WellPutt Classic Putting Mat is indeed a classic. I've been using it for a while now and I love it. For all the reasons why, continue to read this here review.
During a round of golf there is one club that comes out of the bag far more than any other. In fact, depending on your skill level you might use that club somewhere between 35-45 times during a round. It is of course, the putter. Ideally you need that number to be closer to 30 putts per round but to do that you might want to invest in one of the best putters and you will certainly need practice, and lots of it. The WellPutt Putting mat is a fun and challenging training aid that will definitely help you improve on the greens but be warned - you will need to put the work in.
This training aid offers more challenges and games than you can shake a flat stick at but to get the best out of it you will need to be serious about your game and have the time to practice. If that sounds like you, then read on because this is right up your street.
There are various types of mats out there that come in numerous shapes and sizes so you ought to read our nifty guide to the best putting mats for home practice. Before deciding which one to buy you should first ask yourself what aspect of your putting are you most needing to work on. If you don’t have much time to dedicate to it and just want to just get better at shorter putts and the repetition of knocking the ball into the hole, then the Perfect Practice Putting Mat is probably going to suit you best.
If you want to really delve into the different aspects of putting and have the time to spend honing your stroke and distance control, then you will love this offering from WellPutt, which is endorsed by Cameron McCormick, Coach of three time major champion Jordan Spieth.
WellPutt Putting Mat - Price & Availability
This mat is widely available online and in golf stores. Prices vary depending on size. We tested the 4m (13 foot) mat but which one you choose is dependant on how much room you have for it.
WellPutt Putting Mat - Features
As you can see, the WellPutt mat has a lot going on when you look at it. There are different zones, targets, alignment aids, numbers all over the place but until you open up the app and begin the training exercises you probably won’t have a clue what most of it means. It all becomes clear when you begin the training though.
First and foremost, the quality of the mat itself is very impressive. The ball rolls beautifully on it and it’s nice and fast. Obviously the speed of the mat depends on the kind of surface it sits on, but on a laminate floor for example it’s very slick and replicates the kind of roll you would get on a well manicured green. Some of the alignment aids are very useful too as you can see if you are taking the putter away on the correct path.
The WellPutt mat comes rolled up in a handy sized box which I would recommend you keep for when you need to roll it back up and store it. You might be fortunate enough to have a space where you can leave it set up permanently, but most of us don’t have that luxury and will have to pack it away when the session is finished, so you should definitely keep the box.
To get the best use out of the mat you will need to download the WellPutt app which is completely free and has no in app purchases, a rarity these days. The app contains over 50 games and challenges so there's lots to keep you busy.
You can also record your scores to chart your progress. Not only that, if you have friends over, there are multiplayer games so you can have competitions, which is always good for recreating the kind of pressure you might feel on the golf course.
There are different length mats available and the classic model, which is the subject of this review, comes in at either 3m or 4m. If you are looking for something a bit more challenging then there are 5m and 8m mats available in slightly different designs. You can see all that WellPutt has to offer by visiting their website.
WellPutt Putting Mat - Performance
When you take the mat out of the box and unroll it, the ends will be rolled in and initially it won’t sit flat. The easy fix is to just roll it back the opposite way so that the black rubber base is on the outside. After doing that, it will sit perfectly. This was quite impressive as many other mats I’ve used needed to be weighted down with heavy objects and took several days to flatten completely. And this process would need to be repeated after each time it had been packed away for any length of time.
I have to say that the app is genuinely impressive and was far better than I expected it to be. Plenty of thought has obviously gone into it and the presentation is excellent. There are three levels of training and as mentioned above, there are also over 50 different games you can play.
Before delving into the games I wanted to see what the challenges were like. The first piece of advice I would give to you is, do not, under any circumstances, make the mistake I did and skip straight to the Professional training program (known as the Black Course). Talk about biting off more than one can chew! I didn’t complete a single challenge on my first go. Lesson learned, don’t be a hero. Learn to crawl before you try to run.
