So today I am reviewing the SKLZ Accelerator Pro ball return putting mat/ green. I have had this product about a year now and feel that I can give some good feedback on this item. At the time I was looking to improve my putting and wanted to find a mat which I could use at home. I looked at several different options and found that many were simply too short or were gimmicky – i.e. had areas for water etc. This detracted from the my main purpose – to find an indoor putting green which would help me improve my putting stroke. As this is blog is focused on golf in the Los Angeles area, I should also note that SKLZ who make this product are a local based company and based in Southern California.
This putting mat is 9ft long and has an uphill gradient (19 degree slope). This is designed to make sure you hit the ball firm and train the golfer to hit 18″ past the hole; thus ensuring you do not leave your putt’s short. With the gradient aspect, it allows the ball to roll back to you by gravity along a simple strip of plastic. I found that this works adequately. Sometimes a ball will get stuck in the hole, but once you hit a second or third it frees them all up and the roll back.
One claim though I must disagree with. It says on the box, “lays flat immediately upon removal of the box”. I found that this is not the case and if it has been stored away in the box, I have to leave it overnight with books on to make it flat once again.
The key feature for me of this mat are the marked alignment guides. These are at 3 foot, 5 foot and 7 foot. These guides train you to bring the putter not only back the right distance for the specific putt, but also straight. It is obviously important that the face of your putter is straight to the target when hitting through the ball. A lot of people practice the long game out on the range, but do not practice putting so much (if at all). These 3, 5 and 7 foot putts are important to your game – 60-65% of shots on a typical round are within 100 yards of the hole. Improving your putting stroke will have a direct impact on helping to lower your score.
I think the quality of the product is good for the price. It is made of plastic and note; this costs less than $50, so don’t expect high-quality construction. Despite that it has held up well thus far. My only grip is that it attracts a lot of pet hair, but I guess that is true with anything you put on the floor. I just simply vacuum it. The product folds down and goes away into the box relatively easily. I recently moved to somewhere with hardwood floors and it works great. Previously I used it on carpet and it also worked well. The mat has a Stimpmeter rating of 10 on a firm rug and 11 on linoleum surface. According to the manufacturer it is made from a true-roll-turf and the edges will not unravel. From what I have seen, I would say that this is accurate.
|My set-up at home|
It is important when putting to have a good routine and a consistent stroke. I ensure I go through my same on-course routine when I use this training aid, in order to get it ingrained into my brain. I happen to have my mat positioned in a corridor with a mirrored closet door in front of me. This is good as I can check on my posture and position of the ball as I take each putt.
I really feel that this product has helped with my putting stroke and in particular alignment. If you just spend a few minutes each day, you will notice the difference out on the course. In addition I consider the SKLZ Accelerator Pro Ball Return Putting Mat reasonably priced (~$40) compared to some of the other products out there.