How to Build a Golf Net - Best Designs for DIY Golf Nets

Kaizen Golf DIY Golf Cage


Key Takeaways

I know what you are thinking - a company that sells golf nets writing an article about DIY golf nets?! Yes - although we sell great quality golf nets, we know that not everyone is in a position to buy one, also some people just have the DIY bug, so I thought it will still be helpful to share some knowledge on how you can build a golf net yourself and outline some popular design ideas. 

At the time of writing this, Sydney is in the middle of a COVID lockdown where many are not able to play in their regular club comps (me included), so we hope that even if you are not in a position to purchase a net  from us, you will get some inspiration to create your own backyard/indoor golf practice facility and still be able to hit some balls and work on that post-lockdown game. 

Key Considerations when building your Golf Net

Before launching into your DIY project, I suggest thinking about what your requirements are, it will really help to then narrow down the design and material you go for. Consider the following -

  • Budget - what are you willing to spend on your project? If you are going down the DIY route to save money, then make sure you research the market on how much it will cost to buy one. The last thing you want is to build something which ends up costing more.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use - do you plan on using it indoors or outdoors? This will influence your material selection as well as design. Make sure you think through how you plan on using it.
  • Size - How much space do you have? You don't want to end up with a net which won't fit into the space which you intend to put it in or have it take up so much space that you run out of room to easily swing a golf club. Though at a minimum, I would recommend something that is no smaller than 2m x 2m. Also check out our other article on this topic (How Big Should A Golf Net Be?) for an much indepth discussion on this. 
  • Safety Requirements - how good is your ball striking? Do you suffer from worm burners? Or even the occasional dreaded hosel rocket? Please factor this in - having a ball ricocheted back at you at 100mph is not something you want to me, I speak from experience.  
  • Will you be hitting real balls? If you are just going to work on swing mechanics, maybe consider foam balls or "almost golf balls", these are much safer alternatives and will mean that you can go for a cheaper build. 

Now that you've thought through where and how you are going to use your net, let's go through options for the material you want to use and how you want to hang your net.

Netting Material

Household Items 

Believe it or not, you may not need a golf specific netting for your DIY project, especially if you are considering using foam balls. Essentially you need a durable material which will absorb and withstand the impact of your shot. Here are some examples of things you may already have lying around or can easily pick up from your local hardware store.

  • Painters drop sheets - I've seen people use this with real golf balls with no issues, if in doubt, maybe double up. Also if you are hitting real balls, this material can be quiet loud upon impact with a ball.
  • Thick blankets / sheets - recommended for foam balls, real balls will eventually go through. You can use this as a second layer behind something that is more durable though - good for soundproofing as well indoors. You can also use this material for side protection, a.k.a. shank guard.
  • Shade cloth - use heavy duty grade only as real balls will go through lower grade shade cloth material, though this is more on the pricy side. See a photo below of a DIY net I built using this material. Also try doubling up on the area that will bear the brunt of your hits.  

Golf DIY Net with Shade Cloth

Golf Specific Netting

Budget allowing - obviously netting that is specifically made for golf will be the ideal choice, within this range you've also got a number of options.

  • Golf Impact Netting - these are typically nylon or polyester nets and are super strong. A decent 3mx3m golf netting will set you back around $90. Couple of things to note
    • Probably the only drawback with Nylon is the fact that is can absorb water if exposed to very rainy climate, without a chance to dry in the sun in between use, this does cause the material to lose strength over time. If you intend to use your net outdoors, we do recommend packing the net up and keeping it dry during long periods of rain to get the longest timespan out of your net.
    • Square vs diamond mesh - typically square will be better because it is less "stretchy" so it will hang better than diamond mesh nets.
    • Black vs white - if you intend to use your net outdoors, please get the black one as it will offer defence against UV. Untreated white nylon nets will tend to have a shorter lifespan outdoors.

See photo below of the square mesh netting we use on our 3m x 3m Heavy Duty Golf Netting.

Kaizen Golf Heavy Duty Golf Netting
  • Archery Baffle - designed to stop the impact from an arrow, this material is very strong. An added benefit if you get one in white is that it can be used as a budget level impact screen to project images onto if you eventually want to upgrade your set up to a full simulation experience. Quality does not come cheap though, a good 3m x 3m archery screen will cost over $200. See our own Archery Baffle here.

Kaizen Golf Archery Baffle Impact Screen

  • Golf Impact Screen - Specially designed to withstand the impact from a golf ball as well as present crisp pictures from a projector. I wouldn't recommend this if you are not looking to set up a indoor golf simulator as it can only be used indoors and can get very expensive. We also offer high quality Golf Impact Screens at a competitive price, be sure to check out our products if you are thinking of getting an impact screen.