Suitably chastened and with my ego firmly back in check I fired up the beginner’s level (the Orange Course) and enjoyed more success. I managed to complete just over half of the challenges on my first attempt, only to then realise I hadn’t read the instructions properly and had made it far more difficult than it actually is. WellPutt say to use three balls for the Orange Course and I mistakenly thought that meant I had to complete the challenge with all of them. In reality, you have three attempts and only need to be successful with one of them.
Without going too deep into the challenges, the jist of it is that you will putt towards the hole marker from a set distance away. As I said, on the Orange Course you have three attempts to complete each challenge, which I found to be too easy as you really ought to be able to nail most challenges with three tries. My preference when playing the Orange Course was to use one ball, which made scoring much more of a challenge.
For some challenges it is recommended that you place an object on the hole marker so you have something to actually hit. A fizzy drinks can or a bottle works well but I opted to just use another golf ball. While this is a smaller target and more difficult to hit, the advantage is that the ball is already in place for the next challenge and you don’t need to keep moving the can out of the way.
You play both ends of the mat so going in one direction you may be asked to hit the object on the hole marker, or you might be required to roll your ball over the hole marker and have it come to a stop in the ‘Good Zone’ just beyond it. Going back down the other way you will need to have your ball come to a stop in one of the various numbered zones.
To begin with this will usually be a short putt into the closest zone (they are numbered in ascending order). As you progress through the challenges you are putting from further away each time, thereby increasing the difficulty. Points are awarded for each successful challenge and you can keep a record of your best scores so you have something to aim at.
The Blue Course is the mid level and was my preferred option of the three. The main difference between the Blue and Orange was that you needed to be successful with two or even three of your balls rather than just one.
The Black Course gives you tougher challenges and you will always need to make two out of three or you fail. That was too advanced for a man of my limited skill but the Blue Course represents enough of a challenge for most golfers and if you practice enough on that level you should see results as your feel for distance will start to become more natural. Your stroke should improve too as you learn more about what works and what doesn’t. For example, if you know how far you need to take the putter back to roll the ball eight feet, then you can adjust it slightly if it needs to go ten feet or twelve feet etc.
There are so many games and challenges to try that I’ve barely scratched the surface really. I attempted maybe a dozen or so and after a while it felt very ‘samey’. That isn’t a criticism as let’s face it, it’s a putting mat with markings on it, there is a limit on just how interesting you can actually make it and how much variety you can provide. Overall WellPutt have done a great job.
One minor drawback is that you can’t practice breaking putts. Well, you might be able to but that depends on the surface you lay the mat on. Ideally you want it as level as possible but if there is a little bit of unevenness or slope there then I suppose you could use that to your advantage and practice slightly breaking putts. Generally though you’re going to want to be hitting straight putts because that way you can get the most out of the alignment aids and the line markers that direct you to the intended target.
WellPutt Putting Mat - Verdict
I’m confident that this mat will make you a better putter, but only if you use it properly and have the discipline to follow the challenges. Your distance control will improve because the more you practice the better your feel becomes and you can also work on other aspects of your stroke.
Unlike other, more basic putting mats, you really need to put the work in with this one so it definitely isn’t for everybody. Without the dedication to use it, you’ll be spending a lot of money on something that will probably end up gathering dust in the loft. You won’t get any benefit from just occasionally taking the mat out of the box and having the odd five or ten minutes on it so this isn’t for the casual golfer.
If you have the space for it and the willingness to put the time in, however, you’ll love this mat because you can really lose yourself in the challenges and have a lot of fun. Personally I just don’t have the necessary discipline and attention span to get the full benefit from this mat. I’ll happily spend hours practicing my putting but I’m a man of simple taste and I need the positive re-enforcement of seeing a ball falling into a hole. You don’t get that with the WellPutt mat so I got bored fairly quickly.
To summarise, this is aimed at the serious golfer who has the time, space and work ethic to get the best out of what is a premium quality, extremely well designed training aid.