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Green Golfer

Driving Range Conundrum: Is an artificial surface suitable for practicing?

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I spend a fair share of my driving range practices hitting from the artificial mats at my local golf course. Usually this is because they rotate the two ranges for grass recovery, and the grass side of the range is usually in poor shape. I do pretty well on the artificial surface with my irons, but when i shift to grass on occasions i seem to topple the ball or make deep fat swings into the grass. Am i being spoiled by the smooth flawless surface of the mats to where i am afraid of driving my club into the ground when i shift to the grass? I feel like i should only practice on grass surfaces. Is this the case or do i just need to retrain my brain?

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I don't go to the range per say that often, as the only one within reasonable distance is mats only and they are pretty beat up. The green is also artificial turf and not the greatest. That said, I do go to a field and I bring a piece of shag carpeting to hit a majority of my shots with to warm up and then  hit off the grass to finish off with. I don't seem to feel there's much difference between the ball sitting on the piece of carpet and then off the grass, I'm just not leaving a lot of divots when I practice.

That said, today I tune up the lawnmower, and out of hibernation will come the practice net.

The "Mrs." won't let me hit off the grass in the backyard, that's were the piece of shag carpeting originally came from.

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Matts aren't that terrible, but if you hit off them enough they can mess up your attack angle, which seems to have caused your irons to fall apart. I'd recommend that you do your best to hit 75% off grass and 25% of artificial turf . No more turf than 25% and anytime your local driving range gives you a chance to hit off grass take it! It's the most realistic practice that will get you ready for the course!

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If you at times only have mats as an option, I'd recommend getting your own mat and bringing to the range.
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I'd much rather hit from grass, but mats aren't the end of the world. They're definitely better than not hitting. It is important to recognize that mats can mask bad swings, especially fat shots. I think you can learn to recognize when you hit it fat though. Remember: practice on mats is better than no practice!
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The range where I do my practicing has all grass hitting bays, but the grass is never as thick or resilient as it is on the courses that I go to, so I love getting the lies that I do on the course when I'm in the fairway.  Because they have such good rates I'm thinking about getting myself a mat just to get lies closer to those on the course when I practice.  That said, solid contact seems easier to accomplish on the course than it does at the range because of the additional difficulty that thin grass provides.

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