The Covid-19 pandemic saw many golfers look for opportunities to increase their practice time during the lockdowns, and the golf hitting net was one item they used to achieve this. Golf is one of the most expensive sports globally as equipment such as clubs, balls, club fees, clothing, shoes, etc., all quickly add up. So, are golf nets worth it?
Golf hitting nets are worth it as they are a convenient way to improve your golf swing. If you factor in the cost of travel, buckets of range balls, and your time, they are an economical way to improve your ball striking skills without the added distraction of nearby golfers.
I particularly like to use a golf hitting net because it allows me greater focus and concentration without other golfers hitting next to me in the relatively isolated space of the driving range.
Not only that, but the ability to practice in your yard or garden when you want to has some good additional benefits like exercise and being outdoors.
Cost Of A Golf Hitting Net vs. Range Costs
Whether golf hitting nets are worth it has to consider the cost of the hitting net against the costs and time needed to practice at the range.
You can pick up a good golf hitting net for about $150 and a smaller hitting mat for around $30-$40. So for under $200, you are set up and ready to go and get some practice in.
A high-quality hitting net would range between $400 and $700, with a good quality mat at around $100. So for $500-$800, you have your personal practice space in your backyard.
Range Costs & Time
Now, while the net cost may seem high, remember that you can use your practice net anytime, and if it’s in the garage, then all year round, plus you can hit as many balls as you want; you’ll only need to collect them from the net and reload!
Another point here is the time and gas costs. You may need to travel 15-30 minutes to get to the range, and if you are doing that twice a week, that’s up to two hours in travel alone, plus the gas costs.
If you go to the range twice a week every month, that’s around eight hours of travel plus the mileage and gas.
An average bucket of balls would be between $3 and $17, and if you are at upmarket ranges, that cost could easily be double. So if we say $10 per bucket and you’re hitting 3-4 buckets per session, that’s $40.
Twice a week is $80 and per month is $320! Even if you only hit two buckets at $10 each, that’s $160 per month, excluding gas and the travel time.
Over three months, including gas, would cost over $500. While for less than half that price, you could be hitting balls in your yard.
Golf Hitting Nets vs. Range – Ball Flight & Distance
One of the questions about golf hitting nets that people often ask is, ”How do I get better when I can’t see where the ball goes?”
At the range, you can see where and how far the ball goes, and that, of course, gives you insight into the type of shots you are hitting, which isn’t possible with the net.
However, most golf nets have optimum target points that you can aim at and see whether the ball hits that point off the mat. You can experiment with different wrist and weight positions to take to the course or range and see whether they work.
Getting the ball to hit the target on the net consistently will improve your swing confidence and direction and shape and flight when you get to the range or course.
Another option is to add a ball flight monitor that will give you all the data and metrics around your swing, smash factor, ball speed, distance, carry, etc. You don’t have to spend a fortune on one either!
Hitting Nets And Ball Striking
As a golfer, you know when you have hit it flush, you don’t need to see the ball flying or have the smash factor pop up to prove it. Using a golf hitting net will significantly improve your ball striking as you can micro-adjust elements in the swing to achieve this. Now that alone has to be worth it!
As mentioned above, adding a ball flight monitor to your golf hitting net is another great idea, so you get the best of both worlds, but even if you don’t, investing time in hitting balls into a net will pay dividends on your game.
Getting the feel of contact consistently on your clubface or being able to smash your driver and woods as often as you want is supremely beneficial. Top PGA pros like Lydia Ko use hitting nets at home as an integral part of their training regimen.
Golf Hitting Nets = Practice All Year Round
Another benefit of having a golf hitting net is that if you live in an area that gets snowed under in winter, ranges and golf courses are closed, which can dent your progress.
Even swinging indoors without a ball is ok, but making contact with the ball is always better, and with the hitting net, you can improve your ball striking, swing tempo, rhythm, and pre-shot routines.
Practice In Your Own Time And Space
One of the great benefits of having a golf hitting net is that you can go and swing whenever you want to! You don’t need to allocate time or pack the golf clubs in the car and drive to the range.
You can walk outside, pick a club, and swing away if you feel the urge. Of course, ensure that you aren’t facing any windows or that your net is wide enough to cover those off-center misses (shanks) so you don’t damage anything.
If you do have a practice hitting net, it’s advisable to have a hitting mat, and while you don’t need a massive or expensive one, an offcut of carpet could do the job. It may save you some strife if you aren’t digging up the garden, plus you also eliminate the risk of damaging your clubs.
Golf hitting nets are most certainly worth it, with many pros and scratch players seeing the benefits of being able to practice as and when they want to. For the average golfer, a small investment of less than $250 can get you up and running with a good setup.
Golf hitting nets are an excellent investment, and with a practice plan in place, they can improve your golf in a relatively short time without the hassle of driving and the cost of range balls and, best of all, at your convenience.