How I spent $115 and built an at-home short-game setup

Here's how to create the perfect short-game setup at your home.

How best to spend — or splurge! — your golf dollars? Whether you have $50 or $500, check out GOLF.com’s new How to Spend… series, in which our own staffers take a designated amount of play money and go shopping in GOLF’s new Pro Shop. The goal here is to not only tell you about the products we love, but also to help golfers find items they might like — no matter their budget. You can visit GOLF’s Pro Shop here.

I live in the northeast, where it’s cold and slowly descending into winter. The golf course is fast becoming a dream of spring, which means if I want to avoid any backsliding in my game when the season does get back up and running next year, I’m going to have to get entrepreneurial with my ideas. Or, in other words, I need to figure out how to practice from home. So when I was tasked with tackling GOLF.com’s Pro Shop with a $115 budget, that was my goal: to buy stuff that will be beneficial enough to me and my game. Here’s what I came up with.

$115 remaining…

First off, I needed something for my favorite at-home golf activity: Indoor putting. I tend to putt to a variety of chair legs around my home, so figured it’d be a good opportunity to upgrade to this putting mat/cup combo. There are some great putting mats out there, but they’re also more expensive, so I opted for this value pick instead. And besides, I like that I can remove the putting cup and move it around, in case I want to practice my lag putting. Seems like it might come in handy.

All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy a linked product, GOLF.COM may earn a fee. Pricing may vary.

Callaway Executive Putting

$49.99
This putting mat from Callaway is a great tool for indoor putting practice. It features a removable putting cup, which is slightly smaller than regulation size, and an eight foot putting surface, made from premium foam to minimize folds and creases. 
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$65.01 remaining…

Now that I’m ready to practice my putting, let’s back up a bit and get my chipping sorted. For $40, this backyard chipping set seems like a genuine value play. A collapsible pin, cup, a fancy flag and three practice golf balls. Looks easy to set up in any number of places outside — and perhaps even indoors — in the event of a frost delay.

Callaway Closest To The Pin Game Flagpole & Cup Set

$39.99
This flagstick from Callaway can stick into any part of your lawn to create a backyard practice area no matter where you are. It includes a three piece steel flagpole, heavy-duty nylon flag, a regulation cup that can fit into a hole you dig and three practice balls. 
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$25.02 remaining…

Technically, this isn’t something that will help me play better golf, but it’s too good a deal to pass up. Just $17.50 for a little piece of inspiration from the best ball-striker in golf history? Easy choice. And besides, if I’m practicing golf at home, I might as well look the part, and that means a golf-themed shirt.

Linksoul The Lagger

$17.5
Nobody likes a lagger but everybody likes Linksoul’s Lagger tee. This crew neck t-shirt features a unique graphic print at the front and is machine washable with durable fabric.
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$7.52 remaining…

I’m not going to gloss over any of the details here. I was tempted to try to squeeze in another purchase, but then I remembered the taxman cometh. Nothing we can do about that, and they come out to $6.82, so that pretty much covers the remainder of my budget.

72 cents remaining…

Nevertheless, I feel like I’m doing rather well on this challenge. And even though I have hardly any money left, let’s not forget about the freebies. Because my order’s over $30, that means I get both free shipping and a free yearly subscription to GOLF Magazine, which I can use to consult as I practice.

Total: $114 spent

Overall, I’m pleased with how I did. I’ve got a steal of a t-shirt and the tools to help my short game come back sharper than ever when I return from the offseason.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Director of Game Improvement Content at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.