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 Range OK but Green sucks big time

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sandkie
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:38 pm


There was one time I did not hit my shots very well in the range and my coach happened to pass by. As usual I told him what happened and he just said, "Do you exercise the same amount of time to prepare your shot as you are in the green?"

I believe there are couple of things we can do at range to help us bring it better to the course.
- pick a different target everytime
- perform your physical and mental routine which includes practice swing, setup to the target, final swing thought.
- change club frequently between shots, esp after one good shot

Just my 5 cents.

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dmateo
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:18 pm

There is big difference on range and green.
The difference is the mat. On the range if you duff, the club will still skid on the mat and hit the ball. If you top the ball due to the hard mat, there is still possiblity for the ball to launch.

So in short, try green range a few times before going to green. Or ensure that you hit the ball clean (divot after ball) on the range.

A very easy way to tell whether you hit it clean or not is by the sound and feel of the impact. Feel of impact will be another clue, but this is hard to fanthom unless you've done it before.
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Hogan
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:21 pm

Jac Mav,
Your coach is right. Golf is alot about feel. You have to feel your swing and the ground your ball is lying on. A more consistent or what they term a repeating swing will help too. Next time you are at your range, try to hit your 30 balls without a single miss. Monitor your swing strength and motion at the course. You may over exert yourself because you want to hit it further leading to your mistakes. Observe the lie of the ball at the course. Mostly, it is not lying flat. Maybe above or below your feet, uphill, downhill. So you need to take note and adjust your set up accordingly.
Happy swinging!
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solarpop
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:00 am

I don't really understand what people are saying about it being easy to hit off mats. Other than being perfectly level sometimes, what about it is easy? It's not as if you can duff a shot on the mat and the ball will still travel the same distance and/or direction. You WILL know if you duff it, and if you kid yourself into thinking that the result of that bad shot is acceptable, then you're definitely gonna suffer on the course.

Personally i like hitting off mats while practicing simply because it keeps my clubs cleaner, but i think hitting off a well maintained fairway is very much easier.

If the problem is a mental one, i suggest reading the book "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect". Can't remember the author, but it's a really good book that helps golfers manage their thoughts during a game. It has helped me tremendously, especially in maintaining focus at the right times. It even has a part that talks specifically about the range-to-course performance disparity that so many people face.
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eiji
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:12 am

Author is Bob Rotella

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rsenal
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:20 am

Range and course is very different especially if you don't work on your allignment.

With the range mat, all the focus is just dead on straight and flat lie.

Whilst on the course, there are many factors to consider and the important factor is allignment prior to making the golf swing taught at the range. Second factor are andulation of the lies. But all these factors (amongst others) will be second nature with experience.

Play with season golfers and learn how they ply their trades (and win bets Very Happy ) and practice at the range with hitting the ball to specific targets. This should help you allign more appropriately on the course and each swing will be an objective.

Good luck and keep the spirits up (We have been there before)
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solarpop
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:21 am

dmateo: To hit the ball and leave a divot ahead of it requires forward shaft lean at impact, which happens to be one of the most difficult things for a beginner to master. The divot ahead of the ball is the result of a properly executed swing, and requires no additional thought or effort. Just simply trying to make that divot appear while having poor swing mechanics (grip, setup, pivot, release, etc) is virtually impossible.

Hogan: Being able to hit 30 balls without mistake is a tall order even for an accomplished golfer. Even more so for a beginner.

I'm not trying to be argumentative here.. I just think that the points above really do not apply to someone who has just started out learning the game. In fact it might be detrimental to his development. He may force the divot using his hands, invariably hitting a super duff shot. Or he may only be able to hit 5 good shots in a row and become mentally defeated.
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solarpop
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:23 am

eiji wrote:
Author is Bob Rotella

Lol i had it in my mind that it was Rob Botella but wasn't sure.. saved myself some embarrassment.
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Begbie
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:04 pm

I couldn't agree more that hitting on the greens are much easier. Only in the account of the lie (i.e. ball below feet, above feet, stuck in divot, ala cecilia cheung rough) of the ball that makes my ball goes wayward or trickle 3 m away...

The mats in most ranges are already hardened and compacted thru' many years of abuse and hitting on them may just cause more injuries to your back,elbow etc...

