Traditional golf courses require a lot of land, and some serious maintenance, with the best courses belonging to exclusive clubs that many regular players will never get a chance to play.
Inflatable golf courses couldn’t be less similar. It almost feels like a different sport, apart from the fact you’re trying to get a ball into a hole using a club. They’re aimed primarily at kids or at adults who just want to have a bit of fun, rather than anyone who’s looking to seriously improve their golf game.
Why Should You Buy an Inflatable Golf Course?
An inflatable golf course is not something you would buy instead of visiting a real golf course. The experiences are completely different. Instead, it’s something for a little bit of fun at home, more akin to a pitching course or mini golf, depending on which one you buy.
They’re ideal if you just want to play a fun game at home, or if you don’t have the skill and experience to tackle a proper golf course.
Some inflatable golf courses are designed to float in a pool, working as a sort of chipping game. Others are like your own mini golf course. They’re perfect games for summer and they’re easy to deflate and store away again when you’re done.
3 Best Inflatable Golf Courses For 2023
If you like the idea of a fun chipping game, this inflatable mat could be ideal. It was originally designed to be used in a pool, but there’s nothing to stop you from using it on land as well.
There’s not a whole lot to it. You get a mat that measures around 5 feet in length, as well as 10 golf balls and two practice holes. In reality, though, the holes are more for target practice than putting – if you’re chipping onto the mat, it’s more a game of trying to keep the ball on the small surface without it bouncing off.
It’s really easy to set up – just inflate the outer ring and you’re good to go. And it’s got some fun golf course decorations on it to liven it up.
It’s really lightweight, at around 1.45 pounds, and there’s no anchor included. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since it can make the game more challenging if it’s floating around a pool. Just be aware that it may need to be anchored down on the ground if it’s a windy day.
Great fun for kids, the only thing you’re missing is clubs – you’ll need to provide those.
Can be used on water or land
Portable and quick to inflate
Comes with 10 balls
Very light, may need to be anchored down
No clubs included
This is another inflatable floating mat designed to help you with your pitching. You can use it on land too, but it’s mainly designed for water – there are inflatable tubes on the underside that help to keep it afloat.
Again, this is a good choice for a bit of fun pitching practice from the edge of the pool, only this time you get a little bit of an extra helping hand.
That’s because the 12 balls included have a Velcro strap around them, designed to stick to the mat. As long as you get it onto the mat itself, they should stick.
The balls come in four different colors too, ideal for competitive play with friends or family, but again you’ll need to provide your own clubs. You do get a pitching mat to use at the side of the pool though – no accidentally scuffing your club on the hard floor.
Includes 12 Velcro-wrapped balls in different colors
Quick and easy to set up
Can be stored in its own bag
No clubs included
The Velcro balls are lightweight compared to real balls – not ideal for practicing
The other type of inflatable golf course you can buy for use at home is a full mini golf course, like this one from BANZAI.
It’s pretty large, measuring almost 18 feet in length and 14 feet wide. This is definitely more of a garden toy than something you would use inside.
Don’t expect 18 or even 9 holes – there are just 5, but that’s enough to provide some fun challenges and even allow multiple people to play at once. If you’re having a kids’ party, this could be ideal.
Despite its size, this game inflates in less than 2 minutes. It comes with its own blower motor which has a GFCI for extra safety. Since it weighs about 16 pounds, and because it’s quite large, it’s a bit trickier to store unless you have a lot of space in your garage.
But the good news is you do get two putters included, along with two balls – so you have everything you need.
Golf clubs and balls included
Comes with its own blower
Space for lots of people to play at once
Requires a lot of room to play
Needs a lot of storage space
Essential Factors to Consider When Buying an Inflatable Golf Course
Inflatable golf courses aren’t super common but there are still a few things you want to look out for when you buy them, that should be standard.
You don’t need to worry about this for any inflatable mats, but for courses that have a blower, it should absolutely have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).
These devices will cut the power to the blower if a ground fault is detected, so that there’s no serious electrical hazards. And they’re essential for anything electrical being used outdoors, where any moisture could cause a ground fault quite easily.
Check to see what’s included with your inflatable golf course before you buy. Does it have golf clubs? If not, you’ll need to buy them. Same with golf balls too – it’s no fun buying an inflatable course and setting it up, to then realize you need to dash to the store to pick up some missing items before you can play.
Repair Kit Information
Any kind of inflatable product should really come with a repair kit – otherwise, the second it gets a puncture, you can’t use it anymore, or you’ll need to buy your own.
Check to see whether the repair kit is included, because if not then you’ll want to have one ready to go.
How To Use an Inflatable Golf Course
Inflatable golf mats couldn’t be easier to use – you just need to inflate either the ring around the edge of the tubes underneath the mat using the valve. These are often so easy to do that you could do it manually, but you can also use a pump to save time.
For larger inflatable courses, they’ll have a blower. You’ll need to attach this blower to the valve on the course once it’s fully unfolded. Make sure to unfold it completely first or it might get tangled and damaged as it inflates.
Once it’s fully inflated, leave the blower running. These courses are designed to work like a bounce house, so there’ll be a vent that ensures the course stays fully inflated and pressurized without exploding.
Frequently Asked Questions
For larger inflatable golf courses, you would normally have to leave the blower running while you play. It depends on the particular model, so check the description before you buy, or read the manual.
You don’t need a special golf club for inflatable golf courses. For golf mats, you’ll want a wedge, and for inflatable courses, you’ll want a putter. You can use toy versions, or full-size clubs if you prefer.
You don’t need to use an inflatable golf mat on your own pool if you have a small lake area nearby. Just be aware that you shouldn’t be leaving lost golf balls in a public area, and that if you don’t anchor your mat, it could float away.
Inflatable golf courses aren’t designed to replace the experience of playing on a real golf course. They’re a fun toy, either for a golf enthusiast or for kids. While you can get used to the putting or chipping motions, these skills won’t really transfer to a proper golf course with real clubs and balls.
That’s no reason to not enjoy them though, so why not check out one of these recommended inflatable golf courses? Especially as they’re then easy to store away once you’re done.