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Can Range Mats help Shallow Your Swing Plane?


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I had a thought come to mind today while at the range with my younger BIL. We were hitting off mats which I rarely do and I started thinking about divots.  

So I’ve heard different interviews with basketball players that have flatter shots and in the interview they mention they have a flatter shot because they grew up playing in gyms with lower ceilings. Even though the ceilings weren’t really barely 10 feet high they were obviously higher but just the perception of a lower ceiling made them shoot flatter.

So after all of that do you guys think that players that mainly practice on mats have a shallower divot producing swing than players who primarily practice on natural grass ranges?  And if so do you think a digger could utilize range mats to help shallow a swing out?

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  • boogielicious changed the title to Divot Depths with Range Practice Mostly on Mats
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6 hours ago, CaseyD said:

I had a thought come to mind today while at the range with my younger BIL. We were hitting off mats which I rarely do and I started thinking about divots.  

So I’ve heard different interviews with basketball players that have flatter shots and in the interview they mention they have a flatter shot because they grew up playing in gyms with lower ceilings. Even though the ceilings weren’t really barely 10 feet high they were obviously higher but just the perception of a lower ceiling made them shoot flatter.

So after all of that do you guys think that players that mainly practice on mats have a shallower divot producing swing than players who primarily practice on natural grass ranges?  And if so do you think a digger could utilize range mats to help shallow a swing out?

I tried to capture the thought with the title change. I think the best way to work on shallowing your swing is video and practicing for that piece specifically. A really good mat can simulate fairway feel. Bad mats can just get your wrist to ache. But I don’t think they affect your swing plane.

Video really helps. I use the Mirror Vision App now in a lot of my practice. You can really see what you’re doing with it.

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  • boogielicious changed the title to Can Range Mats help Shallow Your Swing Plane?

I don’t think it does. Most people get steep because of bad swing motions. They are not flattening the Swing because no they know they are hitting a mat. A mat can cause a person to struggle a bit with contact on the course. The mat is more forgiving in that the club can slide into impact instead of being a fat shot on grass. 

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Mats mask fat shots but you can be hitting behind the ball coming in steep or shallow. If a mat is hard that might encourage someone to pick the ball more many ways to do that too.

I think the advantage of grass is those who aren’t aware of low point may find low point is farther back than they thought if practicing on mats whereas if they practiced on a grass range, less variation between range and course. 

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My thinking on mats is this. Unless they are of the longer fiber, more divot friendly variety, the golfer's best bet is to steer clear of them. 

Those smooth, rubber mats as already mentioned above will mask poor ball impacts. The golfer will leave those smooth rubber mats feeling great about their ball flight. Then, once on real turf will Be scratching their head trying to figure where those great ball flights went. 

I will use the those smooth rubber mats in a pinch. I just hit balls off tees when using them. With the ball on a shorter tee, it is possible to hit the ball first, then the mat. Very similar to when using an iron on, say, a par three. Other times I will practice picking the ball cleanly off the mat. If I am picking the ball clean, there won't be much of the melted plastic on the bottom of my club. 

Also, those smooth rubber mats are usually sitting on on concrete. This makes it easier for the golfer to suffer a wrist, elbow, shoulder, even a back injury when hitting down, too steeply into the ball. Anytime there is a "jarring" of the club head at impact, some body part is going to absorb some of that. 

Edited by Patch
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As others have mentioned, mats hide flaws. They're not going to change a person's swing plane unless they don't have enough cushioning. You're better off avoiding those kinds of mats altogether.

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Thanks for all of the input. Yesterday was the first time I’ve hit off of mats in years. I don’t like them at all. We had an old range taken over and updated with a modified top shot style system. They use some decent mats, thick with a “fairway” looking cut of grass on them. I didn’t want to jack my wrists or clubs up so I found myself trying to hit thinner shots and that’s what led me to that thought/ question. Boogielicious thanks for the title change I was drawing a blank yesterday. 

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I think if you video yourself you can learn low point awareness on mats relatively easily. High speed video you can see where the club is bottoming out face on and down the line. 

If you take mats out of the equation, you are losing a lot of flexibility in terms of practice options. 

The best instructors use mats. Young Tiger Woods used mats. Mats in good condition are fine, just know the limitations. 

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Not in and of themselves, but If hitting off mats forces (or at least encourages) you to make the mechanical changes to create a shallower swing path, then yes, why wouldn't they be helpful?  Same as any other swing aid.

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