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broombroom

Should you hit from a golf mat or tee up on grass when practicing?

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Hi I just got a driving net for practice in the home however the garden is getting wrecked so I can't really hit of the grass any more.  I was looking at driving range mats but I don't think they are the way to go and am considering just hitting of a tee.  What are your thoughts on this? I am using it with my camcorder  to constantly check my swing so I intend to put a tonne of hours into it this year.

Driving mat - can't afford a "good one".  A bad one could promote injury plus years a go when I went to the range I couldn't hit a ball worth of crap on the golf course.  Hence why I stopped going. Unrealistic.

Just a tee in the garden - Won't destroy the garden as much (could put a door mat underneath tee) but more realistic I guess than hitting of the mat?  Its cheap.

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Both a tee and a mat can give you a false impression of how well you are striking the ball.

IMO it's not a huge deal but just a minor factor that some of us have to be aware of.

I hear people complain about injuries from striking a mat but I honestly can't relate to that. I could hit balls off of a concrete slab (and hit them fat) and it wouldn't bother me at all...No clue why.

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You could do what I do.  I usually practice with BirdieBalls at a local park.  But I don't want to be the guy wrecking the grass at the park (you're not supposed to golf there for that reason, and cause regular golf balls are considered dangerous of course).  But I'm not going to drag a huge heavy duty mat to the park either.

My fix was to just buy a big off-size discount roll of astroturf carpet at Home Depot.  I cut off two squares at a time and keep them in the car.  Just stack them and hit the birdie balls off of those.  Isn't 100% at protecting the grass, more like 90%, but it's pretty good.  Also, when I'm at a park with a baseball field, I've found I can actually just hit off those things on the dirt in the diamond itself.  So you've got options.

Main drawback is that the little squares fly off with every shot.  But I've actually found I like this, as it forces you to take a few steps and reset rather than just beating balls on auto pilot one after another.

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Just an FYI based on personal experience ...

I was a range rat for about 2 years before I started playing live golf - I'd go to the range a couple times per week, all year long / but where I am from (Northern NJ) - there are no grass practice facilities within 30-40 miles (that I knew of) so I would constantly be hitting off of mats ...

When it came time to actually play, I struggled greatly ... The mats definitely gave me a false sense of security and still do.

Try to hit off of grass as much as possible ...

Cheers!

Rob

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Thanks everyone for your input.  I have had a few ideas about making my own mat so I think I will give that a go.  For now however I am going to buy a synthetic grass cut out from a grass shop.  They have mats that are very similar to the first cut of rough at my course.  When hitting out of the first cut of rough, on my course anyway, the grass is quite dense and stiff.  Most of the time the ball just sits on top just like it does with this mat.  Crucially though when hitting out of this rough on the course you don't actually take a divot since the ball is on top, instead you take a few grass cuttings.  The rough mat from the grass shop also can do this so it is quite realistic except it will wear overtime.

As for a good realistic fairway mat its very difficult to achieve realism since you are actually taking earth with you, something a mat won't do (and may never do)so I am thinking of some kind of solution for that.

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Both a tee and a mat can give you a false impression of how well you are striking the ball.

+1 for the mat. I find that hitting off a mat that's placed on a hard surface (ashphalt /cement etc.), gives me a false impression of my iron play. Not sure how a mat on a softer surface like grass will work out. Plus some mats leave a green film on some clubs.

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