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Being able to practice your putting at any time of day without needing to get out to the golf course is undoubtedly a great thing.
Portable putting greens can do that for you. And more than that, many golfers want the convenience of having a ball return feature that automatically sends your balls back to you without having to get them out of the cup.
Fortunately, most putting greens with a ball return feature are very affordable, so they’re within reach of just about everyone looking for one.
In this article, we’ll review and compare our picks for the best putting greens with ball return. These greens can be used at home, at the office, or even outdoors.
Note: Golfstead has tested and/or conducted in-depth research into all of the products featured in this guide. Our editorial process for these rankings takes into account a mix of many factors which may include performance, reliability, usability, value for money, cost, and the general consensus from other users of the product. The list that follows may be reassessed or updated over time.
Our Top Picks For Putting Greens With Ball Return
Based on our own testing, research, and experience, here are our top selections:
- Perfect Practice Putting Green
- Loowoko Wood Putting Green
- SKLZ Accelerator Pro Putting Green
- Prowithlin Wood Putting Green
- Abco Tech 9.9-Foot Putting Green
- JEF World Of Golf Deluxe Putting Green
This is the official putting mat of Dustin Johnson. It was one of the top-selling indoor golf products of 2020, and it’s trusted by over 100 PGA/LPGA Tour pros including Vijay Singh, Marc Leishman, Jimmy Walker and Lydia Ko.
At 9.5 feet long and 15 inches wide, the Perfect Practice Putting Green is great for the home or office. It pulls out all the stops: multiple alignment tracks, two cups, a drop-in backstop, a crystal velvet surface and natural wood finish trim.
The Perfect Practice Putting Green has measurement marking that allow you to practice putts from 8, 6, 4 and 2 feet. Alignment markings help you keep the face square and the ball rolling on the target line.
There are two cups: one regulation-size, and one smaller for a tougher challenge. A great practice method is to challenge yourself with the smaller hole first and then switch to the larger hole once you’ve built up your accuracy.
The unique Crystal Velvet surface of the Perfect Practice Putting Green features TrueRoll technology for a high-quality roll. Balls roll at 10-14 on the Stimpmeter depending on what is under the mat — floors and other hard surfaces run faster than carpets.
As with most other putting greens with ball return, the area of the cup is on a slight upslope. This not only helps the ball return feature to function, but it also encourages you to accelerate through the ball so you can get it all the way to the hole.
The Perfect Practice Putting Green comes in three sizes: Compact (8 ft long by 9 inches wide), Standard (9.5 ft long by 15 inches wide), and XL (15.5 ft long by 15 inches wide). The Standard version is the one featured here. The Compact size is shorter in length and only has one hole for training, while the XL size allows putts from up to 14 feet.
In addition, the Standard size of the putting green is available in Acrylic (see-through) and Barstool themes.
Given the strong pro golf endorsements backing this mat, along with the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews, it definitely deserves the #1 spot on our list.
The mat is vacuumable and can be easily rolled up for storage. For more details, visit this page.
This ball-return putting green by Loowoko has one of the best aesthetics we’ve seen, with a high-quality custom wood shell and a premium feel. It’s also popular and its performance is rated very highly.
At about 10 feet long and 14.5 inches wide, there is plenty of room to practice putts from 1-9 feet or so.
Like with the Perfect Practice model above, it has line markings that extend to the hole, as well as measurements at 2, 4, 6 and 8 feet.
The Loowoko Wood Putting Green uses a ball return system with a baffle plate; the baffle plate catches nearly all balls that cross the line without bouncing out.
One of the biggest selling points of the mat is its easy installation, which only takes about a minute.
The putting green also has two cups — one larger and one smaller. The surface rolls true and quite fast.
We don’t recommend practicing with just one ball, because it takes about 15 seconds for the ball to return. Instead, use 2-3 balls so you can better maintain the rhythm of your stroke.
Another great thing about this mat is that the return rails are magnetic, so there are no issues with it coming apart.
Overall, the Loowoko Wood Putting Green is very similar to the Perfect Practice Putting Mat, but it doesn’t have those high-profile endorsements and consequently is cheaper.
