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yanni

Playing OK on mat but not on grass?

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I am hitting iron shots OK on the driving range with a mat. Distance is good and most of the ball strikes feel really solid. On the actual golf course and also on a driving range which has grass I cannot hit a single ball solidly. Mostly I seem to be topping the balls. Sometimes I also hit into the ground before the ball. But not too often. Does or did anybody have the same problem ? Is this more of a psychological problem? 

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56 minutes ago, yanni said:

I am hitting iron shots OK on the driving range with a mat. Distance is good and most of the ball strikes feel really solid. On the actual golf course and also on a driving range which has grass I cannot hit a single ball solidly. Mostly I seem to be topping the balls. Sometimes I also hit into the ground before the ball. But not too often. Does or did anybody have the same problem ? Is this more of a psychological problem? 

Could be a combination of swing issues and mental issues, and I say that because you're topping some balls.  Mats shouldn't disguise that, they only disguise fat shots.

My suggestion would be to practice only on grass until you can start hitting the balls like you do on mats.

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The topic of hitting off mats has been around for a long time with pros and cons in both directions.  I have used various mats of different quality and have good results. I would agree however, that one needs to be careful that the mat is not "masking" a particular strike owing to bounce effect and other factors.

Mats will vary in terms of texture and feel. Some will put drag on the club, others bounce your club into the ball even on a not so good hit. One thing I have found recently is that when I hit off artificial lawn turf (not a mat), the blades are almost identical to actual grass at least on what I have in my yard. It is very realistic looking and feel as opposed to some of the ones you see at commercial lots e.t.c. that looked too pristine.  Mine has a rather thin underlayment and feels just slightly harder than fairway turf, but there is no bounce. Result....near turf like conditions. I have not done a lot of it in fear of somehow messing up my lawn turf, but so far I can see no damage and the blades seem to remain intact.  I do see a little pasty, green, residue on some of my irons, but it comes off with a little scraping with fingernails. Apologies to those who have seen this before, but just wanted to save newcomers the trouble of looking up previous posts.

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I fixed my issues now. There were 2 reasons

1) A swing fault. I was swinging with my hands too far away from my body. During impact my right elbow was not close at all. So the swing arc was totally off behind my body so I topped the ball all the time or hit fat. For some reason this worked on the mat. No idea why. But it was totally wrong.  So I was not topping the balls at all now after fixing this. But sometimes I felt I still hit the ball a bit thin. This I fixed with the next step.

2) I was a bit shy of not "destroying" the grass. So know I forced myself to actually really hit into the ground during my practise swing. Even with this force I was not destroying anything really. When you do this you will feel it in your hands. I was practising on very low grass, almost just sand at some areas. This will get you a feeling that is much harder than on the mats and at first is a bit irritating. But now I am actually looking for this feeling and this improved my shots even more. When the grass will be a bit longer like on the actual course I think it will be even more easy to get the ball airborne. 

What I also did when practising with my longer irons is to use a very tiny bit of my tee to give me the confidence on really hitting the balls on this short grass. When this worked out I removed the tee. 

I was practising on mats for month and I should have moved to grass way earlier.  Lesson learned. The mats do not feel like to actual golf course at all.

Edited by yanni

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I agree with the mat usage versus actual grass but, of the 3 driving ranges I use that are grass ranges, its basically hitting from hard dirt. These ranges are so used i'm better off playing 9 for practice. Sometimes the mats are the only way to go.

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 I use that are grass ranges, its basically hitting from hard dirt. 

This was also the case on the one where I practised. But we also have one close with higher grass where its more easy to hit. But I thought if I can hit the ball on the dirt I will be able to hit everywhere ;)

Edited by yanni

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On 8/4/2017 at 11:09 AM, yanni said:

 Sometimes I also hit into the ground before the ball. But not too often. Does or did anybody have the same problem ? Is this more of a psychological problem? 

When I lived in Austin, many of the ranges had mats and I thought I was hitting the ball great.  Would go to the course and hit tons of fat shots.  Never did figure out why, but I had the same issue for sure.

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Just now, yanni said:

When you are hitting fat I think the club kind of slides on the mat.

Probably.  That was a real learning lesson for me.  I haven't hit off a mat from the range in years because of that.

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I was really afraid to go to the court cause I would not hit anything. This way cause I was training on the mats all the time. This is what I realized now.

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