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Mats vs. Grass at Practice Range - Page 13

Poll Results: Do you hit off the grass or mats when you go to the range?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 50% (54)
    Always off the GRASS - I want realistic conditions
  • 7% (8)
    Always off the GRASS - This is all my range offers
  • 0% (1)
    Always off the MATS - It's cheaper
  • 0% (0)
    Always off the MATS - I like the feel of the mat
  • 0% (1)
    Always off the MATS - I don't want to clean my clubs when i'm done
  • 16% (18)
    Always off the MATS - This is all my range offers
  • 11% (12)
    I switch it up but mostly off the GRASS
  • 4% (5)
    I switch it up and it's 50/50
  • 12% (13)
    I switch it up but mostly off the MATS
  • 0% (0)
    It doesn't mater to me at all. I have no preference
107 Total Votes  
post #217 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post

"""The difference is that you simply have to be more in tune with everything EXCEPT the result of the shot when hitting off of mats.  Not only is that not a bad thing, sometimes it's probably a plus.""""

 

this ^

 

 

end of the season and now everyone wants their turf to repair before the freeze.  so the ranges are restricting us to mats.

I just go by the feel - I can tell if I don't hit clean, for those, pretty much ignore the ball flight and distance and just use the feedback from the connection

 

 

 

I think what's worse is a range where you get to hit off of "grass", but the turf is so full of repair that it's more like practicing out of the sand.  Completely mucks up the feel.  We have a couple places here like that - they just don't maintain a large enough area to allow them to properly rotate through the hitting area to let the turf repair right.

 

This describes most grass ranges around here (San Antonio).  With every shot you hit, you get a mouthful of sandy dust and it's a lot closer to hitting off hardpan or even concrete than grass.  I'll take mats, please.

post #218 of 258

I have a driving range across the street from when I work and I cant resist going there 3 or 4 times per week. It's mats only but I dont care. I found a helpful idea recently reading the Hit Down Dammit book. The guy says to place the ball in the hole where the rubber tee goes and hit shots that way. It's impossible to get under the ball that way and your pretty much forced to hit down to get it airborne. I can hit from wedges to 20.5 degree hybrid like this with no problem. Trust me if I can do it anyone can do it.

post #219 of 258

Mats are fine, except I like to see the divots.  If you are an experienced golfer, no doubt about it, you can still FEEL and SEE it if you hit it fat or thin.  Sounds like you need to work on the weight transfer if you are hitting it like that with the hips first!  That clears up errant shots.

post #220 of 258

even on mats, a fat shot vs. a flush shot feels completely different.

 

you just gotta pay attention.

post #221 of 258

+1
 

post #222 of 258

i hate mats.  for one they make my wrists hurt because i think natural soil absorbs my energy more than a mat (it's that bounce effect mentioned earlier), and two you can't see your divot.  i always want to see where my divot is in relation to my ball, how deep it is, and which direction it points after the swing.  i've learned a lot about a golf swing just by analyzing my divot.  mats for me are completely useless and i just leave if my local range has the grass off limits when i show up.

post #223 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonTheSavage View Post

I have a driving range across the street from when I work and I cant resist going there 3 or 4 times per week. It's mats only but I dont care. I found a helpful idea recently reading the Hit Down Dammit book. The guy says to place the ball in the hole where the rubber tee goes and hit shots that way. It's impossible to get under the ball that way and your pretty much forced to hit down to get it airborne. I can hit from wedges to 20.5 degree hybrid like this with no problem. Trust me if I can do it anyone can do it.

This was a fantastic tip. I tried this the other day, and sure enough - if I felt the club hitting the mat behind the ball, it was a horribly chunked shot with the ball down slightly in the hole the rubber tee would have been in.

 

It took nearly 3/4 of a large bucket, but I had to force myself to really get my weight forward in order to hit down on the ball and get it airborne and a good distance. By the time I was done, 1 out of every 3 shots were those "hey did I even hit the ball because I didn't feel it" shots that went perfectly straight and a clublength longer than I was used to.

post #224 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russtopher View Post

This was a fantastic tip. I tried this the other day, and sure enough - if I felt the club hitting the mat behind the ball, it was a horribly chunked shot with the ball down slightly in the hole the rubber tee would have been in.

 

It took nearly 3/4 of a large bucket, but I had to force myself to really get my weight forward in order to hit down on the ball and get it airborne and a good distance. By the time I was done, 1 out of every 3 shots were those "hey did I even hit the ball because I didn't feel it" shots that went perfectly straight and a clublength longer than I was used to.

