The 10 Best Golf Practice Nets
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in June of 2015. When the weather isn't cooperating or you don't have the time to get out to the driving range or the golf course, one of these practice nets can really help to sharpen your game and get your handicap down, all from the convenience of your own home. Most models can be used indoors or out, are easy to transport, and take just minutes to set up. Some even come with targets to aim for. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 12, 2020:
For this update, we removed the Net Return Pro Series, which has since been discontinued and replaced it with the updated version, the Net Return Pro Series V2. This model is one of the most popular practice nets on the market, and the manufacturer also offers a simulation kit that can be purchased separately. Its frame is made of aluminum with stainless steel push buttons, making it a nice durable product that can even be left outdoors.
We also removed the Ajillis Ez Set-up, due to availability issues and concerns about its durability. We replaced it with the GoSports Chipster, a kit that includes three chipping nets of various sizes. Unlike typical chipping nets that have a variety of targets contained in one main net, this option allows you to space the nets a far apart as you like. This way you can customize the difficulty level of each target, and increase the distance as you improve. The GoSports Chipster is also a budget-friendly option, making it a great choice for those who don't have a ton of money to spend.
If you're interested in another way to practice your game while away from the course, these impact bags could be really helpful. They're essentially large, soft-sided targets that allow you to practice your swing, and improve your technique, without having to worry about actually hitting any balls. They could be a great gift for a golfer living in a cold climate that doesn't want to lose their swing over the winter months.
If these practice nets aren't heavy-duty enough for you, you might want to consider a golf cage. These provide more security than a basic net, and surround you on three sides with netting, allowing you to swing away without worrying about stray balls missing the target.
April 18, 2019:
Golf practice nets come in a range of styles and sizes. If you want to be able to work on your drives, you need something large and sturdy, like the Net Return Pro Series, Galileo Training Aid, Rukket Haack, Sklz Quickster, Rukket 3 in 1, Spornia SPG-5, and PowerNet 7X7. The Ajillis Ez Set-up, though large, is better suited to practicing with irons because its net is less durable than many other models. If you want to work on your accuracy in addition to your form, then a model with a target is a smart choice. The Galileo Training Aid, Sklz Quickster, Rukket 3 in 1, and Spornia SPG-5 all include targets you can aim for with drivers and irons. The Jef World of Golf and Rukket Skee Pop Up are smaller models that ideal for improving your chip shots.
The Advantage of Practice
Then, once you are ready to hit the golf course, you can focus on just enjoying your time.
Even the most dedicated golf enthusiasts can’t be on the range at all times but might like to practice more than putting when away from the course. That is where a golf practice net comes in. It will let you practice your swing without worrying about taking out a window or landing the ball in your neighbor’s flower garden. Some nets can even be used indoors so you can practice your swing on a rainy day.
Choosing to play golf can be an expensive endeavor. You will need a complete set of clubs, a golf bag, and tees just to play. This doesn’t even count the cost of using a course or paying membership fees to a local club. You will also have to pay for ball buckets when on the driving range and eat the cost of lost balls when on the links.
The great news about all of this is that a golf practice net can help cut down on some of these costs. If you opt for a net, then you can play in the comfort of your back yard rather than spending hundreds every month to access practice facilities.
When you opt for purchasing a golf practice net, you will still need to invest in clubs and balls, but you will not be stuck with paying fees at expensive practice facilities. Then, once you are ready to hit the golf course, you can focus on just enjoying your time.
One Practice Net Is Not Like The Other
If you know you want to improve your game but aren’t sure how to go about buying your first golf practice net, we have a short list of factors that you should consider.
First, determine the strength and quality of the net. If you are a somewhat experienced golfer with a powerful swing, you don’t want to buy a cheap net that will break on impact. You will need to buy one that is proven to be durable and will hold up to the power of your swing. Just be careful not to get a net that is so taut it causes the ball to bounce back in your direction.
Not only will this help reduce the risk of property damage, but many canopy nets are designed to return the ball to you.
Second, consider whether you want to practice indoors or outdoors. Some nets are created specifically for indoor use, and some are only appropriate for using outdoors. Still others are multipurpose and can be used both places. If you intend to practice indoors, consider purchasing a net with a canopy. Not only will this help reduce the risk of property damage, but many canopy nets are designed to return the ball to you.
Third, think about assembly difficulty. If you don’t plan to use it on a regular basis, you might be fine with purchasing a net that takes a little extra time and effort to set up. However, if you plan to pull it out of the closet or garage on a semi-daily basis, you will need to pick something that sets up quickly and easily.
Finally, consider the special features that your net has. Some provide a ball return feature that saves you time and energy while others have a feature that allows you to simply press a button to assemble the net. Others may include a hitting mat or faux turf. Still other nets are designed for use in multiple sports. Perhaps you want to practice both your golf and batting swings. Some multipurpose nets are perfect as a golf practice net, a batting cage, a tennis serve stopper, and a soccer goal all in one.
To stay safe when hitting into a practice net, one should follow many of the same tips for staying safe on the links; stretch, warm up, wear proper footwear, use the correct posture, and don't try and overswing.
A Brief History of the Golf Practice Net
The game of golf as we know it today has its origins in fifteenth century Scotland. James II banned the game in 1457 because he felt that it distracted people from learning archery. In 1502, James IV lifted the ban when he took up the game. The oldest golf course in the world can be found in East Lothian, Scotland called Musselburgh Links.
It was advanced in that it did not require stakes to anchor it to the ground.
Many historians believe that golf has its true origins in ancient times. The Romans played a game called paganica that involved hitting a stuffed leather ball with a bent stick. Some credit the Chinese, citing chuiwan, a game that involved swinging something that looks similar to a golf club at a ball to put it into a hole. England and France played games called cambuca and chambot. The Persians played a game called chaugan, and a game called kolven was played in the Netherlands in the late thirteenth century. Because so many variations of what appears to be a similar game existed, it is difficult to determine from where the Scottish drew their inspiration.
What is clear is that golf gained popularity, especially among aristocrats, over the centuries. The oldest golf tournament is known as The Open Championship and began in 1860 in Ayrshire, Scotland at Prestwick Golf Club. In 1888, Scotsmen John Reid and Robert Lockhart demonstrated golf in the United States for the first time. John Reid went on to establish St. Andrews Golf Club in Yonkers, New York.
In 1996, Anthony G. Macaluso filed a patent for an improved golf practice net that would return the ball to the player and be easily portable for practicing anywhere, even indoors. It was created with a durable frame and made to withstand powerful hits from a golf ball. It was advanced in that it did not require stakes to anchor it to the ground.