Tested & Reviewed: Breaking Ball Putting Mat
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How much time and effort do you truly dedicate to your putting practice? Even if you’re one of the committed few who diligently putts on a mat every day, you’re still not replicating most of the putts you actually face on the golf course. That’s because more than 90% of real putts have break, but your putting mat is flat.
Enter the Breaking Ball Putting Mat, a new training aid from Me and My Golf that forces you to practice breaking putts. I spent a few minutes at the 2023 PGA Show testing this putting mat, and I left wanting to take a deeper dive. The folks at Me and My Golf were kind enough to send me a mat to put to the test, and after hitting countless breaking putts, this is my complete review of the Breaking Ball Putting Mat.
What is the Breaking Ball Putting Mat?
The Breaking Ball Putting Mat comes with weighted balls which replicate slight, medium, and heavy breaking putts.
Using the 11-foot mat, which has measured putts from 1-to-8 feet, you can practice 56 different putts including those 1-footers. Between left-to-righters and right-to-lefters with slight, medium, and heavy break, and straight putts, each distance offers seven different putts.
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|11-Foot Mat||BUY NOW|
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Spoiler Alert: The Final Verdict
The Breaking Ball Putting Mat is an awesome training aid, for reasons both obvious and subtle, but I’ll start with the obvious. Practicing breaking putts at home instantly makes putting practice more engaging. Sure, if you have an uneven floor, you can practice putts with one break, but the ability to practice putts on seven different lines from 2-to-8 feet (49 different putts!) in one at-home practice session takes putting practice to a whole new level.
The mat works perfectly. When you line up each breaking ball on its intended line and hit it with the right pace (as indicated by the blue area beyond the hole), it rolls true and breaks perfectly over the cup. Seeing this happen repeatedly breeds some serious confidence over breaking putts.
RELATED: The 7 Best Training Aids From the 2023 PGA Show
After countless putts practicing and testing the Breaking Ball Putting Mat with every break from every distance, here are my biggest pros and cons. I’ll go into more detail on what I like about this training aid, and what I think could be better.
49 different putts from 2-8 feet on 11-foot mat
Can be tricky to find a flat floor to use it
Landing area past target to train speed
Black mat is hard to keep clean
Sharpens entire putting routine
More permanent sleeve for balls would be helpful
High-quality mat lays flat and rolls pure
Benefits of the Breaking Ball Putting Mat
It’s clear there are a ton of benefits of the Breaking Ball Putting Mat. Most golfers find putting practice to be the most boring part of their training, and may lack focus when they pratice putting, or skip putting practice altogether. WIth that said, any training aid that makes putting practice more fun and engaging is a huge win.
With the Breaking Ball Putting Mat, you not only practice breaking putts – with 49 different putts from 2 to 8 feet on the 11-foot mat, but you train your speed as well. It also sharpens your putting routine as a whole.
Train Speed and Line
My favorite low-key feature is the two feet of mat beyond the hole. This is crucial real estate for valuable practice, because it trains you to hit putts with the correct speed. Starting putts on the right line with the wrong speed does you no good, and too many putting mats place the hole right at the very end of the mat (to maximize the length of putt you can practice), but that hinders your ability to get feedback on pace.
Many instructors teach that the proper pace you should hit a putt is enough speed to finish 12-18 inches past the hole if it misses. The Breaking Ball Putting Mat gives feedback on your speed and forces you to master that element of your putting stroke in order to hit successful putts.
Practice a Better Routine
Another benefit I get from practicing with the Breaking Ball Putting Mat is it sharpens my routine, not just my read and stroke.
It’s been proven that using an alignment aid in putting helps golfers make more putts. In fact, Brad Stenner and Jonathan Buckley found that from 8.5 feet, amateur golfers made 27% more putts when using an alignment aid than when putting with no alignment aid.
Using the Breaking Ball Putting Mat forces you to not only practice putting, but to practice a routine that incorporates an alignment aid.
I don’t use an alignment line when I putt, but I know that I should. The problem is that when I stand over the ball, I lose confidence that the line is pointed exactly where I want it, and it becomes more of a distraction than an aid.
In less than five minutes using the mat, I developed a quick and repeatable routine incorporating the alignment aid. I’d line up the putt, aiming the alignment aid at the mark one foot in front of the ball, take my stance and peek past the hole to feel the speed. Then, one last look at my spot a foot from the ball, and stroke the putt. This routine gives me confidence in my line and speed, and I know that practicing it regularly at home will help me make more putts on the course.
Breaking Ball Putting Mat Performance
Straight out of the box, the Breaking Ball Putting Mat rolled flat on my floor. I’ve struggled with getting some other mats to lay flat, especially in the corners and on the end that was rolled tight, but this mat had no problem.
