One of the most common questions I get from readers is what golf net I can recommend for home practice. At this point, it’s almost impossible to keep track of because there are so many low-cost practice nets available. But what I’ve found is that almost all of them are hard to recommend because there are inevitably major tradeoffs in performance and durability for the lower price. So it’s definitely a buyer-beware situation. However, over the past couple of years, the Spornia SPG-7 kept popping up on my radar. I kept seeing positive reviews, and it wasn’t that much more money than the competition.
I finally got my hands on the Spornia SPG-7 (they were sold out all of last year). After testing it, I can definitely recommend it as one of the products that have made it into the Practical Golf “circle of trust.”
In this review, I’ll go over all of the features that set this pop-up net apart and why it may be worth a little extra investment versus its competition.
Although Spornia has been around for more than a decade, 2020 seemed to be a big leap forward for them. Like many other golf companies last year, their sales exploded, and securing inventory became a problem. I wanted to try the net back then because I kept coming across such positive feedback (they have an unheard-of average 5-star review on Amazon), but unfortunately, it kept selling out.
I think it’s safe to say that the SPG-7 has transitioned from being a “cult classic” to a mainstream success. The secret is out!
I got a chance to speak with the company’s owner last year, KC Cho, and learned a little bit more about his story. As with many conversations I’ve had with inventors and entrepreneurs in the golf industry, it was refreshing.
KC, along with his son Edward, run Spornia together. It became obvious in our talk that he takes great pride in his products and making sure every last detail is accounted for in the manufacturing process. Anyone else who is in a family business can probably relate.
Many of the golf nets you see on Amazon or private-labeled by OEMs are mostly focused on getting the lowest cost possible. In my testing, I’ve seen how all these sacrifices in materials and functionality result in products that are frustrating to set up, use, and don’t last very long.
Spornia has decided not to play the ultra-budget game and instead separate themselves by using superior materials and making sure they have enough control over the manufacturing process to make design features that actually perform.
But the good news for the consumer is that all of these extra features don’t cost that much more. Golfers can purchase a budget net anywhere between $50 to $150. The Spornia SPG-7 costs $239.99, and their newly-released compact edition is $179.99. So they aren’t that much more money. But as you’ll see, I believe the extra benefits are quite clear.
The first thing I noticed about the Spornia SPG-7 when I unpacked it was its weight. It’s heavier than anything else I’ve tested in this price range.
When you’ve tried as many of the budget golf nets (to be clear, Spornia is not a budget net) as I have, you notice a common theme – all of them are quite light out of the box. That’s because the net, along with the accompanying materials, is of lower quality. You do what get what you pay for in this category. I’ve noticed a similar trend in golf mats, too. Heavier, stronger materials cost more.
I can immediately tell that the net’s quality, support rods, and just about everything else with the SPG-7 are above and beyond.
The SPG-7 isn’t small but not massive either. The dimensions are 7′ x 7′ x 7′ (the roof net on top adds another 1.5 feet). So it can easily accommodate a smaller space in your house or backyard.
If you’re looking for something smaller, their new compact edition comes in at 5.5 feet.
Additionally, the setup was much easier than practice nets that usually require some intensive process of threading multiple rods through various holes. I’ve usually found other products to be incredibly frustrating. I am really bad at anything that involves building and spatial relations (ask my wife).
If you had a video of me setting up or taking down other golf nets, it would likely look like this.
Thankfully, the Spornia SPG-7 lived up to its promises of being a hassle-free setup. I watched their videos several times, but I got the net up and running within 5 minutes. It truly is a pop-up net, whereas some other companies make that claim, but the process isn’t nearly as seamless. After popping it in place, the only requirement is to attach two rods in place and secure the target screen.
While I don’t think I would want to set up and take apart the SPG-7 every time I used it, disassembling it is not that hard.
Here are a couple of videos showing how to do both:
Out of the gate, I was very impressed by the value. The Spornia package includes a carrying case, the net, poles, ground stakes, and a chipping basket.
When I’m evaluating a practice net, there are a few things I’m looking for:
- How easily will the golf ball come back to you, if at all?
- Is the material used for the target screen cheap and loud? I’ve had some sound like a cannon going off when I hit my driver and others that have ripped almost immediately upon use.
- How large is the hitting area? Is it safe for shots that you hit either too high or the dreaded sh*nk?
