The Best Golf Practice Nets: Reviews and Buying Advice Guide

Best Golf Practice Nets: Buyer Guide & Reviews for Golf Hitting, Chipping and Driving Nets.

 

What are you doing to improve your golf game today?  Consider golf practice (i.e. hitting) nets as a simple yet effective tool for supercharging your golf training routine.

This buyer’s guide will provide a complete review of various practice net options and justify your personal investment.  It may be just the missing piece that helps sharpen your driving, chipping, and putting techniques before you hit the links this summer.

Don’t be discouraged or intimidated by the guide’s size.  It’s an easy read aimed at beginners and recreational golfers looking to lower their handicaps and gain more self-confidence on the course.  In addition, we’ve included a Content Navigation ‘Box’ that allows you to easily jump from one section to another.

Now let’s dive in!

Five Amazing Benefits of Investing in a Practice Net.

If you’ve never considered buying your own practice net, please consider the following benefits of making this vital decision to improve your golf game.

  1. A Golf Practice Net Pays for Itself Fast!

Think about how you usually prepare for golf season and upcoming matches with friends and fellow club members.  How often do you frequent a nearby driving range to get in some swings?  Once, twice, ten times per season?    A quick practice net versus driving range comparison should convince you of the cost advantages alone.

At a driving range, golf buckets are usually the main cost to consider.  Golfers pay anywhere from $2 to $15 USD per bucket (average bucket size: 40-50 golf balls), perhaps more in tourist-driven areas.  So, for an average one-hour driving session,  you’re looking at $5 USD minimum.  Factor in longer sessions with ‘Jumbo’ buckets (up to 200 balls), and it quickly becomes a one-time $20 USD cost.  Add club preparation time, transportation costs (e.g. gas, highway tolls), post-practice refreshments etc. and driving range costs quickly rises to the $30-40 USD range – if not more.

And that’s for just one driving practice session…

Given that the average, newly purchased golf practice net (plus a ball, practice mat and rubber tees) costs $100-150 USD (N.B. Chipping nets are much less expensive), you’re looking at a break even point of five to ten driving range visits to justify the cost.   Even a casual player who practices 4-5 times annually has a 1 to 3 year pay back period.  Quite cost-effective when looking at the big picture.

  1. Having your Own Practice Net Saves Time!

Just imagine not having to leave your home for swing practice.  That’s a major advantage of practice nets – enjoying the freedom, convenience and flexibility to work on your game when you want to.

Most golf hitting nets from reputable companies can be assembled/dismantled in mere minutes or less.   A decent sized yard, patio or driveway are the most common places to set up your practice net, but some people are able to pitch it indoors in their basement or garage (see Section 4 below).  In the latter case, not even rain showers can keep you away from the game you love.

Having your own practice net is a great way to improve your swing, try different techniques without hesitation, or simply get in some exercise.  It also gives you the option to invite your buddies or a club professional over for some practical pointers.

  1. Golf Nets are Ultra-Portable.

Practice nets today come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are quite portable.  For example, some are pop-up in nature, some are self-standing, and others are defined by their dimensions or mesh quality (e.g. heavy duty mesh, knotless, double-stitched etc.).

Most golf nets are easily foldable within minutes (even seconds!) and transportable – many are shipped with durable storage bags (carrying cases) for easy transport and storage.  Some can be easily moved around after set up.  This design flexibility allows people who live in apartment buildings, for example,  to practice, provided they can find a local neighbourhood field to pitch their nets.

  1. Most Golf Nets can be used both Outdoors and Indoors.

In a previous section, we noted that most people would likely set up their practice nets in the backyard or driveway.  However, several nets are designed to allow for indoor practices, especially those with built-in automatic ball return and padding to protect floor surfaces.

Obviously, we don’t recommend reckless driving or chipping in the home, but if you’re fortunate enough to have a spare recreation room or empty garage space, consider it as a weather-independent option.

TOP TIP: If you practice indoors, we recommend the use of hard-foam practice balls instead of real golf balls for safety purposes.

  1. Golf Nets allow you to Progress Your Training While ‘Dialling’ Up the Difficulty Level.

Some practice nets, especially chipping nets, allow you to increase the difficulty level via angle adjustments and variable placement of special pre-positioned targets (i.e. bull’s eyes).

Most deluxe models (built for driving, chipping and putting) absorb ball impact and loud sounds.  They also have automatic ball return systems (only one golf ball needed!) and may include instructions and drills booklets to help improve your game.

 

Different Types of Golf Hitting Nets in The Market.

Not all golf nets are created equal.  Before pursuing a golf hitting net purchase,  it’s important to understand the different categories in order to make the best choice possible.

 

  • A) Golf Cages.

