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Am I doing something wrong? Difficulty translating swing from the mat to grass...


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Hi MGS guys and girls,

 

First proper post on the forum so go easy on me! Thought I'd open up with something that's been on my mind for a while... 

Has anyone struggled with hitting decent shots on turf? It sounds stupid but I feel like I can hit fairly pure shots when hitting off of a range mat but when it comes to teeing off with an iron or just hitting a shot from a fairway, I struggle a lot to get the right interaction I want to hit the shot pure. 

I know that mats will bounce the club up helping you out with any odd strikes but overall I feel like I adapt to this fairly well. Does anyone have any tips or tricks they've picked up over the years? Or is it time for lessons perhaps.. 

 

Appreciate any responses!

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Hello and welcome!

I had this problem as well, usually it would pop up my first range session or two on grass after hitting off of mats for a while. In my case, and it may not be the same as yours, it was a matter of low point control. Not shifting my weight properly didn't mean too much on mats since the clubhead would slide into the ball and make me think I was hitting a good shot. For me, I focused on a spot just in front of the ball when swinging, that combined with having a better weight shift helped me hit off of the turf much better. 

Getting a lesson or two so a pro can put their eyes on your swing is usually not a bad thing. Again, from my own experience - I had a nasty slice that I couldn't tame no matter how many internet tips I tried. 5 minutes into one lesson and the pro pointed out my setup was bad, and my body was pointing 30 yards to the left of my target. One simple setup change made a huge difference. Hopefully you can figure things out quickly. Good luck!

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The problem with mats are that they are very forgiving on poor shots.  One that particularly works well on mats that doesn't move over to the grass is a fat shot.  You can get away with hitting behind the ball on the mat and the ball flight will look great.  Try the same shot on grass and you're laying over sod and the ball strike is awful.  Really work on hitting the ball first!

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Just now, Shankster said:

I do not use mats for this vary reason.

It's a big problem over in the UK! I would say our ranges on average are like 95% mats unless you're a member at a fancier club that has a grass range! I pop down to my local par 3/pitch and putt but it never feels the same as a range session as I'm trying to get that methodical practice in

  • Driver: Cobra RadSpeed XB
  • Woods: Wilson FG Tour 3 Wood 
  • Hybrid: Wilson D350 Hybrid
  • Optional Utility: Titleist U510 4 Iron
  • Irons: Cleveland CG7 Tour - Black Pearl/Ping Eye 2 BeCu's (Red Dot)
  • Wedges: Cleveland Tour Action - 53* - Cleveland Byron Nelson BeCu Wedges - 56*, 60*
  • Putter: Cleveland Smart Square - EVNRoll Gravity Grip
  • Ball: Honma D1
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22 minutes ago, kkremio said:

Or is it time for lessons perhaps.. 

 

It's never a bad idea.  I've been playing for 40 years and I still take lessons, even if it's nothing more than a critical eye on my swing to tweak any trouble spots.  A good swing can be self taught, but so can a bad swing.  Never hurts to have a pro get you going properly.

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Driver: :ping-small: G400 Max 9 degree set to +1, Aldila Extreme Green 55 gram R shaft 

Fairway: :taylormade-small: M4 3W (16.5*) 5W (21*) 7W (24*) -- stock R shafts.

Irons: :callaway-small: Apex CF19 6-9, PW, AW KBSTour Graphite  70g shafts R

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX2 52,56, 60 degree wedges

Putter: :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab 7S

Ball: :Snell: MTB-X

My Photography can be seen at Smugmug

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13 minutes ago, russtopherb said:

Hello and welcome!

I had this problem as well, usually it would pop up my first range session or two on grass after hitting off of mats for a while. In my case, and it may not be the same as yours, it was a matter of low point control. Not shifting my weight properly didn't mean too much on mats since the clubhead would slide into the ball and make me think I was hitting a good shot. For me, I focused on a spot just in front of the ball when swinging, that combined with having a better weight shift helped me hit off of the turf much better. 

Getting a lesson or two so a pro can put their eyes on your swing is usually not a bad thing. Again, from my own experience - I had a nasty slice that I couldn't tame no matter how many internet tips I tried. 5 minutes into one lesson and the pro pointed out my setup was bad, and my body was pointing 30 yards to the left of my target. One simple setup change made a huge difference. Hopefully you can figure things out quickly. Good luck!

Thank you for your response! I think a lesson from a coach/pro will help massively as I've been self taught up till now to be honest. As another poster eluded, I think I'm definitely off when it comes to striking the ball first and just feeling that interaction when hitting. I think as a newer golfer my feeling is definitely off too since I've only really noticed shots either too heel-y or hitting off of the toe. 

A black line on the back of my balls has helped a lot recently with that so I feel like I'm getting that intuitive feeling but I think a few lessons will help with that!

