Posted November 7, 2023 in Play Better Golf by Trevor Cigich
Many golfers don’t get perfect golf weather year-round. Much of the US gets too cold, snowy, or rainy to practice golf effectively in the fall and winter months, and this can set you back in terms of progress when you have to take a break for about a third of the year. This doesn’t have to be the case, though, as there are ways to get quality practice in the offseason regardless of your budget.
While extra investment can help improve the comfort level of the training experience, quality practice can be found even with the most barebones setup. In this guide, we will go over how to practice golf in the winter and separate the categories based on the golfer’s budget for training aids and consumables:
Let’s dive into what each price point offers for winter practice, and find the best setup for you. Be sure to read the options in every section, as some later sections will build on what you can buy on a tighter budget.
Not everybody has thousands to spend on an indoor golf simulator, but luckily, that is not necessary to get quality golf practice. Largely, how you practice on a tighter budget will depend on how much space you have at home, so we will break this section up into options for golfers who have a backyard or garage, and options for those that don’t.
Golfers with a big enough space can afford a live practice setup even on a tight budget. Here are the training aids we recommend if you’ve got a backyard or garage that can accommodate them:
Golfing in the modern day brings several benefits. Golf tech has improved so much over the years, both electronics and unpowered tools. Whether you want gadgets to help you while you’re on the course, or training aids that help you improve at home or the range, there is likely something out there that will make improving your golf game easier.
In this buyers’ guide, we will cover the best golf gadgets to improve your game in a few different categories:
|This is what the space is for. A golf net will usually be at least 10×7 feet, and can stand freely in a garage or backyard to catch golf balls as you hit them. Full-size nets are available as affordably as $50.
|Using a golf net, you’ll need a hitting mat to simulate turf. There are many options, some with varied turf lengths to help you practice hitting out of them. These also come as cheap as $50, but more feature-rich ones cost a bit more.
|These inexpensive tools are great for any live hitting practice, and can help you work on your stance, swing path, and ball placement. Depending on length and material, these are available in the $10-25 range.
So, for just around $120, you can build a complete live practice setup in your backyard or garage. This will allow you to practice getting solid contact on the ball, improving your launch angle, and straightening your shot path. While you won’t get many of the more specific metrics that a more expensive golf setup would allow for, you’ll still be able to get quality practice to avoid getting rusty in the off-season.
With a smaller space, you’ll simply focus more on skill drills than live hitting, taking opportunities to hit at the range when the weather permits. Luckily, there are still great options that can seriously improve your golf game, even if you don’t have the space for a golf net:
|One of the most classic home golf training aids, putting mats allow you to practice getting putting straight, and with the proper velocity. These come as low as $40.
|Swing trainers allow you to practice your swing form without actually hitting a ball. Tools like these allow you to improve your tempo and grip wherever you are, as long as you have enough space to swing it back and forth. These can be bought as low as $50.
|Impact bags allow you to practice your full-speed swings and improve accuracy at impact. These bags simply sit there and take the impact of your club so you don’t have to hit a golf ball. Quality impact bags usually cost around $30-40.
|Putting mirrors help you get a look at your stance and grip, and they feature alignment aids to help you straighten out your putting stroke. They come as cheap as $15.
These small space practice tools allow you to practice the core aspects of your golf game indoors, or on a small patio/porch. This practice will absolutely be enough to improve in the off-season, and you can still get live practice when the weather permits. If the weather doesn’t often permit, you can always search for an indoor range nearby, or hit some balls at a specialty golf shop with hitting bays.
If you have a more flexible budget, you can improve upon what we built on a tight budget above. As such, we will break this section into the same two categories, breaking down some of the more expensive options for golfers with enough space for a live hitting setup, and those without.
Here are some of the more expensive training aids that can help improve your live golf net hitting setup, and give you more accurate feedback to work with while training:
|Entry-Level Launch Monitor
|A launch monitor is a tool that measures several aspects of your golf shots to help you identify where you can improve. Some can even double as mini-simulator setups, giving you a more affordable way to play an entire hole at home. They are also usable outdoors when it is time to return to the course or range. While there are very expensive monitors, entry-level ones can be found as low as $300.
|Simulator Impact Screen
|A golf simulator impact screen is a must-have for those looking to use their launch monitor’s golf simulator functionality. The blank white background makes it easier for the launch monitor to identify the path of your golf ball, which will improve the accuracy of the simulation. These come as low as $100, and can be attached to your golf net for easy setup.
|Divot Feedback Mat/Board
|A divot feedback mat or board can be used with or without a launch monitor, and it allows you to analyze your divot pattern, using it to understand how your swing path and impact trajectory can be improved.
As you can see, these improvements can be boiled down to a more fun and feedback-rich training experience. This can help you identify ways to improve, but it doesn’t mean those on tighter budgets aren’t getting quality practice. These added tools just improve the precision of your training and can make it a bit more entertaining.
For those with small spaces, most of the training aids have already been listed in the tight budget section. There is one way to get more fun into your home training experience, with certain VR headsets as affordable as $300. These headsets have some golf simulator games, and even controller attachments allow you to swing with a real golf club grip for better practice.
While these won’t be the most accurate training tools, they are some of the most fun. For the price, it is worth considering, even if it’s from a more entertainment-focused perspective.
Most of the improvements focus on the golfer with space to hit inside at more premium prices. For that reason, this section won’t be broken up, and these recommendations will be focused on those with a live-hitting space:
|Premium Golf Launch Monitors
|Similar utility and features to the entry-level options explained above, but typically have even more depth and accuracy as you go up in price. These can vary massively in price, and can be used in outdoor practice during golf/range season.
|Complete Golf Simulator Setups
|At these higher price points, golfers can get all-in-one golf simulator setups that are extremely fun and accurate. While launch monitors can function like simulators by letting you see your shots on your phone, tablet or launch monitor display, these simulators will make it look like you’re out on the course, with the sim being projected onto the screen you’re hitting toward. These vary widely in price.
These are the most advanced ways to practice golf in the winter, and they will keep you in top shape when it comes time to return to the course.
Worldwide Golf Shops provides next-level service to customers of all experience levels, with the best-trained staff in the industry. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide guidance to beginners and to share pro tips with even our most experienced clientele, making us one of the best places to figure out how to practice golf in the winter.
Check out our online store to see our industry-standard variety of the best golf training aids and all of the following:
At Worldwide Golf Shops, we take pride in offering brands that we guarantee will provide the highest level of value to our diverse range of golfers. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you in finding the perfect golf gear. Find a store near you today!
Trevor Cigich | Director of Retail Marketing | Worldwide Golf Shops
I’ve been at Worldwide Golf Shops for 6 years, and I’ve been playing golf for 23 years. I have played a few mini tour events but now compete occasionally at the amateur level– currently a +2.1 handicap. I am a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to golf and golf clubs. I enjoy testing all aspects of different products, utilizing various fitting systems and learning about all the different club shafts, club lengths, golf balls, and putter styles. Not just for my game, but to help customers of all calibers.
For more content from me and our team, as well as our vast online store, go to www.worldwidegolfshops.com.