Cages are the classical golf practice net, and are often labelled “multi-sport” because they are common to swing sports like baseball, softball, cricket and lacrosse.   They are characterized by sturdy construction, commercial grade netting and all-weather resistance (i.e. no shrinkage).  As such, you are free to drive real golf balls into them at will.

Golf cages are meant for outdoor practice and as such are able to withstand the elements.   Portability is limited, and once set-up, you’ll want to leave it up until season’s end.  Ideally, you have enough outdoor space (e.g. 10’X10’x10′) to avoid indoor storage.

 

  • B) Golf Nets for Home & Indoors.

Many recreational golfers dream of having an indoor driving range that they can use not only during a defined golf season, but all year long.  In the past, bulky cages were the only option.  Now, thanks to the latest golf netting technology, indoor golf practice has become reality for people with even modest free spaces in their basements, garages, and recreation rooms.

Indoor golf nets are available for both driving and/or chipping (see below).

  • C) Driving Nets (w/, w/o Automatic Ball Return).

If your primary goal is to improve your driving and/or approach game, you’ll need a tough, durable net that can withstand a barrage of high-velocity shots.  Many driving nets can be used both indoors and outdoors, but to get that real driving range/golf course feel, outdoor driving practice is often recommended for novices.

Many driving nets today come with automatic ball return.  Now, you can pretty much use one golf ball in a training session with the guarantee that your strikes will not go astray.  This makes indoor practice a safer and perhaps more desirable option, although you may still prefer to strike in your backyard, patio, or a nearby field.

 

  • D) Chipping (Short Game) Nets.

If you’re satisfied with your long game but need to work on your chipping, why not consider a chipping net?  Typically less expensive (and smaller) than dedicated driving nets, chipping nets are available in traditional or basket format, with various height and angle-adjustable targets.

Most chipping nets are perfect for indoor practice, even in a small office.  However, most are durable enough for outdoor use as well.  In the latter case, ensure that the net can stand up without being blown over by wind gusts.

 

  • E) Pop-up Golf Nets.

If portability, easy of assembly and storage are key issues for you, pop-up golf nets may be the solution you’re looking for.  These nets literally ‘pop-up’ from flat storage in seconds, yet offer the kind of durability and toughness necessary to handle heavy-duty driving sessions over the long-term.

 

Choosing The Right Net for You.

Now that you are convinced of the benefits of golf practice nets, and familiar with the main types of nets available, it’s time to decide what is the best option for your situation.  Although it may seem as a simple enough decision on the surface, there are many variables to consider.   The factors most important to you will determine your purchase.

While price is an important consideration, your price range is mostly a factor of the actual net dimensions (size) you’re looking for, plus some desirable special features on your personal driving range (striking turf, targets, extended safety protection, etc.).   For example, the price gap between Just for Net’s (JFN) 10’X10′ (default size) and 10X30 nylon nets is $100 USD.   Significant, but not a deal breaker for most people.

Storage issues  can heavily factor into your buying decision.  If you have plenty of space in the backyard, but lack room indoors, you’re more likely to opt for a pure outdoor (stand-alone) driving net or golf cage.    In the latter case,  expect to pay slightly more, especially if the cage includes high velocity netting, a thick backstop and UV treatment to prevent premature shrinkage – even if left outside all year.

Otherwise, consider indoor driving nets if there’s an unused corner of the house (or any open space!) crying to be used.   In this case, setup and dismantling time might be an issue if you cannot occupy the space permanently.   Fortunately, many nets today – both outdoor and indoor – come with a pop-up or automatic assembly feature that greatly enhances their portability.

If space is terribly limited both indoors and outdoors, a dedicated chipping net still keeps you in practice mode with a small room or patch of public space.   All but the most deluxe of models can be had for the cost of a decent steak dinner.

Increasingly, automatic ball return or some rollback feature is becoming standard for most of the main market competitors across all product lines.  It’s a huge time saver and let’s you practice driving and/or chipping with one golf ball (or one hard foam practice ball for indoors).

Durability/‘Life’ of the Product issues are critical when committing to a practice net.  The last thing a golfer wants is a net that shreds and rips apart after minimal use.  Look for lifetime warranties and special guarantees that demonstrate a company’s willingness to stand behind its product.  Superior net quality, framing and meshing  will allow you to fire away with confidence.

Golf Netting Reviews

Based on the discussion above, here are our recommendations in the various golf hitting net categories:

 

Best Golf Cage: Dura-Pro 10′(d) x 10′(h) x10′(w) Golf Cage Golf Net.

Dura-Pro comes through with a sturdy commercial grade cage that is sure to please the dedicated drive specialist looking to strike hundreds of real golf balls per practice session.

