The off-season provides a valuable opportunity for all golfers, from beginners to tour professionals, to work on improving their games away from the pressures of competition. While some winter golf is possible depending on location and weather conditions, much of the off-season focus is on swing mechanics, physical conditioning, and setting concrete goals for areas needing improvement.
Indoor putting practice is an extremely useful part of an off-season training regimen. Convenience is a major benefit – indoor putting greens can be used year-round, whenever you have free time, regardless of outdoor conditions. A putting mat is also cost-effective; typically, it is no more than you would pay for a new wedge or putter. To be fair, some options can get into new driver territory – but the model we are discussing here.
In a prior post, we detailed “Our Top 5 Putting Mats for Home Practice,” however, here we’ll focus on the Perfect Putting Mat from our partners at Perfect Practice. We’ll review and provide you with an overview of why it’s one of our favorite training aids and, more to the point, how it can help you improve this off-season.
Starting with an overview of the product, we’ll look at the models, features, and benefits, take you through our favorite drill, and list some accessories that you can pair up with the mat to get more out of your practice time. Finally, we will suggest further reading with book and audiobook recommendations.
Perfect Putting Mat
Perfect Practice Putting Mats are high-quality mats designed to help golfers of all levels build skills and confidence through enhanced practice, featuring tour-proven technology and partnerships for an authentic training experience. Since 2019, their mission has been to provide proper tools that make perfecting your putting stroke convenient and achievable. Elite players such as Vijay Singh, Dustin Johnson, Lydia Ko, and Nick Faldo all use and endorse the product as a great way to lower your score.
These high-quality mats feature a smooth, consistent roll, built-in track lines for alignment, and an automatic ball return system for efficient practice. Available in three sizes, they cater to golfers of all skill levels and can be used indoors or outdoors on any flat surface. With their easy assembly and portability, Perfect Practice Putting Mats provide a convenient and effective way to work on putting technique and build confidence on the greens. They also offer a “collegiate edition,” with logo and color customization for over 20 major colleges so that you can rep your alma mater or favorite team.
Features and Benefits
The Perfect Putting Mat is great for home use in most spaces. It comes in 3 sizes – standard (9’6″ long), compact (8′ long), and XL (15 feet long). Small magnets connect the side rails that make up the ball return mechanism, which breaks down easily, and the mat rolls up into a compact package. This makes the mat completely portable and easy to store and move around. It’s a differentiator for me compared to larger putting mats like my beloved Big Moss greens, which are larger and require dedicated space like a basement, garage, or office.
Another differentiator is the sloped surface leading up to the cup. This was engineered to train golfers to work on speed control and hit putts firmly enough to go past the hole rather than leaving them short, as many amateurs tend to do. It also helps train golfers to putt short the ones confidently. From an engineering perspective, it helps with the auto ball return, as the ball drops down, gains momentum, and heads back to you.
The ball return feature is great, especially for someone with a tricky back, but a warning: do not fall into the driving range mentality of raking balls over and hitting them. Use your practice time to ingrain good habits, not accentuate bad ones.
Finally, my two favorite features – the “ruler” or distance markers on the mat are great for calibrating distance and for use in drills like the ladder drill (more on that below). The “Train Track Alignment” markers on the mat serve as a built-in putting gate to help groove a consistent stroke and train proper alignment.
“The Ladder” Putting Drill
Our post about Tiger Woods’ short game recommended the “Chipping Ladder” drill and explained how Tiger used it to improve his touch, feel, and distance control around the greens. The “Putting Ladder” has the same concept and is a great drill to take to the practice green to work on lag putting and reducing three putts. We can leverage the built-in markers on the Perfect Putting Mat to devise a simple Ladder Drill, gamify it, and create some pressure and consequences as we work through it. This drill is great for grooving your stroke, working on a grip change, breaking in a new putter, or implementing a new methodology such as Instinct Putting.
I do this drill on the Perfect Putting Mat because it’s easier with the distance markers on the mat. You can use anything but will need to measure if your surface doesn’t have the premarked measurement. You can also purchase a putting gate or set up some tees or balls to make a guide.
- We will start at 10 feet and move closer to the hole in 6-inch increments, progressing up to 1 foot, then head back to the 10-foot marker, again in 6-inch increments (of course, you can speed it up by going one foot at a time, I use 6 inches so YMMV).
- Again – don’t just scrape the ball over and hit it. Grab the ball, align it as you like, set it up, and go. Looking at the hole for a full 2 seconds before starting the stroke is recommended here.
- Count how many you make, keep track over time, and make it a game. Track your scores and challenge yourself to improve.
- Use the train track markers / putting gate for visual feedback on your stroke. I also use the Pelz O-Balls for this drill, simply for the visual feedback. Lining it up also forces me to slow down and set up properly.
