(Image: J Wiltshire / Flickr)

The driving range mat.

It turns the bottom of my clubs  green, causes my wrist to ache, and makes my foot slip with every follow through. It produces completely unrealistic golf shots, different ball flights than I’m used to on grass. Its rubber tee is a joke. The driving range mat just generally sucks.

I went for years without hitting a ball off a driving range mat. But the course that I often frequent–it’s five minutes from my house–can’t seem to grow any grass on their range between the months of November and May. So the grass area is closed off, and the only options are the driving range mats.

I think I’ve decided I’d rather just play 9 than go and hit balls off mats. You can’t replicate a golf shot off grass–not with concrete covered by astroturf.

Tomorrow, I’m playing with some friends at McCabe here in Nashville. This will be my first full round in a few months. Thankfully, no driving range mats will be involved.