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backyard practice - do you use it? Should I invest in one?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I am considering picking up a few pieces to setup a small practice area in my back yard.  My backyard is small (typical for suburban Chicago) and is about 30' by 60'.  It is large enough that I can chip the balls around, and I do that.  But I can't hit full length clubs.  I am considering picking up (or possibly building) a net and picking up a matt with a rubber tee and working on hitting the driver. 

 

here is my problem.  I have a range that is less than 10 minutes away and for the cost that I estimate it will cost me to assemble a cheap home setup (say $120 ~ $150) I can go to the range a dozen or more times.  So I am trying to justify if I will actually use the home setup. 

 

The question is for those that have a backyard setup.  Do you use it often enough that it has helped?  For those that have a practice facility close to the house, do you still have a home setup? 

 

Thanks in advance

post #2 of 17
Im kind of in the same boat... but I'm pulling the trigger on the home range. With a wife and 3 kids I can't get to the range as often as I want... but can always go outside for 15 min.
post #3 of 17

I have a back yard set up. I use it every day for just about type of shot. You can build a very nice one for under $100 maybe even $50 depending on materials used.  I bought a commercial hitting net, and it already has several holes and tears. Not so much in the center where a polyvinyl wall hangs, but on the sides, and outside the poly, the mesh tears very easily.  The one I am going to build will be out of 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe and 10Mil Poly. Or if you wanted to go top end, you can buy impact nets for around $100 plus $30 for the pvc fittings. I posted a link to a video some time back which illustrates how to build one.

 

As for the driving mat, get one that is not hard. One that feels like real turf. I got mine at home depot 2 ft x 1 ft that will hold real tees, but they fly out. You can find the rubber tees at places like Golf Galaxy for around $5.00 for three pack.  Back the mat up with a piece of plywood, leaving an edge of the plywood exposed so you can drill small holes for the purpose of skinny tent pegs (or coat hangar) to anchor it in the ground. Use a 2nd piece of plywood to stand on so you will be at the same level as the mat.

 

For drives I stand about 8 ft away. Chips and pitches from about 50 ft and in. Practice balls, I use "Almost Golf" (tm) which are foam balls filled with CO2 that have the characteristics of a real ball but wont fly as far and wont break windows.  Careful, it's addictive. I will be watching the golf channel, or reading a thread from the forum and I have to jump outside to "try" (at midnight even in jockey shorts and flip flops
.)

post #4 of 17

While I can't tell what the ball flight will be by hitting into a net, I can certainly tell when I've made good contact. I'm fortunate to have enough property to safely hit my irons in the yard, but I still use a net in the workshop. It's so much easier than heading up to the range (same as you, about 10 mins away) and cheaper. I set a narrow piece of foam right down the center of my net so I can hear it when the ball is hit straight. Don't have a decent mat but that's in my future plans.

 

I think you'll find yourself practicing all the time when all you have to do is step outside. Word of warning, mind the club loft and distance from the net. My avatar is a result of using a 9 iron from a 5 iron distance.

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMA1 View Post

While I can't tell what the ball flight will be by hitting into a net, I can certainly tell when I've made good contact. I'm fortunate to have enough property to safely hit my irons in the yard, but I still use a net in the workshop. It's so much easier than heading up to the range (same as you, about 10 mins away) and cheaper. I set a narrow piece of foam right down the center of my net so I can hear it when the ball is hit straight. Don't have a decent mat but that's in my future plans.

 

I think you'll find yourself practicing all the time when all you have to do is step outside. Word of warning, mind the club loft and distance from the net. My avatar is a result of using a 9 iron from a 5 iron distance.

ha ha...this reminds me of something I said recently to some non golfers. I was telling them how I would take golf swings in my bedroom off the carpet hitting "imaginary" golf balls but that practice came to an abrupt halt when  SWMBO discovered the Not So Imaginary holes in the ceiling! (actually there were none, but made for a good story).

post #6 of 17

Pull the trigger on the net, if you have kids tell the wife its for them too. Walking outside and making a full golf swing or feeling good contact on a full swing can be very rewarding in your own back yard, and it beats just about anything probably going on inside the house.

post #7 of 17

I hit balls into the net fairly often. There is no driving range close by, so hitting balls in the yard (150 yards max) and hitting balls into the net is most of my practice.

 

I used to be able to hit everything, including a driver, from my back yard (borrowing the neighbor's hayfield as a landing area) and that worked much better but the neighbor's son decided to build a house back there and ruined my fun (and hurt my golf game). Ha ha!

 

The problem with solely practicing a driver into a net is that there have been many times that I thought I was hitting the ball great, only to find when I got to the course that I had actually grooved a really solid hook (not good).

