Which True Strike Do I Need?
The most common questions we get in regard to True Strike is: Which True Strike Mat do I need?
In case you’re not familiar with True Strike Golf Mats, lets first give you a quick rundown on what a True Strike mat is and how it differs from other golf mats.
The secret is a gel bag integrated into the hitting area where you’d hit all of your iron shots from. You never see it because it is built into the mat and underneath a very tough, woven strike surface. Most turf is “tufted” but this strike surface is “woven” so it won’t stretch over thousands of shots.
The strike surface looks like a regular stance mat like you’d see at the driving range but, it has a structured foam material inside the bag which is then permeated with silicone gel. The woven turf, works in conjunction with the gel/foam and creates a very realistic energy dispersion when struck at high speeds with the force of an iron.
This strike surface is specially engineered to withstand 150,000 strikes or more with an iron moving at a speed of 92 mph. You can drive a nail into the gel bag and it won’t leak, its an engineering marvel.
This is not a gimmick, this is 9 years of engineering and trial & error which included 4 complete redesigns and 7 overall changes to get perfect, this is why the final version is called the MK7.
There are two very important reasons why the density of the Strike Surface is important to understand.
The density of the Strike Surface is designed to replicate the actual physical density of a real fairway.
Reason 1) Good Contact – Ball Hit First
On good contact with an iron from a True Strike Mat, the ball will be struck first, in a downward motion. This downward strike is what causes spin because the ball will pinch between the clubface and the turf below, subsequently traveling out and up.
On ALL OTHER GOLF MATS this spin rate is inaccurate because the turf below is either too soft or too hard. Either extreme and the spin rate is lower. A lower spin rate causes a ball to “jump” and carry a longer distance because it never “tops out”. Spin is what makes a well struck iron shot to carry the correct distances.
Here is a graphic which demonstrates a shot that “jumps”.
When a shot is hit pure on a True Strike not only does it sound like a well struck shot, it acts like one. It carries a realistic distance (not long like a jumper) with the correct spin and readings on a Trackman. Spin and Launch angle test within 3% of a natural fairway on a True Strike. Traditional mats don’t test within 12%.
Reason 2) Bad Contact – Ground Hit First
Again, all other golf mats carry the characteristic of too hard or too soft. On a normal range mat, like you’ll see at a range sitting on top of concrete, the club head is “re-positioned” upward when a fat shot is struck. This re-positioning upward causes you to hit what you think is a good shot. The fat swing hits the hard mat first and is pushed up during that millisecond prior to contact. Not only does this cause you to think you hit a good clean shot, but also causes a nagging injury called “golfer’s elbow”. An ailment which can and will last for years. The energy dispersion pushes the club head up and through the shaft, up into your arms.
On mats that are too soft, the club head is allowed to move freely under the ball and even though you’re catching it a groove or two high on the face, it will still fly out at speed, with a lower spin rate, because it hasn’t hit the sweet spot on the club face.
Conversely, when you catch the True Strike Surface a bit fat, say a groove or two high, you’ve hit the mat first which will cause the club head to slow down and you’ll hit the fat shot like you’re used to on the course. A real fat shot causes the face angle to change, as it makes contact with the ground, resulting in the high flame outs or the low going shot. This is actual feedback on a fat shot and other golf mats cannot provide this level of feedback.
Better Engineering = Better, Safer Practice
The True Strike System is completely modular, let me explain the various parts, what they are and how they work together to create the best golf mat hitting system available today.
Please take a moment to review this graphic of a True Strike Single Model:
As you’ll see, four modular parts make up the entire Single Model system and when combined weigh 112 lbs. The parts that make up a single model are described below.
- The Gel Section (1 piece)
- The Range Mat Section (3 pieces)
- Edge Trim (1 piece)
- Ball Tray (1 piece)
Each True Strike will come to you with a Tee Receiver and 50 Tees (25 long and 25 short) that fit in the receiver and won’t fly out when hit. These components are packaged inside the packaging of every gel section.
Now that you have the basics, lets discuss the 5 different standard models.
Here are the 5 models listed in order of popularity:
- Single Model
- Academy Model
- Custom Simulator Flooring (bottom of page)
- Impact Model
- Portable Model
- Double Model
Single Model True Strike
The single is by far the most popular as it features all of the True Strike functionality but also has a ball tray. It is most popular in home settings where a player is hitting into a net and you rarely have to switch from right handed to left handed.
While the modular pieces can be easily taken apart and switched, it is not optimal for right handed players and left simultaneously, the second most popular, the Academy Model is best for left and right handed without moving parts around.
The True Strike Single Model is also the most popular choice for ranges where you are purchasing multiple units as you can orient most of the units for right handed players and a few for left handed players.