Also, hitting from the mat, negates the downward iron strike and most of the time, the contact feels a bit dead.

Now I limit my range sessions to max 120-130 balls per session and mostly its for my chips, driver and maybe hybrids...If u have to hit ur irons, I suggest u go easy.. few guys I know have injured themselves hitting irons on the range...

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Derek
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:53 pm

solarpop wrote:
I don't really understand what people are saying about it being easy to hit off mats. Other than being perfectly level sometimes, what about it is easy? It's not as if you can duff a shot on the mat and the ball will still travel the same distance and/or direction. You WILL know if you duff it, and if you kid yourself into thinking that the result of that bad shot is acceptable, then you're definitely gonna suffer on the course.

Personally i like hitting off mats while practicing simply because it keeps my clubs cleaner, but i think hitting off a well maintained fairway is very much easier.

If the problem is a mental one, i suggest reading the book "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect". Can't remember the author, but it's a really good book that helps golfers manage their thoughts during a game. It has helped me tremendously, especially in maintaining focus at the right times. It even has a part that talks specifically about the range-to-course performance disparity that so many people face.

I suspect that if you find hitting off the fairway more forgiving than hitting off a driving range mat ... then you are probably in the minority.

There are many different types of fairway grass and different courses cut fairways to different length. Some are really fluffy and help the ball sit up, some are cut very tight.

A driving range mat is designed to be more durable than a fairway and its bounce properties are designed to be more forgiving than the fairway for beginners.

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solarpop
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:02 am

Forgiving? That's a very odd adjective to use for this topic. I don't find either forgiving, but i do think it's easier to hit off grass. Here's one of the many reasons - On grass i know i can get slightly steep, and take a slightly deeper divot without much repercussion. Do the same thing on a mat, my wrist, elbow, fingers, etc are all going to hurt. Will my ball flight change much for the same swing on grass or mat? Probably not, but the aftermath will be. Therefore i find i must swing exactly on the correct swing plane.

A range mat will not compensate for a lousy swing. If you top the ball, the results won't differ much regardless the surface you're hitting off. If you duff it on grass, you dig a big hole, and the ball will travel maybe 15m. Do the same thing on the mat, the club will bounce, your hand will hurt, but the ball will travel further compared to grass. Is that what you mean by forgiving? You can try to convince yourself that you can duff on grass and get the same results that you did from the mats, but that's never going to happen, so this type of forgiveness is actually counter-productive.
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dmateo
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:20 am

I think that is exactly the point. If you duff on matt your club skid and the ball will still travel (sort of) far. Do that on grass depending on how bad the duff is the ball distance will definitely suffer (oh and your joins as well).

Range mat is flat. Green will have undulation and so it takes some adjustment to your normal swing on range mat. Don't also forget the rough with long grass, the grass will have an effect, another one plugged ball and ball on divot mark. Bunker is another story.

for me range mat is easier. It's flat, there is no rough, undulation, bunker, divot mark, plugged ball etc. Of course there is always an exception of majority and there are those that feel hitting off the course green is far easier to the flat range mat, i can only say I salute you.
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solarpop
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:22 pm

Ok i think we have to agree to disagree on which surface is easier to hit off. It probably just boils down to personal preference and how one defines "easy". Btw, i did mention that this was in comparison to a well maintained fairway. Nobody's talking about the rough, or bunker, or divots, or plugged balls...

To adopt your definition of easy, i would say that yes, it is easier to get more distance on a poor swing with bad impact when hitting off a mat.
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Lee36328
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:47 pm

Ball-first contact, grass feels better, impact is softer, taking divot feels much better than impacting hard mat post impact.

Ground-first contact, range mat is (misleadingly) forgiving, club skids on mat and still makes semi decent contact with the ball, ball goes further than grass, grass will slow down club head speed much more than mat.

Practicing on mat alone does not train balance as ground is always level.

Playing on the course, especially on undulating fairways, will instill a sense of balance of the swing; one needs to learn how to adjust the address setup and pivot to balances the swing and still finish in balance or compensate for losing the balance post impact and/or for the gradient of the slop by aiming more left or more right.

