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blaylock6502

Help practicing at home!?!?

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I have been playing for about a year and a half and with the help of lessons have come a long way but I'm a little unsure how to get the most out of practicing at home. I have three young boys so I can not get to the driving range as much as I'd like so I try to do what I can at home. I have heard that hitting off of a mat ( which I have at home) doesn't help that much because if you have a tendency to hit irons fat or thin it is more forgiving (I am guilty of both from time to time. So I tried to hit foam balls out of the grass-this does not seem like it will work as when you compress the ball as you should it gets hung up trying to find its way out of my taller grass. So I was hitting shag balls and my seven looks to only be going around 100 yards I'm guessing because of the taller grass. So do you think I would be better off just hitting off of the mat and trying to watch where I contact the mat? Or any other thoughts on useful practice at home? Or maybe just chipping from a spot of short grass and hoping the form transfers to my full swing? Thanks in advance for any input!!!
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I have been playing for about a year and a half and with the help of lessons have come a long way but I'm a little unsure how to get the most out of practicing at home. I have three young boys so I can not get to the driving range as much as I'd like so I try to do what I can at home. I have heard that hitting off of a mat ( which I have at home) doesn't help that much because if you have a tendency to hit irons fat or thin it is more forgiving (I am guilty of both from time to time. So I tried to hit foam balls out of the grass-this does not seem like it will work as when you compress the ball as you should it gets hung up trying to find its way out of my taller grass. So I was hitting shag balls and my seven looks to only be going around 100 yards I'm guessing because of the taller grass. So do you think I would be better off just hitting off of the mat and trying to watch where I contact the mat? Or any other thoughts on useful practice at home? Or maybe just chipping from a spot of short grass and hoping the form transfers to my full swing? Thanks in advance for any input!!!

I hit off mats all the time, cuz that's what I have at home, and the range I go to has them. Shouldn't be any different hitting off a mat as opposed to grass. If your hitting fat and thin shots, could be because you are moving up or down at some point, this is where a Steady head comes into play. When I practice at home hitting into my net, I use normal golf balls. I also practice with intent, meaning I do drills at a very Slow speed, and I don't care about distance, what I care about is making Good contact. also hitting practice drills/shots I don't worry about ball flight to much.

Whatever I'm doing, I try to make the swing, or drill as instructed by my instructor, and do it over, and over again, i.e. weight forward. Also using a mirror helps a bunch. If you haven't already, check out   http://purestrike5sk.com/videos.php there's a bunch of great videos to help with your swing.

Also, you can video your swing, and post it in the Member Swing forum. So, whether you hit from grass, or a mat, the contact should be the same, it's your swing that cause's bad shots, not the turf. Good luck, oh, and welcome to TST.

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Thank you for the pointers I was swaying back on the backswing and dipping down at the ball. We addressed this at my last lesson and it worked amazing at the lesson and at the next round I played but I haven't gotten to play in a while so I'm uncertain and afraid I'm going back to bad habits and I think it's mostly due to the fact I am way to concerned about distance even when I'm trying not to be. So when I hit out of the tall grass even with good contact it isn't going very far and that's when I start swaying and dipping because I guess subconsciously I feel like it will add distance when we all know it will not! Thanks for the reassurance! What type of net do you have? Aren't most nets just for chipping or can you hit full iron shots into some of them? Thanks again!
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I hit off mats all the time, cuz that's what I have at home, and the range I go to has them. Shouldn't be any different hitting off a mat as opposed to grass.

I don't agree with that. I have sworn off hitting from mats at any range because I can't hit a bad iron off of it and I can't transfer my iron game to the course from it. If I hit it thin it compresses under the club and still flies and if I hit the ground before it the ground compresses and lets me still hit the ball.

I do think the idea about drills and a mirror are excellent. And then also maybe use impact tape more and try to put, I don't know, maybe a baby powder line behind it so you can see if you sweep through it to far from the ball. Also a high speed camera could be useful while hitting off a mat so you can pay attention to angles and positions and post a my swing video.

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Check this thread out. Also use mirrors and/or video camera to work on stuff. I do a lot of work inside all the time. Just set my camera on the kitchen table and take slow swings trying to change the swing.

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I don't agree with that. I have sworn off hitting from mats at any range because I can't hit a bad iron off of it and I can't transfer my iron game to the course from it. If I hit it thin it compresses under the club and still flies and if I hit the ground before it the ground compresses and lets me still hit the ball.

I do think the idea about drills and a mirror are excellent. And then also maybe use impact tape more and try to put, I don't know, maybe a baby powder line behind it so you can see if you sweep through it to far from the ball. Also a high speed camera could be useful while hitting off a mat so you can pay attention to angles and positions and post a my swing video.

