A hot new trend in home decorating is the Golf Man/Woman Cave. Diehard golfers whose courses go dormant during the winter are looking for a comfortable indoor spot to keep their skills sharp, and the golf cave provides that perfect fix. And, while you may be immune to the cold, the shorter daylight hours also make an indoor practice space indispensable.
Whether in the corner of a basement or a fully dedicated room, there are some key items that you should consider purchasing.
Driving Net & Mat
Banging balls on the range below 40 degrees not only blows, it hurts! There's nothing like hitting it fat and feeling that ulnar nerve go numb all the way up to your neck. Having an indoor hitting net and a grass mat can aid you in keeping your ball striking sharp during the winter.
Golf nets come in all shapes, sizes, prices and configurations. We like the pop-up versions the best because they can be quickly folded up if you need to use the room for some other purpose.
But, like most things in life, you can go from a beer to champagne budget in this category. In a pinch, you can hang a sheet from the rafters and hit balls into it. Just give yourself plenty of clearance from the rear wall. The traditional net set-up is available in a dizzying array of shapes and sizes but do require a good bit of floor space.
For a very cool compact system, we really like the Swing Box. For the technology and the wow factor, it commands a pretty reasonable price.
Regardless of the style net you choose, your must have item is a driving/chipping mat. Again, there are tons of different options available, but we really like the mats from Big Moss Golf. You can see all the different sizes of Big Moss mats HERE.
While nets are great at keeping your ball striking and timing skills sharp, they can only provide limited feedback from a practice standpoint, and that's where a simulator comes into play. Simulators provide instant visual feedback on your golf swing. Originally just a toy for the rich and famous, the cost of simulators has come way down over the years. Today you can build a simulator for as little as $1,500 and go up to $50,000+.
If you only have room for one indoor practice area, any PGA professional will tell you that a putting green is the way to go. Like hitting nets, putting greens come in many shapes and sizes. Big Moss putting greens offer the true roll and a real ball drop on a budget with the convenience of being able to roll them up and store them if you need to repurpose the space.
Panel greens from TourLinks and ProPutt Systems offer a more finished look if you have the room to leave the green out all the time.
Golf Gear Box carries all of the major putting green manufactures and offers free shipping on most of them. Click to see all of our putting greens HERE.
Training Aids & Accessories
There are too many great training aids and accessories to cover in this article to assist with your practice. If you are just starting out building your cave, go slow, and focus on learning how to best use the key components first. Later, think about adding specific swing aids. A putting mirror, chipping net and full swing trainer would be great first additions.
Golf caves really stop looking like driving ranges or basements once you start bringing your room together with golf themed memorabilia and furniture. Golf pictures are a great way to jazz up your walls. We really like OliveraArt.com for her unique style in creating golf images. Framed pin flags, pictures of famous golf holes and movie posters from your favorite golf movies also add character to your room.
A nice wall or floor standing putter rack and den caddy add that classic country club clubhouse feel to the room.
A simple way to convert your existing furniture to a golf theme is to visit a fabric store and find golf themed fabrics. Recovering a chair or bar stool requires no more tools than a pair of scissors and a stapler. However, rather than having a bunch of unrelated golf items, plan a theme and stay focused on acquiring items that match that theme. By doing this your room will have a more cohesive feel that will have visitors saying WOW!
While most people naturally think about indoor practice when the weather turns cold, golf caves are also great during the dog days of summer. There's nothing better than practicing your game in the AC, rather than having sweat pouring off your face and onto your ball.
Check out GolfGearBox.com for all your man cave needs.