Glad it helped! Still working on it myself, but I love those flush shots!

post #225 of 258

Re: fat shots on the mats:

 

As noted by many people on this thread, my experience on mats is that they do not mask poor strikes if you pay attention to how your club came into contact with the ball.  It should be easy for you to feel/tell whether the club hit the mat first as opposed to the ball.  The problem with a mat is that it will allow you to get the ball in the air by striking the ground first and "bouncing" the club into the ball, thus leading you to believe that you hit a decent/semi-decent shot even though on a golf course it would have been a fat shot because your club would have died in the ground before hitting the ball.  My advice is to just be conscious of each swing and making mental notes of whether your club struck the ground first, regardless of the ball flight.  I.e., you should be able to tell when you hit a poor shot simply by the feel of the club striking the ground or the ball striking the hosel/toe, etc.  Then it's just a matter of realizing that the shot you just hit would never happen on a real golf course and making an adjustment.

 

Re: mats v. grass debate

 

I went through a phase earlier this year where I told myself I was not going to hit off mats anymore because I felt that they were "masking" my poor shots.  I then started hitting off grass and realized that most grass ranges (at least near me) are horrible.  The ground at these poor quality grass ranges is almost entirely composed of divot mix and is closer to hitting out of a fairway bunker rather than the fairway at any golf course I have ever played (and I've played some crappy courses).  Still, it provided a bit better feedback than the mats.  Since then I realized that I get all the feedback I need simply by paying attention to where and how the club comes into contact with the ball/ground, etc., as opposed to the ball flight.  As a result, I switched back to the mats.  

 

Order of preference: GOOD quality grass range; mats; poor grass.  

post #226 of 258

Practice mats vs grass

Heres the deal maybe you guys can help. When i go and demo clubs i get warmed up and hit great indoors. When i hit indoors or off mats i do fine. But when i transfer that outside not so great. Any tips ideas what not would be great. I know the mats are less forgiving. I hit off grass as much as possiable. Off grass i get less distance and of course divots. So any help would be great
post #227 of 258

Remember, you need to hit the ball - then the ground.  I'm guessing that you are a sweeper?  Meaning that your leading edge makes contact with the turf first, then hits the ball.  This is known as hitting the ball fat.

 

When players do this on a mat - or indoors - the club will typically bounce or slide with little effect - and still make decent contact with the ball.  But as soon as you got outside, the interaction with turf is different... And the turf will grab that leading edge moreso than a mat.

 

Work on finding your low point.

post #228 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by eaglecc View Post

I have plenty of schools and parks near me so I will only go to a range if I want to work with my driver. I love the people who go to ranges and hit chip shots that make them look like the pro's then on the course they are taking 3 inches of dirt with them and their ball goes 5 feet.

That might be good for pitching. But isn't that a huge amount of work to bring your own balls and retrieve them?

post #229 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregsandiego View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eaglecc View Post

I have plenty of schools and parks near me so I will only go to a range if I want to work with my driver. I love the people who go to ranges and hit chip shots that make them look like the pro's then on the course they are taking 3 inches of dirt with them and their ball goes 5 feet.

That might be good for pitching. But isn't that a huge amount of work to bring your own balls and retrieve them?

 

Not to mention that most of the parks I've been to have specific prohibitions against hitting golf balls.  You can't expect casual park users to be looking for golf balls flying around.

post #230 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregsandiego View Post
 

That might be good for pitching. But isn't that a huge amount of work to bring your own balls and retrieve them?

 

This is what many course ranges in the UK are like. I like them. Walking around gives you time to think about your swings, or other things. Downside is not many can use at the same time.

post #231 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

Not to mention that most of the parks I've been to have specific prohibitions against hitting golf balls.  You can't expect casual park users to be looking for golf balls flying around.

Nice to see this thread become active again after such a long break.

 

I've actually tried pitching at my local park. I got away with it but kind of made me nervous that someone would turn me in or complain. I do wish there were a good free alternative to $10/bucket but I haven't found one.

post #232 of 258

You could use almost golf balls. Pretty hard to hurt anyone with those, yes?

post #233 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post
 

You could use almost golf balls. Pretty hard to hurt anyone with those, yes?

 

  I'm not familiar with the product, but it's hard to get a real feel for what you are doing, isn't it?  I never even cared for real range balls because of their difference from the balls I use on the course.  Combine that with mats and it's why I never became a range rat.  Never seemed to do me much good, whereas going to any of several local courses and practicing for free with my own balls at their chipping green and short game area, and at the putting green paid back good dividends.

post #234 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post
 

You could use almost golf balls. Pretty hard to hurt anyone with those, yes?

 

"Almost Golf" balls are relatively hard, and if you're standing closer than say 20 yards or so it would still hurt pretty badly if you got hit by a well struck shot. Maybe you're thinking of foam balls?

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