  • Driver: Cobra RadSpeed XB
  • Woods: Wilson FG Tour 3 Wood 
  • Hybrid: Wilson D350 Hybrid
  • Optional Utility: Titleist U510 4 Iron
  • Irons: Cleveland CG7 Tour - Black Pearl/Ping Eye 2 BeCu's (Red Dot)
  • Wedges: Cleveland Tour Action - 53* - Cleveland Byron Nelson BeCu Wedges - 56*, 60*
  • Putter: Cleveland Smart Square - EVNRoll Gravity Grip
  • Ball: Honma D1
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12 minutes ago, CarlH said:

The problem with mats are that they are very forgiving on poor shots.  One that particularly works well on mats that doesn't move over to the grass is a fat shot.  You can get away with hitting behind the ball on the mat and the ball flight will look great.  Try the same shot on grass and you're laying over sod and the ball strike is awful.  Really work on hitting the ball first!

That's a huge one for me, especially right now as I'm trying to focus in on hitting the ball first and taking that divot after! 

6 minutes ago, CarlH said:

It's never a bad idea.  I've been playing for 40 years and I still take lessons, even if it's nothing more than a critical eye on my swing to tweak any trouble spots.  A good swing can be self taught, but so can a bad swing.  Never hurts to have a pro get you going properly.

100%, I think the more I chat to you guys the more I realise it may be time for a lesson or two to iron things out! Always good to affirm what's right and what's wrong I guess, thank you for the informative response! 

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  • Driver: Cobra RadSpeed XB
  • Woods: Wilson FG Tour 3 Wood 
  • Hybrid: Wilson D350 Hybrid
  • Optional Utility: Titleist U510 4 Iron
  • Irons: Cleveland CG7 Tour - Black Pearl/Ping Eye 2 BeCu's (Red Dot)
  • Wedges: Cleveland Tour Action - 53* - Cleveland Byron Nelson BeCu Wedges - 56*, 60*
  • Putter: Cleveland Smart Square - EVNRoll Gravity Grip
  • Ball: Honma D1
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You could use a towel behind the ball when hitting off mats to ensure you are getting as close to ball first contact as possible:

 

Hit your irons better with these two simple drills – GolfWRX

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Humble, TX / Right Handed / 10 Handicap / 37.5" 6i @ 61.5* Lie

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4 minutes ago, CRW said:

You could use a towel behind the ball when hitting off mats to ensure you are getting as close to ball first contact as possible:

 

Hit your irons better with these two simple drills – GolfWRX

Ahh great tip! Would you recommend any tips with this this sort of drill on top of a mat to avoid introducing a attack angle that is too steep? I can imagine myself really focusing on swinging the ball behind the ball but coming in way too top heavy and introducing shots that would be fat off of grass

  • Driver: Cobra RadSpeed XB
  • Woods: Wilson FG Tour 3 Wood 
  • Hybrid: Wilson D350 Hybrid
  • Optional Utility: Titleist U510 4 Iron
  • Irons: Cleveland CG7 Tour - Black Pearl/Ping Eye 2 BeCu's (Red Dot)
  • Wedges: Cleveland Tour Action - 53* - Cleveland Byron Nelson BeCu Wedges - 56*, 60*
  • Putter: Cleveland Smart Square - EVNRoll Gravity Grip
  • Ball: Honma D1
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2 hours ago, kkremio said:

Ahh great tip! Would you recommend any tips with this this sort of drill on top of a mat to avoid introducing a attack angle that is too steep? I can imagine myself really focusing on swinging the ball behind the ball but coming in way too top heavy and introducing shots that would be fat off of grass

Something like this to make sure you aren’t moving the club too down or left too early:

https://golf.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/iron.jpg

 

Or you can use an alignment stick with something soft on the end or over it to hit under. It can be pointed at you or at the target:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Wx1pdcuDVZ4/maxresdefault.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/_ce7AGOTyMI7ztmFl83LRtBKjZ7fxQDehuQ5XUWPt8Z-s45SNTp9HHlN74sMTiYE8EkjYDgp0I_KGb_C9kMMeMPmjvQ2bGR6aZbdXMywh0JW55AMLXLFIW08MI0lXrtjwILKkNeAObHq5UhmHLrUO0A

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Sun Mountain C130-S / Titleist TSi4 7.25* MCA Tensei AV Raw White 75 X / Titleist TSi3 14.25* PX HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 80 TX / New Level NLU-01 18* PX HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 100 6.5 / New Level 902 Forged 4-PW DG TI X100 / Vokey SM8 50,54,58 DGS200 / Scotty Cameron Special Select Newport 2

Humble, TX / Right Handed / 10 Handicap / 37.5" 6i @ 61.5* Lie

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As several have said, solution is simple, don't use mats. They are not even remotely similar to turf. When I need a range session,I drive over half an hour to a range that has grass rather than use the much closer ranges with mats only. It's inconvenient, but the question is, do I actually want the session to help? If so the choice is easy. 

