You don’t have to invest in a golf simulator to practice at home. And with so much of our time spent staring at screens and collecting exacting (and punishing) data, paring the game back to its essential elements can be refreshing. Hit the ball indoors or out whenever you feel like taking a swing at it, work on your golf grip and form, and take your time. These four tools will help you blow off steam and get ready for a day when you have nothing but great weather and 18 holes ahead of you.
A no-maintenance spot of lawn. Amazon
Save your carpet, hardwood floors, and neatly manicured grass from destruction and hit some balls along this golf mat instead. At 3 feet wide and 5 feet long, it has a modest footprint similar to a runner rug in a hallway. It’s constructed of ½ an inch of nylon over ¼ of an inch foam to absorb shock from strong swings of woods, drivers, or irons. If you put it in your rec room, be sure to drive balls away from low-profile furniture like couches unless you want to add crawling to your exercise routine.
Lob a few shots before breakfast. Amazon
If you want to set up your golf mat in the backyard, a net is an excellent hedge against sending your ball whizzing into actual hedges, flower beds, and the neighbor’s swimming pool. This durable setup with 7-ply netting, steel, and fiberglass poles fits into a carrying bag for convenient portability and gives you an area of approximately 10 feet wide and 7 feet tall to drive your ball. Forget limiting yourself to putting and give it all you’ve got.
Clever and fun. Amazon
Sure, this bendy-pole with an orange orb at the end looks like something a clown might carry as a prop, but it does make you want to pick it up and wave it around. This is a good thing, as working with this flexible tool and its counterbalanced weight system by itself or as a warmup for your game can help you improve your golf swing. You don’t need sophisticated video analysis of your swing to figure out the perfect rhythm and coordination your body needs to drive a ball straight and true. Instead, you learn by feel—if the orange whip wobbles, that’s feedback that you should make adjustments.
Look, another hole-in-one! Amazon
This affordable kidney-shaped polyester mat is about 3 feet by nine feet, and is perfect for indoor play on a rainy day. Putting on a home green can be very satisfying because there’s a clear goal to accomplish, and also because it’s easier to relax when you aren’t worried about losing a game on the basis of a single stroke. There are three holes to vary your practice sessions, and slots just beyond to trap errant balls before they roll off the carpet and down a flight of stairs.