Kaizen Golf Professional Impact Screen

The Frame

Now we've covered the topic of the netting material, let's talk about how we are going to hang it up.

Existing Structure

Before building anything, it might be worthwhile having a think about whether there are existing structures where you can potentially just hang the netting directly on. Examples can include clotheslines, beams or even tree branches. 

See an example below where I hung a shade cloth directly on the beam of a covered BBQ area in my backyard. 

 Golf DIY net hanging

Simple PVC Frame

If you don't have any existing structures to hang the net off or prefer to build your own frame, PVC pipes and joints provide a good option. 

See a really simple example below where I used 10 x 1m PVC pipes, 2 x elbow joints and 5 x tee joints - and literally took about 5min to put up. 

Optionally, you may also want to glue the joints and pipes together to give the frame more strength. 

Then it's a matter of attaching the netting material on with cable ties or bungee cords. Bungee cords will be better as you may need to take the net apart from time to time.

This design is ideal for a portable set up and will not break the bank. A good 'toe in the water' option. 

You can do similar with metal pipes, they will definitely be more study, but they will cost more and if I was going to accidentally ping one off the frame, I would much prefer a shattered PVC pipe than a shattered skull. So if you are looking to build a frame using metal or even timber material, ensure that you put plenty of padding around the frame itself. Pool noodles or foam pipe insulation are really good options for this.

Golf DIY Net PVC T-bar

Golf Cage / Enclosure

For something that offers a bit more structure, add a few more pipes and joints and you can build a full golf cage. You will need 3 and 4 way joints but those are abundantly available from hardware stores. 

This option will cost a bit more but will be a lot steadier and if you put on some top and side netting etc, will offer better protection against sky'ed shots as well as the dreaded sh$%k. 

Though this set up will be more permanent and less portable. 

Golf DIY Net - PVC Cage

Similarly, for a bit more investment, you can also build an enclosure or a cage using metal or timber material and they will be a lot more sturdy and durable.  However if you want a set and forget permanent set up outdoors or want to build an indoor golf simulator enclosure, a metal or timber build will be well worth the investment. See below for an example of a golf cage that was built using metal poles and pipe insulation that were all sourced from my local Bunnings (yes we are always experimenting!). We've also used one of our Archery Baffles on this set up and we really think that it doesn't get much better when it comes to an outdoor set up!

Kaizen Golf DIY Golf Cage 

Side Posts

For a even more permanent outdoor set ups that offers the most sturdiness, consider staking steel fencing posts into the ground and putting PVC pipes over them. See photo below of I was able to fix the sides of a golf net onto PVC side posts. 

PVC side posts DIY golf net

I'm sure I haven't covered all the options out there but these are the popular designs that I've come across and have personally tried. 

Let's Play Safe

No matter what design or material you end up with, I want to ensure that your DIY golf net is as safe as possible. We are really only 1 bad shot away from something that could be really catastrophic, but when you add in some additional safety features to your set up, you can significantly reduce the chances of things going wrong.

  • Top Bar, Side Bar and Bottom Bar - if you have a metal or timber frame, no matter if it's a worm burner hitting the bottom bar, a skied shot or a lofted wedge shot hitting the top bar, or even a hosel rocket hitting the side bar, if you don't have some padding or protection for those 'easy to hit' areas of your golf net, you are asking for trouble. Just go to your local Kmart or Bunnings and get some pool noodles or pipe insulation and wrap them around your frame structure, you will thank me later.
  • Side Protection - unless you have an enclosure or a cage set up, you can always benefit from more side protection (aka "shank net"). There are ready-made products on the market (like the one we have here) or you can easily use some netting material and ensure you protect the sides as much as possible.

Kaizen Golf side shank protection net

  • Top Protection - again, unless you are hitting within an enclosed cage, you may accidentally send a ball straight up. Whether that ends up in your neighbour's backyard or bounce hard off your garage ceiling, they are not things that will work out well for you. Hang some additional netting on the top or have a net that is high enough will offer good protection against skied golf shots. 

Consider taking some design cues from our Full Swing Golf Net which has a high and inclining roof as well wide side protection if you are looking to improve the safety of your DIY net.

Kaizen Golf Full Swing Golf Net

In Summary

Whether you are looking to buy a golf net (preferably a Kaizen Golf Net) or opt for the DIY route. Having a golf practice facility at home is incredibly valuable for any serious golfer and can do wonders for your golf game. 

If you are looking to go DIY, I hope this article has helped to give you some ideas on how you want to design your golf net. 

If would like more advice on what may suit you, please feel free to contact us and we would be glad to help!

Also if you are looking for a golf mat to go with your DIY net, check out our great selection of golf mats!

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