Considering the cost of your average golf club, it’s reasonable to worry about causing unnecessary damage while using them. The last thing you want to do is fork out yet more money on repairs or replacements. With this in mind, do mats ruin golf clubs?
If so, is it worth worrying about really or can you swing away stress free? In this article, we’ll be exploring golf club maintenance. We’ll cover the impact of most training mats, some things you should keep in mind, and how to help your clubs go the distance.
Read on to protect your gear.
Do Range Mats Damage Your Clubs?
Practicing indoors with a range mat can be a great way to get some practice in if you’re unable to get to the course. If you’re not careful, however, repeated use with these mats can take its toll on your precious clubs.
In this section, we’ll outline some of the main impacts of using a range mat when training. The long and short of it is that range mats can indeed damage your clubs. The extent and nature of this damage will depend on your technique and how frequently you’re practicing with them.
All golf clubs are designed with a specific loft in mind. The angle at which you strike the ball determines the flight path you’re able to achieve and the total distance possible with each swing. Over time, repeated strikes on a mat can start to alter the intended loft of your clubs.
If you’re only practicing occasionally with a mat, this change may even be imperceptible for most people. If you use mats frequently, though, the loft of your clubs could change significantly.
This is especially true if your swing is putting excessive force down into the ground.
If your mat is placed over a hard surface like concrete, this issue can happen pretty quickly. It’s frustratingly easy to chip or scratch your clubs if you’re not careful. Range mats are a great way to do this unfortunately.
If you don’t store your clubs with appropriate head covers, the chances of causing superficial damage are only compounded. Once you’ve collected a few significant chips on your club’s head, the chances of more significant damage only increase.
Dents and Bends
Worse than superficial damage are dents in your club’s head or bends in its shaft. While minor bends can usually be corrected with the right equipment, they can ruin your club’s performance if left unchecked.
Replacing damaged clubs can really sting – trust us. Use training mats sparingly for best results.
Things to Consider When Using Mats With Your Clubs
The content above isn’t there to frighten you – it’s perfectly reasonable to train with mats from time to time, especially if you struggle to get to a full course regularly. It’s just worth keeping the potential damage in mind to avoid disappointment.
In this section, we’ll explore a few other things to keep in mind when practicing using mats.
They Can Instill a False Confidence
If you only ever train using range mats, you may notice something of a learning curve when you finally switch to the grass of a real course. Depending on the material under your mat and the other conditions of your training environment, you could be entrenching the ‘wrong’ force, angle, and speed for your swing.
Once you switch to having real grass under your feet, it’s not uncommon for things to feel a bit out of place. This can usually be accounted for after a handful of swings but it’s definitely worth keeping in mind.
It Depends on the Material Under the Mat
Practicing somewhere that’s using a mat to protect the real grass underneath? You’ll be dealing with a completely different scenario than someone who’s playing on top of concrete.
Both the habits you’re solidifying and the damage you’re likely to cause to your clubs depend in no small part on the surface underneath your range mat.
‘Bad’ Practice is Better Than No Practice!
We’re not here to demonize range mats! If you struggle to get to the course regularly, it’s definitely fine to practice on mats in the interim. We always wave a flag staunchly in support of regular practice.
The more often you can actually use your clubs and strike the ball, the better your chances of improving as a player, even if you’re not always practicing in optimal conditions. Would you rather maintain pristine clubs but never improve or slightly chip your clubs but improve as a player?
We know which option we’d go for!
The Best Material Possible is Grass
When all is said and done, we think the best environment possible for practice is an actual golf course. We acknowledge that it isn’t always practical to do a full 18 holes, but it’s a good idea to get out there and actually play when you can.
Besides, actually playing the game is what this is all about, right?
How to Avoid Club Damage
To keep your golf clubs in ship shape condition for many years to come, follow the best practices outlined below.
Wipe Down After Every Game
Moisture will swiftly damage the condition of your prized clubs. Dry them thoroughly with a soft towel after every game to minimize your chances of rust and moisture damage.
Perfect Your Technique
One great way to damage your clubs is to swing them poorly. The more you can perfect your swing technique, the less damage you’re likely to inflict upon your gear.
Play on Grass When Possible
Even grass can cause damage if you’re not careful, but it’s a damn sight better than some range mats. Whenever possible, try to play on actual grass for best results.
We hope you’ve found our thoughts in this article insightful. Remember that this is supposed to be fun. It’s natural to worry about damaging your clubs in certain conditions, but don’t let these fears impede your enjoyment of this fantastic sport.
Want our advice? Get out there and play in whatever way works for you!