The content of the divot, whether grass or sand, soft or hard, will also affect the shot.

On a level hitting mat, such variables do not present themselves.

Just me thinking out on the keyboard.
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samT
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:13 pm

dmateo wrote:
I think that is exactly the point. If you duff on matt your club skid and the ball will still travel (sort of) far. Do that on grass depending on how bad the duff is the ball distance will definitely suffer (oh and your joins as well).

Range mat is flat. Green will have undulation and so it takes some adjustment to your normal swing on range mat. Don't also forget the rough with long grass, the grass will have an effect, another one plugged ball and ball on divot mark. Bunker is another story.

for me range mat is easier. It's flat, there is no rough, undulation, bunker, divot mark, plugged ball etc. Of course there is always an exception of majority and there are those that feel hitting off the course green is far easier to the flat range mat, i can only say I salute you.
I thought the arguments put forth here is a bit warped and had distracted from the main focus of whether hitting off mat or grass is easier. We can't be bringing in level of ground, state of grass thickness or mat cushion etc right? Plugged ball? Walau, that is even more far fetched.

My own thinking is there is no difference. When I execute a good shot, I know it by the sound of the strike and feel of the club swinging through. On the fairway, I can see the result of the divot (location, direction, shape, size). I can't see this on the mat but that's ok. But when I execute a bad shot, say slightly duffed the ball, I would also know by the sound and feel. What the mat did to allow my club to bounce off it and hit the ball is absolutely of no comfort to me. A bad shot is still a bad shot.

My 2c.
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Lee36328
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:47 pm

For a beginner such as the OP, hitting balls at the range can create somewhat unrealistic expectations, which explains the title of the thread.

Experienced players can tell whether a shot was good or so-so from the sound and feel of the impact. A beginner probably not. So, the mat 'masking' ground-first contact is a non-issue for experienced players, but possibly detrimental to a beginner.

Apart from the points listed above, other elements why playing on a course is such an awakening for beginners who have been practicing on the range and the shots seem to be flying ok would include:
1. heat, dehydration, fatigue
2. every shot counts, no mulligans
3. water, OB, bunker, etc and the effect they have on the mind, and therefore the swing

I think it is dawning on the OP how much depth this game has, and the extent of the dedication required to reach a certain level of proficiency, which most would underestimate. I know I did. Laughing Laughing Laughing
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TourSwing
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:09 pm

samT wrote:
I thought the arguments put forth here is a bit warped and had distracted from the main focus of whether hitting off mat or grass is easier. We can't be bringing in level of ground, state of grass thickness or mat cushion etc right? Plugged ball? Walau, that is even more far fetched.

Distracted from the main topic - TRUE
Main focus of whether hitting off mat or grass is easier - FALSE

What the OP (jac_mav) is experiencing is VERY NORMAL! I would safely say as high as 8 or 9 out of 10 ppl go through this natural progression where hitting off the range mat sets the expectations unrealistically high! The beginners expectation is not to hit his 7I 140m every single time, its more like getting the ball airborne and straight ... as simple as that! A mat disguises mishits, whereby someone (like the OP) whos been playing golf for only 2 months, can not tell a moderate mishit from a slight mishit ... or even the nature of the mishit.

Golf is played on grass (leaving out other lies to make a point), and hitting off grass is what really matters ... However, to practice and learn the game, driving ranges provide mats to hit off for obvious reasons ... Nobody wants a beginner , aka as a hacker (to plant an image in the readers mind), to practice more gardening than golf!!!

My advice to the OP is ... keep practicing on the range ... and fit in a round of golf whenever possible. You will improve ... and just have to be a bit patient about it ... if you're not satisfied with your progress and your teaching PRO, look for a new one, there are plenty of good ones around (use the forum search option). To be honest I don't even understand what your pro means by what he's saying ... maybe he isnt being able to communicate it to you very well , or maybe you to us ... Cheers Beer
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Begbie
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PostSubject: Re: Range OK but Green sucks big time   Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:28 pm

Right, my bad too.. distracted from the topic.....

I guess when you folks made it clear with regards to a 2 mth beginner point of view, took me a while before the dust settled I understood better the actual intent of the post.

A duffed shot in the range may be inversely proportional to another in the course... so to speak...

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