Every northern climate golfer knows the options during the winter months: Travel south, put the clubs away until spring or hit off mats. While a trip south is a nice break, it’s not always possible to travel. Sticking the clubs in the basement until spring is just depressing. The 3rd option of hitting indoors is one that has some positives and negatives. If you have your own net in the garage, or you go to the dome, or you practice in a simulator, one of the worst things for your summer game is hitting off astro turf. Maybe if you are picker you can get away with it, but anyone else that even takes a tiny divot, mats are going to mess up your swing and/or hurt your wrists. Senna Turf Tees will actually help your game during the winter months off mats.
As a high school golf coach in MN, we are often forced during the off season and early season to hit off mats in order to get ready for spring golf. Drivers off the tee really don’t change, but fairways, hybrids and irons are drastically different. The Senna tee is a little triangle piece of plastic that lifts the ball just a 1/4″ off the mats so that you can get a better strike on the ball; more like hitting off real grass. You can actually attack the ball and compress it more like a normal swing outside.
I like to play simulator golf in the winter at Inside Edge Golf, MN and while everything about the facility is great, hitting off mats kills my swing as I try to manipulate it to pick it clean off the turf. Each spring I have a mini-rebuild once I start hitting off real grass. This year is going to be different. When I use the Senna tees I can keep my swing the same and hit the ball much cleaner and more like normal even though I’m on the mats. For club testing purposes they are wonderful as I’m able to get clean strikes with every club in the bag so that the Flightscope gets excellent numbers that are very comparable to my outside shots. I hit hundreds of balls with just a couple tees and not one tee broke or was damaged after that many shots.
The downside of the Senna tee will be if you are hitting at a dome or on outdoor heated mats; the tees go flying. While you may not lose one on every hit, if you hit 10 balls you can expect that on 8 of those shots the tee will be down range. In the simulator it isn’t a problem, you just pick them up, but I wouldn’t step out into the dome the 15 feet to get them with all the other range balls flying. Thankfully the tees are very reasonably priced, $3.99 for a pack of 30. Consider that if you are somewhere that the tee will fly into a no retrieval zone, you really need to add that 30-pack price to your bucket of balls.
I still think they are worth the investment for your wrists and swing, but understand you will go through a lot of these tees if you hit balls off mats regularly where they can’t be retrieved. They offer bigger packs and quantity discounts which will come in handy. These tees actually help your game when you practice indoors by allowing you to swing more normal, even off turf.