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Mats and Injuries


kenoli22

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With the drought in my area all ranges have gone to mats.  I'd consider my swing a little steep and I typically take divots.  After hitting off of mats lately I've noticed some elbow pain in my trailing arm, and in the past have had some shoulder pain in the same arm after practicing off of a mat.  Anyone else have similar issues?  I've recently turned 50 so I'm sure age plays a role.

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3 minutes ago, kenoli22 said:

With the drought in my area all ranges have gone to mats.  I'd consider my swing a little steep and I typically take divots.  After hitting off of mats lately I've noticed some elbow pain in my trailing arm, and in the past have had some shoulder pain in the same arm after practicing off of a mat.  Anyone else have similar issues?  I've recently turned 50 so I'm sure age plays a role.

 

if it's starting to cause pain stop using the mats asap especially at your age, you could develop a serious case of tennis/golfers elbow and it takes forever to heal. Also get one of those green flexbars, it doesn't seem like much but they help recover and prevent tennis/golfers elbow.

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I'm 73, a sweeper and hit on a practice mat every day with no issues. You being steep explains your pain. "Doc, it hurts when I do this, can you help me?" Doc- "Yes, don't do that." Find a mat that is more like the rough. The mats at my range have a section like that. 

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Mats suck-I would avoid them as possible. I am half your age and have torn wrist ligaments from hitting off mats. 

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There is a massive void in terms of both realism and injury prevention between various models and makers. Driving ranges tend to buy the cheapest available, and you will eventually suffer. Being cumulative trauma, even if you don’t feel it now, you will… Up to this year, my normal range used mats that would cause (me, at least) discomfort after a single basket. What I did was buy this, and bring it to the range with me.

 

https://www.costco.com/country-club-elite-golf-mats.product.100034931.html

 

It was a slight pain to carry, but nothing compared to not using it.


A Country Club on top of a standard mat provides total immunity from shock and injury, again at least for me. This year, the club went completely to this mat, and the response has been excellent. 

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@b.mattay pretty much sums it up for me. The average driving range mat is a vastly inferior substitute for grass. They don't provide accurate feedback and lead to injury. You've got to be aware of that if you hit off of them a lot. 

 

I grew up hitting exclusively on mats in Colorado. Moved to the south and every po-dunk muni had a grass range. Couldn't have been happier. 

 

Now in the mid-Atlantic - can't get on a grass range without some big $$$. It's astounding. I can grow grass on a brick around here. 

 

Consequently, I have to purposefully limit my full swing work. Small bucket once a week is about all my body can handle on a regular basis any more. 

 

I do most of my work in the short game area. Working on 50-80yd pitches can have benefits for your full swing. 

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I avoid mats like the plague.  My tendonitis is bad enough hitting off the ground! 🙃

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1 hour ago, Wooley12 said:

I'm 73, a sweeper and hit on a practice mat every day with no issues. You being steep explains your pain. "Doc, it hurts when I do this, can you help me?" Doc- "Yes, don't do that." Find a mat that is more like the rough. The mats at my range have a section like that. 

 

I go see my doctor, i say "Doc, i broke my arm in 2 places, what do i do?"

 

He told me "Stay out of those places"

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53 minutes ago, MtlJeff said:

 

I go see my doctor, i say "Doc, i broke my arm in 2 places, what do i do?"

 

He told me "Stay out of those places"

True story. Pulled a back muscle swinging too hard and too much. Thought I broke a rib so went to the doc. I told him "I hurt it golfing but I can still play if with ice and Advil. And interestingly, my slice is gone. " He said, so, why are you here?"

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Absolutely!  Few years ago suffered a 97% tear in a tendon in my elbow and I am fairly certain it came from mats. It was so bad one morning I went to grab a coffee cup and couldn’t even pick it up. Got injections and PT but the best thing was rest and a Therabar. Google Tyler Twist. It’s the best for any elbow pain. 

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It's well known fact hat mats can increase the chances of injury to the hands, wrists and elbows.  I know that if I hit too many balls or go to the range too often, I get pain in my hands and wrists.  Going composite/graphite shafts has helped tremendously in that I can practice and play more.  You should put an ice/cold pack on the affected areas to reduce inflammation.  Take an NSAID if it's really starting to affect you. 

