I hit my new clubs off mats first before grass. The shots off the mat came off lower. I do think the mats mask a slightly heavy strike too much. I try to practice from iffy lies anyway, because I don't play on a well manicured course. The drought in Texas last year was brutal.
Mats vs. Grass at Practice Range - Page 11
Poll Results: Do you hit off the grass or mats when you go to the range?
50% of voters (65)Always off the GRASS - I want realistic conditions
7% of voters (9)Always off the GRASS - This is all my range offers
0% of voters (1)Always off the MATS - It's cheaper
0% of voters (0)Always off the MATS - I like the feel of the mat
0% of voters (1)Always off the MATS - I don't want to clean my clubs when i'm done
17% of voters (22)Always off the MATS - This is all my range offers
9% of voters (12)I switch it up but mostly off the GRASS
5% of voters (7)I switch it up and it's 50/50
12% of voters (16)I switch it up but mostly off the MATS
0% of voters (0)It doesn't mater to me at all. I have no preference
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If you are just learning, Grass is paramount. I have been playing for under a year and my game varies wildly on a mat to grass. I have my good days but my bad days are much worse on grass. I am going to play from the grass in my back yard and repair the grass as I go along and move the cage. Mats, Mask a thin shot and a fat shot. The feed back from mats just aren't the same. That being said, I say practice from both.
There's a huge difference between hitting off grass on a good range and the grass on a bad range. Here in KC there are a lot of ranges with grass that can be used all summer long, but most of them are a sandy mix that doesn't come close to what you'll encounter on a course. My preference would be good grass then, a good mat, then a bad mat, then bad grass.
Mats vs Grass
I have seen many threads and heard many complaints of people having difficulty switching from Mats to Grass, but has anyone had difficulty going from grass to mats?
My home course has a grass driving range, but due to weather conditions and limited operating hours, I practiced at another course today, which only had mats. I felt like I was hitting the ball as bad as I was a month ago (started playing 2 months ago, so pretty bad).
I play on an indoor sim 5x a week and outside 2x or so a week and I have to say that now I like the mats, BUT when i first started, the mats hurt my hand and didn't help my game at all.
Now that ive played on mats for the last 2 months, Ive gotten use to them and like them ( Still rather real grass )
I even know how much the "rough" and the "deep rough" takes off my irons so I can go up a club on the sim. After you get use to it, It is just fine.
And with the driver it is the same thing, if not a little more forgiving, because the mat gives you a bounce off if you get under it a bit and does not slow your swing down or make you hit it "fat".
All in all.... a mat is 8/10 compared to some nice grass when a range is well kept.
I posted this on a different thread like this, but something about mats gets into my head. It's probably dumb, but the idea of concrete being under the mat at most ranges makes me subconsciously lift my shoulders a bit as I come down through by swing. Because of this, I've noticed that when I hit off mats I tend to hit a lot of balls off the top. For me, you can't be the feeling of real grass.