Practice is an essential part of any golfer's efforts to become better at playing the game. However, it can be quite expensive to practice frequently at a driving range. That means it's much more advantageous to practice at home, but to do that, you'll need a golf practice mat that can accurately simulate the conditions you'd find on a local golf course. 

When you've decided you want a golf mat for home practice, your next step is then to decide whether to purchase a golf mat from a vendor, or whether you can make your own.

Should you buy a practice mat or make one?

As with all things in life, there are some advantages as well as disadvantages to making your own practice mat vs. buying one. It could, of course, be less expensive to make your own, although you'll still have to take into account the purchase of all the supplies needed like adhesive spray, rubber fatigue mat, artificial turf, rubber tees, and a utility knife, not to mention the time it will actually take you to build it. If you're not much of a do-it-yourselfer, this could be a major disadvantage. In that case, you should probably discard the home-made golf mat idea entirely unless you can enlist the help of a particularly handy friend.

If you do opt to go the DIY route, one benefit is that you'll be able to easily replace any parts which wear out or fail during usage because you already know where you bought the components for making your mat. 

On the flip side, the old saying “if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, try hiring an amateur” holds well here. Unless you happen to make a living fabricating golf practice mats, you will almost certainly sacrifice some level of quality by making your own, and that may be a serious issue. Since the whole point is to duplicate the conditions found on an actual golf course, your goal should be to practice from a mat which can effectively simulate those exact conditions.

Lacking the skills to produce a high-quality golf mat, you may find that your home-made version is quickly degraded, and requires replacement parts relatively soon after its construction. If this gets to be the case, you may also lose the advantage of spending less on a home-constructed version of a golf mat, because you'll have to go out and buy more materials to re-construct your golf mat. Generally speaking, unless you are a very skilled do-it-yourselfer, you would probably be much better off to simply purchase a high-quality golf mat.

How to make your own golf mat

If you're the do-it-yourselfer type, and you opt to forge ahead with making your own golf mat, here are the steps necessary for the construction of a quality home golf mat which you can use for practicing:

cut out the foundation - for your golf mat foundation, you'll need to have a rubber fatigue mat, which can be purchased at your local hardware store. This will need to be cut into a rectangle, of approximately 4' by 5'
staple the padding – you will need to have a carpet-like substance or some kind of padding which you can staple to the top side of a rectangle of plywood, to provide padding for your golf mat
create tee holes – drill two or three holes through the wood and padding, which are centered across the width of your plywood, and which are approximately 4 inches from the edge. Afterward, you'll be able to insert rubber tees which you can use for simulating shots with your driver.
attach the turf to your plywood – first, place the turf upside down somewhere on the surface of the ground, then center the board in the middle of your turf, with the padding facing down. Then you'll need to fold the sides of your turf over the plywood, and staple the turf to the board along its bottom edge and around the sides of the board, making sure to keep the entire surface of the turf tightly pulled. This assembly will then need to be attached to the rubber fatigue foundation, by spraying an adhesive over the entire area of the rubber mat, and pressing the turf solidly into it, so as to make a solid connection.
cut out the tee holes – now you need to turn the mat over and use some kind of utility knife to cut holes in the turf, in the area where you drilled holes for your rubber tees.
insert the tees – place the rubber tees in through the bottom of your golf mat, so they emerge through the topside, and you'll be ready to begin practicing.

Where can you buy a golf practice mat?

While quality golf hitting mats can cost a pretty penny, there are some great options to choose from if you’re looking for the best combination of high quality and cost-effectiveness. Rawhide Golf Ball Co., for example, is known for their exceptionally high-quality used golf practice mats. You can browse their product line on their website, and you'll be able to purchase high-quality golf mats as well as an endless supply of used golf balls, which most of us need to constantly replace anyway. 

Refurbished practice mats from Rawhide Golf Ball Co., endure a rigid quality control test before being offered for sale to a customer and are the same level of quality you’d expect from a top driving range.

Each of the golf mats is a full 60" x 60", and come equipped with a 1/2 inch thick foam underlayment, as well as 1-inch thick turf. You can use your own rubber tees if you like since there are tee holes provided on both sides to accommodate both left-handers and right-handers.

Best of all, you will only pay about one third what you would expect to pay when purchasing a brand-new golf mat, making this a great option for even the most frugal golfer. 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of whether you choose to construct your own golf mat or purchase one, having a golf practice mat means you'll be able to practice as much as you want with no harm being done to your yard, and hopefully a great deal of good being done to your golf swing.