Picking the best golf net for your home is a dangerous business. Get it wrong and you’re only one shanked 7 iron away from a broken window or a black eye. Get it right and you’ll enjoy unlimited practice opportunity in your very own home or garden. Practice golf nets have been around for a long time now and although the functionality has greatly improved in recent years, products of dubious quality still litter the market.
But don’t let these words of doom dampen your appetite for home golf. Investing in a good hitting net for your house, garage or garden remains one the best ways to improve your swing and sharpen your game. With a bucket of balls costing up to $10 at the local driving range, having your own practice net is also a blessing for your wallet.
Here we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of three of the best golf nets currently available to buy. Ensuring that every budget is catered for, each net falls into a different price category.
The Pro Series Net Return
The Pro Series Net Return is the absolute Godfather of home golf nets. There really isn’t a product that comes close. For stability, durability and functionality, The Net Return tops the list every time. At $395, it ain’t cheap either, but unlike many of its lesser-priced competitors, the Net Return is built to last. If you’re a serious golfer with long-term ambitions, this is a net that will save you money over the course of your life.
As the name suggests, the biggest selling point of the Net Return is that the golf ball is automatically returned to your feet after each shot. The clever design and super-resilient heavyweight netting fully absorbs the hardest of shots, dispensing of the ball in such a way that it gently rolls back across the grass or matting ready for your next swing. Even Bubba Watson couldn’t tear a hole in this gem.
Standing 7.5 feet tall and 8 feet wide, errant shots aren’t a problem with The Net Return either. This is a product that instills you with the confidence to swing free and hard with any club including the driver. This comfort-zone feeling just isn’t possible with many other golf nets.
If you find yourself wondering how you’ll explain to your non-golfing spouse that you want to spend $395 on a golf net, it’s worth noting that the Net Return is a multi-sport product. Baseball, lacrosse and soccer players can all benefit from this practice aid. Letting your kids pitch baseballs or kick soccer balls into the net is a small price to pay for domestic harmony and limitless golf practice.
The Net Return can be used indoors and out. The robust aluminum frame won’t rust or fall to pieces in the wind (a common weakness among poorer quality nets) and can be assembled quickly and easily thanks to a handy color-coding system. It comes with a tough duffel bag where it can be conveniently stored when not in use.
The Callaway Tri-Ball
The Tri-Ball by Callaway is easily the best golf net in the mid-to-low price range. Being one of the biggest golf equipment manufacturers, Callaway should know a thing or two about making a quality hitting net. With the Tri-Ball, they live up to expectations.
As with the Pro Series Net Return, you can let rip with the big clubs into this net without fear of tearing the material. Callaway even claims that the Tri-Ball is built with the “strongest netting in golf”. The loosely-hanging netting and triangular shape will also absorb the full force of the ball. Anyone who has ever been hit by a golf ball springing back from a cheap, taught practice net will understand how important it is to have full confidence in the product. Tri-Ball will give you confidence in droves.
If you’re looking for an affordable indoor net to use in conjunction with a golf simulator such as Dancin Dog’s OptiShot or the P3ProSwing, the Tri-Ball is just the ticket. Available in three different sizes, the 6′ x 7′ sized net sells for around $72 on Amazon (see link above) and will sit snugly in the corner of your games room or garage.
If you’re a golfing newbie or have a tendency to hit the occasional shank, spending an extra $30 on the 7′ x 8′ sized net will give you that extra peace of mind and lessen the psychological threat of smashing a vase or maiming an innocent bystander. The largest size net in the Tri-Ball brand is a whopping 9′ x 10′ ($199 on Amazon). With these dimensions you can hit a vast array of toed irons and open-faced lob shots without worrying about missing the target. But unless you live in a spacious house, the larger net is only suitable for outdoor practice. Thankfully, all three sized nets come with ground-fastening stakes.
One minor word of caution. Although the manufacturer boasts that this is an easy-to-assemble product, consumer feedback on this claim is generally mixed. As with any golf net, read the instructions first and be ready to call a friend for assistance if the going gets tough. But this is only nit-picking at what is definitely one of the best golf nets for your home. What really makes the Tri-Ball stand out is its affordable price. Perfect for serious golfers and novices alike.
Elite Caddy 2-in-1 Golf Net
Although this 2-in-1 net and mat product from Elite Caddy isn’t a contender for the overall best golf net, at $69.95 on Amazon (see link to the right for more info) it’s certainly one of the better pieces of equipment among the lower priced options.
In the shape of a dome tent, the Elite 2-in-1 is very much in keeping with the new generation of golf nets which look more like children’s playpens than shot stoppers. Put don’t be fooled by the appearance; this net is large and spacious, and if used correctly, it could seriously enhance your home practice sessions.
Knowing the limitations of this net is key to getting value for your money. At only $69.95, including a hitting mat and tee, it probably won’t be able to withstand repeated blows from your woods and long irons, assuming you’re an adult golfer of average strength and build. Unfortunately, large nets in this price range are not built with the robust materials and fittings required to withstand constant hammering from the bigger clubs. A good strategy would be to hit chips, pitch shots and easy short irons with real balls, switching to the lighter practice golf balls for the longer clubs.
The Elite 2-in-1 can be assembled fairly quickly thanks to color-coding which helps to connect the fiberglass poles to the correct sleeves. Ground pegs are provided for greater stability and the product comes in a duffel back for storage.
The biggest advantage of this net is its size and shape. It’s an ideal net for beginners and high-handicappers who want to work on improving their swings in the privacy of their own garden or garage. If you’re a medium to low handicapper, you’re better off opting for the 6′ x 7′ Callaway Tri-Ball, which is around the same price.
The Elite 2-in-1 could well be the best golf net for your home if you’re working to a tight budget. Likewise, if you’re new to the game of golf and want to practice on a cheaper product before committing to buying a dearer one, the Elite 2-in-1 is one of your best options.
The Rukk Pop-Up is a golf net that ticks a lot of boxes. Portable, affordable, durable and functional, it probably offers more all-round usability than any of the other nets on our shortlist.
Like those modern pop-up tents that pack the camping fields of music festivals, the Rukk springs into shape after a gentle helping hand from its carrying case. This is perfect for anyone who travels frequently (why not stick it up in your hotel room?) or for anyone practicing in borrowed space who needs to restore the net swiftly to its bag once the practice session is over.
In a similar fashion to the Pro Series Net Return, the Rukk dribbles the golf ball back to the user’s feet after each shot and also offers big-shot sturdiness thanks to a double dosage of netting.
This is a versatile net that can function indoors and out. Although relatively lightweight, the frame is hefty enough to hold its own when the weather is calm. You might, however, need to use the provided pegs and fasten it to the ground if the wind picks up.
As you’d expect from a high quality product, you can employ a full range of shots when practicing with the Rukk. It is large enough to catch misfired balls and strong enough to take repeated beatings from the big dog. In fact, you can give your all-around game a decent workout thanks to the handy chipping and pitching target attachments that come with the net. And you don’t have to limit it to golf. Set it up as a pitch-stop or goal for your game of baseball or soccer with the kids.