Artificial practice mat issue

MorganG20

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The driving range that I practice at uses the artificial mats, which I have no problem using. I actually kinda like using them. But I'm at a loss when it comes to an aspect of working on my swing on these mats. I've been working very hard with my irons lately, mostly learning to strike the ball on the way down like you're supposed to. But since the mats are artificial, I can't create a divit to let me know if I'm striking at the right point. I've seen people stick a tee in the ground in front of the ball when hitting on grass, but I can't do that. So I was just wondering if anybody here has come up with a brilliant way to be able to check for this without vandalizing or causing damage to the mats.
 

JB

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If you are making ball first contact it should not matter, but I know what you mean.
 

ForeOnFour

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Greg Kulbick

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Another idea is to lay a small towel directly behind the ball. If you don't hit the towel, you're hitting the ball first. Like JB said, at that point, it doesn't matter if you dig a trench or buzz the grass.
 

tequila4kapp

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How about putting something like a small leaf or piece of paper a few inches in front of the ball?
 

Nebgolfer

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Another idea is to lay a small towel directly behind the ball. If you don't hit the towel, you're hitting the ball first. Like JB said, at that point, it doesn't matter if you dig a trench or buzz the grass.
I've done this in my basement and worked pretty well.
 

Mango Smash

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Place a business card just behind the ball. Won't interfere with contact as it is pretty flat, and if you are hitting ball first then the card won't move. My dad used to do this with me when I was learning to play since I always hit it fat.
 

MorganG20

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Yeah I can definitely tell when I make contact with the ball first. And when I do it definitely feels better and I get a much better shot. I appreciate the replies. I'll take a little towel and some business cards with me next time and try both methods.
 

Golf 'N Gator

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The driving range that I practice at uses the artificial mats, which I have no problem using. I actually kinda like using them. But I'm at a loss when it comes to an aspect of working on my swing on these mats. I've been working very hard with my irons lately, mostly learning to strike the ball on the way down like you're supposed to. But since the mats are artificial, I can't create a divit to let me know if I'm striking at the right point. I've seen people stick a tee in the ground in front of the ball when hitting on grass, but I can't do that. So I was just wondering if anybody here has come up with a brilliant way to be able to check for this without vandalizing or causing damage to the mats.
I know it may be your only option for practice, but I have never hit off of mats for this reason. Just find a nice wide open area and hit off of natural grass if no range in the area. I hit behind our local school a lot. Only down side is picking up the balls once I'm done but I have a tube for that. I'm a big believer in practicing in the same conditions as playing conditions. Just don't ask how I feel about nets.....
 

MorganG20

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I know it may be your only option for practice, but I have never hit off of mats for this reason. Just find a nice wide open area and hit off of natural grass if no range in the area. I hit behind our local school a lot. Only down side is picking up the balls once I'm done but I have a tube for that. I'm a big believer in practicing in the same conditions as playing conditions. Just don't ask how I feel about nets.....
I completely get what you're saying, and in the future I may very well start doing that if I can find somewhere to do so. But for now, the more time I'd have to spend picking up the balls is less time I have to keep swinging the club.
 

emart2173

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Another idea is to lay a small towel directly behind the ball. If you don't hit the towel, you're hitting the ball first. Like JB said, at that point, it doesn't matter if you dig a trench or buzz the grass.

this x10...its easy and cheap way to work on ball first. i use this method periodically
 

6ixOhFore

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The range where I usually go which is the closest at 45 minutes away uses artificial grass. I know from reading many articles this is a dead zone, creates more problems then help. I am thinking instead of spending so much time traveling there and wasting the money next season I will do impact drills at home.


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BASSFAN07

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Artificial practice mat issue

I've been hitting off a small one in my yard. I found I was hitting behind the ball but still making decent contact. I quit using it.

I think you could put a piece of duct tape down vertically behind the ball. You would be able to see a mark on the tape if you hit it and it wouldn't be moving all over the place.
 

fracisco

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One my golf instructors would have me sprinkle a bit of grass leaves in front of the ball and visualize hitting through the ball and taking that bit of grass with the ball.
 

MorganG20

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So I found a dirty old wash cloth that I think will work perfectly. When you guys say to lay it directly behind the ball, exactly how far back should I be putting it? Should the edge of the towel be touching the ball? 1 inch behind? 2 inches?
 

russtopher

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I put a towel around 5"-6" behind the ball when I have to use mats. Thankfully after being on grass ranges this past season, when I'm on mats I can definitely tell when I've hit the ball fat. I'm not a huge fan of mats, but this time of year up here the only option is sim, so mats it is.
 

golfinFF

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I like to lay it an inch or two behind it. This will depend on how thick the towel is and how flat a swing you make.
 

ArmyGolf

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I hit thousands of balls off of mats every winter and I don't think it's a big deal. I know the feeling of fatting one and you just have to train your brain to disregard the result of a fat swing...however fine it may look.

The one thing I watch out for though is that I don't practice ANY feel wedge shots under 80 yards off of mats.
 

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Use those ears and you'll know whether you hit it clean.
 

tander

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Hearing, feeling, you will know. I was playing with a buddy yesterday and had about 65 yards to the pin. I hit it about three yards from the pin and my buddy said that he knew it was going to be a good shot because of the sound.
 

tbanks5

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I've drawn a mark on the mats at my range before. I place the ball right on the mark or slightly ahead of it and basically try not to erase it by my swings.
 

pudge

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The towel works.. I also will use a small strip of athletic tape , have also popped a chalk line on the mat before
 

jmaclaine

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I know it may be your only option for practice, but I have never hit off of mats for this reason. Just find a nice wide open area and hit off of natural grass if no range in the area. I hit behind our local school a lot. Only down side is picking up the balls once I'm done but I have a tube for that. I'm a big believer in practicing in the same conditions as playing conditions. Just don't ask how I feel about nets.....
The great advantage of shagging your own balls is that you will focus more on your target since you have to pick them up. I feel that the time I spent practicing this way (when I had lots of time and little money) was the best thing that ever happened to my game. The biggest challenge for me was finding the right kind of grass off which to hit.
 

ttucliffhanger

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Paid for these off eBay yesterday.


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