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Impact of mat on your game

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  • Impact of mat on your game

    It's my first winter with a sim. Historically, I avoided driving ranges with mat's. I'd visit an indoor place a couple times a winter max. Now I'm hitting balls 5 days a week in my garage! Curious any insight or experiences. For iron's, do picker's do better than digger's on the mat and returning to grass? Do digger's either quit or become picker's? Anything you choose not to practice much off the mat (chipping, pitching, half wedges). Its going to be a couple more months before I get outside to find out for myself.

  • #2
    Some good questions. Following.

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    • #3
      I've had some really lengthy conversations about this topic on golfwrx/mygolfspy. I got my dad (who lives nearby) a simulator last November, and I've been using it as well about three times a week. I've been practicing so much that we've gone through a mat already and a bunch of balls. In real life, I'm a digger for sure who takes huge divots. That certainly has not changed over the past year+. There are a lot of people that seem to be of the opinion that you should only practice on real grass. I agree that turf is preferable to a mat, but it's impractical for just about everyone that isn't a retiree in Florida. For the rest of us, and particularly during a pandemic, mats make sense. I've improved a lot on a mat and I'm sure you can too.

      I have a swingturf golf mat from rainorshinegolf. I find that it's a little more firm that the mat you find at a driving range. I think it's a little less forgiving of fat shots, especially with a hybrid or wood than a more plush range mat would be. I use a skytrak with it, and when I hit a shot fat, I can see a definite reduction in speed and distance. I play about midrange-sole width game improvement irons, so things may differ if you play blades or SGI clubs.

      I never practice chipping in the simulator, but when I play simulated courses, I obviously end up doing a fair amount of chipping. I've been surprised that chipping is the part of my game I think has most improved. I used to hate chipping from tight lies, but now I really have a feel for it. I think I used to expose the edge of the club too much. Now I use the bounce better and have a really great feel for chips and pitches.

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      • #4
        I have a fiberbuilt and it’s great for iron play as you can really hit down and through the ball without punishing your old joints. Fat shots really hit high on the club face and you lose an appropriate amount of distance as it will not bounce your club back into the ball like some mats. So it’s good for strike training.

        However, I’d like a firmer surface to practice chipping off of as bounce is basically useless on a fiberbuilt mat.

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