Maybe it's the quality of the mats..? The ones I hit from are pretty thick, and when I strike the ball properly, I can feel my club hit the mat after the ball, also if I hit it fat, I feel that as well. just a side note: what happens if you get a lie on a patch of hard dirt..?  IMHO, making a good strike should be able to happen from fluffy lies as well as a tight lie, i.e. a hard pan. I would have no problem hitting off a cart path, if my ball had to be played from one.

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Thank you for the pointers I was swaying back on the backswing and dipping down at the ball. We addressed this at my last lesson and it worked amazing at the lesson and at the next round I played but I haven't gotten to play in a while so I'm uncertain and afraid I'm going back to bad habits and I think it's mostly due to the fact I am way to concerned about distance even when I'm trying not to be. So when I hit out of the tall grass even with good contact it isn't going very far and that's when I start swaying and dipping because I guess subconsciously I feel like it will add distance when we all know it will not! Thanks for the reassurance! What type of net do you have? Aren't most nets just for chipping or can you hit full iron shots into some of them? Thanks again!

Ha, I swayed a bunch, so I feel where your coming from. Lots, and lot's of practice on key # 1, i.e. making swings with your noggin against a door jam, wall or any stationary object will help, as will working on it looking at mirror.

Again, keep the thought of distance out of your mind, imho, that's the last thing you should be concerned with. Once your swing develops the distance will come, trust me on this. I'm not a long hitter, but with a smooth slower tempo swing, I have hit my 9i 150 yrds, and I'm a old man with a bad back problem, granted it only happened once, but at least I know it can be done, and that swing is why I work so hard to try and duplicate it again, and again.

Good nets you can hit driver if you want, I hit all shots into mine. if you get one, I'd recommend staying about 6' from the net, juts in case you hit a wild one..lol

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I don't mind hitting off of mats because it's better than nothing but I do so knowing it's not a true indicator of how I am striking the ball. I very rarely ever hit a bad shot off of a mat. Just knowing I have that margin for error allows me to make much better swings (so it's sort of a chicken/egg deal). Off of the ground all bets are off. Throw in some really hilly lies and all Hell can break loose at any time. ;-) If I have been hitting off of a mat very much at home I try to find time to at least hit a few balls off of the grass before I go to the course.
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I don't mind hitting off of mats because it's better than nothing but I do so knowing it's not a true indicator of how I am striking the ball. I very rarely ever hit a bad shot off of a mat. Just knowing I have that margin for error allows me to make much better swings (so it's sort of a chicken/egg deal).

Off of the ground all bets are off. Throw in some really hilly lies and all Hell can break loose at any time.

If I have been hitting off of a mat very much at home I try to find time to at least hit a few balls off of the grass before I go to the course.

True dat, also it's kinda hard to grass blades between your ball and the club on a  mat.. :-D

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Thanks again for the input guys? Although I do not get the expected result when practicing at home I can always tell during a round after I have been practicing a lot so I guess i should stop thinking about it so much!
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One more thing I'll add. If I am really hitting the ball badly the best thing for me is to hit balls off of a mat and/or into a net so all I'm really doing is making solid impact, getting my confidence back, and not caring much about anything else.
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Maybe it's the quality of the mats..? The ones I hit from are pretty thick, and when I strike the ball properly, I can feel my club hit the mat after the ball, also if I hit it fat, I feel that as well. just a side note: what happens if you get a lie on a patch of hard dirt..?  IMHO, making a good strike should be able to happen from fluffy lies as well as a tight lie, i.e. a hard pan. I would have no problem hitting off a cart path, if my ball had to be played from one.

The last 2 times I have hit off mats were at a little Country Club and a range with like 60+ stalls split into 4 sections and the mats have ball loaders so I assume they are decent mats but I am not an expert in mat quality and couldn't tell you really. All I can tell you is I can hit hit 60 or 70 iron shots off the mats with beautiful strikes over and over and if I could do that off the ground I would be a scratch golfer.

As for the second part I am not sure what that has to do with hitting off mats.

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The last 2 times I have hit off mats were at a little Country Club and a range with like 60+ stalls split into 4 sections and the mats have ball loaders so I assume they are decent mats but I am not an expert in mat quality and couldn't tell you really. All I can tell you is I can hit hit 60 or 70 iron shots off the mats with beautiful strikes over and over and if I could do that off the ground I would be a scratch golfer.

As for the second part I am not sure what that has to do with hitting off mats.

The second part was, if you happen to hit off poor quality mat's, i.e. the cheap thin ones that are almost like hitting off the dirt, I think that kinda helps a golfer to get use to hitting off a hard surface. I'm not saying this is good, just another shot you may have when needed. at least that's my way of thinking..

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I am in the same boat. I like to work on keeping my head still and weight forward in general on the mat at home. I hit "Almost Golf" balls into a sheet. You may not get the ball flight but beggars can't be choosers...

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I practice at home all the time.  I do have the area to make full swings with my 60 in the back yard.  If I hit a longer club, I will hit down the driveway.  These will carry into the neighbors woods, and I typically lose many of them.

I do plan on getting a decent mat and net though.

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