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The Be Boy

Broken Swing From Hitting Off Training Mats

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Hi all

 

I'm pretty new to the forum so forgive me for being niave.  Just started playing golf 2 months ago, mainly hitting off matts at the driving range and a few round round the course.  N

 

Now although I've started seeing a pro, and he's helped me out with my swing loads I just can't hit the ball when I'm hitting off the grass.  I've basically trained myself to hit it fat all the time as that'll still produce a perfectly reasonable strike off matts but on the course it's a different story.  Hitting fat all the time and if I try and correct it I'll hit it thin.  

 

The guy that I saw said ball striking is the biggest thing and showed me, but he showed me on matts and I feel like either he didn't realise how bad the issue was or he can't tell.  I'm not  going to see him anymore because I can't afford lessons right now.  

 

I live in the UK and there are no grass ranges around me to drill this out of me.  So anyone got any drills or ideas about what I can do to get rid of this bad habit.  It's the no 1 thing holding me back at the minute and it's frustrating the hell out of me.

 

 

 

Any tips much appreciated.

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The temporary fix is to move the ball further back in your stance.

A more permanent fix could be to work hard on weight transfer during the swing, but that may not even be your issue. It's impossible to know why you hit it fat unless you show us video of your swing.

That said, there is something you can do to help understand when you're hitting the ball fat off a mat.

Go to a hardware store and buy a chalk line. Use this to snap a line of chalk on the mat, and place your golf balls so that they sit just a fraction of an inch in front of the chalk line. Hit the ball.

If you see the chalk line disappear, you know your club hit the ground too early because only your club can scrape the chalk off (the ball is in front of it, remember?). Seeing it distort a little bit is expected just from the air your club is pushing around, but the chalk completely scraping off (and chalk on your club) is a dead giveaway of a fat hit on a mat.

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Thanks for your input.  I've tried hitting it with tape behind the ball but then someone said that it can still scrape it and not be a fat shot so i gave up. 

 

The problem is I haven't really developed a 'feel' for hitting down on it.  I've kinda trained myself to hit everything fat so when I do move it back in my stance, my brain still wants to connect with it in the exact way I'm trying to correct for and I get the same results.

 

As silly as it might sound I don't really think its a swing issue (although my swing isn't great but I'm improving it everyday) it's that I feel like now I need to undo it this habit and I don't know the best way to go about it.

   

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Welcome to TST.   

Hitting off of a mat hides fat shots because the club can slide before making contact with the ball.    You're not alone in finding out that hitting off of mats is different than hitting from grass.   As @Pretzel suggested,  the chalk line is a good idea.    If you don't feel comfortable using a chalk line, place a towel about 3" behind the ball and hit the ball first. 

There are numerous videos about getting your weight forward on this site.   

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Hitting off a mat is fine so long as you pay attention to what you are doing.  Yes you can get away with fat shots but you can certainly tell whether you are making a clean sweep or catching the mat slightly behind the ball.  

One drill I use with my friends who play infrequently is to place a penny in front of the ball and ask them the hit the penny instead of the ball.  That usually shifts their focus to the front, rather than back, of the ball.

When you are starting out with this game it is easy to fall prey to the impulse to attack the ball.  The idea, however, is to have the club head pass through where the ball is...on its way to somewhere else.

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4 hours ago, dennyjones said:

Welcome to TST.   

Hitting off of a mat hides fat shots because the club can slide before making contact with the ball.    You're not alone in finding out that hitting off of mats is different than hitting from grass.   As @Pretzel suggested,  the chalk line is a good idea.    If you don't feel comfortable using a chalk line, place a towel about 3" behind the ball and hit the ball first. 

There are numerous videos about getting your weight forward on this site.   

Yeah, towel behind the ball. You'll realize quickly if you're hitting fat

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4 hours ago, The Be Boy said:

Hi all

 

I'm pretty new to the forum so forgive me for being niave.  Just started playing golf 2 months ago, mainly hitting off matts at the driving range and a few round round the course.  N

 

Now although I've started seeing a pro, and he's helped me out with my swing loads I just can't hit the ball when I'm hitting off the grass.  I've basically trained myself to hit it fat all the time as that'll still produce a perfectly reasonable strike off matts but on the course it's a different story.  Hitting fat all the time and if I try and correct it I'll hit it thin.  