Built with UV-treated, high velocity strong impact (i.e. archery) netting (7/8″) and a high impact double back stop and target, you can leave this cage outside once you’ve completed assembly and not have to worry about the elements wearing it down.

Unfortunately, some folks have had issues with Dura-Pro’s assembly instructions and video, but seem to forgive it once they see and use the final product.  Don’t forget to factor in $70-100 USD of steel piping that you’ll need to purchase from a reputed hardware supplier (a common requirement with most golf cage purchases).   However, the steel frame corners are included.

All in all, a dedicated golfer should get a 1-2 year payback with this cage versus going to the driving range.

 

Best Golf Net for Home & Indoors: The Net Return Pro Series Multi-Sport Golf Net.

The Net Return Pro Series net has won a lot of kudos over the years, mostly due to its patented automatic return system that allows golfers to use only one ball for practice.  It has 5-minute push-button assembly built it, and can be neatly dismantled and transported between home, office, and an outdoor space.  It’s aimed at the indoor practice market, especially serious golfers who appreciate being able to practice at home (outdoor practice and requires periodic application of UV spray and non-windy conditions to avoid tipping; indoor storage still recommended).

As one of the more expensive golf practice nets in the market, you’ll probably need dedicated practice to justify the cost.  With repetition comes striking accuracy improvements,  as many of its current owners can attest.  This may mean a worn net sooner than expected, a small price to pay for positive results.

The Net Return Pro Series can be the game changer you’re looking for, allowing you to run the gambit of golf shots in your home practices with a reasonable payback versus leaving big bucks at the driving range.

 

Best Driving Net with Automatic Ball Return: Spornia SPG-5 Golf Practice Net.

The Spornia SPG-5 offers an automatic ball return system, two side net barriers, and a chipping target basket for good measure.  Your golf ball will gently roll straight down after striking the 8’x8′ target sheet without bouncing or touching any floor, thus avoiding house flooring scratches and damage to the golf balls themselves.

What does this mean in practical terms for the aspiring golfer?   Well, you now have a robust hitting net that can be used to practice drives, approaches, chips, and putts with confidence with as few as one real golf ball!   Spornia’s Ball Stopper can hold up to 200 balls, allowing you to practice your short game at will and without interruption.

If there is any criticism of the SPG-5, it might be with its lack of stability in the vicinity of household items indoors.  Secure the net with stones and bricks, otherwise take advantage of the less than 30 seconds set-up/take down time to practice outdoors or in an emptier room.

For an extra $30 USD, you can add a 7’x9′ roof attachment that serves both outdoor (i.e. fewer balls over the fence) and indoor use (prevents balls from hitting the ceiling) purposes.

Spornia SPG-5 is a flexible, portable and lightweight golf practice solution that fits even the tightest of budgets.

 

Best Chipping Net: Rukket Skee Pop Up Golf Chipping Net (Rukket Sports).

When it comes to chipping nets, the Rukket Skee Pop Up delivers ample bang for the buck, allowing you to perfect your technique in the comfort of your home, the backyard, or a public space away from heavy traffic.

Easily foldable for safe-keeping,  Rukket also gives you twelve (12) hard foam practice balls and a smart-looking circular carry bag for storage and better mobility (home – car – office and back).

As with most nets in this price range, the nylon netting is not the most robust, and is prone to rips and tears with extended use, especially with real golf balls.   However, you can extend the life of this (20 in. x 25 in. x 20 in.) chipping net by practising indoors, making some minor net repairs, or limiting exposure to the elements, especially wind, rain, heavy sun, etc.

All in all, we like the Rukket Skee for its pop-up design, user-friendliness (fold-up instructions are included) and standard triple target accuracy set-up.  A dedicated player should be happy to get at least two (2) years if not more out of this chipping net.

 

Alternatives:

 

Best Pop-up Golf Net: Rukket 10x7ft Haack Golf Net.

Rukket Sports and renowned Georgia Bulldogs men’s golf coach Chris Haack have teamed up to produce a pop-up net that has taken the market by storm.  The Haack golf net allows you to practice driving either indoors or outdoors in a matter of seconds, thanks to a time-saving roll back feature that comes off its 4-ply knotless netting.

Fast and easy setup lets golfers get immediately into their routine.   Safety is assured with the 10’x7’x3′ dimensions that trap errant hits and return the ball to you.  Transport between different locations is made easy with a convenient duffle bag.

To deal with any customer issues (e.g. assembly, torn netting, structural concerns, faulty construction etc.), the Rukket Haack Golf net comes with the Rukket Fair Play Guarantee and lifetime warranty.

Apart from advanced golfers with superior clubhead velocity and a voracious practice schedule, the Rukket Haack Golf net has the features and commitment to satisfy everyone looking to save money and enjoy the sport.

 

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