 

Now my compromise is to hit about every tenth ball down into the woods to make sure the ball flight is what I want, even though I will likely not ever find very many of those balls again.

 

Best thing about being able to hit balls at home is that there are plenty of times instead of watching something I don't care about on TV I can go out and hit some balls. I have a light set up so I can practice at night.

post #8 of 17

I have used a net for a number of years and found it very useful.

 

Since you cannot see the ball flight, it is best to use a few drills that concentrate on swing fundamentals such as tempo, posture, balance, club position, and follow through.

 

It might also be worthwhile to get impact tape for the golf face to check that you hit the ball in the middle of the club face.

 

WARNING:  If you have neighbors directly in line of the path of the golf shot, be aware that after a period of time that a lot of the backyard nets will deteriorate and balls will go through the mesh.  (When that happened, fortunately for me, the ball went harmlessly into the woods.)  Also, if you back up too far, you might just miss the net, and you do not want to be directing your shots toward the neighbor's house if at all possible.

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfreuter415 View Post

Since you cannot see the ball flight, it is best to use a few drills that concentrate on swing fundamentals such as tempo, posture, balance, club position, and follow through.

 

If you know what you're doing, I'd disagree with that. You can get an awfully good estimate of ball flight with a properly positioned camera and noting the start line of the golf ball. If you consider the club's path from A6 to A7, you can often get very close to determining swing direction, particularly if you pay attention to the AoA or have some sense of it.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

If you know what you're doing, I'd disagree with that. You can get an awfully good estimate of ball flight with a properly positioned camera and noting the start line of the golf ball. If you consider the club's path from A6 to A7, you can often get very close to determining swing direction, particularly if you pay attention to the AoA or have some sense of it.


Erik,

 

Does this mean that you can teach Evolvr via a backyard setup just as effectively as you can teach it with video taken from a range? 

post #11 of 17
I do this too, use foam balls, but use my garage's brick wall as a back stop. Can judge ball flight by how ball comes back at me. For example: ball hit perfectly = straight over head, ball sliced = hits wall and bounces left, ball hooked = hits wall and bounces right.

Love going out 15 mins a day and smacking a couple balls after work.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by clearwaterms View Post

Does this mean that you can teach Evolvr via a backyard setup just as effectively as you can teach it with video taken from a range? 

 

Yes. If people are hitting golf balls, especially.

 

We do teach indoors, after all. :) http://thegolfevolution.com/metro/

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by clutchshot View Post

I do this too, use foam balls, but use my garage's brick wall as a back stop. Can judge ball flight by how ball comes back at me. For example: ball hit perfectly = straight over head, ball sliced = hits wall and bounces left, ball hooked = hits wall and bounces right.

Love going out 15 mins a day and smacking a couple balls after work.

I disagreed with this till I saw you were a lefty.

 

I practice a LOT indoors with foam callaway balls for the convenience and economics, only caveat in my situation is my ceiling is a tad too low for a full follow through so I have to be aware of the difference in swinging indoors and outdoors. I also can't hit driver in the basement. It allows me to practice much more than I would otherwise and also allows me to continue to work on things throughout the winter.

post #14 of 17

If you're worried about proper feedback, spend about 50 bucks on ebay for some 1960'd forged blades, I promise, if you hit it good, you'll know it. If you don't hit it good, you'll know it even quicker. If you don't hit those things on the sweetspot the club jerks open(toe) and if you can groove several in a row its about as good a practice as you can get.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

I disagreed with this till I saw you were a lefty.

 

A slice for a righty that hits a wall in front of you would bounce (down and) to the left. A hook would bounce to the right.

 

The opposite is true for a lefty.

 

If he's a lefty, the bounces he posted are backwards for him. Right?

 

post #16 of 17
I think we are all on the same page, just saying it differently.

I'm left handed, when I slice a ball, it curves left, hits the wall in front on me going alittle left, then shoots off further left. If it comes off straight with side spin and hits the wall straight, I guess it may kick right occasionally.

It's possible I have this mixed up, one thing is certain, it coming straight back is good.
post #17 of 17

Set a backyard practice area up for £30.  Have a driving range 1/2 mile down the road but kids and a wife means that even that is a stretch to get to.  The important thing to remember is don't waste your time getting an expensive kevlar ( if they make em ) type net.  I went through 2 nets in a matter of days.  A net has to soak a lot of forces when a golf ball hits it,  esp if it is tight.  What I did was took the two nets I busted put them on top of each other like you would with two tee shirts say.  Presto.  Sum of the parts is greater.  I haven't put a ball through it in 3 years.  And the net has been outside through hail rain and snow. Also got a great matt off the local range when they got new ones fitted.  The new ones got ripped to shreds inside a few months and they even asked me if they could take back the one they gave me,  but told them I had thrown it out .  lol

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