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Will turf mats negatively affect my iron fitting? (golf.com)

I’m a mid-handicapper who would like to get fit for new irons. All my fitting options in town only offer turf mats, so there’s no way I can test on grass. How much does this impact fitting? I’m not a very good player, so I feel as though I might be overcomplicating things?

You’re actually looking at the iron fitting through the proper lens, so don’t think for a second that you’re overcomplicating the process. Most club-fitting facilities you’ll find across the country offer an indoor fitting experience with artificial grass mats, which will influence some of the launch monitor numbers.

That being said, you don’t have to worry about the numbers having a massive influence on your final selection. (We actually conducted a test pitting artificial against driving range turf.)

“There’s nothing wrong with fitting off mats, and you will see some variances from mat to turf,” said Kris McCormack, True Spec’s vice president of tour and education. “Typically speaking, the majority of players hitting off a mat indoors will strike it higher on the face, and it will influence carry numbers. It’s also going to influence some spin numbers and launch a little bit, but you can get a great quality fitting indoors.”

Mats also make it difficult to get a good handle on turf interaction when the iron head is bouncing off the artificial material. If you’re working with a strong fitter, they should be able to determine if the turf interaction will be appropriate based upon the angles you’re creating. Depending on how you typically impact the turf — if you’re a “picker” instead of a “digger” — hitting off a mat might give you a fairly accurate picture of where you’re at with your irons and any potential suitors.

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