Doc Wordinger lives and works in central Manchester. He has a fondness for golf, poker, fine literature, art, and film.
Use a Hitting Net to Improve Your Swing
Picking the best golf net for your home is a dangerous business. Get it wrong, and you're only one shanked seven-iron away from a broken window or a black eye. Get it right, and you'll enjoy unlimited practice opportunities in your very own home, garage, or garden. Practice golf nets have been around for a long time now, and although their 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 of 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 (on top of the cost of the gas to get there and back), having your own practice net is also a blessing for your wallet.
Here we'll take a look at the pros and cons of four of the best golf nets currently available to buy. To ensure that a variety of budgets are catered to, each net falls into a different price category. The table below lists prices and specifications and is followed by more detailed discussions of each net.
4 Great Practice Net Options
The Net Return Pro Series
7'6" x 8'
6' x 7'–9' x10'
Elite Caddy 2-in-1
7' x 10'
7' x 10'
1. The Net Return Pro Series Multi-Sport
The Net Return's Pro Series V2 Golf and Multi-Sport Golf Net 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's Pro Series tops the list every time. At $695, it ain't cheap, but unlike many of its lesser-priced competitors, the Pro Series 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 brand's name suggests, the biggest selling point of The Net Return's Pro Series is that the golf ball is automatically returned to your feet after each shot. Due to the product's clever design, the 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 at 7.6 feet tall and 8 feet wide, errant shots aren't a problem with this net. It is a product that instills you with the confidence to swing free and hard with any club, including your 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 $695 on a practice net, it's worth noting that the Pro Series 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 Pro Series can be used both 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 it 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.
- Amazon Price: $695
- Measurements: 7'6" x 8' (3'6" deep)
- Weight: 29 lbs
- Extras: Storage/carrying bag
- Warranty: One year
2. 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 these expectations.
As with The Net Return's Pro Series, 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, taut 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' net usually sells for around $72 on Amazon and will sit snugly in the corner of your game room or garage.
If you're a golfing newbie or have a tendency to hit the occasional shank, spending an extra $30 or so on the 7' x 8' net will give you that extra peace of mind and lessen the risk of shattering a vase or maiming an innocent bystander. The largest-sized net in the Tri-Ball series is a whopping 9' x 10' (usually around $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 nets in the series 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 somewhat 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, which makes it perfect for serious golfers and novices alike.
- Price: $72–$199 (currently unavailable on Amazon)
- Measurements: 6' x 7', 7' x 8' or 9' x 10'
- Weight: 25 lbs
- Extras: Detachable target and nylon carrying bag
3. Elite Caddy 2-in-1
Although this two-in-one net and mat product from Elite Caddy isn't a contender for the best overall golf net, at around $69.95, 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 very much keeps with the new generation of golf nets, which look more like children's playpens than shot-stoppers. But 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 then switch to lighter practice golf balls for the longer clubs.
The Elite 2-in-1 can be assembled fairly quickly thanks to color-coding, which helps with connecting the fiberglass poles to the correct sleeves. Ground pegs are provided for greater stability, and the product comes in a duffel bag 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 gardens or garages. If you're a medium to low handicapper, you'd be better off opting for the 6' x 7' Callaway Tri-Ball, which hovers around the same price.
The Elite 2-in-1 could well be the best golf net for your home if you're working on a tight budget. Likewise, if you're new to the game of golf and want to practice on a cheaper product before you commit to investing in a higher-priced model, the Elite 2-in-1 is one of your best options.
- Price: $69.95 (currently unavailable on Amazon)
- Measurements: 7' x 10'
- Weight: 14 lbs
- Extras: Hitting mat, tee, practice balls, and carrying/storage bag
4. RukkNet Pop-Up
The RukkNet Pop-Up (made by Ruckket Sports) is a golf net that ticks a lot of boxes. Portable, affordable, durable, and functional, it probably offers more all-around 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 pop 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 Net Return's Pro Series, the RukkNett Pop-Up 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 to 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.
- Price: $169 (currently unavailable on Amazon)
- Measurements: 7' x 10' (5' depth)
- Weight: 14 lbs
- Extras: Target attachments, carrying case with club holder, and can also be used as a sunshade
- Warranty: 30 days
Do You Own One of the Home Golf Nets Listed Above?
Do you already own a Net Return Pro Series, RukkNet Pop-Up, Callaway Tri-Ball, or Elite 2-in-1? Perhaps you use a golf net that is not listed in this review. Feel free to leave your comments and feedback below.
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on January 07, 2015:
Hi Gary, thanks for your feedback.
Gary Stultz on December 30, 2014:
Just started using the Calloway Tri-Ball. Have no problem setting it up. It's just two poles that go through sleeves and you stick pins in the ends. Goes up or down in a few minutes. Bought the middle size one (7' x 8') on sale for $84 so the price was great. Can't say anything about durability yet. Other ones looked great with ball return but couldn't justify price difference.
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on August 05, 2014:
Hi Emenke. The Callaway Tri-Ball has generally produced very favorable reviews and feedback from users (with the exception of setting it up which can be tricky with one person). It is one of the best selling golf nets on the market. Is it possible that you bought a defective product?
emenke on June 02, 2014:
We have owned the Calloway Tri-Ball net since November 2013. There wasn't a whole lot of practice during the winter, so I would say use was ramped up around March and it's now June. My husband managed to knock two gaping holes into it in just that short time period. I would NOT recommend it.
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on May 19, 2013:
Thanks for your feedback bbgolfer
robert on May 02, 2013:
Calloway net was too much trouble to set up. I sent it back.
bbgolfer on April 23, 2013:
I like the Elite Caddy 2-in-1 Golf Net, thanks