPRO golf mat range?
SIG is an acronym for Shop Indoor Golf. Popular products from the brand include the SIGPRO Softy hitting mat and the SIGPRO Softy hitting strip. The hitting strip is a replacement section of SIGPRO products, meaning you don’t have to replace your whole golf mat when your hitting strip wears out.
Which is the best golf simulator practice mat?
The Truestrike Academy Mat is our pick for the best hitting mat for golf simulators. Truestrike is modular, so is used by a lot of golf ranges. And the silicone underlay is more forgiving on joints than the foam used and also creates a more realistic divot.
If you’re on a budget, we’d suggest the Net Pro Return Turf, which is a lot cheaper and includes both the hitting and landing mat.
Do I need a golf hitting mat or a golf landing mat for my simulator?
For the best and most pleasing setup (or, most realistic feel), both. However, technically you could allow the ball to drop onto the carpet after it strikes the impact screen, and simply use a golf hitting mat.
How can I stop my simulator mat from moving during practice?
Don’t put your mat on top of other turf. If it’s still sliding, spray adhesive (bear in mind this will mark your floor) for hard floors, or doubled sided 3M stickers will work.
Another solid fix is using rug pads or carpet tape, which should stop your simulator mat from moving on most surfaces.