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8 hours ago, kkremio said:

It's a big problem over in the UK! I would say our ranges on average are like 95% mats unless you're a member at a fancier club that has a grass range! I pop down to my local par 3/pitch and putt but it never feels the same as a range session as I'm trying to get that methodical practice in

I only hit on a mat if indoors.  I went to a mat range a few years ago, my elbows felt horrible afterwards.

Im definitely not a member of a fancy club, one of the biggest things I dislike about golf.  
 

I do have some nice Maryland blend of lawn weeds that resembles Bermuda grass a little, so I get some pitch shots in there.  And the range I go to is grass, but it is angled upwards… so it’s like hitting on an upslope all the time.

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On 9/2/2021 at 4:34 PM, CRW said:

You could use a towel behind the ball when hitting off mats to ensure you are getting as close to ball first contact as possible:

 

Hit your irons better with these two simple drills – GolfWRX

So thought I'd give an update, went to the range after posting here and used this and it did help a lot! My strike was pretty solid, even placed a ball a few inches behind to ensure I was coming in a little steeper. 

 

Played a local course on Sunday and it was the best game I've ever had! Have only played that courses once before a few months back and I shot 140+... Come this sunday and I shot 100! It did help that my driving was decent but my iron/wedge game was so much better just focusing on striking through the ball. 

 

would 100% recommend this drill for anyone struggling with the same problems as me. Picturing that spot in front of the ball and striking/swinging through it has helped me tremendously. 

 

thank you all! 

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  • Woods: Wilson FG Tour 3 Wood 
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  • Optional Utility: Titleist U510 4 Iron
  • Irons: Cleveland CG7 Tour - Black Pearl/Ping Eye 2 BeCu's (Red Dot)
  • Wedges: Cleveland Tour Action - 53* - Cleveland Byron Nelson BeCu Wedges - 56*, 60*
  • Putter: Cleveland Smart Square - EVNRoll Gravity Grip
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George Gankas has a lot of high level golfers who hit primarily off a mat. One of them had a pretty good college run and has a PGA tour win top 5 in a US Open.

Lots of others around the country hit off mat/artificial turf from a bay out into the range.

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30 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

George Gankas has a lot of high level golfers who hit primarily off a mat. One of them had a pretty good college run and has a PGA tour win top 5 in a US Open.

Lots of others around the country hit off mat/artificial turf from a bay out into the range.

Great. But that knowledge doesn't help the OP or countless others new to golf who get lulled into a sense of making better shots than they are because they are hitting fat and the mat is masking the interaction.

High level golfers have much better clubhead and lowpoint control, so sure hitting off of mats is fine for them. But for someone like me as an example, who's lowpoint miss is a fat shot, mats can be detrimental as well as potentially painful due to tennis elbow issues.

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:callaway-small:  GBB 3W (lofted to 4W)
:callaway-small: V-Series Heavenwood
:cobra-small: Baffler XL 5i-PW
:cleveland-small: CBX 54*
:ping-small: iWedge 58*
:cleveland-small: #10
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3 minutes ago, russtopherb said:

Great. But that knowledge doesn't help the OP or countless others new to golf who get lulled into a sense of making better shots than they are because they are hitting fat and the mat is masking the interaction.

High level golfers have much better clubhead and lowpoint control, so sure hitting off of mats is fine for them. But for someone like me as an example, who's lowpoint miss is a fat shot, mats can be detrimental as well as potentially painful due to tennis elbow issues.

The point is that mats aren’t a detriment to playing good good golf or bad for ones swing like several are saying. One can become a great golfer off mats or grass if they put in the work and have proper practice.

Too many look for excuses to their bad results or mistakes and not that it’s their swing or how they practice.

If one wants to get better working with a coach and fixing their flaws thru lessons and drills. All of which can be done on a mat

 

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

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7 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

The point is that mats aren’t a detriment to playing good good golf or bad for ones swing like several are saying. One can become a great golfer off mats or grass if they put in the work and have proper practice.

Too many look for excuses to their bad results or mistakes and not that it’s their swing or how they practice.

If one wants to get better working with a coach and fixing their flaws thru lessons and drills. All of which can be done on a mat

 

Again, great. But the OP wasn't looking for info on why great players can hit off mats. They were looking for ways to ensure ball first contact, and for help with that. 

In my  :wilson_staff_small:  carry bag:
:wilson_staff_small:  D7 
:callaway-small:  GBB 3W (lofted to 4W)
:callaway-small: V-Series Heavenwood
:cobra-small: Baffler XL 5i-PW
:cleveland-small: CBX 54*
:ping-small: iWedge 58*
:cleveland-small: #10
Whatever ball I have 3 dozen of that my kids got me as a gift

Twitter: @russtopherb

 

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