 

The guy that I saw said ball striking is the biggest thing and showed me, but he showed me on matts and I feel like either he didn't realise how bad the issue was or he can't tell.  I'm not  going to see him anymore because I can't afford lessons right now.  

 

I live in the UK and there are no grass ranges around me to drill this out of me.  So anyone got any drills or ideas about what I can do to get rid of this bad habit.  It's the no 1 thing holding me back at the minute and it's frustrating the hell out of me.

 

 

 

Any tips much appreciated.

Not being snarky at all here (preface), but if you think hitting off mats broke your swing, your swing is the least of your issues.  As a newbie of 2 months, you need to get your swing in order.  If you can distinguish between a well-struck shot and when you have hit it fat, it shouldn't matter that you have to hit off mats.

I know you said that you don't have the money, but if you want to get good at this game, you should look into lessons.  Or at least figure out the things you need to do and get a good tripod for your phone and take video.  You can use v1 app and draw lines and keep track of your progress.  

You need to find the root of your problem and fix it.  Some little tips like putting a gift card or towel behind the ball might help but may get you to swinging over the top and too steep--could work in the short run but the best bet is to fix your swing. 

Look, you're only 2 months in to this game.  Why not consider the long run of fun in the game and invest in it, instead of looking for short cuts and cheap tricks that wear off and fill your mind with nonsense that will only haunt you later on?  I'm no shill for pros, but if you want to get the most out of your golf game, then make some money and invest it into your game.  Don't mess up your swing and get a bunch of bad tips engrained before you even really get started.  The short view of looking for quick tips is short-sighted and immature.  

Best of luck.  

4 hours ago, dennyjones said:

the chalk line is a good idea

pretty good idea here though.

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Thanks everyone for the replies.  I appreciate it.  Some good little tips I'm going to try next time I'm at the range.

 

@ncates00 for someone trying not to be snarky I think you failed a bit there, mate.  I don't expect anyone to say, 'do this and it'll fix everything'  I was just hoping someone might have had a similar experience and could offer some advice.  Don't really appreciate being called immature.

'If you can distinguish between a well-struck shot and when you have hit it fat, it shouldn't matter that you have to hit off mats.' - yeah, this is what I'm struggling with but you're right, I haven't broken my swing, I've never had a swing that works. 

 

I'll buy a cheap tripod or something and get some swing videos uploaded soon. 

Thanks

 

 

12 hours ago, dennyjones said:

There are numerous videos about getting your weight forward on this site.

When I saw someone before he said I struggled with this so I'll focus on that. 

 

13 hours ago, Pretzel said:

Go to a hardware store and buy a chalk line.

 

I'll do that today, cheers

 

Thanks again everyone

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@The Be Boy

We also have a Member Swings section here. You can post a video of your swing and we can help you with drills and such. The section below has a lot of information to help as well.

 

 

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3 hours ago, The Be Boy said:

Don't really appreciate being called immature.

Reread.  I didn't call you immature; I called your choice immature--there is a distinction.  Even if what you said is true, immature merely means "not developed."  As a golfer of merely 2 months, that fits here.  Stop wearing your feelings on your sleeve and take someone at their word.  My intent is to help--take it or leave it.

3 hours ago, The Be Boy said:

I've never had a swing that works. 

You don't have a swing--you've been playing for 2 months... Get a swing and take on the process step by step.  There are no short cuts.  You're looking for gimmicks and quick fixes and they don't exist.  Getting on track with a good pro is the best way to expedite that process, but given your lack of financial means at this point, that seems unlikely.  Maybe try out some cheaper alternatives like online video lessons or something like that where you send in your swing once a month or something.  The key is to not go rogue and try out a bunch of swing tip magazine stuff--stick with what you are paying for and don't deviate.  

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I've used plastic poker chips behind the ball for fat shots and in front of the ball as an aiming point for my eyes starting out. The chip no more than an inch behind the ball provides the feedback you may be looking for to see if you are in fact hitting them fat. 

I really did not understand the importance and huge influence the ball position at address has on my personal ball striking depending on the club in your hand. The poker chips really helped me gain this understanding with moving the ball incrementally forward or back in my stance to improve ball striking.  Good luck!

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2 hours ago, The Be Boy said:

@ncates00 for someone trying not to be snarky I think you failed a bit there, mate. 

No, mate, he didn't. What he said was a bit direct, but so what? At the end of the day it's one guy's opinion, a guy you'll never meet. Stop being in such a rush to take offense.

