If you have been looking for a portable, quality golf mat solution the BirdieTurf could be your answer. The system consists of two mats, a stand mat with a rubber surface and a grass mat. Recently they changed the product so that you received two mats with the grass surface. This review is about the first version, but the important thing is the quality of the hitting surface.
Range Mat Comparison
So how does this mat compare to range mats. There are few different types of range mats depending on the type of range. Some ranges have very thin hard mats. Those are the harshest on the body. Most public driving ranges that I have been to have a thicker harder mat with little give, but are a step above the thin mats. With those two types of mats, they are often so hard they provide little realistic feedback. A shot hit fat could easily appear to be a quality shot because of the way the club bounces of the mat and into the ball. Those mats don’t allow you to hit down and through the ball and if you have a digger type swing that normally takes a divot, those mats can end up causing you pain in your wrists, elbows, and shoulders.
The nicest range mats have a softer grass surface that feels more natural and allows you to hit down and through the ball. Those mats are pretty rare at commercial driving ranges. I have seen these only at a prestigious private golf club. The mats there really do feel like hitting of a lush fairway, they allow you to hit down and through the ball, they give you realistic feedback, and you can put a tee anywhere you want.
The BirdieTurf feel is somewhere between the nicer range mat, and the private club mat described above. Although it does not really let you hit down and through the ball it does feel soft on the wrists, elbows and shoulders. It is a higher quality mat than you will find at most commercial driving ranges.
The BirdieTurf is very portable and solidly built. Each half of the two piece system measures 32” by 22” and weighs 19 lbs. It will not slide during swings. Each mat also has a heavy duty carrying handle, making them ideal for a backyard driving range, or even taking to your local park with a sleeve of birdie balls.
The mats come with a heavy duty universal tee that holds any type of normal tee. I would suggest using a plastic tee like a zero friction tee if you are going to hit drives off this mat as the tee holder has a solid bottom and a wooden tee could break, leaving the wooden part embedded in the holder with no chance of getting it out. Plastic tees are less likely to break like that. The tee that comes with the mat is removable and you can replace it with your own rubber tees or even something like the DuraTee.
High Quality Mat, excellent value
Overall this is an excellent mat system for the price. It has a soft feeling surface that won’t injure you the way most commercial range mats do. It is portable, so you can take it anywhere and work on your game. You could even take it to your local range to hit off a better surface if you don’t like the mats they have. While it doesn’t have quite the feel of the mats that allow you to hit down and through, it is surprisingly close. Even when I went after it with a steep swing, the mat felt softer and had more give than your traditional range mat.
BirdieTurf product description at the BirdieBall website.