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How to know if your swing changes are working while only hitting off of mats?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey everybody ! Like the title says I'm wondering what can be done to really make sure that the swing changes I've made are actually working. As everyone knows hitting off of mats hardly gives the proper feedback. I noticed this when I went to the range again on Sunday.

I bought the 5 Simple Keys and have really been working on the first three keys! I've got (for the most part) the centered head, hip slide, and flat left hand (can see from my new side videos). The problem is that I don't know if those fixed translate or not for me yet! Like if I go play off of grass will I wind up duffing etc. It's so hard to know if the impact I make is clean or just helped by the mats.

My swing thread is here:

http://thesandtrap.com/t/62190/my-swing-mattm/18#post_940847

The updated vids are at the end of the thead. Iacas reviewed my latest swing and determined my biggest problem was that my right elbow was not tucked enough which caused my backswing to be too flat. I tried to make side by videos in my last post but it wouldn't let me.

Anyway in the videos with the date in the title of 1/17/2014 I'm listening to Iacas and tucking my elbow which in my mind did make my swing less flat. I don't know if it's enough as no one has commented since.

I usually use the ground impact to tell me if the changes are working, but I can't do that because of the mats.

If anyone has any tips or thoughts on this please chime in. Also, if you get a chance check out my swing thread and let me know if it looks like it's made progress.

I definately need the feedback at the moment!

Thanks everyone!
post #2 of 13

This may, or may not help. I also hit off mats, sucks I know. Anyways, what I look for in a improved swing, or that I have done something right is, how impact felt, the sound of the club hitting the ball, i.e. that soft click, then a swoosh sound of the club hitting/scrapping the mat. Ball flight at least for me tends to tell me how I swung, I have a tendency to come over the top when I swing a tad to quick, and I usually hit a bad pull.

 

Then when I hit a good shot, i.e. the ball flight is good, the ball goes to it's intended target, I stay in balance, and the sound/feel of the hit is as described above. I also look at the ball marks on my clubs, my irons are forged so marks show up real well. Lately I have been hitting them out toward the toe, so I've been inching up closer to the ball without messing up my posture.

 

So I guess it's the flight, feel and sound that I look for. Maybe some, or all of these things could help you too..? Sorry, that's all I have, good luck. 

post #3 of 13

I don't like to hit balls off of a mat either but I hit so many balls at my house that I have to hit most of them off of a mat (or I would run out of grass in the yard).

 

For really good ball strikers it doesn't make much difference but I am the farthest thing from a good ball striker except off of a mat.

 

I think the huge disparity between my ability off of a mat and my lack of ability off of grass is more mental than physical. I just hit the ball with more confidence and make a better swing off of a mat and no matter how hard I try I seldom make the same commitment off of the ground with irons unless it's a perfect lie.

 

All I can say is to hit as many balls off of the ground as you can.

post #4 of 13

Mats will let you get away with hitting a heavy shot from time to time, that's why I don't like hitting any higher lofted club beyond a 7 iron off them.

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopster View Post
 

Mats will let you get away with hitting a heavy shot from time to time, that's why I don't like hitting any higher lofted club beyond a 7 iron off them.

 

Yep, Mats are much more forgiving for shots. I honestly rather just stay inside to practice slow swings with purpose than beat up my clubs on a mat. Except some mats do account for a bit of give and can act like normal turf with out the divot. Those are much more expensive than the generic mats you see at a driving range. 

post #6 of 13

I'm working on pretty much the same piece that you are (from your swing thread), and also use primarily mats. The nice thing is, video will show you very clearly for this elbow move if the picture is changing or not. It can suck not having feedback from the shot itself, but I feel like getting a real good idea what a heavy/fat shot on the mat feels like is key because they still can fly so well. Just video, video, video!

post #7 of 13

We hit off grass and mats at our local courses. Unless, there is a steep slope in the ground, hitting off the grass is roughly the same. The only difference is it doesn't hurt if you hit too deep in grass.

 

I think it's only harder because the ground is not as level as the concrete surfaces the mats sit on. When I am looking to work on a specific item, I prefer to hit off a mat.

 

One thing I find strange is people walk off the mats onto the grass to hit their driver. It just seems like the driver would be affected the least by hitting off a mat or grass?

post #8 of 13

To get feedback on hitting the ball heavy try laying a towel on the ground about 2" behind the ball.  Works on grass too with the added benefit of negative re-enforcement when you have to ask people to stop hitting so you can run out and grab your towel. :-D

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsul View Post

To get feedback on hitting the ball heavy try laying a towel on the ground about 2" behind the ball.  Works on grass too with the added benefit of negative re-enforcement when you have to ask people to stop hitting so you can run out and grab your towel. a3_biggrin.gif
A piece of masking tape works well too, put the ball directly in front of the tape. Try to hit the ball without scrapping the tape. If you find yourself picking the ball you can put the tape in front of the ball and try hitting the ball AND scrapping the tape. If you really want you can do both, tape in front and behind, miss the tape in the back and scrape the tape in the front, just let the ball get in the way.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsul View Post

To get feedback on hitting the ball heavy try laying a towel on the ground about 2" behind the ball.  Works on grass too with the added benefit of negative re-enforcement when you have to ask people to stop hitting so you can run out and grab your towel. a3_biggrin.gif
A piece of masking tape works well too, put the ball directly in front of the tape. Try to hit the ball without scrapping the tape. If you find yourself picking the ball you can put the tape in front of the ball and try hitting the ball AND scrapping the tape. If you really want you can do both, tape in front and behind, miss the tape in the back and scrape the tape in the front, just let the ball get in the way.


You can also put the ball on a wide piece of tape placed lengthwise with the club path.

 

Lucky for me the mats we have around here are usually kept relatively new. You can see where the divot would be by the pattern left on the mat. I just press it smooth for the next shot.

post #11 of 13

Most driving range mats are very hard.  If I can only get on the this type, I only work on the driver drills.  Some of the better mats give you more of a feel of grass and taking a divot.  But I try to limit my iron work on mats because it is harder on my wrists and forearms.  This winter I am mostly doing slow motion drills on mats with my driver, woods and occasional iron.

 

I do practice pitch shots on the really hard mats.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post
 

Most driving range mats are very hard.  If I can only get on the this type, I only work on the driver drills.  Some of the better mats give you more of a feel of grass and taking a divot.  But I try to limit my iron work on mats because it is harder on my wrists and forearms.  This winter I am mostly doing slow motion drills on mats with my driver, woods and occasional iron.

 

I do practice pitch shots on the really hard mats.

 

This is the main reason I like to hit off grass. In my area, we have that option every day, but the "grass" is sometimes dirt.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sorry I haven't been back guys! I want to thank all of your for your replies.

Bradsul, you sir are a genious!!!! The more I think about the towel thing the more I think it would actually simulate a heavy hit. I will definately be using this approach the next time I go!

To Uno and anyone else who viewed my swing thread..... In the last set of videos on the videos with the date does it actually look like my elbow is more tucked, and also does it look like I don't have as flat a back swing?

I'll tell you I go back and forth on those videos. Sometimes when I look at them it does look like my backswing is much better and sometimes it doesn't! Any help on that is appreciated as well!

That towell idea is amazing though! I don't have to worry about hitting a club and the towel provides resistance almost like grass would.... I might try that out on Sunday!

Thanks again everybody for your help....
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