As a putting mat, the performance was exactly what I expected. The roll is smooth and the speed is typical of a practice putting mat. If you use the mat on harder floors, it will roll faster than if you use in on a softer floor like carpet.
Me and My Golf says the mat rolls at about an 11 on the Stimp meter, but after using the mat on hardwood floors, I would estimate the speed to be a little slower than that.
Breaking Ball Putting Mat Drawbacks
There are a few drawbacks with the Breaking Ball Putting Mat that you should consider before deciding if it’s going to help your game. While these are minor, it’s still good to know before you buy.
Must Find a Level Floor
In order for each color-coded ball with the Breaking Ball Putting Mat to roll true to its line, it must be used on a level floor. You might assume your home’s floors are all perfectly level, but believe it or not, it can actually be tough to find an ideal strip of floor in your home to use this mat.
I sampled a few locations before I finally found the fall line in my hallway to get putts rolling how the mat was intended.
To find the best spot, I used a normal golf ball and putted down the middle from the farthest distance, noting if and when it fell off the dotted white line on the mat.
Hard to Keep it Clean
When you pull the brand new mat out of the case, the black with blue accents pop, and it’s a sharp-looking mat. The problem is, that black is tough to keep clean.
As a dog owner, it didn’t take long for the mat to attract dog hair. After a quick vacuum, it cleaned up nicely, but it’s clear that to keep the mat in the best condition possible, it should be rolled up and stored between uses, especially for pet-owners.
Lack of Permanent Ball Storage
The crux of the Breaking Ball Putting Mat are the weighted golf balls, and without those balls, this isn’t much different from any other putting mat.
However, those balls come in a standard sleeve, the same kind you’re accustomed to discarding the moment you pour out the balls. I tried preserving the sleeve, but after a couple days the top ripped off.
It’s not a big deal to find a valuables pouch to serve as a permanent home for these precious balls, but given their importance to the mat’s performance, I was a little surprised something more permanent wasn’t included. We all know how easy it is to lose golf balls!
Is the Breaking Ball Putting Mat Worth It?
$119-149 | BUY NOW
The mat comes in two sizes, a 7.5-foot version which sells for $119.99 on Amazon, and an 11-footer which sells for $149.99.
That size describes the full length of the mat, and once you factor in a little room on each end, the 7.5-foot mat allows putts up to six feet, while the 11-foot mat lets you train putts up to eight feet.
These prices put the Breaking Ball mat towards the top of the putting mat price spectrum, but it’s hard to compare the Breaking Ball mat with other putting mats because other mats only have the option of practicing straight putts. While that’s great for mechanics, it doesn’t help when you face big-breaking 5-footer for par to beat your buddies.
If you have the budget for it and want to seriously level-up your putting practice with a mat that’s not only fun to use, but translates directly to how you putt on the course, the Breaking Ball Putting Mat is a no-brainer.
Breaking Ball Putting Mat Tips
After logging a good amount of practice on this mat at home, I have three tips for anyone considering using the mat.
1. Check Your Space
Roll some golf balls around your home to find a level space that will work for your mat. Check the length you have to work with to determine what size mat works best for you. I use the 11-foot mat and if your space allows, I highly recommend this size.
2. Check Out the Video Lessons
I spent 10 minutes checking out the free Me and My Golf video lessons included with the mat, and I’m glad I did. I wasn’t looking to re-tool my putting stroke, but I wanted to check out what they had to offer. I got some confirmation and tips on setting up the mat properly, and picked up a helpful tip to get rid of the wobble in my putting stroke.
3. Maximize Your Practice
To get the most out of your practice, make sure you hit putts on all seven lines from each distance on the mat. It would be easy to favor the out-to-in breaking putts, since those are typically easier for amateur golfers, but really challenge yourself on the in-to-outers, and don’t ignore those straight putts (just use a normal golf ball) either!
The video lessons recommend the “Every Putt Challenge” drill where you must make a putt from every spot on the mat. This is a great drill, and you can also create some drills and games of your own to gamify your practice.
I like to randomly draw a distance, direction, and amount of break, and hit that putt, keeping score of makes and misses. This ensures I’m not simply hitting the same putt over and over, and simulates a round of golf where every putt is different.
Improve Your Putting
All in all, the Breaking Ball Putting Mat is a great training aid to replicate real-world putts, motivate you to practice putting, and keep you focused throughout your entire putting practice. If you’ve got the space in your home, and the budget to invest in a premium putting mat, we highly recommend the Breaking Ball Putting Mat.