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Waddaplaya

Hitting Off a Mat During a Fitting

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Hello all. I have been at the range hitting buckets after buckets of balls off the mat over the month. I played my first two round of the season during the last couple of days. One thing I realized is how poorly your iron shots transfer from the mats to the grass. I feel like I made a lot of progress with my swing but I was suffering from hitting my irons fat and chunking many shots. Obviously you don’t get this sort of feedback off of the mats. When you chunk one on the mat your ball may lose some distance but overall looks decent. When you chunk it on the course your ball goes about 20 feet. I wish I would have only practice off of grass before my rounds so I can work on this issue which I’ve already started to diagnose.

My question is this: is it even worth getting professional fit for irons seeing that when you are fit for irons you hit entirely off of an indoor mat? Seeing how differently the ball reacts to the grass vs the mat at least with clubs you hit off the grass why would one feel confident spending he extra money hitting in that type of environment. I can see a driver fitting wouldn’t be different because you’re hitting off of a tee. Any thoughts on this? 

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Logistics aside...an experiment conducted in a controlled environment is likely to produce more consistent results.  To that end it is best to eliminate as many external factors as possible.  The one exception would be wedges...the sand wedge in particular.  Other than that, though, I don't see how club comparisons would be adversely affected by playing off a mat.  

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It's definitely worth getting fitted but that wasn't really your question.    My instructor has told me that a mat can easily hide a fat shot because the club head will bounce off of the mat as opposed to hitting off of grass.    The issue, I believe is not getting your weight forward enough on the downswing to make contact with the ball first.  It's going to take practice to get your weight forward but there are great videos here in the forum for just that.  

I do believe there is a significant worth to getting fitted and as @Piz mentioned.  Hitting off of the mat is a way to eliminate variables.  

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This is an interesting topic.  I have had that thought myself, actually.  Just a note: Be careful hitting off a mat so much. I have read that  it messes up your clubs after awhile.

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1 hour ago, Cantankerish said:

This is an interesting topic.  I have had that thought myself, actually.  Just a note: Be careful hitting off a mat so much. I have read that  it messes up your clubs after awhile.

to add to this: after a winter of hitting off mats (especially with forged irons) it can be useful to get the loft and lie measured to ensure they still play to your specs.

as for making a smooth transition from mats to grass, i recommend placing a piece of (e.g.) duct tape behind the ball so it's easy to tell if you've hit it fat on those borderline shots. 

or if you have the opposite problem like me and started sweeping (or borderline thinning shots) to avoid the pain of hitting off mats in the cold (or anytime, really), you may see a big drop in distance when you return to grass. to solve this next winter i'm thinking about investing in a small CCE hitting strip with a motorcycle seat gel pad underneath that i can plop down next to the range mats. after 1.5 months of hitting off grass i'm still borderline traumatized from the shock of cold, hard cement underneath the mats and hit it thin to win more than i care to admit 😂

apologies for not answering your question, @Waddaplaya, i just wish i would have known about these options sooner and hope others can benefit from them.

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For shaft fitting a driver or fairway woods it might not make much difference hitting off a mat.  For iron fitting, I think it’s much better to hit on real turf.  It allows you to experience the club interaction with the turf and choose a club head that works best for your swing type and feel preference.

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