Turn your home into a practice area with the Best Golf Practice Nets available...
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Golf practice nets used to be the reserve of the truly obsessed golfer, a man or woman so dedicated to improvement they couldn't possibly venture out into the garden without practising a few chip shots or hammering a few drivers.
But COVID-19 changed all that. With people all around the world stuck at home and golf courses closed, there was a huge scramble for golf nets as golfers desperately tried to find a way to get their golfing fix. The unexpected surge in demand meant the best golf nets were sold out for months, but, thankfully, suppliers have managed to catch up and the best golf nets are now available to order online.
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Whether you're currently in lockdown or not, whether your course is open or closed, it seems a good idea to have a golf net on standby, just in case. And a good golf practice net is always a handy thing to have in the house or garden, to polish up your game when you don't have time to visit the golf course or driving range.
Are golf nets worth it?
If you can't get to the course or driving range, a golf practice net is the next best thing. There's no denying that hitting golf balls into a net isn't as useful as being able to see the ball flight, but you can use targets in your net to focus on start lines, which can translate to more accurate shots out on the course. Also, you can get a launch monitor that gives you all the information you need about each shot, and, depending on your budget, shows you a visual representation of the ball flight. If that sounds like your cup of tea, check out our list of the best home golf simulators for any budget.
Alternatively, if you're working on anything technical in your swing, not being able to see the ball flight can actually be an advantage, because it enables you to focus on the movement you're trying to practise, rather than subconsciously trying to hit a good shot.
Plus, when it comes to chipping, not many of us have the luxury of being able to visit the short game area every day, but spend even 5-10 minutes a day in the garden or house with a chipping net and your scores on the course are likely to drop.
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How far should you stand from a golf net?
Some golf practice nets will come with guidance on the ideal distance to stand from the net. Otherwise, it really depends on the size of your net, how much space you have to play with, and how confident you are in your ability to hit the net!
The safest bet is to place the ball as close to the net as you can without hitting the net or its frame with your club on your follow-through.
If you want to check whether you're standing the right distance from your net, imagine the worst shot you've ever hit and whether it would still find the safety of the net. If not, move closer! A larger net gives you a wider margin for error.
Check your surroundings, too. If you did happen to miss the net, will your ball go smashing through your neighbour's window, or just into some thick bushes?
How much should you spend on a golf practice net?
We've found useful chipping practice nets for as little as £10, but if you want a golf net you can hit full shots into, you're looking at spending at least £50.
The £80-100 price range will get you a better quality practice net, perhaps with some targets to aim at.
If you want a more robust golf net that you can leave up when not in use, expect to spend £300-500.
The Best Golf Practice Nets
So, without further ado, here is our pick of the best golf practice nets available to buy...
£9.99 | americangolf.co.uk
If space and/or money are at a premium, this could be the best golf net for you. It's a no frills affair, with no individual targets to aim at, but you can quickly pop it up in the garden or hallway and start chipping into the net to your heart's content.
The chipping net itself is 20" in diameter, and it couldn't be easier to fold away for storage when not in use.
£19.99 | americangolf.co.uk
Making practice challenging and fun is key to improving your golf, and this chipping net is a great help with that. It features different target zones, enabling you to create a scoring system, set yourself challenges and track your progress over the days, weeks and months.
The golf net automatically pops up for instant use and comes with a carry bag for easy storage. The net is 50cm in diameter and can be used indoors or outdoors.
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£99.99 | americangolf.co.uk
Although the net itself isn't as good as some we've seen for the price – there are no targets, for starters – this SKLZ package comes with some extras that help it stand out from the crowd.
There's a mat with two rubber tees (1" and 2"), which means you can practise indoors or protect your grass if using it in the garden, and 12 limited flight impact balls. The mat even features two surfaces, designed to simulate fairway and rough.
The net itself takes no time at all to set up for use and dissemble afterwards.
£99 | americangolf.co.uk
This isn't the cheapest full swing golf net on the market (you can find models for under £80), but we think the targets are worth the extra money.
We'd recommend you largely ignore the 'pitch zone', 'chip' and 'lob' labels and just use the targets to practise three different trajectories of shots – low, medium and high. Having targets like that makes your golf practice net session far more valuable than aimlessly bashing balls.
The PGA Tour Pro Driving Net measures 214cm height x 305cm width x 153cm depth, so you'll need a reasonable amount of space to use it, but it packs away easily for storage when not in use.
It also comes with pegs to secure it to the ground, handy if you're using it outside on a windy day.
£299 | networldsports.co.uk
If you fancy something a little more sturdy, perhaps that can be left outside permanently, this Freestanding Golf Cage and Net could be the best golf net for you.
The ultra-durable materials are 100% weather-resistant and the netting is rot-proof, so you can leave it out in any conditions, although it can also be dismantled for storage if you prefer. Bear in mind that a golf net like this isn't designed to be popped up in 60 seconds like some of the other nets in our list.
The cage measures 10' x 10' x 10', so you will need a decent bit of space to accommodate it.
The extra size does give you greater peace of mind that you're not going to miss it, which can be a risk with smaller nets, depending how likely you are to roof a driver or shank an iron...
£57.95 | golfonline.co.uk
Don't ask us to explain the name (which makes it sound like this net was raised by Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson), but if you want a cheap golf practice net that doesn't take up much space, this could be the best golf net for you.
At just 7' x 7', it should fit in most gardens, and it folds down easily into the accompanying carry case.