Indoor putting: We all do it. For most of us, it’s the only time we can do anything resembling golf without going outdoors. How we do it tends to vary. Some of us use the carpet and try to hit a cup, others have skinny strips of fabric that feed to a ball return, and some (like THP’s JB and GolferGal) have an indoor green the size of my kitchen. I’ve putted into just about everything. Heck, I’ve even used a shoe that I turned on its side on some pretty thick carpet. The bottom line is that it can be a challenge to find a somewhat realistic putting surface for indoor practice. For a while, I used the utility carpet in my basement, but it was like putting on glass. It was better than nothing, but moving to real grass took some major adjustment in the length of my stroke. I’ve tried many different indoor putting products, but haven’t been able to find one that fits my needs. I’m not a fan of putting up an incline and I just don’t have the money to spend on something huge. Knowing this, I decided to review the Izzo 3×9 Putting Mat because it appeared to be a little closer to what I was looking for: something that wasn’t too expensive, not too big (or small), flat and reasonably close to real grass. Take a look and we’ll see how it stacked up.
From the Company:
*Practice putting like a pro with 3 patented putt cups
*Cup are ¼ inch smaller than regulation size
*Rolls up easily
*Approximate size 3? × 9?
As you can see from the pictures, there isn’t much to setting up the Izzo Putting Mat. Really, you just unroll it and place the cups into the cutouts. That said, many people have struggled with getting their mat of choice to lie flat on the ground. I can remember one mat in particular that I actually took an iron to after trying everything else I could to smooth out the creases. The Izzo mat unrolled and laid pretty flat right out of the box. The end without the holes was slightly raised, but a few pats of the hand seemed to do the trick. There were a few bumps here and there, but for the most part, it laid flat right away. The cups just slid right into the cut-outs and I was ready to start putting. It was pretty simple from start to finish. I noticed that this mat works better on a hard floor as opposed to carpet when it comes to slipping and laying flat. I didn’t notice anything that really bothered me, but it can move a bit when laid on carpet.
Putting it to use (pun intended):
The material that makes up the Izzo mat feels a little wooly. It’s not the lightning-fast felt material that many lower priced mats are made of. I like this quite a bit as it gave me a much more realistic experience. After moving from my utility carpet to the Izzo mat, I found myself leaving many putts short, which is something I do a lot on the course. This told me that I may be able to get some better quality practice time with this mat than I was getting from my old method. Another feature I really liked is the shape of the mat. It’s kind of a kidney shape and I think that is just about perfect. I have always felt that straight lined mats make me rely too much on the mat to line up my putts and I suffer without them when I get on real greens. The shape of the mat, along with the three cups, provides a good number of choices when it comes to targets and starting points. For a mid-priced mat, these are great features. The cups themselves are very easy to focus on and they emit a pleasant tone when a ball hits them; much better than the sound of ball meeting shoe. Since they are slightly smaller than a regulation hole, there is a little less margin for error as well. This is a big improvement from a similar product I used that had about a half-inch of extra room on each side of the cup. One thing I should address is the length of the Izzo mat. It comes in right around nine feet long, but for the most part, I found the longest putts I took with it to be in the 7-8 foot range since I normally don’t place the ball on the very edge of the surface. This was fine with me, but it should be noted.
The Izzo 3×9 Putting Mat is a no-frills product. It doesn’t offer a fancy ball return and there are no batteries or cords to plug in. For me, that simplicity made it a great product, especially for the price. It gave me a reasonably realistic place to practice with my putter without costing a ton of money. That’s all I was really looking for. It’s not Augusta fast, but it’s pretty close to my local courses. Check out www.izzogolf.com for more information. This mat retails for $59.99 or less on the internet, and in my opinion, is worth the money.