Mats don't "break" your swing, and two months in, you probably barely have "a swing" to break. Now is a great time to get lessons, before you start building some bad habits. You don't need many, probably - just a few to get you down the right path and to make sure some basic things are within the spectrum: grip, etc.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

No, mate, he didn't. What he said was a bit direct, but so what? At the end of the day it's one guy's opinion, a guy you'll never meet. Stop being in such a rush to take offense.

Mats don't "break" your swing, and two months in, you probably barely have "a swing" to break. Now is a great time to get lessons, before you start building some bad habits. You don't need many, probably - just a few to get you down the right path and to make sure some basic things are within the spectrum: grip, etc.

Great advice. A good foundation is a HUGE benefit.

 

As others have said, mats will hide some contact/low point issues. 

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2 hours ago, ncates00 said:

Reread.  I didn't call you immature; I called your choice immature--there is a distinction.  Even if what you said is true, immature merely means "not developed."

Fair enough, I take it back then. 

 

2 hours ago, ncates00 said:

You're looking for gimmicks and quick fixes and they don't exist.

I'm really not, I'm just looking to get started down the right path because at the moment I'm a bit lost.

 

2 hours ago, iacas said:

Now is a great time to get lessons, before you start building some bad habits.

Mats don't break your swing I agree, but I feel like hitting off mats has ingrained a couple bad habits already.  That was the point of the thread, to see if anyone else can offer insights and advice about how to break it. 

Genuine question: do you think that two months in, my ball striking would still be virtually none existent? which it really is at the moment.  I played 9 holes yesterday and connected well with the ball once with a full iron shot, off a tee.  The rest were either tops or fat shots/complete duffs. Maybe my expectations are too high.

 

Cheers

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19 hours ago, The Be Boy said:

Just started playing golf 2 months ago, mainly hitting off matts at the driving range and a few round round the course.

To echo what others have said here, look hard into lessons. I played golf for over 20 years without taking a lesson, and I wish I had been given this advice (and then followed it) when I first got into the game.

In the long run, the cost of lessons will be worth it because it will really enhance your enjoyment of the game.

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3 minutes ago, The Be Boy said:

Genuine question: do you think that two months in, my ball striking would still be virtually none existent? which it really is at the moment.  I played 9 holes yesterday and connected well with the ball once with a full iron shot, off a tee.  The rest were either tops or fat shots/complete duffs. Maybe my expectations are too high.

Depends on a lot of things, but I don't think you're all that far behind.

I bet if you took what felt like half swings you'd have more success on the golf course right now. And those half swings would be surprisingly close to full swings…

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27 minutes ago, iacas said:

Depends on a lot of things, but I don't think you're all that far behind.

I bet if you took what felt like half swings you'd have more success on the golf course right now. And those half swings would be surprisingly close to full swings…

This is great advice. One of the things the Pro recently advised me to do was this. I was over coiling causing me not only pain but crap contact. Looking at those "half swings" they really weren't.  I often see guys at the range overswinging by miles.

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On 1/20/2020 at 8:34 PM, ncates00 said:

Not being snarky at all here (preface), but if you think hitting off mats broke your swing, your swing is the least of your issues.  As a newbie of 2 months, you need to get your swing in order.  If you can distinguish between a well-struck shot and when you have hit it fat, it shouldn't matter that you have to hit off mats.

I know you said that you don't have the money, but if you want to get good at this game, you should look into lessons.  Or at least figure out the things you need to do and get a good tripod for your phone and take video.  You can use v1 app and draw lines and keep track of your progress.  

You need to find the root of your problem and fix it.  Some little tips like putting a gift card or towel behind the ball might help but may get you to swinging over the top and too steep--could work in the short run but the best bet is to fix your swing. 

Look, you're only 2 months in to this game.  Why not consider the long run of fun in the game and invest in it, instead of looking for short cuts and cheap tricks that wear off and fill your mind with nonsense that will only haunt you later on?  I'm no shill for pros, but if you want to get the most out of your golf game, then make some money and invest it into your game.  Don't mess up your swing and get a bunch of bad tips engrained before you even really get started.  The short view of looking for quick tips is short-sighted and immature.  

Best of luck.  

pretty good idea here though.

Beat me to it. I suspected that this might be the case. Mats don't necessarily cause swing issues, but they sure can reveal them! 

And for a guy only 2 months in? I didn't have clue number one at 2 months in! 

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