Hitting Off My DIY Hitting Mat

Recently, I received a question from my friend Doug about hitting of mats during the off season. He is fortunate to have a simulator close by, so he and his friends use it as a tune up for golf season. He mentioned that in the past when he can finally hit off grass that he thins the ball more often than he would like. He asked if I had any suggestions about how to avoid this challenge when transitioning from indoor to outdoor golf. It just so happens I do have a fix; at least one that works for me.

Like Doug, hitting off mats causes my overall swing challenges. I generally have an aggressive downswing to the ball. I love to take a divot and when I do (after the ball) I make the best contact. When using my DIY hitting mat, my club has a tendency to bounce off the wood/rug hitting area and I lose the feel of making solid strikes on a routine basis. When I transition to outdoor hitting off grass, I generally would use my irons as shovels. I would dig far too deep in the ground causing weak, fat contact.

To alleviate this issue I made a minor adjustment to swing pattern while hitting off a mat. I swing at 75% and try to sweep the ball off the hitting mat. These minor change helps me work on my rotation, club control, and impact area. I have found that by swinging with more control (75%) that I am able to consistently make solid contact. Additionally, it allows me to work on my rotation early in the indoor hitting season.

Sweeping the club along my mat benefits my later efforts off grass by ensuring I am hitting through the ball vice behind it. It is difficult to determine if I am hitting behind the ball on a mat because the club bounces up and still makes contact with the ball. By using a sweeping motion, I am able to hit the ball first. It really is an important adjustment for later practice off the grass.

The two changes I make when practicing off mats are transferable skills from indoor to outdoor practice. I developed my adjustments through many years of trial and error. Now that I have found a solution for my game, I lose less time knocking the rust off when spring golf starts.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


8 thoughts on “Hitting Off My DIY Hitting Mat

  1. I recently bought a simulator and I’ve been experimenting with different setups in my garage. I really don’t want to change my swing to practice indoors, but hitting down and through is definitely hard on the clubs and wrists, even with a few layers of padding. Searching for solutions online I came across this DIY hitting mat that I’m going to try out: https://youtu.be/z2mrWhqTvWA.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having done plenty of work in the net and noting many of the pitfalls that are possible I think your solution is going to lead the the same problem that friend of yours had. He’s coming off the matt and thinning it. Swinging too shallow to avoid the jar of a steeper swing.

    Best solution I know for that is foot powder. Spray it on the matt so you can see exactly where your club head is making contact in relation to the ball. It’s about the only thing I know that will help with that issue. A matt is a good place to train yourself to shallow out. It’s pretty jarring if you come in too steep. But, too shallow and you can’t really tell because you just glide over. There’s nothing to feel except the impact with the ball. But that’s more likely to train you into thinning it later.

    Just like the suggestion I gave you for helping with alignment, the ribbon in the net thing, foot powder is an almost essential tool to help make sure you don’t train a bad habit on the matt. There are other ways. You can lay a tee down a little behind the ball and try not to touch it. Things like that. But foot powder is king on the matt. It tells you everything you need to know including how level the impact was. You can see if you came in toe or heel first at a glance. And you can tell if you hit ball first.

    And you should be able to hit full power after a short time with less chance of hurting your wrists or something from coming in too steep. On that note though beware. Nets fail before we realize they’re going. One shot their good, the next goes right through. Take my word. I ended up having to hang a couple old sleeping bags over ours once it started to fail (it was a bit two person net). The first failure though was a doozy. I was hitting driver and my ball flew right through the net, over his fence, over the bike path and empty field. Over the next street and right into the monster window of a laundromat. Thankfully it was plexiglass and didn’t break. Didn’t hit the cars parked there or anyone going in or out. I got lucky. An old sheet behind yours to catch a failure might be something to think about sometime in the not too distance future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      I do have a tarp that goes behind my driving net. I anticipated that it could fail, but right not it is still in very good shape. I will try the foot powder spray in one of my training sessions.

      Cheers Jim


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s