Mark Twain famously called golf a good walk spoiled, so taking the walk out of the game by playing indoors might have seemed foolish to the great writer, but for the rest of us, it offers many advantages. It’s convenient and you can play in all weather, for starters, though perhaps even more appealing, you don’t incur green fees or any of the other considerable expenses actual golf involves.
Indoor golf comes in all sorts of formats, from competitive toys to board games to practice aids you can also use in head-to-head play. However you want to golf in the comfort and convenience of your own home, we’ve got you covered.
Wood Golf Putting Mat
Best Overall Features
Most indoor golf is focused on putting, for obvious reasons, and you won’t get a more fully-featured putting game than this mat. It’s got two lanes leading to two holes of different sizes, catering to a range of skills and allowing you to play alongside a friend if desired, and it’s built with a convenient ramp that returns the ball to you after a successful shot.
Best of all, it’s both large and convenient: it rolls up for storage but extends to a full eight feet, giving you plenty of distance to play on. It lies flat and stable once rolled out, just like the perfect golfing green for you to practice your putting shots.
PutterBall Golf Pong
Best Head-to-Head Golf Game
Many indoor golf games are essentially training aids you can also use to play against friends. This Golf Pong, however, is designed specifically for head-to-head games and doesn’t care whether you improve your technique.
Players or teams stand at either end of the fake turf strip and aim to putt balls into six holes at the opposite end. When you sink a putt, you cover up the whole, indicating it’s been scored in and making future shots more interesting. First to close them all wins. Easy to play, store, and transport, this is a fun diversion for both indoor and outdoor events.
See our guide to the best yard games for more head-to-head options like this.
Xanginer Chipping Mat
Best Family Golf Game
If you want a golf game that’s better for younger players, or for bigger groups, this chipping mat has you covered. It’s essentially a golf version of the sticky darts game beloved by many children, where you throw Velcro balls at a coarse fabric board.
What sets this particular model apart is its size — 70” x 60” — and features. There are multiple scoring zones for getting closer to the hole and hazards like bunkers, rough, and a stream that will lose you points. You can also throw the sticky balls into the mat for a whole new challenge if desired.
Yosoo Putting Cup
Best Putting Cup
When people visualize indoor golf, this is probably the first thing they think of: a small, portable ball receiver with a backstop. You can take it anywhere as your floor or carpet serves as the green, allowing you to practice putting at your convenience. Of course, if you also have a friend around, you can take turns and make it into a competition.
This is a particularly robust and fully-featured model. It has a battery-powered ball returning mechanism to send your putts back to you and grippy feet for stability on any surface. The lack of cables means you can use it to practice outdoors as well as in-, for a more authentic grass surface.
Saplize Putting Mat
Best for Training
Setting up this putting mat is slightly more involved than the other options on our list since it needs space to unroll and comes with ramps to simulate uneven greens. This is a more flexible and fully-featured product designed to really hone your putting skills.
In addition to extra width, length, and tilt, this mat can also be brushed forward or backward to change the speed of the putting surface. It also includes a widget that will help you with your posture and club position. It’s covered in lines and distances, so you can easily see where your putts are going wrong and correct them for the next attempt. Whatever aspect of putting you need to practice, this mat will have you covered.
Rukket Pop-up Chipping Net
Best Chipping Net
While putting is the most obvious golf skill you can practice at home, it’s not the only one. Short-range chips onto the green are another essential tool in your golfing armory, and with a net like this, you can practice chipping in your garage or yard.
Either way, it’s easy to set up and put away after your session. The net comes with various compartments you can use to see whether your shots tend to drift off target and, if so, in which direction. You can also use them as targets in a competitive game with friends. And it comes with a set of foam balls for safe indoor use, allowing you to chip wherever you can find the space.
Mars Open: Tabletop Golf
Best Flicking Golf
Turns out you don’t need balls to play golf. Inside Mars Open: Tabletop Golf is a curious, wedge-like cardboard widget you can flick and steer just like a golf ball. With a little practice, you’ll be able to drive and loft it, fade it and draw it, top it and back it. It’s an amazing little device, without which this game couldn’t work.
Alongside these Martian balls, the game includes a selection of scenery and instructions to set up 54 different holes, many of which also use the box, lid, and inserts to add more variety. And if you can manage to flick your way through all of those holes at par or lower, then it’s easy enough to design your own holes, providing endless entertainment for any frustrated golfer on a rainy day.
Roll in One
Best Golf Board Game
Frustrated golfers who love the idea of the game but can’t chip for toffee might take solace in this excellent alternative. The box is full of hexagonal pieces you can use to create your own courses, as relaxing or as devilish as your imagination can construct. Then you choose a golfer with a special ability to help you on your way and take your tee shot.
Each turn involves selecting a club, which has a corresponding dice, and this is where the strategy of the game lies. A wood will fly long and true, while different irons are shorter and carry a risk of erring offline. But your ball will keep flying, so long as you keep rolling higher than the last roll, making the length unpredictable. Just like a real game of golf, you can play solo, but unlike actual golf, it’s played indoors and finished in about 30 minutes.
See our guide to the best board games for more tabletop options.
What About Golf Video Games?
All of the games on our list are physical games, but if you’re looking for a digital golf experience, there are quite a few options readily available. First up, there’s PGA Tour 2K23, which is the latest PGA game in the series that lets you feel like a tour champion and play real life courses. If you’re hoping for something a bit more interactive, then you’ll likely want to play one of the best golf games on the Nintendo Switch that work with Joy-Cons. There’s Mario Golf: Super Rush, which is essentially the Mario version of a golf game. You can also get Nintendo Switch Sports, which includes golf among other sports.