Accessories to Compliment Practice
Training aids are not cure-alls. They should complement your practice routine, making it easier to isolate a movement, check alignment, promote a feel, or get visual or analytical feedback. Below is a list of great tools that can help improve your stroke when paired with the Perfect Putting Mat. Perfect Practice also has a wide array of training aids on their site designed to complement the mat and aid in optimizing your practice routine.
The PuttLink Smart Ball is a revolutionary putting training aid that connects wirelessly to your mobile device to provide real-time feedback and stats. It calculates true roll distance, green speed, entry pace, make percentage, and more to help you practice smarter, track progress, and lower your scores. With adjustable difficulty levels, multiple ball types, and fun competitions, the PuttLink Smart Ball makes putting practice engaging for golfers of all skill levels. This innovative smart ball takes the guesswork out of becoming a better putter.
The key benefits include:
- Provides real-time putting stats and feedback
- Calculates useful metrics like distance, green speed, make percentage
- Adjustable difficulty and ball types for all skill levels
- Makes practice more engaging and fun
- Takes the guesswork out of improving as a putter
Our readers receive a 10% discount by using code PUTTSMART at checkout.
The O-Ball putting aid provides instant feedback on the quality of your putting stroke, as the roll of the ball reveals how well you executed the stroke. After off-line strokes, O-Balls roll with a clear visual “wobble,” while fair quality strokes roll with a slight “wobble,” and good strokes are rewarded with a “no-wobble” pure roll. This feedback is valuable for golfers of all skill levels, as it helps them identify areas for improvement and develop a more consistent putting stroke. This simple but effective tool is a staple of my putting practice routine.
The Eyeline golf putting mirror is a popular and effective putting aid used by many pros and amateurs to improve alignment, posture, and stroke. It provides instant visual feedback to ensure your eyes are over the ball and your shoulders are square. With features like alignment lines, ball gates, and adjustable tees, the Eyeline putting mirror helps groove a consistent, accurate stroke. Simple, portable, and time-tested, the Eyeline putting mirror is a worthwhile training aid that can quickly improve your putting.
Books and Audiobooks
Here is a list of great putting books & audiobooks that we highly recommend. For our complete list of recommendations, see our post “Stroke Savers: Top 10 Putting Books | Essential Reading for Golfers.”
Summary: Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible provides a comprehensive, scientific approach to analyzing and improving your putting, with insights on proper aim, reading greens, ideal stroke mechanics, and effective practice routines. Pelz emphasizes the importance of consistent alignment, face angle, pace, and directional control for improving putting skill. This detailed guide aims to help golfers master the greens by understanding the physics and biomechanics involved in an effective, repeatable putting stroke.
by Eric Alpenfels, Bob Christina, Cary Heath
Summary: Instinct Putting promotes a counterintuitive technique of looking at the hole rather than the ball while putting, based on scientific tests showing improved results. The book explains how focusing visual attention on the target taps into the brain’s innate ability to perform complex tasks through unconscious processing. With simple steps to retrain traditional putting methods, Instinct Putting aims to boost putting skill by emphasizing proper alignment and distance control. This unique guide provides golfers with an unconventional but effective approach to conquer the mental game of putting.
Putting My Way
by Jack Nicklaus
Summary: In Putting My Way, Jack Nicklaus shares his comprehensive approach to mastering the art of putting, drawn from his decades of experience and success. Nicklaus provides practical advice on equipment, mechanics, reading greens, practice techniques, and strategy to build a repeatable, confident stroke. This detailed putting guide aims to help golfers lower scores by improving their skill on the greens, the game’s most crucial yet neglected area. See our other posts on Nicklaus, “The Nickalus Head Swivel: A Study in Left Eye Dominance,” and “Golf Swing Thoughts: Unclutter Your Mind.”
Putting Out of Your Mind
by Bob Rotella
Summary: Putting Out of Your Mind emphasizes the mental aspect of putting over mechanics, advising golfers to trust their instincts and focus on the target rather than obsessing over technique. Rotella encourages a decisive, confident mindset, a simple pre-shot routine, and commitment to the read and stroke to improve putting skill. This mental approach to putting aims to help golfers get out of their way and tap into their natural ability to roll the ball into the hole.
by Dave Stockton
Summary: In Unconscious Putting, the legendary Dave Stockton shares his approach to mastering putting by tapping into your mind’s innate ability to perform complex tasks unconsciously. Stockton advocates visualizing the putt’s path, adopting an efficient pre-shot routine, and making a confident stroke focused on rolling the ball on your intended line. With strategies to improve reading greens, equipment, and managing emotions, Unconscious Putting aims to help golfers get out of their way and unlock their signature putting stroke.