The SPG-7 passed all of these tests with flying colors. Finally, a net that doesn’t cost more than $500 that actually works well!!!
The Target Screen
Many golfer nets have a target screen to absorb the ball’s impact and prolong the life of the net. They are usually made out of thin material that is loud, breaks easily, and doesn’t have a secure attachment.
The Spornia SPG-7 target screen is much thicker than what I’ve seen before. Additionally, there are several heavy-duty velcro attachments that you can adjust. I found them to hold the screen in place very securely. On other nets I’ve tested, it’s usually a cheaper string that you have to tie. I’ve had some that have ripped after just two driver swings.
Most importantly, I didn’t find the noise to be all that loud. So whether you use the Spornia net indoors or outside, I don’t think you’re going to hurt your ears or anyone else who is in close vicinity.
If the target sheet does wear out, you can replace it for $39.99, which is not a huge cost. I do like this feature because it will prolong the total life of the net since the material behind the screen won’t have to bear the brunt of the golf ball (though the net seems plenty strong enough to handle that).
Ball Return System
Depending on how many golf balls you have at your disposal, it can get annoying to march back and forth to your hitting mat when practicing with a net. Similarly, having your ball return to you is another feature that many other nets promise but fall short of delivering upon in real life.
Rather than let the ball bounce on the ground (which can cause damage indoors), Spornia has added a separate mesh net on the bottom. It’s sloped at an angle so that it is gently returned to a collection area that’s not too far away after the ball hits the target area. This is perhaps one of the net’s best features, and it’s nice to see someone took the time to add this design element.
Watch this video I took to see it in action:
Well Built and Stable
The Spornia SPG-7 is very well built and quite stable overall. I live near the water, and it’s almost always windy, so using the four stakes that were included is a must.
I did most of my testing in light wind. Although the net did move slightly, it wasn’t enough to bother me or materially change the target area. Also, there are adjustable straps on both sides to help create a more stable setup.
I think you can plan on leaving the net set up outside in most weather conditions. But if you are expecting a more severe storm with wind or excessive precipitation, it’s probably a better idea to take the net apart and put it back in its bag.
Roof, Chipping Target, and Optional Side Net
The SPG-7 does come with a roof attachment, which should come in handy for a lot of golfers.
Since almost every shot I hit is on a lower trajectory than most, I was never in danger of even remotely coming close to hitting the extra net on top. However, if you are someone who can hit a “pop fly” with your wedges, or even your driver from time to time, I think it’s a great feature – especially if you are using it indoors.
Along with the carrying case, you also get a chipping target which is a nice add-on for short game practice in the yard.
The SPG-7 does come with built-in side barriers. But depending on how far away you are hitting and how errant your shots can be, there are additional side nets available for $39.99.
If you do plan on using it indoors and want to protect your walls against those dreaded sh*nks, this might be a good option. But for outdoor use, I don’t think they will be necessary for most.
The Spornia SPG-7 Net Is the Real Deal
Most golf practice nets are junk. You might save money upfront, but I can tell you from a lot of experience, you will get what you pay for.
I can confidently tell you that the Spornia SPG-7 is much better than any of the budget nets out there. If you are willing to invest the extra money, it is completely worth it. In my opinion, the SPG-7 is the best overall mix of value and performance in the market right now at $239.99. Also, their compact net at $179.99 is an even more attractive deal, and if you are OK with the smaller size, I can see this becoming another popular option.
The only other premium net out there that I would tell you to consider is from The Net Return. For the past four years, I have had their Mini-Pro V2 net and use it with my SkyTrak for indoor simulation. I absolutely love it.
The Net Return is the best product out there, but I’ve been hesitant to recommend it to most golfers because of the price. The Mini Pro costs $649, the Home Series is $695, and the Pro Series is $795.
I think the Net Return makes sense for golfers who want a more permanent setup. The frame is made of metal and is heavier and more sturdy. Both the Spornia and the Net Return do an excellent job of returning the ball back to you, but I’d give the slight edge overall to the Net Return. The question is, are you willing to spend a minimum $450 extra? For most golfers, I’d say no.
So if someone comes to me now asking me which golf net I am going to recommend, I’m going to tell them it’s the Spornia SPG-7. You can purchase the SPG-7 here or the compact edition here. Since we love the product so much, we have created a special bundle for Practical Golf readers.