The SKLZ Accelerator Pro is a very popular putting mat with a ball return feature. With its ball return track, you can set up with 4-8 balls and practice continuously. This will allow you to maintain a consistent posture and tempo.
At 9 feet long and 16.25 inches wide, the Accelerator Pro will fit nicely in most rooms and covered patios. There is plenty of width, so your ball is much less likely to roll off the turf.
The Accelerator Pro allows you to practice putts at key lengths of 3, 5 and 7 feet. It does this with alignment guides that promote a correct squaring of the face, backswing and follow-through.
The clearly-marked alignment guides allow you to focus on the precision of your stroke from strike to strike without needing to take your eyes off the hitting area.
The putting surface is designed to have a stimp reading that mimics real greens.
Given the very low price of the Accelerator Pro, we think it provides fantastic value for improving your putting.
Because the mat comes rolled up, there may be some kinks or lumps when you first set it up, but these should disappear in short order. The mat itself is thick and sturdy.
The popular, highly rated Prowithlin model is an excellent alternative to the more expensive Perfect Practice Putting Green reviewed above.
Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, the 13″ wide x 110″ long turf is made of crystal velvet. It rolls true and features markers at 2, 4, 6 and 8 feet as well as alignment aids that run the entire length of the mat.
The Prowithlin Putting Green features a regulation-size and half-size cup which provide two different difficulty levels.
The automated ball return system benefits from magnet adsorption and is easy to install. With a porous design and wrinkle-resistant turf, this putting green provides everything you need for productive, high-quality practice.
Note that the mat arrives rolled up and may contain creases at first; these can be eliminated with ironing or heavy objects. And although this putting green can be used outdoors, it should not be exposed to rain as this can damage the crystal velvet material.
The Prowithlin Putting Green includes a solid wood base and baffle plate. There’s also a cheaper plastic version available.
What we like about this putting mat is the thick turf, non-slip bottom, and ease of assembly. In our experience, shipping wrinkles are very minimal.
Want more length? This Abco Tech putting green is an impressive 9.9 feet long. It’s very popular and has terrific reviews.
This model is very similar to the MESIXI and Asgens models that we once featured here, and in fact, it was likely manufactured by the same company. It includes three bonus practice balls and has a dual-colour surface with two holes of different sizes.
With the added length, you can practice putts from nearly 10 feet out, thus adding an extra layer of productivity to your practice sessions.
The Abco Tech 9.9-Foot provides a baffle plate that blocks more than 90% of putts hit too hard. The ball return system works very well.
There are two holes: one 3.1″ and one 2.5″. A viable strategy is working backwards: try to putt to the smaller hole right away, and then once you’re comfortable, go for the larger hole. You’d be amazed at how much easier a 4″ regulation-sized hole would feel.
This model is made of lifelike turf that gives you a realistic playing experience. The putting surface is divided into two strips with different properties; the deep green strip rolls faster (less resistance), while the light green strip rolls slower.
The putting green can be rolled up for easy and convenient storage.
The Abco Tech 9.9-Foot can be set up and ready to go in five minutes. The extra features enhance convenience and make putting sessions more dynamic.
Two positives stand out to us: the ball return is adjustable, and the darker track has a line marker running its length that serves as a very effective visual alignment aid.
What’s unique about this putting green by JEF World Of Golf are the quirky bunker and water hazards behind the hole, which encourage you to hit your putts on line.
And unlike the other putting greens reviewed on the page, this one has no markings on the turf which better emulates a real green.
The JEF Deluxe Green has a ball return system that runs along the left side of the track. The return ramp can hold up to 10 golf balls.
At 8 feet long and 1 feet wide, this putting green fits nicely wherever there’s space.
The JEF World Of Golf Deluxe Putting Green consists of a regulation-size cup, bunker, water hazard, non-directional turf (rolls similar to bentgrass), and an inclined ramp designed to develop firmness of stroke.
This green has roughly a 1-inch landing area between the end of the ramp and the cup; you can try to putt your ball into this small region to improve your distance control.
This is not the highest quality putting mat out there. But it’s extremely affordable and delivers great value for the price.
