Review of "Masters Hazard Putting Mat"

published 05/12/2014 | CheckM8
Member since : 02/12/2014
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Super
Pro Simple, effective, great value training aid
Cons Care needs to be taken to not step on the raised end!
very helpful
Quality
Durabiltiy
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"Putting for wimps!"

Masters Hazard Putting Mat

Masters Hazard Putting Mat

Whilst golf is a game that can be enjoyed all year round there are days when the British weather gets in the way. Whether it be excessive rain such that the greens are water-logged, or our wonderful autumn fogs that mean you can't see any of the fairway from the tee, there are some days when the real thing just isn't possible. Couple that with the rarely acknowledged fact that, for most golfers, around 40-50% of all shots taken in competition are putts and you'll quickly acknowledge that an indoor way of getting your golfing fix could come in very handy.

Of course, there are always golf ranges for those days when you can't get out on the course and it is perfectly possible to set up your own mini-game from the comfort and dry of a driving bay but putting into a ball basket from a driving mat just doesn't cut it.

Enter the putting mat!

Putting mats come in various shapes and sizes and, I think, are often seen as novelty items that are great for office Christmas gifts. Indeed, this year I've even seen a "toilet putting game" on sale in a high street retailer - why, or how, you should putt whilst seated on the loo I have no idea!

There is a more serious purpose to these items, however, and for those seeking to improve their game you could do worse than look at the Masters Hazard Putting Mat.

Design

This is a really simple product. Essentially a moulded plastic tray, shaped to a wedge, with a felt like piece of material providing the grassy run up to the hole. In its simplicity, however, lies its beauty.

The green that lies before the slope measures some 58" long (147cm approx) and 13.5" (about 35cm) wide.

The slope runs up at an angle of around 30 degrees for a further 11" and the top platform is a further 10" deep.

The hole is a regulation sized cup and it is backed by two "hazards" - water and bunker - to its rear left and right. Please note that the version I have differs from the category photo in that the bunker is to the right and the water to the left. If you check other photos this would seem to be the case and it appears that the Ciao photo has been reversed.

This putting system has a really simple auto-return facility. Forget electric putting machines spitting out your ball, this system simply relies on the slope to return your ball from the cup, or either hazard, down the side of the putting mat. If you can be bothered, two gutters are provided to bring the golf ball right back to the start but I have found that, in practice, it's not strictly necessary to use these as the run of the ball will naturally bring the ball about halfway back and, if you play with a couple of balls you can get a good rhythm.

For storage purposes you are looking at a unit that is 21x15x4" to store as the green folds up on top of the plastic tray.

Flexibility

For such a simple set up there us a surprising degree of flexibility in the kind of shots that can be taken. Clearly you can start at any point on the mat and this will alter the strength of the shot that you need to take. The slope provides great resistance and allows practice of shoot strength. The hazards require accuracy. By starting from different places along the width of the may you can effectively vary the angle of attack.

The mat itself is surprisingly realistic in terms of feel of the putt. At first I was concerned that folds in the mat would ruin the feel and accuracy of the putt but the reality is that these that add spice to what would otherwise be a fairly formulaic set up. Any ridges created (see photos) add to the realism of a green which, unless we're playing at a top club, are not guaranteed to be quite as smooth as one might like!

Indeed, you can even go further, and add your own elevations and lumps under the mat (using small objects not associated with this product) to create more challenging putts.

This mat gets quite a bit of use in our house and as a family (non-golfers included) we've come up with a number of games and challenges that mean that this is more than just a golf training aid. The joy of this tool is that you don't need much space and, beyond a putter and ball, no special equipment to enjoy it to its full. So long as you can lay the mat straight you'll need nothing else.

Longevity

Our mat has been in use for a couple of years and with the exception of a tiny bit of piling where the gutters have been attached with velcro, the mat is showing no signs of wear.

The platform where the cup is is clearly not going to withstand rough treatment, it's lightweight moulded plastic which, I'm sure will break if stood on. But, treated with care, this is a tool that should really last.

Availability

The putting mat is widely available both online and on the high street. It retails at around £30 as of Nov 2014 but is often available at a discount - expect to pay around the £25 mark.

Does CheckM8 rate?

Yes, absolutely. This is a really simple, well designed piece of kit that can really help you sharpen up your putting and let you have fun at the same time. Whether beginner, advanced or even not a golfer you can get good use from it. It's lightweight, portable and easy to set up. Now you have no excuses not to get that practice in!

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Comments on this review

  • ntg13 published 05/02/2015
    Well reviewed.
  • euphie published 17/12/2014
    vh :o)
  • sharper_fin published 09/12/2014
    I always thought these were a bit tacky but this seems OK
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Product Information : Masters Hazard Putting Mat

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Long Name: Hazard Putting Mat

Golf Accessory Type: Putting Mats

Manufacturer: Masters

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since: 19/08/2010