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Finding a real green turf to practice your game on is a joy for all golfers, even beginners. But most times, you do not get this. The main reason for this could be that turfs are hard to maintain and cost a lot of money to grow. Range and course owners tend to be much more interested in increasing the number of their paying customers and maximizing the availability of their facilities.
Sometimes you just don’t get access to real turf, and all you have available are mats. Many have said that synthetic turf is the worst way to practice golf, while they might be right, it must be pointed out that though mats have their bad quality, they still offer some advantages.
Will hitting off Mats Hurt My Game
Since golf is a game of feel, and the more you practice on real turf, the more you feel the game. Many people want to know if practicing on mats could affect their game and ruin their track record. This article is going to show you some of the ways hitting off mats could hurt your game
- Yeah, you would be more prone to injuries
Hitting golf balls is hard work already. It comes with a shock of impact. You could feel some strain in your muscles after each session. This impact may be more evident on hands, wrists, and shoulder. It could get much more severe if you hit off the hard ground. Mats can therefore be tougher on your body.
Though some golfers have naturally mastered the act of cleanly hitting the ball off the surface by making an approach at a shallow angle. But if you are not so lucky, you would end up hitting the ground so hard, and the impact can cause muscle aches or even incapacitating injuries.
Having pre-existing injuries can make you even more prone to these painful impacts.
- Mats might end up giving you the wrong information about your swing
Sometimes you tend to hit some terrible shots on the mat and end up hitting just fine on the course. This is because your mat can sometimes give you inaccurate information.
A radar technology manufacturer conducted research, their technology is used for impact monitoring. Collecting data from a high-quality amateur player (+2 handicap) hitting 7 iron shots from both a mat and grass. Results show that there was more backspin imparted on the balls struck from grass than the mat.
You could end up hitting some shots a bit fat and not really know if you are not paying close attention. This might cause you to ignore this mistake. And when you get onto a real course, you end up repeating this same mistake which could hurt your game a bit.
- Mats can encourage your poor swinging habits
After several practices with the mat, you might end up adjusting your golf swing to reduce the stress experienced from repeated impacts. This is because our mind learns fast to protect from future discomforts that are likely to occur. What this means is that your angle of approach might get shallow over time. It might be a disadvantage when laying with the shorter irons.
- Mats may damage your clubs
Due to the roughness of most mats, they tend to leave black or green marks on the soles of clubs after a practice session. But even worse is the fact that your clubs could get worn or damaged over time from constant heavy impacts it makes with concrete. It could start from having their lie angles altered to the head separating from the shafts could even get as worse as breaking entirely.
A solution to this problem is to use old gold clubs or buy second-hand ones to use specifically for the range.
Some advantages of hitting off mats
Even though hitting off mats can suck most times. There are still a few advantages to derive from practicing on mats. We have some of them listed below.
- Develop your Golfing Muscles
You can get more muscle memory that comes with consistent repetition of the swing. Though you might not get the 100% quality you want from practicing, you can still be sure to build your swing and golfing muscles hitting from mats.
- Significantly improve your driving
There isn’t really much difference in hitting your driver on the course or on the driving range. Mats always have their own rubber tees which would allow you to set up the ball and swing path the same as you would do on the course. This makes up constant practice on your driving and can improve it significantly.
- Mat Technology has improved significantly
With the advancement in technology, companies like Real Feel and True Strike have now been producing mats that they claim to be way better than the cheap ones common at the ranges. These mats use artificial turf and gel that would recreate a feeling of hitting from the grass. The strain experience on joints, muscles, and tendons has also been reduced with these new advanced mats. You could also get the opportunity of using a real tee, allowing you to vary the height at which you tee the ball, just like you would do on the course.
- Mat allows you to practice on both we and winter weather
Most ranges with mats have a roof over their heads, thereby offering a good measure of protection to both the golfers as well as grass. In some parts, mats could only be the option to practice on during the fall and winter months.
It is not always ideal for practicing on artificial turfs. Still, mats allow golfers to practise even when there is bad weather, or the other courses are just overcrowded. Though there is possibly no replacement for the kind of feel hitting from grass gives, sometimes you might not really have a choice but to practice on a mat. The main thing is to enjoy the game and get some good practice in, so whether you are on a real turf or you got stuck with the mat, just make sure you have some fun doing what you love.