A putting green with ball return isn’t as big of an investment as a more full-fledged putting green, but it’s still important to consider what makes such greens good and what your goals are.
Here are the most important factors you need to consider when figuring out which green will best meet your needs:
Length in particular is important, because it determines the maximum putting distance you can practice.
Most putting greens with ball return are at least 8 feet long (usually around 9 feet). Some, like the Abco Tech model on this page, are nearly 10 feet long, which can be attractive to golfers who want to hit longer putts.
As you might expect, longer putting greens tend to be more expensive because of the extra turf.
Width is also a factor to consider. Putting greens with ball return are typically very narrow and resemble a track. The narrower the green, the more difficult it will be to keep your putts from rolling off the turf.
If you think you’re a bad putter, we recommend a wider mat like the SKLZ Accelerator Pro. More skilled putters may want to challenge themselves with a narrower track.
In addition, you need to make sure that your space will be able to accommodate whatever putting green you’re interested in. At least 10 feet of length and a few feet of width is recommended.
Pretty much all putting greens with ball return take the same form: a rectangular track with an upslope at the end where the hole is.
But beyond this, different models may have unique features that set them apart from the rest. These can include:
- more than one hole at one end of the mat. One of these holes is usually smaller than the other, allowing golfers to give themselves a tougher challenge as desired.
- hazards near the hole for an aesthetic boost and also for an added challenge.
- two or more turf strips that may have different properties, namely speed.
- alignment guides on the track that help you develop a better putting stroke.
These kinds of features will normally increase the price of the putting green, but this isn’t always the case. At the same time, more features doesn’t necessarily mean better.
For example, while markings drawn on the turf can help with putt alignment, at some point you’ll want to putt without them in order to better emulate the experience on a real green.
In any case, you should decide which features you need, want, or don’t want, and weigh that with your budget. It’s also very helpful to read customer reviews, giving you an idea of how useful or effective some of these features are.
3. Material & Durability
As part of this, the first thing to consider is usability: how quickly wrinkles or kinks disappear (or if they disappear at all), how sturdy the base is, and whether or not the base has non-slip properties.
The next thing to consider is the quality of the turf. How true is the roll? You can’t expect the roll to be as good as it is on putting greens that cost many hundreds of even thousands of dollars, but some models still have turf that is quite good.
Lastly, consider the effective stimp reading of the green. This is information that is not always advertised, but faster greens will give you a different experience than slower greens and develop your putting in a different way.
The putting greens featured on this page have stimp readings that are similar to what you might find on a typical public golf course.
Customer reviews are particularly important when it comes to putting greens with ball return because some of these greens tend to be cheap knockoffs.
In this case, we generally wouldn’t recommend considering a putting green that has an average rating of less than 4/5 stars. If it does have a lower rating than this, check to see if there are a very small number of reviews or if the low ratings are due to something not related to the quality or performance of the green itself.
Endorsements from professional golfers can also add a huge amount of legitimacy and trust to a particular putting green model, as you see with the Perfect Practice Putting Green endorsed by a slew of pro golfers.
Most putting greens with ball return are in the inexpensive $40-$80 range, but despite this, budget can still be important, particularly for those whose budgets are very low.
In this case, the main determinants of price are: length and width of the putting green, turf quality, and which extra features there are that go beyond the essential.
If you don’t want to spend more than $50, for example, then that’s perfectly fine. The SKLZ Accelerator Pro and JEF Deluxe, for example, fall in this category. It’s up to you to find a model that works for you and doesn’t exceed your budget.
Putting greens with ball return are great because they tend to be inexpensive and packed with value. They obviously aren’t on the same level as larger, more expensive putting mats, but they can really go a long way in improving your distance and directional control.
Finding a putting green with ball return that meets your needs is certainly possible with some research.
Each of the greens reviewed above offer superb value for the cost. We’ve given you the information you need to make a decision; now it’s up to you to go the rest of the way.
Don’t forget to check out customer reviews, and consider professional endorsements, to obtain useful insights as to how these putting greens actually perform. This can help you a great deal in the decision-making process.
Thanks for reading this guide. Which ball return putting green are you interested in? Do you have any questions? Go ahead and leave a comment below.