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Hi, 

recently I've been hitting my irons poorly from fairway. Duffs, tops, also hitting the ball "all over" the club face. But on the driving range, I can hit bucket after bucket with almost no bad shots. (And fairway woods shors are pretty good from both mat and grass.) 

I know that the mat "hides" bad shots, especially duffs, but is there any drill I can do on the mats? It's not easy to find a driving range that allows you to play from grass where I live. 

Or can this be a mental thing? When going from practice to play? 

Any advice is welcome! 

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I don't of any drills for mats. Maybe practicing a one piece take away might be viable. 

I do know when hitting off mats, when not using a tee,  I always try to pick the ball clean off the mat. Doing this does not allow the mat to interfere too much with the club head. 

Personally, I tend to stay away from using mats without a tee'd up ball.

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57 minutes ago, barnum1 said:

Hi, 

recently I've been hitting my irons poorly from fairway. Duffs, tops, also hitting the ball "all over" the club face. But on the driving range, I can hit bucket after bucket with almost no bad shots. (And fairway woods shors are pretty good from both mat and grass.) 

I know that the mat "hides" bad shots, especially duffs, but is there any drill I can do on the mats? It's not easy to find a driving range that allows you to play from grass where I live. 

Or can this be a mental thing? When going from practice to play? 

Any advice is welcome! 

In my opinion, this has 0 to do with the surface you're hitting off.  If you're a good player, it shouldn't matter whether it's mat or grass because your strike is more consistent with low point, face to path, dynamic loft, strike location, etc. 

Your inconsistency has to do with your lack of current ability.  Drilling on a mat is very convenient and allows you to not worry about finding a good patch of grass and can keep your camera tripod in the same location.  You need to get your striking down, regardless of the surface you're hitting off.

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Could be mental.  Hitting the same club over and over off a mat is a different mental state than on a course. You whole hit buckets correct?  What about the very first ball?  Is that one a stinger too?

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1 minute ago, barnum1 said:

@ncates00 I agree that my ball striking is not good enough. But what you're saying is: don't practice on mats?

@Cantankerish
 Yup, all shots are pretty good from mats... 

It's not mental; it's ability.  I never said don't practice off mats.  You absolutely can.  Reread what I said.  You just have to develop a sensitivity to strike and ensure that you're getting ball first contact.

You're likely catching the mat first and the mat lets you bounce into the ball.  Make sure you get ball first strike.  You'll know what it feels like.

The only part of "the mental side" of golf worth even talking about is course management, keeping your head (and that's largely based on ability to produce anyway), and keeping a firm grip on "feels" or thoughts that help you (and again, that's largely ability, but I'll let it slide).  

Golf is about executing a task each shot.  People who argue the mental side are trying to make you feel better or find a way to explain/excuse a lack of ability or lack of knowledge as to their precise mechanical problem leading to poor execution.

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17 hours ago, barnum1 said:

Hi, 

recently I've been hitting my irons poorly from fairway. Duffs, tops, also hitting the ball "all over" the club face. But on the driving range, I can hit bucket after bucket with almost no bad shots. (And fairway woods shors are pretty good from both mat and grass.) 

I know that the mat "hides" bad shots, especially duffs, but is there any drill I can do on the mats? It's not easy to find a driving range that allows you to play from grass where I live. 

Or can this be a mental thing? When going from practice to play? 

Any advice is welcome! 

Put a piece on painters tape behind the ball on the mat and work to hit the ball and not the tape. Start with the tape  3-4 inches away. I also worked on this because I had an issue with coming into the ball too shallow. I worked with my instructor to correct it. You can also put a piece of tape in front of the ball and focus on that too.

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Thanks @boogielicious for the advice. Did it take a long time for you to improve? (I know it's individual but anyway.) Do you still use that as part of your practice routine? 

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31 minutes ago, barnum1 said:

Thanks @boogielicious for the advice. Did it take a long time for you to improve? (I know it's individual but anyway.) Do you still use that as part of your practice routine? 

It about a month to steepen at impact. I also leaned my shaft forward at address to mimic impact position during the rehearsal swing. Check my My Swing thread to see the latest. Go to the latest post. It shows the rehearsal with the seven iron.

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The painter's tape is a good idea but you can also place a tee flat on the mat surface adjacent to a ball with the point of the tee right in line with the back of the ball. You can can then compare the scuff mark on the surface of the mat to the location of where the ball was after you hit it. Being able to see the scuff mark depends on the age/condition of the mat. Ideally, there will be no scuff mark before the ball (to the right, if you're right handed) and there will be one to the left. For the next shot, either move the ball to a different spot on the mat or flatten out the grain in the surface. 

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