The single also has that ball tray which is popular in driving range settings.
The real value for a driving range setting is this. Inevitably a range mat is going to wear out. It is simply impossible for a range mat to last forever given the amount of beating and the weather it is exposed to.
But, when a True Strike does wear, it will only really wear in the Gel Section, and because a True Strike is completely modular you will then only have to replace the gel section and not the entire mat. This is where the real value for a driving range comes into play.
If your driving range sells a large bucket of 55 balls for $8.00 this comes out to 0.145 cents per ball. Let’s assume that 30% of those shots are hit off the tee. At 150,000 strikes this range mat has an economic life which delivers $31,116 worth of hitting. Many range players come for entertainment and they hit 80% drivers and none of these driver shots are included in the 150,000 strikes.
Even more important to the calculation is the return traffic you’ll receive because the players that do care about their game feel the difference in a True Strike mat on their first shot with an iron. They will come back again and again because they’ll notice that the mat is more realistic, offers better practice and the mat DID NOT CAUSE THEIR JOINTS TO HURT.
Academy Model True Strike
The Academy model is the most popular for Custom Club Fitters and Indoor Teaching Facilities. Or outdoor teaching facilities where you only have 1 or 2 stalls set up for teaching.
The Academy model does not come with a ball tray as a standard option but, being completely modular, ball trays can be added at anytime.
The most popular buyer of a True Strike Academy is a college golf program. It offers left and right handed players on the same mat without the need to change the layout.
For Launch Monitors like Trackman, Foresight GC2, FlightScope or SkyTrack, the Academy is most popular because you have the ability to place the unit right on the mat, in the case of a GC2 or SkyTrack, which are “side reading” devices. (side reading means they read the first 8-10 inches of ball flight perpendicular to the ball flight from ground level)
In the case of a Trackman or a FlightScope launch monitor, these are rear reading devices, they are set behind the ball address position a number of feet and read the ball from behind. Because they are rear reading, they read a very slender sliver of ball flight, lets call it the “read line”. Each range mat section has two plugs in it for the tee receiver. Thus the range mat section can be simply picked up and rotated in order to put both drives and iron shots inside the read line of a Trackman or FlightScope. This takes less than 10 seconds and does not require you lift the frame of the True Strike.
If you’re going to spend the money on a device as awesome as a Trackman or a FlightScope, it only makes sense to be hitting off the right mat. Why spend the money on the most realistic technology, and not spend the money on the most realistic hitting surface?
The Impact Model is specifically designed to hit irons only, but you can and many people do, hit driver and tee shots from an Impact Model True Strike.
If budget is a concern or you only plan to hit minimal drivers, you can easily take that center panel and place it on the other side of the Strike Surface, you can then hit drivers or any other type of tee ball.
Many people are hitting indoor and they only have 9′ of clearance thus, they only hit iron shots, the Impact Model is a perfect solution for them. Remember, you can add the other modular pieces later, if circumstances change.
For driving ranges where the max distance is 200 yards and the range is an “Iron Only” range, like many older private clubs, the Impact is a great answer.
The Portable is a good option if you plan on inlaying your strike surface in base panels or flooring, or if you have an alternative surface to stand on while you hit, but want the realism of a True Strike.
The portable is elevated 2.25 inches so if you do not plan to inlay it or have another surface to stand on, you’ll have an awkward stance.
The Double Model is a luxury version of the Academy, it is very spacious and offers left hand hitting as well as right hand hitting with a ball tray on each side.
Perfect for high end residential simulator set ups or high end fitting studios. This is a popular version for the teaching area of a private golf club. Plenty of room and can facilitate a launch monitor right on the surface or plenty of room for the read line on rear reading simulator devices.
At Pro Putt Systems, we can inlay a True Strike Golf Mat in a putting green. This type of inlay is highly customized and must be professionally cut-in for optimal performance however, we can build and ship these style greens for self install, very much like a kit.
Custom Simulator Flooring is where we install a wall to wall green and the preferred simulator is a Foresight or Trackman, the inlay is very popular.
An inlay allows you to putt right from the strike surface and your ball won’t drop off an edge as it rolls towards the impact screen.
Very popular in residential spaces is the Inlay of a Gel Section Only. This saves space and allows for tons of putting and chipping space when the overall room is not that large.
We hope this helps when deciding which True Strike is right for you. This golf mat features the absolute latest in golf mat technology. We at Pro Putt Systems only work with the best materials in the golf industry and we know that you’ll love this technology as much as we do once you’ve had a chance to try it.
True Strike – A Revolution in Golf Mat Performance
If you have additional True Strike questions, please do not hesitate to call us or send us a note through our Contact Page.
Or Dial: Toll Free: 844-PRO-PUTT (776-7888)
by Pro Putt Systems