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I would avoid prolonged use of mats at all costs with irons. I tweaked my serratus/rib last year by practicing too much on mats.

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Green flexbar really helped me.  The vibration is just rattling things in there from the hard surface.  I wonder if you hit down on the ball a good bit. A downward aoa is great for irons but tough on joints.  Go graphite on your next set and that’ll be a huge help too

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I practiced a lot on a firm mat that seemed rather thin and led to some wrist pain. I have a slightly steep swing and the pain was having me test ways to alter my swing. I found that hovering the irons, sort of like Ricky and Kucher, really helped me pick the ball cleaner off the mat and prevent further injury. 

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9 hours ago, Walk-it-in said:

I practiced a lot on a firm mat that seemed rather thin and led to some wrist pain. I have a slightly steep swing and the pain was having me test ways to alter my swing. I found that hovering the irons, sort of like Ricky and Kucher, really helped me pick the ball cleaner off the mat and prevent further injury. 

Compensating for the mat to prevent injury has introduced the swing flaw of not aggressively hitting down and through your irons. Mats are evil.

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49 minutes ago, northgolf said:

Mats are evil.

 

No truer words have been posted on this site. 

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Dont

Although there are a minority  who hit many balls off of mats and not develop injuries , there are many who do develop chronic injuries that require complete rest from golf , treatment  or even surgical intervention . You are playing with fire  when you hit balls with pain . Maybe you think that you can play through this pain with no  physical deterioration  , but that is only self deception ; hit enough balls and you will have no choice .
Mats combine the probability of developing  injuries , the probability of misinterpretation of mishits as solid shots and awful feels , a great triad .

The golf industry has placed many between a rock and a hard place ; hit balls off of crappy mats and develop injuries or do not practice at all due to lack of grass ranges 

 

 

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A little over 20 years ago I experienced golfer's elbow in both elbows that persisted for nearly 2 years. I tried ice, nsaids, PT, etc. to no avail. Everything changed for the better when I saw a talk given by Pete Egoscue as to what causes a large percentage of elbow issues. His view was that just like dis-functional hips can cause knee or back pain dis-functional shoulders can cause elbow pain.  With nothing to lose I started doing 3 simple exercises to improve my shoulders and was amazingly pain free within a month.  I hit balls off of mats nearly everyday with no problems.  I don't find the shock of hitting off of mats to be that different from hitting off of firm turf.

 

A good test that may show shoulder dis-function is doing an elbow curl.  Thumbs down, knuckles touching your temples. See video clip.

https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkxwk-IHz8-A5UhkwsGsc_M_qeVRZ-3ZLqo

 

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Maybe find a cheap course to play instead of the range. Even a par 3 course. I don't do a whole lot of range. I also had a very bad case of tendonitis both elbows. 

 

I got this kit on Amazon and in less than 2 weeks tendonitis was gone. Highly recommend it.

NIYIKOW Grip Strength Trainer Kit... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0838D4WBB?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

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On 6/30/2022 at 10:16 AM, northgolf said:

This should be the sequel to the best 2022 golf mats thread. Mats cause injuries and encourage swing flaws. It galls me that all the ranges near me are mat only.

Mats are cost effective.  You bit the bullet once by purchasing a bunch of them.  With grass, you have to constant buy sod/seed and water them.  Very costly. 

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I have a Country Club Elite hitting strip that I was using and would cause me the same pain you describe in the rear elbow.  I got a Fiberbuilt Flight Deck mat recently, and don't get the same level of pain from it, though I do still get some, but that could be because I haven't completely healed.  I've also typically shortened my sessions with it.  I have graphite shafts in the clubs I usually practice with, and that didn't keep the pain away when using the CC Elite, so not sure that really makes much difference.  Bottom line, I think the Fiberbuilt is a good option but also think keeping sessions short is wise as well.  I find that better than not practicing at all.

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19 hours ago, ezra76 said:

Maybe find a cheap course to play instead of the range. Even a par 3 course. I don't do a whole lot of range. I also had a very bad case of tendonitis both elbows. 

 

I got this kit on Amazon and in less than 2 weeks tendonitis was gone. Highly recommend it.

NIYIKOW Grip Strength Trainer Kit... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0838D4WBB?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

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